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US Presidential Elections of 2020: the next stage of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite

The crises of neoliberalism in the USA won’t be solved by more neoliberalism; some king of return to the New Deal Capitalism is now on the agenda, along with abandoning of "Full Spectrum Dominance" mantra.

Picture from Secret Money For Private Armies

Who Rules America > Two Party System as polyarchy

News Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Recommended Links Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump2020 Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist ? Nasty and pushy Kamala Harris Creepy neocon Joe Biden
Israel lobby Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Adam Schiff Witch Hunt MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM "Trump is insane" meme NeoMcCartyism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Steele dossier
Myth about intelligent voter Bait and Switch Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections 2016 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hypocrisy of British ruling elite
Brennan elections machinations Strzok-gate British attempts to rig the US elections Israel attempts to rig the US elections Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ? Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Pluralism as a myth
Rigging the elections and money in US politics Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" National Security State
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few New American Militarism The Real War on Reality The Deep State Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections First after the post elections enforce two party system CIA Democrats  
US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2012 Media-Military-Industrial Complex Skeptic Quotations History of American False Flag Operations Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal Media as a weapon of mass deception Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  The neoliberal experiment – lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of labour and product markets, financialisation, and globalisation – has been a spectacular failure. Growth is lower than it was in the quarter-century after the second world war, and most of it has accrued to the very top of the income scale. After decades of stagnant or even falling incomes for those below them, neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried.

Vying to succeed it are at least three major political alternatives: far-right nationalism, centre-left reformism and the progressive left (with the centre-right representing the neoliberal failure). And yet, with the exception of the progressive left, these alternatives remain beholden to some form of the ideology that has (or should have) expired.

The centre-left, for example, represents neoliberalism with a human face. Its goal is to bring the policies of former US president Bill Clinton and former British prime minister Tony Blair into the 21st century, making only slight revisions to the prevailing modes of financialisation and globalisation. Meanwhile, the nationalist right disowns globalisation, blaming migrants and foreigners for all of today’s problems. Yet as Donald Trump’s presidency has shown, it is no less committed – at least in its American variant – to tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and shrinking or eliminating social programmes.

Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next?
by Joseph Stiglitz The Guardian may 30, 2019

Note: for the analysis of previous Presidential election see  November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization

To a large extent 2020 election will be second referendum on neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization  in the USA. Moreover a significant number of voters feel that no candidate speaks to them.

If candidates with somewhat anti-neoliberal platform win (let's say Warren , Tulsi Gabbard or Sanders (although he was compromised by his betrayal of his voters on 2016 election and as such is viewed by many as a sheepdog for the Democratic Party establishment) that's would another step in dismantling neoliberalism in the USA, the best step after by and large unsuccessful Trump presidency. .

In 2020 there will be a fight between four groups of neoliberal elite

In a two party system, there are always corporate stooges in waiting, eager to serve, in case the incumbent stooges go too far off the rails. trump proved to be one of such stooges and that increase his chances for re-election. I believe  that in the USA the incumbent party almost always wins a second term if the economy is OK. Only recession creates opportunities for the second  party in traditional for the USA party duopoly -- Pepsi/Cola political arrangement.  

Please note that Democratic Party became the second war party and as such it does not need election victory to capture important power positions: MIC rules the country anyway. They can control the levers of power via stooges in intelligences agencies like Brennan and Comey in the past. So serving as a spoiler for real democratic forces is No.1 task on Clinton Democrats -- the dominant neoliberal wing of the party closely allied with Wall Street and MIC.

Serving as a spoiler for real democratic forces is No.1 task on Clinton Democrats -- the dominant neoliberal wing of the party closely allied with Wall Street and MIC. Russiagate actually was invented exactly for this purposes (along with serving  as a smoke screen hiding Hillary and Corporate Dems fiasco in 2016). Now anybody with progressive, hostile to neoliberalism agenda can labeled as Putin stooge. Look at attacks on Tulsi Gabbard -- the only anti-war democrat in the current cycle --  as a telling example

Russiagate actually was invented exactly for this purposes (along with serving  as a smoke screen hiding Hillary and Corporate Dems fiasco in 2016).  In a bipartisan deal on Pentagon budget demonstrates how thoroughly  Washington is captured by the Wall Street and MIC (in this particular order).  219 House Democrats and 65 Republicans voted to approve a budget agreement that includes $1.48 trillion in military spending over the next two years. Those are money stolen from the lower middle class and working people.  As President Dwight Eisenhower aptly observed:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final  sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

In 2016 the election of Trump proved that although in some rare circumnutates the candidate not favored by the USA neoliberal elite can win, the elite is able to immaculate him in approximately three month from the moment of inauguration.  As soon as April 2017 Trump already ordered air raid on Syria, folding to neocons. And in May he got Special Prosecutor as a reward for his betrayal ;-) 

In this sense old saying "Moor did his duty, More can go" is fully applicable to Trump and 2020 election. He completely betrayed his electorate and he has nothing to offer US population in a new election cycle. In other words he is an "old hat" that the elite wants to keep to continue to deceive the common people.    As history had show in similar circumstances another king of "bait and switch" Barack Obama won his re-election. Bush II also won his re-election. So I would not predict Trump's defeat. 

If neoliberals/neocons  like Biden or Kamala Harris win the nomination and then the election that development would be similar a neoliberal counterrevolution in Brazil and Argentina style. Acutally only face-wise different from the re-election of Trump, as Trump betrayed everybody who voted for him in 2016, including anti-war right.

So if he wins that's essentially also the approval of his variant of  policies directed on the preservation of the US-centered neoliberal empire at the huge cost for common people. Trump internal policies were clearly neoliberal (tax cut for the rich is a classic example what "real Donald Trump" wants, replacing Obamacare with  Trumpcare is another) although with more noise and damage to the classic neoliberal globalization that classic neoliberals want.  Faction of elite supporting Trump wants to discard classic mode of globalization based on treaties and converting countries into debt slaves using IMF and World Bank in favor of more muscular, unilateral "might make right" policy of containing China, which managed to rise to the level of the USA competitors under classic neoliberal globalization regime. 

Trump proves to be a stanch neoliberal  in domestic policy and Israel stooge in foreign policy. He  populated his administration with neocons including some war criminals responsible for launching Iraq war (Bolton and Elliot Abrams). While pursuing mostly neocon foreign policy he proved to be the master of dangerous, abrupt moves which can be attributed just to his impulsivity, desire to appear "strong" via bulling opponents and rampant jingoism. 

It is impossible to predict the  results on 2020 election without objective analysis on 2018 election cycle.  Russiagate was a defensive tactic by Democratic Party leadership to absolve it from Hillary fiasco, to preserver power and attack the anti-neoliberal left and anti-neoliberal right painting them as Russian stooges.  Neoliberal Dems are beside themselves with Russian election meddling, but could care less about meddling by Google, Facebook, Israel, and the billionaire class.

They were mostly successful in that: Pelosi was not sent to long overdue retirement. Chuck Schumer continued his leadership role in the Senate.

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. The false narrative that was promoted is that it was because of foreign interference (the narrative initially invented by suspected pedophile John Podesta, closely connected to Clintons.)  Eventually, it became kind of Party platform and allowed them to win Midterm. but the problem with the betrayal of the working class remains. The preference for Wall Street over working class is the cornerstone of Clinton democrats policies as well as their affiliation with military industrial complex ("the second war party") and adoption of neocon foreign policy based on ‘regime change’ interventions.

The preference for Wall Street over working class is the cornerstone of Clinton democrats policies; as well as their affiliation with military industrial complex ("the second war party") and adoption of neocon foreign policy based on ‘regime change’ interventions.

Democratic Party brass now feels pressure as there is an obvious trend in the US society for a transparent and fair campaign with a progressive nominee. The campaign  based on more than the Party establishment and Wall Street favoritism (see Autopsy).  The main task of Democratic Party establishment in not  to win the elections, but  to derail this possibility which can materialize if  Warren, Gabbard or Sanders became the party nominee.

Democratic Party brass now feels pressure as there is an obvious trend in the US society for a transparent and fair campaign with a progressive nominee. The campaign  based on more than the Party establishment and Wall Street favoritism (see Autopsy).  The main task of Democratic Party establishment in not  to win the elections, but  to derail this possibility which can materialize if  Warren, Gabbard or Sanders became the party nominee.

Of course each of those candidates' have warts. For example, Sanders compromised himself by his folding to Hillary in 2016 elections. That simplifies  railroading of his candidacy this time too.  IMHO despite all warts, those three candidates from Democratic Party still make sense, and I think all three can give a fight to the establishment wing of the Party (DemoRats) and the republican candidate (presumably Trump).

We will see to what extent they will be successful.  In any case the US military budget and foreign policy need to be changed, priorities recognized from serving the interest of empire to serving common people and repairing decaying infrastructure. Candidates who try to avoid those issues are of no value to the country.

When DemoRats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party) dusted off and added Joe Biden to the already overclouded roster of candidates  (and falsified polls to show that he is a leader and thus artificially create a following for his candidacy), it became clear that they "forgot nothing and learned nothing" from 2016 election. This was clearly a move which will help to reelect Trump, a very favorable for Trump event.  And it is true that DemoRats are afraid of Bernie Sanders more then of Trump.

That probably why war criminal Creepy Joe Biden was dusted off and thrown in the fight. Creepy Uncle Joe (as WaPo nicknamed him) has several major skeletons in the closet -- support of Iraq war,  blatant escape for justice of his narcoaddict son  who magically escaped managed to avoid jail when a crack pipe was found in his rental car, Biden role in Ukrainian events (also pretty disgusting) and China loan.

 

DemoRats are afraid of Bernie Sanders more then of Trump. That why war criminal Creepy Joe Biden was dusted off and thrown in the fight. Creepy Uncle Joe (as WaPo nicknamed him) has several major skeletons in the closet -- support of Iraq war,  blatant escape for justice of his narcoaddict son  who magically escaped managed to avoid jail when a crack pipe was found in his rental car, Biden role in Ukrainian events (also pretty disgusting) and China loan.
 

 Neoliberal MSM try to hide the fact that Biden  was "mentor" of Yanukovich and then  backstabbed him. Later after the EuroMaydan events he instrumental if firing Ukrainian Chief Persecutor to squash investigating of gas company Burisma (where his some do some reason got a position in the board of the company) which paid around $50K a month to his son.  So his son fleeced impoverished Ukraine where standard living dropped 2-3 times after EuroMaydan, which was converted into the debt slave of the  West and where most population live of $2 a day or less.  His son financial dealings with China is the third skeleton -- the loan was more a billion dollars...

The lessons of 2016 election is still relevant today. With open promotion of Creepy Joe we already see very clear  "establishment bias" in selection of candidates much like with Hillary in 2016.  And the dirty trick of using Superdelegates to force on the Party rank-and-file the desirable to the establishment candidate is again in the cards.

“Horse race” journalism in major neoliberal MSM which focuses on fund-raising, polls and “electability” metric instead of dealing with real issues,  explaining and popularizing the platform on which each candidate run. Paradoxically many candidates do not have printed platform so for such candidates is generally unclear why they run. As for domestic platform Warren is the only notable exception here and she is definitely the best.  Her foreign policy platform is a neocon inspired "Full spectrum Dominance" mantra with Russophobia as the cornerstone, which makes her look like Hillary-light.  Tulsi Gabbard has pretty well defined foreign policy platform, but her domestic platform is fuzzy at best.  

The real issues is the crisis of neoliberal which make elections the referendum on the direction of the country.  There are three direction possible:

IMHO we are facing three choices for the future of this country:

  1. National neoliberalism -- neoliberalism without classic neoliberal globalization (Trumpism) -- which one might view as some flavor of far-right nationalism, or diluted version of neofascism (fascism was national socialism and contained several important socialist elements in its program but for only one nation; no such elements of the program exits in national neoliberalism )  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program
  2. Kicking the can down the road  Attempt to continue to pursue classic neoliberalism + warmongering (with neoliberal globalization at the center)  despits crisi of 2008 and Iraq war fiasco.  May be with some attempt to take financial oligarchy and MIC (Warren and Tulsi)
  3. "Inverted totalitarism" which is  updated for new level of technology version of STASI rule, but far more effective and less repressive.  A version of Orwell 1984.

Trump platform is essentially based on "national neoliberalism" ideology. And he got substantial support for it. That means that the fight against Trump can not be won by Clinton DemoRats.  For example Creepy Joe Biden probably understands that he is unelectable.  He was want to get enough delegates to derail any non-establishment candidate like Bernie, Warren or Tulsi.

Trump now will definitely enjoy the advantage of overcrowded field of Democratic Candidates (over 20 and counting)  and the fact the  Democratic leadership is more afraid of Sanders/Warren/Gabbard than of Trump. Also Trump position is busted by Mueller final report and, especially, Barr investigation of CIA and FBI machinations.

Still I think only those three candidates have some chances to defeat Trump.

A Sanders/Gabbard or Warren/Gabbard ticket in the general election also have promise, especially the latter as Warren has the most strong domestic program (with  the ability and desire to squeeze the financial oligarchy which is really the most necessary step for the country), and Gabbard excels in foreign policy issues.  Would they together be strong enough to beat Trump, when Dems gave Trumps such a huge amount of ammunition due to intelligence agencies spying on his 2016 campaign? It remains to be seen.  Both can easily crush Trump in debates.

One thing is clear though. The Democratic establishment has decided that all that they need is a more likeable candidate.  That's probably in one reason why they dusted off Joe Biden, a grinning neoliberal sell-out, who voted for Iraq war. And as such should be ineligible for any public office. Biden is a Hillary-style neocon who stands well to the right of most Republicans on key elements of the USA foreign policy.  But this might also be a courtesy run allowed to him in order to deny Sanders or Warren the nomination in favor one of the "more reliable" establishment warmonger (possible with minority credentials) like Kamala Harris, or New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

The USA neoliberal society  after 2008 entered and prolong ideological crisis accompanied by economic stagnation. BTW the current system can be called "inverted totalitarism" and is not that far form neofascism in any case. So some authors predict evolution of the US political system toward neofascism, as far right nationalism is currently the only viable force that is able to tame or destroy the rule of neoliberal financial oligarchy.

The elections of 2020 are interesting in a sense that for the first time since 1970th there are two new candidates who openly challenge neoliberal dogma

The elections of 2020 are interesting in a sense that for the first time since 1970th there are two candidates who openly challenge neoliberal dogma: Tulsi Gabbard (who which to end the US global neoliberal empire, and imperial wars) and Elisabeth Warren (which can be viewed as the adherent of restoration of the New Deal Capitalism, while being a typical neocon in foreign policy  who blindly repeat the State Department talking points). There are also a couple of other candidates with interesting ideas, For example, Andrew Yang is one; he has made a $12,000-per-year basic income for all American adults the centerpiece of his campaign (and will probably steal a lot of former Trump voters. Cory Booker proposed badly needed criminal reform.

At the same time Tump2020 is a completely different person than Trump2016. Trump2020 displayed blatant contempt for the rule of law and other longstanding republican values, provided us with several public displays of his stupidity, extreme character flaws, and irrefutable evidence of psychological instability. so form one point of view his reelection task is easier, as US people usually reelect even complete jerks (Bush II) but from the of the point of view is more difficult as now he has a baggage and he lost some important parts of his electorate and first of all anti-war Republicans and large part of blue collar workers who now will go with Andrew Yang or some similar candidate.

Although this time the field of Democratic contenders is definitely overcrowded. It is also the first election in the USA history which is run during a color revolution against sitting president launched by the War party, and intelligence agencies in 2016

So the nation today finds itself in an interesting situation which reminds  me of Gorbachov's Perestroika.  The USA neoliberal society after 2008 entered secular stagnation and need changes. the problem is that there is not viable alternative to neoliberalism other then return to New Deal Capitalism (which is not realistic as social forces that created this possibility -- the some (shaky) alliance of management and workers against capital owners based on WWII experience of this generation of US people is not longer present.)

Looks like it is still impossible to depose old entrenched neoliberal elite, despite of crisis of neoliberal ideology, which started in 2008. It is even was impossible to depose Pelosi ;-)  

For some, unclear to me reason the US neoliberal elites, especially neoliberal MSM controlling them intelligence agencies,  that drive the national conversation have reached the conclusion that nothing surpasses in importance then Trump’s removal from office and laughed full scale color revolution against him, destabilizing further the US society.  In this sense the appointment of the Special Prosecutor of fake charges was their "insurance" after Trump surprising win.  And intelligence agencies were at the helm of this color revolution (aka RussiaGate) from the very beginning, becoming real modern Praetorian Guard, which can depose of even kill the Emperor.

The midterm elections that returned the Democrats to power in the House are considered a step in the right direction for achieving this goal. That resulted in  in a crowded field for 2020 presidential election, and many candidates think that they can beat weakened Trump, who betrayed most of his voters and now try to compensate this with his jingoism with Venezuela and the Wall.  Sensing opportunity, candidates rush to join the competition. 

This also might be the first election in which the issue of the foreign influence on the US election (especially British and Israeli) became prominent (mostly along the lines of "Russiagate" witch hunt). The blowback from Russiagate and Mueller investigation reveled dirty dialing of British government and makes the work of British government and Zionist Lobby in influencing the US elections somewhat more difficult, although Israeli lobby continue to possess formidable financial resources for directly and indirectly bribing US politicians.  MI6 retained the ability to intercept all important US communications and as such can use this information to influence the US election, like they did in 2016 with Wiretapping Trump tower, Steele dossier  operation and  George Papadopoulos entrapment.

Bothe the level of British and Israeli influence clearly demonstrate that the immune system of the US state is weakened by decades of  neoliberalism.

Generally we have three main types of candidates in  2020

  1. "National neoliberalism" candidate. This is definitely only one leading candidate in this group -- Trump. The question arise, whether after Trump disastrous presidency and "national neoliberalism" platform remains a viable political force. I think  voters who supported Trump in 2016 will now splinter into multiple group preferring different candidates. Anti-war faction has, for example Tulsi Gabbard as a viable candidate to vote for.
    • The key question is whether "national neoliberalism" (aka Trumpism)  can bring an improvement of the standard of living for the majority of the USA population (say lower 90%, because upper 10% are pretty well under neoliberalism and do not want any social changes).  Looks like the answer is "No" and that means that Trump might well be  defeated in 2020.
    • There is a sense that Trump is above his head in White House.
    • There is a sense that Trump can't control his own administration foreign policy with neocons like Pompeo running the show.
  2. Corrupt DemoRats. The Guardian pointed out that most Democratic Party candidates such  as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. All of them are bought by Wall Street and as such do not represent any change of "status quo" which the USA population now demands:

    t’s a framing that’s been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that “resistance” even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.

    In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.

    Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders’ single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

    But outward appearances aren’t everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late – on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

    Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren’t far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

    When CNBC’s story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take “no corporate Pac money”.

    But what’s most telling isn’t that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street’s money, it’s that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn’t take their contributions, she’s signaling that she’s just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

    Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn – advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

    Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

    The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don’t have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monies interests. It’s telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper’s recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: “We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors.”

    Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn’t take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don’t really have their interests at heart.

    Of course, the Democratic party isn’t a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn’t going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it’s going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

    Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders. It seems likely that he will run for president, but he’s been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team’s experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

    Wall Street isn’t afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It’s afraid of the Democrats who will take them on – and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

  3. Populists (which mean anti-Wall-Street and/or Anti MIC) candidates.  Out of hostile  to Wall-Street candidate looks like only Warren has sharp enough elbows for a real fight: Sanders proved to be Hillary lapdog during previous elections. Tulsi Gabbard, the most anti-war candidate of them all, represents a huge threat to MIC and as such will be probably "neutralized" on the early stages of the Presidential race and burned at the MSM stake.   NYT smear of her as "Assad toady" is just an indication of things to come. 

    Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an “Assad toady,” then couldn’t spell/define toady or offer any evidence to prove her smear. Embarrassingly funnypic.twitter.com/m0MLaHFPiX
    — Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 22, 2019

    Rogan informs Weiss that a Toady is a “sycophant,” and then asks her what qualifies Gabbard as a “sycophant”? To which Weiss replies: “I don’t remember the details.”

    She probably will be labeled "Putin agent" very soon and this way or the other eliminated from the race.

Apparently now in best neo-McCarthyism traditions of Mueller witch hunt anyone who doesn’t conform to pro-war narratives of neoliberal/neocon establishment is a Russian stooge. Expect the dirt of her from the US intelligence agencies.

Trump might  lose 2020 elections

  In the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout[1], "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...

That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."

Comment on Sic Semper Tyrannis

 

If Trump runs on the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. Also now he has a his "national neoliberalism" baggage (Tax cut for rich, pandering to Israel, possible trade war with China, Venezuela interference, Syria interference, Iran saber-rattling,  etc)  like albatross about his neck: he proved to be a weak, uneducated, superficial and impulsive politician. In no way he was a "betrayal of his class" like Roosevelt; he also proved to be  a "national neoliberal" at heart, who lied to his electorate: Republican Obama so to speak. Like Obama he proved to be an obedient puppet of MIC. But in addition to that he positioned himself as a puppet of Israel (MIGA instead of MAGA problem; in this sense Kushner is yet another albatross around his neck.)

His tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal much like Bush II. That impression strengthen if we look at his cabinet with neocon  hawks such as Bolton and  Pompeo running the show. So his attraction to major voting blocks which propelled him to victory in 2016 is down substantially. Moreover, Trump now has zero, or less, street credibility. One of his nicknames in Pinocchio, the other "A very stable genius". This does not help. 

Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the “center” as a position somewhere between neoliberalism and New Deal Capitalism, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center.

If anything, it’s far to the left of the Clinton Democrats (soft neoliberals) and in some  area to the left of The New Deal Capitalism. The hate of Wall Street and neoliberal establishment is now running pretty high (Look at consolatory gestures of Jamie Dimon - Wikipedia with his 100 million education fund proposal)

Tax cuts for the rich are the GOP’s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they’re too high. That fact provides string support for Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every GOP health care proposal in recent years.

The result is that to be an economic conservative in America means advocating policies that, on their merits, only appeal to a very small faction on the population, mainly professional and neoliberal elite. Basically nobody wants these policies on their own; they only sell if they’re packaged with far right nationalism

But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by neoliberalism remade the world — slowly, and then all at once

Looks like Democratic Party is so corrupted by Wall Street  and MIC that it can't overcome its fiasco in 2016. DNC will probably prevent any non-establishment candidate from taking that nomination. And establishment candidate has low chances to win against Trump, because Trump now will run as an establishment candidate.

Attempt to offload the blame of Hillary Clinton's fiasco in 2016 to  Russia's manipulation of election  not only failed, they backfired destroying credibility of neoliberal MSM such as NBC, CNN and MSNBC, which are not called "fake news." So now "DemoRats" (Clinton wing of Democratic Party, or Establishment Democrats) have much less tools for influencing public opinion.

Russiagate witch hunt also revealed that the real manipulator of the USA 2016 election were British intelligence services, a pro-Obama faction within CIA (you may call it Brennan faction)  and FBI (you may call it Comey faction) positioning Obama and his weasels (Brennan,   Clapper,  Samantha Power, Susan Rice, etc) as chief conspirators again democratic election; they were guilty of politicizing counterintelligence division of FBI for their own  benefits (see  Steele dossier and Strzok-gate ). That limits their freedom of maneuver in 2020.

US far right  does not qualify as a national socialist movement

Talking about far right, Trump supporters and his supporters are to heavily infected with neoliberal ideology and  are pretty far in social demands of German National Socialist Program  of 1920 which advocated  using brute power of state and repressions against financial oligarchy ("usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race. ").  So they might lose considerable part of working class voters, who after 40 year of neoliberalism now openly tilt toward national socialism ideas.

Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing Democratic Party (soft neoliberals or DemoRats) , which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party which is essentially the party of big capital. Let me remind  the key points of NSDAP program of 1920: 

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

The curse of neoliberalism is still very strong

Here is Henry Giroux take on  the current situation in the USA (Truthdig, Aug 02, 2018) which I think contain some interesting (albeit controversial) thought as for the direction of the USA society might take after Presidential elections of 2020: 

Since the 1970s, American society has lived with the curse of neoliberalism, or what can be called the latest and most extreme stage of predatory capitalism. As part of a broader comprehensive design, neoliberalism’s overriding goal is to consolidate power in the hands of the financial elite. As a mode of rationality, it functions pedagogically in multiple cultural sites to ensure no alternatives to its mode of governance can be imagined or constructed.

Central to its philosophy is the assumption the market drives not just the economy but all of social life. It construes profit-making as the essence of democracy and consuming as the only operable form of agency. It redefines identities, desires and values through a market logic that favors self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos and unchecked individualism. Under neoliberalism, life-draining and unending competition is a central concept for defining human freedom.

As an economic policy, it creates an all-encompassing market guided by the principles of privatization, deregulation, commodification and the free flow of capital. Advancing these agendas, it weakens unions, radically downsizes the welfare state and wages an assault on public goods. As the state is hollowed out, big corporations take on the functions of government, imposing severe austerity measures, redistributing wealth upward to the rich and powerful and reinforcing a notion of society as one of winners and losers. Put simply, neoliberalism gives free rein to finance capital and seeks to liberate the market from any restraints imposed by the state. At present, governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy.

As a political policy, it empties governance of any substance and denounces any viable notion of the social contract. Moreover, neoliberalism produces widespread misery and suffering as it weakens any vestige of democracy that interferes with its vision of a self-regulating market.

Theoretically, neoliberalism is often associated with the work of Friedrich August von Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society, Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics, and most famously with the politics of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, President Ronald Reagan in the United States and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. Politically, it is supported by various right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and by billionaires such as the Koch brothers.

Neoliberalism’s hatred of democracy, the common good and the social contract has unleashed generic elements of a fascist past in which white supremacy, ultra-nationalism, rabid misogyny and immigrant fervor come together in a toxic mix of militarism, state violence and the politics of disposability. Modes of fascist expression adapt variously to different political historical contexts assuring racial apartheid-like forms in the postbellum U.S. and overt encampments and extermination in Nazi Germany. Fascism --  with its unquestioning belief in obedience to a powerful strongman, violence as a form of political purification, hatred as an act of patriotism, racial and ethnic cleansing, and the superiority of a select ethnic or national group --  has resurfaced in the United States. In this mix of economic barbarism, political nihilism, racial purity, economic orthodoxy and ethical somnambulance, a distinctive economic-political formation has been produced that I term neoliberal fascism.

Neoliberalism as the New Fascism

The war against liberal democracy has become a global phenomenon. Authoritarian regimes have spread from Turkey, Poland, Hungary and India to the United States and a number of other countries. Right-wing populist movements are on the march, spewing forth a poisonous mix of ultra-nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. The language of national decline, humiliation and demonization fuels dangerous proposals and policies aimed at racial purification and social sorting while hyping a masculinization of agency and a militarism reminiscent of past dictatorships. Under current circumstances, the forces that have produced the histories of mass violence, torture, genocide and fascism have not been left behind. Consequently, it has been more difficult to argue that the legacy of fascism has nothing to teach us regarding how “the question of fascism and power clearly belongs to the present.”1

Fascism has multiple histories, most connected to the failed democracies in Italy and Germany in the 1930s and the overthrow of democratic governments by the military such as in Argentina and Chile in the 1970s. Moreover, the history between fascism and populism involves a complex mix of relations over time.2 What is distinctive about this millennial fascism is its history of “a violent totalitarian order that led to radical forms of political violence and genocide” has been softened by attempts to recalibrate its postwar legacy to a less liberal democratic register.3 For instance, in Hungary, Turkey, Poland and a number of other emerging fascist states, the term “illiberal democracy” is used as code to allegedly replace a “supposedly outmoded form of liberal democracy.”4 In actuality, the term is used to justify a form of populist authoritarianism whose goal is to attack the very foundations of democracy. These fascist underpinnings are also expanding in the United States. In President Donald Trump’s bombastic playbook, the notion of “the people” has become a rhetorical tool to legitimize a right-wing mass movement in support of a return to the good old days of American Apartheid.5

As the ideas, values and institutions crucial to a democracy have withered under a savage neoliberalism that has been 50 years in the making, fascistic notions of racial superiority, social cleansing, apocalyptic populism, hyper-militarism and ultra-nationalism have gained in intensity, moving from the repressed recesses of U.S. history to the centers of state and corporate power.6 Decades of mass inequality, wage slavery, the collapse of the manufacturing sector, tax giveaways to the financial elite and savage austerity policies that drive a frontal attack on the welfare state have further strengthened fascistic discourses. They also have redirected populist anger against vulnerable populations and undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the racially oppressed, women, LBGTQ people, public servants, critical intellectuals and workers. Not only has neoliberalism undermined the basic elements of democracy by escalating the mutually reinforcing dynamics of economic inequality and political inequality --  accentuating the downhill spiral of social and economic mobility --  it has also created conditions that make fascist ideas and principles more attractive.

Under these accelerated circumstances, neoliberalism and fascism conjoin and advance in a comfortable and mutually compatible movement that connects the worst excesses of capitalism with authoritarian “strongman” ideals --  the veneration of war, a hatred of reason and truth; a celebration of ultra-nationalism and racial purity; the suppression of freedom and dissent; a culture that promotes lies, spectacles, scapegoating the other, a deteriorating discourse, brutal violence, and, ultimately, the eruption of state violence in heterogeneous forms. In the Trump administration, neoliberal fascism is on steroids and represents a fusion of the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of the past. 7 Neoliberal structural transformation has undermined and refigured “the principles, practices, cultures, subjects and institution of democracy understood as rule by the people.”8 Since the earlier ’70s, the neoliberal project has mutated into a revolt against human rights and democracy and created a powerful narrative that refigures freedom and authority so as to legitimize and produce massive inequities in wealth and power.9 Its practices of offshoring, restructuring everything according to the dictates of profit margins, slashing progressive taxation, eliminating corporate regulations, allowing unchecked privatization and the ongoing commercializing of all social interactions “inflicts alienating misery” on a polity newly vulnerable to fascist ideals, rhetoric and politically extremist movements.10

Furthermore, the merging of neoliberalism and fascism has accelerated as civic culture is eroded, notions of shared citizenship and responsibility disappear, and reason and informed judgment are replaced by the forces of civic illiteracy. State-sanctioned attacks on the truth, facts and scientific reason in Trump’s America are camouflaged as one would expect when led by the first reality TV president --  by a corporate-controlled culture of vulgarity that merges celebrity culture with a nonstop spectacle of violence. Neoliberalism strips democracy of any substance by promoting an irrational belief in the ability of the market to solve all social problems and shape all aspects of society. This shift from a market economy to a market-driven society has been accompanied by a savage attack on equality, the social contract and social provisions as wages have been gutted, pensions destroyed, health care put out of reach for millions, job security undermined, and access to crucial public goods such as public and higher education considerably weakened for the lower and middle classes.

