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Elizabeth Warren: Eisenhower Republican, a potential fighter with financial oligarchy, better economic nationalist then Trump

As taming financial oligarchy is No.1 task to the nation Warren has chances for 2020. People are tired to be treated like cattle, without jobs and without hopes. The resent of neoliberal corruption and "revolving  door" politics. She can be alternative to both "all hat, no cattle" Trump, who proved to be in the pocket of Goldman Sachs with his tax cuts, and betrayed his votes on key issues of jobs, decent medical insurance and ending of outsourcing/offshoring, as well as Kamala Harris (aka Hillary light)

 We need to repeal the Bush and Trump tax cuts; bring back the inheritance tax on large estates! Reinstate in some form Glass Steagall and reign on the power of financial oligarchy. Restore key restriction on financial oligarchy that existed under New Deal Capitalism which was dismantled since late 1970th.

News US Presidential Elections of 2020 Recommended Links Tulsi Gabbard Tax policy and tax avoidance under neoliberal regime Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism Corruption of Regulators Lobbying as institutionalized corruption Cognitive Regulatory Capture
Neoliberal corruption "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Revolving Doors as Corruption Silencing of Brooksley Born Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Clinton  monday morning quarterbacking Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Chronic Unemployment
Elizabeth Warren Versus Barack O Neoconservatism The Deep State  American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powe
Corporatist Corruption Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Pluralism as a myth Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Trump economic platform2016 Trump on immigration
Principal-agent problem Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Non-Interventionism National Security State Predator state Machiavellism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Betrayal by Bernie Sanders of his supporters Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention The Iron Law of Oligarchy Trump 2020 campaign US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 

If there were ever a politician for our time, the second and more egregious gilded age, it should be Elizabeth Warren. She INVENTED the Consumer Financial Protection Burueau! She has studied the big banks and Wall Street for decades! She knows how they operate better than anyone on the planet. She is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, but are we smart enough to elect her?

NYT comment from Gustav Durango on Jan. 28, 2019

Win or lose, Elizabeth Warren will bring the lion's share of ideas to this presidential season. It's one to say that you support a trendy concept, but it's quite another to have thought through the implications of your proposals - and be prepared to first defend, and then implement them. Warren is, and will be - from Day 1. We shouldn't settle for "hope and change" this time; we need a President in 2021 capable of thinking her way through a maze of societal problems, and unafraid to passionately, untiringly champion her preferred option.

NYT comment from Matthew Carnicelli Brooklyn, NY on Jan. 28, 2019

I lost A LOT of respect for her when she pulled back her comment about the primary being rigged, her constant lying campaign for decades about being a native (she contributed to a recipe book called pow wow chow, where she claimed to be Cherokee), and her approval of Trump's military budget with more money than trump even asked for.

 Sean O. Gamalson 1 week ago (edited)

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex.

 tmcfootball961 week ago

"The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise."

- Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785

As you probably know, since December 1, 2018, the left-leaning politician was elected in Mexico in the person of López Obrador. Hi movement Morena has the majority in the Congress. He won by a landslide on an anti-corruption platform.  I do not see the reasons why Warren can't repeat this success.  If you think about alternative, you need to think  twice: Sanders proved to be a fraud in 2016 elections -- he folded way too easily (and the impression was that  he is not fighing Hillary as much as simply promoting his platform and waiting where to fold). Kamala Harris is ruthless (she really looks like a prosecutor who can indict a ham sandwich); she is clearly corrupt establishment candidate, yet another neocon warmoger that is essentially "Hillary light".  She bought Russiagate hook, line and sinker. Civility actually is a really important element of politics, and Kamala definitely lacks civility. Tulsi Gabbard probably will be eliminated by MIC on early stages.  

Actually "anti-corruption" platform is well researched by the US intelligence agencies election platform and it is often used for organizing color revolution in other countries.  As we know intelligence agencies represent an influential political player in the USA presidential elections now. If not the kingmakers (like Praetorian Guard in Roman empire), they are definitely something like the third ( "inner" in terms of Orwell 1994) political party and their support of Warren can be decisive.

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 Warren in her 2020 race against Trump -- who is a perfect opponent for any anti-corruption crusader.  He can be buried with Trump University scam alone, if the cards are played right.

A fear that the anti-corruption  candidate against will lead to defeat of Trump in 2020 is visible in Trump recent speeches too. In a way Trump is an ideal political sparring partner for any anti-corruption candidate. Again, 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 million). 

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 million) can sink Trump

While Trump get some boost due to Mueller report, the effect of this might not last until November 2020 and may be overshadows by trade war with China or invasion of Iran or Venezuela that neocon advisors like Bolton and Pompeo pushing the county into. As if costs of Iraq and Afghan wars are not enough.  Some estimates are between 1.6 trillion and 5 trillion dollars Time

A truer measure of the wars’ total costs pegs them at between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. This fuller accounting includes “long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs,” Harvard economist Linda Bilmes calculated in 2013.

The Pentagon and its civilian overseers don’t like to talk about war costs, either before or after the shooting. That’s because a high price tag beforehand acts as an economic brake, making war—assuming that’s the goal—less likely. The nation may no longer draft soldiers, but when it wages war it has to draft dollars (borrowed or otherwise). Far better to try to sell a war with a low-cost estimate to mute possible public opposition.

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 uncomfortable in any debate that raises this topic.

Republican field right now is empty and contains only weakened and vulnerable Trump compromised by his neocon cabinet members such as Bolton and Pompeo and  who managed to betrayed all his major elections promises and like another king of "bait and switch" maneuver -- Obama can count only of pure lack for his reelection.   So the situation of Trumps vs. universally hated neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton can be repeated on new level with  Warren vs. Trump.  And Warren is more compatible with the Democratic Party then Trump was with the Republican party at the time of his election campaign. She can inherit large part of Bernie bros and part of blue collar voters that previously voted for Trump (I think entering the race by Sanders this time was a huge mistake).  As Trump can't to rely on attracting anti-war voters he will be further weakened. In a way he might represent "Hillary" in the upcoming elections,  an easy target.  The only scenario that can help Trump is the repetition of Romney vs. Obama scenario, when the other candidate would represent financial oligarchy (universally hated private equity sharks in case of Romney).

Right now Elizabeth Warren is a clear leader among candidates that can offer to the US people some meaningful improvement of the standard of living and at least a little bit suppress the current pace of enrichment  of the financial oligarchy.  In financial area she has more concrete proposal then Sanders. She might be a meaningful improvement over Trump, who completely discredited himself both in domestic and foreign policies, effectively betraying  his electorate in both. Such a Republican Obama. 

Her message about predation of financial oligarchy is well received by most US citizens and is to the point. Her ideas about tax reform are also a welcome change from Trump machinations.  As the leading consumer advocate in the Senate and Wells Fargo's toughest critic, Warren is well positioned here to take on potential Democratic rivals, especially on two new establishment candidates Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

She can use Teddy Roosevelt's anti-corruption and environmental speeches in he campaign. I think he is one Republican completely disowned by the current Republican Party. As such Warren has strong  appeal toward moderate republicans, who resent the power of Wall Street.

And while each of Warren's Democratic rivals has a unique set of policy issues, none of them is as well versed in how the economy. for example Tulsi Gabbard anti-war stance is weakened by her clear lack of any meaningful experience with the domestic economy and it problems.  In US Presidential election are mostly about the domestic issues. At least they matter most and that gives Warren tremendous advantage over rivals.  None of them are even close  to her level of understanding of the  US economy and problem with financial oligarchy.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren already owns two key issues that might shape the 2020 presidential race:

Trump's breaking of all his major election promises have left Trump voters disillusioned, and Warren might be  able to attack part of the voters which voted for Trump in 2016.

But on foreign policy, Warren's vision was called  "Trumpism with a human face," by Daniel Drezner of Tufts University. He says Warren's "simplistic take on globalization contrasts sharply with her more sophisticated take on markets." Elizabeth Warren owns two policy issues in the 2020 presidential race

The material below was adapted from Christina Wilkie article Elizabeth Warren owns two policy issues in the 2020 presidential race

Corruption within Trump administration, including Trump himself

  "The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." - Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785.

"An enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness, of mankind; and therefore every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property." - Benjamin Franklin, July 29, 1776.

"All property ... seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it." - Benjamin Franklin, December 25, 1783.

Two years into Trump's first term, the promise he made at nearly every campaign rally to "drain the swamp" in Washington and restore accountability has quietly disappeared from the president's speeches.

But more than a dozen of Trump's Cabinet appointees and top aides have left their jobs under due to investigations and scandals. Warren is uniquely deft at explaining the Trump administration's conflicts of interest and ethics problems in a way that's clear and easy for voters to understand and really hurt Trump.

Trump is "someone whose Cabinet appointees don't know about whatever the subject area they're supposed to be in charge of;" Warren said on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show". She went on to decry "Cabinet officials who get caught for trading in stocks in the areas that they are supposed to oversee," and "Cabinet officials who don't even pay their taxes."

During a speech in August, Warren described one such official, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as a "cartoon version of a Wall Street fat cat, awash in financial conflicts, intertwined with Russian financial interests, suspected of swindling millions from his business partners and using his official position to pump up his fortune through shady stock trading." Ross has denied what he calls "unfounded allegations" against him.

Warren has also backed up her words with action. This fall, she introduced sweeping new ethics legislation, no doubt with an eye toward her 2020 campaign platform. The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act would place a lifetime lobbying ban on former presidents and vice presidents, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress and federal judges.

It would also require presidential candidates to release at least eight years of tax returns — Trump has refused to release any of his tax returns.

Another measure inspired by problem experienced with Trump business empire during his administration would require presidents and vice presidents to place some assets, including their real estate holdings, into blind trusts they have no control over them. Trump has refused to divest his interest in his family real estate business, and instead left his sons to run it while he is president.

Hammering Trump over his corruption and ethical issues might hurt Trump chances to attract the same percentage  of independent voters. He already lost all anti-war right.

In December, Quinnipiac's large monthly tracking poll found that more than 60 percent said he does not share their values.

Few Democrats are better equipped than Warren is to turn this avalanche of scandals connected with Trump into election victory

Reining in corporate power

When Warren arrived on the national scene, America was still in the throes of the 2008 financial crisis and eager for someone who could punish the banks, insurance giants and Wall Street firms that had made billions of dollars on risky loans, then demanded taxpayer-funded bailouts when those loans went bust.

Warren fit the bill, and the instrumental role she played in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helped make her into a sort of anti-Wall Street folk hero.

Ten years later, however, the economy has recovered, and the days of occupying Wall Street seem long gone. In this new political environment, Warren now seeks to occupy an economic middle ground, albeit one that's left of center, by emphasizing that it's the rules of the capitalist game that need to be changed, not the whole game (a la Bernie Sanders).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Making capitalism work for all   

"I am a capitalist," Warren told CNBC's John Harwood during an interview last summer. "I believe in markets. What I don't believe in is theft, what I don't believe in is cheating. That's where the difference is. I love what markets can do, I love what functioning economies can do. They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity. But only fair markets, markets with rules. Markets without rules is about the rich take it all, it's about the powerful get all of it. And that's what's gone wrong in America."

Warren's argument that markets are good, but that markets need rules, also plays to her experience --- after all, she helped to craft many of the post-2008 era's banking and financial regulations.

A decade later, a new set of alleged corporate abuses tops the headlines, including Facebook's myriad data breaches, Wells Fargo's fake account scandal.

Warren is also a powerful voice for the rights of workers, another issue that's been amplified in recent years by wage stagnation, campaigns like the push for paid parental leave, and a renewed focus on work-life balance.

This fall, Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would require, among other provisions, that employees be given seats on the board of directors at some of the nation's biggest companies.

Foreign policy

Despite Warren's strength and depth of experience on the two key issues above, in foreign policy her credentials are less impressive. This night well be  her Ahelle spot and Tulsi can derail her if she  play her  cards right and get far enough in the race (which is not very probable as she is really hated by military-industrial  complex, which rules the country). Support of Hillary in 2016 -- this abhorrent neocon warmonger is a large dark stop on her reputation.

As a candidate, Trump promised to end America's participation in big multinational trade deals and expensive foreign wars.  He betrayed his promises and that is the line of attack on Trump that will well resonate with the majority of voters.  American people are tired of unending stream of the wars for preservation and expansion of the global neoliberal empire rules by the USA. The USA simply do not have enough resources to serve as a global policemen.

Still it looks like Warren shares Trump election time skepticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supports the return of U.S. troops from both theaters.

In November, Warren wrote a major essay in Foreign Affairs magazine, where she described the Middle East as a "tangled mess," and concluded that "neither military nor civilian policymakers seem capable of defining success, but surely this is not it."

Warren, like "election time" Trump, seemed to favor withdrawal without an emphasis on longer-term strategic objectives.

Warren also shares Trump's belief that globalization, and especially the last few decades of U.S. trade policy, have failed the American middle class. In a way she is kind of "Hillary light" in foreign policy, a neoliberal candidates who tried limited reform of bank sector without understanding its connection to a larger problem of neoliberalism in this country.

But she breaks with Trump over who globalization's real winners are: For Warren, it's massive corporations and a tiny global elite. Trump, however, claims the real beneficiaries are America's adversaries (and occasionally its allies).

Warrens still has time and space to refine and amplify her policy platforms.

In Iowa last weekend, Warren essentially had the crowded Democratic primary stage to herself. But rather than drill down on policy, she made a sweeping pitch for change. "We can talk about a lot of these pieces, but I want to put an idea on the table," Warren said in Des Moines on Saturday. "And that is we need change, and not just one statute here or one law there. ... We need big structural change."

Potential weaknesses

 Elizabeth Warren has three major problems from my point of view

  1. She supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 election.
  2. She is "republican-light" reputation in foreign policy. Although that may be the result of "survival instinct":  touching the US neocon foreign  policy issues can unleash a color revolution by intelligence agencies against you.
  3. It is clear that she deftly abused the claim that she has Indian ancestry to advance her career 

The main concern about her is that  in case of winning she might turn out to be "Hillary light" in disguise of tax for the rich.

Biography notes (adapted from Wikipedia)

Warren was born Elizabeth Ann Herring in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949,  the fourth child of middle-class parents Pauline (née Reed, 1912–1995) and Donald Jones Herring (1911–1997). Warren has described her family as teetering "on the ragged edge of the middle class" and "kind of hanging on at the edges by our fingernails". She had three older brothers and was raised as a Methodist.

Warren lived in Norman until she was 11 years old, when the family moved to Oklahoma City. When she was 12, her father, a salesman at Montgomery Ward, had a heart attack, which led to many medical bills as well as a pay cut because he could not do his previous work. Eventually, their car was repossessed because they failed to make loan payments. To help the family finances, her mother found work in the catalog order department at Sears. When she was 13, Warren started waiting tables at her aunt's restaurant.

Warren became a star member of the debate team at Northwest Classen High School and won the state high school debating championship. She also won a debate scholarship to George Washington University (GWU) at the age of 16.  She initially aspired to be a teacher, but left GWU after two years in 1968 to marry Jim Warren, whom she met in high school.

Elizabeth Warren and her husband moved to Houston, where he was employed by IBM. She enrolled in the University of Houston and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology. For a year, she taught children with disabilities who were enrolled in a public school. Her qualifications were based on an "emergency certificate", because she had not taken the education courses that were required for a regular teaching certificate.

The Warrens moved to New Jersey when Jim received a job transfer. She soon became pregnant and decided to remain at home to care for their child. After their daughter turned two, Warren enrolled in Rutgers Law School at Rutgers University–Newark. She worked as a summer associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Shortly before graduating in 1976, Warren became pregnant with their second child. After she received her J.D. and passed the bar examination, she decided to perform legal services from home; she wrote wills and did real estate closings.

The couple had two children, Amelia and Alexander, before they divorced in 1978.   Two years later, Warren married Bruce H. Mann, a law professor, but she decided to retain the surname of her first husband.   She also has grandchildren. 

Warren has said that as a child she was told by older family members that she had Native American ancestry, and that "being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born".  Warren was criticized in 2012 for having listed herself as a minority in a directory for Harvard Law School. Opponents said Warren falsified her heritage to advance her career through minority quotas. Warren denied these allegations, and several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring.   An investigation by The Boston Globe in 2018 found "clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools." 

Following a challenge by President Donald Trump to pay $1 million to her favorite charity if she could prove her Native American ancestry via a DNA test, Warren released results of a DNA test in 2018.  It concluded that "while the vast majority of [Warren's] ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in [her] pedigree, likely in the range of 6–10 generations ago."  The use of DNA to determine Native American heritage has been criticized by the Cherokee Nation as "inappropriate and wrong".   During a 2019 public appearance in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren was asked by an attendee, "Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?" Warren responded:

I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard stories about our ancestry. When I first ran for public office, Republicans homed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff. And so my decision was: I’m just gonna put it all out there. Took a while, but just put it all out there. 

Career

Warren discussing the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the ICBA conference in 2011. During the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Warren taught law at several universities throughout the country while researching issues related to bankruptcy and middle-class personal finance.  She became involved with public work in bankruptcy regulation and consumer protection in the mid-1990s.

Academic Career

Warren started her academic career as a lecturer at Rutgers University, Newark School of Law (1977–78). She moved to the University of Houston Law Center (1978–83), where she became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1980, and obtained tenure in 1981. She taught at the University of Texas School of Law as visiting associate professor in 1981, and returned as a full professor two years later (staying 1983–87). In addition, she was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan (1985) and research associate at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin (1983–87).  During this period, Warren taught Sunday school.   Early in her career, Warren became a proponent of on-the-ground research based on studying how people actually respond to laws in the real world. Her work analyzing court records, and interviewing judges, lawyers, and debtors, established her as a rising star in the field of bankruptcy law.  One of her key insights, according to Warren and economists who follow her work, was that rising bankruptcy rates weren't caused by prolifigate consumer spending, but by the attempts of middle-class families to buy homes in good school districts. 

Warren joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a full professor in 1987 and obtained an endowed chair in 1990 (becoming William A Schnader Professor of Commercial Law). She taught for a year at Harvard Law School in 1992 as Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Commercial Law. In 1995, Warren left Penn to become Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  As of 2011, she was the only tenured law professor at Harvard who had attended law school at an American public university.  Warren was a highly influential law professor. Although she published in many fields, her expertise was in bankruptcy and commercial law. In that field, only Bob Scott of Columbia and Alan Schwartz of Yale were cited more often than Warren.  

Advisory roles

In 1995, Warren was asked to advise the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.  She helped to draft the commission's report and worked for several years to oppose legislation intended to severely restrict the right of consumers to file for bankruptcy. Warren and others opposing the legislation were not successful; in 2005 Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which curtailed the ptcy.  

From November 2006 to November 2010, Warren was a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion.  She is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an independent organization that advises the U.S. Congress on bankruptcy law.  She is a former vice president of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Warren's scholarship and public advocacy combined to act as the impetus for the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011. 

TARP oversight

Warren stands next to President Barack Obama as he announces the nomination of Richard Cordray as the first director of the CFPB, July 2011.
On November 14, 2008, Warren was appointed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chair the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  The Panel released monthly oversight reports evaluating the government bailout and related programs.  During Warren's tenure, these reports covered foreclosure mitigation; consumer and small business lending; commercial real estate; AIG; bank stress tests; the impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on the financial markets; government guarantees; the automotive industry; and other topics.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bureau was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law by President Obama in July 2010. In September 2010, President Obama named Warren Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency.  While liberal groups and consumer advocacy groups pushed for Obama to formally nominate Warren as the agency's director, Warren was strongly opposed by financial institutions and by Republican members of Congress who believed Warren would be an overly zealous regulator.    Reportedly convinced that Warren could not win Senate confirmation as the bureau's first director,  Obama turned to former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and in January 2012, over the objections of Republican senators, appointed Cordray to the post in a recess appointment.  

Political affiliation

Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996.  Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets".  According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate.  According to her, the Republican Party was no longer "principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets" and was instead tilting the playing in favor of big financial institutions and against "middle class American families."

US Senate

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy.   A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became a viral video on the Internet.  In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is "class warfare", pointing out that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. ... You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Barack Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech. Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination and won it on June 2, 2012, at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.    She encountered significant opposition from business interests. In August the political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed that "no other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren".  She nonetheless raised $39 million for her campaign, the most of any Senate candidate in 2012, and showed, according to The New York Times, "that it was possible to run against the big banks without Wall Street money and still win".

Warren received a prime-time speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012. She positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that "has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered". According to Warren, "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged." Warren said Wall Street CEOs "wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs" and that they "still strut around congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them".

Tenure

On November 6, 2012, Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown with a total of 53.7% of the votes. She is the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts,  as part of a sitting U.S. Senate that had 20 female senators in office, the largest female U.S. Senate delegation in history, following the November 2012 elections. In December 2012, Warren was assigned a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, the committee that oversees the implementation of Dodd–Frank and other regulation of the banking industry.  Warren was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on January 3, 2013. 

At Warren's first Banking Committee hearing in February 2013, she pressed several banking regulators to answer when they had last taken a Wall Street bank to trial and stated, "I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial'." Videos of Warren's questioning became popular on the Internet, amassing more than one million views in a matter of days.  At a Banking Committee hearing in March, Warren asked Treasury Department officials why criminal charges were not brought against HSBC for its money laundering practices. With her questions being continually dodged, Warren compared money laundering to drug possession, saying: "If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to go to jail ... But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night." 

In May 2013, Warren sent letters to the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve, questioning their decisions that settling rather than going to court would be more fruitful.  Also in May, suggesting that students should get "the same great deal that banks get", Warren introduced the Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act, which would allow students to take out government education loans at the same rate that banks pay to borrow from the federal government, 0.75%.,  Independent Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her bill saying: "The only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn't". 

During the 2014 election cycle, Warren was a top Democratic fundraiser. Following the election, Warren was appointed to become the first-ever Strategic Adviser of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position that was created just for her. The appointment further added to speculation about a possible presidential run by Warren in 2016.

Saying "despite the progress we've made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten our economy", in July 2015 Senator Warren, along with John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME) re-introduced the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, a modern version of the Banking Act of 1933. The legislation is intended to reduce the risk for the American taxpayer in the financial system and decrease the likelihood of future financial crises. 

In a September 20, 2016, hearing, Warren called for the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, to resign, adding that he should be "criminally investigated" over Wells Fargo's opening of two million checking and credit-card accounts without the consent of their customers under his tenure.  

In December 2016, Warren gained a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, termed by The Boston Globe to be "a high-profile perch on one of the chamber's most powerful committees", which the Globe said would "fuel speculation about a possible 2020 bid for president". 

On February 7, 2017, Republicans in the Senate voted that Sen. Warren had violated Senate rule 19 during the debate on attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, claiming that she impugned his character when she quoted statements made about Sessions by Coretta Scott King and Sen. Ted Kennedy. "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen", King wrote in a 1986 letter to Sen. Strom Thurmond, which Warren attempted to read on the Senate floor.  This action prohibited Warren from further participating in the debate on Sessions' nomination for United States Attorney General. Instead, she stepped into a nearby room and continued reading King's letter while streaming live on the Internet.  

On October 3, 2017, Warren called for Wells Fargo's chief executive, Tim Sloan, to resign during his appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, saying, "At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit". 

Political positions

Warren is known for her progressive politics and her populist views on the economy.  According to the UK magazine New Statesman, she is among the "top 20 US progressives". 

2018 election

On January 6, 2017, in an e-mail to supporters, Warren announced that she would be running for a second term as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. She wrote in the e-mail, "The people of Massachusetts didn't send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country," and "This is no time to quit." 

The Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 6, 2018. Warren defeated her Republican opponent, Geoff Diehl by a 60% to 36% margin.

2016 presidential campaign

Warren stumps for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 2016

In the runup to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Warren was put forward by supporters as a possible presidential candidate. However, Warren repeatedly stated that she was not running for president in 2016.  In October 2013, she joined the other fifteen Senate Democratic women in signing a letter that encouraged Hillary Clinton to run.  There was much speculation about Warren being added to the Democratic ticket as a vice-presidential candidate.  On June 9, 2016, after the California Democratic primary, Warren formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

In response to questions when she endorsed Clinton, Warren said that she believed herself to be ready to be vice president, but she was not being vetted.  On July 7, CNN reported that Warren was on a five-person short list to be Clinton's vice-presidential running mate.   However, Clinton eventually chose Tim Kaine.

Warren vigorously campaigned for Hillary Clinton and took an active role in the 2016 presidential election.

She remarked that Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee, was dishonest, uncaring, and "a loser". Which in retrospect was all true.

She made several serious  mistakes in  her campaign which limited her chances by limited voter groups that  can support her and her platform. We can mention the  following

  1. Subjecting herself to the generic test to reveal the level of her Indian ancestry.
  2. Supporting reparations bill. 
  3. Supporting Russiagate.

If looks like she  does not want  to understand that the  reason for criminal behaviour of financial sector is systemic: under neoliberalism financial oligarchs are above the law and deregulation, especially financial deregulation,  is a sacred cow. Because the goal of neoliberal is the  redistribution of wealth up. As Bush Senior quipped (quoted from memory) "Neoliberalism is the concentration of wealth in the higher, stronger and tighter hands"

See 2017 paper  The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4C Conclusion  by

by

The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 1 emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 2 emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 3 The Phillips Curve and Critical Theory emptywheel
Part 3A. This post at Naked Capitalism expands on Part 3, and adds a discussion of Simcha Barkai’s paper and methodology; I discuss other aspects in Part 4A.
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4A The Nature of the Person emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4B emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4C Conclusion emptywheel

It’s fairly easy to criticize neoliberalism from the inside, just based on its incoherence and its failure to deliver good outcomes to most of the population. The Barkai Paper discussed in part 3 and 3A, and the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers make it obvious that the benefits of neoliberalism flow to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, whose wages are largely stagnant and have been for decades, and whose share of overall wealth has fallen.

Friedrich Pollock, a member of the Frankfurt School, said that the profit motive has always been a form of the power motive. We can see the truth of this statement in Trump actions, and that’s how members of his cabinet act. If senators are openly stating that Wall Street banks “own” Congress, if we have over 30,000 lobbyists legally spreading bribe money throughout the Beltway, if we have the Mercers, Waltons, Kochs and Adelsons (the latter with his man in the White House), and if we have congresscritters afraid of losing their jobs as public employees unless they can immunize their patrons from estate tax and the AMT, I’d say we’ve returned to government by the rich

Neoliberalism’s decline has been much too slow considering the among of definite harm to human beings and societies have been done in its name in the past 50 years.

 


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Old News ;-)

[Feb 21, 2020] After the attack of Sanders Warren emerges as the Reactionary, Man-hating, Pathological Liar-Victim.

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

IronForge , Feb 20 2020 23:23 utc | 68

Warren is the Reactionary, Man-hating, Pathological Liar-Victim.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/campaigns-elections/elizabeth-warren-cornering-the-man-hating-vote/

Don't think America is going to Vote in Someone who Defrauded Others with Claims of being Part Native American.

Maybe Bloomberg may have been Out of Line a few times. A "Horse Faced Lesbian" - what if it were an accurate description? A "Fat Drunkard" - to someone who is correctly described - is it really that offensive?

If it were said in an inappropriate context - say for job interviews - we can see the error; but reading about Warren calling an Male Actor as "Eye Candy" puts her brand of Sexist Comments in the same Boat.

What was Fauxahontas' Native American Name, anyway?
"Doesn't like Horses"?

[Feb 20, 2020] Warren comes across, to me, as even more shrill, harsh, angry and unlikeable than Clinton did at her worst.

Feb 20, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill H , 20 February 2020 at 01:31 PM

The media is cheering wildly for Warren and saying that she won the debate, but I found her to be utterly repugnant. She comes across, to me, as even more shrill, harsh, angry and unlikeable than Clinton did at her worst.

[Feb 20, 2020] Fratricide in Las Vegas - Six dwarfs mud fight should be fun all the way to November

Looks like it will Oligarch vs Oligarch Wrestling World Championship match again ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention ..."
Feb 20, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Some particulars:

  1. Bloomberg is revealed as having said in public that all the disposable income of the poor should be taxed away so that they will not have funds with which to do mischief like buying fast food or sugary drinks.
  2. Bloomberg described Sanders as a Communist who cannot be elected. In this he was correct.
  3. Bloomberg was described by Warren as a cold-hearted and insulting man who openly scorns women, gays and minorities.
  4. Mayor Pete mocked Klobuchar for her inability to remember the name of the president of Mexico. She asked if he was calling her "stupid."

These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention. In the mayhem there, the "winner" will probably have to choose one of the "losers" to be his VP running mate.

This should be fun all the way to November. pl

[Feb 15, 2020] Krystal Ball Warren's cynical attacks on Sanders are exactly why her campaign failed

Feb 15, 2020 | thehill.com

Hill.TV host Krystal Ball said Sen. Elizabeth Warren 's (D-Mass.) "campaign was lost long before this election cycle."

Ball pointed to Warren's "decision not to run in 2016 - she sat out the most critical election of our lifetime even though she knew better than I did the flaws of Hillary Clinton " Ball then slammed Warren's decision to not endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016 noting "when her supposed friend and ally Bernie Sanders, who allegedly shares her politics and was fighting for the same values she had staked her career on got into the race and started sky-rocketing in the polls challenging Hillary for the lead, rather than making the movement choice and backing the progressive, she sat it out."

Ball claims Warren's "attempts to co-opt revolutionary rhetoric in service of an establishment campaign, like Disney doing socialism, satisfied no one and left her unable to win more than 1 county and Iowa and an embarrassing distant fourth behind Klobuchar in New Hampshire."

Click on the video above to catch Ball's full remarks.

[Feb 14, 2020] The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren by Kathleen Walsh

Feb 12, 2020 | theweek.com

The 2020 presidential race was always going to be an uphill battle for Elizabeth Warren.

Almost from the get-go, political pundits fretted about Warren's electability, setting in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy now reflected in the New Hampshire primary results . Warren's disappointing showing on Tuesday comes on the heels of a stirring debate performance and a strong third place finish in the Iowa caucuses -- two wins largely ignored by mainstream media commentators, who focused almost entirely on Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, with a spare thought for Amy Klobuchar's rise and Joe Biden's descent.

Defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election is priority number one for the Democratic establishment, and a moderate candidate with the potential to sway swing voters and Republican defectors has long been billed as the wisest course. But by constructing a dichotomy between the self-described revolutionary leader Sanders and the aggressively non-threatening trifecta of moderate candidates (not to mention Bloomberg, who is suddenly the darling of cable news), the networks and pundits with the greatest persuasive power have ignored and undercut Warren's unique potential to unite the progressive left and hesitant center.

Warren seems to have unfairly inherited some of the hallmarks of Hillary Clinton's reputation. Clinton's devastating 2016 upset sparked practical questions as to whether a woman could win the presidency at all. And Warren's false claim to Native American heritage sealed a reputation for untrustworthiness that has stuck long after that conversation faded away. If Clinton, with all of her name recognition and experience, couldn't win against Trump, what hope could there be for the woman widely considered her successor?

Warren's progressive policies and folksy demeanor also framed her for many as a sort of second-tier Sanders, not far enough left for the progressives and too far left for gun-shy moderates. But it is precisely this position that makes her the most electable candidate.

Warren and Sanders are mostly aligned on their signature issues, but how they present these issues is entirely different, as are their proposed paths to achieve them. Sanders does not shy away from the word "socialist." He declares outright that his Medicare-for-All plan will raise taxes. He says billionaires should not exist. These declarations and convictions are brave and they are admirable. But they also inspire commentators like Chris Matthews to worry on-air that a Sanders administration will begin executing the wealthy in Central Park, French revolution style.

Warren takes a more measured approach in selling her policies, focusing on how she'll achieve them rather than the eventual outcome. She doesn't say billionaires should not exist, she proposes a wealth tax. Warren doesn't say "socialist," choosing instead to present the economic and social advantages to her plans without the label. The other key difference between Sanders and Warren is that, while Sanders has identified as far left for his entire political career, Warren was a committed Republican long before she became a progressive Democrat. As other commentators have noted , this history might not earn her many points with committed leftists, but it does put her in a unique position to appeal to the moderates and Republicans that candidates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar are trying to court. After all, she used to be one of them. And perhaps most importantly, polls continue to show Warren performing just as well as those candidates, if not better, in hypothetical general election matchups against Trump.

Yet the mainstream media seems determined to undermine her viability.

Sanders and Buttigieg finished neck and neck in the Iowa Caucuses (whose dubious import is a conversation for another day), with Warren close behind in third. As the dust around the disastrous vote-counting began to settle, the media centered the conversation on Sanders, Buttigieg, and Biden. For example, this headline from The Washington Post reads: "Buttigieg and Sanders take lead, Biden fades in partial results from marred Iowa caucuses," ignoring Warren's close third place finish entirely in favor of Biden's fourth.

During Friday's Democratic debate, many critics noted the relatively short speaking time given to Warren in comparison with her white male competitors. Afterwards, coverage again focused on Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Biden, and Sanders, despite Warren having the highlight of the night, when she responded to Buttigieg's embarrassing stumble on a question about race.

[Feb 09, 2020] Iowans Rage They're Dirty, Man, Matt Taibbi Warns Des Moines Debacle Was Waterloo For Democrats

Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seemed perfect, a man who defended the principle of wine-based fundraisers with military effrontery. New York magazine made his case in a cover story the magazine's Twitter account summarized as:

"Perhaps all the Democrats need to win the presidency is a Rust Belt millennial who's gay and speaks Norwegian."

(The "Here's something random the Democrats need to beat Trump" story became an important literary genre in 2019-2020, the high point being Politico's "Can the "F-bomb save Beto?").

Buttigieg had momentum. The flameout of Biden was expected to help the ex-McKinsey consultant with "moderates." Reporters dug Pete; he's been willing to be photographed holding a beer and wearing a bomber jacket, and in Iowa demonstrated what pundits call a "killer instinct," i.e. a willingness to do anything to win.

Days before the caucus, a Buttigieg supporter claimed Pete's name had not been read out in a Des Moines Register poll, leading to the pulling of what NBC called the "gold standard" survey. The irony of such a relatively minor potential error holding up a headline would soon be laid bare.

However, Pete's numbers with black voters (he polls at zero in many states) led to multiple news stories in the last weekend before the caucus about "concern" that Buttigieg would not be able to win.

Who, then? Elizabeth Warren was cratering in polls and seemed to be shifting strategy on a daily basis. In Iowa, she attacked "billionaires" in one stop, emphasized "unity" in the next, and stressed identity at other times (she came onstage variously that weekend to Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" or to chants of "It's time for a woman in the White House"). Was she an outsider or an insider? A screwer, or a screwee? Whose side was she on?

A late controversy involving a story that Sanders had told Warren a woman couldn't win didn't help. Jaimee Warbasse planned to caucus with Warren, but the Warren/Sanders "hot mic" story of the two candidates arguing after a January debate was a bridge too far. She spoke of being frustrated, along with friends, at the inability to find anyone she could to trust to take on Trump.

"It's like we all have PTSD from 2016," she said. "There has to be somebody."

... ... ...

What happened over the five days after the caucus was a mind-boggling display of fecklessness and ineptitude. Delay after inexplicable delay halted the process, to the point where it began to feel like the caucus had not really taken place. Results were released in chunks, turning what should have been a single news story into many, often with Buttigieg "in the lead."

The delays and errors cut in many directions, not just against Sanders. Buttigieg, objectively, performed above poll expectations, and might have gotten more momentum even with a close, clear loss, but because of the fiasco he ended up hashtagged as #MayorCheat and lumped in headlines tied to what the Daily Beast called a "Clusterfuck."

Though Sanders won the popular vote by a fair margin, both in terms of initial preference (6,000 votes) and final preference (2,000), Mayor Pete's lead for most of the week with "state delegate equivalents" -- the number used to calculate how many national delegates are sent to the Democratic convention -- made him the technical winner in the eyes of most. By the end of the week, however, Sanders had regained so much ground, to within 1.5 state delegate equivalents, that news organizations like the AP were despairing at calling a winner.

This wasn't necessarily incorrect. The awarding of delegates in a state like Iowa is inherently somewhat random. If there's a tie in votes in a district awarding five delegates, a preposterous system of coin flips is used to break the odd number. The geographical calculation for state delegate equivalents is also uneven, weighted toward the rural. A wide popular-vote winner can surely lose.

But the storylines of caucus week sure looked terrible for the people who ran the vote. The results released early favored Buttigieg, while Sanders-heavy districts came out later. There were massive, obvious errors. Over 2,000 votes that should have gone to Sanders and Warren went to Deval Patrick and Tom Steyer in one case the Iowa Democrats termed a "minor error." In multiple other districts (Des Moines 14 for example), the "delegate equivalents" appeared to be calculated incorrectly, in ways that punished all the candidates, not just Sanders. By the end of the week, even the New York Times was saying the caucus was plagued with "inconsistencies and errors."

Emily Connor, a Sanders precinct captain in Boone County, spent much of the week checking results, waiting for her Bernie-heavy district to be recorded. It took a while. By the end of the week, she was fatalistic.

"If you're a millennial, you basically grew up in an era where popular votes are stolen," she said.

"The system is riddled with loopholes."

Others felt the party was in denial about how bad the caucus night looked.

"They're kind of brainwashed," said Joe Grabinski, who caucused in West Des Moines.

"They think they're on the side of the right they'll do anything to save their careers.

An example of how screwed up the process was from the start involved a new twist on the process, the so-called "Presidential Preference Cards."

In 2020, caucus-goers were handed index cards that seemed simple enough. On side one, marked with a big "1," caucus-goers were asked to write in their initial preference. Side 2, with a "2," was meant to be where you wrote in who you ended up supporting, if your first choice was not viable.

The "PPCs" were supposedly there to "ensure a recount is possible," as the Polk County Democrats put it. But caucus-goers didn't understand the cards.

Morgan Baethke, who volunteered at Indianola 4, watched as older caucus-goers struggled. Some began filling out both sides as soon as they were given them.

Therefore, Baethke says, if they do a recount, "the first preference should be accurate." However, "the second preference will be impossible to recreate with any certainty."

This is a problem, because by the end of the week, DNC chair Tom Perez -- a triple-talking neurotic who is fast becoming the poster child for everything progressives hate about modern Dems -- called for an "immediate recanvass." He changed his mind after ten hours and said he only wanted "surgical" reanalysis of problematic districts.

No matter what result emerges, it's likely many individual voters will not trust it. Between comical videos of apparently gamed coin-flips and the pooh-poohing reaction of party officials and pundits (a common theme was that "toxic conspiracy theories" about Iowa were the work of the Trumpian right and/or Russian bots), the overall impression was a clown show performance by a political establishment too bored to worry about the appearance of impartiality.

"Is it incompetence or corruption? That's the big question," asked Storey.

"I'm not sure it matters. It could be both."

[Feb 08, 2020] Liz tried to attack Bernie that he has a pac. (and failed)

Feb 08, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

"Would you take @MikeBloomberg 's money?" @ewarren : "SURE!"

The very same night Elizabeth Warren's big message is "I don't take billionaires' money!" Liz has the political instincts of Hilary Clinton. Trump will crush her.
pic.twitter.com/cM85kcPYUn

-- Clark Feels The Bern (@Clarknt67) February 8, 2020

up 10 users have voted.

Raggedy Ann on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 4:50pm

She is so fake.

@humphrey
I can hardly stand to listen to nor look at her. Sheesh!

We got this from 2 faced Liz.

"Would you take @MikeBloomberg 's money?" @ewarren : "SURE!"

The very same night Elizabeth Warren's big message is "I don't take billionaires' money!" Liz has the political instincts of Hilary Clinton. Trump will crush her.
pic.twitter.com/cM85kcPYUn

-- Clark Feels The Bern (@Clarknt67) February 8, 2020

[Feb 08, 2020] The 2020 Democratic Candidates and Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders and Warren have set themselves apart from the field in having the most credible foreign policy visions and the strongest commitments to bringing our many unnecessary wars to an end. Biden remains wedded to too many outdated and unworkable policies, and just on foreign policy alone Bloomberg is running in the wrong party's primary. Buttigieg is the least formally qualified top presidential candidate on the Democratic side, and his inability or unwillingness to answer most of these questions shows that. If the moderators bother to ask them about foreign policy, the candidates will have another opportunity to address these issues in the debate tonight, and Buttigieg won't be able to get away with saying nothing. ..."
Feb 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Most of the candidates' responses were predictable. Biden's North Korea policy would be every bit as unrealistic as Trump's, but he shows even less willingness to negotiate. Bloomberg's positions were unsurprisingly the most hawkish of the bunch. If there was an option for using force, he was for it. All of the candidates were unfortunately in agreement with defining Russia as an enemy.

One of the weirder questions asked the candidates whether they would consider using force to "preempt" a nuclear or missile test by either Iran or North Korea. Only Yang and Warren said no. It isn't clear how many of them were serious and how many were just making fun of the absurdity of the question, but it is disturbing that most of the candidates asked about this would entertain taking military action against another country because of a test. Maybe it doesn't need to be said because it is so obvious, but using force to stop a nuclear or missile test is not "preemption" in any sense of the term. A test is not an attack to be preempted, and taking military action to prevent a test would be nothing less than an unprovoked, illegal act of aggression. To her credit, Warren recognizes how dangerous such an attack would be:

No. Using force against a nuclear power or high-risk adversary carries immense risk for broader conflict. Using force when not necessary can be dangerously counterproductive. Again, I will only use force if there is a vital national security interest at risk, a strategy with clear and achievable objectives, and an understanding and acceptance of the long-term costs.

In general, Warren's answers were the most substantive and careful. She not only answered the questions that were put to her, but she gave some explanation of why she took that position and why it was the appropriate thing to do. She correctly rejected Trump's regime change policy in Venezuela, and acknowledged that "Trump's reckless actions have only further worsened the suffering of the Venezuelan people." On North Korea, she remained open to continuing direct talks with Kim Jong-un, but qualified that by saying, "I would be willing to meet with Kim if it advances substantive negotiations, but not as a vanity project." Her negotiating position was similarly reasonable: "A pragmatic approach to diplomacy requires give and take on both sides, not demands that one side unilaterally disarm first." Both Warren and Sanders correctly criticized Trump for the illegal assassination of Soleimani, and they recognized that the president's escalation had put Americans at greater risk. When asked about taking military action against Iran, Warren rejected the idea of a war with Iran and said the following:

I want to end America's wars in the Middle East, not start a new one with Iran. The litmus test I will use for any military action against Iran is the same that I will use as I consider any military action anywhere in the world. I will not send our troops into harm's way unless there is a vital national security interest at risk, a strategy with clear and achievable objectives, and an understanding and acceptance of the long-term costs. We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily.

The most revealing set of responses came from Pete Buttigieg in that he gave very few responses and had remarkably little to say about his plans. He failed to answer most of the questions he was asked. Of the 36 individual questions included in the 11 sections, he answered only 17 by my count, and many of those were recycled clips from previous speeches, interviews, and debate statements. Despite leaning heavily on his military service in Afghanistan in his campaigning, he failed to answer all of the questions asked about Afghanistan and the U.S. war there. Buttigieg's failure to respond to most of these questions underscores the former mayor's lack of foreign policy experience and knowledge, and it shows that after almost a year his campaign still doesn't have their foreign policy worked out.

Sanders and Warren have set themselves apart from the field in having the most credible foreign policy visions and the strongest commitments to bringing our many unnecessary wars to an end. Biden remains wedded to too many outdated and unworkable policies, and just on foreign policy alone Bloomberg is running in the wrong party's primary. Buttigieg is the least formally qualified top presidential candidate on the Democratic side, and his inability or unwillingness to answer most of these questions shows that. If the moderators bother to ask them about foreign policy, the candidates will have another opportunity to address these issues in the debate tonight, and Buttigieg won't be able to get away with saying nothing.


MPC a day ago

I don't trust Warren on this, her flimsiness and pandering and propensity to outright lie remind me too much of Romney (who speak of the devil got a backbone for once this week!).

Bernie is definitely the best bet for a softer foreign policy.

=marco01= MPC a day ago
Warren is one of the most honest politicians. Check her Politifact file, she does far better than even Bernie. Of course neither compares to Trump, his Politifact file is a Pants on Fire dumpster fire.

The one thing, and it's only one thing, that causes you to say this is the controversy over her ancestry. But I don't believe she lied, she was raised with the family lore that she had native ancestry and she believed that family lore.

Tom Riddle =marco01= 21 hours ago
If I had a dollar for every white midwesterner who told me that they had Native ancenstry, I wouldn't be typing comments on disqus, that's for sure. My personal internet comment typer would be doing the typing for me as I dictated from my throne of mammon.
=marco01= Tom Riddle 16 hours ago
Sure, but that was her family lore. Apparently it was spoken a lot of when she was growing up.

Her DNA test puts her Native ancestor from around the time of the Revolution, it's easy to see how that could start a family legend.

Tom Riddle =marco01= 14 hours ago
Im not even really disagreeing. Even if she was wrong, I find it wild that these attacks on her are playing well in Trumpville, since white midwesterners (my people) falsely claiming Native heritage is a most common genre.
=marco01= Tom Riddle 3 hours ago
As we've seen with their support of Trump, conservatives don't seem to have much of a problem with hypocrisy.

They'll gleefully attack someone for something they are even more guilty of.

cka2nd 20 hours ago • edited
I wonder why Gabbard failed to respond to the survey (as per a note on the bottom of the Times' page). A missed chance on her part.
Wally 8 hours ago
This is why I'm voting for Warren in my states primary next month. I just hope she's still in the race!
cka2nd Wally 5 hours ago
My guess is that after South Carolina it will be Sanders vs. Bloomberg vs. one of the other more mainstream Dems, either Mayor Pete, Warren (she's been tacking to the mainstream, right on economics and "left" on wokeness) or Biden, in that order. A fall-off in funding will knock everyone else out of the race (or a failure to move the voting needle if Steyer is self-funding).

[Feb 08, 2020] Are the Bells Tolling for Amy, Liz Joe by Pat Buchanan

A Rockefeller and a Rothschild?
Feb 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

... Biden's fundraising has fallen off, and it is unlikely major donors are going to send cash to a candidate who just ran fourth in Iowa and could run fourth or fifth in New Hampshire.

...Klobuchar is now in the second tier in New Hampshire, behind Sanders and Buttigieg, but right alongside Biden and Warren. A third-, fourth- or fifth-place finish would be near-fatal for them all.

...As for Warren, in her battle with Sanders to emerge as the champion of the progressive wing of the party, her third-place finish in Iowa, and her expected third-place finish in New Hampshire, at best, would seem to settle that issue for this election.


Buck Ransom , says: Show Comment February 7, 2020 at 1:38 am GMT

Uncle Joe's presidential road show may be a bore and a bust, but the upcoming expose of Biden & Son International, Inc. should provide a dumpster-load of drama and comedy all summer long. I wonder how many special guest appearances there will be by the Kerrys, the Clintons, the Obamas and other nice folks Joe knows from DC.
Prester John , says: Show Comment February 7, 2020 at 5:29 pm GMT
@Buck Ransom That reminds me. Obama was Biden's putative "boss" during the Ukrainian transaction. What did he know and when did he know it?
follyofwar , says: Show Comment February 7, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
@anon IMHO, Bloomberg is ... just one year younger than Bernie, so this is his final rodeo too.

...After the Iowa deep state operation, (it was NOT incompetence), it is clear that the PTB will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to ensure that Socialist Sanders is not the nominee. Remember, he already has a heart condition. Just sayin'.

The very part-time mayor of South Bend will soon be yesterday's news after South Carolina. Unlike suburban whites, blacks have too much common sense to vote for a homosexual.

Servant of Gla'aki , says: Show Comment February 7, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT
@BingoBoingo

Mayor Pete's their attempt to groom a new one young, but he seems just as unelectable.

Blacks, men in particular, simply won't vote for Pete Buttigieg. They'll stay home in droves, and more than a few will vote for Trump.

If Buttigieg is the nominee, Election night will look like a Republican landslide straight out of the 1980s.

anon [833] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 7, 2020 at 9:22 pm GMT
@follyofwar If it ends up Bloomberg vs Trump what we've got in this country will have transmogrified further from an oligarchy to a full blown aristocracy–certainly a plutocracy–where only billionaires can afford to play king. That race won't be Dems vs GOPers, as both gentlemen have posed as one before switching to the other for simple expedience. Who will be the veep candidates? A Rockefeller and a Rothschild?
KenH , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:31 pm GMT
Bootyjudge is just a short, gay and white version of Obama. But he typifies a government bureaucrat in that he's politically left wing, sexually deviant and hates normal, everyday Americans especially if their skin is white.

The DNC knows that if Biden were to win the nomination he'll commit so many gaffes, like burbling about corn pop, his hairy legs and enjoying kids sitting on his lap, among other things, that Trump would have a field day on Twitter and easily win a second term.

So it's shaping up to be a contest between orange Jebulus vs. anal Pete. By the time the presidential debates arrive both candidates will be vowing to crush white nationalism and improve the lives of black and brown people. White people need not apply.

Nevertheless, Trump's cult like almost all white base will cheer madly for a man who claims to represent them in words only, but almost never in deeds.

Zach , says: Show Comment Next New Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:57 pm GMT
@Adrian E. Everyone seems to forget that Sanders will be 79 in 2021...

[Feb 07, 2020] It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Feb 6 2020 20:02 utc | 65

It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

I honestly can't see Sanders getting the nomination with all the corruption openly being displayed. I would be pleasantly surprised if Sanders did manage to get it, but he still have to deal with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE (EC). The Electors have the final say. Yes, one can point out that some States have laws forcing Electors to vote what the populace wants, but that is being challenged in court. The debate on whether such laws are unconstitutional or not, remains to be seen. It's too late now to deal with the EC for this election, but people need to be more active in politics at the State level as that's where Electors are (s)elected.

IF Sanders is genuine then he should prepare to run as an independent just to get the EC attention.

ben , Feb 6 2020 22:01 utc | 79

RR @ 14;
Everything in the U$A today, is driven by the unofficial Party of $, and it's reach transcends both Dems & repubs. It's cadre is the majority of the D.C. "rule makers", so we get what they want, not what "we the people" want or need.

They own the banks, MSM media, and even our voting systems.

IMO, to assume one party is to blame for conditions in the U$A is a bit naive.

Question is, can anything the masses do, change the system? Or is rank and file America just along for the ride?

I'm assuming us peons will get what the party of $ wants this November also.

P.S. If any blame is given, it needs to go to the American public, because " you get the kind of Gov. you deserve" through your inactions...

It's a lot like living, death is certain, but until that occurs, I'll move forward trying to mitigate current paradigms.

[Feb 04, 2020] The Democrats have embraced identity politics which will destroy any chance of electoral success in my opinion

Feb 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Furthermore, first generation immigrants don't want to replicate their culture, they want the American dream. Their grandchildren might want to "identify" as hispanic, etc., but not their parents or grandparents. Identity politics only plays in the white middle classes.

Posted by: walrus | 02 February 2020 at 04:57 PM

[Jan 31, 2020] Tucker: DNC worried about Sanders becoming nominee - YouTube

They actually don't: Sanders proved to be more of a sheepdog then a real candidate in 2016: he betrayed his voters They are afraid of Tulsi, though
Money quote "Democratic Party is a collection of various interest group that actually hate each other"
Jan 31, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Charles Hull , 2 weeks ago

🤔 If she doesn't want to be called a liar, on national TV, she should stop lying, on national TV.

Karinda Tiweyang , 6 days ago

"Sexist, not SEXY, sexist" hahahhaha why was this necessary. Still funny af.

Flagrus , 1 week ago

That moment when a fox News treats Bernie fairer and more honest than his own party.

[Jan 29, 2020] Campaign Promises and Ending Wars

Highly recommended!
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

lizabeth Warren wrote an article outlining in general terms how she would bring America's current foreign wars to an end. Perhaps the most significant part of the article is her commitment to respect Congress' constitutional role in matters of war:

We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily. The United States should not fight and cannot win wars without deep public support. Successive administrations and Congresses have taken the easy way out by choosing military action without proper authorizations or transparency with the American people. The failure to debate these military missions in public is one of the reasons they have been allowed to continue without real prospect of success [bold mine-DL].

On my watch, that will end. I am committed to seeking congressional authorization if the use of force is required. Seeking constrained authorizations with limited time frames will force the executive branch to be open with the American people and Congress about our objectives, how the operation is progressing, how much it is costing, and whether it should continue.

Warren's commitment on this point is welcome, and it is what Americans should expect and demand from their presidential candidates. It should be the bare minimum requirement for anyone seeking to be president, and any candidate who won't commit to respecting the Constitution should never be allowed to have the powers of that office. The president is not permitted to launch attacks and start wars alone, but Congress and the public have allowed several presidents to do just that without any consequences. It is time to put a stop to illegal presidential wars, and it is also time to put a stop to open-ended authorizations of military force. Warren's point about asking for "constrained authorizations with limited time frames" is important, and it is something that we should insist on in any future debate over the use of force. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are still on the books and have been abused and stretched beyond recognition to apply to groups that didn't exist when they were passed so that the U.S. can fight wars in countries that don't threaten our security. Those need to be repealed as soon as possible to eliminate the opening that they have provided the executive to make war at will.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is unimpressed with Warren's rhetoric:

But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She's made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn't hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama's promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.

We shouldn't discount Warren's statements so easily. When a candidate makes specific commitments about ending U.S. wars during a campaign, that is different from making vague statements about having a "humble" foreign policy. Bush ran on a conventional hawkish foreign policy platform, and there were also no ongoing wars for him to campaign against, so we can't say that he ever ran as a "dove." Obama campaigned against the Iraq war and ran on ending the U.S. military presence there, and before his first term was finished almost all U.S. troops were out of Iraq. It is important to remember that he did not campaign against the war in Afghanistan, and instead argued in support of it. His subsequent decision to commit many more troops there was a mistake, but it was entirely consistent with what he campaigned on. In other words, he withdrew from the country he promised to withdraw from, and escalated in the country where he said the U.S. should be fighting. Trump didn't actually campaign on ending any wars, but he did talk about "bombing the hell" out of ISIS, and after he was elected he escalated the war on ISIS. His anti-Iranian obsession was out in the open from the start if anyone cared to pay attention to it. In short, what candidates commit to doing during a campaign does matter and it usually gives you a good idea of what a candidate will do once elected.

If Warren and some of the other Democratic candidates are committing to ending U.S. wars, we shouldn't assume that they won't follow through on those commitments because previous presidents proved to be the hawks that they admitted to being all along. Presidential candidates often tell us exactly what they mean to do, but we have to be paying attention to everything they say and not just one catchphrase that they said a few times. If voters want a more peaceful foreign policy, they should vote for candidates that actually campaign against ongoing wars instead of rewarding the ones that promise and then deliver escalation. But just voting for the candidates that promise an end to wars is not enough if Americans want Congress to start doing its job by reining in the executive. If we don't want presidents to run amok on war powers, there have to be political consequences for the ones that have done that and there needs to be steady pressure on Congress to take back their role in matters of war. Voters should select genuinely antiwar candidates, but then they also have to hold those candidates accountable once they're in office.

[Jan 27, 2020] The Emergence of Progressive Foreign Policy

This blabbing about authoritarian Russia and China greatly diminishes the value of this article. The author is Warren foreign policy advisor. Probably she should find a better advisor.
Compare this blabbing with Putin stance about strengthening of the role of the UN.
Notable quotes:
"... Fourth, the new progressive foreign policy is highly skeptical of military interventions, and opposed to democracy promotion by force. This does not mean that progressives are unwilling or would be unable to use force when it is necessary. But after 17 years of war in the Middle East, they do not share the aggressive posture that has characterized the post-Cold War era. Some are skeptical because they think interventions cannot succeed. Others emphasize the potential for backlash and making the situation worse. Still others hold that stable, sustainable democracy cannot be imposed from abroad but must emerge organically. ..."
"... Fifth, the new progressive foreign policy seeks to reshape the military budget by both cutting the budget overall and reallocating military spending. This should not be surprising. The skepticism of intervention suggests military budgets do not need to be as big as they have been in an era when the goal was to be able to fight two regional wars simultaneously. The centrality of economics to a progressive foreign policy further explains this position; military spending should partly be reallocated to cyber and other technologies that are deeply integrated with the economy and likely to be crucial in future conflicts. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | warontherocks.com
end of history " and America's " unipolar moment ." And both camps have undergone a serious reckoning after the Afghanistan, Iraq, and forever wars, as well as the global financial crisis calling into question neoliberal economic policies -- namely, deregulation, liberalization, privatization, and austerity. Prominent foreign policy advocates have quite publicly engaged in soul-searching as they confronted these changes, and debates about the future of foreign policy abound.

The emergence of a distinctively progressive approach to foreign policy is perhaps the most interesting -- and most misunderstood -- development in these debates. In speeches and articles, politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders have outlined an approach to foreign policy that does not fall along the traditional fault-lines of realist versus idealist or neoconservative versus liberal internationalist (disclosure: I have been a longtime advisor to Sen. Warren). Their speeches come alongside an increasing number of articles exploring the contours of a progressive foreign policy. Even those who might not consider themselves progressive are sounding similar themes .

From this body of work, it is now possible to sketch out the framework of a distinctively progressive approach to foreign policy. While its advocates, like those in other foreign policy camps, discuss a wide range of issues -- from climate change to reforming international institutions -- at the moment, five themes mark this emerging approach as a specific framework for foreign policy.

First, progressive foreign policy breaks the silos between domestic and foreign policy and between international economic policy and foreign policy. It places far greater emphasis on how foreign policy impacts the United States at home -- and particularly on how foreign policy (including international economic policy) has impacted the domestic economy. To be sure, there have always been analysts and commentators who recognized these interrelationships. But progressive foreign policy places this at the center of its analysis rather than seeing it as peripheral. The new progressive foreign policy takes the substance of both domestic and international economic policies seriously, and its adherents will not support economic policies on foreign policy grounds if they exacerbate economic inequality at home. For example, the argument that trade deals must be ratified on national security grounds even though they have problematic distributional consequences does not carry much weight for progressives who believe that an equitable domestic economy is the foundation of national power.

Second, progressive foreign policy holds that one of the important threats to American democracy at home is nationalist oligarchy (or, alternatively, authoritarian capitalism ) abroad. Countries like Russia and China are not simply authoritarian governments, and neither can their resurgence and assertion of power be interpreted as merely great power competition. The reason is that their economic systems integrate economic and political power. Crony/state capitalism is not a bug, it is the central feature. In a global society, economic interrelationships weaponize economic power into political power . China, for example, already uses its economic power as leverage in political disputes with other Asian countries. Its growing share of global GDP is one of the most consequential facts of the 21st century. As a result of these dynamics, progressives are also highly skeptical of a foreign policy based on the premise that the countries of the world will all become neoliberal democracies. Instead, they take seriously the risks that come from economic integration with nationalist oligarchies.

Third, the new progressive foreign policy values America's alliances and international agreements, but not because it thinks that such alliances and rules can convert nationalist oligarchies into liberal democracies. Rather, alliances should be based on common values or common goals, and, going forward, they will be critical to balancing and countering the challenges from nationalist oligarchies. Progressives are thus far more skeptical of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia and far more interested in reinforcing and deepening ties with allies like Japan -- and are concerned about the erosion of alliances like NATO from within.

[Jan 25, 2020] This Kabuki theater with Schiff in a major role is outright silly by likbez

Jan 22, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , January 25, 2020 3:10 pm

While I agree that the removal of Trump might be slightly beneficial (Pence-Pompeo duo initially will run scared), this Kabuki theater with Schiff in a major role is outright silly.

Adam Schiff physically resembles a typical prosperity theology preacher -- a classic modern American snake oil salesman. And with his baseless accusations and the fear to touch real issues , he is even worse than that -- he looks outright silly even for the most brainwashed part of the USA electorate ;-)

As he supported the Iraq war, he has no right to occupy any elected office. He probably should be prosecuted as a war criminal.

Realistically Schiff should be viewed as yet another intelligence agency stooge, a neocon who is funded by military contractors such as Northrop Grumman, which sells missiles to Ukraine.

The claim that Trump is influenced by Russia is a lie. His actions indicate that he is an agent of influence for Israel, not so much for Russia. Several of his actions were more reckless and more hostile to Russia than the actions of the Obama administration. Anyway, his policies toward Russia are not that different from Hillary's policies. Actually, Pompeo, in many ways, continues Hillary's policies.

The claim that the withdrawal of military aid from Ukraine somehow influences the balance of power in the region was a State department concocted scam from the very beginning. How sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles change the balance of power on the border with the major nuclear power, who has probably second or third military in the world.? They do not.

They (especially sniper rifles) will definitely increase casualties of Ukrainian separatists (and will provoke Russian reaction to compensate for this change of balance and thus increase casualties of the Ukrainian army provoking the escalation spiral ), but that's about it. So more people will die in the conflict while Northrop Grumman rakes the profits.

They also increase the danger of the larger-scale conflict in the region, which is what the USA neocons badly wants to impose really crushing sanctions on Russia. The danger of WWIII and the cost of support of the crumbling neoliberal empire with its outsize military expenditures (which now is more difficult to compensate with loot) somehow escapes the US neocon calculations. But they are completely detached from reality in any case.

I think Russia can cut Ukraine into Western and Eastern parts anytime with relative ease and not much resistance. Putin has an opportunity to do this in 2014 (risking larger sanctions) as he could establish government in exile out of Yanukovich officials and based on this restore the legitimate government in Eastern and southern region with the capital in Kharkiv, leaving Ukrainian Taliban to rot in their own brand of far-right nationalism where the Ukraine identity is defined negatively via rabid Russophobia.

His calculation probably was that sanctions would slow down the Russia recovery from Western plunder during Yeltsin years and, as such, it is not worth showing Western Ukrainian nationalists what level of support in Southern and Eastern regions that they actually enjoy.

My impression is that they are passionately hated by over 50% of the population of this region. And viewed as an occupying force, which is trying to colonize the space (which is a completely true assessment). They are viewed as American stooges, who they are (the country is controlled from the USA embassy in any case).

And Putin's assessment might be wrong, as sanctions were imposed anyways, and now Ukraine does represent a threat to Russia and, as such, is a huge source of instability in the region, which was the key idea of "Nulandgate" as the main task was weakening Russia. In this sense, Euromaidan coup d'état was the major success of the Obama administration, which was a neocon controlled administration from top to bottom.

Also unclear what Dems are trying to achieve. If Pelosi gambit, cynically speaking, was about repeating Mueller witch hunt success in the 2018 election, that is typical wishful thinking. Mobilization of the base works both ways.

So what is the game plan for DemoRats (aka "neoliberal democrats" or "corporate democrats" -- the dominant Clinton faction of the Democratic Party) is completely unclear.

I doubt that they will gain anything from impeachment Kabuki theater, where both sides are afraid to discuss real issues like Douma false flag and other real Trump crimes.

Most Democratic candidates such as Warren, Biden, and Klobuchar will lose from this impeachment theater. Candidates who can gain, such as Major Pete and Bloomberg does not matter that much.

[Jan 23, 2020] An incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Highly recommended!
The deep state clearly is running the show (with some people unexpected imput -- see Trump ;-)
Elections now serve mainly for the legitimizing of the deep state rule; election of a particular individual can change little, although there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch. If the individual stray too much form the elite "forign policy consensus" he ether will be JFKed or Russiagated (with the Special Prosecutor as the fist act and impeachment as the second act of the same Russiagate drama)
But a talented (or reckless) individual can speed up some process that are already under way. For example, Trump managed to speed up the process of destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by launching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44
>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...


Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.

Per
Norway

Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

[Jan 23, 2020] Incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Elections now serve mainly the legitimizing of the deep state rule function; election of a partuclar induvudual can change little, althouth there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44

For example, Trump managed to speed up the process od destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by lauching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.

>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...

[Jan 23, 2020] Elizabeth Warren Rages Against Anti-Impeachment Senate Republicans not understanding that she already lost her race

Another unforced error. What a politically naive (or evil) twat, this Elithabeth Warren is
"I can't think of more devastating news if you're running one of these campaigns for president than the news that your candidate is going to be bound to a desk in Washington, day after day, in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses." ~Obama's former campaign manager David Axelrod
Sanders and Warren have the most to lose from a Senate impeachment trial. Iowa is Feb 3 and New Hampshire is Feb 11. As McConnell told reporters "A number of Democratic senators are running for president. I'm sure they're gonna be excited to be here in their chairs not being able to say anything during the pndency of this trial. So hopefully we'll work our way through it and finish it in not too lengthy a process,"
Clinton trial ran from Jan. 7 until Feb. 12, approximately five weeks. So if McConnell is shrewd, he will ensure that Sanders and Warren were absent from both Iowa is Feb 3 and Feb 11.
Jan 23, 2020 | americantruthtoday.com

This, however, is an outright lie. If Democrats truly valued America over their own partisan interests, they wouldn't have forced a hoax impeachment through government, despite the overwhelming opposition against it. Moreover, if "country over party" mattered to Democrats, then they wouldn't have commenced talks about impeachment since before the inception of Trump's presidency.

A new year and new decade may be upon us, but this doesn't mean that Democrats are any less terrified of seeing their impeachment sham die in the Senate.