In the current historical moment, neoliberalism represents more than a form of hyper-capitalism, it also denotes the death of democracy if not politics itself. Anis Shivani’s articulation of the threat neoliberalism poses to democracy is worth quoting at length:

Neoliberalism believes that markets are self-sufficient unto themselves, that they do not need regulation, and that they are the best guarantors of human welfare. Everything that promotes the market, i.e., privatization, deregulation, mobility of finance and capital, abandonment of government-provided social welfare, and the reconception of human beings as human capital, needs to be encouraged, while everything that supposedly diminishes the market, i.e., government services, regulation, restrictions on finance and capital, and conceptualization of human beings in transcendent terms, is to be discouraged….One way to sum up neoliberalism is to say that everything --  everything --  is to be made over in the image of the market, including the state, civil society, and of course human beings. Democracy becomes reinterpreted as the market, and politics succumbs to neoliberal economic theory, so we are speaking of the end of democratic politics as we have known it for two and a half centuries.11

What is particularly distinctive about the conjuncture of neoliberalism and fascism is how the full-fledged liberation of capital now merges with an out-and-out attack on the racially oppressed and vulnerable populations considered disposable. Not only do the oppressive political, economic and financial structures of casino capitalism bear down on people’s lives, but there is also a frontal attack on the shared understandings and beliefs that hold a people together. One crucial and distinctive place in which neoliberalism and fascism converge is in the undermining of social bonds and moral boundaries. Displacement, disintegration, atomization, social isolation and deracination have a long history in the United States, which has been aggressively exploited by Trump, taking on a distinctively right-wing, 21st-century register. There is more at work here than the heavy neoliberal toll of social abandonment. There is also, under the incessant pedagogical propaganda of right-wing and corporate controlled media, a culture that has become cruel and cultivates an appetite for maliciousness that undermines the capacity for empathy, making people indifferent to the suffering of others or, even worse, willing participants in their violent exclusion.

Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole warns that fascism unravels the ethical imagination through a process in which individuals eventually “learn to think the unthinkable…” followed, he writes, “by a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all”:

You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanized. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.12

What is often labeled as an economic crisis in American society is also a crisis of morality, sociality and community. Since the 1970s, increasing unregulated capitalism has hardened into a form of market fundamentalism that has accelerated the hollowing out of democracy through its capacity to reshape the commanding political, social and economic institutions of American society, making it vulnerable to the fascist solutions proposed by Trump. As an integrated system of structures, ideologies and values, neoliberalism economizes every aspect of life, separates economic activity from social costs, and depoliticizes the public through corporate-controlled disimagination machines that trade in post-truth narratives, enshrine the spectacle of violence, debase language and distort history.

Neoliberalism now wages a battle against any viable notion of the social contract, solidarity, the collective imagination, the public good and the institutions that support them. As the realm of the political is defined in strictly economic terms, the institutions, public goods, formative cultures and modes of identity essential to a democracy disappear, along with the informed citizens necessary to sustain them.

The Crisis of Reason and Fantasies of Freedom

As more and more power is concentrated in the hands of a corporate and financial elite, freedom is defined exclusively in market terms, inequality is cast as a virtue, and the logic of privatization heaps contempt upon civic compassion and the welfare state. The fatal after-effect is that neoliberalism has emerged as the new face of fascism.13 With the 50-year advance of neoliberalism, freedom has become its opposite. And democracy, once the arc of civic freedom, now becomes its enemy, because democratic governance no longer takes priority over the unchecked workings of the market. Neoliberalism undermines both the social and the public and in doing so weakens the idea of shared responsibilities and moral obligations. As Zygmunt Bauman argues “ethical tranquillization” is now normalized under the assumption that freedom is limited to the right to only advance one’s own interests and the interests of the markets. Freedom in the neoliberal playbook disavows any notion of responsibility outside of the responsibility to oneself.

As Wendy Brown argues, politics and democracy are now viewed as the enemy of markets and “politics is cast as the enemy to freedom, to order and to progress.”14 Politics now becomes a mix of regressive notions of freedom and authority whose purpose is to protect market-driven principles and practices. What disappears in this all-encompassing reach of capital is the notion of civic freedom, which is replaced by securitization organized to protect the lawless workings of the profit motive and the savagery of neoliberal austerity policies. Moreover, as freedom becomes privatized, it feeds a lack of interest in politics and breeds moral indifference. As a consequence, neoliberalism unleashes the passions of a fascist past in which the terrain of politics, agency and social relations begin to resemble a war zone, a blood sport and a form of cage fighting.

In this instance, the oppressed are not only cheated out of history, they are led to believe that under neoliberal fascism there are no alternatives and the future can only imitate the present. Not only does this position suppress any sense of responsibility and resistance, it produces what Timothy Snyder calls “a kind of sleepwalking, and has to end with a crash.”15 The latter is reinforced by a government that believes truth is dangerous and reality begins with a tweet that signals the legitimation of endless lies and forms of power that infantilize and depoliticize, because they leave no room for standards of language capable of holding power accountable. Even worse, Trump’s war on language and truth does more than limit freedom to competing fictions, it also erases the distinction between moral depravity and justice, good and evil. As I have said elsewhere, “Trump’s Ministry of Fake News works incessantly to set limits on what is thinkable, claiming that reason, evidence, consistency, and logic no longer serve the truth, because the latter are crooked ideological devices used by enemies of the state. ‘Thought crimes’ are now labeled as ‘fake news.’ ” 16

Timothy Snyder is right in arguing that “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”17 The post-truth society is a state-sponsored diversion and spectacle. Its purpose is to camouflage a moral and political crisis that has put into play a set of brutal neoliberal arrangements. Rather than view truth as the currency of democracy, Trump and his acolytes view it and democracy as the enemy of power. Such arrangements put democracy at risk and create an educational and political project receptive to the political currency of white supremacy. As a master of schlock performance, Trump tweets and speaks largely to his angry, resentful base, often using crude language in which the threat of violence and repression appears to function for his audience as a source of “romance, pleasure and fantasy.”18 These core supporters represent, at best, what Philip Roth once generously called the “uneducated and overburdened.” But they also cultivate what Erin Aubry Kaplan calls “the very worst American impulses, from xenophobia to know-nothingism to disdain for social necessities such as public education and clean water, [and their] signature quality is racism.”19

Restaging Fascism Within Democracy

Rather than disappear into the memory hole of history, fascism has reappeared in a different form in the United States, echoing Theodor Adorno’s warning, “I consider the survival of National Socialism within democracy to be potentially more menacing than the survival of fascist tendencies against democracy.”20 Theorists, novelists, historians and writers that include such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, Sinclair Lewis, Bertram Gross, Umberto Eco, Robert O. Paxton, Timothy Snyder, Susan Sontag and Sheldon Wolin have argued convincingly that fascism remains an ongoing danger and has the ability to become relevant under new conditions. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Arendt warned totalitarianism was far from a thing of the past because the conditions of extreme precarity and uncertainty that produce it were likely to crystallize into new forms.21

What Arendt thought was crucial for each generation to recognize was that the presence of the Nazi camps and the policy of extermination should be understood not only as the logical outcome of a totalitarian society or simply a return of the past, but also for what their histories suggest about forecasting a “possible model for the future.”22 The nightmare of fascism’s past cannot escape memory because it needs to be retold over and over again so as to recognize when it is happening again. Rather than fade into the past, mass poverty, unchecked homelessness, large-scale rootlessness, fearmongering, social atomization, state terrorism and the politics of elimination have provided the seeds for new forms of fascism to appear. Paxton, the renowned historian of fascism, argues in his “The Anatomy of Fascism” that the texture of American fascism would not mimic traditional European forms but would be rooted in the language, symbols and culture of everyday life:

No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.23

Given the alarming signs that have come into play under the Trump administration, it is hard to look away and condone the suppression of the history and language of fascism and its relevance for understanding America’s flight from the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy. This is not to suggest the only template for addressing the legacy of fascism is to point to Nazi Germany, the most extreme of the fascist states, or, for that matter, to Mussolini’s brand of fascism. Not only does the comparison not work, but it tends to understand fascist ideals only against its most extreme expressions.

While it is true the U.S. may not be putting millions in gas chambers or promoting genocide, there remain reworked elements of the past in the present. For instance, there are already echoes of the past in existing and expanding infrastructures of punishment --  amounting to a carceral state --  that have grown exponentially in the past four decades. In fact, the United States has the largest prison system in the world, with more than 2.5 million people incarcerated. Astonishingly, this figure does not include immigrant detention centers and other forms of encampment around the U.S. border with Mexico. The visibility of this state-sanctioned punishing apparatus and its similarity to a fascist history was on display recently with the caging of young immigrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border for months at a time. Needless to say, such institutions and actions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past for which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist brutality.

Reports of widespread abuse of imprisoned unaccompanied migrant children separated from their parents are increasingly being reported in the press. Detained under inhumane and cruel conditions, many of these children in government detention centers are allegedly being drugged, sexually abused, and subject to a range of inhumane actions. In Texas, a federal judge ordered a detention center to stop forcing children to take psychotropic drugs such as Clonazepam, Divalproex, Benztropine and Duloxetine in order to control their behavior. Needless to say, such actions, policies, and institutions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past in which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist cruelty, barbarism and brutality.

It is against this background that I believe the current debates that dismiss whether the U.S. under Trump is a fascist society are unproductive. The argument against this recognition generally proceeds by claiming either fascism is a relic of the past, fixed in a certain historical period with no relevance to the present, or that the differences between Trump’s policies and those of Hitler and Mussolini are enough so as to make any comparison irrelevant. Many commentators denounce any references to Trump and Nazis in the past as exaggerated, extreme or inapplicable. In this view, fascism is always somewhere else, relegated to a time and a place that suggests an accommodating distance, one that runs the risk of disconnecting historical memory and the horrors of another age from the possibility of fascism resurrected in a different form, newly attuned to its moment. We live in an age in which there is a terror on the part of critics to imagine the plasticity of fascism.

The Mobilizing Passions of Fascism

Fascism is neither a static nor fixed moment in history, and the forms it takes do not have to imitate earlier historical models. It is an authoritarian ideology and a form of political behavior defined by what Paxton calls a series of “mobilizing passions.” These include an open assault on democracy, the call for a strongman, a contempt for human weakness, an obsession with hyper-masculinity, an aggressive militarism, an appeal to national greatness, a disdain for the feminine, an investment in the language of cultural decline, the disparaging of human rights, the suppression of dissent, a propensity for violence, disdain for intellectuals, a hatred of reason, and fantasies of racial superiority and eliminationist policies aimed at social cleansing.24

The ghost of fascism has to be retrieved from history and restored to a “proper place in the discussions of the moral and political limits of what is acceptable,”25 especially at a moment when the crisis of democracy cannot be separated from the crisis of neoliberalism. As a heuristic tool to compare forms of state power, the legacy of fascism offers an opportunity to recognize when authoritarian signposts are on the horizon.

For example, under Trump, the spectacle reigns supreme, harking back to an earlier time in history when bravado, armed ignorance and theatrical performances provided a model of community that squelched memory, domesticated thought and opened the door for a strongman’s followers to disavow their role as critical agents in favor of becoming blind, if not willful, spectators. With regards to the present, it is crucial to recognize the ascendancy of Trump politically within rather than against the flow of history.

Fascism in the United States has arrived slowly by subversion from within. Its roots have been on display for decades and emerged most visibly with President George W. Bush’s and then President Barack Obama’s war on terror. Bush, in particular, embraced unapologetically a raw display of power that sanctioned torture, domestic spying, secret prisons, kill lists, laws sanctioning indefinite detention, warrantless searches and war crimes. Obama did little to correct these legal illegalities and Trump has only breathed new life into them. Instead of the sudden appearance on American streets of thugs, brown shirts, purges and massive state violence --  the state violence waged against African Americans notwithstanding --  fascism has been resurrected through the enabling force of casino capitalism, which has unleashed and mobilized a range of economic, political, religious and educational fundamentalisms.

This is most obvious in the subversion of power by the financial and corporate robber barons, the taming of dissent, the cultivation of tribal identities, the celebration of orbits of self-interests and hyper-individualism over the common good, the privatization and deregulation of public life and institutions, the legitimation of bigotry and intolerance, the transformation of elections into a battle among billionaires, and the production of a culture of greed and cruelty. But, as political theorist Wendy Brown makes clear, it is also obvious in a populist revolt generated by neoliberalism’s decimation of “livelihoods and neighborhoods,” “evacuating and delegitimizing democracy,” “devaluing knowledge apart from job training,” and the “eroding of national sovereignty.”26

Orthodoxy, especially under Trump, has transformed education into a workstation for ignorance in which harsh discipline is metered out to poor students and youths of color. Politics has been utterly corrupted by big money and morally deficient bankers, hedge fund managers and corporate moguls. And many evangelicals and other religious groups support, or are complicit with, a president who sides with white supremacists and trades in the language of viciousness and brutality.27

The corporate state, fueled by a market fundamentalism and a long legacy of racial apartheid, has imposed almost incomprehensible cruelty on poor and vulnerable black populations. The merging of neoliberalism and fascist elements of white supremacy and systemic racism is particularly evident in the environmental racism, dilapidated schools and air pollution that have come to light recently.28 The short list includes going so far as to sacrifice poor black children in Flint, Mich., to the perils of lead poisoning to increase profits, subject the population of Puerto Rico to unnecessary despair by refusing to provide adequate government services after Hurricane Maria,29 and creating conditions in which “America’s youngest children, some 47 percent” under the age of 5, “live in low-income or poor households.”30 W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of a “racial dictatorship” in his classic “Black Reconstruction in America” has been resurrected under Trump.

As U.N. Special Rapporteur Philip Alston reported, amid a massive concentration of wealth among the upper 1 percent in the United States, 40 million people live in poverty and 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. According to Alston, such neoliberal policies are “aggressively regressive” in their promoting of harsh work requirements for welfare recipients, cutting back programs to feed poor children, and the willingness to both incarcerate young children and separate them from their parents.31 All the while, the Trump administration has shifted massive resources to the wealthy as a result of a tax policy that shreds $1.5 trillion from the federal budget.

Since the 1970s, wages have stagnated, banks have cheated millions out of their homes through rigged mortgage policies, and the political power brokers have imposed financial ruin on minorities of class and race.32 The war against poverty initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration had been transformed into a war on poverty by President Ronald Reagan and has accelerated and achieved its apotheosis under the Trump regime. With a pathological enthusiasm, Trump’s morally bereft Republican Congress has cut crucial benefits for the poor, such as the food stamp program, while also imposing harsh work requirements on Medicare recipients. There is more at work here than the self-serving and vindictive neoliberal belief that government is bad when it gets in the way of markets and does not serve the interest of the rich. There is also willfully savage support for massive degrees of inequality, human wretchedness, the criminalization of social problems, and a burgeoning culture of punishment, misery and suffering.

One consequence is a beleaguered American landscape marked by the growing opioid crisis, the criminalization of peaceful protests, race-based environmental poisoning, shorter longevity rates for middle-aged Americans, and an incarceration rate that ranks as the highest in the world. The war on democracy has also morphed into a war on youth as more and more children are homeless, subjected to mass school shootings, inhabit schools modeled after prisons, and increasingly ushered into the school-to-prison pipeline and disciplinary apparatuses that treats them as criminals.33 Under the long history of neoliberalism in the United States, there has developed a perverse investment in the degradation and punishment of the most vulnerable individuals, those considered other, and an increasing register of those considered disposable.34

Rethinking the Politics of Inverted Totalitarianism

What is crucial to understand is that neoliberalism is not only a more extreme element of capitalism, it has also enabled the emergence of a radical restructuring of power, the state and politics, and in doing so converges with a style of fascism suited to the American context. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin, in his book “Democracy Incorporated,” was one of the first to analyze the transformation of a capitalist democracy into what he called an inverted form of totalitarianism. According to Wolin, the political state was replaced by a corporate state that exploits all but the ruling classes, empties politics of any substance through rigged elections, uses the power of capital to define citizens largely as consumers of products, and applies the power of the corporate state as a battering ram to push through policies that strengthen the power of capital.

For Wolin, neoliberalism was the endpoint of a long process “to transform everything --  every object, every living thing, every fact on the planet --  in its image.”35 He believed that this new political formation and form of sovereignty in which economics dominated politics was hostile to both social spending and the welfare state. Wolin rightly argued that under neoliberalism, political sovereignty is largely replaced by economic sovereignty as corporate power takes over the reins of governance.

The dire consequence, as David Harvey points out, is that “raw money power wielded by the few undermines all semblances of democratic governance.”36 Policy is now fashioned by lobbyists representing big businesses such as the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, going so far in the case of the drug companies to drive the opioid crisis to increase their profits.37

Under neoliberalism, the welfare state has been largely dismantled, while the power of a punishing apparatus of an emerging police state has been expanded, buttressed by a pervasive culture of fear that exempts itself from the legalities and constitutional obligations of a democracy, however neutered. Wolin was keenly aware of the ruthlessness of corporate culture in its willingness to produce striking inequalities in an epical war on the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy.

Wolin’s great contribution to theories of totalitarianism lies in his ability to lay bare the authoritarian economic tendencies in neoliberalism and its threat to democracy. What he did not do is associate neoliberalism and its enervating effects closely enough with certain legacies of fascism. In this absence, he was unable to predict the resurgence of strongman politics in the United States and the ascendant fascist investments in white supremacy, racial sorting, ultra-nationalism, a war on youth, women’s reproductive rights and a race-inspired, eliminationist politics of disposability. What he underemphasized was that neoliberalism impoverished not only society economically while serving the interests of the rich, but it also created a powerful narrative that normalizes political inaction as it shifted the weight and responsibility of all social problems onto the individual rather than the society.38

In the age of neoliberal myth-making, systemic deficiencies such as poverty, homelessness and precarious employment are now relegated to individual failures, character deficits and moral turpitude. Correspondingly, notions of the social, systemic and public disappear, serving to expand the base of those who feel voiceless and powerless, opening them up to the crude and simplistic emotional appeals of authoritarian figures such as Trump. In truly demagogic fashion, Trump promises a new world order that will be fashioned out of the rhetorical bombast of dehumanization, bigotry and a weaponized appeal to fear and hate. As the poor and discarded vanish from the political discourse of democracy, they become susceptible to a “volatility and the fury that [mutilates] contemporary politics that thrives on an appetite for authoritarian and fascistic impulses.”39

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[Sep 18, 2019] Trump proved to be a weak politician who is too cozy with the Isreal lobby. He illegally removed the U.S. from the Iran deal and is now boxed into escalation that has no good outcome.

Brian not to be confused with the Inner Party member in 1984. This is just a coincidence.
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Circe , Sep 18 2019 14:19 utc | 146
The U.S. just increased sanctions on Iran again. Bad move.

Trump is stupid. He illegally removed the U.S. from the Iran deal and is now boxed into escalation that has no good outcome...

[Sep 18, 2019] How Russiagate Replaced Analysis of the 2016 Election

American Herald Tribune
An honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.

Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues

Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.

Immediately after the 2016 Election

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, ' I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class... I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' ...What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from. "

MORE...

Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled "Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate." The author analyzed the results saying, "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."

Russiagate replaced Recrimination

But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack ... the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."

After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book "Shattered" (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team " to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up .... they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. "

This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.

One Year After the Election

The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled "Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination" . Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition ..." It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.

A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself - ideologically and financially - from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."

Two Years After the Election

In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled "Autopsy: One Year Later" . It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."

In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.

What really happened in 2016?

Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.

Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.

What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, " As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month... The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "

Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, " The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace ."

How Clinton became the Nominee

Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.

Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.

Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?

The Relevance of 2016 to 2020

The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.

Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article "Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article "Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump" . Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.

The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.

This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , " Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties. "

Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, "Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce" .

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.

There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.

Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.

[Sep 18, 2019] Joe Biden Is Problematic by Charles M. Blow

Sep 18, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

David NYC Sept. 16 Times Pick

What in the world have Democrats done to make things better for blacks? Look at Chicago and Baltimore, and everywhere for that matter. Trump is by far the better choice if you're black. Democrats are far, far more concerned with illegals immigrants, and bringing in as many as possible and pumping huge amounts of dollars into supporting them. So many inner city blacks now recognize this, and realize there's only so much to go around, and they are being left behind. How would blacks fare better under Biden? He was with Obama for eight years, and nothing improved, so how in the world will it be any different? Blacks will continue to be forgotten with the Dems' insistence on welcoming as many illegal immigrants as possible. Employment for blacks under Trump is at its highest level ever. That will regress if/when a Democrat is elected.
Thomas Field Dallas Sept. 16 Times Pick
Ironically, this reads like an attack on white people for something they had nothing to with, either because they weren't born yet, or like the majority of whites are not racist and don't support white supremacy. Is racism still a problem? Sure, but to imply zero progress on race since 1860, is disingenuous at best. I have lived in Dallas Texas since 1958, a city as racist as it gets. There's a famous pic of laborer Allen Brooks hanging from an Elk's Club arch in the middle of downtown in 1910. As a kid I remember my mild mannered Grandfather remarking in amazement as we watched American Bandstand..."I can't get over it, blacks and whites dancing together". He didn't mean with each other, he was shocked black couples were dancing on the same floor as whites. Even at eight years, I was appalled at his regressive, antiquated racial views. It never occurred to me to be racist. When I was a teen I transferred out of a 100% white high school to attend the Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet in Dallas, Alma-Mater of Nora Jones and Erykah Badu. Point is, these things are literally not as simple as black and white. I can honestly say I've never met a straight-up white supremacist in my life and strive to treat everyone as individuals based on the brotherhood of man and mutual respect. I think most white people would love to settle the race issue once and for all but don't know how, short of getting in a time machine and undoing everything from the slave trade forward.
Jon T Los Angeles Sept. 16 Times Pick
The left doesn't seem to realize that the wokest candidate and the electoral college are mutually exclusive. Hillary barely lost the rust belt and was saying woke things but lost badly with working class white voters who voted for Obama in 2008. Why? Look at his message - it wasn't atone for your grand parents sins. It was I see one America. Which sounds better (stepping out of the bubble might help your hearing). Trump is so beatable but the bubble has become so hardened that the left may just hand him re-election as they are appearing to lose complete touch with the electoral college demographics. Completely shunning white working class votes (something Obama definitely did not do) is folly. 9 Replies
Ellen Blanchette Greenfield, MA Sept. 16 Times Pick
Joe Biden's main problem is he is stuck in the past. His view of cures for poverty and the learning gap between black and white students is stuck in old research that has a clear racial bias. The things he said in that long rambling answer suffer from the view that somehow black parents lack vocabulary and cultural enrichment when nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, black culture has enriched white culture through art and music, language, fiction, poetry, and so much more. Children growing up in poverty suffer many obstacles to good health and education. For example, we learned a long time ago that many children come to school hungry, which is why we have breakfast and free lunch programs for children whose family incomes are below poverty level. A hungry child will not learn. Nor will an abused child, or one who is homeless, or alone in life. To make this a racial thing instead of a poverty issue is a mistake. Biden may still have the support of the older black community but I doubt his language will go over well with the younger voters, black or white. I suppose I could be considered a white liberal and am in fact the same age as Joe but his language offends my ear. And he reminds me of what held Hillary back, an attitude that he can lean on his past history, "You know me, look at my record." This is a huge mistake. He needs to say who he is today, and what he would do as president. 11 Replies
Jessica West Sept. 16 Times Pick
The prospect of Biden as the Democratic nominee has got me already feeling disillusioned, demoralized, and pessimistic. The Democrats keep missing the mark. Voting their fears. Look what happened in 2008 and 2018 when they voted their hopes. I would love to see a poll of this hypothetical: who would you vote for if you knew they would win. Pretend they will be automatically installed. Whose platform, whose values and vision and experience and leadership do you want to try as the voice of our country for 4 years? I seriously doubt the answer would be Joe Biden! Remember people, everyone was too afraid to vote for Bernie last time. Hilary was the 'safe' one who was 'more likely to beat dung- for-brains'. And here we are, doing it again. 25 Replies
Tom San Jose Sept. 16 Times Pick
I can't help but recall the 1964 Democratic Convention when I hear Biden or hear of his comments. For those who are not familiar with that convention, this was still during legal segregation (yes, it was the law). A group that named itself the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was formed (it's a long story) and challenged the seating of the formal, segregated and segregationist, Mississippi delegation to the Democratic convention. Liberal icons Hubert Humphrey (1968 Democratic loser to Nixon) and Walter Mondale (1984 loser to Reagan) were among the most prominent Dems that refused to seat the MFDP and seated the racist delegation. It is out of that tradition that Biden issues. The fact that Biden can't speak coherently about his record is because of what the content of Democratic Party politics has been. He really doesn't see any problem with it. Yes, Trump is a fascist - be honest and say it, because it's true. But really, is a party with "leaders" like Biden an answer to Trump?
Deborah Manhattan Sept. 16 Times Pick
I'm a black voter and Joe Biden's campaign and his political history are very problematic for me. Secondly, every political organization that has requested my choice of Democratic presidential candidates has not once shown Biden leading, once the votes are tallied; it's always either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders leading these polls. Moreover, the "electability" mantra is pure public relations, centrist nonsense. Of course Donald Trump is a dystopian horror show, but running a "not-for-primetime" candidate like Joe Biden is just asking for another four years of Trump. Has this country learned nothing from 2016?
Nathan B. Toronto Sept. 16 Times Pick
Let's be honest about Joe Biden: The only reason Obama selected him to be his VP was to assuage the fears of much of white America. He served a specific purpose related to anxieties about demographics and race. He was not selected because he was a great legislator, a great moral voice, a foreign policy expert (Iraq war, anyone?), or a brilliant politician. He was selected to be VP precisely because he had a checkered past on race, showing that Obama, who so much of white America suspected of being a radical, would overlook and would certainly not confront white America's racism. There is absolutely no compelling reason for Joe Biden to be president, except to continue to appeal to forces in American society that need to be cast away. If he is the nominee, he might win, he might not. But he will be a disappointment.

[Sep 18, 2019] Trump Makes Another Bad Choice for National Security Advisor

Looks like Trump just increased his chances to lose to Warren in 2020 elections.
Notable quotes:
"... O'Brien advised the Romney 2012 campaign, and he also advised the short-lived Scott Walker campaign in the 2016 cycle. He is a typical hawkish Republican. ..."
"... Obviously, "Bolton lite" isn't much of an improvement over Bolton, and it seems unlikely that there will be any significant improvement in administration foreign policy over the next fifteen months. The summary of O'Brien's book confirms as much: ..."
"... Back in 2014, he was praising Romney for his "Churchill-like warning of a resurgent Russia," and I pointed out that Romney had said a lot of ignorant, knee-jerk things about Russia that were wrong. The fact that O'Brien thought and probably still thinks that "Romney was right" about anything related to foreign policy is more evidence that Trump made a very poor choice again. ..."
"... Let's be serious, Mr Trump did not pick Mr Robert O'Brien. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump announced the selection of his fourth National Security Advisor:

President Trump announced Wednesday that Robert O'Brien, the special envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, will be his next national security advisor.

O'Brien previously served in the Bush administration's State Department. Hugh Hewitt, who wrote the foreword to O'Brien's book , has described him as a "long time colleague of John Bolton." Since the Bush years, O'Brien advised the Romney 2012 campaign, and he also advised the short-lived Scott Walker campaign in the 2016 cycle. He is a typical hawkish Republican. Curt Mills referred to him in his recent report on the race to replace Bolton this way:

Robert O'Brien, the Trump hostage negotiator whose stock has risen in the administration in recent months, is "Bolton lite," according to a source who has known O'Brien for years.

Obviously, "Bolton lite" isn't much of an improvement over Bolton, and it seems unlikely that there will be any significant improvement in administration foreign policy over the next fifteen months. The summary of O'Brien's book confirms as much:

The world has become steadily more dangerous under President Obama's "lead from behind" foreign policy. The Obama Administration's foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries and disheartened our allies. Indeed, Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is a 1938 moment. At the same time, the U.S. military has been cut and risks returning to the hollow force days of the 1970s. O'Brien lays out the challenges and provides the common sense "peace through strength" solutions that will allow the next president to make America great again.

There is nothing surprising in here, and a lot that is embarrassingly wrong, but it is consistent with the GOP's bankrupt foreign policy worldview. A friendly review of the book describes that worldview in boilerplate terms:

Robert writes from a series of beliefs and assumptions that I also hold: a deep belief in American Exceptionalism, that peace comes through strength, that the United States is stronger when it partners with its allies and when America is a reliable friend to its allies, that the greatness of America comes from a people that respect tradition and the rule of law, and that (yes) we are the good guys and there are some bad guys out there.

I have had occasion to criticize O'Brien's writings in the past. Back in 2014, he was praising Romney for his "Churchill-like warning of a resurgent Russia," and I pointed out that Romney had said a lot of ignorant, knee-jerk things about Russia that were wrong. The fact that O'Brien thought and probably still thinks that "Romney was right" about anything related to foreign policy is more evidence that Trump made a very poor choice again.

O'Brien's most recent high-profile assignment was to be sent to Sweden as part of the president's embarrassing fixation on the case of the rapper ASAP Rocky , who had been detained in Sweden and was facing charges for assault. It would not surprise me if this silly episode and waste of government resources was quite important in winning the president's favor. O'Brien probably wasn't the worst choice Trump could have made, but Trump's fourth choice for National Security Advisor is still a bad one.

Sydney an hour ago

Who says Mr Trump is unpredictable? Is there anybody expected anything else from Mr Trump when it comes to picking his advisers or making thoughtful decisions? Let's be serious, Mr Trump did not pick Mr Robert O'Brien. The Bolton, Pompeo, Pence triumvirate picked Trump's NSA; naturally.

[Sep 18, 2019] The systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington

Bacevich is wrong: it is all about the control of oil producing nations in the Middle East and the preservation "oil for dollars only" regime (with the help of Israel as the forward base of the US imperialism in the Middle East)
Notable quotes:
"... In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy. ..."
"... I assert that the US foreign policy establishment[i] has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today. ..."
"... Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted. ..."
"... Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia's folly need not be our problem." ..."
"... Iran has a much longer history of managing pawns and vassal states than the USA. So too has Russia. Now replace 'Iran' with 'Israel' and you can recognise the belligerent initiator/opponent of the conflict. Trouble is that Trump is captive of the Israelis (and his petty ego) while being tormented and impoverished by all those countries that the USA invaded at the Israeli's behest. ..."
"... The dumb oafish response of the USA giant with its five eyes as it stomps about the planet enthralled by prospect of egomaniacle rapture is what endagers humanity. Leave the middle east and everyone else to their own conflict resolution I say. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

t r u t h , Sep 17 2019 23:59 utc | 60

Negar Razavi:

In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy.

I assert that the US foreign policy establishment[i] has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today.

<...>

( The Systemic Problem Of "Iran Expertise" In Washington )


t r u t h , Sep 18 2019 0:18 utc | 64

Andrew J. Bacevich:

"I am not suggesting that Washington is supporting the wrong side in Yemen. I am suggesting, however, that neither side deserves support. Iran may well qualify as America's "enemy." But Saudi Arabia is not a "friend," regardless of how many billions Riyadh spends purchasing American-manufactured weaponry and how much effort Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invests in courting President Trump and members of his family.

The conviction, apparently widespread in American policy circles, that in the Persian Gulf (and elsewhere) the United States is compelled to take sides, has been a source of recurring mischief. No doubt the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran poses a danger of further destabilizing the gulf. But the United States is under no obligation to underwrite the folly of one side or the other.

Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted.

Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia's folly need not be our problem."

( Iran Might Be America's Enemy, but Saudi Arabia Is No Friend )

uncle tungsten , Sep 18 2019 0:22 utc | 65
Thanks Don Bacon #19, yep that is good material.

Iran has a much longer history of managing pawns and vassal states than the USA. So too has Russia. Now replace 'Iran' with 'Israel' and you can recognise the belligerent initiator/opponent of the conflict. Trouble is that Trump is captive of the Israelis (and his petty ego) while being tormented and impoverished by all those countries that the USA invaded at the Israeli's behest.

The dumb oafish response of the USA giant with its five eyes as it stomps about the planet enthralled by prospect of egomaniacle rapture is what endagers humanity. Leave the middle east and everyone else to their own conflict resolution I say.

karlof1 , Sep 18 2019 0:27 utc | 66
Don Bacon @58--

Yeah, I'm reminded--again--of Milo Mindbender's racket in Catch-22 , which was 100% greed driven. But we mustn't forget the vaunted Vietnam Syndrome assorted POTUS have set out to quell. Trump just played on that theme today in a portion of his speech I cited. As psychohistorian reported on the open thread, the next round of QE has commenced in an effort to bolster Trump's electability--lots of that money just went to shorting oil. Tomorrow will surely bring forth new revelations, accusations, and denials.

For any barflies in the vicinity, Iran opens "an exhibition of hunted/captured drones in #Tehran from September 22 to October 7" that will draw more than the curious. I'm sure pics will get tweeted.

Peter AU 1 , Sep 18 2019 13:12 utc | 129
Vk
Houthi news site. https://english.almasirah.net/catview.php?cid=1

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8810&cat_id=1
"Air Force of the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees, Saturday morning carried out a large-scale operation with 10 drones, targeting Abqaiq and Khurais refineries east of Saudi Arabia. The operation is called the 2nd Operation of Balanced Deterrence."

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8802&cat_id=1
"Ansarullah in Yemen claimed the attack, saying that 10 drones had targeted Abiqaiq, as well as the Khurais oilfield."

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=8787&cat_id=1
"Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Yemeni forces said that the air force targeted 10 planes refinery Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia."

A number of other articles I have read at the houthi site also state 10 drones.

[Sep 18, 2019] Looks like Pompeo is busy sputtering platitudes and warmongering rhetorics to speed up the second coming of Christ

Notable quotes:
"... Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence. ..."
"... Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb? ..."
"... America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it. ..."
"... Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation. ..."
"... No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Heartfully , 1 minute ago link

Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence.

Thordoom , 3 minutes ago link

That conversation between Pompus and MBS must be hilarious.

Mah_Authoritah , 3 minutes ago link

Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb?

Deep Snorkeler , 8 minutes ago link

V I C T O R Y !

with Trump as our Commander-in-Chief victory is certain this won't be like those other wars:

  1. Korea
  2. Vietnam
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Iraq

America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it.

romanmoment , 1 minute ago link

Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation.

I am pro military and I have many friends who have served or currently serve. And I have kids. I'm not sending my kids to kill Iranians for the Saudi's, for Israel or for any other fucked-up nation in the Middle East. And I don't want 18-year-old American kids getting killed or wounded for those ungrateful ***** either.

No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores.

[Sep 18, 2019] >War With Iran Would Be a Catastrophic Miscalculation by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... some people did some things ..."
"... some people will do nothing ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Sep 16, 2019 Welcome to the world where things don't add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world's oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said "[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Exclamation mark his.

How many times the past few years has our government declared that "we have the finest intelligence services in the world." Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)

Let's face it: the USA has had a hard-on for Iran for forty years, ever since they overthrew their shah, invaded the US embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days. On the other hand, the Arabians and Iranians have had a mutual hard-on for centuries, long before the Saud family was in charge of things, and back when Iran was known as Persia, a land of genies, fragrant spices, and a glorious antiquity (while Arabia was a wasteland of sand populated by nomads and their camels). The beef was formerly just about which brand of Islam would prevail, Sunni or Shia. Lately (the past fifty years) it has been more about the politics of oil and hegemony over the Middle East. Since the US invaded Iraq and busted up the joint, the threat has existed that Iran would take over Iraq, with its majority Shia population, especially the oil-rich Basra region at the head of the Persian Gulf. The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as "wiping Israel off the map." No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.

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The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing . The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That's rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons.

President Trump is trumpeting America's "energy independence," meaning whatever happens over there won't affect us. Well, none of that is true. We still import millions of barrels of oil a day, though much less from Saudi Arabia than before 2008. The shale oil "miracle" is hitting the skids these days. Shale oil production has gone flat, the rig-count is down, companies are going bankrupt, and financing for the debt-dependent operations is dwindling since the producers have demonstrated that they can't make a profit at it. They're trapped in the quandary of diminishing returns, frontloading production, while failing to overcome steep decline curves in wells that only produce for a couple of years.

It's also the case that shale oil is ultra-light crude, containing little heavier distillates such as diesel and aviation fuel (basically kerosene). Alas, American refineries were all built before shale oil came along. They were designed to crack heavier oil and can't handle the lighter shale. The "majors" don't want to invest their remaining capital in new refineries, and the many smaller companies don't have the ability. So, this makes necessary a high volume of oil swapping around the world. Without diesel and aviation fuel, US trucking and commercial aviation has a big problem, meaning the US economy has a big problem.

With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That's a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other's assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let's hope some people don't do something.

[Sep 18, 2019] Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike by Ron Paul

Sep 17, 2019 | www.ronpaulinstitute.org

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, "It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries " Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington's warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, "let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years." True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they've created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran's role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

[Sep 18, 2019] Middle East Mystery Theater: Who Attacked Saudi Arabia's Oil Supply?

Notable quotes:
"... Committee members Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Vir.) explicitly announced their opposition to war with Iran. And prominent war powers critic Sen. Jeff Markley (D-Ore.) quipped that, "[b]ack when Presidents used to follow the Constitution, they sought consent for military action from Congress, not foreign governments that murder reporters," referring to the assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. ..."
"... "Diplomacy by Twitter has not worked so far and it surely is not working with Iran. The president needs to stop threatening military strikes via social media," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Mary.) in response to a question from the National Interest . "The attack on Saudi Arabia is troubling whether it was perpetrated by Houthi rebels or Iran. The U.S. should regain its leadership by working with our allies to isolate Iran for its belligerent actions in the region." ..."
"... "The U.S. should not be looking for any opportunity to start a dangerous and costly war with Iran. Congress has not authorized war against Iran and we've made it crystal clear that Saudi Arabia needs to withdraw from Yemen," he continued. ..."
"... Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has long been a critic of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, proposing a successful bill to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort. (He did not have enough votes to override the veto.) After the attacks, he wrote a long Twitter thread explaining how "the Saudis sowed the seeds of this mess" in Yemen. ..."
"... "It's simply amazing how the Saudis call all our shots these days. We don't have a mutual defense alliance with KSA, for good reason. We shouldn't pretend we do," Murphy added. "And frankly, no matter where this latest drone strike was launched from, there is no short or long term upside to the U.S. military getting more deeply involved in the growing regional contest between the Saudis and Iranians." ..."
"... "Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First,'" said Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, invoking a popular Trump slogan. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), who had invoked Trump's antiwar message in a public feud with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) over the weekend, took to CNN to warn against striking Iran. ..."
"... "This is a regional conflict, that there's no reason the superpower of the United States needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this," he told journalist Jake Tapper. "Those who loved the Iraq War, the Cheneys, the Boltons, the Kristols, they all are clamoring and champing at the bit for another war in Iran. But it's not a walk in the park." ..."
"... "In order to have clean ships by the first of January next year, all the world's shipping fleet from about now until the end of the year are busy emptying their tanks of heavy sulphur fuel oil and filling their tanks with low sulphur fuel oil, which is the new standard," Latham explained, claiming that the attack could have taken up to 20 percent of the world's desulphurization capacity out of commission. ..."
"... "This little accident was designed to be maximally disruptive to the world's oil market. It could not have happened at a worse time." "But what is really interesting is in Amsterdam this morning, I saw that for fuel oil -- the sulphurous stuff -- the price went down," Latham continued, speculating that international powers might delay the new environmental regulations by months and inadvertently drive down the price of oil in the long run. ..."
"... On Sunday, Trump tapped into emergency U.S. oil reserves, in order to stabilize prices. It's not clear, however, that the United States has enough oil to cope with wider attacks on energy infrastructure. "If the Iranians did this, they have shown they have pretty immense capabilities clearly," Parsi told the National Interest . "In the case of a full-scale war, imagine what this will do for the global economy. It's not that difficult to imagine what that will do to Trump's re-election prospects. I think that is something Trump understands." ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis pointed out that the puncture marks do not actually show the origin of the attack. "Missiles can fly from almost anywhere. They have the ability to maneuver! And certainly drones can, too," the Defense Priorities senior fellow told the National Interest . "There hasn't been the time to do an actual analysis on the ground, so let's wait and see."

Mark Latham, managing partner at the London-based analysis firm Commodities Intelligence, told the National Interest that the puncture marks pointed to a cruise missile with no explosive warhead. Removing the payload would allow the missile to carry more fuel and launch from farther away from its target.

... ... ...

"Mr. X is a sophisticated fellow. He's sourced some Iranian cruise missiles. He's removed the explosive payload. He's replaced the explosive payload with fuel," he said. "So this isn't your twenty dollar Amazon drone. This is a sophisticated military operation."

"The culprit behind the Abqaiq attack is most definitely the Islamic Republic, either directly or through one of its proxies," argued Varsha Koduvayur, a senior research analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

"The attack fits the pattern of Iran signaling to the Gulf states that if it can't get its oil out, it will cause their oil exports to become collateral damage," Koduvayur told the National Interest . "It's because of how strong our coercive financial tools are that Iran is resorting to attacks like this: it's lashing out."

Violating an Obama-era agreement to regulate Iran's nuclear research program, the Trump administration imposed massive sanctions on Iran's oil industry beginning in May 2018. The goal of this "maximum pressure" campaign was to force Iran to accept a "better" deal. Since then, Iranian forces have captured a British oil tanker and allegedly sabotaged tankers from other countries.

There were some signals that Trump was planning to use the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York to open a new diplomatic channel with Iran, especially after the firing of hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton. But the weekend attack sent Trump into reverse.

"Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their 'airspace' when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie," he said in a Monday morning Twitter post, referring to a June incident when Iranian and American forces almost went to war. "Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We'll see?"

He also hinted at a violent U.S. response.

"There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Trump wrote on Sunday.

"Saudi Arabia is not a formal treaty ally of ours, so there are no international agreements that obligate us to come to their defense," John Glaser, director of foreign-policy studies at the CATO Institute, stated. "This does not amount to a clear and present danger to the United States, so no self-defense justification is relevant. He would therefore need authorization from Congress."

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had mixed reactions to the attack.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed putting "on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries" in order to "break the regime's back." His press office did not respond to a follow-up question from the National Interest asking whether the president would have the authority to do so.

Amy Grappone, spokeswoman for Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), told the National Interest that the Senator "will support an appropriate and proportionate response" after "studying the latest intelligence pertaining to Iran's malign activities, including these recent attacks in Saudi Arabia."

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, condemned the attack with a backhanded insult towards Saudi Arabia. "Despite some ongoing policy differences with the kingdom, no nation should be subjected to these kinds of attacks on it soil and against its people," he wrote on Twitter, declining to name Iran as the culprit.

Committee members Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Vir.) explicitly announced their opposition to war with Iran. And prominent war powers critic Sen. Jeff Markley (D-Ore.) quipped that, "[b]ack when Presidents used to follow the Constitution, they sought consent for military action from Congress, not foreign governments that murder reporters," referring to the assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Diplomacy by Twitter has not worked so far and it surely is not working with Iran. The president needs to stop threatening military strikes via social media," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Mary.) in response to a question from the National Interest . "The attack on Saudi Arabia is troubling whether it was perpetrated by Houthi rebels or Iran. The U.S. should regain its leadership by working with our allies to isolate Iran for its belligerent actions in the region."

"The U.S. should not be looking for any opportunity to start a dangerous and costly war with Iran. Congress has not authorized war against Iran and we've made it crystal clear that Saudi Arabia needs to withdraw from Yemen," he continued.

Asked how he would vote on a declaration of war, the senator told the National Interest : "Let's hope it does not come to that. Congress has not authorized war against Iran. The majority voted to engage them diplomatically to slow their nuclear ambitions. The international community is ready to work with the U.S. again to ease economic pressure on Iran in exchange for their restraint. We are at a dangerous precipice."

In a statement emailed to the National Interest and posted to Twitter, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was even more direct: "The US should never go to war to protect Saudi oil."

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has long been a critic of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, proposing a successful bill to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort. (He did not have enough votes to override the veto.) After the attacks, he wrote a long Twitter thread explaining how "the Saudis sowed the seeds of this mess" in Yemen.

"It's simply amazing how the Saudis call all our shots these days. We don't have a mutual defense alliance with KSA, for good reason. We shouldn't pretend we do," Murphy added. "And frankly, no matter where this latest drone strike was launched from, there is no short or long term upside to the U.S. military getting more deeply involved in the growing regional contest between the Saudis and Iranians."

But the reaction did not fall neatly along party lines.

"Iran is one of the most dangerous state sponsors of terrorism. This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran, if that's what the intelligence supports," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) in a Monday interview with Fox News. Others pointed out that attacking Iran would contradict Trump's own principles.

"Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First,'" said Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, invoking a popular Trump slogan. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), who had invoked Trump's antiwar message in a public feud with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) over the weekend, took to CNN to warn against striking Iran.

"This is a regional conflict, that there's no reason the superpower of the United States needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this," he told journalist Jake Tapper. "Those who loved the Iraq War, the Cheneys, the Boltons, the Kristols, they all are clamoring and champing at the bit for another war in Iran. But it's not a walk in the park."

Davis agreed with Paul's assessment. "There's too many people who have lost touch with understanding what war is all about. They think it's easy," he told the National Interest . "Just imagine this. What we go ahead and do this, and Iran makes good on their threats, and American warships get sunk in the Gulf?" "This is not America's fight," he concluded. "The American armed forces are not on loan as a Saudi defense force."

"There's another claim that the impact on oil markets is sufficient to impact the vital U.S. interest in the free flow of energy coming out of that region, but that argument quickly descends into absurdity when we remember that the Trump administration has been trying to zero-out Iranian oil exports, for a host of spurious reasons," Glaser told the National Interest . "Washington is also aggressively sanctioning Venezuela, making it harder for Caracas to bring oil to market, too. If we really cared about the supply of oil, we wouldn't be doing this."

In any case, the attack may not have affected oil markets in such a straightforward way. Latham says that the attack struck an oil desulphurization facility. At the moment, desulphurized fuel is in high demand from the shipping industry, which is rushing to comply with new international environmental regulations.

"In order to have clean ships by the first of January next year, all the world's shipping fleet from about now until the end of the year are busy emptying their tanks of heavy sulphur fuel oil and filling their tanks with low sulphur fuel oil, which is the new standard," Latham explained, claiming that the attack could have taken up to 20 percent of the world's desulphurization capacity out of commission.

"This little accident was designed to be maximally disruptive to the world's oil market. It could not have happened at a worse time." "But what is really interesting is in Amsterdam this morning, I saw that for fuel oil -- the sulphurous stuff -- the price went down," Latham continued, speculating that international powers might delay the new environmental regulations by months and inadvertently drive down the price of oil in the long run.

On Sunday, Trump tapped into emergency U.S. oil reserves, in order to stabilize prices. It's not clear, however, that the United States has enough oil to cope with wider attacks on energy infrastructure. "If the Iranians did this, they have shown they have pretty immense capabilities clearly," Parsi told the National Interest . "In the case of a full-scale war, imagine what this will do for the global economy. It's not that difficult to imagine what that will do to Trump's re-election prospects. I think that is something Trump understands."

Matthew Petti is a national security reporter at the National Interest.

[Sep 18, 2019] To End Endless Wars, We Must Give Up Hegemony by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. ..."
"... A government that imagines that it has both the right and responsibility to police the entire planet will find an excuse to mire itself in one or more conflicts on a regular basis, and if there isn't one available to join it will start some ..."
"... U.S. military dominance should have at least guaranteed that we remained at peace once our major adversary had collapsed at the end of the Cold War, but the dissolution of the USSR encouraged the U.S. to become much more aggressive and much more eager to use force whenever and wherever it wanted. Wertheim provides an answer for why this is: ..."
"... Why have interventions proliferated as challengers have shrunk? The basic cause is America's infatuation with military force. Its political class imagines that force will advance any aim, limiting debate to what that aim should be. ..."
"... Using force appeals to many American leaders and policymakers because they imagine that frequent military action cows and intimidates adversaries, but in practice it creates more enemies and wastes American lives and resources on fruitless conflicts. ..."
"... The constant warfare of the last two decades in particular has corroded our political system and inured the public to the idea that it is normal that American soldiers and Marines are always fighting and dying in some foreign country in pursuit of nebulous goals, but nothing could be more abnormal and wrong than this. ..."
"... Our establishment would rather give up their skin. They don't call it hegemony, they call it the post ww2 order, leadership, resisting isolationism or some other such nonsense. ..."
"... any country that attempts to gain enough power to assert its own sovereignty is considered a threat that must be crushed and we roll out all of the tools at our disposal to do it. ..."
"... Al Qaeda's attack on us was due to us using them as a tool to stop Russia's push into Afghanistan. ..."
"... Good luck with that. We are ruled by people who are functionally indistinguishable from sociopaths, and sociopaths learn only from reward and punishment. ..."
"... I do not see a politically feasible way to end our global empire without destabilizing that same globe that has come to rely on our military power. ..."
"... Empires have a sort of inertia, and few in history voluntarily give up dominion. ..."
"... What is unsustainable is the current rate of government spending. The current rate of military spending is driving up our debt and making it impossible to reinvest in desperately needed infrastructure. ..."
"... We have been coasting on the infrastructure investments of the 50's and 60's but if we don't start cutting military spending and redirecting that money elsewhere we are going to be bankrupt. ..."
"... I agree that it is almost impossible to conceive of any scenario whereby this "ideology" of so-called world order and/ hegemony would change in the US and in its puppets. ..."
"... The deck is so totally stacked in favor of this ideology, the totally controlled MSM, the MIC, the corrupt and controlled congress, and the presidential admin structure itself, would never allow this mantra to be challenged. ..."
"... It is all about greed and power-the psychopaths pursuing and defending this 'ideology' would never ever go quietly. The money and power is too corrupting. ..."
"... I'm not sure that most of the citizens in those European countries we occupy actually support our permanent military presence in their countries. ..."
"... The new paradigm is that private militarism dominates government, turning it to its preferred priorities of moneymaking warmaking. ..."
Sep 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Stephen Wertheim explains what is required to bring an end to unnecessary and open-ended U.S. wars overseas:

American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America's commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace.

Any government that presumes to be the world's hegemon will be fighting somewhere almost all of the time, because its political leaders will see everything around the world as their business and it will see every manageable threat as a challenge to their "leadership." A government that imagines that it has both the right and responsibility to police the entire planet will find an excuse to mire itself in one or more conflicts on a regular basis, and if there isn't one available to join it will start some.

U.S. military dominance should have at least guaranteed that we remained at peace once our major adversary had collapsed at the end of the Cold War, but the dissolution of the USSR encouraged the U.S. to become much more aggressive and much more eager to use force whenever and wherever it wanted. Wertheim provides an answer for why this is:

Why have interventions proliferated as challengers have shrunk? The basic cause is America's infatuation with military force. Its political class imagines that force will advance any aim, limiting debate to what that aim should be.

Using force appeals to many American leaders and policymakers because they imagine that frequent military action cows and intimidates adversaries, but in practice it creates more enemies and wastes American lives and resources on fruitless conflicts. Our government's frenetic interventionism and meddling for the last thirty years hasn't made our country the slightest bit more secure, but it has sown chaos and instability across at least two continents. Wertheim continues:

Continued gains by the Taliban, 18 years after the United States initially toppled it, suggest a different principle: The profligate deployment of force creates new and unnecessary objectives more than it realizes existing and worthy ones.

The constant warfare of the last two decades in particular has corroded our political system and inured the public to the idea that it is normal that American soldiers and Marines are always fighting and dying in some foreign country in pursuit of nebulous goals, but nothing could be more abnormal and wrong than this. Constant warfare achieves nothing except to provide an excuse for more of the same. The longer that a war drags on, one would think that it should become easier to bring it to an end, but we have seen that it becomes harder for both political and military leaders to give up on an unwinnable conflict when it has become an almost permanent part of our foreign policy. For many policymakers and pundits, what matters is that the U.S. not be perceived as losing, and so our military keeps fighting without an end in sight for the sake of this "not losing."

Wertheim adds:

Despite Mr. Trump's rhetoric about ending endless wars, the president insists that "our military dominance must be unquestioned" -- even though no one believes he has a strategy to use power or a theory to bring peace. Armed domination has become an end in itself.

Seeking to maintain this dominance is ultimately unsustainable, and as it becomes more expensive and less popular it will also become increasingly dangerous as we find ourselves confronted with even more capable adversaries. For the last thirty years, the U.S. has been fortunate to be secure and prosperous enough that it could indulge in decades of fruitless militarism, but that luck won't hold forever. It is far better if the U.S. give up on hegemony and the militarism that goes with it on our terms.


chris chuba 2 days ago

Our establishment would rather give up their skin. They don't call it hegemony, they call it the post ww2 order, leadership, resisting isolationism or some other such nonsense.

Truth be told, as your article states, any country that attempts to gain enough power to assert its own sovereignty is considered a threat that must be crushed and we roll out all of the tools at our disposal to do it.

It makes us less safe. Isolationism did not cause 9/11. In the 90's when we were being attacked by Al Qaeda we were too distracted dancing on Russia's bones to pay any attention to them. While Al Qaeda was attacking our troops and blowing up our buildings we were bombing Serbia, expanding NATO and reelecting Yeltsin and sticking it to Iran.

IanDakar chris chuba 16 hours ago
It goes beyond that. Al Qaeda's attack on us was due to us using them as a tool to stop Russia's push into Afghanistan. We later abandoned them when the job was done: a pack hound we trained, pushed to fight, then left in the forest abandoned and starved. Then we wonder why it came back growling.

Isolationism may not be the most effective solution to things, but I'll admit a LOT of pain, on ourselves and others, would've never happened if we took that policy.

Sid Finster 2 days ago
Good luck with that. We are ruled by people who are functionally indistinguishable from sociopaths, and sociopaths learn only from reward and punishment.

So far, they only have been rewarded for their crimes.

Clyde Schechter 2 days ago
While I think the economic basis of the Soviet Union was faulty, and it had lost the popular support it might have had in early days, the USSR's military aggression, particularly in Afghanistan, was a major precipitating factor in its downfall. It would have eventually crumbled, I believe, anyway, but had they taken a less aggressive stance I think they would have lasted several decades longer.
Sceptical Gorilla 2 days ago
Is it really in our hands to actually disengage though? Is this politically feasible?

How does this work? The US gets up one day and says "We're pulling all of our troops out of Saudi and SK. No more funding for Israel! No bolstering the pencil-thin government of Afghanistan. All naval bases abroad will be shut down. Longstanding alliances and interests be damned!"

I sympathize very strongly with the notion that we must use military force wisely and with restraint, and perhaps even that the post-WW2 expansion abroad was a mistake, but I do not see a politically feasible way to end our global empire without destabilizing that same globe that has come to rely on our military power.

This is the world we live in, whether we like it or not, and barring some military or economic disaster that forces a strategic realignment or retreat (like WW2 did for the old European powers) I don't know how you practically pull back. Empires have a sort of inertia, and few in history voluntarily give up dominion.

Stumble Sceptical Gorilla 2 days ago
What is unsustainable is the current rate of government spending. The current rate of military spending is driving up our debt and making it impossible to reinvest in desperately needed infrastructure.

We have been coasting on the infrastructure investments of the 50's and 60's but if we don't start cutting military spending and redirecting that money elsewhere we are going to be bankrupt.

Sid Finster Sceptical Gorilla 2 days ago
The USA are the source of a lot of the world's instability.
Sceptical Gorilla Sid Finster 2 days ago
Sure. That doesn't mean American withdrawal would create less instability in toto. Maybe it would. Who knows? We mortals can only take counterfactuals so far.
Mojrim ibn Harb Sceptical Gorilla 2 days ago
Lovely strawman you have there...
Taras77 2 days ago
Excellent article, excellent skeptical comments below.

I agree that it is almost impossible to conceive of any scenario whereby this "ideology" of so-called world order and/ hegemony would change in the US and in its puppets.

The deck is so totally stacked in favor of this ideology, the totally controlled MSM, the MIC, the corrupt and controlled congress, and the presidential admin structure itself, would never allow this mantra to be challenged.

It is all about greed and power-the psychopaths pursuing and defending this 'ideology' would never ever go quietly. The money and power is too corrupting.

Maybe, just maybe, however, as we are at $22 trillion in debt and counting (just saw a total tab for F-35 of $1.5 trillion) that the money will run out, and zero interest rate financing is not all that awesome, this unsustainable mindlessness will be curtailed or even better, changed.

polistra24 2 days ago • edited
It's not really hegemony. Old-fashioned empires took over territory in order to gain resources and labor. We haven't done that since 1920. Especially since 1990 we've been making war purely to destroy and obliterate. When our war is done there's nothing left to dominate or own.

Domestically we've been using politics and media and controlled culture to do the same thing. Create "terrorists" and "extremists" on "two" "sides", set them loose, enjoy the resulting chaos. Chaos is the declared goal, and it's been working beautifully for 70 years.

China is expanding empire in Africa and Asia the old-fashioned way, improving farms and factories in order to have exclusive purchase of their output.

Mojrim ibn Harb polistra24 2 days ago
Join the liberal order or we'll wreck your country. That's hegemony.
Mark B. 2 days ago
Could not have said it better. "On our terms" would mean that Europe is forced to take matters of military security in it's own hands, I hope. But chanches are slim, history shows empires must fall hard and break a leg or so first before anything changes. Iran, Saudi-arabia, the greater ME, China, the trade wars and the world economy are coming together for a perfect storm it seems.
James_R Mark B. 2 days ago
"On our terms" would mean that Europe is forced to take matters of military security in it's own hands, I hope.".................

I'm not sure that most of the citizens in those European countries we occupy actually support our permanent military presence in their countries.

AllenQ 2 days ago
The problem with US hegemony is Israel. Look around the world. Neither Japan nor South Korea nor Vietnam nor Philippines nor India nor Indonesia nor Australia (the same can be said for South and Central America, Mexico, Canada and Europe) require a significant US presence.

None of them are asking for a greater presence in their country (except Poland) while being perfectly happy with our alliance, joint defense, trade, intelligence and technology sharing.

It is only Israel and Saudi Arabia which are constantly pushing the US into middle eastern wars and quagmires that we have no national interest. Trump sees the plain truth that the US is in jeopardy of losing its manufacturing and its technological lead to China. If we (US) dont start to rebuild our infrastructure, our defense, our cities, our communities, our manufacturing, our educational system then our nation is going to follow California into a 3rd world totalitarian state dominated by democratic voting immigrants whose only affiliation to our country and our constitutional republic is a welfare check, free govt programs and incestuous govt contracts which funnel govt dollars into the re-election PACs of democratic / liberal elected officials.

Fran Macadam 2 days ago
The new paradigm is that private militarism dominates government, turning it to its preferred priorities of moneymaking warmaking. Defeat is now when war's income streams end. The only wars that are lost, are those that end, defeating the winning of war profits. War, as a financial success story, has become an end in itself, and an empire that looks for more to wage means some mighty big wages with more profit opportunities. Victory is to be avoided - red ink being spilled through peace detestable - and blood spilled profitably to be encouraged.
Doom Incarnate a day ago
Fighting is good for business, so the fighting will continue.

[Sep 18, 2019] Who says Mr Trump is unpredictable? He predictably selected yet another rabid neocon for the National Security advisor position in this administration

Sep 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sydney an hour ago

Who says Mr Trump is unpredictable? Is there anybody expected anything else from Mr Trump when it comes to picking his advisers or making thoughtful decisions? Let's be serious, Mr Trump did not pick Mr Robert O'Brien. The Bolton, Pompeo, Pence triumvirate picked Trump's NSA; naturally.

[Sep 18, 2019] Notes of Biden performance during the last debate

Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

+ Apparently, Obama and Biden only caged kids who deserved to be caged.

+ Biden continues to lie about his position on the Iraq war and he lies so badly that no one, not even Bernie, bothers to call him on it.

+ Whatever brain-eating disease Biden has seems to be contagious, gnawing inexorably through the gray matter of the other candidates

+ CNN: "Biden had his best debate." Ok, I know I didn't drop acid tonight. Did Wolf Blitzer spike the company water cooler?

+ Really, Baltz ? Biden was incoherent on NATFA, lied about the Iraq war, couldn't describe his health care plan, derided black families, stumbled over his immigration record & went completely loco at the end. Other than that

[Sep 17, 2019] How Elizabeth Warren Became the Democratic Party Establishment's Insurance Policy by Danny Haiphong

Notable quotes:
"... This is no coincidence. The DNC elite, a who's who of Wall Street donors and "party insiders," have chosen Elizabeth Warren as the safest insurance policy to Joe Biden. Warren has positioned herself as the safer version of progressivism in contradistinction to Bernie Sanders' full-fledged New Deal politics. ..."
"... In recent weeks, Elizabeth Warren has been putting smiles on the faces of the Democratic Party establishment. Her performance at the DNC's summer fundraiser in San Francisco in late August received widespread positive coverage from the corporate media. The New York Times , for example, reported that Warren has been sending private messages to Democratic Party insiders to let them know that she is more interested in leading a "revival" of the Democratic Party rather than a revolution. ..."
"... In other words, Elizabeth Warren is saying and doing all the right things to position herself as the DNC's choice for the presidential nomination should the Biden campaign continue to falter. ..."
"... The DNC is looking for a candidate who will oppose Trump but support the neoliberal and foreign policy consensus that exists in Washington. At first, Warren's mimicry of Bernie Sanders' talking points raised a few eyebrows on Wall Street. While some of those eyebrows remain raised, the DNC clearly prefers Warren's "revival" over Sanders' "political revolution." ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | ahtribune.com

From forgetting former President Barack Obama's name to having your wife ask voters to "swallow a little bit" of his pro-corporate positions on healthcare, the oligarchs in control of the two-party political system in the United States are well aware of Biden's struggles . According to the Washington Times , Biden is losing the support from the corporate media. The editorial cited a study from Axios which concluded that of 100 media stories about the Biden campaign that received the most attention on social media, 77 were negative in character. While Biden consistently leads in the polls, the DNC elite has gone fishing for of an insurance policy for Biden's flailing campaign.

Enter Elizabeth Warren. At first, the Massachusetts Senator seemed like a dark horse in the race and a mere thorn in the side of Bernie Sanders. Kamala Harris appeared to be the early DNC favorite and her campaign has worked overtime to show its commitment to a neoliberal economic and political agenda. However, Harris was stymied by Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's thirty second run down of her record as Defense Attorney and Attorney General for the state of California during the second Democratic Party primary debate. Ever since, Harris has seen her stock decline mightily in the polls while Elizabeth Warren's polling numbers have increased dramatically.

This is no coincidence. The DNC elite, a who's who of Wall Street donors and "party insiders," have chosen Elizabeth Warren as the safest insurance policy to Joe Biden. Warren has positioned herself as the safer version of progressivism in contradistinction to Bernie Sanders' full-fledged New Deal politics. As far back as late February of 2019, Warren was deriding corporate "special interests" while signaling that she would not succumb to "unilateral disarmament" in a general election against Trump by forgoing corporate donations.

The progressivism of Elizabeth Warren was thus a malleable project with a history of inconsistency, as evidenced by her constant flip-flopping on issues such as the privatization of education in Massachusetts.

In recent weeks, Elizabeth Warren has been putting smiles on the faces of the Democratic Party establishment. Her performance at the DNC's summer fundraiser in San Francisco in late August received widespread positive coverage from the corporate media. The New York Times , for example, reported that Warren has been sending private messages to Democratic Party insiders to let them know that she is more interested in leading a "revival" of the Democratic Party rather than a revolution.

An article in The Atlantic provided snippet remarks from people like Don Fowler, described in the piece as a former DNC-chair and "long-time Clinton-family loyalist," who called Warren "smart as shit" for her inside-out approach to her political campaign. A more recent editorial in The New York Times offered a glimpse into Warren's former big donor connections from her 2018 Senate campaign. According to the Times , Warren was able to transfer 10.4 million USD to her presidential campaign effort in part because of the generosity of the very same corporate elite that she now condemns as holding too much influence over the Democratic Party. NBC News further revealed that Elizabeth Warren has an open line of communication with the much maligned but infamous Democratic Party establishment leader, Hillary Clinton.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren is saying and doing all the right things to position herself as the DNC's choice for the presidential nomination should the Biden campaign continue to falter.