As a matter of fact, 2020 Democrat and Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent New Year's Eve raging against her Republican colleagues and making baseless accusations against Trump, per reports from Washington Examiner.

Reviewing Warren's Tirade Against Senate Republicans The 2020 socialist's remarks about Republican members of the Senate came during her New Year's Eve address in Boston, Massachusetts. Warren lamented over the reality that Democrats will not be able to bully or intimidate Republicans into voting for a partisan-driven, unfounded sham. This blows Warren's far-left, unwell mind, so she opted to blast GOP senators as " fawning, spineless defenders" of President Trump's supposed "crimes."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks in Boston: "[President Trump] has tried to squeeze foreign governments to advance his own political fortunes. Meanwhile, the Republicans in Congress have turned into fawning spineless defenders of his crimes." pic.twitter.com/sGyLqsA8C7

-- The Hill (@thehill) January 1, 2020

Shortly thereafter, Warren followed up with the lie that ramming the weakest and thinnest impeachment through government "brought no joy" to House Democrats. This, of course, just isn't accurate; House Rep. Rashida Tlaib posted a gleeful livestream prior to the "impeachment" where she bragged about being "on [her] way to the United States House floor" in order to "impeach President Trump."

Finally, Warren declared that conservative senators need to "choose truth over politics" or else President Trump will attempt to "cheat his way" via the 2020 election.

Misplaced Outrage As per usual with Democrats, the outrage is misplaced and misguided. If Warren is so eager for a trial, then she should be directed this animosity towards House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who continues to hoard the impeachment articles.

f left-wing Congress members truly believed they had a solid case against the president, they'd be more than eager for the Senate to receive the articles and begin conducting a trial; instead, however, raging at President Trump and Senate Republicans is easier than acknowledge the true reality here.

Democrats forced the weakest, thinnest, and fastest impeachment through the House. The president did absolutely nothing wrong and will be acquitted either when the Senate holds a trial or by default if Pelosi keeps hoarding the articles.

[Jan 23, 2020] Elisabeth Warren as a politically incompetent wannabe

She is now trapped and has no space for maneuvering. She now needs to share the path to the cliff with Pelosi gang to the very end. Not a good position to be in.
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

On impeachment, Warren just stole the show from her dodging Democratic rivals By Jonathan Allen

Analysis: The Massachusetts senator's forceful call to begin the process of removing Trump set her apart from the crowded primary field.

While most fellow 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls ducked and dived to find safe ground -- and party elders solemnly warned against over-reach -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren stepped boldly out into the open late Friday and called on the House to begin an impeachment process against President Donald Trump based on special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The Massachusetts senator and 2020 Democratic presidential contender slammed Trump for having "welcomed" the help of a "hostile" foreign government and having obstructed the probe into an attack on an American election.

"To ignore a President's repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country," Warren tweeted. "The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States."

It was a rare moment in a crowded and unsettled primary: A seized opportunity for a candidate to cut through the campaign trail cacophony and define the terms of a debate that will rage throughout the contest.

[Jan 22, 2020] #MeToo provocation against Bernie Sanders organized by CNN and Elizabeth Warren

By David Walsh 20 January 2020 20 January 2020
Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... own account ..."
"... Why did you say that? ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.wsws.org

CNN and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat from Massachusetts, with powerful establishment support, combined to stage a provocation this week aimed at slowing down or derailing the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Through CNN, the Massachusetts senator's camp first alleged that Sanders told her in December 2018 a woman could not win a presidential election, an allegation Sanders strenuously refuted. At the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, CNN's moderator acted as though the claim was an indisputable reality, leading to a post-debate encounter between Warren and Sanders, which the network just happened to record and circulate widely.

This is a political stink bomb, borrowed from the #MeToo playbook, typical of American politics in its putrefaction. Unsubstantiated allegations are turned into "facts," these "facts" become the basis for blackening reputations and damaging careers and shifting politics continuously to the right. Anyone who denies the allegations is a "sexist" who refuses "to believe women."

The Democratic establishment is fearful of Sanders, not so much for his nationalist-reformist program and populist demagogy, but for what his confused but growing support portends: the movement to the left by wide layers of the American population. The US ruling elite seems convinced, like some wretched, self-deluded potentate of old, that if it can simply stamp out the unpleasant "noise," the rising tide of disaffection will dissipate.

CNN's operation began Monday when it posted a "bombshell" article by M.J. Lee with the headline, "Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren in private 2018 meeting that a woman can't win, sources say."

The article animatedly begins, "The stakes were high when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren met at Warren's apartment in Washington, DC, one evening in December 2018." Among other things, the CNN piece reported, the pair "discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters. Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win."

Lee continues, "The description of that meeting is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting." In reality, the story is based on the account of one individual with a considerable interest in cutting into Sanders' support, i.e., Elizabeth Warren. As the New York Times primly noted, "Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders were the only people in the room."

The absurd CNN article goes on, "After publication of this story, Warren herself backed up this account of the meeting, saying in part in a statement Monday, 'I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.'" In other words, Warren "backed up" what could only have been her own account insofar as she was the only person there besides Sanders!

After a pro forma insertion of Sanders' categorical denial that he ever made such a statement, in which he reasonably observed, "Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016," Lee plowed right ahead as though his comments were not worth responding to. She carries on, "The conversation also illustrates the skepticism among not only American voters but also senior Democratic officials that the country is ready to elect a woman as president" and, further, "The revelation that Sanders expressed skepticism that Warren could win the presidency because she is a woman is particularly noteworthy now, given that Warren is the lone female candidate at the top of the Democratic field."

This is one of the ways in which the sexual misconduct witch-hunt has poisoned American politics, although by no means the only one. Warren's claims about a private encounter simply "must be believed."

During the Democratic candidates' debate itself Tuesday night, moderator Abby Phillips addressed Sanders in the following manner: "Let's now turn to an issue that's come up in the last 48 hours [because Warren and CNN generated it]. Sen. Sanders, CNN reported yesterday that -- and Sen. Sanders, Sen. Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018 you told her that you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that? " (emphasis added). Sanders denied once again that he had said any such thing. Phillips persisted, "Sen. Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Sen. Warren that a woman could not win the election?" Sanders confirmed that. Insultingly, Phillips immediately turned to Warren and continued, "Sen. Warren, what did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" This was all clearly prepared ahead of time, a deliberate effort to embarrass Sanders and portray him as a liar and a male chauvinist.

Following the debate, Warren had the audacity to confront the Vermont senator, refuse to shake his hand and assert, "I think you called me a liar on national TV." When Sanders seemed startled by her remark, she repeated it. CNN managed to capture the sound and preserve it for widespread distribution.

The WSWS gives no support to Sanders, a phony "socialist" whose efforts are aimed at channeling working-class anger at social inequality, poverty and war back into the big business Democratic Party. He is only the latest in a long line of figures in American political history devoted to maintaining the Democrats' stranglehold over popular opposition and blocking the development of a broad-based socialist movement.

Nonetheless, the CNN-Warren "dirty tricks" operation is an obvious hatchet job and an attack from the right. Accordingly, the New York Times and other major outlets have been gloating and attempting to make something out of it since Tuesday night. The obvious purpose is to "raise serious questions" about Sanders and dampen support for him, among women especially. It should be recalled that in 2016 Sanders led Hillary Clinton among young women by 30 percentage points.

Michelle Cottle, a member of the Times editorial board (in "Why Questions on Women Candidates Strike a Nerve," January 15), asserted that the issue raised by the Warren-Sanders clash was "not about Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren. Not really. And Ms. Warren was right to try to shift the focus to the bigger picture -- even if some critics will sneer that she's playing 'the gender card.'"

Cottle's "bigger picture," it turned out, primarily involved smearing Sanders. The present controversy, she went on, "has resurfaced some of Mr. Sanders's past women troubles. His 2016 campaign faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment, pay inequities and other gender-based mistreatment. Asked early last year if he knew about the complaints, Mr. Sanders's reaction was both defensive and dismissive: 'I was a little bit busy running around the country'."

After Cottle attempted to convince her readers, on the basis of dubious numbers, that Americans were perhaps too backward to elect a female president, she continued, again, taking as good coin Warren's allegations, "This less-than-inspiring data -- along with from-the-trail anecdotes about the gender-based voter anxiety that Ms. Warren and Ms. [Amy] Klobuchar have been facing -- help explain why Mr. Sanders's alleged remarks struck such a nerve. Women candidates and their supporters aren't simply outraged that he could be so wrong. They're worried that he might be right." The remarks he denies making have nonetheless "outraged" Cottle and others.

The Times more and more openly expresses fears about a possible Sanders' nomination. Op-ed columnist David Leonhardt headlined his January 14 piece, "President Bernie Sanders," and commented, "Sanders has a real shot of winning the Democratic nomination. Only a couple of months after he suffered a mild heart attack, that counts as a surprise." Leonhardt downplays Sanders' socialist credentials, observing that "while he [Sanders] would probably fail to accomplish his grandest goals (again, like Medicare for all), he would also move the country in a positive direction. He might even move it to closer to a center-left ideal than a more moderate candidate like Biden would."

On Thursday, right-wing Times columnist David Brooks argued pathetically against the existence of "class war" in "The Bernie Sanders Fallacy." He ridiculed what he described as "Bernie Sanders's class-war Theyism: The billionaires have rigged the economy to benefit themselves and impoverish everyone else." According to Brooks, Sanders is a Bolshevik who believes that "Capitalism is a system of exploitation in which capitalist power completely dominates worker power." Accusing Sanders of embracing such an ABC socialist proposition is all nonsense, but it reveals something about what keeps pundits like Brooks up at night.

The Times is determined, as the WSWS has noted more than once, to exclude anything from the 2020 election campaign that might arouse or encourage the outrage of workers and young people. The past year of global mass protest has only deepened and strengthened that determination.

The Times , CNN and other elements of the media and political establishment, and behind them powerful financial-corporate interests, don't want Sanders and they don't necessarily want Warren either, who engaged in certain loose talk about taxing the billionaires, before retreating in fright. They want a campaign dominated by race, gender and sexual orientation -- not class and not social inequality. The #MeToo-style attack on Sanders reflects both the "style" and the right-wing concerns of these social layers.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a political novice, and while she has sharp elbows she's extremely naive and makes blunder after blunder

Notable quotes:
"... I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing. ..."
"... *Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden. ..."
"... From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jeff W , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

" if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit "

If Elizabeth Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, the pressure on her to combine her delegates with those of Sanders -- from those supporting Bernie Sanders and those legitimately concerned with Joe Biden's chances against Trump* -- will be enormous . And, if , instead, Warren helps nominate Biden and Biden then goes on to lose to Donald Trump -- as I'm all but certain he will -- it will be all too clear just who played a pivotal role in helping to make that match-up even possible.

I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing.

*Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden.

rusti , January 21, 2020 at 2:07 am

In Sanders' case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime. We needed to point out that he would be dangerous as president since he made clear he would appease terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.

If this is really representative of a line of attack that the Trump campaign plans to use on him, that would be great. I can't imagine anything that would resonate less with voters. But I was a bit surprised to see this in a Bernie fundraising mail:

The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce its provisions, and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address our other concerns with Iran, including their support of terrorism.

What groups are they referring to when they say this? Hezbollah, which is part of Parliament in Lebanon? Iraqi PMF that are loosely integrated with the Iraqi army?

Bill Carson , January 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

Yep, Warren is a political novice, and she's extremely naive. That Massachusetts senate seat was practically handed to her on a silver platter. She has no idea that she was played in '16 and she's being played now.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren "Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism

She endorced Hillary in 2016. That tells a lot about her... Now she backstabbed Bernie. What's next?
Notable quotes:
"... Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage. ..."
"... My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni. ..."
"... She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard. ..."
"... Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. ..."
"... The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent. ..."
"... The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. ..."
"... My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Massinissa , January 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm

"Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism.

Amit Chokshi , January 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage.

As pointed here on NC she's great at grandstanding when bank CEOs are in front of her and doing nothing following that.

My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni.

Yves Smith Post author , January 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

I don't see how she is anyone's VP. She is too old. You want someone under 60, better 50, particularly for an old presidential candidate. Treasury Secretary is a more powerful position. The big appeal of being VP is maybe it positions you later to be President but that last worked out for Bush the Senior.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

And Bush the Senior lost his re-election bid.

pebird , January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am

Because he asked us to read his lips. And he didn't think we were lip readers.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

She may be looking to be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. /s

Sue E Greenwald , January 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard.

jackiebass , January 21, 2020 at 6:40 am

I've watched Bernie for years. Even long before he decided to run for president. He is the same today as he was then. Bernie isn't afraid to advocate for something , even though he will get a lot of backlash. I also believe he is sincere in his convictions. If he says something he believes in it.Something you can't say for the other candidates. Bernie is by far my first choice.

After that it would be Warren. Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. As a life long democrat, I can't support or vote for a Wall Street candidate. Unlike one of the other commenters, I will never vote for Trump but instead wold vote for a third party candidate. Unfortunate the DNC will do anything to prevent Bernie from being candidate. Progressive democrats need to get out and support a progressive or the nomination will again be stolen by a what I call a light republican.

Robert Hahl , January 21, 2020 at 7:26 am

What is great about Bernie is that he is so sure-footed. It was visible in the hot-mic trap Warren set for him where she got nothing, it actually hurt her.

Anonymous Coward , January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent.

Howard , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. By many reports, Warren has an excellent ground game in IA and The NY Times endorsement has given a path for her to pick up Klobuchar voters after round one of the caucus.

Biden is a mystery to me. How the heck is he even running. Obama pleaded with him not to. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes in the top two. Buttigieg is the wild card. I think the "electability" argument will hurt him as he can't win after NH.

ALM , January 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

According to a recent poll, Elizabeth Warren is one of the most unpopular senators with voters in her own state as measured against approval rates of all other senators in their states. I find this very surprising for someone with a national profile. What do voters in Massachusetts not like about her?

As for me, I find it more and more difficult to trust Warren because she takes the bait and yields to pressure during a primary when the pressure to back down, moderate, and abandon once championed policy positions and principles is a great deal less than it is during the general election. Warren has gone from Medicare4All to a public option to, in the recent debate, tweaks to the ACA. Despite her roll-out of an ambitious $10 trillion Green New Deal plan, Warren is now to the right of Chuck "Wall Street" Schumer as evidenced by her support of NAFTA 2.0 which utterly fails to address climate change. WTF! Where will she be during a general election?

And her political instincts are awful as recently demonstrated by her woke, badly executed girl power attack against a candidate who has been a committed feminist for his entire political career.

Another Scott , January 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

She also has horrible constituent service. I had an issue with a federal student loan a few years ago (I believe it was the servicer depositing money but not crediting my account and charging me interest and late fees). After getting nowhere with the company, I tried calling her office, figuring that as this was one of her core issues, I would get some response, either help or at least someone who would want to record what happened to her actual constituent. I didn't hear back for about a month, by which time I had resolved the issue – no fees or additional interest through multiple phone calls and emails.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren's constituent service is worse than Sallie Mae's.

T , January 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

The stupid Ponds cold cream lie is the worst. Unless she teed up the "how do you look so young!" question , the corrected answer is to point out the nonsense of talking about a candidates looks and addressing actual sexism.

Instead she has a goofball answer about only using Ponds cold cream which lead to Derm pointing out her alleged method was not good advice and also pointing out that she appears to have used botex and fillers, which I don't think people were talking about before then, in public.

The most generous explanation is she was caught flat-footed and, once again, showed she has terrible instincts.

Just a dumb dumb move.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

If Bernie Sanders can get it through the thick noggin of the nation that he stands for and will implement the principles, policies, and values of the New Deal–the attitude that got us through the Great Depression and Wotld War II–he has every chance of being elected the next President of the United States.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

Btw, is Inauguration Day just a year away?

The Rev Kev , January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

Google says Wednesday Jan 20, 2021: Swearing-In Ceremony. And here is a countdown page-

https://days.to/when-is/us-presidential-inauguration/2021

Trust me. By the time it comes around you won't care who gets sworn in as you will just be glad that all the vicious, wretched skullduggery of this year's elections will finally be over.

Pat , January 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

And hoping you get one day of rest before the vicious, wretched skullduggery of undermining the desires of the American people gets started. Obviously Sanders will make the Trump years look a cake walk. Anyone else (Democrat or Trump) we will see lots of 'working for' and 'resistance' type memes while largely doing nothing of the sort, but a whole lot of 'bipartisan' passage of terrible things.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

It sounds like Sanders, in the famous 2018 conversation, may have been trying to politely encourage EW to not run in 2020. Her moment was 2016 and she declined to run then when a Progressive candidate was needed. Her run in 2020 to some extent divides the Progressive vote. EW interpreted, perhaps intentionally, Sanders' words to imply that he thinks "no woman can win in 2020", and then weaponized them against him.

The very fact that she is running at all suggests to me that she is not at heart a Progressive and in fact does not want a Progressive candidate to win. If she had run in 2016, Sanders would not have run in order to not divide the Progressive vote. EW knew that Sanders would run in 2020 and planned to run anyway. It is hard for me to not interpret this to be an intentional bid for some of the Progressive vote, in order to hold Sanders down.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

I agree. She decides to do things based on her own self-interest, and uses progressives as pawns to work her way up in DC. My guess is that Warren chickened out in 2016 and didn't run because maybe she didn't think she had a chance against the Clintons. When Warren saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, how close he was at winning, I think only then she decided that 2020 was a good chance for a progressive, or someone running as a progressive candidate, to win the nomination.

She saw how Sanders had fired up loyal progressive support in the Democratic Party. She chickened out back then when she could have endorsed Bernie in '16, but chose not to, probably hoping not to burn bridges with Clinton in order to get a plum role in her administration. Her non-endorsement in '16 worries me because it shows once again that Warren makes decisions largely based on what is good for her career, not what she thinks is better for the country (if she really is the progressive she claims to be).

Knowing that there was now a strong progressive base ready to vote for a candidate left of Democratic candidates like Biden and Clinton, Warren saw her entry into having a good chance at winning the presidency. Rather than thinking about the implications for Bernie and the possibility of dividing left-wing voters, her desire to become president was more important. Remember, this is exactly what Bernie did not do in 2016 when he urged Warren to run, and was willing to step aside, if she had agreed to do so.

If I had been in Sanders position, I probably would have sat down and talked to Warren about the serious implications of the both of them running in 2020. How he had hoped to build on the momentum from his last campaign and the sexism that was used against Clinton in 2016. Hey, if I had been Sanders, I probably would have told Warren not to run. Not because she's a woman, but because it would have been obvious to Bernie that with Warren running alongside him, they would both end up splitting the progressive vote.

What is happening now between the two of them should have been no surprise to either Bernie or Warren. They are both popular among Democrats who identify as progressive or left-of-center. Democrats will always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. And I agree that when it becomes evident that one of them cannot win, either Bernie or Warren must step aside for the good of the country and fully back the other. There is no other option if either of them truly wants the other to win the nomination rather than Biden. I'm hoping that Warren will do so since it is becoming more clear that Sanders is the stronger progressive and the stronger candidate who has a better chance at beating both Biden and Trump.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

> "no woman can win in 2020"

The claim was "no woman can win." It was not qualified in any way.

landline , January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

If sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders begins to look like the presumptive nominee, look for a new candidate to throw her hat into the ring. Her name: Michelle Obama.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

> sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders

I'm so sick of that sheepdog meme (originated by, much as a respect BAR, by a GP activist bitter, I would say, over many years of GP ineffectuality). The elites seem to be pretty nervous about a sheepdog.

pretzelattack , January 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

if he were a sheepdog, why would the shepherds have to intervene? they wouldn't.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

And now we have Sanders apologizing for an op-ed in the Guardian by Zephyr Teachout accusing Biden of corruption.

The op-ed simply says what Sanders has said all along, the system is corrupted by big donors. Then she explicitly states the obvious, which Sanders won't at this point say but that Trump certainly will: Biden is a prime example of serving his donors' interests to the detriment of most of the rest of us. Sanders subsequently apologizes for Teachout's baldly true assertion, stating that he doesn't believe that Biden is corrupt.

I guess we're meant to draw a clear distinction between legalized and illegal corruption. I don't know. They both look like ducks to me.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

Sometimes it's better for Bernie to keep his mouth shut.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

I have read that Sanders is the #2 choice of many Iowans who favor JB; it makes a lot of sense for him to not "go negative" on JB in the run-up to the caucuses.

There will be time for plainer speaking. Sanders has been clear about his views on the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. JB is exhibit #1 within the D primary field and there will be plenty of opportunity to note that.

I suspect that there is a great deal of "method" in what may look to us like "madness" in the Senator's civility.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

To put it another way, I doubt very much that Sanders believes that JB's legislative agendas were not significantly influenced by the sources of his campaign funds. And I'm sure that attention will be drawn to this at the right time.

One can charitably affirm that one believes that JB is not a consciously corrupt , pay-for-play, kind of person, while also affirming that of course he has been influenced by the powerful interests that have funded his career, and that this has not served the interests of the American people. All in due course.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted, and make it well. Too bad she has shown so completely that can't be trusted as a person, because she often looks good on paper

inode_buddha , January 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I think Warren misses the key point that the reason why the system is corrupted is because the players in it are corrupted. They can be bought and sold. That is why they have no shame.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

> The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted

That's not the right answer at all. The climate crisis, for example, is not caused by a lack of transparency in the oil industry. It is caused by capital allocation decisions by the billionaire class and their servicers in subaltern classes.

urblintz , January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

"The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University's decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa's restrictive new voter-ID law. That's a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake." Iowa is not the Twittersphere – Laura Flanders

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/21/iowa-is-not-the-twitterverse/

ptb , January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Thanks for giving this the attention it needs, analysis of the primary has been too light on estimation of delegate numbers and strategy.

Prior to Warren's apparent turn to some new direction, the setup for a 3way DNC with a progressive "coalition" was not only conceivable, but actually expected from the polls.

We are on pace for Sanders+Warren's combined delegate total to exceed Biden by a healthy amount (say 4:3) with all others falling below 15% state by state and getting few or no delegates. Obviously subject to snowballing in either direction, but that's the polls now and for most of the past year.

Warren's attack on Sanders, and NYT endorsement, say the national party doesn't expect any such coalition. Therefore Warren has made her choice. That's that.

The path to winning the Dem primary is a little narrower for Sanders, and also for Biden, since he seems to lack the confidence of his the top strata. The DNC screws a lot up but they know how to read polls. I'm pretty sure that running Warren in the General is not their plan A.

Voters in Iowa and the early states (incl. TX and CA) look like they will be deciding it all this year. The tremendous enthusiasm of Sanders followers gives him, IMO, the best ground game of the three. Will be an interesting 6 weeks.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Running Warren in the general might be their plan A. They may not want to win. Of course they might rather have Klobuchar but

Hepativore , January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

She seems to have gone full establishment at this point.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

> I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

Correct.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

The youngish rehab therapist, a woman, said this morning that of the women running, she likes Klobuchar. "If only her voice wasn't so screechy. And I'm saying this as a woman." She was seriously disturbed by Clinton's attack on Sanders.
Several neighbors are leaning towards Yang.

John k , January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

The value of her endorsement

My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie.

This means most of those remaining will probably migrate to Biden if when she drops out even if she recommends Bernie. (If 1/3 of her supporters that had Bernie as their second choice switch to Bernie, then 60% of her remaining supporters have Biden as their second choice.)

2016 was different, Clinton already had the older females. But there was a period where just a little support might have tipped the scale in what was a very tight race.

Anyway, I see going forward she will be mostly holding supporters whose second choice is Biden even as she maybe doesn't reach the 15% barrier
and same with Amy. So I hope they both stay in at least until super tue.

And While I previously thought she was a reasonable choice for veep, I now realize she'd be an awful choice. Maybe treasury if she does endorse which she will do if Bernie looks a winner.

worldblee , January 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

How can anyone be surprised at the lack of trustworthiness from a politician who chose to endorse Clinton in 2016 rather than Bernie? Warren has been playing the DNC game for a long time now, which ideologically is in line with her lifelong Republican stance before changing to the more demographically favorable party when she was 47. She's not progressive now, and never has been or will be.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a "damaged goods" now: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a political whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton.

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. ..."
"... I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here. ..."
"... "She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Both campaigns are backing away from greater public conflict. Whether that holds true in the long run is anyone's guess, but my guess is that it will. Still, the following is clear:

So far, in other words, most of the damage has been borne by Warren as a result of the incident. She may recover, but this could also end her candidacy by accelerating a decline that started with public reaction to her recent stand on Medicare For All. None of this is certain to continue, but these are the trends.

... ... ...

But if Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, as it seems it might -- and if the goal of both camps is truly to defeat Joe Biden -- it's incumbent on Warren to drop out and endorse her "friend and ally" Bernie Sanders as soon as it's clear she can no longer win . (The same is true if Sanders becomes unviable, though that seems much less likely.)

Ms. Warren can do whatever she wants, certainly. But if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit, and frankly, helps nominate Biden. She has the right to do that, but not to claim at the same time that she's working to further the progressive movement.


TG , January 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton. If Warren were a real progressive, the big money would never go for her like this.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders. But I will vote for Trump over Warren. Better the moron and agent of chaos that you know, than the calculating vicious backstabber that you don't.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:26 am

> She simply MUST be a wh0re,

I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here.

Phillip Allen , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

"She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 8:26 am

I favor the term "corporate lickspittle".

russell1200 , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

She's got the Clinton's and now Obama folks behind her.

I doubt they are thrilled with her, but probably view as someone they can work with and the other options are worse or too low in the poll numbers. I assume Buttigieg is fine with them, but his numbers are stuck.

doug , January 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-documentary/index.html

You are so right. Hillary says she will not support him if the nominee. Gloves are off. I hope the Sanders campaign has some Karl Rove types .

Amfortas the hippie , January 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm

from the sidebar of that link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-2020/index.html

from cilizza, no less. that Hilary speaking thusly is actually good for sanders.

False Solace , January 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

Personally I cannot consider voting for a drone murderer like Trump, who cozies up to the Saudis and has tried to cut SS and Medicare. He's shown what he is, just as Warren has. We'll never get M4A from either one of them.

If it's not Bernie I'm voting Green. I live in a blue state that almost went for Trump last time – my vote potentially matters and will serve as a signal. Voting for the lesser murderous corporatist scum is what got us into this mess. I'm over it. I will not vote for evil.

HotFlash , January 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

In 2016 I might just have voted for Trump, as a middle finger to the Dem establishment that crowned HRH HRC, since at that time he had not committed any war crimes. But now, no way. One of my unshakeable principles is that I will not vote for a war criminal. Green , write-in, or leave the Pres slot blank. But I hope and pray (and I'm an atheist!) that it doesn't come to this. We really don't have another 4 years to waste on this, the earth can't wait.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 12:41 am

It's very unfortunate that it has come to this, but I've always been uneasy about Warren. This incident and her accusations against Bernie solidified my suspicions about her. Her being a Republican until her late 40s, her lies about sending her child to public school, her lies about her father being a janitor, her plagiarized cookbook recipes, and claiming to be Native American. It's all so bizarre to me and for a while I had believed her to have a personality disorder that caused compulsive lying. I wanted to feel good about my vote for Warren, but now? If she wins the nomination I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but I don't trust her to not sell out to the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party. I also don't trust her to endorse Bernie if she drops out before the convention. She didn't endorse him in '16, so what makes progressives think she'll do so this time. It would not surprise me in the least if she endorsed Biden or agrees to be his running mate.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:27 am

Warren is not agreement-capable. Much as it pains me to say this, the Obama administration was correct to hold her at arm's length.

Adding, that doesn't mean that Sanders can't negotiate with her, if that must be done (to defeat Trump). But any such negotiations cannot proceed on a basis of trust.

JohnnyGL , January 21, 2020 at 8:13 am

The most generous interpretation i can come up with is that i's possible she told the story to several of her clintonite staffers in confidence. Those staffers went to CNN and forced her to stand by her story, even if she didn't want to go public, because she was threatened with staffers calling her a liar.

She might have been mad at Bernie for not bailing her out.

This version, which i don't believe, but consider it possible (not plausible) would be arguably as bad because her staffers got the upper hand and pushed her around.

John Wright , January 21, 2020 at 10:17 am

Warren could have said something to the effect that

"Bernie and I had a private conversation and I believe he suggested that electing a woman president in the USA would be difficult."

"Unfortunately, I mentioned this private conversation to some staffers, who apparently mentioned this to the press."

"This does not mean that I believe Bernie to be sexist."

"I appreciate opinions and advice from someone as experienced as Bernie."

"I want others to know that, private advice supplied to me by anyone will be treated as private information, not to be divulged to the press."

"The staffer responsible for passing this information to the press has been released from the campaign."

"I apologize to Bernie for allowing this to happen."

Reply

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

The problem is the country has become so irrational and susceptible to soundbites and twitter shame and etc. that you can't even say "electing a women president would be difficult" which might be true, or it becomes like Hillary's deplorable remark, we all know it's true some Trump supporters fit the description, but it gets taken way out of context and exaggerated beyond all recognition.

Reply

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

The "invisible hand" of the Clinton Staffers then forced her not to shake Bernie's hand, I take it.

Reply

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

She didn't even have to deny it. Should could have just been "That was a private conversation, I will not go into what was said in private. Bernie is a good friend of mine, who has supported women candidates on many occasions".

Reply

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Reply

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

Reply

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist.
What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

Reply

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayal of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.


Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could
nominate."

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
Fascinating.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

https://malegislature.gov/L...

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Jan 19, 2020] Media Skewers 'Sexist' Sanders for Refusing to Bend the Knee

Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, if you don't agree with Sen. Warren's version of events, or if you mention her history of "embellishing," you are a sexist and a misogynist just like Sanders. So fall in line with the establishment narrative, quick. ..."
"... In a statement to CNN, Sanders said before the debate that's not what happened at all. ..."
"... "It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," said Sanders, chalking up the story to "staff who weren't in the room lying about what happened." ..."
"... Warren's staff knows she is prone to "embellish" things ..."
"... No wonder Sanders was complaining about liberals' obsession with identity politics . As an elderly, Jewish socialist, he might be an endangered species, but he's one minority group that intersectional politics has no use for. ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The media cannot forgive Bernie Sanders for refusing to "bend the knee" to Elizabeth Warren regarding her recounting of a now infamous December 2018 meeting between the two, in which the Vermont senator allegedly said a woman could not be elected president.

Furthermore, if you don't agree with Sen. Warren's version of events, or if you mention her history of "embellishing," you are a sexist and a misogynist just like Sanders. So fall in line with the establishment narrative, quick.

That is the clear takeaway after the media took off its fig leaf of journalistic impartiality at the seventh Democrat presidential debate in Iowa Tuesday.

Never mind that women make up about 70 percent of Sanders' campaign leadership team, or that young women actually make up a bigger share of Sanders's base than young men do .

During the debate, CNN moderator Abby Phillips had this exchange:

Phillips: You're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman couldn't win the election?

Bernie: Correct.

Phillips: Senator Warren, what did you think when Sanders said a woman couldn't win the election?

Warren: I disagreed. Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.

This is "when did you stop beating your wife" level debate questioning from CNN. The question is premised around an anonymously-sourced story CNN reported Monday describing a meeting between Sanders and Warren in December 2018, where the two agreed to a non-aggression pact of sorts. For the sake of the progressive movement, they reportedly agreed they would not attack each other during the campaign:

They also discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters. Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.

In a statement to CNN, Sanders said before the debate that's not what happened at all.

"It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," said Sanders, chalking up the story to "staff who weren't in the room lying about what happened."

"I thought a woman could win; he disagreed," said Warren in a statement.

Cue CNN's gladiatorial presidential debates.

Eager to strike all the right girl-power notes for the night, Phillips followed up by asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar the substantive policy question, "what do you say to people who say that a woman can't win this election?" and Warren earned cheers for a line about women successfully winning elections.

"Look at the men on this stage," Warren said. "Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women: Amy (Klobuchar) and me."

After the debate, media commentators roundly declared Warren the winner, and pundits attacked the very idea of questioning the veracity of Warren's account.

Here's CNN, just after the debate:

Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter: Sanders, look, a lot of it is personal preference. I didn't think his answer vis-a-vis Elizabeth Warren and what was said in that conversation was particularly good. He was largely dismissive. "Well, I didn't say it. Everyone knows I didn't say it, we don't need to talk about it."

Jess McIntosh, CNN political commentator: And I think what Bernie forgot was that this isn't a he-said-she-said story. This is a reported-out story that CNN was part of breaking. So to have him just flat out say "no," I think, wasn't nearly enough to address that for the women watching.

Joe Lockhart, CNN political commentator: And I can't imagine any woman watching last night and saying, I believe Bernie. I think people believe Elizabeth.