Donald Trump is guaranteed the nomination for the Republican Party ticket after taking over the party in 2016 from defunct establishment figures such as Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz.

The DNC is looking for a candidate who will oppose Trump but support the neoliberal and foreign policy consensus that exists in Washington. At first, Warren's mimicry of Bernie Sanders' talking points raised a few eyebrows on Wall Street. While some of those eyebrows remain raised, the DNC clearly prefers Warren's "revival" over Sanders' "political revolution."

MORE...

That's because Warren's campaign to "revive" the Democratic Party is bereft of political principle. Whatever Sanders' political limitations as a "left" alternative to the establishment, the Vermont Senator is by far more progressive than Warren. Warren voted for the Trump Administration's recent military budget in 2017 even after tens of billions of dollars were added by Congress to the original proposal. During Israel's 2014 massacre of the Palestinians in Operation Protective Edge, Warren claimed Israel had a right to defend itself. Bernie Sanders offers a clear proposal for Medicare for All already drafted in the Senate, while Elizabeth Warren believes that Medicare for All can be implemented in "many different ways." In CNN's Climate Town Hall, Warren opposed public control of utilities while Sanders supported it. A deeper look at Elizabeth Warren reveals that she is more aligned with the establishment than she wants the public to believe.

All of this is to say that the DNC is looking for the best-case scenario for its corporate masters, which is the worst-case scenario for working people in the United States. The principle goal of the DNC is to stop Bernie Sanders from getting anywhere near the nomination. Prior to Warren becoming insurance policy for Joe Biden, the DNC hoped that the Massachusetts Senator would split supporters of Bernie Sanders down the middle. This would lead either to a clear path to the nomination for a handpicked candidate (Biden, Harris, fill in the blank) or to a contested convention where the unelected but very wealthy "superdelegates" would cast the deciding vote. Should Warren have turned out a lame duck, the DNC could still rely on over a dozen candidates with careerist ambitions to force a contested election at the DNC convention in Milwaukee.

Workers in the United States have no insurance policy when it comes to the 2020 presidential election or any other election for that matter. Austerity, privatization, and super exploitation is the law of the capitalist land in the USA. Sanders is attractive to many workers in the U.S. because of his consistent articulation of an anti-austerity platform which includes living wage employment, a Green New Deal to help provide that employment, and a solid commitment to Medicare for All. But Sanders remains deeply loyal to the Democratic Party and has stated firmly on several occasions on the campaign trail that he would support any Democratic Party candidate should he lose the nomination. Sanders frames Donald Trump as the most dangerous element in U.S. society even as his own party colludes to prevent him from having a fair shot at the nomination. Sanders and his supporters must realize that Elizabeth Warren is not a friend, but an opportunist who is more than willing to profit from their demise. The best-case scenario for the working class is that wall to wall resistance to Sanders will lead to a mass exodus from the party and open the door for an independent worker's party to form amid the collapse of the DNC.

*(Top image: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Gage Skidmore/ flickr ) Danny Haiphong is the co-author of the book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News-From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror .

[Sep 17, 2019] Oh SNAP!! Tulsi throws down the gauntlet caucus99percent

Sep 17, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Oh SNAP!! Tulsi throws down the gauntlet


bondibox on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 8:46am

. @realDonaldTrump

Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First." https://t.co/kJOCpqwaQS

-- Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) September 16, 2019

The tweet she was referring to was this:

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019

Trump is at the Saudis beck and call. He deserves to be called out with the strongest of language.

Linda Wood on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 9:38am

Her language

gets very strong when it comes to the Sauds, which is the main reason I support her.

Le Frog on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 10:03am
Or maybe Saudi Arabia is a powerful pawn

in American imperialism and the power imbalance isn't about just oil? How about we elaborate on that. It's not enough to criticize American military meddling without also calling out the geopolitical and economic meddling. These are intertwined and while I think Tulsi is very strong and very correct on military "interventions," she can and should go further. (All Americand should, no arguments here.) I mean, as far as this tweet goes, it's a cheap shot at a total loser who is already an easy target. Is she tweeting this at the American companies with interests in Saudi oil?

Alligator Ed on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 4:03pm
Monsieur le Frog

@Le Frog be careful whom you mock.

as far as this tweet [by Tulsi] goes, it's a cheap shot at a total loser who is already an easy target. Is she tweeting this at the American companies with interests in Saudi oil?

The "total loser" is a master politician, surviving a coup attempt , battling hostile MSM 24/7 and with an enlarging voter base. Include rising favorability ratings, though still less than 50%. His popularity currently equals that of Obomber at a similar point in first term.

in American imperialism and the power imbalance isn't about just oil? How about we elaborate on that. It's not enough to criticize American military meddling without also calling out the geopolitical and economic meddling. These are intertwined and while I think Tulsi is very strong and very correct on military "interventions," she can and should go further. (All Americand should, no arguments here.) I mean, as far as this tweet goes, it's a cheap shot at a total loser who is already an easy target. Is she tweeting this at the American companies with interests in Saudi oil?

CS in AZ on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 10:41am
I don't understand her tweet

I'm not trying to be contrary, but I honestly do not get what she's saying here, other than Trump is being KSA's "bitch" because he's waiting to hear what they say before letting bombs fly at whoever the US "believes" is responsible. Personally I think that's a big improvement over him immediately ordering an attack on Iran, or wherever.

If her statement criticized the "locked and loaded" part of his statement and she directly said we should not be bombing anyone on behalf of Saudi Arabia, then I'd agree with her.

But instead she criticized his waiting to hear from the country that was actually bombed, before doing anything or taking unilateral action. Calling him SKA's bitch, means he's being weak and submissive. Goading him into quicker action ... seems like an odd way to discourage war and the macho-man thinking that drives it.

I guess I really don't understand at all why people like this rhetoric from her. I personally have a confused, but basically negative, gut reaction to her comment.

tle on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 5:39pm
She DID criticize his "locked and loaded" remark

@CS in AZ @CS in AZ I ran across her statements on youtube. And I don't see how you can interpret what she said as "goading" him.

I'm not trying to be contrary, but I honestly do not get what she's saying here, other than Trump is being KSA's "bitch" because he's waiting to hear what they say before letting bombs fly at whoever the US "believes" is responsible. Personally I think that's a big improvement over him immediately ordering an attack on Iran, or wherever.

If her statement criticized the "locked and loaded" part of his statement and she directly said we should not be bombing anyone on behalf of Saudi Arabia, then I'd agree with her.

But instead she criticized his waiting to hear from the country that was actually bombed, before doing anything or taking unilateral action. Calling him SKA's bitch, means he's being weak and submissive. Goading him into quicker action ... seems like an odd way to discourage war and the macho-man thinking that drives it.

I guess I really don't understand at all why people like this rhetoric from her. I personally have a confused, but basically negative, gut reaction to her comment.

Linda Wood on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 9:22pm
If Saudi Arabia

@CS in AZ

was a country at peace and was suddenly attacked, I could sort of understand your objection to Gabbard criticizing Trump for waiting to hear from the Saudi princes about what to do next.

But that's not the situation. Saudi Arabia has been targeting school buses, hospitals, weddings, and has starved 85,000 children to death in Yemen, and we have HELPED! Starving a child to death is torture.

The fact that the civilized world hasn't rained retribution down on the Saudi government for supporting Al Qaeda, for supporting ISIS and its atrocities, and for using the people of Yemen for target practice just to benefit our defense contractors, is an abomination. We are not just being USED by the Saudi government. We are being ABUSED, as a nation, as a people, as a culture that's supposed to have values. We are being transformed into the sucking scum of the earth. For money. For a few contractors.

I'm not trying to be contrary, but I honestly do not get what she's saying here, other than Trump is being KSA's "bitch" because he's waiting to hear what they say before letting bombs fly at whoever the US "believes" is responsible. Personally I think that's a big improvement over him immediately ordering an attack on Iran, or wherever.

If her statement criticized the "locked and loaded" part of his statement and she directly said we should not be bombing anyone on behalf of Saudi Arabia, then I'd agree with her.

But instead she criticized his waiting to hear from the country that was actually bombed, before doing anything or taking unilateral action. Calling him SKA's bitch, means he's being weak and submissive. Goading him into quicker action ... seems like an odd way to discourage war and the macho-man thinking that drives it.

I guess I really don't understand at all why people like this rhetoric from her. I personally have a confused, but basically negative, gut reaction to her comment.

earthling1 on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 10:49am
Tweetle-Dee, Tweetle Dumb

Trump is his own worst enemy. His thoughtless tweets reveal him to be some seriously damaged goods.
Not since the late days of dementia ridden Reagan has a more dangerous finger been on "The Button".

Alligator Ed on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 4:14pm
Conflation of politics and policy leads erroneous conclusions

@earthling1 @earthling1 Trump's policies are by and larger terrible, neoliberal, disguised as populism. But before considering that Trump is an idiot, rather than one prone to bad choices in policy, please consider his current POLIICAL status. See my comment above to Monsieur le Frog.

Trump is his own worst enemy. His thoughtless tweets reveal him to be some seriously damaged goods.
Not since the late days of dementia ridden Reagan has a more dangerous finger been on "The Button".

wokkamile on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 10:59am
Tulsi might

have not unreasonably read his tweet as saying what it clearly seems to be saying, that the US will wait to see who the Saudis decide carried out the bombing, and the US will wait for their instructions on how the US should proceed -- deferring to the Saudis on two counts.

Does seem rather clear, and odd, for a US president to state a foreign power should dictate our actions on their behalf.

I didn't read it at all as a complaint that the US has to wait and cool its heels for the Saudis in order to rush into military action.

Of course she went on twitter to respond to DT's tweet. Twitter, the short-form of communication, where brief tweets are always vulnerable to misunderstanding.

CS in AZ on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:19am
Cooperation is not 'deferring' to another country

@wokkamile

This used to be called diplomacy. That's what we (the peace-not-war minded) people) wanted from our government. I still do, and I'm forced to say I think I actually agree with trump on this one. His tweet was unusually diplomatic and relatively calm. I was glad he said something reasonable, for perhaps the first time ever.

WE (the US) are not the world dictatorship that should feel free to bomb anyone anywhere anytime, and screw the rest of the world. Cooperation among governments is not being anyone's bitch. That's the pro war, pro US empire kind of thinking.

America first... see, that's not really what I believe in. So I see now, that must be why I felt so disturbed by her comment. I just disagree with her basic premise.

have not unreasonably read his tweet as saying what it clearly seems to be saying, that the US will wait to see who the Saudis decide carried out the bombing, and the US will wait for their instructions on how the US should proceed -- deferring to the Saudis on two counts.

Does seem rather clear, and odd, for a US president to state a foreign power should dictate our actions on their behalf.

I didn't read it at all as a complaint that the US has to wait and cool its heels for the Saudis in order to rush into military action.

Of course she went on twitter to respond to DT's tweet. Twitter, the short-form of communication, where brief tweets are always vulnerable to misunderstanding.

wokkamile on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 5:25pm
No, diplomacy

@CS in AZ @CS in AZ is when two countries engage in discussions to possibly reach a mutual agreement. That seems like an incredibly expansive and pro-Trump reading of his bizarre tweet.

Twump's tweet, in the clear language of the brief text, was about the US president waiting to hear marching orders from Crown Prince Mohammed "Ben" Salman as to what the US should do.

Tulsi's tweet and use of the word "bitch" was actually referencing a previous tweet she had made months ago criticizing the way the US seems to be subservient to the Saudis.

#5

This used to be called diplomacy. That's what we (the peace-not-war minded) people) wanted from our government. I still do, and I'm forced to say I think I actually agree with trump on this one. His tweet was unusually diplomatic and relatively calm. I was glad he said something reasonable, for perhaps the first time ever.

WE (the US) are not the world dictatorship that should feel free to bomb anyone anywhere anytime, and screw the rest of the world. Cooperation among governments is not being anyone's bitch. That's the pro war, pro US empire kind of thinking.

America first... see, that's not really what I believe in. So I see now, that must be why I felt so disturbed by her comment. I just disagree with her basic premise.

Linda Wood on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 9:03pm
@wokkamile

@wokkamile

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-17/tulsi-gabbard-slams-trump-maki...

Gabbard Campaign Video Slams Trump For Making US "The Prostitute Of Saudi Arabia"

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 04/17/2019

Democratic presidential candidate for 2020 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at Trump on Wednesday after the president vetoed the Yemen War Powers Resolution this week, which sought to end US support for the Sauid-led war in Yemen.

The Hawaiian congresswomen and outspoken US foreign policy critic asserted the president is turning the nation "into the prostitute of Saudi Arabia" and further stated he vetoed the bill "to please his Saudi masters" in a minute-and-a-half campaign video.

"Unlike Donald Trump I will not turn our great country into the prostitute of Saudi Arabia."

#5.1 #5.1 is when two countries engage in discussions to possibly reach a mutual agreement. That seems like an incredibly expansive and pro-Trump reading of his bizarre tweet.

Twump's tweet, in the clear language of the brief text, was about the US president waiting to hear marching orders from Crown Prince Mohammed "Ben" Salman as to what the US should do.

Tulsi's tweet and use of the word "bitch" was actually referencing a previous tweet she had made months ago criticizing the way the US seems to be subservient to the Saudis.

Alligator Ed on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 4:19pm
Thanks for the additional info

@Linda Wood which provides the context for Tulsi's latest tweet. In this manner, Tulsi continues to emphasize a theme: no matter the circumstance (i.e., excuses), Saudi is a barbarous country, executing its detractors with swords rather than nice "surgical" drone strikes like Obomba and DJT have used.

#5.1.1

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-17/tulsi-gabbard-slams-trump-maki...

Gabbard Campaign Video Slams Trump For Making US "The Prostitute Of Saudi Arabia"

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 04/17/2019

Democratic presidential candidate for 2020 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at Trump on Wednesday after the president vetoed the Yemen War Powers Resolution this week, which sought to end US support for the Sauid-led war in Yemen.

The Hawaiian congresswomen and outspoken US foreign policy critic asserted the president is turning the nation "into the prostitute of Saudi Arabia" and further stated he vetoed the bill "to please his Saudi masters" in a minute-and-a-half campaign video.

"Unlike Donald Trump I will not turn our great country into the prostitute of Saudi Arabia."

magiamma on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:34am
We stand to gain

By this oil price hike. More fracked oil that we can sell at a doable price.

tle on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 6:52pm
What is this WE of which you speak?

@magiamma @magiamma *~*

Yes, oil companies stand to benefit, but that doesn't exactly trickle down to actual people.

By this oil price hike. More fracked oil that we can sell at a doable price.

magiamma on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 8:31pm
The U.S., we...

@tle specifically the companies that are fracking and the banks that have given those companies loans

#6 #6 *~*

Yes, oil companies stand to benefit, but that doesn't exactly trickle down to actual people.

Centaurea on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 8:36pm
The collective "we",

@tle

I would assume.

#6 #6 *~*

Yes, oil companies stand to benefit, but that doesn't exactly trickle down to actual people.

crescentmoon on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:51pm
Yes. Often, I start from the

Yes. Often, I start from the question, "Who does this serve?" And I see how it helps Israel and the US. How does it serve Iran? I don't see it.

The Voice In th... on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 3:51pm
I guess I'm naiive

@crescentmoon

I just see this as Yemen fighting back on imperial KSA who they are at war with.
Asymmetrical warfare. Like Vietnam.

Yes. Often, I start from the question, "Who does this serve?" And I see how it helps Israel and the US. How does it serve Iran? I don't see it.

NYCVG on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 4:57pm
@The Voice In the Wilderness Yemen found a way to

@The Voice In the Wilderness Yemen found a way to strike back. That's what I think also, the voice in the wilderness

#7

I just see this as Yemen fighting back on imperial KSA who they are at war with.
Asymmetrical warfare. Like Vietnam.

artisan on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 5:03pm
According to this

very convoluted version , Iranian drones were launched from an Iranian affiliated militia base in Iraq in retaliation for Saudi funded Israeli drone strikes originating from a US/Kurdish base in Syria that struck Iranian/Iraqi bases, weapons depots, and a convoy in August.

wendy davis on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 5:31pm
bernhard at

@artisan

Moon of Alabama weighed in on that, if it helps:

Middle East Eye, a Qatari financed outlet, reported yesterday that the attack was launched from Iraq by Iran aligned forces in revenge for Israeli attacks in Syria. The author, David Hearst, is known for slandered reporting. The report is based on a single anonymous Iraqi intelligence source. Qatar, which is struggling with Saudi Arabia and the UAE over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, would like to see a larger conflict involving its rivals east and west of the Persian Gulf. The report should therefore be disregarded.

but with all the various reports it does seem clear that who launched them (drone or planes) look hard to ascertain for certain. but trump was far more careful than pompeo and lindsey graham who want to bomb bomb bomb iran on speculation, because iran is evil.

ah, i've been trying to figure out ho to compile a post on possibilities v. blame, and it's getting further and further away from me. but both KSA and trump (or his generals) may really understand what's at stake. what's bibi saying?

very convoluted version , Iranian drones were launched from an Iranian affiliated militia base in Iraq in retaliation for Saudi funded Israeli drone strikes originating from a US/Kurdish base in Syria that struck Iranian/Iraqi bases, weapons depots, and a convoy in August.

artisan on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 5:59pm
Whoever did it,

@wendy davis

it's clear that Gulf oil installations are vulnerable from a new generation of drones that these players are assembling or otherwise acquiring themselves. Several years ago, the Iranians were able to hack a Predator drone and bring it down intact, suitable for reverse engineering. In past war games, the entire US fleet in the Persian Gulf was destroyed in a matter of minutes by swarms of Iranian missiles. The Yemen war is likely to be over and the possibility of an attack on Iran seems more unlikely now as well.

#8

Moon of Alabama weighed in on that, if it helps:

Middle East Eye, a Qatari financed outlet, reported yesterday that the attack was launched from Iraq by Iran aligned forces in revenge for Israeli attacks in Syria. The author, David Hearst, is known for slandered reporting. The report is based on a single anonymous Iraqi intelligence source. Qatar, which is struggling with Saudi Arabia and the UAE over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, would like to see a larger conflict involving its rivals east and west of the Persian Gulf. The report should therefore be disregarded.

but with all the various reports it does seem clear that who launched them (drone or planes) look hard to ascertain for certain. but trump was far more careful than pompeo and lindsey graham who want to bomb bomb bomb iran on speculation, because iran is evil.

ah, i've been trying to figure out ho to compile a post on possibilities v. blame, and it's getting further and further away from me. but both KSA and trump (or his generals) may really understand what's at stake. what's bibi saying?

wendy davis on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 6:27pm
saudi arabia has no defenses

@artisan

against such a swarm attack like this (and so accurately targeted), nor does the US, according to b and a few others. iran probably does have russian missile defense, but clearly: riyadh needs to make peace with the houthis at any cost. there must be next to nothing left standing there after what, four years?

#8.1

it's clear that Gulf oil installations are vulnerable from a new generation of drones that these players are assembling or otherwise acquiring themselves. Several years ago, the Iranians were able to hack a Predator drone and bring it down intact, suitable for reverse engineering. In past war games, the entire US fleet in the Persian Gulf was destroyed in a matter of minutes by swarms of Iranian missiles. The Yemen war is likely to be over and the possibility of an attack on Iran seems more unlikely now as well.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 1:39pm
Using $100K missiles to stop $100 drones

@wendy davis
seems a losing strategy.

EDIT:
I have since read that these are special fancy $1K drones. Still seems like a losing proposition.

#8.1.1

against such a swarm attack like this (and so accurately targeted), nor does the US, according to b and a few others. iran probably does have russian missile defense, but clearly: riyadh needs to make peace with the houthis at any cost. there must be next to nothing left standing there after what, four years?

UntimelyRippd on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 1:15pm
Not if you're in the missile-selling business.

@The Voice In the Wilderness

#8.1.1.1
seems a losing strategy.

EDIT:
I have since read that these are special fancy $1K drones. Still seems like a losing proposition.

dystopian on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 8:23pm
Tulsi's tweet this afternoon

This is a new tweet from Tulsi this afternoon with a short vid...

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1173723701373591552

Go Tulsi Go!

Alligator Ed on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 4:30pm
Tulsi delivers a severe blow to Trump in her video.

@dystopian She, as many predicted, is pushing Trump further and further into a non-confrontational foreign policy. There is not one of the Klown Kontenders with enough guts to call out Trump as forcefully as this--including Bernie.

This is a new tweet from Tulsi this afternoon with a short vid...

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1173723701373591552

Go Tulsi Go!

MinuteMan on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 9:10am
Grave new world

The attack marks a turning point in asymmetrical warfare: no longer can a country bomb its neighbor without fearing a significant attack in return. An that attack won't be tossing a few rockets in the general direction of a targey; instead they'll be precision strikes taking out key infrastructure.

The concept of an air force has changed and the big powers won't have a monopoly going forward. Mutually assured destruction lite.

[Sep 17, 2019] While the Trump Administration seems to be cozying up to America's Jewish voters, here is an article that outlines what American Jews really think of Donald Trump and his leadership:

Sep 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

Sally Snyder , says: September 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT

While the Trump Administration seems to be cozying up to America's Jewish voters, here is an article that outlines what American Jews really think of Donald Trump and his leadership:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/06/americas-jews-on-trump-administration.html

Washington would seem to be on the wrong track when it comes to the U.S. Jewish community.

[Sep 17, 2019] Danger in the Gulf What the Attack on Saudi Arabian Oil Means for America by Alireza Ahmadi

Pompeo is just MIC lobbyst who got position of the Secretary of State due to Trump incompetence of pressure from donors like Adelson. Nothing good can come from this strange choice of warmonger and neocon hawk, not that different from Hillary Clinton.
Notable quotes:
"... It may be that U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region have gone from being an intimidating tool of American coercion to a strategic vulnerability. ..."
"... The first priority was to deny the Iranian leadership resources. Previous administration taken a different approach. It said olly olly oxen free, here's all the money you can possibly stand to build out your terror campaign, to build your nuclear weapons system, to take nuclear physicists, all of the things that money can deliver – terror against Israel out of Hizballah and from Syria. Our – the first proposition for our campaign was to deny wealth and resources for the Iranian leadership, and it has been enormously successful in doing so. You can see it. Hizballah is passing the tin cup. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

It may be that U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region have gone from being an intimidating tool of American coercion to a strategic vulnerability.

For hawks like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, American power, as the Bolshevik adage goes, cannot fail, it can only be failed. For many of his ilk, the superiority of American power means the willingness to project it is the only thing needed to earn the capitulation of foes and the only way America loses is if it chooses to relent. Donald Trump, however, watched George W. Bush's presidency burn in the Iraq war and is unlikely to embrace the chaos of war heading into an election year. President Trump would be wise to heed the lessons of the most recent volatile security episode in the Persian Gulf region, especially as it pertains to his administration's campaign against Tehran.

... ... ...

Without the basic ability to guard against even crude air assets, any notion of the United States empowering its regional network to dictate terms to Iranian allies with military action seems impractical. The credibility of U.S. anti-missile capabilities were already in question . For Saudi Arabia and hawks inside the U.S. government, the notion that a tribal force like the Houthis could reach into their territory and engage in this kind of tactical action is militarily embarrassing and practically discrediting from a policy standpoint.

...If it is conceivable that Iranian cruise missiles -- the newest and least tested section of Iran's missile fleet -- flew across the militarized Persian Gulf and evaded both Saudi and American sensors and air-defenses to hit an oil facility, then how much safer are U.S. forces in the region?

...Add to this the survivability and precision that Pompeo is now attributing to Iranian missiles and the conclusion very well may be that U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region have gone from being an intimidating tool of American coercion to a strategic vulnerability.

... ... ...

Pompeo has been on a months-long media campaign promoting, among other things, what he describes as the success of the "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. But Pompeo's primary argument for the success of the anti-Iran efforts centers on the narrative that U.S. sanctions have severely damaged Iran's alliance network in the region. Consider the way he framed the issue to a right-wing talk show host in July:

The first priority was to deny the Iranian leadership resources. Previous administration taken a different approach. It said olly olly oxen free, here's all the money you can possibly stand to build out your terror campaign, to build your nuclear weapons system, to take nuclear physicists, all of the things that money can deliver – terror against Israel out of Hizballah and from Syria. Our – the first proposition for our campaign was to deny wealth and resources for the Iranian leadership, and it has been enormously successful in doing so. You can see it. Hizballah is passing the tin cup.

...The attack on the Saudi refiner disrupted Pompeo's public victory lap in a particularly bright and striking way.

... ... ...

Simply put, Washington's hopes to stop Iran from supporting its allies by pressing the Iranian economy is unlikely to work. Iran's support for its alliance network is largely dismissed in Washington as a frivolous imperial project that Iran can simply choose to abandon. But for Iran, its non-state allies are a core national-security issue and will, therefore, be prioritized in budgetary considerations especially when tensions are high. Iran's support for non-state actors, like Hezbollah, are also not financially intensive and therefore can continue under sanctions.

Alireza Ahmadi is a researcher and analyst focused on U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. His work has been published by the National Interest , The Hill and Al-Monitor . Follow him on Twitter @AliAhmadi_Iran.

[Sep 17, 2019] In New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren described a government compromised by the influence of the wealthy. President Trump, in New Mexico, denounced a "failed [neo]liberal establishment.

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Warren described Washington as utterly compromised by the influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy, and laid out a detailed plan for cleansing it. ..."
"... "Corruption has put our planet at risk, corruption has broken our economy and corruption is breaking our democracy," Ms. Warren said Monday evening. "I know what's broken, I've got a plan to fix it and that's why I'm running for president of the United States." ..."
"... Their version of populism, which Mr. Sanders pioneered but did not bring to fruition when he challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is about attacking concentrated wealth and economic power and breaking its influence over government. Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, effectively tied for second place in their party's primary, both describe the country's political institutions as rotten and vow to make vast changes to the economy ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs, September 17, 2019 at 09:47 AM

Warren and Trump Speeches Attack Corruption, but Two Different Kinds https://nyti.ms/2IaKMVQ

NYT - Alexander Burns - September 17

In New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren described a government compromised by the influence of the wealthy. President Trump, in New Mexico, denounced a "failed liberal establishment."

Senator Elizabeth Warren stood beneath a marble arch in New York City, telling a crowd of thousands that she would lead a movement to purge the government of corruption. Not far from the site of a historic industrial disaster, Ms. Warren described Washington as utterly compromised by the influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy, and laid out a detailed plan for cleansing it.

"Corruption has put our planet at risk, corruption has broken our economy and corruption is breaking our democracy," Ms. Warren said Monday evening. "I know what's broken, I've got a plan to fix it and that's why I'm running for president of the United States."

Only a few hours later, on a stage outside Albuquerque, President Trump took aim at a different phenomenon that he also described as corruption. Before his own roaring crowd, Mr. Trump cast himself as a bulwark against the power not of corporations but of a "failed liberal establishment" that he described as attacking the country's sovereignty and cultural heritage.

"We're battling against the corrupt establishment of the past," Mr. Trump said, warning in grim language: "They want to erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology."

The two back-to-back addresses laid out the competing versions of populism that could come to define the presidential campaign. From the right, there is the strain Mr. Trump brought to maturity in 2016, combining the longstanding grievances of the white working class with a newer, darker angst about immigration and cultural change. And on the left, there is a vastly different populist wave still gaining strength, defined in economic terms by Ms. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The messages underlined the possibility that the 2020 election could be the first in a generation to be fought without an ally of either party's centrist establishment on the ballot. While it is by no means certain that Ms. Warren will emerge as the Democratic nominee, two of her party's top three candidates -- Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders -- are trumpeting themes of economic inequality and promises of sweeping political and social reform.

Their version of populism, which Mr. Sanders pioneered but did not bring to fruition when he challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is about attacking concentrated wealth and economic power and breaking its influence over government. Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, effectively tied for second place in their party's primary, both describe the country's political institutions as rotten and vow to make vast changes to the economy . ...


[Sep 17, 2019] Warren scoops an important endorsement from The New York Times:

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , September 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Let's hope the Sanders campaign does not play this card.

"Senator Professor Warren continues to play error-free baseball in this here presidential campaign. Not only does she schedule a certified Big Speech in Washington Square Park in New York on Monday night to talk about the contributions of women to the labor movement not far from the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, but also, in the afternoon, she scoops an important endorsement across town. From The New York Times:

'The party endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the last presidential cycle, at which time he described Working Families as "the closest thing" to "my vision of democratic socialism." The group's endorsement of Ms. Warren on Monday, one of the few by a prominent progressive organization this early in the primary, is sure to turn heads among left-leaning Democrats who are desperate to defeat the current front-runner, Mr. Biden, in a primary election where their party's ideological future is at stake.

Mr. Mitchell brushed off the possibility that the group's endorsement would be seen as a sign of a splintering of the progressive left. The vote among "tens of thousands" of party members resulted in a commanding majority for Ms. Warren, a party spokesman said; she received more than 60 percent of the votes on the first ballot.'

The Sanders camp is already raising holy hell. They will now position SPW as a tool of her corporate masters. (That's been going on for a while now among some of the more enthusiastic adherents of the Sanders campaign. My guess is that it will become more general now.) The WFP endorsement is an important and clarifying one. If there is a liberal lane, there's some daylight open now."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29071011/elizabeth-warren-working-families-party-endorsement/

[Sep 17, 2019] Warren calls the reforms she envisions to corporate mandates and governance "accountable capitalism."

Notable quotes:
"... I do like the author's take on the importance of corporations' fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, though. There WAS a time when a company's first priority was customer satisfaction. The moment they became corporations, however, customers went out the window in favor of the shareholders. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Go to the section of Warren's website entitled "Plans" and at the time of this writing you'll have a choice between a staggering 43 links. Many of the plans could hugely impact our economy, but one stands above the rest in its potential to overhaul our commercia landscape. Warren calls the reforms she envisions to corporate mandates and governance "accountable capitalism."

Corporations sometimes do bad things, and Warren's plan might stop some of them.

So just what is accountable capitalism? It was originally a bill proposed by Senator Warren last year. In a fawning write-up in Vox , Matthew Yglesias inadvertently exposed the idea's flimsy intellectual foundation:

Warren's plan starts from the premise that corporations that claim the legal rights of personhood should be legally required to accept the moral obligations of personhood.

... ... ...

Warren's plan requires corporations valued at over $1 billion to obtain a special federal charter. This charter exposes corporations to regulation from a new Office of United States Corporations that "tells company directors to consider the interests of all relevant stakeholders -- shareholders, but also employees, customers, and the community within which the company operates -- when making decisions."

... ... ...

Warren has spent much of her career crusading against the harmful and unjust cozy relationships between Wall Street and government, often to her credit. It's curious that someone with such expertise in the matter doesn't seem at all concerned that this new "accountability" would multiply the number of meetings, phone calls, and emails between senior regulators and the titans of the private sector.

These billion-dollar corporations already employ armies of lawyers and accountants to navigate regulatory minefields and turn them into weapons against their smaller competitors. Does Warren believe this practice will stop overnight?

If most rent-seeking were a matter of nefarious corporate executives buying off weak or greedy officials, we could just elect better people. The fact that this problem persists over decades is indicative of a more subtle process. Rent-seeking is an inevitable systemic feature in a network with thousands of contact points between business and government.


Itchy and Scratchy , 25 minutes ago link

She had her chance in the '08 credit crash when she took on Wall Street & The Banksters!

She ended up filling the Banksters & 1%'ers pockets with billions of Tarp funds some of which were donated to her campaign while enacting competition killing Dodd Frank compliance laws! No one was ever charged or convicted for the $9Trillion debacle!

Nice work Princess Squatting Bull!

JustPastPeacefield , 29 minutes ago link

Last time around we had the Bernie Bro. Introducing the Lizzie Lez.

Get used to it. She's the nominee. Even the corrupt DNC knows Biden is halfway to senile. She's got the mojo this time around.

fightapathy , 50 minutes ago link

I recall Barry the magical ***** had similar plans that disappeared the moment of his coronation/deification. Campaign plans are like that: fictional lies that vanish like magic.

I do like the author's take on the importance of corporations' fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, though. There WAS a time when a company's first priority was customer satisfaction. The moment they became corporations, however, customers went out the window in favor of the shareholders.

These days, thanks to algos, things like revenue and performance don't even seem to matter to stock valuation anymore, only buybacks and options seem to keep prices up.

mabuhay1 , 51 minutes ago link

The problem of corporation lack of empathy is not caused by capitalism, it is caused by the lack of moral values of the people running the corporation. What is needed is a moral framework within which to raise our young... Religion? Yes! correct answer.

NYC80 , 56 minutes ago link

I think the author is too generous with Warren's intentions. She pretends she cares, and this is her misguided effort to "help". I don't think that's true.

Look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It, too, sounds like it's about "helping" people. Warren proposed the whole thing, and wrote much of the legislation.

Its real purpose, if you look at its actions (which, I remind you, speak louder than words) is to extort money from large companies in order to fund left-wing activist groups. In nearly all its settlements, the CFPB offers companies the option to "donate" money to these third-party groups in lieu of larger fines and penalties. They've diverted billions of dollars to activist groups. Controlling the money allows them to control the groups, and these groups can exert all kinds of pressure, usually in ways that would be illegal, if done directly by the government.

It's the equivalent of having the government fund paramilitary groups or third party propaganda.

Warren would establish this new "Office of United States Corporations" to extort even more money, diverted to third parties to use to destroy people, companies, and anything else she'd like to target but cannot target directly through government because of our pesky Constitution.

She's an aspiring totalitarian dictator, using clever language and 21st century tools. Don't pretend, for a moment, that she's interested in "helping" anyone - she'd happily kill as many people as Hitler or Stalin ever did, if she had the chance.

[Sep 17, 2019] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) slammed President Donald Trump for turning the nation into "Saudi Arabia's bitch" after he assured the kingdom that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" as it waits to hear who may be behind an attack on its oil supply.

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , September 17, 2019 at 05:55 AM

Voice of reason and authority on this one.

"Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) slammed President Donald Trump for turning the nation into "Saudi Arabia's bitch" after he assured the kingdom that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" as it waits to hear who may be behind an attack on its oil supply.

"Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters," the Democratic presidential candidate tweeted Sunday. "Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First.'"

Gabbard previously accused Trump of making the U.S. "Saudi Arabia's bitch" last November for his failure to take action against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who, according to the U.S. intelligence community, directed the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi."

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tulsi-gabbard-donald-trump-saudi-arabia-oil-attack_n_5d7fc275e4b077dcbd622d5b

"Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has doubled down attacking President Donald Trump over his response to the weekend's drone attacks on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia.

Trump assured Saudi Arabia via Twitter that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" and awaiting its direction following the strikes, which were claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels but which Trump claimed were backed by Iran.

The Democratic presidential candidate -- a combat veteran and a major in the Army National Guard ― called Trump's response "disgraceful" in a new video shared online Monday.

"Mr. President, as you know, I have never engaged in hateful rhetoric against you or your family and I never will," said Gabbard. "But your offering our military assets to the dictator of Saudi Arabia to use as he sees fit is a betrayal of my brothers and sisters in uniform who are ready to give our lives for our country."

Gabbard said Trump's belief he can "pimp out our proud servicemen and women to the prince of Saudi Arabia is disgraceful and it once again shows that you are unfit to serve as our commander in chief."

"My fellow service members and I, we are not your prostitutes," she concluded. "You are not our pimp."

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tulsi-gabbard-donald-trump-doubles-down-saudi-arabia_n_5d809229e4b077dcbd63a808

ilsm -> EMichael... , September 17, 2019 at 09:02 AM
Make a note, I agree with you here.
Paine -> ilsm... , September 17, 2019 at 09:10 AM
She is a gem
House of Saud butt port
Donald the double down
cheeks of Araby
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , September 17, 2019 at 09:57 AM
Most of our disagreements here are not on either economic or political principles, but rather the awarding of style points with considerable confusion regarding the (sometimes remotely) possible, the plausible, and the actual.

[Sep 17, 2019] Stingray devices were detected near White House -- Isreali intelligence is most probably culprit

Notable quotes:
"... Only President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual personalized fashion, which was that the report was "hard to believe," that "I don't think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with Israel has been great Anything is possible but I don't believe it." ..."
"... So Trump is stupid, a liar and an Israeli sycophant what's the solution? ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: September 17, 2019 at 6:41 am GMT

Too bad Tulsi can't call out Israel the way she does KSA.

Trump offers to pimp out our military to his Saudi masters

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Jo8QU2s_5I?feature=oembed

cranc , says: September 17, 2019 at 8:21 am GMT
Just bewildering to read the Left's continuing insistence that Israel is best understood as 'just another outpost of the American empire'. This is probably the most damaging idea in circulation right now, as its diversionary effect is only matched by its absurdity.
The Left simply cannot 'go there' though, no matter how much factual evidence is stacked up. (On top of the spying and theft we have 'The Lobby' documentary, the defence pact, party funding, etc. etc.). They have to avoid the reality, one which can only be explained through cross border tribal allegiances and religious history going back many centuries. These, of course, lay outside the Left's purview, and any consideration of them is dogmatically opposed. It is getting to be a kind of insanity.

Tulsi can allege that Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 attacks and that they pull the strings in Washington, (and many on the Left will applaud) but she cannot point out the rather more glaring 9/11 connections to Israel and the whole machinery of control that lies at the centre of American empire.
As she votes against BDS, has there ever been a more ridiculous double standard ?

Realist , says: September 17, 2019 at 9:09 am GMT

Only President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual personalized fashion, which was that the report was "hard to believe," that "I don't think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with Israel has been great Anything is possible but I don't believe it."

So Trump is stupid, a liar and an Israeli sycophant what's the solution?

JoaoAlfaiate , says: September 17, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
It's amazing how little coverage this story got. Can you imagine if Russian devices had been found? It would be on CNN, etc. hour after hour and they'd be interviewing Nancy Pelosi non stop.
sally , says: September 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger I think you are correct there maybe many Americans in the USA.. It may take the few Americans who have been allowed to see the big picture at the USA
Hans , says: September 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm GMT
"I've never seen a President -- I don't care who he is -- stand up to them. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have on our government, they would RISE UP IN ARMS. Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on." – Admiral Thomas Moorer, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, interview, 24 Aug. 1983

Admiral Moorer, "the dirty anti-semite," was one of the few people with influence to call out Israel for their deliberate attack on the USS Liberty – https://www.erasingtheliberty.com/

The American Legion continues to wet its pants apparently believing that kissing (((ass))) is more patriotic than standing up for America and members of the Navy.

USS Liberty Veterans banned forever from Am Legion Nat'l Convention – https://israelpalestinenews.org/uss-liberty-vets-banned-forever-american-legion-national-conference/

DESERT FOX , says: September 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm GMT
Whats new about Israeli spying against the zio/US, hell the government is full of zionists in every facet of the government, they run every department, including and especially the CIA , which would be better named the Mossad West, in fact the Mossad is so embedded in the CIA that the only way to end this would be to as JFK said to scatter it to the winds aka abolish the Mossad infested CIA.

[Sep 17, 2019] Where does Joe Biden stand on raising taxes on the wealthy to level the Wealth Gap?

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm , September 16, 2019 at 04:46 AM

TV debates are better than fiction!

"These people are aware that Biden is losing his mind, but they are pushing him toward the White House anyway."...

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/09/16/bidens-brain-is-swiss-cheese-and-its-creepy-that-were-not-talking-about-it/

The Biden comment about poor kids needing to hear words is pap I heard at a Hillary event in 2015 from Bill himself. Make sure the 'record player' the kids listen to for hours has the approved subliminal messages.

While insisting that schools raise kids tends toward the Brave New World.

When the DNC handlers free US from racism and "unfairness" we will be theirs.

And the handlers wants you [in to their "reality"] to do a 25th Amendment on Trump!

So much to be outraged about that is not Trump!

im1dc , September 16, 2019 at 04:46 AM
Where does Joe Biden stand on raising taxes on the wealthy to level the Wealth Gap?

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/461368-progressive-tax-the-rich-push-gains-momentum

"Progressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum"

By Naomi Jagoda...09/16/19...06:00 AM EDT

"The progressive push to raise taxes on the rich is gaining new momentum."...

[Sep 17, 2019] Locked-And-Loaded For War With Iran Is Bolton's Soul Living On by Patrick Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, ..."
"... "Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," ..."
"... "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." ..."
"... The War Party is giddy with excitement over the prospect of war with Iran, while the nation does not want another war. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

09/17/2019

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

"Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," declared Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Putting America's credibility on the line, Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out the devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities that halted half of the kingdom's oil production, 5.7 million barrels a day.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump did not identify Iran as the attacking nation, but did appear, in a tweet, to back up the secretary of state:

"There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed!"

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been fighting Saudi Arabia for four years and have used drones to strike Saudi airport and oil facilities, claim they fired 10 drones from 500 kilometers away to carry out the strikes in retaliation for Saudi air and missile attacks.

Pompeo dismissed their claim, "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."

But while the Houthis claim credit, Iran denies all responsibility.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif says of Pompeo's charge, that the U.S. has simply replaced a policy of "maximum pressure" with a policy of "maximum deceit." Tehran is calling us liars.

And, indeed, a direct assault on Saudi Arabia by Iran, a Pearl Harbor-type surprise attack on the Saudis' crucial oil production facility, would be an act of war requiring Saudi retaliation, leading to a Persian Gulf war in which the United States could be forced to participate.

Tehran being behind Saturday's strike would contradict Iranian policy since the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal. That policy has been to avoid a military clash with the United States and pursue a measured response to tightening American sanctions.

U.S. and Saudi officials are investigating the sites of the attacks, the oil production facility at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field.

According to U.S. sources, 17 missiles or drones were fired, not the 10 the Houthis claim, and cruise missiles may have been used. Some targets were hit on the west-northwest facing sides, which suggests they were fired from the north, from Iran or Iraq.

But according to The New York Times, some targets were hit on the west side, pointing away from Iraq or Iraq as the source. But as some projectiles did not explode and fragments of those that did explode are identifiable, establishing the likely source of the attacks should be only a matter of time. It is here that the rubber meets the road.

Given Pompeo's public accusation that Iran was behind the attack, a Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly's annual gathering next week may be a dead letter.

The real question now is what do the Americans do when the source of the attack is known and the call for a commensurate response is put directly to our "locked-and-loaded" president.

If the perpetrators were the Houthis, how would Trump respond?

For the Houthis, who are native to Yemen and whose country has been attacked by the Saudis for four years, would, under the rules of war, seem to be entitled to launch attacks on the country attacking them.

Indeed, Congress has repeatedly sought to have Trump terminate U.S. support of the Saudi war in Yemen.

If the attack on the Saudi oil field and oil facility at Abqaiq proves to be the work of Shiite militia from inside Iraq, would the United States attack that militia whose numbers in Iraq have been estimated as high as 150,000 fighters, as compared with our 5,000 troops in-country?

What about Iran itself?

If a dozen drones or missiles can do the kind of damage to the world economy as did those fired on Saturday -- shutting down about 6% of world oil production -- imagine what a U.S.-Iran-Saudi war would do to the world economy.

In recent decades, the U.S. has sold the Saudis hundreds of billions of dollars of military equipment. Did our weapons sales carry a guarantee that we will also come and fight alongside the kingdom if it gets into a war with its neighbors?

Before Trump orders any strike on Iran, would he go to Congress for authorization for his act of war?

Sen. Lindsey Graham is already urging an attack on Iran's oil refineries to "break the regime's back," while Sen. Rand Paul contends that "there's no reason the superpower of the United States needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran."

Divided again: The War Party is giddy with excitement over the prospect of war with Iran, while the nation does not want another war.

How we avoid it, however, is becoming difficult to see.

John Bolton may be gone from the West Wing, but his soul is marching on.

[Sep 17, 2019] Stingray devices near White House with no consequences to Isreal might be a sign of "domesticated intelligence" Can you imagine if Russian devices had been found?

Sep 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

Justvisiting , says: September 17, 2019 at 12:33 pm GMT

@Anonymous At some point when an foreign intelligence service has a critical mass of politicians blackmailed it becomes "domestic intelligence" or "domesticated intelligence". :-)
JoaoAlfaiate , says: September 17, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
It's amazing how little coverage this story got. Can you imagine if Russian devices had been found? It would be on CNN, etc. hour after hour and they'd be interviewing Nancy Pelosi non stop.
sally , says: September 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger I think you are correct there maybe many Americans in the USA.. It may take the few Americans who have been allowed to see the big picture at the USA

[Sep 17, 2019] Elizabeth Warren releases sweeping anti-corruption plan

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 16, 2019 at 08:22 AM

Elizabeth Warren releases sweeping anti-corruption plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/09/16/elizabeth-warren-releases-sweeping-anti-corruption-plan-central-her-campaign/SXm5u4AadbvrKDcXfJPEHI/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Steve Peoples and Will Weissert - AP - September 16

NEW YORK -- Elizabeth Warren has released a sweeping anti-government corruption proposal, providing a detailed policy roadmap for a fight she says is at the core of her presidential campaign.

( https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/end-washington-corruption )

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts is announcing the plan Monday in Manhattan's Washington Square Park, near the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., which caught fire in 1911, killing 140-plus workers. Many of those deaths later were attributed to neglected safety features, such as doors that were locked inside the factory.

Warren's plan would ban lobbyists from many fundraising activities and serving as political campaign bundlers, tighten limits on politicians accepting gifts or payment for government actions and bar senior officials and members of Congress from serving on nonprofit boards. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 16, 2019 at 08:29 AM
Elizabeth Warren says she has
a plan for that. Here's a running list
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/07/11/elizabeth-warren-says-she-has-plan-for-that-here-running-list/EHsPJR7JCSs3tBYe7sXxEN/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - September 16

Senator Elizabeth Warren is blitzing the 2020 Democratic primary field with a series of ambitious policy proposals covering everything from student loans to the use of federal lands.

Her proposals have become a signature part of her campaign, solidifying her reputation as a policy wonk and spurring a new campaign slogan: "I have a plan for that."

Big Tech breakup
Child care
Clean energy
Criminal justice
Economic patriotism
Electoral college
Farmers
Filibuster
Green energy
Gun control
Higher education
Housing
Immigration
Minority entrepreneurship
Native American issues
Opioids
Pentagon ethics
Public lands
Puerto Rico
Racial wage disparities
Reparations
Roe v. Wade
Rural communities
State Department
Tax plans
Trade
Voting rights
Wall Street regulation

(more detail at the link)

im1dc -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 16, 2019 at 05:10 PM
S. Warren proposal is AWESOME and NEEDED

Here's another journalist take on it...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/maryanne-trump-barry-elizabeth-warren-goes-after-president-trumps-sister-as-part-of-anti-corruption-plan

"Warren Goes After Trump's Sister in Anti-Corruption Push"

"The Massachusetts Democrat, who had already introduced a massive anti-corruption bill, is adding some new aspects to her plan"

by Gideon Resnick, Political Reporter...09.16.19 12:06PM ET

[Sep 17, 2019] TV debates are better than fiction!

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm , September 16, 2019 at 04:46 AM

TV debates are better than fiction!

"These people are aware that Biden is losing his mind, but they are pushing him toward the White House anyway."...

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/09/16/bidens-brain-is-swiss-cheese-and-its-creepy-that-were-not-talking-about-it/

The Biden comment about poor kids needing to hear words is pap I heard at a Hillary event in 2015 from Bill himself. Make sure the 'record player' the kids listen to for hours has the approved subliminal messages.

While insisting that schools raise kids tends toward the Brave New World.

When the DNC handlers free US from racism and "unfairness" we will be theirs.

And the handlers wants you [in to their "reality"] to do a 25th Amendment on Trump!

So much to be outraged about that is not Trump!

im1dc , September 16, 2019 at 04:46 AM
Where does Joe Biden stand on raising taxes on the wealthy to level the Wealth Gap?

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/461368-progressive-tax-the-rich-push-gains-momentum

"Progressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum"

By Naomi Jagoda...09/16/19...06:00 AM EDT

"The progressive push to raise taxes on the rich is gaining new momentum."...

[Sep 17, 2019] Johnstone Biden's Brain Is Swiss Cheese And It's Creepy That We're Not All Talking About It

Sep 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Johnstone: Biden's Brain Is Swiss Cheese And It's Creepy That We're Not All Talking About It

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/16/2019 - 09:10 0 SHARES Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

I didn't watch the last Democratic presidential primary debates because I figured that without Tulsi Gabbard in there shaking things up it would be a boring, vapid parade of insubstantial verbal foam, and I love myself too much to go through such a horrible ordeal. By all accounts my prediction was correct, but I did miss one thing that's been making the rounds in video clips for the last couple of days which I find absolutely bizarre.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4AYVwgcAOMY

Most of you have probably heard about Biden's infamous "record player" comment by now, but for those of you who missed it, Biden was asked by debate moderator Linsey Davis to defend some comments he made about America's problems with racism in the 1970s, and he responded by essentially saying that Black people don't know how to raise their kids so they need to be taught how by social workers. Biden has been receiving mainstream criticism for his racist and paternalistic position, along with plenty of mockery for saying that parents need to be told to "make sure you have the record player on at night" so that kids hear enough words in early childhood.

It is pretty clear that Biden was trying to communicate an idea that is premised on a deeply racist and condescending worldview, so it's to be expected that people would want to talk about that. It's also to be expected that people would be making jokes about how the cute old man said "record player" like a grandpa. But what isn't being discussed nearly enough is the fact that what Biden said was also a barely coherent, garbled word salad stumbling out of a brain that is clearly being eaten alive by a very serious neurological disease.

I've typed out a transcript of what Biden actually said, verbatim. There are no typos. I've also noted where Biden closes his eyes, probably to concentrate, which he does whenever he seems to be struggling especially hard to string words together. Try to read through it slowly, word-for-word, resisting the instinct to mentally re-frame it into something more coherent:

"Well they have to deal with the -- Look, there is institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved I started dealing with that. Redlining. Banks. Making sure that we're in a position where -- Look, talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title 1 schools, triple the amount of money we spend from 15 to 45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise that equal [ closes eyes ] raise to getting out -- the sixty-thousand dollar level.

"Number two: make sure that we bring into the help the -- [ closes eyes ] the student, the, the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home. We need -- We have one school psychologist for every fifteen hundred kids in America today. It's crazy. The teachers are reca -- Now, I'm married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. [ Closes eyes briefly ] We have make sure that every single child does in fact have three, four, and five year-olds go to school -- school, not daycare. School. We bring social workers into homes of parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It's not that they don't wanna help, they don't want -- they don't know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television, [ closes eyes tightly ] the -- 'scuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the-the-the-the phone, make sure the kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school, [ closes eyes ] a very poor background, will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time they get there."

Notice how it gets more garbled the longer he speaks. The response I transcribed was about eighty seconds in length. That was just one small part of a debate in which the former vice president performed no better and forgot three of his fellow candidates' names .

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

Compare this befuddled, incoherent mess with footage of a younger Biden, like his famous quip about how Rudy Giuliani only ever mentions "a noun and a verb and 9/11" in a sentence, or this clip where he said if Israel didn't exist America would have to invent it to protect its interests in the Middle East. Biden has always been notoriously gaffe-prone , but he was also sharp, alert, and articulate enough to deliver a punchline. As journalist Michael Tracey has been pointing out , what we're consistently seeing over and over again from the former vice president now are not "gaffes", but clear signs of cognitive decline. Contrast the difference between Biden's younger footage and what was seen at the last debate with footage of Bernie Sanders throughout the decades , who has remained virtually identical save for appearance and hoarseness. Age does not account for this difference. Biden's brain is dying.

It is certainly understandable that people are concerned about the presidential frontrunner having a racist worldview. But what's really weird and creepy is how few people are discussing the obvious fact that the presidential forerunner is also clearly suffering from the early stages of some kind of dementia. The brain that spouted the gibberish transcribed above would probably score poorly on a basic test for the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, yet discussion of his inability to complete a coherent sentence is relegated to the margins of political discourse. This is someone who is campaigning to have access to the nuclear codes, yet we're only talking about how he's kind of racist and not about the fact that his brain is turning into Swiss cheese right before our eyes. It's freaky.

It's freaky, but it kind of makes sense. One common difficulty in getting early treatment for people with Alzheimer's disease is that those suffering from it often go to great lengths to hide their impairments , and another difficulty is that their families are often deeply in denial about their loved one's mental decline. According to the Mayo Clinic , "Some people hide their symptoms, or family members cover for them. That's easy to understand, because Alzheimer's dementia is associated with loss, such as loss of independence, loss of a driving privileges and loss of self."

I think we're seeing precisely this happening, both with Biden, and with his supporters. Biden himself is clearly doing everything he can to feign mental competency, and as a powerful politician aiming to accomplish a lifelong ambition to become the US president he'd certainly have a lot egoically invested in doing so. His supporters seem to be doing all kinds of denial mental gymnastics around his cognitive decline as well; just check out the responses to this Washington Post tweet for its article about Biden's "record player" response.

me title=

Here are a few examples:

"Don't pretend you didn't understand what he was saying."

"Actually, I recently saw a turntable for sale at Best Buys & vinyl records are back on the market. Try to keep up, WaPo."

"My 22 year old son and all his friends play records on record players these days. If you're insinuating that Joe is out of touch, you're out of touch."

"Actually currently, there are some people playing record players because they find the vinyl record has better sound quality. I think you are just picking and choosing who to go after."

"He was saying they not hearing enough words. We did. We were read to. We listened to children's albums. We had conversations. He was trying to get at the importance of those things. He didn't do a great job on communicating it but he was right."

"Twitter snark aside, there are studies to back up that claim."

"He got 80% of the way through the debate without an embarrassing gaffe that highlights his age. Of course, Trump couldn't get halfway through a debate without threatening his opponent with imprisonment."

"Honestly so what. I got the sentiment."

"Not sure why people are being so condescending. Vinyl outsold CD last year, so, you know, record players are everywhere these days. You could say he's stuck in the past or you could say he's trending. Be kind."

We saw this same impulse to protect and compensate for Biden's mental decline from audience members during the debate, who gasped out loud when Julian Castro suggested that Biden had forgotten what he'd said two minutes ago. Many rank-and-file Democrats are so desperate for an end to an administration that is making them increasingly anxious and neurotic that they find it cognitively easier to compartmentalize away from the obvious fact that Biden is in a state of mental decline than to turn and face that reality. So they make excuses and pretend that his demented word salads are perfectly rational, hip references to the resurging popularity of vinyl records.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dtJ34wycgwk

The only people who are absolutely acutely aware of Biden's cognitive decline and yet still want him to become president are his handlers. There is no way his consistent pattern of verbal unintelligibility has gone unnoticed by those who are responsible for facilitating his election, and indeed The Hill reports that his "allies" have been floating the idea of scaling back his campaign appearances and scheduling them for earlier in the day when he's not tired to help minimize his "verbal flubs". These people are aware that Biden is losing his mind, but they are pushing him toward the White House anyway.

If Biden supporters were really intellectually honest with themselves about what's going on, they'd see that they don't actually want Joe Biden to be president, they want his unelected, unaccountable handlers to be president. From a position of intellectual honesty they'd be taking the position of arch neocon Bill Kristol, who once said he'd "prefer the deep state to the Trump state."

And of course that wouldn't be a first among US presidents even in recent history. Ronald Reagan had early signs of Alzheimer's disease during his presidency according to his own son , and George W Bush was infamously just a puppet of his handlers like Dick Cheney. Indeed it would be possible to have an actual, literal Jim Henson puppet as president of the United States without America's unelected power establishment skipping a single beat.

But that's exactly the point: having a real human being in there with even a semi-functional mind can put some inertia on the most sociopathic impulses of America's unelected permanent government. Both Trump and Obama are of course horrible presidents who have continued and expanded the Bush administration's most evil agendas, but Obama slowed down the push to arm Ukraine against Russia and slammed the brakes on a full-scale bombing campaign on Syria, while Trump was unable to get along with John Bolton and is losing interest in Venezuela while resisting the push to start new wars. Despite all their flaws, they've resisted the permanent government's worst impulses in some key ways. If it's just Biden's handlers and the unelected power establishment, there's no humanity anywhere near the brake pedal.

me title=

So this makes sense to talk about no matter how you look at it. But we're not. In mainstream discourse we're speaking as though this is just a charmingly gaffe-prone old man who makes a few controversial statements from time to time but would still make a fine president, when really he shouldn't even be allowed a driver's license.

And I just find that really creepy and uncomfortable. As someone who's never been able to leave elephants in rooms alone, the fact that the leading presidential contender is neurologically incapable of speaking coherently for eighty seconds sticks out like dog's balls and it's absolutely freakish that this isn't front and center of our political discourse right now. Biden's dementia should be the very first thing we discuss whenever his name comes up, not the last.

* * *

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RBNJ , 5 hours ago link

??? It's not "weird" or "creepy" - it's completely understandable and explainable. The media drive the narrative in Washington. They are completely biased and will work tirelessly to insure the Democrat nominee evicts Trump in 2020. Biden is the current front-runner so they will speak no ill of him. If he were a fringe candidate, only getting in the way of their goal, then you can be damn sure the media would be talking about his obvious senility. If and when he's no longer the front-runner then we'll begin seeing stories about his mental decline, but not before then - not 1 damn second before then.

stinkypinky , 6 hours ago link

To be fair Trump's transcripts don't look great either. Both men seem to switch gears mid-sentence like they basically want you to get the idea of what they're talking about, and then move on without nailing down the details, and can't wait to get the **** out of the room.

from_the_ashes , 7 hours ago link

Can't help but agree with the swiss cheese diagnosis...

Corn Pop? Seriously?

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2019/09/16/biden-tells-the-tale-of-the-one-time-he-took-on-a-black-dude-named-corn-pop-n2553113

whatisthat , 9 hours ago link

I would observe joe biden is simply another corrupt moron bureaucrat candidate who is running for president - sponsored by the DNC

[Sep 15, 2019] Blissful lack of self-awareness on the part of the USA defence secretary.

Does he mean the treat of de-dollarization? The USA military is just an the enforcement arm of Wall Street banks.
Notable quotes:
"... "It is increasingly clear that Russia and China want to disrupt the international order by gaining a veto over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions," ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"It is increasingly clear that Russia and China want to disrupt the international order by gaining a veto over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions," Esper said, seemingly unaware of the absurd hypocrisy of his words.

[Sep 15, 2019] Trump's new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted by

The key to understanding the c
The collapse of neoliberalism naturally lead to the collapse of the US influence over the globe. and to the treats to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That's why the US foreign policy became so aggressive and violent. Neocons want to fight for the world hegemony to the last American.
Notable quotes:
"... US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational ..."
"... Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel. ..."
"... Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. ..."
"... The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched. ..."
"... driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university. ..."
"... "The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy." ..."
"... This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible. ..."
"... The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along. ..."
"... With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely. ..."
"... "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

With John Bolton dismissed, Taliban peace talks a fiasco and a trade war with China, US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational

It was by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month's UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump's ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.

...Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president's erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

Trump wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. "Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos," the New York Times noted last week .

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

"The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy."

This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.

As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.

Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America's longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties .

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The US and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May, marking the anniversary of the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty

The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.

All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month's presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump's self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi , provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.

The current crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump's making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent "maximum pressure" campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.

Trump's unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region .

With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.

The bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived

Stephen Wertheim, historian

Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine "deal of the century" after Tuesday's Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don't realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.

... ... ...

...he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control. This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.

Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", Wertheim wrote earlier this year . "But agreement ends there " he continued: "One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies."

This debate among grownups over America's future place in the world will form part of next year's election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president's poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.

Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.

Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe

United Nations

Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America's sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council's authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump's attitude fits with his "America First" isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America's essential global leadership role.

Germany

Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe's most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him . Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland .

Israel

Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu's policies of "disloyalty" to Israel.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2019] TuckerCalson: Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics (The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke)

Notable quotes:
"... By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad." ..."
"... The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida. ..."
"... Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left. ..."
"... And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ... ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.bostonglobe.com

David Scharfenberg - September 6

...But he also spoke, in admiring tones and at substantial length, about "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke," the book Warren wrote with her daughter in 2004.

"Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics," he said.

(The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke
https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Two-Income-Trap%3A-Why-Middle-Class-Parents-Are-Tyagi-Warren/9e71e947ba3ba9f8a993eb39699b9d9baacff235 )

By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad."

His Bolshevist pronouncements were probably not a surprise to anyone who'd watched Carlson's show closely in the months leading up to his speech. But Fox, despite its outsize influence, has a relatively small audience.

And it's not just Carlson's evolution that's escaped notice. It's hard to keep track of what most of the key players on the right are saying these days, with President Trump soaking up so much attention.

But while the commander-in-chief thrashes about, something important is taking shape in his shadow -- the outlines of a new conservatism inspired, or at least elevated, by his rise to power.

It's a conservatism that tries to wrestle with the post-Cold War, post-industrial angst that fired his election -- dropping a reflexive fealty to big business that dates back to the Reagan era and focusing more intently on the struggles of everyday Americans.

"There are many downsides, I will say, to Trump," Carlson said, in his speech this summer. "But one of the upsides is, the Trump election was so shocking, so unlikely ... that it did cause some significant percentage of people to say, 'wait a second, if that can happen, what else is true?' "

The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left.

Whether the two sides can actually forge a meaningful alliance in the glare of our hyperpartisan politics is an open question. But a compact -- even a provisional one -- may offer the country its best shot at building a meaningful, post-Trump politics.

. . .

CARLSON DELIVERED HIS speech at the National Conservatism Conference -- the first major gathering aimed at forging a new, right-of-center approach in the age of Trump.

"This is our independence day," said Yoram Hazony, an Israeli political theorist and chief organizer of the event, in his spirited opening remarks. "We declare independence from neoconservatism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism." "We are national conservatives," he said. Any effort to build a right-of-center nationalism circa 2019 inevitably runs into questions about whether it will traffic in bigotry.

And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ...

* At the National Conservatism Conference, an 'Intellectual Trumpist' Movement Begins to Take Shape

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/national-conservatism-conference-intellectual-trumpist-movement/

Reply Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 06:59 AM

[Sep 15, 2019] Donald Trump as the DNC s nominee by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
DNC is a criminal organization and the fact that Debbie Wasserman Schultz escaped justice is deeply regreatable.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0. ..."
"... Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy. ..."
"... The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party. ..."
"... I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party. ..."
"... As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. ..."
"... They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration. ..."
"... If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I ..."
"... My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Breaking Up the Democratic Party, by Michael Hudson - The Unz Review

I hope that the candidate who is clearly the voters' choice, Bernie Sanders, may end up as the party's nominee. If he is, I'm sure he'll beat Donald Trump handily, as he would have done four years ago. But I fear that the DNC's Donor Class will push Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or even Pete Buttigieg down the throats of voters. Just as when they backed Hillary the last time around, they hope that their anointed neoliberal will be viewed as the lesser evil for a program little different from that of the Republicans.