Van Jones, CNN political commentator: This was Elizabeth Warren's night. She needed to do something and there was a banana peel sitting out there for Bernie to step on when it came to his comments about women. I think Bernie stepped on it and slid around. She knocked that moment out of the park.

But isn't this story the literal definition of a he-said, she-said story?

The accusation may have appeared in a "reported-out story," but these are its sources:

"The description of that meeting [between Sanders and Warren in December 2018] is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting."

Is it sexist to question why this story would come out on the eve of the debate -- after months of the two candidates getting along as they had promised to do, when Sanders pulls ahead of Warren in polling ?

If CNN were impartial, they would have mentioned the sourcing and timing of the story, and Warren's fraught history with the truth. Warren has shown she is willing to tell lies in order to get a job she wants, like when she claimed to have Native American blood. She has also claimed she go fired from her teaching job for being pregnant, even when records contradict that. She's said her children went to public schools, not private ones, even though that's not true either.

In addition to Warren's tenuous relationship with the truth, there also happens to be video from the 1980s where Sanders says a woman could be president:

1988, @BernieSanders , backing Jackson:"The real issue is not whether you're black or white, whether you're a woman or a man *in my view, a woman could be elected POTUS* The real issue is are you on the side of workers & poor ppl, or are you on the side of big money &corporations?" pic.twitter.com/VHmfzvyJdy

-- Every nimble plane is a policy failure. (@KindAndUnblind) January 13, 2020

Yet, you wouldn't know any of that, listening to the coverage of the debate, where commentators waxed poetic about Warren's "win" and how any attacks on her predilection for lying were misogyny itself.

Over on Sirius XM POTUS channel Tuesday, an executive producer on Chris Cuomo's show (Chris Cillizza filling in) said that the suggestion from Sanders surrogates that Warren's staff knows she is prone to "embellish" things is "a misogynistic thing to put out there like, 'oh well, look at the quaint housewife, she is prone to embellishment.'"

The New York Times also embraced the questionable sexism premise, writing that in"a conflict heavily focused on which candidate is telling the truth, Ms. Warren faces a real risk: Several studies have shown that voters punish women more harshly than men for real or perceived dishonesty If voters conclude that Ms. Warren is lying, it is most likely to hurt her more than it will hurt Mr. Sanders if voters conclude that he is lying."

Over at Vox:

The over-the-top language -- likening criticism of an opponent to a knife in the back -- was familiar. When powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent years, they and others have often complained that they've been "killed" or that their "lives are over" The situation between Warren and Sanders is very different from those that have arisen as part of the Me Too movement. But the exaggerated language around a woman's decision to speak out is strikingly similar.

This sort of language is an insult to all women who have had to deal with sexism and misogyny, both in the workplace and in society, and this need to glom on to any aggrieved group, no matter how ill-fitting, is getting really stale.

Meanwhile, former Hillary Clinton and Obama Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri tweeted, "I just rewatched the footage from last night and found it odd that Sanders never says 'a woman could beat Trump.' His formulation is he believes a 'woman could be president.' It's only when he speaks about his own abilities that he talks about what it takes to 'beat Trump.'"

This is the old sexist standby: "I'd vote for a woman, just not that woman."

What is it that these people want, for Sanders to endorse his opponent, simply because she is female? Isn't that the very definition of sexism? By virtue of the fact that Sanders is still in this race, he obviously thinks he can do a better job as president than Warren. There isn't going to be another presidential race against Trump, but Palmieri still essentially wants Sanders to say, in a five-way race three weeks before the Iowa caucus, "Warren can beat Trump in November."

The question here should be whether this is a person that we can trust, not whether the candidate is male or female. Does this person have a history of being honest, or do they have a history of lying?

No wonder Sanders was complaining about liberals' obsession with identity politics . As an elderly, Jewish socialist, he might be an endangered species, but he's one minority group that intersectional politics has no use for.


Osse a vote for liz a day ago

What are you talking about? If you want to know what Sanders says on this issue, rad his interview with the NYT which was conducted before this cynical hit job occurred. He says many voters are misogynistic, but not that a woman can't win.

I think both were telling the truth in that Warren probably took it to mean a woman can't win, but her campaign cynically released thi story over a year later because she was slipping in tge pollls behind Bernie.

AGPhillbin Osse a day ago
That's ridiculously generous of you, at least towards Warren. She knows perfectly well his position on the possibility of a woman president, and women running for office generally. she knows he campaigned vigorously for HRC after the nomination, and she knows that Sanders knows that HRC took the popular vote by over 3 million votes, so he obviously knows that it is highly possible for a woman to win the presidency. This is simply a bald-faced lie on Warren's part, but she has gained nothing electorally for this desperate smear. Sanders not only had a record fundraising day after this surfaced, but at least one poll has him up 2 points in Iowa, where he was already in the lead, with Warren stuck at 12%.
trailhiker 2 days ago
Six corporations own something like 90% of the media now.
And CNN is part of the corporate-media-complex.
So not too much of a surprise that they are going after Sanders.
The billionaires are worried he might win, so in a way, this is a good
sign.
Great CoB 2 days ago
The 24 hour news channels depend on Trump to bring in the outrage required to keep up their viewing figures. So it makes sense that they should help give him a democrat opponent he can't lose against, like Elizabeth Warren.
𝙆𝙧𝙖𝙯𝙮 𝙐𝙣𝙘𝙡𝙚 2 days ago
While it should be fairly obvious to most that Bernie Sanders political rivals are trying everything they can to get ahead of him, it's also true that the DNC and the Main Stream Media, are also trying to trash Bernie in an attempt to take him out as a candidate. The DNC and the MSM did the same thing the last time he attempted to win the nomination, and it appears they are doing so now.

The corporate MSM machine should be careful. Another candidate they trashed during the last election cycle, and ever since, became the President. It seems some voters have tied the corporate MSM together with the D.C. establishment, and voters that want an outsider to lead them may just see the MSM's attempts to denigrate a candidate as a ringing endorsement for the outsider.

As a side note, I find it humorous that the MSM attempts to diminish Bernie's supporters as zealots and too extreme to be taken seriously... I thought that political candidates actually worked to gain the support of enthusiastic and motivated supporters? Or, is that just for the candidates that are acceptable to the Main Stream Media and the political Parties?

BigShot 2 days ago
Voted for Trump in great part because Hillary Clinton was such a liar. Now he turned out to be an even bigger liar than she was. It sure would be nice to have a candidate who didn't lie so much, but now I don't know whether that would be Sanders or Warren.
Connecticut Farmer FND a day ago
Strictly speaking, socialism was an abject failure which ended with the fall of the Iron Curtain, There is an unfortunate tendency to conflate "socialism" with what is called the "welfare state." The United States is a welfare state but can hardly be mistaken for a socialist state.
Gutbomb Connecticut Farmer a day ago
I think I see it mostly the same way you do, but with semantic differences. I would argue that communism - the totalitarian version of socialism - was the abject failure. Any first world modern state is a blend of market-based economies and socialism. The question is always which exchanges are best left to market forces and which are best managed from above. And then, how much management to provide. I caution against seeing socialism vs capitalism as some binary switch to flip.
former-vet Gutbomb a day ago
Smartest statement I've seen in years.
cka2nd Gutbomb a day ago
And the fact is that many of these welfare states were implemented by self-declared socialists, including many parties that were members of the Socialist, or Second, International.

Unfortunately, many of these socialist and labor parties hopped on the neo-liberal train in the 1980's, and are today deathly afraid of their own Bernie Sanders (see Corbyn, Jeremy), and even more afraid of scaring off international finance and the German Central Bank.

Connecticut Farmer Gutbomb 7 hours ago
Point taken. Perhaps "radical socialism" would have been more accurate. Your description of the modern state as a "blend" is spot-on. An economics professor I once had called ours a "mixed economy", which was a phrase that has always stuck in my mind.
Osse FND a day ago
Substantively Bernie's policies are social democratic and consistent with those of the Scandinavian countries.
cka2nd EdMan 7 hours ago
Social democratic and labor parties around the world turned neo-liberal in the 1980's, including the Scandinavian ones. They've been helping to rip up the "social contract" between Capital and Labor, and the social welfare state, ever since, as well as reversing previous nationalizations and launching privatization. This phenomenon has included Scandinavia, which is why the parties there are so sensitive to all this talk in the U.S. about them being models of "socialism."
AGPhillbin FND a day ago
Fact is, all non-Marxist "socialist" countries are market based, and are in fact capitalist at the economic base. When did any Scandinavian "socialist" country ever expropriate any major corporations?
cka2nd AGPhillbin a day ago
You might actually want to do a bit of research on that point. Going back 60, 70 or 80 years, there might be some nationalizations of railroads, utilities, energy companies and other major industries not involved in the actual manufacturing of goods in Scandinavia. Great Britain certainly saw such nationalizations, although revolutionary leftists sometimes dismissed them as "lemon socialism" because the capitalist class was fobbing off money-losing or capital-intensive sectors of the economy on the government, in order to concentrate on more profitable enterprises.

[Jan 19, 2020] If History Repeats Itself, Is Elizabeth Warren Doomed - Lessenberry Ink

Feud with Sanders complicated Warren position. Like previous blunder it shownthat she isfar from gifted politician.
Jan 19, 2020 | lessenberryink.com

She may, especially if Bernie Sanders falters, win the nomination in Milwaukee next July.

But here's something you might consider:

Once upon a time, there was a liberal Democratic Senator from Massachusetts who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary easily, and then swept to the nomination.

His opponent was a largely unpopular Republican president who had deeply divided the country. Democrats thought they could smell victory. On Election Day, their candidate did sweep the northeast and the Pacific west. But except for a few states around Chicago, he lost everything else -- and the presidential election.

His name was John Kerry, and that was 2004.

Once upon another time, there was a Democratic candidate from Massachusetts who made a better-than-expected showing in Iowa, swept New Hampshire, and breezed to the nomination.

By summer, he was 17 points ahead in the polls, and the race looked about over. But then the Republican spin doctors went to work on his record, and his campaign went into a tailspin. In the end, he lost 40 states. His name was Michael Dukakis, and that was 1988.

Advertisement

Now, it is a new century, and one of the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination is Ms. Warren, another liberal senator from, yes, Massachusetts who is leading in some polls in early key states. Every election is different, of course.

The political landscape isn't the same as it was in 1988 or even 2004. But it would be hard to blame any Democrat who looks at this and asks themselves – haven't we seen this show before?

Doesn't it have an unhappy ending?

This analysis could be faulty. No two campaigns are the same, and most people are still not paying a lot of attention.

To be sure, nobody like Donald Trump has ever been in the White House, and given his negative approval ratings and other obvious weaknesses, an economic downturn could possibly doom his reelection no matter who the Democrats run.

David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, is no fan of Warren's – but thinks she may win because by that time, the nation will realize they have to get rid of Trump, no matter what.

Incidentally, he also thinks it would be the duty of any thinking American to support her if she and Trump are the nominees.

But a New York Times /Siena College poll released Nov. 5 indicates that nominating Elizabeth Warren could be the biggest gift the Democrats could give President Trump. Their survey showed former Vice President Joe Biden beating Trump in virtually every swing state, except for North Carolina.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont led the President narrowly in the three states that decided the last election, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But Warren trailed in every swing state except Arizona.

Polls are notoriously unreliable, especially this early in any election cycle, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll the same day showed Warren with a 55 to 40 percent lead over Trump.

But even that poll showed the more moderate Biden doing better. The New York Times survey found that many voters just plain did not like Warren, some because they did not like her "Medicare for all," health insurance plan; others because they disliked her personality or speaking style.

Some said they felt like she was lecturing them; others, like Elysha Savarese, a 26-year-old Floridian, said "I just don't feel like she's a genuine candidate. I find her body language to be very off-putting. She's very cold basically a Hillary Clinton clone."

That may be unfair, and it is clear from Warren rallies that many women and men adore her.

There are also a few older Democrats who note that John F. Kennedy was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and he was elected. That is true – but it was also six decades ago.

Kennedy, who was perceived as a middle-of-the-road moderate, could count on states like Louisiana and Arkansas and Georgia that no Democrat – certainly not one on the left – has much if any hope of winning today. Additionally, the playing field is different.

Voting strength and electoral votes have shifted dramatically from the Northeast, which was and is JFK and Warren's base, to the South and West. New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had a combined 93 electoral votes in 1960. They have a mere 60 today.

Florida, which President Kennedy, (like Hillary Clinton) narrowly lost, had 10 electoral votes in 1960; it has 29 today. Geography has become less favorable to a Massachusetts Democrat. The day after Paul Tsongas won the 1992 Democratic primary, the legendary Texas Gov. Ann Richards, a often irreverent Democrat, dryly told a friend of mine, "So they want to give us another liberal from Massachusetts, and this one has a lisp."

Democrats did not, however, nominate Tsongas, but instead chose Bill Clinton, the governor of Arkansas who was perceived as a moderate. That fall, he won.

History does not always repeat itself. But it does, sometimes, provide signposts for the future.

(Editor's Note: A version of this column also appeared in the Toledo Blade.)

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Jan 18 2020 17:57 utc | 153

@psychedelicatessen #117
You are making a number of assumptions which I don't necessarily agree with.
1) That Sanders and Warren are on the same "side" and are viewed the same by the "establishment". They clearly are not. Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.
2) Trump vs. Sanders - again, depends on which part of the deep state. It is an error to assume the deep state is any more monolithic than anything else. The most credible breakdown I've seen is that the "deep state" is really 3 parts: the corporates who are happy with Trump, the intel agencies who are not, and the military which was unhappy originally but is now ok since they've come out ahead of the intel agencies and still have representation at the highest levels.
Looking at these same 3 with Sanders: the corporates would/are not happy. The intel agencies are fine with Sanders and so is the military (F35, baby!). So it isn't clear at all the "deep state" overall cares about/hates one more than the other - the constituent groups simply have different goals.
3) Control over petro-dollar dominance. Frankly, I don't see how Trump or Sanders matters there. The tactical plays are very clear: keep the Saudis happy so they won't accede to China wanting to buy Saudi oil in RMB, because the Saudis don't have any other reason to stipulate dollar payments any more.
4) Economic collapse: I am curious as to how you think this will happen. Specifically what is the driver?
If it is de-dollarization - that is going to take decades, unless the US has a debt crisis before then. And frankly, I don't see it coming soon because there is simply too much international trade dollar cushion for the US debt accumulation to be a visible problem for quite some time.
If it is domestic collapse not due to de-dollarization - what is the driver? The economy is already no longer a major manufacturing, etc - with helicopter money going to the 1%. As much as the neoliberals hate it, the reality is that the pain Trump inflicts via the trade war ultimately is net positive for domestic production. It takes a while to make an impact, but the trade war and the anti-China machinations have already caused Chinese manufacturers to move production abroad - and to increase in-US production.
Plus there are ways to extend the runway: health care in particular. That's a big, deep and very popular pot of gold which could be attacked, should Trump desire to do so. As far as I can see, he doesn't have any particular fondness or historical partnerships with the health care/pharma industry.
In 2016, HRC received $32.6M from health care (#1 overall) vs. Trump's $4.9M (#5 overall).
source
Compare with defense: Trump and Clinton were about equal (tied for #1 but only $1M or so).
Trump has also pushed through some laws which definitely aren't liked by the health care folks, like the hospital bill transparency law.

[Jan 19, 2020] Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style by Kathleen Wallace

Notable quotes:
"... Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan. ..."
"... The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
To say Elizabeth Warren is a political opportunist is not giving her enough credit. She has taken the struggles, as well as the identities of others (women, school teachers, Native Americans, public school supporters, people who are able to tweet with humor, actual humans) and has weaponized these categories until the meaning of it all is lost.

Her tweet about leaving your ghosting boyfriend and getting a dog despite your roommate's objections should have placed her in the pandering hall of fame, and with that should have included a one way trip to some kind of holding cell for the criminally trite.

Her obvious lies (she's not even good at them, shaking and being sketchy with a tweaker-looking-body-vibe-thing when she tries to pull them off) -- well that bit regarding Bernie Sanders has electrified her twitter feed with images of snakes and has even managed to get #RefundWarren trending. At this rate, maybe she can pull in a negative donation for this quarter. What an achievement. The first female candidate to pull that off! Grrrrl Power! Her political instincts are as feeble as her lies -- to have her tell it, she was a selfless public servant most of her career (more like a teacher long enough to mention it, and a corporate lawyer as the subsequent defining profession). Her kids only went to public schools (umm no), she is of native heritage (shouldn't she have helped a bit at Standing Rock with that 1/16600600606006 ancestry that she is so proud of?) . Oh yes, her father was a janitor (again, what? No). She is but a champion for the veracity challenged. That's true at least.

Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan.

This current trend to take on the struggles of others as your own has been powerful of late. Cops pretend to have coffee cups served to them with pig slurs and Warren puts forth that the very individual who actually urged her to run for president in 2016, changed course and told her women can't win (despite ample evidence that Sanders has a track record that is decidedly feminist). I think she said Bernie offered her a cup of coffee in their meeting that had written on it something like "Women can't win, you're a bitch, how's menopause treating you, and also your hair is dry and brittle." (It was a Starbucks Trenta cup so he could go full on misogynist because there was a lotta space to write on–thanks Starbucks, first a war on Christmas, now a war on Women).

So I'd say this is weaponizing a status and taking the struggles of others to pretend they are your own. Stolen valor, really.

For many of us Sanders is a compromise. The changes needed are massive, but he's the closest thing we've got at this point. The hulking size of our nation and the lack of immediacy to those in power over us lends a situation of creating an infantalized population. This is where we are at now. There should be direct accountability and of course we have nothing of the sort. I suspect far in the future, if humans are to survive in any manner, it will go back to some sort of mutual aid, and direct accountability from those making life and death decisions over others, in short, more of a tribal situation. But right now, in our lifetimes, we are tasked with attempting to keep the planet below 150 degrees, to not bake our children before next week.

We have utter nonsense pouring in from the Warren corporate shills and it is wasting our precious time. The recent CNN debate should render that channel irrelevant at best, a direct threat at the worst. Fox comes in with obvious bias, but the CNNs and MSNBCs slip in behaving as if they are reasonable and neutral, assaulting those of us unlucky enough to have to watch them as captives at dental offices. They most certainly help the Warrens and other corporate shills by providing red herring distractions and pleas for incrementalism. This is akin to only turning up your boiling water that you bath in a degree or two every 5 minutes rather than trying to stop the boil. They care about immediate profits and in truth are terribly stupid. Many of us have been raised to be polite and not utter this about others, especially those in power. We look for reasons and conditions for their behavior and choices, but the stark fact is that a lot of these people are ignorant as fuck and want to remain that way -- little or no intellectual curiosity and full of base greed. And this will kill us all.

The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. He probably told her that he needs help against Corn Pop and while sniffing her hair and unwashed face, (I'm not being snarky without reason, she shared her beauty routine with the media since that's so pressing in these days of turmoil) well Biden decided that she would be the one to stroke his leg hairs in the oval office as VP.

They are the golden hairs of a golden white man, he says. This is the way of Washington–lots of white men thinking their leg hair is the best, but her instincts were shit to have taken a deal like this. No way in hell is Biden going to win, even if the DNC does manage to prop him up as their candidate.

Trump will have a field day with him (Biden of the reasonable Republican fable) and if they do debate, the entire country might have a collective intracranial bleed from the batshittery that will be spoken.

Trump will be there, all eyes dilated, snorting and speaking gibberish; Biden will be there, all blood eyed and smarmy, talking about how poor kids can be smart too (the more you know). I cry in a corner even considering such a spectacle. I'd rather see Topsy electrocuted than watch that.

Anyway, it's not unlikely that Warren will get a challenger for her senate seat due to this Judas move. The Bernie supporters will be generous with political donations if that individual materializes, I'm sure. But I'm guessing she will try something again in terms of reinvention and she will refer to herself as the politician formally known as Elizabeth Warren and try to get a judge show on antennae tv. I won't watch it even if she hits the gavel and says to leave the ghosting boyfriend and get a dog in the event of a sassy landlord tenant dispute brought before her court.

I plan on ghosting Elizabeth Warren and her lying ass.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest.

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism

Warren is no "progressive," as her beating a retreat from Medicare for All demonstrates. She now has shown herself to be a bald-faced liar as well as a political phony.
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Andrew a day ago

Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism.
Me Andrew a day ago
Warren is the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"

It's hillarious that even after the shafting they got in 2016 by CNN there are still some Bernie supporters who are finally catching on to what Trump supporters have been saying the whole time, the MSM are a bunch of lying propagandists. I wonder who these people are who think Bernie is going to fight against the Establishment when he can't even stand up for himself against CNN, Warren, Hillary, the DNC,.... or anyone.

former-vet Me a day ago • edited
I'm with you, Me. I expected to see Bernie come out swinging after that exchange with Senator Warren if he was to have any chance against Trump. Sucking it up for "the team" is loser talk. Warren accused him of blatantly lying on national TV, and he's okay with that?

Kathleen Garvey a day ago

Storm in a tea cup.

This manufactured 'controversy' has absolutely no relevance to electoral chances of either, outside of the campus/media bubble - whose battle lines are already entrenched.

Connecticut Farmer Kathleen Garvey a day ago
Or, as the late historian Daniel Boorstin called it, a "pseudo-event."

[Jan 19, 2020] CNN is Trash

Jan 19, 2020 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN moderator ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?

SANDERS: That is correct.

CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to know that you'd be better off with free college and Medicare for All than with yet another war to recognize the bias here.

Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in never mentioning the cost of any of the wars, but pounding away on the misleading assertions that healthcare and other human needs cost too much. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
" Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan? "

There was even time for this old stand-by bit of name-calling: " Senator Sanders, you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. But more than two-thirds of voters say they are not enthusiastic about voting for a socialist. Doesn't that put your chances of beating Donald Trump at risk? "

So say the people who did so much to elect Donald Trump.
Source, links:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/cnn-is-trash/

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren always looked like a female careerist with sharp elbows

Jan 18, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Let's look at the video again shall we?

The audio from the moment where Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders' hand has been released.

The #DemDebate scuffle came after Warren accused Bernie Sanders of saying, a woman can't win, a claim that contradicts his public comments over decades and one he denies. pic.twitter.com/yVTRkyCb2d

-- BERNforBernie2020RegisterToVote(@BernForBernie20) January 16, 2020

Yep that woman is full of it. You can decide what 'it' is.

Aaron Mate:

Joy Reid should invite this body language expert back, tell the story about the time when a computer hacker inserted homophobic statements into her old blog posts, and ask the expert to analyze whether she's lying.

More from Aaron.

Did this Orwell quote inspire you in the present to make the false claim that a computer hacker wrote your homophobic posts in the past? https://t.co/HsMUGrJj9S

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 18, 2020

Brianna Joy


This campaign is owed an apology.
What are they going to do next, phrenology?
This is why no one trusts the media. These people are digging their own professional graves.

People aren't buying what Joy is selling.

joy reid brings on a phrenologist to prove that liz warren's cheekbones make her native and dna test was wrong

Interested timing for this letter to come out Bernie Sanders Called The Democratic Party 'Intellectually Bankrupt' In 1985 Letter

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) once told a fellow left-wing activist that the Democratic Party was too "intellectually bankrupt" to allow the progressive movement to flourish within it.

In a 1985 letter newly obtained by HuffPost in which Sanders debated running for governor, he wrote: "Whether I run for governor or not is really not important. What would be a tragedy, however, is for people with a radical vision to fall into the pathetic camp of the intellectually bankrupt Democratic Party."

----
Sanders' three-paragraph missive was addressed to Marty Jezer, an author and progressive activist in the state. Then-Mayor Sanders was writing in response to an August letter from Jezer in which he apologized that a memo he wrote to Sanders had leaked to the press. While the exact contents of the memo are unclear, Jezer's letter indicates that it encouraged Sanders to run for Congress instead of challenging Kunin.

"1986 is the wrong time for such a race," Jezer, who died in 2005, wrote. "I hope you will listen to the voices of the committed activists around the state. We sink or swim with this together."

Sanders ultimately reached a different conclusion: He ran against Kunin as an independent. But the decision was not without dissent. An editorial from the socialist magazine In These Times criticized Sanders for dividing the left.

"In choosing to create a three-way race, Sanders is dividing the left and making more likely the defeat of an incumbent liberal woman governor by a more conservative Republican," In These Times wrote. (At the time, Kunin was one of only two female governors in the country.)

The editorial prompted Sanders to reply: "I believe that the real changes that are needed in this country are not going to be brought about by working within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party."

----
The Vermont senator's critiques of the Democratic Party are well documented, as CNN reported last July. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was adamant that a progressive movement could not be built within the party and was highly critical of the moderate "New Democrats" who argued that the party's progressivism in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s had alienated voters.

"I think that nationally, the party has on issue after issue sold out so many times that if you go before the people and say, 'Hey, I'm a Democrat,' you don't usually generate a lot of enthusiasm," Sanders said in 1991 about the idea of a progressive trying to work within the party.

Commenting on civil rights activist Jesse Jackson's Democratic presidential runs in the 1980s, Sanders said he did not agree with Jackson's decision to work "within the Democratic Party." (Sanders endorsed Jackson's candidacy.) His skepticism of the party continued in subsequent decades. In 2011, he said Democrats could be called "Republican-lite" for considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to lessen the deficit. And his first presidential campaign in 2016 didn't shy away from blasting the party apparatus.

Sanders' willingness to criticize the Democratic Party speaks to the progressive bona fides highlighted by his supporters. His campaign often relies on decades-old videos of Sanders warning against the Iraq war, multinational trade deals and the climate crisis using the same rhetoric he still uses today.

But the senator's view of the party -- and the role of progressive politics within it -- has evolved. He's since refined his critiques to focus on the "corporate wing of the Democratic Party," which is composed of the same centrists, including organizations like Third Way, that pushed the party to the right during the 1980s and '90s.

----
That hasn't been enough for many of his critics, who accuse him of only half-heartedly campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 after dragging out the primary, and question whether he would be willing to support down-ballot Democratic candidates who don't share his progressive ideology.

I recently watched Jimmy's show where he played a clip of Rachel praising Bernie for campaigning so hard for Her. Her wrote him a letter telling him thanks for working so hard to get her elected.

Bernie did 37 rallies for her in 14 days. Hillary only did 8 for Obama. Let's talk about this, Hillary! You worthless ^*#%^! - strife delivery

snoopydawg on Sat, 01/18/2020 - 7:21pm

Cenk might have just sunk his campaign

It turns out media sources might have leaked to one another about Warren-Sanders dispute & that didn't come from @ewarren campaign. Anyone still denying national media has hostility toward @BernieSanders campaign is being purposely obtuse. No one hates progressives more than MSM.

-- Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 18, 2020

Come on dude this ain't rocket science. It's true that the media has goosed this goose, but Warren doubled down on her accusations.

Man people are flying high on Twitter today. I'm seeing lots of great stuff that I'm not posting here.

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren has showed her true colors

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Jan 17 2020 23:59 utc | 68

Anyone who thinks impeachment will succeed needs to exit the Russiagate/DNC/CNN black hole.
And while I do believe Sanders could beat Trump, I have little faith the Clinton controlled DNC will allow that to happen.

Warren has showed her true colors

Biden is a less competent male HRC and the rest of the field ranges from billionaires to Intel agency drones.

Sure, Trump could lose "if". What matters is the candidate, though and none of the candidates besides Sanders can energize enough people to beat Trump.

Rob , Jan 18 2020 0:29 utc | 75

@Daniel (13). You hit the nail on the head, brother. Trump bears responsibility for all of the shit he has pulled, which includes hiring the worst possible people to advise him and run his administration. Throwing blame on the jackasses around him only proves that he is the biggest jackass of all.

And for the record, U.S. elections rarely turn on foreign policy issues. As Bill Clinton (another jackass, though much smarter) famously said: "It's the economy, stupid."

[Jan 18, 2020] 'Rigging election again' Trump says impeachment all a ploy to... shaft Bernie Sanders -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," ..."
"... "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch." ..."
"... Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls. ..."
"... Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden." ..."
"... whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
The impeachment trial against Donald Trump is not just a "witch hunt," but a ploy to "rig" the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Joe Biden, the US president has claimed. "They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously," Trump tweeted on Friday.

They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy...

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020

"They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," he continued. "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch."

Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls.

Also on rt.com Impeachment circus begins in earnest, and will change nothing

The caucuses are the first major contest in the presidential primary season, and eight out of the last 12 caucus winners went on to win the Democratic party's nomination.

Sanders' fellow 2020 frontrunner Elizabeth Warren will also return to DC to hear the case against Trump, while Biden, the former Vice President, will be free to stump for support with impunity.

Trump has savaged the case against him from multiple angles, alternately calling it "presidential harassment," a "partisan hoax," and a "witch hunt" led by the "Do Nothing Democrats." Lately, however, the president has taken to stoking division among his opponents, talking up "Crazy Bernie Sanders" surge in the polls and amplifying a brewing feud between Sanders and Warren – two candidates representing the leftist, progressive wing of the Democratic party.

Bernie Sander's volunteers are trashing Elizabeth "Pocahontus" Warren. Everybody knows her campaign is dead and want her potential voters. Mini Mike B is also trying, but getting tiny crowds which are all leaving fast. Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020

Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden."

The Democratic establishment is widely believed to have "rigged" the 2016 primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton, with an email leak from within the DNC revealing the extent of the bias . Clinton was notified of debate questions in advance, her foundation was allowed to staff and fund the DNC, and Sanders' campaign strategy was secretly passed to the Clinton camp.

The rest is history, and whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016.

[Jan 16, 2020] Corrupt Clinton Democrats like Biden as just republican in disguise -- wolfs in sheep clothing

In this sense only Sanders, Warren and Tulsi are authentic democrats... Major Pete is definitely a wolf in sheep clothing.
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate. ..."
"... A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all. ..."
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.

Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.

If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren attack on Sanders is backfiring

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Jan 16 2020 18:40 utc | 12

Now that Warren has been exposed as the charlatan ( The Damned Debates ) many of us knew she was all along, the media is all freaked out that her plan to attack Bernie Sanders is backfiring and that she is losing support rather than gaining it.

It looks to many like she made a deal with the Wall St. crowd funding the DNC who support Biden to attack Bernie for them in exchange for a VP spot.

They are obviously very worried about Biden though because the Trump-GOP attack on Biden over Burisma is coming, and they know they have nothing to stop it. That is what the impeachment is all about ( Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President ), and what the recent claim of Russia hacking to harm Biden is all about. It is all about trying to protect Biden from the upcoming Trump-GOP Burisma related attack on Biden. So with Biden in trouble and Warren stumbling, expect Hillary to save the day? LOL.

They are worried, but unless Bernie is far ahead when it matters then the superdelegates will save them. But if they do that then they fear many people will go 3rd party next election cycle, meaning the DNC has no chance to beat the GOP in the future if that happens.

What will they do? Right now they are full on trying to threaten their way to keep their new world order as it crumbles around them ( Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Place ). Times they are a changin.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren's take on Soleimani's killing

But what was actually good in Soleimani killing? He was an Iranian official and only the fact that the USA is 300 pound gorilla save us from the war for this extra-judicial killing. Because it was essentially a declaration of the war.
Is some weaker state tried the same the result would be complete devastation of both this state and Iran in a protracted war. Israel hides in such cases over Uncle Sam (in other version uncle Schmuel ;-) back so it essentially is allowed the same privileges in extrajudicial killings as the USA, but that will last only as long as the USA dominance in world affairs. After that bill with came due for Isreal and it will not be pretty.
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Ignacio , , January 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

Talking about centrists following strictly Trump's playbook, another good example is Warren's take on Soleimani's killing.

If she believes that she has any chance of defeating Trump as a strong defender of the US against terrorism, she must be drinking some new kind of kool-aid.

Fortunately, in this sense, Sanders is being much more clever than Warren. I see Sanders as the only and last opportunity to avoid the worst.

[Jan 08, 2020] Meghan McCain Has To Ask Warren Three Times To Admit Soleimani Was A Terrorist

Jan 08, 2020 | t.co

Meghan McCain had to ask Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren three times to admit that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist. Profile image of author Daily Caller Jan 07, 2020 Search results

  1. Sarah Abdallah ‏ @ sahouraxo 16h 16 hours ago More
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    Just a few years ago, CNN was praising Qassem # Soleimani for being the driving force behind the defeat of ISIS. Today they call him a "terrorist" and expect you to believe them.

[Jan 06, 2020] Warren Questions if Soleimani Strike Linked to Impeachment -- Look at the Timing Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

On Sunday's broadcast of CNN's "State of the Union," 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned if President Donald Trump's reasons for the Qasem Soleimani assassination was to distract from impeachment.