So Thursday's reality TV run-off is about "who's the least evil?" An honest reality show's questions would focus on "What are you against ?" That would attract a real audience, because people are much clearer about what they're against: the vested interests, Wall Street, the drug companies and other monopolies, the banks, landlords, corporate raiders and private-equity asset strippers. But none of this is to be permitted on the magic island of authorized candidates (not including Tulsi Gabbard, who was purged from further debates for having dared to mention the unmentionable).

Donald Trump as the DNC's nominee

The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0.

DNC donors favor Joe Biden, long-time senator from the credit-card and corporate-shell state of Delaware, and opportunistic California prosecutor Kamala Harris, with a hopey-changey grab bag alternative in smooth-talking small-town Rorschach blot candidate Pete Buttigieg. These easy victims are presented as "electable" in full knowledge that they will fail against Trump.

Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy.

The Democratic Party's role is to protect Republicans from attack from the left, steadily following the Republican march rightward. Claiming that this is at least in the direction of being "centrist," the Democrats present themselves as the lesser evil (which is still evil, of course), simply as pragmatic in not letting hopes for "the perfect" (meaning moderate social democracy) block the spirit of compromise with what is attainable, "getting things done" by cooperating across the aisle and winning Republican support. That is what Joe Biden promises.

The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party.

The Democratic National Committee worries that voters may disturb this alliance by nominating a left-wing reform candidate. The DNC easily solved this problem in 2016: When Bernie Sanders intruded into its space, it the threw the election. It scheduled the party's early defining primaries in Republican states whose voters leaned right, and packed the nominating convention with Donor Class super-delegates.

After the dust settled, having given many party members political asthma, the DNC pretended that it was all an unfortunate political error. But of course it was not a mistake at all. The DNC preferred to lose with Hillary than win with Bernie, whom springtime polls showed would be the easy winner over Trump. Potential voters who didn't buy into the program either stayed home or voted green.


follyofwar , says: September 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

No votes will be cast for months, so I don't know how Mr. Hudson can say that Sanders is "clearly the voters choice." He would be 79 on election day, well above the age when most men die, which is something that voters should seriously consider. Whoever his VP is will probably be president before the end of Old Bernie's first term, so I hope he chooses his VP wisely.

In any case I laugh at how the media always reports that Biden, who has obviously lost more than a few brain cells, has such a commanding lead over this field of second-raters. The voters, having much better things to do, haven't even started to pay attention yet.

And, how could anyone seriously believe in these polls anyway? Only older people have land lines today. If calling people is the methodology pollsters are using, then the results would be heavily skewed towards former VP Biden, whose name everyone knows. I lost all faith in polls when the media was saying, with certainty, that Hillary was a lock to win against the insurgent Trump.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate beside Trump with charisma today. With her cool demeanor, she is certainly the least unlikeable. She would be Trump's most formidable opponent. But the democrats, like their counterparts, are owned by Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, most democrats still believe that the party is working in their best interests, while the republicans are the party of the rich.

If you watch the debates tonight, which I will not be, you will notice that Tulsi Gabbard won't be on stage. That is by design. She is a leper. At least the republicans allowed Trump to be onstage in 2016, which makes them more democratic than the democrats. Plus they didn't have Super Delegates to prevent Trump from achieving the nomination he had rightfully won. Something to think about since the DNC, not the voters, annointed Hillary last time.

If the YouTube Oligarchs still allow it, I plan on watching the post-debate analysis with characters like Richard Spencer and Eric Striker. Those guys are most entertaining, and have insights that are not permitted to be uttered in the controlled, mind-numbing farce of the mainstream media.

anon [110] Disclaimer , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
> When neoliberals shout, "But that's socialism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us socialism."

True, true! Also, when the neoliberals shout, "But that's nationalism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us nationalism."

One plus one is

Dutch Boy , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.
Biff , says: September 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Dutch Boy

Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.

Elizabeth Warren is phony as phuck(PAP). Just like forked tongued Obama she's really just a tool for the neo-liberal establishment, which does make her more likely.

Svevlad , says: September 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@anon Hehe. I propose that the anti-neoliberals join forces to beat this terrible beast...
Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT
Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party.

As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. Many of them may be progressives but they refuse to understand the very non-progressive consequences of mass immigration (Or, one should say over-immigration) or globalisation more generally. The increasing defection of such individuals to the Liberal Democrats in Britain is a fascinating example. They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration.

It is interesting to see the see-saw effect of UKip and now the Brexit party in the UK (Well, in England). With them first drawing working class voters from Labour without increasing Conservative performance, bringing about a massive conservative majority and now threatening to siphon voters from the Tories with the opposite effect.

But UKip and later the Brexit party almost exist through the indispensable leadership of Nigel Farage and a very specific motivating goal of leaving the EU. I can't see a third party rising to put pressure on the mainstream parties.

If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I f the centre left refuses to understand this (Something that wouldn't have been hard for them to understand when they still drew candidates from the working classes) they will continue their slide into oblivion as they have done across the Western world. (Excluding 2 party systems and Denmark where they do understand this)

My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public.

The novel internet mass media outlets that allowed such unpoliced political discussion to reach mass audiences will be pacified by whatever means and America will slide into an Italian style trans-generational malaise at a national level for some time.

A123 , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Altai

Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

Trump is trying to change the RNC away from Globalist elites and towards Christian Populist beliefs and Main Street America. I am some what hopeful, as the U.S. is not alone in this trajectory. There is a global tail wind that should help the GOP change quickly enough.

The true test will be the 2024 GOP nomination. A bold choice will have to break through to keep the RNC from backsliding into the clutches of Globalist failure.

PEACE

davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
I think Sanders could have beat Trump in 2016. This time around it is not that clear because so many of his supporters in 2016 feel burnt.

Badly burnt. Or Bernt. He threw his support for Hillary, even if it was tepid, and then got a bad case of Russiagateitis which his base on the left really hated. His left base never bought Russiagate for a minute. We knew it was an internal leak, probably by Seth Rich, who provided all the information to Assange. He still seems to be a strong Israel supporter even if has stood up to Netanyahu.

And while it may seem odd, many of his base on the left have grown weary of the global climate change agenda.

He has not advocated nuclear power and there is a growing movement for that on the left, especially by those who think renewables will not generate the power we need.

But since Sanders does seem to attract the rural and suburban vote more than any other Democrat, Sanders has a chance to chip away at Trumps' base and win the Electoral College. Another horrible loss to rural and suburban America by the Democrats will cost them the EC again by a substantial margin, even if they manage to pull off another popular vote win.

A123 , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT
@bluedog

the republican party is as globalist as you can find,and I'm sure you will be the first one to inform us when the global elite including those in America throw in the towel,

Some elite Globalist NeverTrumpers, such as George Will and Bill Kristol, have thrown in the towel on the GOP. This allows their "neocon" followers to return to their roots in the war mongering Democrat Party. So it *IS* happening.

The real questions are:
-- Can it happen fast enough?
-- Can it be sustained after Donald Trump term limits out?

I'm not bold enough to say it is inevitable. All I will say is, "There are reasons to be at least mildly hopeful."

PEACE

RadicalCenter , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:45 am GMT
@follyofwar Based on gabbard's immigration statements, voting for her is also voting for our continuing displacement.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:22 am GMT
Has everyone forgot the last time the DNC openly cheated Sanders he said nothing publicly, but then endorsed Clinton? Sanders knows he is not allowed to become president, his role to prevent the formation of a third party, and to keep the Green Party small. Otherwise he would jump to the Green Party right now and may beat the DNC and Trump.

Sanders treats progressives like Charlie Brown. Once again, inviting them to run a kick the football, only to pull it away and watch them fall. He recently backed off his opposition to the open borders crazies, rarely mentions cuts to military spending to fund things, and has even joined the stupid fake russiagate bandwagon.

Note that he dismisses the third party idea as unworkable, when he already knows the DNC is unworkable. Why not give the Green party a chance? Cause he don't want to win knowing he'd be killed or impeached for some reason.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer The Stalinist DNC openly cheated Tulsi Gabbard when they left her off the debate stage last night. When asked about it on 'The View' recently, Sanders said nothing in her defense, or that she deserved to be on the stage. Nice way to stab her in the back for leaving her DNC position to support you last time, Bernie. Socialist Sanders wants to be president, yet is afraid of the DNC. Nice!

Those polls were rigged against Tulsi, and everyone who is paying attention knows it. But, far from hurting her candidacy by not making the DNC's arbitrary cut, her exclusion may wind up helping her. Kim Iverson, Michael Tracey, and comedian Jimmy Dore, anti-war progressive YouTubers with large, loyal followings, have lambasted the out-of touch DNC for its actions. Tucker Carlson on the anti-war right has also done so.

One hopes that the DNC's stupidity in censoring her message may wind up being the best thing ever for Tulsi's insurgent candidacy. We shall see. OTOH, who can trust the polls to tell us the truth of where her popularity stands.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Do you forget about Trump's declaration that he wants the largest amount of immigration ever, as long as they come in legally? There are no good guys in our two sclerotic monopoly parties when it comes to immigration. Since both are terrible on that topic, at least Tulsi seems to have the anti-war principles that Trump does not.
Justvisiting , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Great comment.

Bernie has had many opportunities in the past few years to show real courage and stand for something, anything. He has failed every time.

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him–he knows he has a mission, but he just can't seem to figure out what it is anymore

Getting old is not fun.

[Sep 14, 2019] BTW, Tulsi's now gotten her 3rd qualifying poll. She'll surge back much stronger. And maybe even smarter, if she endorses this:

Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: September 14, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

@follyofwar Agreed . she was better off absent from that snore session. They all looked weak and pathetic. BTW, Tulsi's now gotten her 3rd qualifying poll. She'll surge back much stronger. And maybe even smarter, if she endorses this:

Ask Tulsi Gabbard to co-sponsor Betty McCollum's bill, H.R.2407 – Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act: https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/co-sponsor-hr2407?source=twitter-share-button&utm_source=twitter&share=7f93c0fd-5214-4398-93a8-03155a1dc1b1 via @Roots_Action

https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/co-sponsor-hr2407?source=twitter-share-button&utm_source=twitter&share=7f93c0fd-5214-4398-93a8-03155a1dc1b1

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 14, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT

That means protection against the Republican-Democratic threats to cut back Social Security to balance the budget in the face of tax cuts for the richest One Percent and rising Cold War military spending. This means a government strong enough to take on the vested financial and corporate interests and prosecute Wall Street's financial crime and corporate monopoly power.

Analogies with late Imperial Rome are by now so cliché that even your average dullard is familiar with them. But I find that the most fascinating -- and frightening -- parallels are with another empire of more recent vintage: the Empire of Japan.

The above quote brought to my mind the political unrest in Tokyo during the 1930s. Far from being the work of a cabal of "militarists", as postwar legend would have it, Japan's various internecine (and often bloody) political feuds and expensive military ventures were driven by a public heavily invested in these affairs; hoping against hope for an outlet to vent their increasing rage over dwindling social programs and opportunities at the cost of propping up a concurrently fattening elite class.

Analyzing events like the Ni-ni-roku jiken (2/26 Incident) can be highly instructional for Americans seeking some manner of explanation for their present failing political system. While it is true that this nearly successful insurrection was carried out by ultra-nationalists, their intention was not to deny the people a voice in the running of government with their aspiration for direct rule by the Shōwa Emperor (then as now, the Emperor served in a quasi-religious capacity with little ability to actually govern). Rather, they felt that parliamentary democracy was a sham that benefitted only the monied and privileged; and that only the Emperor, as the living incarnation of the Japanese state, could act and respond according to the sovereign will of its people. What appeared to be a desire for authoritarianism was, in fact, the radical, ideological inversion of the Marxist concept of a "dictatorship of the proletariat". The Shōwa Emperor, in other words, was the instrument of effecting the will of the nation; the "Emperor of the people" (天皇の國民 Tennō no kokumin ).

I view in a similar vein the fascination and dreams that Trump and other such figures excite in many: The radical hope that only a leader willing to smash the system, which to all intents and purposes appears to only serve the few, can paradoxically restore the ability of the many to express and act. Bogged down as we are by ballooning military debt (and blood), economic stagnation, and an ever-widening chasm between the "haves" and "have-nots", and it becomes difficult to ignore the parallels between the US today and Japan in 1936.

This was an interesting article, but I hold no illusions about the future. There will be no breakup of the two major parties, no viable alternatives. Things will only get worse.

I envy those in their 50s and up today -- they will likely miss out on the momentous history that people my generation and younger will be bearing reluctant witness to.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: September 14, 2019 at 7:24 am GMT
Biden will be 77 years old in Novembrer

Bernie Sanders is 78 years old

Donald Trump is 73 years old

Gerontocracy ?

[Sep 14, 2019] The Vital facts concerning Sanders

Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Durruti , says: September 14, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT

@Johnny Walker Read ...the Vital facts concerning Sanders.

1. Sanders votes for all the Military Expenditures (almost 50% of our National budget).

2. Sanders voted for all the $100s of Billions giveaways to the worst -most racist – most anti-Semitic, Apartheid, proto-Fascist Government on the planet. He is a Traitor. He serves another Master, not America.

3. Sanders apparently, had no recorded means of employment for the first 40+ years of his life.

4. How many times has Sanders been married? What is the significance of this?

5. Sanders said nothing: Who is the Zionist Military Hero General Woman who is blocked from the debates by the UNDEMOCRATIC DEMOCRAP GANG??? Gabbard? I recall Hollywood (we must pass the $Bailout) Obomber did not allow former President Carter to address his Democrap Convention. Not very Democratic – are they?

Memories (I'm humming the lines as I vent).

Once it is understood that the United States is an Occupied Puppet Nation ,...

[Sep 14, 2019] The strange way neoliberal media likes Creepy Joe Biden

Joe Biden looked like an old man who escaped from his senor citizen living center who got lost walking around in his under wear in some parking lot
If he gets the nom and we have debates between Biden and Trump i think it will sever the last thread tying our society to sanity.
Sep 14, 2019 | www.alternet.org

[Sep 14, 2019] The End of Israel by Gilad Atzmon

Theocratic of neo-theocratic states do not last long. So Gilad Atzmon is probably right. The writing for theocratic Israel might well be on the wall, much like it was for the USSR. At some point the majority of population just became sick and tied of the theocratic elite and stops believing the official propaganda. .
Trump strong connecting and deference to Zionists means that he will lose certain strata of voters that previously voted for him. Will money form Zionist billionaire donors outweigh this factor is difficult to say.
Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

This conflict at the heart of Israeli politics is a window into the Jewish state and its fears. Israel is rapidly becoming an Orthodox Jewish state. Israel's Orthodox Jews are the fastest growing group in the country. They are also the country's poorest population, 45 percent live below the poverty line in segregated communities. Ordinarily, one would expect the poor to support the left, but Israeli Torah Jews are rabid nationalists and openly lend their support to Benjamin Netanyahu and his party.

Prof. Dan Ben-David of Tel Aviv University warned recently that Israel could cease to exist in a couple of generations. He pointed to the astonishingly high birth rate among ultra Orthodox Jews and predicted that, based on current trends, they will comprise 49% of Israel's population by 2065. The ultra Orthodox parties are destined to dominate the Knesset within a generation or less. Ben David predicts that their dependence on Israel's welfare system will lead to a rapid decline is Israel's economy. This is economically damaging enough and is made worse by the refusal of most rabbinical schools to incorporate standard Western subjects such as mathematics, science and English into their core curriculum. Consequently, Israel is educating a growing percentage of its population in a fashion that fails to equip them to contribute to the needs of a hi-tech society that is immersed in a conflict for survival.

The picture that comes across is peculiar. As Israel becomes increasingly Jewish and fundamentalist in its nationalist and religious ethos, it has also become more divided on everything else. The Russian immigrants find it impossible to live alongside the ultra Orthodox and vice versa. The secular enclave in Tel Aviv is committed to seeing their metropolis as an extension of NY.

The Israeli Left has morphed into an LGBT hasbara unit. It has practically removed itself from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Jewish settlers adhere to the concept of a 'Two Jewish States Solution.' They want to see the West Bank become a Jewish land. Orthodox Jews are barely concerned with any of these political issues. They well know that the future of the Jewish state belongs to them. All they need to do is sustain a productive secular Jewish minority to serve as their milk cow. On top of all of that we face Bibi's survival wars that threaten to escalate any minute into a world conflict.


Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT

This is why I'm more optimistic the more Trump embraces Israel. He seems to have clearly decided not to get caught in Syria and so has to keep them off his back in some other way, moving the embassy and presumably giving Netanyahu the greenlight for annexation of more of the West Bank is a good thing.

It means Israel incorporates more and more Palestinians that it can't disengage from by keeping within it's existing borders and it means damaging the bi-partisan consensus with Trump's polarising association.

Everything Netanyahu does is just pulling back the sinews for the final reckoning. Instead of staying within reasonable borders and seeking a reconciliation with neighbours, Israel just gets more demanding, more unreasonable, breaks more promises and makes itself impossible to negotiate with and runs headlong into more and more Palestinian citizens.

What's unfortunate is that Europe and the US will be forced to put up with the millions of vagrant Sabras when it all goes kaput. Instead of becoming less anti-social, the Sabra became a magnificent compilation of every annoying and anti-social habit of the nations. Israelis make Sicilians look like Swedes.

Priss Factor , says: Website September 12, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan Israeli power is the consequence of Jewish-American Power.

It's like the princeling brat can romp around and make all kinds of trouble because his father is the king.

The King of Jewish Power is the hold over America.

Gilad Atzmon , says: September 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT
@Altai I agree Altai . at the end of the day this entire mess will fall on Europe and The USA but if I read the map correctly the tolerance and empathy to the primacy of Jewish suffering is running out..the situation is getting complicated
Gilad Atzmon , says: September 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT
@Altai I agree Altai . at the end of the day this entire mess will fall on Europe and The USA but if I read the map correctly the tolerance and empathy to the primacy of Jewish suffering is running out..the situation is getting complicated
niteranger , says: September 13, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT
@Robert Dolan Absolutely correct. If not for the US and it's Jewish Controlled Congress that never met a money bill for the Magic Jews Israel would be under water already. Our infrastructure is collapsing but we continue to find money for Israel no matter that we have cities with thousands of homeless people with the threat of disease and Middle Age plagues on our door step. Orthodox Jews are like Muslims in many ways because they love the "Welfare State" and they stay on it forever. Sections of New York are saturated with these Orthodox Welfare Jews and idiots like DeBlasio caters to them.

There is now a backlash by both blacks who hate them and want to kill them for their business practices in real estate and upper middle class residents that refuse to allow them to build their so called "Jewish Orthodox Communes" and take over the areas.

Israel may have overplayed their hand but that doesn't mean they will just disappear. They are sick enough to take mankind with them with their eternal wars. Hopefully Netanyahu is crazy enough to start a conflict with Iran who will bomb the shit out of them and then Hezabollah will destroy the wimp military the IDF.

We can only hope and perhaps mankind will have a chance .

Dennis Gannon , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:27 am GMT
It is more accurate to call them Talmudists. They are not "Jews". Jew is a recent abbreviation of Judean. The Ashkenazi came from Asia. They don't follow the Old Testament. They follow the Talmud, which is Maciavellian to the core. Pure evil. Since God made the man Jesus to be Lord, eventually, their works will be judged, they are headed for destruction morally, you reap what you sew. Israel is the most anti-Semitic country on earth. Which makes them hypocrites. The Arabs and Palestinians are a Semitic people and no one hates and kills them more that Israel.
Gilad Atzmon , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:10 am GMT
@Colin Wright As you may know Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitsm and this fact alone suggests that people including Jews were aware of the problem before Israel was formed
Giuseppe , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:34 am GMT
@Gilad Atzmon

I don't want to ruin the party but as far as I can tell Israel is not the problem it is just a symptom of the problem peculiarly, Israel was born to fix the problem

Interesting point of view, actually, one of the most profound things I have ever read. If this is their calling, and I too somehow believe it is, they need to turn around, because they are kind of falling down on the job. So I look forward to that great day of turning. However, when they call you names, anti-Semite, self-hating Jew, or whatever else they might dig up, they greatly err, because you are a watchman on the wall.

Frankie P , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
@Saggy Gilad has expressed his views on this topic many, many times. The early Zionists desired a Jewish State to make Jews human. By this, I mean that they were well aware of the Jewish Question and the repeated bad behavior of Jews in host societies, both Muslim and Christian. They were conscious of the economic role of powerful Jews, particularly with their usurious financial practices, but also as tax collectors and enforcers for the aristocracy. This, along with their tilted ethnocentric business practices, favoring their own while fleecing the goyim, invariably led to their control of what were traditionally local businesses, creating a growing resentment in local societies that reached critical mass. What followed were pogroms and expulsion. This occurred in both Muslim and Christian lands, but were especially pronouncrd in Christian Europe, which took more aggressive protective actions to shield itself.

The early Zionists wanted to be the midwives of a Jewish State that would solve the JQ by making a nation of Jews, in which Jews carried out all of the work, took all the jobs, from garbage collecting to farming, from street cleaner to bank president. They wanted to stop the pogroms and expulsions, but at the same time they were keenly aware that these were effects of Jewish behavior and actions, not senseless anti-Semitism of the goyim. So, yes Israel was conceived and born to solve the problem.

It didn't.

refl , says: September 13, 2019 at 6:10 am GMT
@Gilad Atzmon

As you may know Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitsm and this fact alone suggests that people including Jews were aware of the problem before Israel was formed

Was it? Or was antisemitism the solution by the jewish leadership to the dissolution of their community in modern arreligious society? Was antisemitism the virtual ghetto wall?
Tell the people within that those outside want to kill them, at the same time having a small faction of very cunning Jews who go outside and produce trouble that then by necessity falls back on the whole community?

I find it quite astonishing when I read how privileged certain Jews were in European states, compared to what was the norm for regular Christian folks.
And indeed, also Christians were butchered, expelled etc in more religious times.

mena , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:50 am GMT
peculiarly, Israel was born to fix the problem

I have heard you say this before and remain surprised that you seem to believe this. The whole " people like any other people" hasbara may have been a sales approach tailored to a particular audience at some point, but any sincerity behind it has been demonstrably beside the point. Israel has been a projection of raw power from the start.

sally , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
@niteranger Are you sure => "we continue to find money for Israel" <=unless you are among the elected 527 that run the USA you probably are not included in the WE.. did you vote (either yes or no) to send money to Israel?

Three votes (one to select a person to fill one of (1/425) jobs in the house of representatives, and 1 vote to select each of 2 persons to fill two senate jobs (2/100) does not make most Americans into deciding members of the USA. Not only that, at election time, American votes for President or VP do not count, because the electoral college vote decides who shall be President or vice President? So why do the candidates spend billions on the presidential elections?

350,000,000 Americans are governed by 527 salaried persons, who are elected to work at the USA.

Israel is a product of the bankers and their corporations; it began in earnest in 1897 in Switzerland.

The great success of Zionism (not racially or religiously connected) has been its networking ability. It can identify and intercept opposing forces, transport resources($, and people) in invisible ways, to/from multi many places, to focus on and to support a target project (local, regional, national or international) . The network that facilitates this "always win intention" works like a newspaper on one side, keeping all elements informed, and on the other side, like a powerful, but invisible government; seeking or willing to invade, protect or promote a place, project or person on the other side.

The network can concentrate fire power, vote power, impose political pressure, control the media, and develop the means to take advantage of, or put down, situation or opportunity or it can protect a friend in need. In a few days, a local situation or a massive opportunity can be "crowd funded" or "petition protected" via the network. For hypothetical example, say the NYT comes up for sale, in a short while a person with meager credit, tenders a multi-billion dollar offer backed with financing sufficient to acquire the opportunity? So how did the credit come to make this possible?

Its not Israel per se..that the USA congress supports: its the banking establishments and their powerful multi nation corporations, seeking to control the middle east, seeking to use "in the course of commerce" as their excuse for invisible weapon, mind control, and spy technology development. Its Economic Zionism that explains the foreign nation state support for Israel. IMO except for the propaganda value, race or religion has little to do with it.

Germanicus , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:28 am GMT
@Gilad Atzmon Why not infuse Israel with the tons of fanatical leftist(godless) Jews we have in Germany and Europe? They could counter the orthodox leeching by providing work force, and could additionally work their bottoms off on "racism", transform settlements in gay discos and do all the other professional complaints they make in Europe, like open borders.
The Jews in Europe are always scared, if Netanyahu calls them to Israel due to "anti-semitism". If a non Jew says something similar, its evil and "anti-semitic" of course.

It is quite interesting to note, that Israel develops in a theocracy(always has been in my view), while the Jews outside Israel seek to disprove/kill god and are in rebellion against god, nature, more or less play god.

Antares , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
@FvS "It is the patriotic duty of all American Jews to relocate to Israel and help their nation thrive. Remember the holocaust. Also, democracy is garbage."

You could be an American patriot who doesn't want to pay 3.8 billion per year.

gotmituns , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:22 am GMT
Theodor Herzl said, "Where there is no anti Semitism, there are no Jews."
Lol , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:25 am GMT
@Gilad Atzmon The issue is that regular Europeans have diminishing rates of sympathy for Jews and the only reason European politics don't trash Israel is largely vassalage to America and not having an independent foreign policy.

With Americans ruining their relations with everyone, this will most likely change since there's no real reason for Europeans to source military equipment from outside the EU, have sanctions on Iran or Russia instead of backing their infrastructure projects, not back China in the Pacific if it offers a better deal etc.

Essentially, Jews will be America's problem and rightfully so considering right wing Americans can't seem to stop sucking Jewish dick.

Lol , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:34 am GMT
@A123 The only realistic plan would probably involve Israel not violating the fourth Geneva convention anymore which would mean the Jewish settlements on territories outside the pre-1967 borders will cease to exist as Jewish in any way.

Once you reject international law, you can't appeal to it anymore, but you must be Jewish if you think you can pick and choose what suits you. Lol

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Rational The "Holy Hook" is being exposed on a level never imagined. Charles Giuliani has a great series out exposing the "Tribe". This is one of my favorites:
http://www.renegadebroadcasting.com/truth-hertz-pimp-daddy-abrahams-adventures-in-egypt-6-17-19/
Greg Bacon , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm GMT
The loonie Avi Lieberman is salivating at the thought being Israeli PM, and the loonie Nuttyahoo is salivating at the thought of staying PM and using that power to keep his sorry ass out of prison.

Presented with those two choices is like a robber asking its victim, "Do you want to be stabbed with a knife or shot with a gun?"

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan America will never be shed of this parasite until the fundamentalist Christian Zionist/NeoCons are swept from power. They are every bit as insane as the radicalized Muslims. You tell me which country this clown truly servers!!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UYEF8y7IZYc?feature=oembed

anonymous [420] Disclaimer , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT
@Anon

Few goyim will make the leap to figure out the modern implications of the Moses mythology.

You should discuss that with @ Dennis Gannon, who appears to be tangled in a ball of misunderstanding or ignorance, especially of Machiavelli, evident when he wrote:

The Ashkenazi came from Asia. They don't follow the Old Testament. They follow the Talmud, which is Maciavellian to the core. Pure evil.

Crack open The Prince: Machiavelli "figured out the modern implications of the Moses mythology." Of three candidates Machiavelli considered, he selected Moses as the model Prince. Certain "evil" behavior that became necessary to save his beloved city, Florence, and make it a Republic of and for the people of Florence, was acceptable, inasmuch as Moses, whose chief counselor was god himself, used whatever means necessary to achieve the wellbeing of the conquerors of Canaan.

If only the people of the USA had a Prince as evil, and as dedicated to the wellbeing of the American people, as Machiavelli was to Florence.

Frankie P , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm GMT
@Brewer "Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitism." Gilad is correct, but I believe that implicit in his statement is the understanding that the "antisemitism" is reactionary: it is born out of the anti gentile behavior and actions of Jews in gentile host societies. Gilad, please correct me if I've misrepresented you.
DESERT FOX , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm GMT
Israel is a terrorist state ran by terrorists for terrorists and its goal is to destroy the mideast for its greater Israel agenda and with the help of the zionist controlled zio/US government and the American taxpayers funding of these wars and providing the military muscle the zionists are now their way to armageddon!
Twodees Partain , says: September 13, 2019 at 1:45 pm GMT
@Brewer My definition of antisemitism is any pushback against crimes of the Ashkenazi.
Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
Israel is not an ally of the United States of America.

Israel is a client-state millstone of the American Empire that uses diasporan Jews such as Shelly Adelson to buy off politicians such as President Trump.

Andrew Jackson and George Washington would immediately sever all ties to Israel and they would make sure that diasporan Jews that put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the USA were strongly encouraged to permanently leave the USA. Those Jews who put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the USA should be disallowed from gaining entry into any other European Christian nation such as Canada, Australia, Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain etc.

It would also be a no-go Blavatsky for these diasporan Jews who put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA to go to South America or Asia or anywhere else. Israel must be made into a receptacle that will contain and constrain the ability of diasporan Jews and Israeli Jews from interfering in the governmental affairs of any other nation.

One of the reasons I will not vote for Trump and the Republican Party is that Trump and the Republicans put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the United States of America.

Trump seems to get the fact that the American Empire is a completely and totally separate entity from the United States of America. Trump seems to understand that resistance to Shelly Adelson's demands about foreign policy decisions regarding Israel is the best way to show patriotism to the USA.

The JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire is a clear and present threat to the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States of America

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FIRST!

Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT
Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA.

Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to President Trump and the Republican Party over the years.

What has all that loot bought for diasporan Jew Adelson?

Is Adelson buying the foreign policy of the USA?

How come that dumb boob Chris Christie used the word "occupied" in front of Adelson when Christie was trying to pry some loot out of Adelson's checkbook? DUMMY!

Tweet from 2015:

Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:21 pm GMT
The ruling class in Israel wants to continue to use the US military as muscle to fight wars on behalf of Israel.

The ADL puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the United States of America.

The ADL is an evil and immoral JEW PRESSURE GROUP that pushes mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration and REFUGEE OVERLOAD and ASYLUM SEEKER INUNDATION and multicultural mayhem and all manner of other anti-White crud.

DESERT FOX , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt Agree, the zionists have controlled the American people since 1913 when they fastened their privately owned central bank aka the FED and IRS on to the American people and then came the foreign wars and debt and total control of the American people by the zionists and their banking kabal.

Nathan Rothschild infamously said; I care not what puppet is place on the throne of England for the man who controls the money supply controls the British Empire, and I am that man!

The same holds true here in the zio/US the zionists have control of the money supply via the FED and we are slaves on the zionist plantation aka America, and a central bank and the income tax are 2 of the 10 planks of the communist manifesto, and zionism = communism!

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
So the Orthodox will turn Israel into a big shtetl within the span of next fifty years with the financial help of the "secular" Jews in the West and then they would want to do away with the LGBTQ crowd out of Tel Aviv you reap what you sow!
Wally , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@J said:
"Under all that noise there is country growing and strengthening very fast"

Dream on.
Without US taxpayers money "that shitty little country" wouldn't last a month.

The True Cost of Parasite Israel
Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers
.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

How Zionist Israel Is Robbing America Blind !:
http://www.unz.com/gatzmon/how-zionist-israel-is-robbing-america-blind/

[Sep 13, 2019] Trump has acceded to 2 of the 4 demands of Republican Party donor and Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson in regards to Israel: 1) Trump has killed the Iran nuclear deal and 2) Trump has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Sep 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski

Then having very (unsafely) gone off the Gaderene cliff deep end, you opined, "Trump seems to understand that resistance to Shelly Adelson's demands about foreign policy decisions regarding Israel is the best way to show patriotism to the USA."

Let me elaborate further on that sentence.

Trump has acceded to 2 of the 4 demands of Republican Party donor and Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson in regards to Israel:

1) Trump has killed the Iran nuclear deal and 2) Trump has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.

But,

3) Trump has refused to invade Iran or start a war with Iran and 4) Trump has not dropped a nuclear bomb on Iran.

Shelly Adelson wants the US military to invade Iran and Shelly Adelson wants the US military to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.

Trump knows that there is a difference between the American Empire and the United States of America. Trump pushes military Keynesianism for the jobs and the loot for the American people, but Trump doesn't think that the American Empire must continually be at war to justify the war expenditures. Trump gave an interview where he spoke of the military-industrial complex and Trump is a baby boomer who remembers Ike and his warnings about the profiteers and scoundrels who would use the American Empire to profit off the USA.

Trump made the wise decision to not go to war against Iran with that drone incident, and that is a good thing. Trump may have thought about oil at two hundred dollars a barrel or he might have thought it's better to pop the Iranians surreptitiously rather than televised on CNN with air strikes and the like.

I do think that Trump puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA, but a lot of the ruling class slobs who run the American Empire don't even think that the USA exists anymore. A lot of us voted for Trump to reclaim the sovereignty and independence of the USA from the American Empire.

So I think Trump is in his own way being patriotic to a certain extent by giving Shelly Adelson some of what Adelson wanted but not all.

Trump may also understand that German American women and other American women in the Great Lakes states don't want their sons or husbands or uncles or fathers getting killed or horribly wounded in endless wars that only benefit Israel. The German Americans, bless them, have historically shown great reluctance to get caught up in all the endless war crud that the JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire cooks up.

I won't vote for Trump because of his backstab on immigration, but I think Trump knows that he is the government leader of a big monster and that big monster is the creature that encompasses both the American Empire and the United States of America.

I was long winded, but there's a point in there somewhere!

Mark James , says: September 13, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
" My relationship with Israel has been great," Trump said, listing some of his pro-Israel accomplishments. "Anything is possible," he conceded, "but I don't believe it."

Trump, Netanyahu say no spying:
https://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-hints-gantz-campaign-planted-false-story-of-israel-spying-on-white-house/

"Yesterday you heard the lies that Israel tried to spy on the White House, a complete lie," Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video.
He then quoted Mark Levin as saying on his show that "this is exactly like the tricks carried out by Joel Benenson. He was an adviser to Obama and now he is the adviser to [Blue and White leaders Benny] Gantz and [Yair] Lapid."

Wally , says: September 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt Trump certainly deserves criticism for his ME policies.

However, it's pure folly to think that the alternatives to Trump would be any better, in fact I suggest that most would be worse.

It's always interesting to see those here who are so quick to bash Trump never tell us which of the alternative candidates they are willing to endorse and why.

Thanks.

[Sep 13, 2019] Bernie Sanders response on Venezuela was following the standard American Empire line.

Notable quotes:
"... "However," he added, "we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups -- as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again."" ..."
"... Sanders has been very clear about no regime change in Venezuela. And he is right to call out Maduro. The election was fraudulent. After squeeking out a win in 2013, Maduro moved the elections up from late 2018 to April, and voter turnout was down from 80% to under 50%. This would be like Trump announcing just before Christmas, while the primaries are still in full swing, that the general election will be taking place in April and not November. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.alternet.org

Hellprin_fan 13 hours ago ,

For me, Bernie should have been in the loser column last night. His response on Venezuela was following the standard American Empire line. What kind of socialist (or "democratic socialist") waxes enthusiastic over yet another U.S. regime change war? And no mention of the people who have died because of the U.S. sanctions.

I have read his some of his proposals, and it makes no sense to me that he would act this way toward a different country. His proposals and votes on domestic affairs, and his votes against the Pentagon budget, have usually shown a clear support of people over the moneyed interests. Why can't he see that the neoliberal (/neoconservative) agenda is wreaking havoc not only in the U.S., but in other countries as well?

On another note, I am relieved to see that he's sticking to his guns on killing off private health insurance. I just wish it were possible during a "debate" to explain to the public why it's so important to do that.

gcogs -> Hellprin_fan 11 hours ago ,

""The Maduro government in Venezuela has been waging a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election that many observers said was fraudulent," Sanders said in a statement. "Further, the economy is a disaster and millions are migrating."

Sanders continued by saying the U.S. while "should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people," it must also "condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent" in the country.

"However," he added, "we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups -- as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.""

Sanders has been very clear about no regime change in Venezuela. And he is right to call out Maduro. The election was fraudulent. After squeeking out a win in 2013, Maduro moved the elections up from late 2018 to April, and voter turnout was down from 80% to under 50%. This would be like Trump announcing just before Christmas, while the primaries are still in full swing, that the general election will be taking place in April and not November.

[Sep 13, 2019] Your overpaid RumorNet journalists placing Biden and Harris at the top are just well paid prostitutes

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Corporate media polls are fake. There is no effin' way that Biden is or ever was the "front runner" for the D Party nomination. His entire candidacy is fake, so obviously contrived -- just like Hillary's -- it's a wonder that the DNC and their corporate propagandists ever believed they could get away with it. ..."
"... All their "arguments" in favor of Biden are nothing more than cover stories being laid out in advance for the purpose of validating the contrived result they are dead set on producing. Even their cover stories are goddamn coverups! ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.alternet.org

Jorge Washington Jed Grover 6 hours ago

Corporate media polls are fake. There is no effin' way that Biden is or ever was the "front runner" for the D Party nomination. His entire candidacy is fake, so obviously contrived -- just like Hillary's -- it's a wonder that the DNC and their corporate propagandists ever believed they could get away with it.

All their "arguments" in favor of Biden are nothing more than cover stories being laid out in advance for the purpose of validating the contrived result they are dead set on producing. Even their cover stories are goddamn coverups!

The "polls" are fake. Corporate media outlets -- aka Ministries of Propaganda -- fabricate them out of whole cloth and then babble insensately about "electability" and "inevitability," and about how the senile hack Biden is "the only one" who can beat the shitgibbon chump, blah blah blah. The whole goddamn charade is so effin' obvious, a 3 year-old could see through it.

Come on Murca! Aren't you tired of being lied to and manipulated and robbed day after day? The fascist ratbastards in the R and D Parties are first rate dumbasses who can't even tell believable lies anymore.

Bob Huntley 14 hours ago ,

The DNC nomination will go to the candidate most likely to support the desires of the wealthy, those who own and run the country, not to one of that group who will attempt to upset that apple cart, if elected President. That makes Joe a shoe-in and all he has to do is not collapse as in falling to the floor requiring he be carried off by ambulance attendants, on stage, during a debate.

That selecting Joe out of that group will cause great concern among the Democratic voters such that they might just not vote thereby throwing the election to Trump is of little concern to the DNC executive. If by some miracle Joe does become President no harm will come to the interests of the wealthy so win or lose, it is the same win win result in the end.

[Sep 13, 2019] Since resigning his post, Mattis has burst through the "revolving door" of the arms industry, reclaiming his seat on the board of the fifth largest defense contractor, General Dynamics

Sep 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Thanks to Mattis and company, Trump's purported desire to withdraw from fruitless Middle Eastern wars has been stifled, the result being business as usual for the military-industrial-complex and national security state. And why not? Since resigning his post, Mattis has burst through the "revolving door" of the arms industry, reclaiming his seat on the board of the fifth largest defense contractor, General Dynamics. Albert Einstein famously (and perhaps apocryphally) said , "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." He might just as easily have been describing the career of James Mattis, who has been proven wrong again and again and again, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria.

... ... ...


Mpizzie , 15 seconds ago link

Maybe the emperor has no clothes.

Still an amazing commander.

Peon14 , 1 minute ago link

Why is the US in Afghanistan? So the CIA can make a ton of money in the Heroin trade.

Duc888 , 45 seconds ago link

Never forget the CIA partnership with the money laundering of the Central Banks. The CB's are just as complicit and facilitate the money laundering.

uhland62 , 2 minutes ago link

You have to be mad to let them rope you into that system for so long and so deep. Go and join up, shoot a few people so you have something to brag about in the pub, but leave early so the killing frenzies do not define you.

Tribalism is what he calls it? It's the minions pushing back America's policies and monopolies. Costly for Americans, deadly slavery for others!

PaulHolland , 3 minutes ago link

Mattis also refused to shake the hand of the Russia defense minister when they crossed paths somewhere. What a weak ******* coward.

[Sep 12, 2019] John Bolton Meets His Fate by Daniel R. DePetris

The problem is not Bolton. It is Trump. Bolton is a well known neocon, who pushed for Iraq war (which makes his a war criminal) and founded PNAC. So his credentials as a warmonger were clear. He was/is a typical MIC prostitute, or agent of influence in more politically correct terms.
But any President who hired Bolton deliberately ositioned himself as a wrecking ball. Such an art of the deal. Hiring Bolton to a large extent justified Russiagate, because such a President is clear and present danger for the USA as a country. For the physical existence of this country and civilization on this territory. All bets for a realistic foreign policy are off. They are just wishful thinking.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton would rather blow up Iran than talk to its leaders, engagement Trump has said numerous times he is more than happy to consider (maybe as soon as next week's U.N. General Assembly meeting). ..."
"... On Venezuela, Trump seems to have soured on pushing Nicolás Maduro from power, even as Bolton refers to Caracas as part of the "troika of tyranny." Bolton's obsession with getting North Korea denuclearized in one fell swoop -- an approach that came crashing down on Trump's head during his second summit with Kim Jong-un in February -- is far more likely to lead to an end of diplomacy than an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program (an uphill climb if there ever was one). ..."
"... Bolton, prickly as a porcupine in dealing with colleagues, had long been under Trump's skin. NBC News reports that the two men had a shouting match behind closed doors the night before Bolton's resignation. ..."
"... Whatever finally pushed Bolton out the door, however, is far less relevant than where Trump goes from here. He will announce a new national security adviser next week, and the Washington parlor game is already swirling with names. ..."
"... We don't know who Bolton's replacement will be, but we do know what he or she needs to do: dump most of the previous regime's ideas in the garbage and start over with strategies that actually have a chance at success. ..."
"... Trump needs an adviser who is willing to engage in a pragmatic negotiation and be prepared for uncomfortable but necessary bargaining. He needs someone who will help him end wars -- like the 18-year-long quagmire in Afghanistan -- that have gone on aimlessly and without purpose. ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bolton's is an extreme black-and-white view of the world: if you aren't an ally of the United States, you are an adversary who needs a boot on your neck in the form of U.S. military force or economic sanctions. The second- and third-order strategic consequences are no obstacle in Bolton's mind. Why go through the humiliating spectacle of negotiations when you can simply bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or take out the Kim regime by force ?

Diplomacy, after all, is for wimps, spineless State Department bureaucrats, and appeasers. If the boss is insisting on diplomacy, then demand the moon, stars, and everything in between before offering a nickel of sanctions relief.

This is how John Bolton made his career: as the proverbial wrecking ball of arms control agreements -- and indeed agreements of any kind. And he makes no excuses for it. Indeed, he takes prideful ownership of his views, seeing anyone who disagrees with him or who isn't on his level as a weasel. Before Bolton joined the Trump administration as national security adviser, he was the short-lived ambassador to the United Nations and the undersecretary of state for arms control, where he attempted to get an intelligence analyst removed for disagreeing with his position on Cuba's alleged biological weapons program.

All of this is why so many of us were worried and confused when President Trump asked Bolton to serve as his national security adviser last year. The two men could not have more fundamental disagreements on foreign policy. While both laugh at the U.N. and international organizations more broadly, they diverge paths on some of the weightiest issues on the docket. Bolton would rather blow up Iran than talk to its leaders, engagement Trump has said numerous times he is more than happy to consider (maybe as soon as next week's U.N. General Assembly meeting).

On Venezuela, Trump seems to have soured on pushing Nicolás Maduro from power, even as Bolton refers to Caracas as part of the "troika of tyranny." Bolton's obsession with getting North Korea denuclearized in one fell swoop -- an approach that came crashing down on Trump's head during his second summit with Kim Jong-un in February -- is far more likely to lead to an end of diplomacy than an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program (an uphill climb if there ever was one).

Trump grew tired of Bolton the same way he grew tired of other staffers. Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly were all liked by the president at one time, only to be fired or convinced to resign. Bolton, prickly as a porcupine in dealing with colleagues, had long been under Trump's skin. NBC News reports that the two men had a shouting match behind closed doors the night before Bolton's resignation.

Whatever finally pushed Bolton out the door, however, is far less relevant than where Trump goes from here. He will announce a new national security adviser next week, and the Washington parlor game is already swirling with names.

We don't know who Bolton's replacement will be, but we do know what he or she needs to do: dump most of the previous regime's ideas in the garbage and start over with strategies that actually have a chance at success.

Trump needs an adviser who is willing to engage in a pragmatic negotiation and be prepared for uncomfortable but necessary bargaining. He needs someone who will help him end wars -- like the 18-year-long quagmire in Afghanistan -- that have gone on aimlessly and without purpose.

He needs someone who will hold those within the administration accountable when they refuse to execute policy once it is cleared by the inter-agency. And above all, he or she should prize restraint and think through all the options when the Beltway loudly urges immediate action.

All of this will be easier with Bolton off the team.

Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at Reuters, and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative.

See also

[Sep 12, 2019] The Brain-Dead Maximalism of [neocon] Hard-liners by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Iran sanction and the threat of war has nothing to do with its nuclear program. It is about the USA and by extension Israel dominance in the region. and defencing interesting of MIC, against the interest of general public. Which is the main task of neocons, as lobbyists for MIC (please understand that MIC includes intelligence agencies and large part of Wall Street) .
That's why Israel lobby ( and Bloomberg is a part of it ) supports strangulation Iran economy, Iran war and pushes Trump administration into it. the demand " Rather than push for an extended sunset, Trump should hold out for a complete termination of Iran's nuclear activities and an end to its other threatening behavior -- such as its ballistic-missile program and its support for terrorist groups across the Middle East -- in exchange for readmission into the world economy" is as close to Netanyahu position as we can get.
Notable quotes:
"... The Bloomberg editors urge Trump not to give up on brain-dead maximalism with Iran ..."
"... As always, hard-liners ignore the agency and interests of the other government, and they assume that it is simply a matter of willpower to force them to yield. ..."
"... They have not left the Non-Proliferation Treaty. On the contrary, they have agreed to abide by the Additional Protocol that has even stricter standards. They are not enriching uranium to levels needed to make nuclear weapons. They certainly haven't built or tested any weapons. ..."
"... Iran has jumped through numerous hoops to demonstrate that their nuclear program is and will continue to be peaceful, and their compliance has been verified more than a dozen times, but fanatics here and in Israel refuse to take yes for an answer. That is because hard-liners aren't really concerned about proliferation risk, but seek to use the nuclear issue as fodder to justify punitive measures against Iran without end ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Bloomberg editors urge Trump not to give up on brain-dead maximalism with Iran:

Rather than push for an extended sunset, Trump should hold out for a complete termination of Iran's nuclear activities and an end to its other threatening behavior -- such as its ballistic-missile program and its support for terrorist groups across the Middle East -- in exchange for readmission into the world economy.

This chance may never come again.

Bloomberg's latest advice to Trump on Iran is terrible as usual, but it is a useful window into how anti-Iran hard-liners see things. They see the next year as their best chance to push for their maximalist demands, and they fear the possibility that Trump might settle for something short of their absurd wish list. If Trump does what they want and "holds out" until Iran capitulates, he will be waiting a long time. He has nothing to show for his policy except increased tensions and impoverished and dying Iranians, and this would guarantee more of the same. The funny thing is that the "extended sunset" they deride is already an unrealistic goal, and they insist that the president pursue a much more ambitious set of goals that have absolutely no chance of being reached. As always, hard-liners ignore the agency and interests of the other government, and they assume that it is simply a matter of willpower to force them to yield.

The Bloomberg editorial is ridiculous in many ways, but just one more example will suffice. At one point it says, "Nor is there any doubt that Iran wants nuclear weapons." Perhaps ideologues and fanatics have no doubt about this, but it isn't true. If Iran wanted nuclear weapons, they could have pursued and acquired them by now. They gave up that pursuit and agreed to the most stringent nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated to prove that they wouldn't seek these weapons, but the Trump administration chose to punish them for their cooperation. Iran has not done any of the things that actual rogue nuclear weapons states have done. They have not left the Non-Proliferation Treaty. On the contrary, they have agreed to abide by the Additional Protocol that has even stricter standards. They are not enriching uranium to levels needed to make nuclear weapons. They certainly haven't built or tested any weapons.

Iran has jumped through numerous hoops to demonstrate that their nuclear program is and will continue to be peaceful, and their compliance has been verified more than a dozen times, but fanatics here and in Israel refuse to take yes for an answer. That is because hard-liners aren't really concerned about proliferation risk, but seek to use the nuclear issue as fodder to justify punitive measures against Iran without end.

They don't want to resolve the crisis with Iran, but rather hope to make it permanent by setting goals that can't possibly be reached and insisting that sanctions remain in place forever.

[Sep 12, 2019] 5 Questions the Media Won't Ask Biden in the Debate

Looks like Clinton and Obama made books deal a part of revolving door corruption.
Notable quotes:
"... Or a third story, of how normalized this is. Clintons made millions on speeches and books, as did Obama in and out of office. This seems to be how we have decided legal payoffs work in America; money in a brown paper bag is a bribe but ridiculous overpayments for speeches and tell-nothing books is just fine. ..."
"... Biden has had two aneurysms, has blood pouring into his eye, while taking blood thinners to avoid a stroke. He should be getting his affairs in order, not running for office. ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

Q: Joe, how's the asthma?

The reason why I'm asking is you received five student draft deferments during the Vietnam War draft, the same number as Donald Trump and Dick Cheney. And in 1968, when your student status was wrapping up, you were medically reclassified as "not available" due to asthma as a teenager.

In your autobiography , you described your active youth as a lifeguard and high school football player. You also lied (note: Biden lies are usually called gaffes) about being on the University of Delaware football team. Was all that hard with asthma? Were you diagnosed for asthma in 1968 by a podiatrist? Your vice presidential physicals mention multiple aneurysms . Asthma, no.

... ... ...

Q: Joe, can you explain your recent financial success?

In 2008, you earned a $165,200 salary as a senator, supplemented by $20,500 as an adjunct professor at Widener University Law School. You got an advance of $112,500 for your book Promises to Keep . Your wife Jill taught at a community college while you were vice president. You two reported a combined income of $396,000 in 2016, your last year in the Obama administration.

Then, after leaving the Obama White House, you and Jill made more than $15 million , mostly via a new book deal. In fact, you and your wife made nearly twice as much in 2017 as you did in the previous 19 years combined .

How Democrats Are Shorting White Voters for 2020 Warrior-Mayor Pete's Sanctimonious Chest Thumping

Now, we know about inflation and everything, but you were given $10 million for your 2017 memoir, Promise Me, Dad , roughly 10 times what your first book pulled in. Jill was paid more than $3 million for her book, Where the Light Enters , in 2018, by the same publisher as you.

We all know how publishing works: the publisher, Flatiron, pays you, the author, an advance. Profits from book sales are subtracted from that advance. For a publisher to be successful, they need to sell more than they paid out for the advance, and because of this, successful publishers like Flatiron get pretty good at estimating those numbers. Forbes reports that your new book sold 300,000 copies against that $10 million, meaning you, Joe, took home about $33 per copy on a book Amazon is selling for only $13.99 . Of course, it's more complicated than that, but off the cuff do you feel that pocketing $33 on a $13.99 sale was a good deal for you?

And speaking of which, a friend passes along her respect. Hillary Clinton only earned around $5 million from her campaign book.

Your teaching pay went up nicely as well. You got $20,500 for teaching when you entered the White House. After you left office, the University of Pennsylvania gave you $775,000 to teach, and then was nice enough to offer you indefinite leave of absence from actually teaching anything while you campaign. And you got signed for that gig only a month after leaving the White House. Side question: did you post your résumé on Monster or Indeed.com?

What role do you think your being the likely nominee played in how much you were paid? It's almost as if people are giving you money to be your friend. Is there a definition of corruption that might encompass that?

Another friend sends his respect, too, Joe. He's jealous almost no one talks about how you charge the Secret Service $2,200 a month rent for a cottage on your property so they can protect you! He wants to ask if you jokingly call the cottage "Biden Tower." Q: Joe, do you remember the tax loophole you and Obama tried to close, called the "S Corporation"? Since leaving office, you and your wife have laundered money through S Corps to save millions in taxes ordinary Americans have to pay. Why the change of heart, Joe?

In 2012, you said paying higher taxes on higher incomes was patriotic. You told us, "We're not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else." Along those lines, you and Obama sought to end a well-known dodge, the use of S Corporations to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

You'll remember, Joe: by creating a paper S Corporation, an individual receives money for things like book advances and speaking fees not directly, which would cause him to have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as with salaries, but laundered as divestitures from a corporation he owns. As corporate money, nasty personal taxes are fully avoided, and the corporation can claim nearly unlimited "business expenses" to be deducted against those profits, as well as benefits from other tax rules that favor companies over individual earners.

So Joe, it seems that after trying to close that S Corp loophole while in the White House, you and Jill are now fans. In fact, your lucrative deals were funneled to you through two S Corps -- CelticCapri for Joe and Giacoppa for Jill. Your S Corp is registered at 1201 North Orange in Wilmington, Delaware. That's a popular block; right nearby is 1209 North Orange, the legal address of 285,000 separate businesses. Delaware, in fact, is ground zero for corporate tax shell companies. Michael Cohen had his there for Trump's use as well.

Delaware has more (paper) corporate entities than people. And Joe, you were one of Delaware's senators for decades. So you knew how things worked when you established your his-and-her S Corps only days after leaving the White House. As a corporate entity, S Corps can also make political contributions. Joe, your own S Corp did so, neatly donating money to your own political PAC, American Possibilities.

So Joe, the question is: is everything regarding your taxes a load of malarkey?

Q: Final question, because I know you're getting tired. How do you intend to debate Trump when corruption, tax fudging, and skipping out on military service come up?

Are you just going to rely on the mainstream media not to ask about those things? Or are you going to go with Trump's sleaze is worse than yours and you're the lesser of two evils candidate because that worked out so well as a strategy in 2016?

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99%.

Peter Van Buren 12 hours ago

There is actually a second story here, apart from Biden's apparent neck-deep corruption. Why hasn't the MSM covered any of this? The information is not hard to find, available in online public records.

Or a third story, of how normalized this is. Clintons made millions on speeches and books, as did Obama in and out of office. This seems to be how we have decided legal payoffs work in America; money in a brown paper bag is a bribe but ridiculous overpayments for speeches and tell-nothing books is just fine.

Just call me Joe 6 hours ago • edited
Those are all good questions.

I have a question for Biden, and it is dead serious.

What are going to be the president's policies when you die or become fully mentally disabled in office?

Biden has had two aneurysms, has blood pouring into his eye, while taking blood thinners to avoid a stroke. He should be getting his affairs in order, not running for office.

The problem then is that Biden appears electable compared to the Communists running, but if he picks one as a running mate, then that is who we end up as president and that could be the end of our nation.

[Sep 12, 2019] You know who would be a good replacement for Bolton ? Tulsi Gabbard.

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman September 10, 2019 at 8:51 am

Trump Fires John Bolton After "Disagreeing Strongly With His Suggestions

One less warmongering neo-con in the swamp.

That still leaves Patriarch Pompous Dumpus of the UOC-KP-CIA in place.

Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 11:13 am
Good catch; you were first with that blockbuster. You know who would be a good replacement? Tulsi Gabbard. It would please those who moan the government is too partisan, it would remove the only real non-ideologue from the Democratic slate, and leave them with doddering Uncle Joe and a bunch of no-ideas bobbleheads. Few would dare question her lack of foreign-policy experience, given her actual experience of being at the sharp end of it with the military. The American people claim to be sick of war – although not sick enough of it to do any real protesting against it – and Gabbard is anti-war. She's easy on the eyes, but if Trump tried his grab-'er-by-the-pussy move, he would find himself only needing one glove this winter; her obvious toughness would appeal to feminists. I think she'd take it if asked, because although she despises Trump and his government, she would not be able to resist the opportunity to shape America's foreign policy. She would eat news outlets who tried to portray her as an apologist for terror or Putin or whatever for lunch.
Northern Star September 10, 2019 at 2:57 pm
Nope .Major Gabbard is needed as America's CIC aka POTUS.

Nothing short of that is called for.

To implement even partially achieve (implement) her agenda she needs the full weight and authority of the Oval office.

BTW Tulsi has the skills to totally fuck up bashers of women:

Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Well, she was not on the short list of names I saw for potential Bolton replacements. I don't see her making president, though, her support base is just not big enough. But if the Democrats put all their eggs in the Burnout Joe basket, he will in all probability lose to Trump. Trump's support has eroded, but not so far that very many people want to see Joe Biden running the country.

[Sep 12, 2019] Tulsi. Tulsi. Tulsi: Harris is making as many gaffes as that moron Biden .

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 8, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Tulsi. Tulsi. Tulsi
Harris is making as many gaffes as that moron Biden .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FxUxij7Fkj0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Mark Chapman

[Sep 12, 2019] I liked Bernie Sanders back when he was getting shafted by the Clinton juggernaut, but since then a lot of information on his voting record has come to light I have become convinced he is just another lifelong political mouthpiece

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

I liked Bernie Sanders back when he was getting shafted by the Clinton juggernaut, but since then a lot of information on his voting record has come to light – not that it was ferreted out, it's all public information for anyone who chooses to look for it – and I have become convinced he is just another lifelong political mouthpiece whose first concern upon getting elected would be getting re-elected.

So I don't really care much for him now, and I think that if he were president, his policies would differ little from those of Barack Obama, and he would support any war that appeared to have enough public backing to get it off the ground. His main concern, obviously – and it will be for anyone who is elected – is preserving US dominance of global affairs, and trade relationships which gain the United States significant advantages.

Re-establishing a more cooperative relationship between the United States and its allies and partners is not on anyone's radar. The USA has made its choice, and it likes the idea of sitting on the throne and detailing off its minions to do busy stuff. Gabbard might have very slightly different ideas about polishing America's global image so it is not viewed as quite so much of a bossy prick and grabby selfish jerk, but if she were elected, America's corporate elite would waste no time in making sure she understood any president who is not going to be zealous in standing up for expansion of American business would be a one-termer at best.

[Sep 12, 2019] Corrupt lying POS wants to be POTUS. Then again what else is new?

Notable quotes:
"... 'Authoritarian regimes' outside America are making Americans hate one another. First they got Trump elected, and now they're making Americans hate each other. The casual observer must have two near-simultaneous thoughts; one, these people will not take personal responsibility for ANYTHING; everything is someone else's fault. Two, Russia sure swings a lot of influence for a country that is friendless and isolated and has an economy in tatters. ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 8, 2019 at 10:05 am

Corrupt lying POS wants to be POTUS Then again what else is new?
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/clear-causal-link-lawyers-accuse-kamala-harris-of-defying-supreme-court-by-hiding-evidence-from-defense-attorneys
Mark Chapman September 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm
I don't see that as a very likely possibility. After Gabbard kicked her feet out from under her in that debate, her star has sunk steadily. I wonder how aggressively material like this would be promoted if that had not happened. Obviously people knew about it before Gabbard brought it up – but that seemed to make it safe to talk about as an item in the public interest.

On that same site, James Mattis thinks internal strife in America and the contempt supporters of one party hold for supporters of the other are as big a national security threat as Russia and China.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/mattis-pinpoints-increasing-contempt-between-americans-as-major-national-security-threat

But that's Russia and China's fault, too – check out the last paragraph. 'Authoritarian regimes' outside America are making Americans hate one another. First they got Trump elected, and now they're making Americans hate each other. The casual observer must have two near-simultaneous thoughts; one, these people will not take personal responsibility for ANYTHING; everything is someone else's fault. Two, Russia sure swings a lot of influence for a country that is friendless and isolated and has an economy in tatters.

[Sep 11, 2019] Tucker John Bolton refuses to acknowledge his mistakes - YouTube

Tucker is right: the problem is that Bolton can be replaced by another Bolton.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Curley , 16 hours ago

With Romney being "VERY VERY UNHAPPY" makes it all worthwhile..

Pete G , 18 hours ago

No more Wars Trump America first starts at Home Bring our Troops home 🇺🇸

Zentella6 , 18 hours ago

Bye bye, douchebag. Great news for America. I'm an 11 year vet, and I approve this message.

Marcus McCurley , 10 hours ago

I'm a vet who served in the 82nd Airborne and I say good riddance to this War Monger. This is an awful awful man!

stantheman1684 , 14 hours ago

iv> I see the GLOBALIST shills are in full force on this video, trying to artificially bring down the ratio from probably 99% Positive that such a bad man is gone. Doesn't matter, the Silent Majority & good people everywhere know that Bolton was a poor candidate for that job with a catastrophic failure record & everybody is better of with a more competent person in that position.

MAGA2020

Rebecca Martinez , 18 hours ago

Neo-con Bolton war monger turning on military industrial complex! No wars, no conflicts, no ME instability change! Good riddens!

Richard Willette , 13 hours ago

Trump only hires the best. Bolton will go to Fox and someone from Fox will be 4th National Security Advisor

Michael Ross , 14 hours ago

Thanks President Trump for getting rid of the globalist John Bolton

TED C , 17 hours ago

Foreign policy appears to be 17 year wars. Being a perpetual non winner.

caligirl , 16 hours ago

Good job Tucker, thank you for telling the truth about John Bolton and help to stop bombing Iran!

The Nair , 12 hours ago (edited)

John Bolton is owned by foreign powers like many in Washington. They get paid by their lobby to push the neocon agenda which translates into robbing the US of it's $ to fight wars that don't benefit the US.

yukonjeffimagery , 6 hours ago

War monger Bolton. How did that Libya thing work out for Europe ? Now after looking back, I am sure the African invasion into Europe was planned by Obama and his boss Soros.

Justin Noordyke , 8 hours ago

Romney is another swamp rat. All these politicians supporting Bolton have lost their sanity.

Marutgana Rudraksha , 6 hours ago

2,200 neo-cons don't like this video.

danielgarrison91 , 17 hours ago

Tucker while I agree with you on the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. But one thing you left out Tucker. Foxnews hired John Bolton as a Contributer for over a decade. How do you miss that part.

SAROJA Band , 3 hours ago (edited)

Bolton is pure evil. A "catastrophic success". Warmonger neo-con-artist. Abject failure. Delusional hubris exemplified. Brilliant reporting Tucker!!

Jamie Kloer , 8 hours ago

All the policies in the Middle East are complete and other failures. I'm so sick of neo cons. You can't get rid of them. You can not get rid of them. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Constant war. Like every regime couldn't be replaced around the world. Absolutely ridiculous.

BP , 9 hours ago

"In Washington, nobody cares what kind of job you did, only that you did the job. Nobody there learns from mistakes, because mistakes are never even acknowledged. Ever." Yes, Tucker DOES understand Washington!!!

Deborah Beaudoin Zaki , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" class="comment-renderer-te

xt" role="article"> If Bolton becomes a Fox News contributor: I will change the channel immediately... I already do this when Jeff Epstein's, the child trafficker and rapist, good buddy Alan Dershowitz comes on as a guest... Do not know why Fox News selects guest contributors that have their morals/values in the wrong directions...

Angela J , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="art

icle"> Bolton was signatory to PNAC- the project for a new american century, like other progressives and neo-cons of his generation. They do not view the chaos left by taking out Ghaddafi and Saddam as problems, rather the creation of failed states was their objective all along. Members of the GOP went along with these plans where they coincided with their own political and business objectives- the military industrial complex and the oilmen.