Warren said, "I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago, and why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can't keep their story straight on this. They pointed in all different directions. And you know, the last time that we watched them do this was the summer over Ukraine. As soon as people started asking about the conversations between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine and why aid had been held up to Ukraine, the administration did the same thing. They pointed in all directions of what was going on. And of course, what emerged then is that this is Donald Trump just trying to advance Donald Trump's own political agenda. Not the agenda of the United States of America. So what happens right now? Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know that he is deeply upset about that. I think that people are reasonably asking why this moment? Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war? We have been at war for 20 years in the Middle East, and we need to stop the war this the Middle East and not expand it."

Tapper asked, "Are you suggesting that President Trump pulled the trigger and had Qasem Soleimani killed as a distraction from impeachment?"

Warren said, "Look, I think that people are reasonably asking about the timing and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers. In the first 48 hours after this attack, what did we hear? Well, we heard it was for an imminent attack, and then we heard, no, no, it is to prevent any future attack, and then we heard that it is from the vice president himself and no, it is related to 9/11, and then we heard from president reports of people in the intelligence community saying that the whole, that the threat was overblown. You know, when the administration doesn't seem to have a coherent answer for taking a step like this. They have taken a step that moves us closer to war, a step that puts everyone at risk, and step that puts the military at risk and puts the diplomats in the region at risk. And we have already paid a huge price for this war. Thousands of American lives lost, and a cost that we have paid domestically and around the world. At the same time, look at what it has done in the Middle East, millions of people who have been killed, who have been injured, who have been displaced. So this is not a moment when the president should be escalating tensions and moving us to war. The job of the president is to keep us safe, and that means move back from the edge."

Tapper pressed, "Do you believe that President Trump pulled the trigger on this operation as a way to distract from impeachment? Is that what you think?"

Warren said, "I think it is a reasonable question to ask, particularly when the administration immediately after having taken this decision offers a bunch of contradictory explanations for what is going on."

She continued, "I think it is the right question to ask. We will get more information as we go forward but look at the timing on this. Look at what Donald Trump has said afterward and his administration. They have pointed in multiple directions. There is a reason that he chose this moment, not a month ago and not a month from now, not a less aggressive and less dangerous response. He had a whole range of responses that were presented to him. He didn't pick one of the other ones. He picked the most aggressive and the one that moves us closer to war. So what does everybody talk about today? Are we going to war? Are we going to have another five years, tens, ten years of war in the Middle East, and dragged in once again. Are we bringing another generation of young people into war? That is every bit of the conversation right now. Donald Trump has taken an extraordinarily reckless step, and we have seen it before, he is using foreign policy and uses whatever he can to advance the interests of Donald Trump."

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

[Jan 06, 2020] Elizabeth Warren on Qasem Soleimani killing- People are reasonably asking, why this moment

Warren kept her ground wonderfully in this exchange. Warren suggests that people are reasonable asking about timing. Also warmongering of Trump.
Jan 06, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Richie Beck , 6 hours ago (edited)

"When everyone else is losing their heads, it is important to keep yours." - Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and Irony.

Bob Bart , 7 hours ago (edited)

" What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party. " ~ Henry David Thoreau

personal cooking , 4 hours ago

China is laughing.US pay attention in middel east now.

[Dec 30, 2019] Sanders probably understands the situation but still is pandering to MIC, while Warren sounds like a regular neocon, another Kagan

Notable quotes:
"... "Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win." ..."
"... And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world." ..."
"... The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy." ..."
"... Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis. ..."
"... By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another. ..."
"... George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy. ..."
"... Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake. ..."
"... "Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now." ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You can hear echoes of progressive realism in the statements of leading progressive lawmakers such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Ro Khanna. They have put ending America's support for the Saudi war on Yemen near the top of the progressive foreign policy agenda. On the stump, Sanders now singles out the military-industrial complex and the runaway defense budget for criticism. He promises, among other things, that "we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military." These are welcome developments. Yet since November of 2016, something else has emerged alongside the antiwar component of progressive foreign policy that is not so welcome. Let's call it neoprogressive internationalism, or neoprogressivism for short.

Trump's administration brought with it the Russia scandal. To attack the president and his administration, critics revived Cold War attitudes. This is now part of the neoprogressive foreign policy critique. It places an "authoritarian axis" at its center. Now countries ruled by authoritarians, nationalists, and kleptocrats can and must be checked by an American-led crusade to make the world safe for progressive values. The problem with this neoprogressive narrative of a world divided between an authoritarian axis and the liberal West is what it will lead to: ever spiraling defense budgets, more foreign adventures, more Cold Wars -- and hot ones too.

Unfortunately, Senators Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have adopted elements of the neoprogressive program. At a much remarked upon address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the site of Churchill's 1946 address, Sanders put forth a vision of a Manichean world. Instead of a world divided by the "Iron Curtain" of Soviet Communism, Sanders sees a world divided between right-wing authoritarians and the forces of progress embodied by American and Western European progressive values.

"Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win."

A year later, Sanders warned that the battle between the West and an "authoritarian axis" which is "committed to tearing down a post-Second World War global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth." Sanders calls this "a global struggle of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the -- economically, socially and environmentally -- is at stake."

Sanders's focus on this authoritarian axis is one that is shared with his intraparty rivals at the Center for American Progress (a think-tank long funded by some of the least progressive regimes on the planet), which he has pointedly criticized for smearing progressive Democrats like himself. CAP issued a report last September about "the threat presented by opportunist authoritarian regimes" which "urgently requires a rapid response."

The preoccupation with the authoritarian menace is one Sanders and CAP share with prominent progressive activists who warn about the creeping influence of what some have cynically hyped as an "authoritarian Internationale."

Cold War Calling

Senator Warren spelled out her foreign policy vision in a speech at American University in November 2018. Admirably, she criticized Saudi Arabia's savage war on Yemen, the defense industry, and neoliberal free trade agreements that have beggared the American working and middle classes.

"Foreign policy," Warren has said, "should not be run exclusively by the Pentagon." In the second round of the Democratic primary debates, Warren also called for a nuclear "no first use" policy.

And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world."

Warren also sees a rising tide of corrupt authoritarians "from Hungary to Turkey, from the Philippines to Brazil," where "wealthy elites work together to grow the state's power while the state works to grow the wealth of those who remain loyal to the leader."

The concern with the emerging authoritarian tide has become a central concern of progressive writers and thinkers. "Today, around the world," write progressive foreign policy activists Kate Kinzer and Stephen Miles, "growing authoritarianism and hate are fueled by oligarchies preying on economic, gender, and racial inequality."

Daniel Nexon, a progressive scholar of international relations, believes that "progressives must recognize that we are in a moment of fundamental crisis, featuring coordination among right-wing movements throughout the West and with the Russian government as a sponsor and supporter."

Likewise, The Nation 's Jeet Heer lays the blame for the rise of global authoritarianism at the feet of Vladimir Putin, who "seems to be pushing for an international alt-right, an informal alliance of right-wing parties held together by a shared xenophobia."

Blithely waving away concerns over sparking a new and more dangerous Cold War between the world's two nuclear superpowers, Heer advises that "the dovish left shouldn't let Cold War nightmares prevent them [from] speaking out about it." He concludes: "Leftists have to be ready to battle [Putinism] in all its forms, at home and abroad."

The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy."

Likewise, we are seeing the emergence of an "authoritarian school" which posits that the internal political dynamics of regimes such as Putin's cause them, ineffably, to follow revanchist, expansionist foreign policies.

Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis.

By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another.

Yet as Richard Sakwa, a British scholar of Russia and Eastern Europe, writes, "it is often assumed that Russia is critical of the West because of its authoritarian character, but it cannot be taken for granted that a change of regime would automatically make the country align with the West."

George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy.

True, some of the economic trends voters in Europe and South America are reacting to are global, but a diagnosis that links together the rise of Putin and Xi, the elections of Trump in the U.S., Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary, and Kaczyński in Poland with the right-wing insurgency movements of the Le Pens in France and Farage in the UK makes little sense.

Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake.

Echoes of Neoconservatism

The progressive foreign policy organization Win Without War includes among its 10 foreign policy goals "ending economic, racial and gender inequality around the world." The U.S., according to WWW, "must safeguard universal human rights to dignity, equality, migration and refuge."

Is it a noble sentiment? Sure. But it's every bit as unrealistic as the crusade envisioned by George W. Bush in his second inaugural address, in which he declared, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

We know full well where appeals to "universal values" have taken us in the past. Such appeals are not reliable guides for progressives if they seek to reverse the tide of unchecked American intervention abroad. But maybe we should consider whether it's a policy of realism and restraint that they actually seek. Some progressive thinkers are at least honest enough to admit as much that it is not. Nexon admits that "abandoning the infrastructure of American international influence because of its many minuses and abuses will hamstring progressives for decades to come." In other words, America's hegemonic ambitions aren't in and of themselves objectionable or self-defeating, as long as we achieve our kind of hegemony. Progressive values crusades bear more than a passing resemblance to the neoconservative crusades to remake the world in the American self-image.

"Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now."

Neoprogressivism, like neoconservatism, risks catering to the U.S. establishment's worst impulses by playing on a belief in American exceptionalism to embark upon yet another global crusade. This raises some questions, including whether a neoprogressive approach to the crises in Ukraine, Syria, or Libya would be substantively different from the liberal interventionist approach of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton. Does a neoprogressive foreign policy organized around the concept of an "authoritarian axis" adequately address the concerns of voters in the American heartland who disproportionately suffer from the consequences of our wars and neoliberal economic policies? It was these voters, after all, who won the election for Trump.

Donald Trump's failure to keep his campaign promise to bring the forever wars to a close while fashioning a new foreign policy oriented around core U.S. national security interests provides Democrats with an opportunity. By repeatedly intervening in Syria, keeping troops in Afghanistan, kowtowing to the Israelis and Saudis, ratcheting up tensions with Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China, Trump has ceded the anti-interventionist ground he occupied when he ran for office. He can no longer claim the mantle of restraint, a position that found support among six-in-ten Americans in 2016.

Yet with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, for the most part the Democratic field is offering voters a foreign policy that amounts to "Trump minus belligerence." A truly progressive foreign policy must put questions of war and peace front and center. Addressing America's post 9/11 failures, military overextension, grotesquely bloated defense budget, and the ingrained militarism of our political-media establishment are the proper concerns of a progressive U.S. foreign policy.

But it is one that would place the welfare of our own citizens above all. As such, what is urgently required is the long-delayed realization of a peace dividend. The post-Cold War peace dividend that was envisioned in the early 1990s never materialized. Clinton's secretary of defense Les Aspin strangled the peace dividend in its crib by keeping the U.S. military on a footing that would allow it to fight and win two regional wars simultaneously. Unipolar fantasies of "full spectrum dominance" would come later in the decade.

One might have reasonably expected an effort by the Obama administration to realize a post-bin Laden peace dividend, but the forever wars dragged on and on. In a New Yorker profile from earlier this year, Sanders asked the right question: "Do we really need to spend more than the next ten nations combined on the military, when our infrastructure is collapsing and kids can't afford to go to college?"

The answer is obvious. And yet, how likely is it that progressives will be able realize their vision of a more just, more equal American society if we have to mobilize to face a global authoritarian axis led by Russia and China?

FDR's Good Neighbor Policy

The unipolar world of the first post-Cold War decade is well behind us now. As the world becomes more and more multipolar, powers like China, Russia, Iran, India, and the U.S. will find increasing occasion to clash. A peaceful multipolar world requires stability. And stability requires balance.

In the absence of stability, none of the goods progressives see as desirable can take root. This world order would put a premium on stability and security rather than any specific set of values. An ethical, progressive foreign policy is one which understands that great powers have security interests of their own. "Spheres of influence" are not 19th century anachronisms, but essential to regional security: in Europe, the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere.

It is a policy that would reject crusades to spread American values the world over. "The greatest thing America can do for the rest of the world," George Kennan once observed, "is to make a success of what it is doing here on this continent and to bring itself to a point where its own internal life is one of harmony, stability and self-assurance."

Progressive realism doesn't call for global crusades that seek to conquer the hearts and minds of others. It is not bound up in the hoary self-mythology of American Exceptionalism. It is boring. It puts a premium on the value of human life. It foreswears doing harm so that good may come. It is not a clarion call in the manner of John F. Kennedy who pledged to "to pay any price, bear any burden." It does not lend itself to the cheap moralizing of celebrity presidential speechwriters. In ordinary language, a summation of such a policy would go something like: "we will bear a reasonable price as long as identifiable U.S. security interests are at stake."

A policy that seeks to wind down the global war on terror, slash the defense budget, and shrink our global footprint won't inspire. It will, however, save lives. Such a policy has its roots in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inaugural address. "In the field of World policy," said Roosevelt, "I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others, the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a World of neighbors."

What came to be known as the "Good Neighbor" policy was further explicated by FDR's Secretary of State Cordell Hull at the Montevideo Conference in 1933, when he stated that "No country has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another." Historian David C. Hendrickson sees this as an example of FDR's principles of "liberal pluralism," which included "respect for the integrity and importance of other states" and "non-intervention in the domestic affairs of neighboring states."

These ought to serve as the foundations on which to build a truly progressive foreign policy. They represent a return to the best traditions of the Democratic Party and would likely resonate with those very same blocs of voters that made up the New Deal coalition that the neoliberal iteration of the Democratic Party has largely shunned but will sorely need in order to unseat Trump. And yet, proponents of a neoprogressive foreign policy seem intent on running away from a popular policy of realism and restraint on which Trump has failed to deliver.

James W. Carden is contributing writer for foreign affairs at The Nation and a member of the Board of the Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy.

[Dec 29, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Quo Vadis: If the Dem Party is going to be kaput

Dec 29, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi Gabbard: Quo Vadis?


Alligator Ed on Wed, 12/25/2019 - 11:02pm After bravely contesting a nomination she knows she cannot win, Tulsi Gabbard has and continues to exhibit a tenacious adherence to achievement of purpose. What is that purpose? I believe it is evident if you only let your eyes see and your ears hear. Listen to what she says. Looks at what she does.

//www.youtube.com/embed/F1bVz4nNNnA?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Humble surroundings. Real people. Good food.

What this does is obvious. However, please forgive me if I proceed to explain the meaning. People see what apparently is her home milieu. I've been to Filipino homes for dinner as many of my nurse friends were Filipino. Tulsi is so human. Despite Hindu belief, she is respectful to the presence and perhaps the essence of Jesus, and does not sound pandering or hypocritical.

Getting to know Tulsi at the beginning of her hoped-for (by me) political ascendancy. Get in on almost the ground floor of what will become an extremely powerful force in future American life.

Why? What's the hurry?

The more support and the earlier Tulsi receives it propel the campaign. That's what momentum means: a self-generating growing strength.

One doesn't have to be a Tulsi supporter to hopefully receive some ideas which may not have occurred to you. This essay does not concern any specific Gabbard policy. What I write here is what I perceive of her character and thus her selected path. Mind-reading, perhaps. Arm-chair speculation, possibly.

Tulsi has completed phase 2A in her career. The little that I know of her early life, especially politically (such as how she voted in HI state legislature) limits a deep understanding which such knowledge would provide. As the tree is bent, etc.

We are in Phase 2B. Tulsi, as I wrote in another essay, is letting the tainted shroud of Democrat corruption fall off her shoulders without any effort of her own. The Democrat party is eating itself alive. It is all things to all people at once. That is a philosophy incapable of satisfaction.

Omni Democraticorundum in tres partes est (pardon the reference to the opening of Caesar's Gallic Wars, with liberal substitution by me).

The Dems trifurcate and the division will be neither pleasant nor reconcilable. Tribalism will be reborn after Trump crushes whomever in 2020.

Tribe one: urban/techno/überkinden.

Tribe two: leftward bound to a place where no politician has ever ventured. Not socialism. Not Communism. We could call it Fantasy Land, although I fear Disney owns that name.

Tribe three: progressive realists. By using such positive wording, you will correctly suspect my bias as to which Tribe I belong to.

Once again, policy will not be discussed. Only strategy and reality. Can't have good strategy without a good grasp of reality. This is why Establidems are bereft of thematic variability. For the past 3.3 years, they have been singing from a hymn book containing but one song. You know the title. Orange Man Bad. Yeah, that's it. If they don't like that title, we establidems have another song for ya. It's called Orange Man Bad. Like that one, huh? Wazzat, ya didn't like the song the first time. Hey, we thought the song would grown on you.

Them Dems, noses up, can't see the sidewalk. Oops. Stepped in something there, huh? Oh, yeah like the Impeachment.

But I digress: The latter part of Phase 2B is not clear. Tulsi will continue to accept small donor contributions, even after not obtaining the nomination next year. Public appearances will be important but should be low key with little press attention. Press attention is something however that won't be available when most desirable. What else Tulsi will do may be to form a nucleus of like-minded activists, thinkers, and other supporters to promote an agenda for a more liberal, tolerant society.

If the Dem Party is going to be kaput . . .

@Alligator Ed

. . . ah, never mind.

Don't be surprised if even Warren will fail to gather the 15% of votes needed in each early primary state to get awarded any delegates.

It's gonna Biden vs Bernie.

Bernie or Dust. Or she who shall not be named in which case even worse (and I don't mean Tulsi).

edit/add: Well, lookee here, hot off the presses as it were:
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/26/can-bernie-sanders-win-2020-ele...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 2:05pm
from your citation: If Sanders' candidacy ....

@Wally @Wally

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:08pm
The reference was to 2020

@Alligator Ed

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

#2.1.1 #2.1.1

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:55pm
Tulsi's support if Bernie's not nominated

@Wally She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

#2.1.1.1

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:17pm
I don't think anyone other than Bernie or Yang would want Tulsi

@Alligator Ed

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:28pm
She was working her way up the food chain

@Wally That's what intelligent predators do.

#2.1.1.1.1.1

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

wokkamile on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:29pm
Well, she wouldn't

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:30pm
She IS finished as a Dem

@wokkamile Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

#2.1.1.1.1.1 #2.1.1.1.1.1 be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 8:38pm
Will Tulsi win any delegates?

@Alligator Ed

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2 Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 9:40pm
My crystal ball has developed cataracts

@Wally Thus my powers of predicting the future have dimmed accordingly. But two things haven't dimmed:

1. It is readily apparent that the DNC won't let Bernie win. They'll rob him of votes in CA (100% probability) and NY (95% probability), etc.

2. The Demonrats will get destroyed in 2020 up and down ballot except in the fiefdoms of Californicate and Ny-no-nah-nah.

What, pray good Sir, do you predict or is that an impossibility at this time?

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2.1

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

Wally on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 6:54am
I certainly won't be surprised if Bernie gets cheated or worse

@Alligator Ed

I will be surprised if Tulsi gets so much as one delegate.

More than a few knowledgeable people think he has a very good shot of winning California. I am less optimistic about NYS but I think he will do well enough to get a good number of delegates especially if he does well in the earlier primaries (NYS comes April 28).

I don't feel solidly about making any kind of predictions at this point but given the nature of the Democratic Party, I don't see it as falling into oblivion anytime soon or in our lifetimes.

As far as Bernie goes, I am not optimistic but I still have some hope. I still fervantly believe that his candidacy is the best chance we will have in our lifetimes of bringing about any substantial change -- and if he and his critical mass of supporters can't pull it off this time around, we're all phluckled big time, even alligators, in terms of combating climate change and putting a kabosh on endless wars. I wish you good future luck with Tulsi though. I just don't see it. But I've been wrong on more than one occasion in my life.

[Dec 28, 2019] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear.

Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represent a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Dec 26, 2019] I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy.

Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com

Robespierre Garçon ‏ 5:43 PM - 25 Dec 2019

I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy. There will be bad press for either of them.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump Impeachment as Dems dirty election campaign move

Trump can be impeached as a war criminal just for his false flag Douma attack (along with members of his administration). But Neoliberal Dems and frst of all Pelosi are war criminals too, with Pelosi aiding and abetting war criminal Bush.
So this is a variation of the theme of Lavrentiy Beria most famous quote: "Show me a man and I will find you a crime"
I think tose neolib Dems who supported impeachment disqualified themselves from the running. That includes Warren, who proved to be a very weak, easily swayed politician. It is quote probably that they increased (may be considerably) chances of Trump reelection, but pushing independents who were ready to abandon him, back into Trump camp. Now Trump is able to present himself as a victim of neoliberal Dems/neocons witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... Faithless Execution ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

The only real check left is impeachment. It is rarely invoked and (until very recently) has atrophied as a credible threat. But that doesn't make it any less indispensable.

The problem was exacerbated by the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which history has proved foolhardy. (I supported it at the time, but I was a government lawyer then, not a public commentator.) Republicans were sufficiently spooked by the experience that they seemed to regard impeachment as obsolete. Faithless Execution countered that this was the wrong lesson to take from the affair. Clinton's impeachment was a mistake because (a) his conduct, though disgraceful and indicative of unfitness, did not implicate the core responsibilities of the presidency; and more significantly, (b) the public, though appalled by the behavior, strongly opposed Clinton's removal. The right lesson was that impeachment must be reserved for grave misconduct that involves the president's essential Article II duties; and that because impeachment is so deeply divisive, it should never be launched in the absence of a public consensus that transcends partisan lines.

This is why, unlike many opponents of President Trump's impeachment, I have never questioned the legitimacy of the Democratic-controlled House's investigations of misconduct allegations against the president. I believe the House must act as a body (investigations should not be partisan attacks under the guise of House inquiries), and it must respect the lawful and essential privileges of the executive branch; but within those parameters, Congress has the authority and responsibility to expose executive misconduct.

Moreover, while egregious misconduct will usually be easy to spot and grasp, that will not always be the case. When members of Congress claim to see it, they should have a fair opportunity to expose and explain it. To my mind, President Obama was the kind of chief executive that the Framers feared, but this was not obvious because he was not committing felonies. Instead, he was consciously undermining our constitutional order. He usurped the right to dictate law rather than execute it. His extravagant theory of executive discretion to "waive" the enforcement of laws he opposed flouted his basic constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. He and his underlings willfully and serially deceived Congress and the public on such major matters as Obamacare and the Benghazi massacre. They misled Congress on, and obstructed its investigation of, the outrageous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" operation, in connection with which a border patrol agent was murdered. With his Iran deal, the president flouted the Constitution's treaty process and colluded with a hostile foreign power to withhold information from Congress, in an arrangement that empowered (and paid cash ransom to) the world's leading sponsor of anti-American terrorism.

My critics fairly noted that I opposed Obama politically, and therefore contended that I was masquerading as a constitutional objection what was really a series of policy disputes. I don't think that is right, though, for two reasons.

First, my impeachment argument was not that Obama was pursuing policies I deeply opposed. I was very clear that elections have consequences, and the president had every right to press his agenda. My objection was that he was imposing his agenda lawlessly, breaking the limitations within which the Framers cabined executive power, precisely to prevent presidents from becoming tyrants. If allowed to stand, Obama precedents would permanently alter our governing framework. Impeachment is there to protect our governing framework.

Second, I argued that, my objections notwithstanding, Obama should not be impeached in the absence of a public consensus for his removal. Yes, Republicans should try to build that case, try to edify the public about why the president's actions threatened the Constitution and its separation of powers. But they should not seek to file articles of impeachment simply because they could -- i.e., because control of the House theoretically gave them the numbers to do it. The House is not obliged to file impeachment articles just because there may be impeachable conduct. Because impeachment is so divisive, the Framers feared that it could be triggered on partisan rather than serious grounds. The two-thirds supermajority requirement for Senate conviction guards against that: The House should not impeach unless there is a reasonable possibility that the Senate would remove -- which, in Obama's case, there was not.

I also tried to focus on incentives. If impeachment were a credible threat, and Congress began investigating and publicly exposing abuses, a sensible president would desist in the misconduct, making it unnecessary to proceed with impeachment. On the other hand, a failed impeachment effort would likely embolden a rogue president to continue abusing power. If your real concern is executive lawlessness, then impeaching heedlessly and against public opinion would be counterproductive.

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

The objections to Trump are very different from those to Obama. He is breaking not laws but norms of presidential behavior and decorum. For the most part, I object to this. There are lots of things about our government that need disruption, but even disruptive presidents should be mindful that they hold the office of Washington and Lincoln and aspire to their dignity, even if their greatness is out of reach.

That said, impeachment is about serious abuse of the presidency's core powers, not behavior that is intemperate or gauche. Critics must be mindful that the People, not the pundits, are sovereign, and they elected Donald Trump well aware of his flaws. That he turns out to be as president exactly what he appeared to be as a candidate is not a rationale for impeaching him.

The president's misconduct on Ukraine is small potatoes. Democrats were right to expose it, and we would be dealing with a more serious situation if the defense aid appropriated by Congress had actually been denied, rather than inconsequentially delayed. If Democrats had wanted to make a point about discouraging foreign interference in American politics (notwithstanding their long record of encouraging it), that would have been fine. They could have called for the president's censure, which would have put Republicans on the defensive. Ukraine could have been incorporated as part of their 2020 campaign that Trump should be defeated, despite a surging economy and relative peace.

Conducting an impeachment inquiry is one thing, but for the House to take the drastic step of impeaching the president is abusive on this record. Yes, it was foolish of Trump to mention the Bidens to President Zelensky and to seek Ukraine's help in investigating the Bidens. There may well be corruption worth probing, but the president ought to leave that to researchers in his campaign. If there is something that a government should be looking into, leave that to the Justice Department, which can (and routinely does) seek foreign assistance when necessary. The president, however, should have stayed out of it. Still, it is absurd to posit, as Democrats do, that, by not staying out of it, the president threatened election integrity and U.S. national security. Such outlandish arguments may make Ukraine more of a black eye for Democrats than for the president.

But whoever ultimately bears the brunt of the impeachment push, I have to ask myself a hard question: Is this the world I was asking for when I wrote a book contending that, for our system to work as designed, impeachment has to be a credible threat? I don't think so . . . but I do worry about it.

Back to the Clinton impeachment. I tried to make the point that that impeachment effort -- against public opinion, and based on misconduct that, while dreadful, was not central to the presidency -- has contributed significantly to the poisonous politics we have today. Democrats have been looking for payback ever since, and now they have it -- in a way that is very likely to make impeachment more routine in the future.

I don't see how our constitutional system can work without a viable impeachment remedy. But I may have been wrong to believe that we could be trusted to invoke the remedy responsibly. I used to poke fun at pols who would rather hide under their desks than utter the dreaded I-word. Turns out they knew something I didn't.

[Dec 24, 2019] The fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on.

"Change we can believe in" the second series ? That's a real warning sign ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg. ..."
"... as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship .. ..."
Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , December 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

So, the fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on. While many non-political "normies" look upon the Obama years with rose-tinted glasses, I wonder if the disillusionment that many people had in retrospect with Obama has sunk in to mainstream political consciousness yet. If that is the case, an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives, seeing as how it has become evident that Obama was basically a silver-tongued neoliberal in the same mold as Clinton and Pelosi.

I know that Warren is a political careerist at heart, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt when she first launched her 2020 presidential campaign. However, it has become increasingly clear that she has hitched her wagon to the wrong horse as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship. I honestly do not think that she would even be fit to be Sander's vice presidential pick at this point considering how wide the political gulf between Warren and Sanders actually is. A better choice would be Nina Turner as Sander's running mate, with Tulsi Gabbard as his Secretary of State if he gets that far.

shinola , December 23, 2019 at 2:54 pm

" an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives "

It hit me pretty much the same way – that's a strike against her.

Pelham , December 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm

My guess is that this is why he's working behind the scenes, minimizing the chances of a backfire on the left. Of course, how behind-the-scenes is it if it's reported by Politico? Still.

I'm actually undecided on Warren. There was that story last week about her supposedly pushing Hillary in 2016 to name decent people to her cabinet if elected. But then you have to ask why that particular story surfaced at the particular time when Warren was sinking in the polls.

If true, though, and if what the new Politico story says about her clashes with Obama are true, maybe Warren isn't quite as objectionable as we tend to think. Then again, she came right out last week (I believe) and said Medicare for All would be a matter of choice under her plan, emphasizing that "choice" factor.

So I'm confused. But maybe that's what she, her campaign and various surrogates want at this stage.

kimyo , December 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm

I'm actually undecided on Warren.

maybe this will help you decide?
Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change

It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030.

having the pentagon 'lead the fight' against climate change is akin to appointing prince andrew as head of the global task force against pedophilia and child trafficking.

anon in so cal , December 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Yes, that plus Warren's comments during the Council on Foreign Relations interview, which were frightening (to me, at least).

Jeff W , December 23, 2019 at 7:32 pm

"maybe this will help you decide?"

Or one or both of these two What's Left podcasts:

"The Left Case Against Elizabeth Warren" here

"Warren's Medicare For All 'Plan'" here

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Reply

Darius , December 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Buttigieg takes no votes from Sanders. While Warren does on the margins. I think Obama's calculation is simple as that. She also has special appeal to the virtue signaling liberals that are Obama's base.

notabanker , December 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm

as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship ..

Bingo. Trump's letter goes right to the heart of it. These clowns are completely exposed and Obama hawking Warren to donors while the blob talks up a gay McKinsey/CIA Indiana Mayor shows just how far they have fallen.

[Dec 24, 2019] The Fake Impeachment Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory by Joaquin Flores

It would be impossible for Trump to re-energize his base in any other way. Pelosi acts as covert agent for Trump re-election? Peloci calculation that she can repar "Mueller effect" of 2018 with this impeachment proved to be gross miscalculation.
Warren who stupidly and enthusiastically jumped into this bandwagon will be hurt. She is such a weak politician that now it looks like she does not belong to the club. Still in comparison with Trump she might well be an improvement as she has Trump-like economic program, which Trump betrayed and neutered. And her foreign policy can't be worse then Trump foreign policy. It is just impossible.
I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump. ..."
"... fake impeachment procedure ..."
"... For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. ..."
"... little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.". ..."
"... "We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president. ..."
"... He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins." ..."
"... We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
And so it came to pass, that in the deep state's frenzy of electoral desperation, the 'impeachment' card was played. The hammer has fallen. Nearly the entirety of the legacy media news cycle has been dedicated to the details, and not really pertinent details, but the sorts of details which presume the validity of the charges against Trump in the first place. Yes, they all beg the question. What's forgotten here is that the use of this process along clearly partisan lines, and more – towards clearly partisan aims – is a very serious symptom of the larger undoing of any semblance of stability in the US government.

The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump.

Only in a country that produces so much fake news at the official level, could there be a fake impeachment procedure made purely for media consumption, with no real or tangible possible victory in sight.

For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment.

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. And her aim appears to be the one who makes them believe things so that they deserve what she gives them. For little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.".

In both cases, reality is turned on its head – for rather we will know how the Senate intends to conduct its procedure as soon as it has the details, which substantively includes the impeachment documents themselves, in front of them, and likewise, legislators ought to know what's in a major piece of legislation before they vote either way on it. Pelosi's assault on reason, however, isn't without an ever growing tide of resentment from within the progressive base of the party itself.

We have quickly entered into a new era which increasingly resembles the broken political processes which have struck many a country, but none in living memory a country like the US. Now elected officials push judges to prosecute their political opponents, constitutional crises are manufactured to pursue personal or political vendettas, death threats and rumors of coups coming from media and celebrities being fed talking points by big and important players from powerful institutions.

This 'impeachment' show really takes the cake, does it not? We will recall shortly after Trump was elected, narrator for hire Morgan Freeman made a shocking public service announcement. It was for all intents and purposes, a PSA notifying the public that a military coup to remove Trump would be legitimate and in order. Speaking about this PSA, and recounting what was said, would in any event read as an exaggeration, or some allegorical paraphrasing made to prove a point. Jogging our memories then, Freeman spoke to tens of millions of viewers on television and YouTube saying :

"We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president.

He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."

This really set the tone for the coming years, which have culminated in this manufactured 'impeachment' crisis, really befitting a banana republic.

It would be the height of dishonesty to approach this abuse of the impeachment procedure as if until this moment, the US's own political culture and processes were in good shape. Now isn't the time for the laundry list of eroded constitutional provisions, which go in a thousand and one unique directions. The US political system is surely broken, but as is the case with such large institutions several hundreds of years old, its meltdown appears to happen in slow motion to us mere mortals. And so what we are seeing today is the next phase of this break-down, and really ought to be understood as monumental in this sense. Once again revealed is the poor judgment of the Democratic Party and their agents, tools, warlords, and strategists, the same gang who sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign on the rocks of hubris.

Nancy Pelosi also has poor judgment, and these short-sighted and self-interested moves on her part stand a strong chance of backfiring. Her role in this charade is duly noted. This isn't said because of any disagreement over her aims, but rather that in purely objective terms it just so happens that her aims and her actions are out of synch – that is unless she wants to see Trump re-elected. Her aims are her aims, our intention is to connect these to their probable results, without moral judgments.

The real problem for the Democrats, the DNC, and any hopes for the White House in 2020, is that this all has the odor of a massive backfire, and something that Trump has been counting on happening. When one's opponent knows what is probable, and when they have a track record for preparing very well for such, it is only a question of what Trump's strategy is and how this falls into it, not whether there is one.

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the meeting with Pelosi where it was decided to go forward with impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite not having either sufficient traction in the Senate or any way to control the process that the Senate uses.

It probably went like this: ' We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. '

Informed citizens are aware that whatever their views towards Trump, nothing he has done reaches beyond the established precedent set by past presidents. Confused citizens on the other hand, are believing the manufactured talking points thrown their way, and the idea that a US president loosely reference a quid pro quo in trying to sort a corruption scandal in dealings with the president of a foreign country, is some crazy, new, never-before-done and highly-illegal thing. It is none of those things though.

Unfortunately, not needless to say, the entirety of the direct, physical evidence against Trump solely consists of the now infamous transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The rest is hearsay, a conspiracy narrative, and entirely circumstantial. As this author has noted in numerous pieces, Biden's entire candidacy rests precisely upon his need to be a candidate so that any normal investigation into the wrongdoings of himself or his son in Ukraine, suddenly become the targeted persecution of a political opponent of Trump.

Other than this, it is evident that Biden stands little chance – the same polling institutions which give him a double-digit lead were those which foretold a Clinton electoral victory. Neither their methods nor those paying and publishing them, have substantively changed. Biden's candidacy, like the impeachment, is essentially fake. The real contenders for the party's base are Sanders and Gabbard.

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

The Democratic Party has two bases, one controlled by the DNC and the Clintons, and one which consists of its energized rank-and-file activists who are clearer in their populism, anti-establishment and ant-corporate agenda. Candidates like Gabbard and Sanders are closest to them politically, though far from perfect fits. Their renegade status is confirmed by the difficulties they have with visibility – they are the new silent majority of the party. The DNC base, on the other hand, relies on Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and the likes for their default talking points, where they have free and pervasive access to legacy media. In the context of increased censorship online, this is not insignificant.

Among the important reasons this 'impeachment' strategy will lose is that it will not energize the second and larger base. Even though this more progressive and populist base is also more motivated, they have faced – as has the so-called alt-light – an extraordinarily high degree of censorship on social media. Despite all the censorship, the Democrats' silent majority are rather well-informed people, highly motivated, and tend to be vocal in their communities and places of work. Their ideas move organically and virally among the populace.

This silent majority has a very good memory, and they know very well who Nancy Pelosi is, and who she isn't.

The silent majority remembers that after years of the public backlash against Bush's war crimes, crimes against humanity, destruction of remaining civil liberties with the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless search – and the list goes on and on – Democrats managed to retake the lower house in 2006. If there was a legitimate reason for an impeachment, it would have been championed by Pelosi against Bush for going to war using false, falsified, manufactured evidence about WMD in Iraq. At the time, Pelosi squashed the hopes of her own electorate, reasoning that such moves would be divisive, that they would distract from the Democrats' momentum to take the White House in '08, that Bush had recently (?) won his last election, and so on. Of course these were real crimes, and the reasons not to prosecute may have as much to do with Pelosi's own role in the war industry. Pelosi couldn't really push against Bush over torture, etc. because she had been on an elite congressional committee – the House Intelligence Committee – during the Bush years in office which starting in 2003 was dedicated to making sure that torture could and would become normalized and entirely legal.

It seems Pelosi can't even go anywhere with this impeachment on Trump today, and therefore doesn't even really plan to submit it to the Senate for the next stage . The political stunt was pulled, a fireworks show consisting of one lonely rocket that sort of fizzled off out of sight.

Trump emerges unscathed, and more to the point, we are closer to the election and his base is even more energized. Pelosi spent the better part of three years inoculating the public against any significance being attached to any impeachment procedure. Pelosi cried wolf so many times, and Trump has made good on the opportunities handed to him to get his talking points in order and to condition his base to receive and process the scandals in such and such way. This wouldn't have been possible without Pelosi's help. Thanks in part to Pelosi and the DNC, Trump appears primed for re-election.

Trump energizes his base, and the DNC suppresses and disappoints theirs. That's where the election will be won or lost.

[Dec 22, 2019] Warren, AOL, Pelosi and the Kabuki theater of Trump impeachment

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

Where is AOC in all this? She was the prime mover on impeachment, specifically impeachment over a phone call rather than concentration camps and genocide.

And now with impeachment she gave Pelosi cover to sell the country out again.

I was wondering why many libreral centrists were expreasing admiration for her, a socialist. Maybe they recognized something?

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

"Prime mover"? What planet are you from? They were Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi. Did you miss that Russiagate was in motion while AOC was still tending bar? AOC isn't even on any of the key committees (Judiciary and Intel).

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I shouldn't have said THE prime mover, but ONE OF the prime movers in the House in actually pushing it over the line against Pelosi's opposition. It seems like the House Dem consensus ever since Russiagate was just to tease their base with it and milk the suspense for all it was worth, until AOC, among others, rallied the base.

AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May. In September, she tweeted, " At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it​. " "Lawbreaking behavior" is nice and vague, but in this case it seems like she is talking about the Ukraine phone call.

There were other reps who pushed for impeachment, but AOC has one of the biggest platforms and crucially, expanded popular support for impeachment outside the MSNBC crowd. So yes, a key figure in the political/PR effort to move from conspiracy theories to actual impeachment.

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

"AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May."

Liz Warren is the one who made it a part of her campaign before anyone else. Rashida Tlaib was the one who made t-shirt with her "impeach the mf'er" quote on it. A lot of them were "blasting" Pelosi for dithering. AOC also "blasted" her for giving ICE more money and a lot of their things .

Your central focus on AOC for the impeachment fiasco while ignoring her active role in spotlighting so many other issues of importance which no one else speaks about is interesting. Did you catch any of her speaking at the Sanders rally in LA today? Any other "high profile" Dems pushing such important issues and campaigns?

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this comment. I don't trust *any of them* except Sanders, but AOC has been making more good noises than bad, and to claim that it was she who's been driving Pelosi to impeachment is quite a stretch. Poor, helpless/hapless Rep. Pelosi sure.

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Pelosi has repeatedly stared down the progressives in the House. The overwhelming majority of the freshmen reps are what used to be called Blue Dogs, as in corporate Dems. AOC making noise on this issue would not move Pelosi any more than it has on other issues.

IMHO Pelosi didn't try to tamp down Russiagate, and that created expectations that Something Big would happen. Plus she lives in the California/blue cities bubble.

What Dem donors think matters to her way more than what AOC tweets about. If anything, Pelosi (secondarily, I sincerely doubt this would be a big issue in her calculus) would view impeachment as a way to reduce the attention recently given to progressive issues like single payer and student debt forgiveness.

[Dec 22, 2019] Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden. ..."
"... Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm ..."
"... that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides. ..."
"... "let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important " ..."
"... Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm ..."
"... Happy winter Solstice, everyone! ..."
"... Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Please bone up on US procedure. It's not good to have you confuse readers.

The Senate can't do anything until the House passes a motion referring the impeachment to the Senate. The House ALSO needs to designate managers as part of that process.

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Michael Tracey argued that it's only Senate rules that require that the House formally transmit the impeachment verdict. The Constitution says that the Senate has to try an impeached president, and the Constitution trumps the Senate's rules. Logically, then, the Senate could just modify its rules to try the president.

But the whole delay is weird and impeachment has only been done twice before, so not a lot of precedent.

My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden.

Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides.

"let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important "

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. Plus, if the Democrats get the brokered convention they are after, he can bow out, satisfied that he helped the DNC protect the donor class from the Sanders threat.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=dpBEaFtkziY

[Dec 21, 2019] 'Christianity Today' anti-Trump editorial is a sign of things to come - CNN

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

Mark Galli, its current editor (who is leaving the publication in two weeks) takes on Trump directly -- a courageous move on his part, as his magazine has largely been apolitical. "The facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," Galli writes. He draws the obvious conclusion for Christians: "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral." Galli goes further, digging into the behavior of the man in the Oval Office, noting that Trump "has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration." He gets specific: "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." As if that wasn't enough, Galli adds, "He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone -- with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders -- is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Galli's warning to Christians is clear. "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: remember who you are and whom you serve," Galli writes. "Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?" Galli also acknowledged Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day" that his stand is unlikely to shake loose Trump's strong hold on this voter segment, a crucial portion of his political base. Galli's move is even more admirable when you consider that he published his editorial even knowing that, as he said in his interview, he's not optimistic that his editorial will alter Trump's support among white evangelicals. It's not a stretch to say that white evangelicals put Trump into office in 2016. About 80% of them voted for him. They did so because of the abortion issue, mostly. They wanted pro-life judges throughout the justice system. But this was a devil's bargain, at best. Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us <img alt="Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us" src="//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191121180252-20191121-fractured-states-religious-leaders-large-169.jpg"> Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us Younger evangelicals, those under 45, have been slowly but steadily moving away from Trump during the past two years or so, unhappy about his example. A key topic that has driven them away is immigration. Loving your neighbor as yourself has always been a bedrock Christian value. And Trump's stance on immigrants (especially those of color) has upset the younger generation of evangelicals, with two-thirds of them saying in surveys that immigrants strengthen our country, bringing their work ethic and talents with them from Mexico or Central America or Syria. Climate change is another issue that has caught the imagination of younger evangelicals. "I can't love my neighbor if I'm not protecting the earth that sustains them and defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and a stable climate," Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told Grist . Needless to say, Trump's contempt on this subject grates badly on these young Christians. Perhaps naively, Americans have always looked to the presidency for exemplary moral behavior, and when there are obvious personal or moral failures, as with Nixon and Clinton, there is disappointment, even anger. But if you're a Christian -- and I lay claim to this for myself -- you understand that it's human to fail at perfect behavior. There is always forgiveness. And, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Humility is endless."

Humility lies at the heart of Christian behavior. As does honesty. In these, Trump has set a terrible example, and he's now been taken down for this by an important Christian voice. If only another 10 percent of evangelicals take this seriously, and I suspect they will, Donald J. Trump's presidency is destined for the ash heap of history.

[Dec 21, 2019] The debate reminds us that the only way to remove Trump from office is at the ballot box - The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Delaying the Senate trial erodes the Democrats' argument that impeachment was so urgent that they could not wait for the courts to act on Trump's aggressive claims of privilege.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates who gathered on a debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday represent another argument for moving beyond impeachment.

... ... ...

Washington is fixated on the daily turns of the impeachment saga, but polls indicate that most Americans are not. Business executive Andrew Yang pointed out that, even when the current president is gone, the struggles of many people will remain, particularly in parts of the country that helped elect Trump in 2016.

"We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa -- we blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there," Yang said. "The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems."

That is what voters are waiting to hear, and the sooner the better for Democrats.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Indian (subcontinent) women come from a tradition of a caste based society of wealth and privilege. The most succesful ones intuitively home in on and game American race-based identity politics in spite of their advantages, such as being one of the wealthiest religious groups in the nation,
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/11/how-income-varies-among-u-s-religious-groups/

No Bernie style economic class based socialism for them, no way. It's maintain privilege, Silicon Valley corporate caste based salaries, Republican reductionism, Hillary hopium and yet, they proudly proclaim their affiliation with real women of color, on whose backs they surf, like last generation's black cleaning women, the grandparents of which might have actually been slaves.
3 examples: Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, Neera Tanden and Kamala Harris.

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:49 am

Women-of-color in general are not a privileged class. The not-very-poor women of color are perhaps a newly privileged class.

The Goldman Sachs women-of-color have become a new privileged class, in line with the tenets of Goldman Sachs Feminism. " The arc of history is long, and it bends towards rainbow gender-fluid oligarchy."

[Dec 14, 2019] As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top one percent

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Tomonthebeach , December 13, 2019 at 5:10 pm

As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top 1%. After all, they were the architects. Most Americans appreciate that. Nevertheless, the vast majority willingly wade into its rigged quicksand. All economies are rigged in the sense that there is a structure to it all. Moreover, the architects of that system will ensure there is something in it for themselves – rigged. Our school system does not instruct Americans on how their own economic system works (is rigged), so most of us become its victims rather than its beneficiaries.

Books by Liz Warren and her daughter offer remedial guidance on how to make the current US economic system work for the average household. So, in a sense, Liz comes across as an adherent to the system she is trying to help others master .

This seems to be a losing proposition for candidate Warren because most Americans want a new system with new rigging; not a repaired system that has been screwing them for generations.

[Dec 13, 2019] A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

SolentBound , 10 Dec 2019 15:05

A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard. Details:

New York Times, "Liberal Veterans' Group Endorses Pete Buttigieg in 2020 Race": https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-votevets-endorsement.html

[Dec 13, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital by Henry Farrell

Notable quotes:
"... Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. ..."
"... Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens. ..."
"... The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. ..."
"... A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy. ..."
"... Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them. ..."
"... Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them. ..."
"... Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com

Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital. Her enemies on the right claim that she is a socialist , but Warren describes herself as "capitalist to my bones."

Warren's politics are so confusing because we have forgotten that a pro-capitalist left is even possible. For a long time, political debate in the United States has been a fight between conservatives and libertarians on the right, who favored the market, and socialists and liberals on the left, who favored the government.

It has been clear since 2016 that the traditional coalition of the right was breaking up. Conservatives such as U.S. President Donald Trump are no fans of open trade and free markets, and even favor social protections so long as they benefit their white supporters. Now, the left is changing too.

Warren is reviving a pro-market left that has been neglected for decades, by drawing on a surprising resource: public choice economics. This economic theory is reviled by many on the left, who have claimed that it is a Koch-funded intellectual conspiracy designed to destroy democracy. Yet there is a left version of public choice economics too, associated with thinkers such as the late Mancur Olson. Like Olson, Warren is not a socialist but a left-wing capitalist, who wants to use public choice ideas to cleanse both markets and the state of their corruption.

Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. Public choice came into being in fervent opposition to the mainstream of economics, which was dominated by scholars such as Paul Samuelson.

Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens.

Perhaps the most influential version of public choice was known as law and economics. For decades, conservative foundations supported seminars that taught judges and legal academics the principles of public choice economics. Attendees were taught that harsh sentences would deter future crime, that government regulation should be treated with profound skepticism, and that antitrust enforcement had worse consequences than the monopolies it was supposed to correct. As statistical research by Elliott Ash, Daniel L. Chen, and Suresh Naidu has shown , these seminars played a crucial role in shifting American courts to the right.

Warren was one of the young legal academics who attended these seminars , and was largely convinced by the arguments. Her early work on bankruptcy law started from public choice principles, and displayed a deep skepticism of intervention.

The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. Her work as an academic was aimed at combating special interests, showing how the financial industry had shaped bankruptcy reforms so that they boosted lenders' profits at borrowers' expense. Notably, she applied public choice theory to explain some aspects of public choice, showing how financial interests had funded scholarly centers which provided a patina of genteel respectability to industry's preferred positions.

Now, Warren wants to to wash away the filth that has built up over decades to clog the workings of American capitalism. Financial rules that have been designed by lobbyists need to be torn up. Vast inequalities of wealth, which provide the rich with disproportionate political and economic power, need to be reversed. Intellectual property rules, which make it so that farmers no longer really own the seeds they sow or the machinery they use to plant them, need to be abolished. For Warren, the problem with modern American capitalism is that it is not nearly capitalist enough. It has been captured by special interests, which are strangling competition.

It is hard to see how deeply Warren's program is rooted in public choice ideas, because public choice has come to be the target of left-wing conspiracy theories. A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy.

For sure, the mainstream of public choice is strongly libertarian, and the development of the approach was funded by conservative individuals and foundations. What left-wing paranoia overlooks is that there has always been a significant left-wing current of public choice, and even a potent left-wing radicalism buried deep within public choice waiting to be uncovered. The free-market ideal is a situation in which no actor has economic power over any other. As many of Warren's proposals demonstrate, trying to achieve this ideal can animate a radical program for reform.

Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them.

However, Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them.

The result, according to Olson, was that societies, economies, and political systems became increasingly encrusted with special-interest politics as the decades passed. Countries benefited economically from great upheavals such as wars and social revolutions, which tore interest groups from their privileged perches and sent them tumbling into the abyss.

Olson wanted to open up both politics and the economy to greater competition, equalizing power relations as much as possible between the many and the few. He argued that under some circumstances, powerful trade unions could benefit the economy. When unions and business groups were sufficiently big that they represented a substantial percentage of workers or business as a whole, they would be less likely to seek special benefits at the expense of the many, and more likely to prioritize the good of the whole. Olson also believed strongly in the benefits of open trade, not just because it led to standard economic efficiencies, but because it made it harder for interest groups to capture government and markets. Northern European economies such as Denmark, which combine powerful trade unions with a strong commitment to free markets, represent Olsonian politics in action.


Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests.

As economists such as Dani Rodrik and political scientists such as Susan Sell have shown, this hasn't quite worked out as Olson expected. Free trade agreements have become a magnet for special interest groups, who want to cement their preferences in international agreements that are incredibly hard to reverse. The U.S. "fast track" approach to trade negotiations makes it harder for Congress to demand change, but allows industry lobbyists to shape the administration's negotiating stance. Investor-state dispute resolution mechanisms provide business with a friendly forum where they can target government rules that hurt their economic interests. All of this helps explain why Warren is skeptical of arguments for the general benefits of free-trade agreements: they aren't nearly so general as economists claim.

Close attention to Warren's public choice influences reveals both her radicalism and its limits. Like Olson, she is committed to the notion that making capitalism work for citizens will require changes that border on the revolutionary. The sweeping proposals she makes for changes to America's gross economic inequality, its economic relations with the rest of the world, its approach to antitrust legislation, and its tolerance of sleazy relationships among politicians, regulators, and industry are all aimed at creating a major upheaval. Where she proposes major state action, as in her "Medicare for All" plans, it is to supplant market institutions that aren't working, and are so embedded in interest group power dynamics that they are incapable of reform.

Yet this is a distinctly capitalist variety of radicalism. Socialists will inevitably be disappointed in the limits to her arguments. Warren's ideal is markets that work as they should, in contrast to the socialist belief that some forms of power are inherent within markets themselves. Not only Marxists, but economists such as Thomas Piketty, have suggested that the market system is rigged in ways that will inevitably favor capital over the long run. The fixes that Warren proposes will at most dampen down these tendencies rather than remove them.

If Warren wins, she will not only disappoint socialists. Her proposals may end up being too radical for Congress, but not nearly radical enough to tackle challenges such as climate change, which will require a rapid and dramatic transformation of the global economy if catastrophe is to be averted. Libertarians and mainstream public choice scholars will attack her from a different vantage point, arguing that she is both too skeptical about existing market structures and too trusting of the machineries of the state that she hopes to use to remedy them. State efforts to reform markets can easily turn into protectionism.

What Warren offers, then, is neither a socialist or deep green alternative to capitalism, nor a public choice justification for why regulators ought to leave it alone. The bet she is making is that capitalism can solve the major problems that the United States faces, so long as the government tackles inequality and defangs the special interests that have parasitized the political and economic systems. Like all such bets, it is a risky one, but one that might transform the U.S. model of capitalism if it succeeds.

Henry Farrell is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.

[Dec 09, 2019] Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States." ..."
"... Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza." ..."
"... J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding. ..."
"... Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. ..."
"... The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT

The Jews try to run US policy ..but lately the Dem base (and part of the party) has become more pro Palestine.

Democratic (Jewish) lawmakers reckon with 2020 rhetoric on Israel aid

December 6, 2019

Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

It's becoming harder and harder for pro-Israel Democrats on Capitol Hill to ignore the increasingly critical voices of the US ally within their party and the presidential race.

House Democratic leaders -- who happen to be some of the staunchest Israel supporters on Capitol Hill -- this week added language supportive of the annual $3.8 billion military aid package to Israel to a symbolic resolution that endorses a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The stalled resolution passed 226-188, largely along party lines, today. But pro-Israel Democrats only came on board after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., added their new language to the bill. The new provision is a response to the fact that several presidential candidates have come out of the woodwork in recent months with calls to place conditions on the largest recipient of US military aid.

"I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States."

When Engel's committee first advanced the resolution in July, Democratic leaders opted not to put it on the floor, even as they passed another nonbinding resolution condemning the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement 398-17, which was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

That changed last month after the Trump administration repealed a decades-old legal opinion maintaining that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

"There are those on the far-left side of the Democratic Party -- and some of the presidential candidates -- who are pushing for new conditions on aid, especially in their interactions with Gaza, which is run by Hamas -- a terrorist organization," Gottheimer told Al-Monitor.

An October poll from the liberal Center for American Progress found that 56% of American voters, including 71% of Democrats, oppose "unconditional financial and military assistance to Israel if the Israeli government continues to violate American policy on settlement expansion or West Bank annexation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza."

J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding.

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have jumped on board with J Street's position. However, the current front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has flatly ruled out conditioning the aid.

Notably, J Street did not oppose the effort to amend the Lowenthal resolution with the military aid language. That said, progressive Democrats do not necessarily view that provision as incompatible with calls to attach strings to that assistance. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., called the Engel language "meaningless."

"It's just restating what current practice or current law is," Pocan told Al-Monitor. "We don't really see it as affecting the bill one way or the other. At any time if we feel like we're better off putting conditions on money and holding back money, Congress could always do that with any country through the normal process."

Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/12/democratic-lawmakers-2020-rhetoric-israel-aid.html#ixzz67UEIl383

[Dec 07, 2019] Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 05, 2019 at 04:53 AM

Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?
Democrats Say Yes https://nyti.ms/2RlDbJx
NYT - Jim Tankersley - December 5

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren is leading a liberal rebellion against a long-held economic view that large tax increases slow economic growth, trying to upend Democratic policymaking in the way supply-side conservatives changed Republican orthodoxy four decades ago.

(Warren Would Take Billionaires Down
a Few Billion Pegs https://nyti.ms/2CtMPRN
NYT - November 10)

Generations of economists, across much of the ideological spectrum, have long held that higher taxes reduce investment, slowing economic growth. That drag, the consensus held, would offset the benefits to growth from increased government spending in areas like education.

Ms. Warren and other leading Democrats say the opposite. The senator from Massachusetts, who is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, contends that her plans to tax the rich and spend the revenue to lift the poor and the middle class would accelerate economic growth, not impede it. Other Democratic candidates are making similar claims about their tax-and-spend proposals. Some liberal economists go further and say that simply taxing the rich would help growth no matter what the government did with the money.

Democrats in the past, including the party's 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, have argued that a more modest combination of tax increases and spending programs would expand the economy. But no Democratic nominee before Ms. Warren had ever proposed so many new taxes and spending programs, and leaned so heavily into the argument that they would be, in economist parlance, pro-growth.

That argument tries to reframe a classic debate about the economic "pie" in the United States by suggesting there is no trade-off between increasing the size of the pie and dividing the slices more equitably among all Americans.

Ms. Warren has proposed nearly $3 trillion a year in new taxes on businesses and high-earners, largely focused on billionaires but sometimes hitting Americans who earn $250,000 and above per year. The taxes would fund wide-reaching new government spending on health care, education, and family benefits like universal child care and paid parental leave.

Last month, Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter that education, child care and student loan relief programs funded by her tax on wealthy Americans would "grow the economy." In a separate post, she said student debt relief would "supercharge" growth.

The last batch of economists to disrupt a political party's consensus position were conservative -- the so-called supply-siders who built influence in the late 1970s and gained power in the Reagan administration. Previous Republican presidents had focused on keeping the budget deficit low, which constrained their ability to cut taxes if they did not also cut government spending. Supply-siders contended that well-targeted tax cuts could generate big economic growth even without spending cuts. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , December 05, 2019 at 04:57 AM
Ms. Warren is making the case that the economy could benefit if money is redistributed from the rich and corporations to uses that she and other liberals say would be more productive. Their argument combines hard data showing that high levels of inequality and wealth concentration weigh down economic growth with a belief that well-targeted government spending can encourage more Americans to work, invest and build skills that would make them more productive.

They also cite evidence that transferring money to poor and middle-class individuals would increase consumer spending because they spend a larger share of their incomes than wealthy Americans, who tend to save and invest.

"The economy has changed, our understanding of it has changed, and we understand the constricting effects of inequality" on growth, said Heather Boushey, the president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank focused on inequality.

Inequality has widened significantly in America over the last several decades. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans more than tripled from 1979 to 2016, before taxes and government transfer payments are taken into account. For the middle class, incomes grew 33 percent. More than a decade after the recession, wage growth for the middle class continues to run well behind previous times of economic expansion, like the late 1990s.

Research by the economist Emmanuel Saez and colleagues shows that the last time such a small sliver of Americans controlled such a large share of the nation's income and wealth was in the late 1920s, just before a stock market crash set off the Great Depression. World Bank researchers have warned that high levels of inequality are stifling growth in South Africa, which has the globe's worst measured inequality.

"We have an economy that isn't delivering like it used to," said Ms. Boushey, who advised Hillary Clinton's 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. "That's leading people to say let's re-examine the evidence."

The contention that tax and spending increases can lift economic growth is not the only challenge to traditional orthodoxy brewing in liberal economic circles. Some Democrats have also embraced modern monetary theory, which reframes classic thinking that discourages large budget deficits as a drag on growth. Its supporters, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the economist Stephanie Kelton, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, argue that the United States government should be spending much more on programs to fight inequality, like a federal job guarantee, without imposing new taxes.

Some of the inequality-focused economists say they are hoping to build new economic models to predict the effects of their policies, though they acknowledge few of those models exist yet. Instead, they rely on evidence about the likely effects of individual programs, added together.

Many economists who study tax policy contend that Ms. Warren's plans -- and other large tax-and-spend proposals from Democratic candidates this year -- would hurt the economy, just as classic economic models suggest.

"Some elements of the large increase in government spending on health and education proposed by Senator Warren would promote economic growth" through channels like improved education, said Alan Auerbach, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written some of the most influential research in the profession on the relationship between tax rates and growth.

But, he said, "I am very skeptical that these growth effects would offset the negative effects on growth of the higher taxes, particularly given that the spending increases are not specifically targeted toward enhancing growth."

Ms. Warren disagrees. In the latest Democratic debate, she said the spending programs funded by her wealth tax would be "transformative" for workers. Those plans would raise wages, make college tuition-free and relieve graduates of student debt, she said, adding, "We can invest in an entire generation's future."

An emerging group of liberal economists say taxes on high-earners could spur growth even if the government did nothing with the revenue because the concentration of income and wealth is dampening consumer spending.

"We are experiencing a revolution right now in macroeconomics, particularly in the policy space," said Mark Paul, an economist who is a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute in Washington. "We can think of a wealth tax as welfare-enhancing, in and of itself, simply by constraining the power of the very wealthy" to influence public policy and distort markets to their advantage.

Taken together, Ms. Warren's proposals would transform the role of federal taxation. If every tax increase she has proposed in the campaign passed and raised as much revenue as her advisers predict -- a contingency hotly debated among even liberal economists -- total federal tax revenue would grow more than 50 percent.

The United States would leap from one of the lowest-taxed rich nations to one of the highest. It would collect more taxes as a share of the economy than Norway, and only slightly less than Italy.

Mr. Sanders's plan envisions a similarly large increase in tax levels. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s proposals are much smaller in scale: He would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations by $3.4 trillion over a decade, in order to fund increased spending on health care, higher education, infrastructure and carbon emissions reduction.

If Ms. Warren's tax program is enacted, said Gabriel Zucman, an economist at Berkeley who is an architect of her wealth tax proposal, "in my view, the most likely effect is a small positive effect on growth, depending on how the revenues are used."

Another economist who has worked with the Warren campaign to analyze its proposals, Mark Zandi of Moody's, said he would expect her plans to be "largely a wash on long-term economic growth."

Researchers at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College projected this summer that Ms. Warren's wealth tax and spending policies would generate a 1.7 percent increase in the size of the economy. A preliminary study of a wealth tax like Ms. Warren's proposal, by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, found that it would reduce the size of the economy by a similar 1.7 percent. The model uses the sort of classic methodology that liberals are now rebelling against and did not evaluate Ms. Warren's spending proposals.

Historical experience offers few parallels for assessing the economic effects of a taxation-and-spending program on the scale of Ms. Warren's ambitions. A 2002 study of wealth taxes in rich countries found that those taxes, most of which have since been abandoned, reduced economic growth slightly on an annual basis.

Conservative economists roundly disagree that large tax increases can spur faster growth, even those who say government spending on paid leave and child care may get more Americans into the labor force. They say a wealth tax on the scale of Ms. Warren's proposal would greatly reduce savings and investment by the rich.

"What a wealth tax does is, it directly taxes savings," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who favors a narrow paid leave program and whose research finds benefits from reducing tax rates on business and investment. "If you're taxing savings, you're implicitly taxing investment. So how can that possibly be pro-growth?"

The supply-side economists' plans were similarly denounced -- George Bush called them "voodoo economic policies" while running for president in 1980 -- but in time dominated Republican proposals.

Some members of the new liberal revolt against tax orthodoxy welcome the comparison to the supply-side uprising.

"While I think that the supply-siders were wrong, and were always wrong, they were reacting to very real economic problems in the 1970s," said Michael Linden, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a liberal policy and advocacy group. "There was something really wrong with the economy at the time. I think there is now."

[Dec 06, 2019] Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Said it before and I'll say it again, Warren's personal ambition is often what manifests her poor political instincts. Why did she claim Native American Heritage? Why did she endorse HRC in 2016? Why did she ambiguously support, then unambiguously back away from, M4A?

This trend leads me to suspect that she will not easily back out of the race, and cannot be trusted finally to endorse Sanders in 2020 any more than she could be in 2016. I suspect, in any case, that many of her voters would not default to Sanders but to Buttigieg in any case. They seem to be mostly white professionals between 30-60yrs old who make $120,000/year.

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Wow, Sanders has really been pulling ahead of Warren if the polls over the past few days are to be believed. I am hoping that this trend continues. Warren's overly-complicated healthcare proposal which she decided to backpedal on at the last moment seems like it has really cost her.

I kind of wonder at this point why Warren decided to run for president in the first place. She seems like the type of person who would rather follow than lead, and would be ill-suited to be president as she would be forced to take a position on something. Warren would have been better served to be clear about what her actual positions are instead of trying to have it both ways. Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

> angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

Samuel Conner , December 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Or, as Abraham Lincoln put it in a letter to "Mr FJ Hooker" as he was contemplating a push across the Rappahannock in the wake of Lee's move westward in June 1863,

"like a bull stuck across a fence that cannot gore to the front or kick to the rear"

I think it was you, Lambert, who drew my attention to "Rich and Tracey's Civil War podcast", and I am grateful.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Isn't it great? I just listened to that episode!

Trent , December 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Love the podcast because we need more stuff like that, but Rich could use a shot of charisma ;)

flora , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

See Jim Hightower's definition of the political middle of the road.
https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Middle-Stripes-Armadillos/dp/0060929499

Arizona Slim , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

And there is nothing, I do mean nothing , that stinks worse than a dead armadillo.

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

[Dec 03, 2019] Despite Pelosi gambit with Ukrtaiongate, chances of Dems to beat Trump did not improve. Warren slide is very dangerous for neoliberal Dems as she along with Sanders and Tulsi can be sold to Dem voters and independents as the "change we can believe in"

Clinton curse sill is hanging over Democratic Party candidates like Damocles sword. 25 year of betrayal of their core constituency and their alliance with Wall Street has consequences, which they now feel. Obama now is openly despised by Democratic voters as the person who betrayed his electorate and then enriched himself in classing "revolving door" corruption scheme. The phrase "change is can believe in" became a curse. Bill Clinton is mired in Epstein scandal. You can't get worse cheerleaders for the party and it does not have anybody else.
Notable quotes:
"... Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren ..."
"... Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. ..."
Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While there are still 15 candidates running for the Democratic nomination (after the withdrawal of Kamala Harris earlier today), only four are polling in double digits, with most either at 1% or 0%. But Obama said whoever gets the nod should get the vote.

"There will be differences" between the candidates, Obama said, "but I want us to make sure that we keep in mind that, relative to the ultimate goal, which is to defeat a president and a party that has taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country," those differences are "relatively minor."

"The field will narrow and there's going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with and you don't find them completely inspiring the way you'd like, I don't care," he said. "Because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high that you cannot afford to be ambivalent in this race."

Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren , according to recode.

Obama may have his job cut out for him: with many Democratic voters confused or merely bored silly by the current roster of candidates, two newcomers, Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entered the race adding further to the confusion. Last month, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, drew fewer than 100 people to a South Carolina "Environmental Justice" forum. And she's a frontrunner!

Meanwhile, Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. And while for Republicans the number is 65%, "this differed from the typical pattern Gallup has seen over the years, whereby those who identify with the political party of the incumbent president have been less enthusiastic about voting than members of the opposing party," Gallup wrote.

Ironically, Obama isn't alone in saying Democrats need to hold their nose when they vote for the eventual nominee. Joe Biden's wife, Jill, said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters "maybe you have to swallow a little bit" and vote for him anyway.

"Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care, than Joe is," Jill Biden said on MSNBC, "but you've got to look at who's going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'OK, I personally like so-and-so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, she repeated the point. "I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who's going to win this race. So I think if your goal -- I know my goal -- is to beat Donald Trump, we have to have someone who can beat him," she said.

[Dec 01, 2019] A Question for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Any Democrat Running for President What s Your Foreign Policy The National In

Notable quotes:
"... "The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program." ..."
"... What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few). ..."
"... Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans. ..."
Dec 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

This is still a race for a party nomination, and it is well known how political battles at this stage typically focus narrowly on what are perceived to be the parochial concerns of the party's base and take on a different character in the general election. But positions taken now can impose constraints later on. Moreover, Democratic primary voters ought to be learning about what difference the various contenders would make in executing the powers of the presidency, not just in who has the most attractive ideas about policies that cannot be imposed by fiat.

Foreign policy is where more attention and debate are most required, and not just because foreign policy nearly always gets inadequate attention in political campaigns. It also is where a president has the most power to make a difference even without getting Congress to go along with the president's program. This fact is reflected in how many presidents late in their presidencies, especially in second terms, have turned more of their attention to foreign relations as an area where they can make a difference after experiencing frustration in trying to get their domestic programs through Congress.

Many issues in foreign policy could profitably be discussed more than they are now, but priority should be given to those subjects on which Trump has caused the most damage. Candidates should explain how they intend to repair that damage, not just what their policies would be if they somehow could be written on a clean slate. The slate on which the next administration's foreign policy will be written starts out very dirty. Coming after Trump will be a major, task-defining fact about the next administration's foreign policy challenges.

The heavy damage to U.S. relations with the European allies represents another especially dirty part of the slate that the next administration will have to tend to. Brexit will be an added complication in addressing this problem and in a sense is another part of Trump's legacy given the way he has cheered on the Brexiteers, contrary to U.S. interests.

Issues examined by the current impeachment proceeding represent more damage-repair needs. Ukraine is a large and important country and constructing a U.S. policy that adequately reflects Ukraine's delicate situation between East and West would be a challenge in any event. Now it has been made more difficult by Trump and Rudy Giuliani's setting back of Ukraine's efforts to stamp out corruption and subordinating an aid relationship to dirt-digging for domestic political reasons. What are the Democratic candidates' specific ideas for repairing this damage, and for fitting the repairs into a sensible policy toward not just Ukraine but also Russia?

To emphasize these foreign policy challenges is not to diminish the amount of Trump-inflicted damage that extends to domestic matters as well, and the need for the next administration to repair that damage as well. Perhaps the greatest over-arching damage, spanning both the domestic and foreign sides, is that the nation seems to have become inured to wrongdoing because of the sheer volume of it, with attention to each offense quickly fading as it is succeeded by a new offense or attention-hogging presidential outburst. What will the next president do to restore a sense of national outrage over wrongdoing whenever it occurs, be it blatant self-dealing, corruption of U.S. foreign relations, or something else?

Such problems may not have as much resonance in Iowa caucuses as the cost of health care, but they have a lot more to do with who will make the best president.

Paul R. Pillar is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest, where he writes a blog .


MaskOfZero 5 days ago • edited ,

"The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program."

What a load of hooey this article is. U.S. credibility with whom? Failed Merkel? Failed Macron?...

Emidio Borg 11 days ago • edited ,

It is our weapons manufacturers who bankroll our political establishment, consequently our foreign policy is whatever they say it is.

The Mugged Liberal 13 days ago ,

Failure of the past three years but no mention of the failures of Obama? Sending an aging hippie James Taylor to console islamic terrorist victims in Paris apparently counts as a major foreign policy success and that mean Trump refuses to perpetuate. And then there's the cross the red line in Syria and we'll do nothing.

Or maybe ship weapons secretly to Islamic terrorists calling them freedom fighters and surprise surprise, the weapons from Obama are used to murder American diplomats in Benghazi. Then cover that up by blaming it on a video from a guy in Los Angeles and sending out a team to blatantly lie about the event.

Now there's real foreign policy you can depend on - from the Democrats.

And of course from Paul Pillar.

Carl Braun 18 days ago ,

What's Your Foreign Policy?
A. Orange man bad.
Need more taxes for my apology diplomacy.
More pallets of cash for the mullahs

Airbrush2020 Me 18 days ago • edited ,

What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few).

Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans.

[Dec 01, 2019] Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

https://truthout.org/articles/warrens-new-proposal-for-prescription-drugs-is-flying-under-the-radar/

November 25, 2019

Warren's New Proposal for Prescription Drugs Is Flying Under the Radar
By Dean Baker

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

These measures would be enormous steps toward Medicare for All, bringing tens of millions of people into the program, including most of those (people over age 50) with serious medical issues. It would certainly be more than halfway to a universal Medicare program.

While these measures captured most of the attention given to Warren's transition plan, another part of the plan is probably at least as important. Warren proposed to use the government's authority to compel the licensing of drug patents so that multiple companies can produce a patented drug.

The government can do this both because it has general authority to compel licensing of patents (with reasonable compensation) and because it has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research. The overwhelming majority of drugs required some amount of government-supported research in their development.

These measures are noteworthy because they can be done on the president's own authority. While the pharmaceutical industry will surely contest a president's use of the government's authority to weaken their patent rights, those actions would not require congressional approval.

The other reason that these steps would be so important is that there is a huge amount of money involved. The United States is projected to spend over $6.6 trillion on prescription drugs over the next decade, more than 2.5 percent of GDP.

The government has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research.

This is an enormous amount of money. We spend more than twice as much per person on drugs as people in other wealthy countries.

This is not an accident. The grant of a patent monopoly allows drug companies to charge as much as they want for drugs that are necessary for people's health or even their life.

While other countries also grant patent monopolies, they limit the ability of drug companies to exploit these monopolies with negotiations or price controls. This is why prices in these countries are so much lower than in the United States.

But even these negotiated prices are far above what drug prices would be in a free market. The price of drugs in a free market, without patent monopolies or related protections, will typically be less than 10 percent of the U.S. price and in some cases, less than 1 percent.

This is because drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. They are expensive because government-granted patent monopolies make them expensive.

The rationale for patent monopolies is to give companies an incentive to research and develop drugs. This process is expensive, and if newly developed drugs were sold in a free market, companies would not be able to recover these expenses.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research. This would be an important move toward an increased reliance on publicly funded biomedical research.

There are enormous advantages to publicly funded research over patent monopoly-supported research. First, the government is funding the research. It can require that all results be fully public as soon as possible so that all researchers can quickly benefit from them.

By contrast, under the patent system, drug companies have an incentive to keep results secret. They have no desire to share results that could benefit competitors.

Public funding would also radically reduce the incentive to develop copycat drugs. Under the current system, drug companies will often devote substantial sums to developing drugs that are intended to duplicate the function of drugs already on the market. While there is generally an advantage to having more options to treat a specific condition, most often, research dollars would be better spent trying to develop drugs for conditions where no effective treatment currently exists.

Ending patent monopoly pricing would also take away the incentive for drug companies to conceal evidence that their drugs may not be as safe or effective as claimed. Patent monopolies give drug companies an incentive to push their drugs as widely as possible.

The opioid crisis provides a dramatic example of the dangers of this system. Opioid manufacturers would not have had the same incentive to push their drugs, concealing evidence of their addictive properties, if they were not making huge profits on them.

In short, Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal. How far and how quickly she will be able to get to Medicare for All will depend on what she can get through Congress. But her proposal for prescription drugs is something she would be able to do if elected president, and it would make an enormous difference in both the cost and the quality of our health care.

[Nov 30, 2019] Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May Be Around the Corner by Stephen J. Sniegoski

Notable quotes:
"... However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

In November, Barack Obama, who had avoided commenting on the Democratic presidential primary, came out forcefully in opposition to the extreme positions taken by some leading progressive contenders, positions that could cause the Democrats to be beaten by Trump in the 2020 election. Obama was a very popular president among Democrats, and what he has to say carries considerable weight with them. While this may not be his intent, Obama's position could open the field for Hillary Clinton to enter the fray and quite possibly become the Democrats' nominee, given the lackluster performance of leading "moderate" Joe Biden, whose weaknesses have been brought out by the mainstream media, despite their animosity toward Trump.

Now many in the Democratic Party leadership, as well as wealthy Democratic donors, have been concerned for some time about the radical nature of some of the economic policies advocated by the leading progressive Democratic contenders. They fear that instead of the 2020 election revolving around Trump with his low approval ratings, and very likely his impeachment, which would seem to be a slam-dunk victory for Democrats, it would focus on those radical economic proposals. Many voters are skeptical about how free college for all, free health care for all, high-paying jobs in "green energy" -- after greatly reducing the use of fossil fuels, free childcare for all, just to name some of the "free" things that have been promised, would really work. Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, most of these free things would purportedly be paid for by the super-wealthy, which would exclude mere millionaires such as Bernie Sanders (estimated wealth $2 million) and Elizabeth Warren (estimated wealth $12 million) who are the leading progressive contenders.

Obama began stressing his concern about the danger of radicalism in an October speech at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. And he did this not by dealing with presidential candidates but with youth who think they can immediately change society. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised, and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama lectured. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

It was at a gathering of Democratic donors in Washington, D.C., in November that Obama cautioned Democratic candidates not to go too far to the left since that would antagonize many voters who would otherwise support the Democratic candidate. "Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality ," Obama asserted. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it." Although Obama did not specify particular Democratic candidates, his warning was widely interpreted as being directed at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to national polls, is Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate. But Biden has a number of problems. He continues to make gaffes while speaking, and during his long career in the Senate took positions that are antithetical to the Democratic Party of today. Moreover, he lacks the charisma to attract large crowds to his events. Thus, it is questionable that he has the capability to attract large numbers of Democratic voters to the polls in November 2020.

According to Politico Magazine , Obama was recently discussing election tactics with an unnamed current candidate and "pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate" and he is quoted as adding, "And you know who really doesn't have it ? Joe Biden."

Biden's appeal already seems to be waning. For example, in November, a Marquette Law School poll, which is considered the gold-standard survey in swing state Wisconsin, which the Democrats need to win the 2020 election, shows Trump leading Biden 47 percent to 44 percent. In October, Trump had trailed Biden by 6 points (44 percent to 50 percent), and in August, Trump trailed Biden by 9 points (42 percent to 51 percent). In short, Biden is losing support. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a slender margin of 0.77 percent, with 47.22 percent of the total votes over the 46.45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Another problem Biden faces is the corrupt activities of his son Hunter and brother James, who have taken advantage of their connection with him. The mainstream media has so far largely kept this mostly under wraps, but this tactic won't be successful as the election approaches. In fact, the progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders are likely to bring this up in a desperate effort to be nominated. And already these issues are being mentioned by the alternative media. For instance, there is an article in the non-partisan, anti-government Intercept titled, "Joe Biden's Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That," and comparable articles in the conservative Washington Examiner such as, "Hunter Biden-linked company r eceived $130M in special federal loans while Joe Biden was vice president," and "Hunter Biden has 99 problems , and Burisma is only one."

David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden's electability clearly influenced multi-billionaire (estimated $53 billion) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrance into the contest for the Democratic nominee for president. "There's no question that Bloomberg's calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he's getting in is a clear indication that he's not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch," Axelrod said. "So yeah, I don't think this is a positive development for Joe Biden."

Similarly, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon contended that "centrist Democrats and wealthy donors have lost confidence in Biden's ability to stop Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination." Bannon added that with Bloomberg entering the Democratic presidential race, "Biden's fundraising will get even shakier than it already is. There's only room for one moderate in this race and Bloomberg threatens Biden's status as the centrist standard-bearer."

Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy as mayor , which largely targeted blacks and Hispanics, should make it virtually impossible that he could be the Democratic nominee, despite his recent apology. Unless he has become senile in his late 70s, Bloomberg should well understand this since he did not make his billions by being stupid. It could be that he intends to serve as a stalking horse to draw Hillary Clinton into the contest by showing the weakness of Biden. Then like Superwoman, Hillary can enter the fray, appearing not to act for her own sake but to save the country from a likely second term for President Trump.

Similarly, Mark Penn, who was chief strategist for Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said Bloomberg's entrance could cause Clinton to consider to run and decide there's "still a political logic there for her."

As Biden's support slips away, Clinton's should rise. Clinton has been recently promoting a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, in Britain. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Clinton said "many, many, many people" are pressuring her to jump into the 2020 presidential race and that she thinks about this "all the time." Clinton told the host that she is under "enormous pressure" but said it is not in her plans, though she cryptically added that she would "never say never."

Dick Morris, who was once a close confidant of the Clintons during Bill Clinton's time as Arkansas governor and U.S. president recently said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton likely wants to run for the presidency in 2020. "My feeling is that she wants to ," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad."

However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren.

Morris has not been in touch with the Clintons for many years, and has become strongly critical of them, so his claim might be questionable. Nonetheless, his portrayal of Hillary's current thinking seems quite reasonable.

A Fox News poll included Clinton along with the active Democratic candidates in a hypothetical election with Trump, and Hillary came out ahead of him by two percentage points. While some actual candidates did somewhat better than Hillary, she did quite well for someone who is not currently running for office.

Furthermore, a Harris Harvard poll in late October asked the question, "Suppose Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry decides [sic] to enter the race, who would you support as a candidate for President?" Joe Biden received the support of 19 percent of Democrat respondents while Clinton was a close second with 18 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 13 percent, John Kerry was at 8 percent, and Bloomberg was at 6. Again, Clinton does quite well for someone who is not actually running for president.

One might think that if references to family members' corruption damaged Biden, then Clinton would be subject to worse damage in that area, since she and her husband Bill were connected with far more corrupt activities -- Whitewater, Travelgate, the Lewinsky affair, the Paula Jones affair, t the death of Vince Foster, the Clinton Foundation, her private server, and so on. But these issues are already known and are presumably already taken into account by the voters, whereas the Biden family's corrupt activities are so far largely unknown.

It should be pointed out that Clinton has a number of positives as a presidential candidate. Although losing in the Electoral College in 2016, Clinton had garnered 3 million more votes more than Trump. The election was decided by a total of 80,000 votes in three states. It is highly unlikely that such a fluke could be duplicated.

Clinton's staff had been overconfident assuming victory, which was based on their polling of various states, and as a result began to focus on competing in states well beyond those Clinton needed for victory.

Moreover, one key event outside the control of Clinton's staff was FBI Director James Comey's investigation of Clinton's use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Most crucial were his July 2016 public statement terminating the investigation, with a lengthy comment about what Clinton did wrong, and his October 28 reopening the inquiry into newly discovered emails and then closing it two days before the election, stating that the emails had not provided any new information. The October 28 letter, however, probably played a key role in the outcome of the election. As statistician Nate Silver maintains: "Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had 'learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton's lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.'"

[Silver's organization FiveThirtyEight had projected a much higher chance (29 percent) of Donald Trump winning the presidency than most other pollsters]

Clinton has also helped to convince many Democrats and members of the mainstream media that the 2016 election was stolen from her by Russian agents If this were really true – which is very doubtful – then Hillary should be the Democrats' candidate for 2020 since Russian intervention should not be as successful as it allegedly was in 2016.

In endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Obama stated. "I don't think that there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office." He has yet to make such an endorsement for Biden and privately, as mentioned earlier, said he is a poor choice for a nominee. He might ultimately endorse Biden, but he certainly would not renege on what he said four years ago about Clinton if she became the Democrats' standard-bearer.

Should Clinton opt to run, she would have no trouble raising money since she set a record in 2016 of $1.4 billion and wealthy donors want a moderate to be the Democratic nominee. It would seem likely that she would enter the contest if Biden has serious trouble. She would miss some state primaries since it would be too late to register in them but given the crowded field of candidates, there is a likelihood that there will be a brokered convention, that is, the convention will go past the first ballot. Since the superdelegates would be allowed to vote in all rounds after the first, they could determine the winner, which would probably mean the selection of a candidate who would be seen to have the greatest chance of winning, and that would likely be Hillary Clinton, if she has entered the fray.

I discussed the merits of Pete Buttigieg in a previous article in Unz Review, and what I write here might seem to conflict with that. However, while Buttigieg is doing quite well in the polls, he still does not get much support from blacks and Latinos, which is essential to become the Democrats nominee for president. Buttigieg could, however, be nominated for vice president or, more likely, given an important cabinet position since the vice-presidential slot would probably be reserved for a black or Latino if a white person were picked as the presidential nominee, which currently seems likely.

But because of Buttigieg's relatively hardline foreign policy , which largely meshes with that of Clinton's, and his wide knowledge and language ability, Buttigieg would fit well in the all-important position of secretary of state in a Clinton administration. Moreover, Buttigieg, whose tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will end in January 2020, would almost certainly be willing to take such a position, which could serve as a jumping-off point for the presidency in the future.

[Nov 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Trump s Economic War on Venezuela, Soft-Pedals Far-Right Bolivia Coup by Ben Norton

Notable quotes:
"... Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. ..."
"... I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine. ..."
"... I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption. ..."
"... She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique. ..."
"... This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them. ..."
"... The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.) ..."
"... That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs. ..."
"... if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever. ..."
"... Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected? ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

59 Comments

The Democratic contender parroted neocon regime-change myths in an interview on "Pod Save America," writes Ben Norton.

The Grayzone

... ... ...

Reiterates Her Neoconservative Policies Against Venezuela

Elizabeth Warren repeated her support for regime change in Venezuela in an interview in September with the Council on Foreign Relations , a central gear in the machinery of the military-industrial complex. "Maduro is a dictator and a crook who has wrecked his country's economy, dismantled its democratic institutions, and profited while his people suffer," Warren declared. She referred to Maduro's elected government as a "regime" and called for "supporting regional efforts to negotiate a political transition." Echoing the rhetoric of neoconservatives in Washington, Warren called for "contain[ing]" the supposedly "damaging and destabilizing actions" of China, Russia, and Cuba. The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela."

Soft-Pedals Far-Right Coup in Bolivia

While Warren endorsed Trump's hybrid war on Venezuela, she more recently whitewashed the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia.

On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales , a leftist from the popular Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and the first Indigenous head of state in a country where nearly two-thirds of the population is Native.

Warren refused to comment on the putsch for more than a week, even as the far-right military junta massacred dozens of protesters and systematically purged and detained elected left-wing politicians from MAS.

Finally, eight days after the coup, Warren broke her silence. In a short tweet, the putative progressive presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections" and calling on the "interim leadership" to prepare an "early, legitimate election." What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez. Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum.

Añez's ally in this coup regime's interim leadership is Luis Fernando Camacho , a multi-millionaire who emerged out of neo-fascist groups and courted support from the United States and the far-right governments of Brazil and Colombia. By granting legitimacy to Bolilvia's ultra-conservative, unelected leadership, Warren rubber-stamped the far-right coup and the military junta's attempt to stamp out Bolivia's progressive democracy. In other words, as The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal put it, Liz's Big Structural Bailey compliantly rolled over for Big IMF Structural Adjustment Program .

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone , and the producer of the " Moderate Rebels " podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article is from The Grayzone .


Skip Scott , November 23, 2019 at 07:57

H Beazley-

A vote for evil is never a good choice, and choosing a candidate you perceive as a lesser evil still condones evil. Allowing the Oligarchy to limit your choice gives them the power to continue advancing evil policies. They control both major parties. You may succeed in getting non-gender specific restrooms in your Starbucks, but the murdering war machine will continue unabated.

JoAnn , November 23, 2019 at 01:41

Now, we are seeing the true colors of candidates, who have professed to be progressive. Sanders went on a "tirade" against Maduro during the last "debate" I saw. Tulsi Gabbard has stayed against US Imperialism, but, I'm sure the Democratic policy controllers will never nominate her. I foresee I'll be voting for the Socialist next year.

Raymond M. , November 22, 2019 at 18:09

""""On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales bla blla bla".

And the 3 right wing candidates spent more time slinging mud at at each other than at Morales. Had the CIAs top front man Ortez stepped aside, the vote would not have split and allowed Morales to claim a first round victory and avoid a run-off that he would have lost. And the right wing Christian fundamentalist for sure was a CIA plant who manged to split the vote further.

Under the Trump administration, the CIA can even run a coup right.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 15:25

If only those anti-Western rulers seen the light and joined RBWO (rule* based world order, * rules decided in DC, preferably by bipartisan consensus), then the economy would run smoothly and the population would be happy. Every week gives another example:

By The Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2019, BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America's wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation's recent history. [ ] Police estimated 207,000 people took part. [ ] government deployed 170,000 officers, closed border crossings and deported 24 Venezuelans accused of entering the country to instigate unrest.

So if only Iván did not start unnecessary conflict with Maduro, these 24 scoundrels would stay home and the trouble would be avoided. Oh wait, I got confused

CitizenOne , November 21, 2019 at 22:10

You must imagine that when candidtes suddenly become mind control puppets what is going on. The scariest thing in American Politics is how supposedly independent and liberal progressives somehow swallow the red pill and are transported into the world of make believe. Once inside the bubble of fiction far removed from human suffering which is after all what politicians are supposed to be about fixing they can say crazy things. Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump are the only souls to retain their independent (yet opposite) minds and both of them got the boot for being different.

Hide Behind , November 21, 2019 at 20:44

The puppet masters are experts, on the one hand there is A Republican, and on the other is a Democrat, but even they mess up now and then get the different strings tangled. Some come back on stage on the different hand so to save time they give a puppet two faces.

Watching same puppets gets old so every so often 2-4-6 they restring an old one that was used as props in past, change their makeup a bit to give them new faces. We do not actually elect the puppet, we instead legitimize the Puppeteers who own' s the only stage in town.

Those who choreograph the movements and change the backgrouds, media outlets and permanent bureaucrats know the plays before they are introduced, and they know best how to get adults to leave reality behind and bring back their childhood fantacies. Days of sugar plums, candy canes, socks filled with goodies and not coal, tooth fairys, and kind generous Fairy God Mothers.

Toy Nutcracker soldiers that turn into Angelic heros, Yellow brick roads, Bunnies with pocket watches, and and magic shoes of red, or of glass in hand of handsome Princes and beautiful Princesses, all available if we vote. So who votes, only those who control the voting puppets know that reality does not exist, they twitch we react, and at end of voting counts one of hand's puppets will slump and cry, while others will leap and dance in joy, only for all to end up in one pile until the puppeteers need them for next act.

Frederike , November 21, 2019 at 17:30

"What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez.

Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum."

Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. Everything she agreed to in the interview listed above is pathetic. I had no idea that she is such a worthless individual.

arggo , November 22, 2019 at 19:57

"neocon" explains this. She seems to have the support of very foundational structures that enabled Hillary Clinton Democrats to attack and destroy Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:40

Warren has not lost my vote for the simple reason she never had it in the first place. None of this, sickening as it is, comes as any surprise. Warren is an unapologetic capitalist. She's like Robert Reich in that regard. They both believe capitalism–if reformed, tweaked a bit here and there–can work. To give her credit, she's always been very honest about that. And of course our doctrine of regime change is all in the service of capitalism. Unless I'm simply confused and mistaken.

Sherwood Forrest , November 22, 2019 at 09:38

Yes, Capitalist First! That makes it so difficult for any aware person to believe she sincerely supports a wealth tax, Universal Healthcare, Green New Deal, College loan forgiveness, family leave or anything else the 1% oppose. Because promising like Santa is part of Capitalist politics, and then saying," Nah, we can't afford it."

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:08

I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine.

So Warren's imperialist positions are evil and unnecessary to preserve capitalism, how that projects at her as a person it is hard to tell. A Polish poet has those words spoken by a character in his drama "On that, I know only what I heard, but I am afraid to investigate because it poisons my mind about " (Znam to tylko z opowiada?, ale strzeg? si? tych bada?, bo mi truj? my?l o ) As typical of hearsay, her concept of events in Venezuela, Bolivia etc. is quite garbled, she has no time (but perhaps some fear) to investigate herself (easy in the era of internet). A serious politician has to think a lot about electability (and less about the folks under the steam roller of the Empire), so she has to "pick her fights".

It is rather clear that American do not care if people south of the border are governed democratically or competently, which led Hillary Clinton to make this emphatic statement in a debate with Trump "You will not see me singing praises of dictators or strongmen who do not love America". One can deconstruct it "if you do not love America you are a strongman or worse, but if you love America, we will be nice to you". I would love to have the original and deconstructed statement polled, but Warren is not the only one afraid of such investigations. So "electability" connection to green light to Bolivian fascist and red light to Bolivarians of Venezuela is a bit indirect. Part of it is funding, part, bad press.

brett , November 21, 2019 at 15:15

I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption.

She is a fraud and a liar. One trained in psychology can see, in her every movement and utterance, the operation that is going on behind the facade. Everything Warren says is a lie to someone. She only states truth in order to later dis-inform. Classic deception. She (her billionaires) has latched on to the populism of the DSA etc. in order to sabotage any progressive momentum and drive a stake in it.

Rob Roy , November 22, 2019 at 00:40

She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:13

This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 14:53

The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.)

That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs.

Absolutely nothing in Warren's background supports her new calculatedly progressive primary persona. She was a Reagan Republican. When the Republican Party moved right to become the party of batshit crazy and the Democratic Party shifted right to become the party of Reagan Republicans, she became a Democrat. She's not a good actress, and it takes willing suspension of disbelief to buy into her performance as a savvier, wonkier alternative to Bernie. And when she's pressed for details (Medicare for All) and responses to crises (Venezuela and Bolivia), the cracks in her progressive façade become patently obvious. She's a sleeper agent for Democratic-leaning plutocrats, like Obama was in 2008, and she would never get my vote.

PS: Impressed by Warren's progressive wealth-tax plan? Don't be. Our country's billionaires know she won't fight for it, and that if she did, Congress would never pass it. (They know who owns Congress.) Besides, do you really think Pocahontas would beat Trump? Do you think Sleepy Joe would? The billionaires wouldn't bet on it. And they're fine with that. Sure, they'd like someone who's more thoroughly corporatist on trade and more committed to hot régime-change wars than Trump is, but they can live just fine with low-tax, low-regulation Trump. It's the prospect of a Bernie presidency that keeps them up at night and their proxies in the Democratic Party and allied media are doing everything they can to neutralize that threat.

mbob , November 21, 2019 at 18:13

@Peter

Thanks for this beautiful post. I agree with it 100%. I've been trying to figure out why Democrats are so consistently unable to see through rhetoric and fall for what candidates pretend to be. Part of it is wishful thinking. A lot of it is, as you wrote, misplaced trust in "respectable" sources. I have no idea how to fix that: how does one engender the proper skepticism of the MSM? I haven't been able to open the eyes of any of my friends. (Fortunately my wife and daughter opened their own eyes.)

Warren is, if you look clearly, driven by her enormous ambition. She's the same as every other candidate in that regard, save Bernie.

Bernie is driven by the same outrage that we feel. We need him.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:31

In the last Israeli massacre on Gaza she was all for the IDF killing Palistinians. Americans like to look at the CCP and cry about China being a one party state. Well is the US not a one party state?= Are the views of the Democrats and Republicans not the same when it comes to slaughtering people in the third world? There is not a razor`s edge between them. Biden, Warren, Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Pense they are all war criminals, or if elected will soon become war criminals.

From someone who at the beginning showed promise and humanity, she has turned into Albright and Clinton. How f**king sad is that?

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:33

Better to see her for what she really is now then after the election if she were to win. She is disgusting in her inhumanity.

Rob , November 21, 2019 at 13:43

This Is, indeed, disturbing and disappointing. Warren seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues, so how could she be so wrong on foreign policy issues? The same principles apply in both–justice, fairness, equity, etc. That said, she is no worse than any of the other Democratic candidates in that regard, with the exceptions of Sanders and Gabbard, so if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:36

Far better to stick to your principles and write in " None of the above." believe me with this article we can easily see that Trump is no worse nor better than Warren is. They are both pretty poor excuses as human beings.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 16:04

@Rob:

If you'll allow me to fix that for you, "What Warren tactically claims to support, in the primaries, seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues ." I'm convinced Warren is an Obama 2.0 in the making. I don't think anyone can match Obama's near-180° turnabout from his 2008 primary platform and that if Warren is elected, she will try to make Wall Street a little more honest and stable, maybe advocate for a $12 minimum wage, and maybe try to shave a few thousand dollars off student-loan debts. I suppose that technically qualifies as less evil than Trump. But I fully expect her to jettison 90% of her primary platform, including a progressive tax on wealth and Medicare for All. And when you factor in her recently confirmed approval of US military and financial imperialism -- economic subversion and régime-change operations that cost tens of thousands of innocent foreign lives, and other peoples their sovereignty -- at what point does "less evil" become too evil to vote for?

John Drake , November 21, 2019 at 13:13

" presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections". Such a statement ignores the fact that Evo Morales term was not up; therefore elections are not called for. This means she supports the coup. Restoration of his position which was illegally and violently stolen from him are in order not elections until his term is up.
Her position on Venezuela is nauseating; as the article states classic neo-conservative. Maybe Robert Kagan will welcome her into their club as he did with Hillary.
Warren used to be a Republican, she has not been cured of that disease; and is showing her true colors. Maybe it's best as she is differentiating herself from Bernie. I was concerned before she started down this latest path that she would do an Obama; progressive rhetoric followed by neo-liberal-or worse- behavior once in office. Maybe she is more honest than Obama.

Guy , November 21, 2019 at 12:40

Warren can't be very informed about what democracy actually means .Democracy is not the same as capitalism . Not a US citizen but am very disappointed with her stated platform . Short of divine intervention Tulsi will never make it but Sanders for president and Tulsi as VP would do just fine to re-direct the US foreign policy and maybe ,just maybe make the US more respectable among the rest of the nations of the world.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:17

It would make a lot of sense from actuarial point of view. The chances that at least one person on the ticket would live healthily for 8 years would be very good, without Tulsi

Punkyboy , November 21, 2019 at 12:02

I was pretty sure Warren was a Hillary clone; now I'm absolutely sure of it. Another election between worse and worser. I may just stay home this time, if the world holds together that long.

Socratic Truth , November 21, 2019 at 11:42

Warren is just another puppet of the NWO.

Ma Laoshi , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

I remember years and years ago, I guess about when Lizzie first entered Congress, that she went on the standard pandering tour to the Motherland and an astute mind commented: Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected?

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 15:32

@Ma Laoshi:

Speaking of Harvard, having contemplated the abysmal track record compiled by our "best and brightest" -- in Congress, in the White House, and on the federal bench -- I am now almost as suspicious of the Ivy League as I am of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security (WHINSEC, formerly known as the School of the Americas). The mission of both is to train capable, reliable, well-compensated servants to the US plutocracy. (And the only reason I say "almost" is because a non-negligible number of black sheep have come out of the Ivy League and I'm not aware of any that have come out of WHINSEC.)

Sam F , November 23, 2019 at 18:59

Harvard admissions are apparently largely bought, and doubtless those of Yale and others. MIT was strictly militarist warmongers in the 1970s, and one compete with 80% cheaters.

Dfnslblty , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

" The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela." " Hell, one doesn't need a military option after immoral, illegal and crippling sanctions. This essay is the most disturbing piece all year-2019.

Vote anti-military – vote nonviolence. Don't give these murderers anything but exposure to humane sensibilities.

Freedomlover , November 21, 2019 at 17:43

I didn't think Trump supported a military solution in Venezuela. That was John Bolton's baby and Trump fired him as one would hope he would soon fire Pompeo as has been hinted at. Trump campaigned on ending wars of choice but has given in to the MIC at almost every turn. Maybe he will resign in leiu of being impeached. We might then see a Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders. I could live with either one

Skip Scott , November 21, 2019 at 09:12

Once again the Democratic Party is pushing to have our choice for 2020 be between corporate sponsored war monger from column A or B.

I wish Tulsi would "see the light" and run as an Independent in 2020. There is absolutely no way that she gets the nod from the utterly corrupt DNC. She is abandoning her largest base (Independents) by sticking with the Democratic Party. Considering the number of disgruntled non-voters, she could easily win the general election; but she will never win the Democratic primary. The field is purposely flooded to ensure the "superdelegates" get the final say on a second ballot.

AnneR , November 21, 2019 at 08:50

Warren is as inhumane, amoral and imperialist as anyone in the WH and the US Congress, and she is certainly kindred in spirit, thought and would be in deed, as Madeline Albright, the cheerful slaughterer of some 500,000 Iraqi children because the "price was worth it." Of course, these utterly racist, amoral people do not have to pay "that price" nor do any of their families. (And let us not forget that Albright and Killary are good friends – Warren is totally kindred with the pair, totally.)

And clearly Warren – like all of the Demrat contenders – is full on for any kind of warfare that will bring a "recalcitrant" country into line with US demands (on its resources, lands etc.). She is grotesque.

She and those of her ilk – all in Congress, pretty much, and their financial backers – refuse to accept that Maduro and Morales *both* were legally, legitimately and cleanly re-elected to their positions as presidents of their respective countries. But to do that would be to go against her (commonly held) fundamental belief that the US has the right to decide who is and is not the legitimate national leader of any given country. And what policies they institute.

Anyone who supports economic sanctions is supporting siege warfare, is happily supporting the starvation and deprivation of potentially millions of people. And shrugging off the blame for the effects of the sanctions onto the government of the sanctioned country is heinous, is immoral and unethical. WE are the ones who are killing, not the government under extreme pressure. If you can't, won't accept the responsibility – as Warren and the rest of the US government clearly will not – for those deaths you are causing, then stay out of the bloody kitchen: stop committing these crimes against humanity.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:25

Please provide documentation that Sanders is, as you claim, a "full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian." Sanders has been quite consistent in his criticism of Israel and the treatment of Palestinians: timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-posts-video-citing-apartheid-like-conditions-for-palestinians; and; jacobinmag.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-israel-palestine-bds

Piotr Berman , November 21, 2019 at 16:46

"Sanders is less so, but not wholly because he is a full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian"

Sanders is definitely not "full-on zionist supporter", not only he does not deny that "Palestinians exist" (to died-in-the-wool Zionists, Palestinians are a malicious fiction created to smear Israel etc., google "Fakestinians"), but he claims that they have rights, and using Hamas as a pretext for Gaza blockade is inhumane (a recent headline). One can pull his other positions and statements to argue in the other direction, but in my opinion, he is at the extreme humane end of "zionist spectrum" (I mean, so humane that almost not a Zionist).

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Nov 22, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

Nov 22, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.

11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:37 utc | 85 Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.


11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:42 utc | 86

[Nov 14, 2019] In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%.

Nov 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Nomad Money said in reply to Buscar Mañana... , November 11, 2019 at 09:08 AM

"In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%."
~~Elizabeth Warren~

do you see how EW has finally opened our eyes?

sure! poor people think about wealth as being income. they think about Wealth as being their salary. from the perspective of a wealthy senator wealth is a function of assets. EW had the guts to share this perspective with us, to open our eyes to reality.

we should not be taxing the payroll we should not be taxing the capital gains and other income. we should be taxing non productive assets, assets which cannot be hidden which cannot be taken off shore.

the Swiss have such a tax. all of their real estate is taxed at a rate of 0.3% per annum. it would be easy for us to stop all local taxes All County taxes all state taxes and all federal tax then initiate a 1% tax on all real property unimproved and on all improved real property. we should continue this tax until our federal debt is completely discharged. such a taxation shift would revv up our productive activity and increase our per capita GDP. as usual there would be winners and there would be losers. the losers would be those who want more inequality and the winners would be

those who want more
equality
.!

[Nov 14, 2019] Opinion Attack of the Wall Street Snowflakes by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral." ..."
"... Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

No, the really intense backlash against Warren and progressive Democrats in general is coming from Wall Street . And while that opposition partly reflects self-interest, Wall Street's Warren hatred has a level of virulence, sometimes crossing into hysteria, that goes beyond normal political calculation.

What's behind that virulence?

First, let's talk about the rational reasons Wall Street is worried about Warren. She is, of course, calling for major tax increases on the very wealthy, those with wealth exceeding $50 million, and the financial industry is strongly represented in that elite club. And since raising taxes on the wealthy is highly popular , it's an idea a progressive president might actually be able to turn into real policy.

Warren is also a big believer in stricter financial regulation; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was highly effective until the Trump administration set about gutting it, was her brainchild.

So if you are a Wall Street billionaire, rational self-interest might well induce you to oppose Warren. Neoliberal_rationality/ does not, however, explain why a money manager like Leon Cooperman -- who just two years ago settled a suit over insider trading for $5 million, although without admitting wrongdoing -- would circulate an embarrassing, self-pitying open letter denouncing Warren for her failure to appreciate all the wonderful things billionaires like him do for society.

Nor does it explain why Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral."

The real tell here, I think, is that much of the Wall Street vitriol now being directed at Warren was previously directed at, of all people, President Barack Obama.

Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012.

I wonder, by the way, if this history helps explain an odd aspect of fund-raising in the current primary campaign. It's not surprising that Warren is getting very little money from the financial sector. It is, however, surprising that the top recipient isn't Joe Biden but Pete Buttigieg , who's running a fairly distant fourth in the polls. Is Biden suffering from the lingering effects of that old-time Obama rage?

In any case, the point is that Wall Street billionaires, even more than billionaires in general, seem to be snowflakes, emotionally unable to handle criticism.

I'm not sure why that should be the case, but it may be that in their hearts they suspect that the critics have a point.

What, after all, does modern finance actually do for the economy? Unlike the robber barons of yore, today's Wall Street tycoons don't build anything tangible. They don't even direct money to the people who actually are building the industries of the future. The vast expansion of credit in America after around 1980 basically involved a surge in consumer debt rather than new money for business investment.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that when the financial sector gets too big it actually acts as a drag on the economy -- and America is well past that point .

Now, human nature being what it is, people who secretly wonder whether they really deserve their wealth get especially angry when others express these doubts publicly. So it's not surprising that people who couldn't handle Obama's mild, polite criticism are completely losing it over Warren.

What this means is that you should beware of Wall Street claims that progressive policies would have dire effects. Such claims don't reflect deep economic wisdom; to a large extent they're coming from people with vast wealth but fragile egos, whose rants should be discounted appropriately. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

[Nov 11, 2019] The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'.

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT

Recent class history of US is quite simple: the elite class first tried to shift the burden of supporting the lower classes on the middle class with taxation. But as the lower class became demographically distinct, partially via mass immigration, the elites decided to ally with the ' underpriviledged ' via identity posturing and squeeze no longer needed middle class out of existence.

What's left are government employees, a few corporate sinecures, NGO parasitic sector, and old people. The rest will be melded into a few mutually antagonistic tribal groups providing ever cheaper service labor. With an occasional lottery winner to showcase mobility. Actually very similar to what happened in Latin America in the past few centuries.

The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along.

alexander , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
BUILDING OUT vs. BLOWING UP

China 2000-2020 vs. USA 2000-2020

Unlike the USA (under Neocon stewardship) China has not squandered twenty trillion dollars of its national solvency bombing countries which never attacked it post 9-11.

China's leaders (unlike our own) never LIED its people into launching obscenely expensive, illegal wars of aggression across the middle east. (WMD's, Mushroom clouds, Yellow Cake, etc.)

China has used its wealth and resources to build up its infrastructure, build out its capital markets, and turbo charge its high tech sectors. As a consequence, it has lifted nearly half a billion people out of poverty. There has been an explosion in the growth of the "middle class" in China. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are now living comfortable "upwardly mobile" lives.

The USA, on the other hand, having been defrauded by its "ruling elites" into launching and fighting endless illegal wars, is now 23 trillion dollars in catastrophic debt.
NOT ONE PENNY of this heinous "overspending" has been dedicated to building up OUR infrastructure, or BUILDING OUT our middle class.

It has all gone into BLOWING UP countries which never (even) attacked us on 9-11.

As a consequence , the USA is fast becoming a failed nation, a nation where all its wealth is being siphoned into the hands of its one percent "war pilfer-teers".

It is so sad to have grown up in such an amazing country , with such immense resources and possibilities, and having to bear witness to it going down the tubes.

To watch all our sovereign wealth being vaporized by our "lie us into endless illegal war" ruling elites is truly heartbreaking.

It is as shameful as it is tragic.

SafeNow , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
That's fascinating about the declining "middle class" usage. A "soft synonym" that has gone in the opposite direction, I think, is "the community."
LoutishAngloQuebecker , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
The white middle class is the only group that might effectively resist Globohomo's designs on total power.

Blacks? Too dumb. Will be disposed of once Globohomo is finished the job.
Hispanics? Used to corrupt one party systems. Give them cerveza and Netflix and they're good.
East Asians? Perfectly fine with living like bug people.
South Asians? Cowardly; will go with the flow.

The middle class is almost completely unique to white people.

Racial aliens cannot wrap their minds around being middle class. They think I'm crazy for appreciating my 2009 Honda Accord. They literally cannot understand why somebody would want to live a frugal and mundane life. They are desperate to be like Drake but most end up broke. It will be very easy for GloboHomo to control a bucket of poor brown slop.

Svevlad , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm GMT
Ah yes, apparatchiks. The worst kind of person
Counterinsurgency , says: November 9, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

There IS a black middle class, but a big chunk of that works for governments of all shapes and sizes.

Strictly speaking, there is no more "middle class" in the sense of the classical economists: a person with just enough capital to live off the income if he works the capital himself or herself. By this definition professionals (lawyers, dentists, physicians, small store owners, even spinsters [1] and hand loom operators in a sense) were middle class. Upper class had enough property to turn it over to managers, lower class had little or no property and worked for others (servants and farm workers, for example). Paupers didn't earn enough income per year to feed themselves and didn't live all that long, usually.

What we have is "middle income" people, almost all of whom work as an employee of some organization -- people who would be considered "lower class" by the classical economists because they don't have freedom of action and make no independent decisions about how the capital of their organizations is spent. Today they are considered "intelligentsia", educated government workers, or, by analogy, educated corporate workers. IMHO, intelligentsia is a suicide job, and is responsible for the depressed fertility rate, but that's just me.

Back in the AD 1800s and pre-AD 1930 there were many black middle class people. usually concentrating on selling to black clientele. Now there are effectively none outside of criminal activities, usually petty criminal. And so it goes.

Of course, back then there were many white middle class people also, usually concentrating on selling to white clientele. Now there are effectively none, except in some rural areas. And so it goes.

Counterinsurgency

1] Cottagers who made their living spinning wool skeins into wool threads.

Mark G. , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm GMT
@unit472 A lot of the middle class are Democrats but not particularly liberal. Many of them vote Democrat only when they personally benefit. For example, my parents were suburban public school teachers. They voted for Democrats at the state level because the Democrats supported better pay and benefits for teachers but voted for Republicans like Goldwater and Reagan at the national level because Republicans would keep their federal taxes lower. They had no political philosophy. It was all about what left them financially better off. My parents also got on well with their suburban neighbors. Suburbanites generally like their local school system and its teachers and the suburban school systems are usually careful not to engage in teaching anything controversial. A lot of the government employed white middle class would be like my parents. Except in situations where specific Republicans talk about major cuts to their pay and pensions they are perfectly willing to consider voting Republican. They are generally social moderates, like the status quo, are fairly traditionalist and don't want any radical changes. Since the Democrats seem be trending in a radical direction, this would put off a lot of them. Trump would be more appealing as the status quo candidate. When running the last time, he carefully avoided talking about any major cuts in government spending and he's governed that way too. At the same time, his talk of cutting immigration, his lack of enthusiasm for nonwhite affirmative action, and his more traditional views on social issues is appealing to the white middle class.
anon [201] • Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm GMT
Wealth held by the top 1% is now close to equal or greater than wealth held by the entire middle class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-09/one-percenters-close-to-surpassing-wealth-of-u-s-middle-class

Something similar was seen in the 1890's, the "gilded age". This is one reason why Warren's "wealth tax" has traction among likely voters.

WorkingClass , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:55 pm GMT
The term middle class is used in the U.S. to mean middle income. It has nothing to do with class. Why not just say what you mean? Most of the middle class that we say is disappearing is really that rarest of phenomenons. A prosperous working class. The prosperous American working class is no longer prosperous due to the Neoliberal agenda. Free trade, open borders and the financialization of everything.

Americans know nothing of class dynamics. Not even the so called socialists. They don't even see the economy. All they see is people with infinite need and government with infinite wealth. In their world all of Central America can come to the U.S. and the government (if it only wants to) can give them all homes, health care and education.

Lets stop saying class when we mean income. Not using the word class would be better than abusing it.

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
@Audacious Epigone

Are we to the point where we've collectively resigned ourselves to the death of the middle class?

In the neoliberal worldview, the middle class is illegitimate, existing only as a consequence of artificial trade and immigration barriers. Anytime Americans are spied out making a good living, there is a "shortage" that must be addressed with more visas. Or else there is an "inefficiency" where other countries could provide said service or produce said product for less because they have a "comparative advantage."

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

I don't know about that anymore. Increasingly, "middle class" means Asian, with Whiteness being associated with the lower middle class (or perhaps "working class"). Sometimes the media uses the term " noncollege Whites," which I think is actually very apt. They are the ones who identify with Whiteness the most.

[Nov 10, 2019] Liz Warren's Trans Train Whistlestop

At least Warren offers me something positive along with usual neoliberal "identity wedge" idiocy ;-).
Nov 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor ! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don't take this endorsement lightly. I'm committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs. https://t.co/KqWsVoRYMb

-- Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019

Well, that's clarifying. "Backbone of our democracy." That's about what you would expect a Harvard faculty member to say.

JoeMerl 2 days ago • edited

People need to remember that we literally didn't even have democracy until the trans movement started and finally brought us to The Right Side of History.

[Nov 09, 2019] This should put the kobosh in Warren saying she is a progressive

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:25pm

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

Elizabeth Warren wants Patrick in her administration. @EmmaVigeland @atrios @NomikiKonst @_michaelbrooks @BernieBroStar

-- Eric J - #Bernie2020 (@EricJafMN) November 8, 2019

Deval Patrick served on the board at subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest. Melody Barnes is on the board at bigwig defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Textbook cases of the revolving door corruption Warren frequently attacks. https://t.co/KU3Ct3j9eC

-- Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 8, 2019

If she really cared about the policies she is running on she would have endorsed Bernie. Period. It was during the primary that Hillary said, "single payer will never ever happen here."

Bernie was running on it and yet Warren did not endorse him for it. If she actually wants to help us she would drop out and tell people to vote for Bernie. Sure everyone has the right to run for president, but we know or believe that she is only running to keep Bernie from becoming president.

She is lying to us about not taking money from rich people and corporations because she took their money for her senate campaign and transferred it to her presidential campaign. If she isn't up front about this then how can we trust her on anything else?

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

Elites eliting about elites while elitseplaining to working Americans about how they are going to vote for some elites and beat the Republicans elite. https://t.co/l0W8QPUT0E

-- Nomiki Konst(@NomikiKonst) November 8, 2019

"Who is to the left of Bloomberg on guns and climate change?" Hmm let me think...of course it's not Biden. Nor Harris...Kilobits.... Buttigieg or even Warren. Doh!

[Nov 09, 2019] Warren called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Warren did that(what Alex Thompson tweeted about) at her town hall here. Called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf. Do people really fall for this stuff? The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick. I was sitting there thinking "Come on, lady-you've been a professor at the highest profile law school in the country for how long now?"

Lambert Strether Post author , November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

Lime green Jello with marshmallows. That's the sort of thing I think of. Food I'd avoid at a church basement supper if at all possible.

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Yep.
It's funny-I spent 10 years at Harvard, and I lived near The Yard and the law school. I knew a lot of faculty at H, and was privy to a lot of the politics that went on. My bs detector was honed there. At the town hall, I could see right through her. It was all so familiar. Don't underestimate the cunning and doublespeak. What is that quote-"When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Why didn't she proclaim her great groundbreaking achievement of being Harvard's "first woman of color" professorial appointment? Isn't she proud of that any more?

Dog, that woman seems to be in a race to seem the least authentic. Can't her staff tell her to act natural?

After I post this comment, I'm gonna get me a beer.

Phillip Allen , November 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"Can't her staff tell her to act natural?"

Why assume that what we see isn't her natural self, such as it is? Or, rather, that there's anything more genuinely human underneath the pandering, opportunistic surface? As Petal cited above, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay

Nov 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 01, 2019 at 07:34 AM

Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay
for 'Medicare for All' https://nyti.ms/2N9lI4F
NYT - Thomas Kaplan, Abby Goodnough
and Margot Sanger-Katz - November 1

WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20.5 trillion in new spending through huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans to pay for "Medicare for all," laying out details for a landmark government expansion that will pose political risks for her presidential candidacy while also allowing her to say she is not raising taxes on the middle class to pay for her health care plan.

Ms. Warren, who has risen steadily in the polls with strong support from liberals excited about her ambitious policy plans, has been under pressure from top rivals like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to release details about paying for her biggest plan, "Medicare for all." Her new proposal marks a turning point for her campaign, in which she will have to sell voters on a tax-and-spending plan that rivals the ambitions of the New Deal and the Great Society while also defending it against both Democratic and Republican criticism.

Under Ms. Warren's plan, employer-sponsored health insurance -- which more than half of Americans now receive -- would be eliminated and replaced by free government health coverage for all Americans, a fundamental shift from a market-driven system that has defined health care in the United States for decades but produced vast inequities in quality, service and cost.

Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade, including by requiring employers to pay trillions of dollars to the government, replacing much of what they currently spend to provide health coverage to workers. She would create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households and ramp up her signature wealth tax proposal to be steeper on billionaires. She also wants to cut $800 billion in military spending.

Ms. Warren's estimate for the cost of Medicare for all relies on an aggressive set of assumptions about how to lower national health care costs while providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she would essentially eliminate medical costs for individuals, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Critically, her new plan would not raise taxes on middle-class Americans, a question she has been asked over and over but has not answered directly until now. When confronted on the campaign trail and debate stage, she emphasized instead that her plan would result in higher overall costs for wealthy people and big corporations but lower costs for middle-class families. ...

"A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs -- and how to pay for it," Ms. Warren wrote in her plan. To do that, she added, "We don't need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny."

The issue of health care helped Democrats win control of the House in last year's midterm elections, after unsuccessful attempts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has been a central issue again this year as Ms. Warren and other Democrats have competed for their party's presidential nomination, highlighting a divide on policy between the party's moderates and its liberal wing that favors transformative change. ...

Ms. Warren's proposal shows just how large a reorganization of spending Medicare for all represents. By eliminating private health insurance and bringing every American into a federal system, trillions of dollars of spending by households, employers and state governments would be transferred into the federal budget over the course of a decade.

Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban's estimate of $34 trillion over the same period.

Ms. Warren attempts to minimize fiscal disruption by asking the big payers in the current system to keep paying for health care through new taxes. She would create a new "employer Medicare contribution" that would effectively redirect what employers are already paying to health insurers, totaling $8.8 trillion over a decade. Small businesses would be exempt if they are not currently paying for their employees' health care.

Ms. Warren has also proposed that states pay the federal government much of what they currently spend to cover state workers and low-income residents under the Medicaid program.

But she also describes new revenue streams to replace the other big chunk of health spending: the money spent by households on premiums, deductibles and direct payments for services like dental care that are not always covered by insurance.

Ms. Warren would raise $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax the richest Americans. She has previously said that her wealth tax proposal, another signature of her campaign, would impose a 3 percent annual tax on net worth over $1 billion; she would now raise that to 6 percent. She would also change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households.

In addition to imposing a tax on financial transactions, she would also make changes to corporate taxation. She is counting on stronger tax enforcement to bring in $2.3 trillion in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. And she is banking on passing an overhaul of immigration laws -- which itself would be a huge political feat -- and gaining revenue from taxes paid by newly legal residents.

Ms. Warren's plan would put substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent. Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors' pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care. ...

Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care
Costs on American Families by @ewarren
https://link.medium.com/8Jx43ukfg1

Elizabeth Warren releases Medicare for All
plan, promising no middle class tax increase
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/elizabeth-warren-released-detailed-plan-raise-trillon-pay-for-medicare-for-all-promising-middle-class-taxes-won-increase-one-penny/yWXQ1gsnfxwZ7T2UAqzr6I/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

point -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
This seems almost uniformly great. I only have two quibbles.

One is that a 6% wealth tax is actually too high, confiscatory even. The reason is that if expected ROI is about 6%, the tax takes all the expected return. In perpetuity that is equivalent to taking the entire net worth. Property tax is a pretty good guide here, 1-1.5% works, perhaps a bit more.

Two is that the slant shows up immediately with this reporter. One example: "Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade..." Note the use of "new spending". This may make sense if the subject is limited to government spending, but we all know the game is to distract from the good lowered-aggregate spending and emphasize the component spent by the evil government. We may see much more of this misdirection including by primary opponents.

She is basically proposing to municipalize the entire payment flows for healthcare, much as proposals now exist for California to municipalize PG&E, both excellent ideas.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM
This is a nice threat
But a universal public option is all we need here immediately
That and a Medicaid increase
funded by a wealth tax

Beyond that we need health cost cap and trade
Something not on the agenda of pols

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM
Five takeaways from Elizabeth
Warren's Medicare for All plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/five-takeaways-from-elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-plan/0xQAuKT7f3p8gCggtCkZ3O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - November 1

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released her proposal to pay for Medicare for All, a plan to move every American to government-run health insurance that would reshape the US health care system.

Warren's plan, outlined in a 9,275-word Medium post, included complex ideas for paying for health care costs after private insurance is ended . It's a lot to digest, so here are five takeaways.

Much of it is based on the Medicare for All Act
The plan released by Warren on Friday is primarily aimed at answering the question of how to pay for single-payer health care. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of how her health care plan would work, Warren points to the existing Medicare for All Act, that "damn bill" Senator Bernie Sanders colorfully reminded debate viewers that he wrote.

Under the Medicare for All Act, introduced by Sanders in April and cosponsored by Warren, all US residents would be automatically enrolled in a national health care plan administered by the federal government. In addition to traditional medical coverage, the Medicare for All Act includes vision and dental, plus long-term care services.

It relies on a lot of assumptions

At the outset, Warren acknowledges that it's difficult to predict what health care costs will be in the future, and she notes that current projections about how much Medicare for All would cost vary widely. Because the Medicare for All Act leaves open questions about how the single-payer system would work, including major ones like the amount that health care providers would be compensated, Warren fills in the gaps to arrive at a total cost estimate. Outside analysts, including two local experts, cited by Warren estimate her plan would result in overall US health care costs that are slightly lower than what the nation currently spends.

Arriving at a specific cost allows Warren to figure out how she will pay for it, and there are some assumptions here, too.

To fund the plan without increasing taxes on the middle class, Warren relies on enacting seemingly unrelated legislation, including immigration reform. The pathway to citizenship for millions of people in her immigration proposal would add to the tax base. Warren also wants to cut defense spending.

There aren't new middle class taxes, but there are hikes for businesses and the wealthy

Warren announced her Medicare for All plan with a major promise not to increase taxes on the middle class, but that doesn't mean some taxes won't go up. After accounting for existing federal spending and health care spending by employers that would be redirected to the government, there's still a big hole. Warren fills it by levying new taxes and closing loopholes in ways that target financial firms and large corporations. She also increases her previously proposed wealth tax.

Some businesses would be hit harder than others. As Vox points out, if Warren asks businesses to send their existing employee health insurance payments to the government, businesses that currently provide inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all, fare much better than those that provide good insurance coverage. That sets up a kind of penalty for businesses that offer health coverage: They're helping pick up the tab for Medicare for All, but they no longer have an advantage in attracting top talent with generous benefits.

Under Warren's plan, that situation is temporary as businesses would eventually pay into the system at the same rate. And Warren says employers ultimately will be better off because they won't get hit with unpredictable changes in health care costs.

It would be difficult to implement

Moving every single American to a new health care plan is a massive endeavor, so much so that Warren says she'll release an entirely separate plan that deals with how to handle the transition.

The transition has become a sticking point in the Democratic primary, with moderates like former vice president Joe Biden using the lengthy time period (Sanders' plan says it would take four years) as a reason to oppose it altogether.

And then there's the problem of passing such legislation: During the debate around the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a proposed public option to allow people to buy into a government-run health care plan nearly sunk the entire bill, and was stripped out of the landmark legislation. The episode underscored the difficulty of implementing a government-run health care program, even one popular with voters.

Warren has a plan for that, though. She wants to get rid of the filibuster, meaning the Senate would need a simple majority to pass legislation, rather than the 60 votes currently required to stop debate.

Warren has been reluctant to go on the offensive, but that may be changing

As she rose in the polls, Warren resisted leveling direct attacks against her primary opponents. Warren's style has been to rail against the concept of big money fueling a campaign, rather than directly criticizing individual candidates who have taken cash from high-dollar fund-raisers.

But there are hints that this could be changing. Warren's lengthy Medicare for All plan includes rebuttals to the criticism she's gotten from the moderate wing of the primary field, calling on candidates who oppose her plan to explain how they would cover everyone.

"Make no mistake -- any candidate who opposes my long-term goal of Medicare for All and refuses to answer these questions directly should concede that they have no real strategy for helping the American people address the crushing costs of health care in this country. We need plans, not slogans," she wrote.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 05:55 AM
Declaring war on corporate America

The corporate health sub system
Intimately involves
the entire corporate system
We are on course toward
20 % of our economic output
Flowing thru our domestic
health services and products sectors

Where is the cost control mechanism

Simply in part
Progressively resourcing
And rechanneling the inflow of funds
Addresses a result not a cause

We have to address costs

We need a cap and trade market system

With a cap sector to GDP ratio that
Slowly squeezes down
the relative costs of the health sector

Enter stage left

a colander Lerner mark up market system

Paine -> Paine... , November 02, 2019 at 06:05 AM
Public option is the transition
That empowers
people themselves
To spontaneous determine
the timing and pattern of
Their own transitioning

Anything else is political folly


Liz has set a bold end state vision
Bravely out laying where we must go eventually
And drawing in
the major shift in the share of
The total social cost burden
to the wealthy classes


But that's an end a destination
not a path

Urge choice not mandates
as the better path

The present corporate cost
burden share
is a mess
That should self dissolve over time

Now we need an optional public system
And
A means to capture the
Present corporate pay ins
Piecemeal over time as employees opt out of corporate plans into publicnplans one by one

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 02:15 PM
Liz Warren would double her proposed billionaire
wealth tax to help fund 'Medicare for All' https://cnb.cx/332evbX

... Warren's wealth tax proposal would also impose a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion. She has previously said that it would be used to fund her ambitious climate agenda, a slate of investments in child care and reductions in student loan debt.

But Warren is refusing to tax the middle class. She released an analysis produced by several respected economists on Friday that suggests she will not have to.

( https://assets.ctfassets.net/4ubxbgy9463z/27ao9rfB6MbQgGmaXK4eGc/d06d5a224665324432c6155199afe0bf/Medicare_for_All_Revenue_Letter___Appendix.pdf )

Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, former Labor Department Chief Economist Betsey Stevenson, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, wrote that Warren could pay for her program "without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families."

The economists cite a number of possible revenue and spending options that they found could generate $20.5 trillion in additional funding. Much of that funding is expected to come from reallocating employer spending on health care and taxing the increased take-home pay that employees are expected to receive under her system.

But taxes on the wealthy form a substantial portion. Doubling the billionaire wealth tax will raise $1 trillion over 10 years, the economists found. They note in their analysis that the calculation assumes a 15% rate of tax avoidance. ...

[Nov 02, 2019] Is Elizabeth Warren the New Ted Cruz The American Conservative

Nov 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite scant polling evidence, Joe Biden's continued lead , and serious concerns over her viability with the broader electorate, Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign has taken on an air of inevitability.

Just this fall, the emcee of the financial television circuit, Mad Money 's Jim Cramer, has gone from wailing "She's got to be stopped" to insisting, "I don't think she's nearly as anti-business" as commonly portrayed. Either way, Cramer continues, "I think there is such a thing called Congress." The implication is even if the prairie populist by way of Massachusetts goes the distance, Wall Street's network on Capitol Hill would make mincemeat of her agenda.

In my interviews with members of Congress, especially Republicans, Warren's nomination is generally treated as a fait accompli. Perhaps it's projection, Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist. The contest of Warren vs. Donald Trump would provide, if nothing else, clarity.

The dynamic extends past Northeast Washington. Where people put their money where their mouth is -- political gambling sites -- Warren's chances of winning the Democratic nomination are assessed at nearing 40 percent. On PredicitIt.com, one can buy a Warren share an absurd thirty-eight cents on the dollar.

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The idea of Democrats nominating an aged, gaffe-prone white male popular with industry and in the Rust Belt seems absurd on the face: "That's our nominee, right?" David Axelrod, mastermind of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, earlier this month crowned Warren the "front-runner."

There's just one problem with this line of thinking: it's not at all clear Warren is going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Her principal rival, Biden, the former vice president, still leads in some national polls. Biden is frequently compared to Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite, paper tiger on the Republican side in the last round.

There are two problems with this analogy. Biden isn't nearly as "establishment" as the former Florida governor. Bush was the cash-flush son and brother of two presidents, while Biden is bleeding dough and has failed to procure the endorsement of the president he served. Conversely, unlike Bush, whose lead nationally evaporated by Labor Day, Biden has stubbornly stayed more or less at the top of the heap through all of 2019.

It's Halloween and Democratic voters haven't been spooked enough by the former vice president's at-times catastrophic performance to dump him. Unlike Bush, Biden has an ace in the hole: the anchoring constituency of his party, African-American voters. If Bush had commanded the acclaim of evangelical Christians he might have held on despite his other weaknesses as a candidate. Biden is also relatively popular , while the Bush clan is rightly still blamed for the destruction of American prestige at home and abroad.

Down With the Clapback Will Senate Republicans Take A Chance on President Pence?

Biden frequently, even pathetically presents himself as an "Obama-Biden Democrat." ButBiden's candidacy remains most similar to a non-Bush 2016 candidate: Donald Trump, the front-runner the "smart set" claimed was doomed from the start. Like Trump, Biden is famous . And as Biden has hit campaign troubles, the former veep's raison d'etre can take on an air of the self-evident: I'm leading the race because I'm leading the race.

Like Trump, who would proudly spend literally hours of his campaign rallies reading off primary poll results, Biden also seems content to run a campaign based on his own lead. After weeks of purported political battering, Biden told 60 Minutes Sunday: "I know I'm the frontrunner."

With almost Trump-like flare, Biden noted: "Find me a national poll with a notable a couple exceptions." What was true of the last Democratic debate, earlier this month in Ohio, may be true of the 2020 election as a whole. As Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest , said : "It was a good night for the old codgers on stage."

Indeed, insistences from career progressives and conservatives that Warren is the true Democratic standard-bearer can take on a mawkish tone. Surely, in a time of ubiquitous partisanship, the victors will be most ideological. The Democrats are moving ever left, the Republicans, ever right. Surely, it is time for a true believer.

But the logic is too clever by half. Templates are incomplete assessments of the world, but play along: if Trump is Biden's proper analogue, then Warren's candidacy is perhaps most akin to Ted Cruz's in 2016. Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues, which doubles as a badge of honor with many, more ideological activists.

But party activists perhaps understand the organization they serve less than they think they do. Isn't it just as possible, indeed maybe even likely, that Warren, like Cruz, is waiting for a day that will never come? Trump's "implosions" were never reflected at the ballot box. Maybe so, it will also be with Biden.

Templates aren't perfect, however. While Cruz did well with evangelicals, Warren has failed to make inroads among African Americans. And unlike Cruz, the establishment has warmed to Warren's rise -- her campaign doubles as a Harvard satellite campus.

But perhaps Warren's greatest weakness as a candidate, as it was for Cruz, is that she is not the real voice of her party's discontented. A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Of the 2016 conservatives, Cruz was perhaps most polite to Trump, but in failing to ape the future president's program, he never emerged as anything more than a poor imitation of the real estate mogul. Immigration and ennui over America's international role were the orders of the day, and for a core contingent, no substitutes for Trumpian nationalism would do.

Warren experiences this vulnerability, an intensity gap, not with Biden, but with Bernie Sanders. Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist. Perhaps accordingly, socialist Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez, the most powerful millennial politician, has thrown in with Sanders, the candidate she volunteered for four years ago. For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vise-grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

Curt Mills is senior writer at .


Signore Sharpshooter 2 days ago

The money is deserting Biden. He's toast.
Faux Squaw will take it. It's baked in.
LeeInWV 4 days ago
A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Ummmm... Romney LOST.

For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vice grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

The article was nearly completely about Biden vs Warren then changed course near the end by bring Sanders into it. So Warrenism may be "too little, too late" so Dems will go for less with Biden? Sorry, it really seems incoherent to me.

Richard Karl Schultz LeeInWV 2 days ago
Yeah, the analogy that makes more sense is Trump:Cruz as Bernie:Warren, except instead of being a total fraud with no political experience, Bernie has 40 years of experience, with lots of accomplishments, and is seen as far-and-away the most trustworthy and with the highest favorability.
Ed