[Sep 11, 2019] The "japanification" of America begins

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Sep 11 2019 19:18 utc | 18

US Fed 'boneheads' should cut interest rates to zero or less – Trump

The "japanification" of America begins. I've stated in this blog more than once that, if the USA falls, it certainly won't fall like the USSR. The USSR had a very peculiar economic system, where the PCSU was both the government and the economy: once Gorbachev destroyed his party, he destroyed the Soviet Union.

The USA, on the other side, is a capitalist economy, which means its "center of command" is a diffuse web of oligarchic capitalists who govern "in the shadows".

The government of a capitalist society is only one of the many institutions that, in a diffused fashion, preserves the "market anarchy" (domesticated chaos) that is indispensable for the existence of capitalism.

America, therefore, is more lika an onion than a jenga tower: if you destroy (peel) one layer, you still have many more.

Therefore, if the USA collapses, it will probably do so through a gradual descent into fragmentation and anarchy in a process that will take decades and maybe centuries, in an analogous form as the Roman Empire in the West.

... ... ...

Today, Sept. 11, is a date that marks two ends:

1) the end of any pretenstions left of a socialist wave in Latin America after the first one -- Cuba, 1959 -- was successful (so far, the first and only). The CIA masterfully learned from its mistakes in the island nation and successfully (and brutally) crushed Latin American socialism;

2) the beginning of the end of the "End of History" era. After the WTC fell, the USA would begin the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, in what would be the last time the USA acted as the "king of Nations".

What should've been -- after a wonderful victory in Iraq -- turned out to be a Pyrric endeavor, as Iran successfully resisted, the rest of the ME didn't budge, and the whole thing turned into a trillionaire black hole that drained the American coffers, spiked its debt rates and culminated with the 2008 crisis.


[Sep 11, 2019] Better late than never Bolton's firing gives Trump a chance to heed his instincts Ron Paul

This is a bit like rearranging the chairs on the deck of Titanic.
The problem is we do not know who pressed Trump to appoint Bolton., Rumors were that it was Abelson. In this case nothing changed.
The other problem with making Bolton firing a significant move is the presence in White House other neocon warmongers. So one less doe not change the picture. For example Pompeo remains and he is no less warmongering neocon, MIC stooge, and no less subservant to Israel then Bolton.
Notable quotes:
"... Firing National Security Advisor John Bolton gives US President Donald Trump a chance to move foreign policy in a more peaceful direction – as long as he's not replaced with another hawk, former congressman Ron Paul told RT ..."
"... Bolton has "been a monkey-wrench in Donald Trump's policies of trying to back away from some of these conflicts around the world," Paul observed on Tuesday ..."
"... "Every time I think Trump is making progress, Bolton butts in and ruins it," Paul added. Negotiations with Afghanistan and talks with North Korea and Iran have reportedly been scuttled by his aggressive tendencies, with Pyongyang declaring him a "defective human product." ..."
"... "A lot of people here didn't even want his appointment, because he was only able to take a position that did not require Senate approval," Paul said, suggesting that perhaps the "Deep State" pressure had forced the president to keep Bolton around long past his sell-by date. ..."
"... As for whether Bolton's departure would change the White House's policy line significantly, though, Paul was less certain. "I don't think it will change a whole lot," he said, pointing out that "we have no idea" who will replace Bolton. Trump said he would make an announcement next week. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.rt.com

Firing National Security Advisor John Bolton gives US President Donald Trump a chance to move foreign policy in a more peaceful direction – as long as he's not replaced with another hawk, former congressman Ron Paul told RT.

Bolton has "been a monkey-wrench in Donald Trump's policies of trying to back away from some of these conflicts around the world," Paul observed on Tuesday, after news of Bolton's dismissal from the White House. Also on rt.com Bolton out: Trump ditches hawkish adviser he kept for 18 months despite 'disagreements'

"Every time I think Trump is making progress, Bolton butts in and ruins it," Paul added. Negotiations with Afghanistan and talks with North Korea and Iran have reportedly been scuttled by his aggressive tendencies, with Pyongyang declaring him a "defective human product."

Foreign leaders weren't the only ones who had a problem with Trump's notoriously belligerent advisor, either.

"A lot of people here didn't even want his appointment, because he was only able to take a position that did not require Senate approval," Paul said, suggesting that perhaps the "Deep State" pressure had forced the president to keep Bolton around long past his sell-by date.

While the uber-hawk's firing came "later than it should be," Paul hoped it would clear the way for Trump to follow through on the America First, end-the-wars promises that won him so much support in 2016. "Those of us who would like less intervention, we're very happy with it."

Also on rt.com War and whiskers: Freshly-resigned John Bolton gets meme-roasting

As for whether Bolton's departure would change the White House's policy line significantly, though, Paul was less certain. "I don't think it will change a whole lot," he said, pointing out that "we have no idea" who will replace Bolton. Trump said he would make an announcement next week.

[Sep 11, 2019] Peacemaker Bolton Quits by Walrus.

Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

...Who should the Administration now call on to provide some restraint on the Presidents warlike impulses?

blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 04:55 PM

How about another peacemaker and lady in waiting for the GOP 2024 nomination - Nimrata "Nikki" Haley. She will immediately call for a Peace & Friendship Treaty with that evil thug Vladimir Putin.
Barbara Ann , 10 September 2019 at 05:26 PM
I'm sure the Administration will give the matter much thought and due deliberation and using the same selection process as before, choose the candidate most highly qualified recommended by the Adelsons. Tell me it ain't so.

Lyttennburgh said... Reply 11 September 2019 at 07:05 AM

Subhān Allāh! Sultan Danuld at-Trumphoon al-Quincy dismissed his wazir Yahya al-Boltoni, for verily it’s said to all Faithful: mustache is Shaitan’s brush. /s

[Sep 10, 2019] Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein by Larry C Johnsons

Highly recommended!
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Diana C ,

"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."

As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.

[Sep 10, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE The Establishment is Changing its Tune on Russia>

Notable quotes:
"... Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys. ..."
"... Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute. ..."
"... Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House. ..."
"... who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason? ..."
"... Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU. ..."
"... The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. ..."
"... America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. ..."
"... Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!! ..."
"... We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined! ..."
"... IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. ..."
"... The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. ..."
"... The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years. ..."
"... The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. ..."
"... You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years ..."
"... As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face. ..."
"... Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

In desultory fashion over the past month or so, we have had indications that the policy cliques in Washington are indeed reconsidering the Cold War II they set in motion during the Obama administration's final years. And President Donald Trump, persistent in his effort to reconstruct relations with Russia, now finds an unlikely ally in Emmanuel Macron. This suggests a nascent momentum in a new direction.

"Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake," the French president asserted in a stunning series of remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz late last month.

This alone is a bold if implicit attack on the hawkish Russophobes Trump now battles in Washington. Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys.

It is difficult to recall when a Western leader last spoke so truthfully and insightfully of our 21 st century realities, chief among them the inevitable rise of non–Western nations to positions of parity with the Atlantic world. You have nonetheless read no word of this occasion in our corporate media: Macron's startling observations run entirely counter to the frayed triumphalism and nostalgia that grip Washington as its era of preeminence fades.

President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in joint press conference in Biarritz, France, site of the G7 Summit, Aug. 26, 2019. (White House/ Andrea Hanks)

There is much to indicate that the West's aggressively hostile posture toward Russia remains unchanged. The Russophobic rhetoric emanating from Washington and featured daily in our corporate television broadcasts continues unabated. Last month Washington formally abandoned the bilateral treaty limiting deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, signed with Moscow in 1987. As anyone could have predicted, NATO now suggests it will upgrade its missile defense systems in Poland and Romania. This amounts to an engraved invitation to the Russian Federation to begin a new arms race.

But a counter-argument favoring a constructive relationship with Russia is now evident. This is not unlike the abrupt volte-face in Washington's thinking on North Korea: It is now broadly accepted that the Korean crisis can be resolved only at the negotiating table.

The Times Are Changing

The New York Times seems to be on board with this this sharp turn in foreign policy. It reported the new consensus on North Korea in a news analysis on July 11. Ten days later it published another arguing that it's time to put down the spear and make amends with Moscow. Here is the astonishing pith of the piece: "China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China."

It is encouraging that the Times has at last discovered the well-elaborated alliance between Moscow and Beijing. It took the one-time newspaper of record long enough. But there is another feature of this article that is important to note: It was published as a lead editorial. This is not insignificant.

It is essential, when reading the Times , to understand the close -- not to say corrupt -- relations it has maintained with political power in Washington over many generations. This is well-documented in histories of the paper and of institutions such as the CIA. An editorial advancing a policy shift of this magnitude almost certainly reflects the paper's close consultations, at senior levels of management, with policy-setting officials at the National Security Council, the State Department, or at the Pentagon. The editorial is wholly in keeping with Washington's pronounced new campaign to designate China as America's most dangerous threat.

It is impossible to say whether Trump is emboldened by an inchoate shift of opinion on Russia, but he flew his banner high at the Biarritz G–7. Prior to his departure for the summit in southwest France he asserted that Russia should be readmitted to the group when it convenes in the U.S. next year. Russia was excluded in 2014, following its annexation of Crimea in response to the coup in Kiev.

Trump repeated the thought in Biarritz, claiming there was support among other members for the restoration of the G–8. "I think it's a work in progress," he said. "We have a number of people that would like to see Russia back."

Macron is plainly one of those people. It was just after Trump sounded his theme amid Biarritz's faded grandeur -- and what an excellent choice for a convention of the Western powers -- that the French president made his own plea for repairing ties with Russia and for Europe to escape its fate as "a theater for strategic struggle between the U.S. and Russia."

Biarritz from the Pointe Saint-Martin, 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

"The European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don't pacify and clarify our relations with Russia," Macron said in his address to Western diplomats. Then came his flourish on the imminent end of the Atlantic world's preeminence.

"The world order is being shaken like never before. It's being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years -- and not just by the current administration."

Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute.

The question now is whether or how soon better ties with Moscow will translate into practical realities. At present, Trump and Macron share a good idea without much substance to it.

Better US-Russia Ties May Be in Pipeline

But Trump may have taken a step in the right direction. Within days of his return from Biarritz, he put a hold on the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a military aid program that was to provide Kiev with $250 million in assistance during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and runs to Sept. 30, 2020. The funds are designated for weaponry, training and intelligence support.

Trump has asked his national security advisers to review the commitment. The delay, coming hard on his proposal to readmit Russia to a reconstituted G–8, cannot possibly be read as a coincidence.

There will be other things to watch for in months to come. High among these is Trump's policy toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russian gas fields to terminals in Western Europe, thereby cutting Ukraine out of the loop. Trump, his desire to improve ties with Moscow notwithstanding, has vigorously opposed this project. The Treasury Department has threatened sanctions against European contractors working on it. If Trump is serious about bringing Russia back into the fold, this policy will have to go. This may mean going up against the energy lobby in Washington and Ukraine's many advocates on Capitol Hill.

To date, U.S. threats to retaliate against construction of Nord Stream 2 have done nothing but irritate Europeans, who have ignored them, while furthering the Continent's desire to escape Washington's suffocating embrace. This is precisely the kind of contradiction Macron addressed when he protested that Europeans need to begin acting in their own interests rather than acquiesce as Washington force-marches them on a never-ending anti–Russia crusade.

Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .


Erelis , September 10, 2019 at 18:49

A few European countries may develop warmer relations .but reproachment with Russia will not happen in our lifetimes. Macron offered nothing but rhetoric. The West continues economic warfare and a militaristic stance toward Russia. Western institutions and interests are too tied into Russo-phobia to give it up–it is a financial and emotional heroin to the West. Break the Russian/Chinese alliance? Ain't gonna happen.

As for the NYTimes. They recently have published unsubstantiated accounts about some spy close to Putin who swears by gawd that Putin personally ordered Trump's victory. How is it going to be possible for Trump or even a new democratic president to engage Russia diplomatically with such widely published and accepted propaganda?. Every leading democratic party candidate have sworn to the Russiagate hoax and issued highly aggressive rhetoric. They will be called traitors if they even speak with Putin unless they attempt to punch out Putin.

Jim Glover , September 10, 2019 at 17:36

Now that the war monger Bolton is gone that is good news for pursuing Peace.
It is also good that Patrick points out what has been hiding in plain site from the divide and conquer propaganda from the mass media that the Cold War and the old ones have always been about the West against the East. Maybe the Trump challengers can join the new Pursuit of Peace for the good of Humanity. It Can't hurt!

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.
That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.
In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."
Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
--
Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.

-- -
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."

--

Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.

Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
-- -
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
--
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.

Link to the full article provided below.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/henry-wallaces-internationalism-path-american-foreign-policy-could-have-taken-still-can/5683683

Alan Ross , September 10, 2019 at 15:09

Now it is clear why the CIA spilled the phony beans on a spy they had in Putin's inner circle – to revive the anti-Russian animus that has been dying down.

Rob , September 10, 2019 at 12:00

But if there is a rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, will that put the brakes on the new arms race?Surely, the defense industry will fight that with every fiber of their being. China alone is not so great a potential military adversary as to warrant so a great expenditure. Or is it? I have little doubt that some interested parties will see it that way.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:16

A breath of fresh air ?
Dare we hope?
Good luck peeling away Russia from China, they have some very solid bonds established. Besides, who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason?

... ... ...

Vera Gottlieb , September 10, 2019 at 11:04

Well, for far too long has Europe allowed itself to be "run" by the US. And sadly, Europe – up to now- has lacked the backbone to stand up to the Americans. Time to realize that, even without the US, the sun will still rise in the East America this America the other why should we have to wait until the US makes up it's mind on anything. We are grown up folks who can manage very well by ourselves without constantly having to worry as to what the US might do or say. Enough of this blackmail.

Richard A. , September 10, 2019 at 10:18

Prime Minister Abe favors readmitting Russia into the G7: https://youtu.be/yOC5g31cL30

Robert , September 10, 2019 at 10:02

Insightful, Patrick. This new shift will present many new challenges and opportunities for the US and Russia. I can see that if Trump is permitted (by deep state and NATO) as much access to Putin as Netanyahu has had, I can see a far more balanced US foreign policy and certainly a large step toward reducing world conflicts. Iran may be convinced to negotiate with Trump for removal of sanctions coupled with a new nuclear deal. I have no idea if this will impact the Iran-China oil/security agreement which is a (very expensive, unpopular but necessary) lifesaver for Iran and huge investment opportunity for China (backed with up to 5000 Chinese military). Syria needs the removal of US sanctions to stabilize its economy, and with the US onside, more pressure can be put on Turkey to stop arming the terrorists in Idlib, enforce their removal/surrender, and accommodate the Kurds within Syria. Finally, with EU participation, I can see rapid settlement of the civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and normalization of trade with Russia. Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU.

AnneR , September 10, 2019 at 09:51

Mr Lawrence, apparently the tune has not changed re Russiagate, not really. That is if the news item on the BBC World Service this a.m. is owt to go by.

This was all about some supposed CIA asset in the Kremlin that they got out in 2017 (Smolenkov according to RT and Sputnik) who played a role, so the BBC said in furtherance of maintaining Russophobia, in providing said "reputable" secret agency (as now so viewed by the Demrats and DNC) with info about Russian – nay, Putin's personal – interference in the 2016 US presidential election. All of the (dis/mis) information that the MSM presstitutes have been selling us on both sides of the pond re the "heinous" activities of Russia-Putin were rehearsed again from Russiagate to Russian attempted and completed assassinations of escaped/released ex-spies, Skripal among them.

They, the US-UK-IS deep states, will not let it go. And their stenographers in the MSM continue to propagate the real dis/misinformation in order to keep the corporate-capitalist-imperialist western dominance warmongering/war-profiteering status quo in operation.

Meanwhile, NPR (and PBS doubtless) are to be headed by one John Lansing, who till now was in charge of that dispenser of "the truth, whole and unadulterated" the Voice of America and Radio Marti; and the BBC is partnering with DARPA-Mossad via Google, FB, Twit and the rest of the internet behemoths, as they told us (well, they didn't advert to the underlying structure, of course). Why is the BBC so doing? In order, they said, to ensure that we, the plebeians, the mindless bewildered herd, are no longer subjected to, no longer have our perspectives distorted by "Dis or Misinformation."

Heartening to know, ain't it, that they – the really existing state-funded and controlled media – have our best interests at heart?

Patrick Lawrence , September 10, 2019 at 16:26

I'm v pleased you picked up on this shard of nonsense, AnneR, and then took the trouble to write of it. I thought to do the same while reading this morn's New York Times. A flimsier, more obvious propaganda ploy I have not seen in a while, and this is saying something. This fellow must be Guccifer 2's in-law or something. My read: Those who recklessly over-invested in the Russiagate universe thought it would go away the instant HRC was elected. They're now stuck w/ it three years on, and this is another effort to keep it alive long enough to get it into the histories. They'll never make it. Transparently horse-droppings. Tks again for writing. Patrick.

Skip Scott , September 10, 2019 at 09:23

The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. Macron is proposing transitioning to a multi-polar world, and ending its vassal status to empire. Good luck with that. We can only hope that Putin's countering of our war machine keeps MAD a reality, and that the example that Russia and China are setting in opposition to empire will encourage other vassals to rebel. Waging peace in a multi-polar world is the only moral course of action. The war machine, with its huge waste of manpower and resources, is the main factor in our current path to extinction. Reining it in is the first step to ensure mankind's survival.

Herman , September 10, 2019 at 09:11

America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. Meremark's comments puts it very well. Meeremark is on the mark.

Peter Janney , September 10, 2019 at 08:23

Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!!

We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined!

jessika , September 10, 2019 at 07:47

The US has been fed b.s. for so long and it's hard to see getting the country in any decent shape, foreign policy or otherwise. The Pentagon and alphabet agencies have been calling the shots since the days of the Dulles bros. I can't see anything other than a top heavy collapse since this long con. It's good to hear Macron saying this and good for Orange Bejesus wanting to get along with Russia, but how far gone have humans gone before Mother Nature gives us the swiftest kick due to our stupidity?

peter mcloughlin , September 10, 2019 at 05:09

I agree with Patrick Lawrence's perceptive analyses of 'frayed triumphalism and nostalgia'. An empire on the rise, for example modern China, is probably less dangerous than one in decline. There are more of the latter type, making geopolitics dangerously unstable, and increasingly difficult to prevent world war, where the pattern of history seems to be pointing us.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Moi , September 10, 2019 at 02:54

Zhu, if you are not aware, China has just delivered the biggest F.You to the US in geopolitical history by more or less buying Iran oil.

China is to invest $US280 billion upgrading Iran's oil and gas sectors, unlocking a further $500 billion of otherwise unrecoverable oil, upping it's own oil purchases, opening factories to make "made in China" products, etc.

They also get to deploy 5,000 Chinese "security officers" so if the US attacks Iran they could kill lots of Chinese military.

See: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190907-a-blow-to-washington-china-to-invest-280-billion-in-iranian-sectors-targeted-by-sanctions/

Zhu , September 10, 2019 at 00:46

Should be "not submit, noy obey."

incontinent reader , September 10, 2019 at 00:39

IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. As for inviting Russia back into the G-8 and Russia's response, the following exchange at last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vliadivostok is instructive [Yandex/Google translation of the Russian text]:

Sergey Brilev: Mr Abe, I would like to ask you about this. When I just said, "the big Seven" We all heard the report that President Trump was at the last summit of the "Seven" a kind of lawyer [advocate] for the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin. You've seen it from the inside. Without breaking any obvious rules, after all it is a closed club, maybe you will tell how it was? (Laughter.)

Shinzo Abe: As for the G–7, there used to be a G-8, there was a discussion that creative influence on the international community is important. But as President Putin is well aware, because he took part in the" G-8″, there are such rules: you can only quote yourself, so other leaders can not be quoted. So I can't say exactly what President Trump said there, for example. But I personally said that Russian influence, Russian creative influence, plays an important role in solving international problems. Therefore, I raised the issue of Russia's possible return to this format. (Applause.)

Sergei Brilev: if they call, will you go, Mr President?

Vladimir Putin: Where?

S. Brilev: The "G-8". In the States, I think it's next. There, however, will be the height of Trump's campaign.

Vladimir Putin: At the time, the next "G-8" was to be held in Russia.

Sergei Brilev: In Sochi, yes.

Vladimir Putin: We are open. If our partners want to come to us, we will be happy. (Applause.) But we did not postpone it, our partners postponed it. If they want to restore the "Eight", please. But I think it's clear to everyone today, and President Macron just recently said publicly that the West's leadership is coming to an end. I cannot imagine an effective international organization that works without India and without China. (Applause.)

Any format is always good, it is always a positive exchange of views, even when it is held in a raised tone, as far as I understand, and it was this time in the "Seven", it is still useful. Therefore, we do not refuse any format of cooperation.

Jeff Harrison , September 10, 2019 at 00:32

I have to object on several levels, Patrick.

"Are Western democracies, the U.S. and France in the lead, rethinking the hostility toward Russia they conjured out of nothing since Moscow responded to the coup Washington cultivated in Ukraine five years ago?" Good question but it beggars the truth that The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. The US refused to recognize it until 1933. The classic phrase "godless communist hordes" was intended to drive home the point that the commies were theoretically atheists and they were not capitalists. Russia helped it along by trying to spread communism just as the US is trying to spread capitalism now (we like to claim we're spreading democracy but that's bunk.) I'm not sure which is more distasteful, having some foreign economic structure shoved down your throat (communism) or some foreign political structure shoved down your throat (totalitarian dictatorship). Both suck.

"China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China." I realize you're quoting the Times but mind if I ask, what, precisely, are American objectives? If our objective was to simply live peaceably with the other nations of the world and dazzle them with the brilliance of every little thing we did, nobody, not Russia, not China, nobody could challenge that objective. But that's not our objective, now is it? It could be best characterized by the weekly exchange between Pinkie and The Brain. Pinkie: What are we going to do this week, Brain? Brain: Same thing we do every week, Pinkie. Establish world domination. That's never going to work. There are too many people in this world and too many countries in this world who will not put up with diktats from somebody else for the Brain to succeed.

As for the G7 becoming the G8, as I've already said, it's not gonna happen. Putin has already said that it should include India and China. The West won't accept that. Frankly, if membership in "the club" can be lifted as easily as it was last time, why should Russia be interested? As I've said, I think that Russia has turned eastward. If the west has something on offer, great but they wouldn't be looking for it. Russia has managed to make the sanctions regime very painful for the EU even though the EU doesn't seem to notice. Offering Russia a very junior chair at the G7 whilst maintaining the sanctions and other visions of economic warfare against Russia is not a calculus that Russia will be interested in.

This could turn into the one bridge too far for the Europeans.

Zhu , September 9, 2019 at 21:13

It'll be China, China, china, next. How dare they prosper! How dare they not submit and not obey!

jaycee , September 9, 2019 at 20:07

The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years.

Judging by the Times' own comment sections, a fair number of the general public are quick to internalize a hatred of the "enemy" without reflection on how/why the object of their ire can be one day one villain, and then a whole new villain the next.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:11

The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. The days of them treating their sources with skepticism are LONG gone. I'm no fan of Ben Rhodes, but that guy was spot-on when he referred to the Washington press corps as a bunch of 20-something know-nothings whose ignorance makes them easily manipulated into becoming an echo chamber of support for whatever policies their government sources are pushing.

lysias , September 10, 2019 at 08:21

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:01

" .. notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years."

You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years. (The Russians sure found them in a hurry.) As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face.

Brent , September 9, 2019 at 20:00

Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America.

Tim , September 9, 2019 at 19:48

Yes Bob, it would be a good change, except, if Britain is co-opted by the US, then it will be a wholly owned subsidy and block change in Europe.

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 20:50

subsidiary

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 19:40

Just hope Brexit is negotiated and Britain is not fully taken over by Washington as a new investment opportunity.

Ikallicrates , September 10, 2019 at 10:57

US corporations did indeed anticipate that post Brexit UK would be a new investment opportunity. The US health insurance industry, for example, was poised to swoop down on the UK as soon as the Tories finished destroying the NHS. But thanks to BoJo's bungling of Brexit, the Tories could lose the next general election, so they've reversed direction and are appeasing angry Brits by promising to save the NHS. By bringing down the Tories, BoJo may make Britain great again (#MBGA).

Meremark , September 9, 2019 at 19:18

RT said Putin says Russia in G-8 is improvident without China and India economies and geo-strategies also figured in. A G-10 league?

Putin's chessmanship is operaticly clean. not to be confused with poker as people generally do confuse. This lacks the bluffing of poker; in this the pieces of global power projection are standing on the board, chess obvious.

Maybe not so easy to peel Russia apart from China, if that's Plan B kicking around the Pentagon. At some point maybe they can consider Plan Delta ? which stands for change.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:03

Let's be honest, the G-7 is pretty outdated. Canada and Italy are pretty much out of their league. America's hat and a fourth western European power seem unnecessary. Replace them with China and India, and bring Russia back in to make it the G-8.

floyd gardner , September 10, 2019 at 11:28

Thank you, Meremark. Putin does not take his directives from the NYT.

Daniel Rich , September 9, 2019 at 19:17

Macron, a Rothschild pawn, gives as much abut true Democrat as he does about the Yellow Vests' protest

No, no, not the Hong Kong, US flags waving goons, but ordinary French citizens who're fed up with the direction their government moves onward to, the ones you hear nothing about.

Bob Van Noy , September 9, 2019 at 17:25

Thank you Patrick Lawrence, if your analysis is correct it would be a turning point in international relations and extremely significant. I like to think that the web has put us about a week or two ahead of the headlines here at CN, so if the NYT is finally calling the events accurately, it would by a stunning breakthrough

[Sep 10, 2019] Since the president's performance is so utterly out of character and against America's overseas economic interests

After the ideology is discredited, foreign policy became less coherent and more aggressive then nessesry. That speeds the demise of the empire. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad
Sep 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

DanFromCT , says: Next New Comment September 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT

@A123 Consider that DJT himself, you'd think, would dump Bolton, Pompeo, Pence, Berkowitz, et al if he could inasmuch as, if he'd hired them to put up a skyscraper and their performance was like their work in foreign policy, they'd be gone. From his work in the real world building complex stuff he'd see right off that what marks government experts from the "best schools" isn't their expertise, but their preternaturally lousy judgment. They look and sound like goofballs because that's what they are, not because their geniuses. Altho Boot's apparently out of favor, consider that Israel's costumed automatons in the Pentagon allowed themselves to be swayed by this slobberlipped moron with drool coming out of the side of his mouth, and he's supposedly one of the neocons' finest minds.

Since the president's performance is so utterly out of character and against America's overseas economic interests, it follows he's being handled, and if he's being handled, it can only be by Israel. The implication is that a parasite, which also owns the public forum in America and through its ownership of the msm the formation of men's minds, is directing our foreign policy. It's analogous to the way certain insect parasites like Ampulex sp take command of their much larger prey's antenna and in so doing can direct the prey to do its bidding by processing the prey's contact with the external world.

In his Logic of Failure Dietrich Doerner cites his research that supposed experts have no more judgment or ability to respond to unfamiliar feedback loops in scenarios of increasing complexity than students do. Unfolding events of increasing complexity become increasingly opaque to these block heads in the State Dept and the president's inner circle because they continue to follow a fairytale situational model of the ME constructed for them by Israeli intelligence and neocon "experts."

Incredibly, they assume it correctly models outcomes despite a known 100% failure rate that'll be compounded a hundredfold if another "call walk" breaks out with a military powerhouse like Iran. Overall I can't believe they can be that stupid, and if they're not that stupid, it follows they are intentionally wasting and destroying both the US economy and its military to establish Eretz Israel as the new world empire. After that the president's good friend Netanyahu has supposedly promised he'll toss the US on the ash heap of history.

Si1ver1ock , says: Next New Comment September 10, 2019 at 2:42 pm GMT
It's the Theater of the Absurd . I'm waiting for Mr. Pompeo to come out and tell us that our new, duly elected president is Juan Guaidó. Or maybe Juan Valdez.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hoiO6Ln83SQ?feature=oembed

[Sep 10, 2019] Bolton and company has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren.

Sep 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fed Up 21 hours ago

These idiots don't hire themselves. The problem is Trump. It doesn't matter whether Bolton (or Pompeo, or Hook, or Abrams) is in or out as long as Trump himself is in the White House.

That realization has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren. The underlying principle is be the same, voting yet again for the lesser of two evils.

[Sep 10, 2019] Trump has, unfortunately, shown himself to be completely untrustworthy on the international stage

Notable quotes:
"... I personally suspect that Trump has a negative net worth, and hopes that if he marches to Adelson's orders, he might get a nice pay-off at the end. It's the only thing that explains all this. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kent19 hours ago

I think it is highly unlikely Trump can pull off detente with the Chinese or anyone else before the next election. He has, unfortunately, shown himself to be completely untrustworthy on the international stage. Under what circumstance are the Chinese going to sign some agreement with him, when he might just throw out new tariffs a week later?

What are the Taliban going to agree to when the US wants to leave thousands of troops in Afghanistan?

I personally suspect that Trump has a negative net worth, and hopes that if he marches to Adelson's orders, he might get a nice pay-off at the end. It's the only thing that explains all this.

[Sep 09, 2019] Trump wants the Jewish political donations. Iran is opposed to Israel. It's all about the money.

Sep 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , September 8, 2019 at 6:08 am

Probably an important factor here in the gamesmanship between Trump and Iran is Trump's re-election campaign next year. Consider – Trump probably realizes that if he is no longer President by 2021, then the democrats and a host of others will have the knives out for him and seek to drag him through a series of courts to convict him of something, anything. It sounds so Roman that. Proof of this was the Meuller investigation which went nowhere but which was used to beat him over the head with for nearly three years. Another four more years of Presidency will keep him safe from these attacks.
If a war breaks out then at a minimum Saudi Arabia's oil fields and water filtration installations along with their capital is toast! The oil route through the Straits of Hormuz are blocked and the war may spread to other countries as well, including Israel. I would guess that this would result in more economic turmoil than the 2008 crash at a minimum . And there would go Donald's chances of re-election. I know that some people may be surprised that Trump may put his personal interests ahead of that of the country but there it is. So, irony of irony, Trump may be the one factor stopping the trouble here from breaking out into a full blown war.

Synoia , September 8, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Trump wants the Jewish political donations. Iran is opposed to Israel.

It's all about the money.

[Sep 09, 2019] Thomas Franks book: "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" extensively documents how Democrats abandoned Kansas, his home state, and paved the way for conservatives just like they paved the way for Trump nationally.

Sep 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JR... , September 07, 2019 at 04:43 PM

Last I checked, Kansas and Nebraska are neighbors and share much the same fate.

Thomas Franks book: "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" extensively documents how Democrats abandoned Kansas, his home state, and paved the way for conservatives just like they paved the way for Trump nationally.

Of course, Thomas Franks is one of those writers who challenges the conventional liberal narrative, embraced by Democratic elites and Paul Krugman. Questioning the shallow Democratic narrative also outrages gullibles like EMichael and kurt.

[Sep 09, 2019] "'The New Normal': Trump's 'China Bind' Can Be Iran's Opportunity" by Alastair Crooke, and "Who Is Holding Back the Russian Economy?" by Tom Luongo.

Notable quotes:
"... Twice in the same sentence we get told what that assumption is: "America's technology leadership" which so clearly no longer exists in weaponry, electronics, nuclear engineering, rocketry, high speed rail and mass transportation, low energy building techniques, and a host of other realms. This same sort of thinking pervades every defense doctrine paper produced during Trump's administration--the planners have eaten and all too well digested their own propaganda about the backwardness of Russia, China and Iran. ..."
"... This does not imply some rabid anti-Americanism, but simply the experience that that path is pointless. If there is a 'clock being played out', it is that of the tic-toc of western political and economic hegemony in the Middle East is running down ..."
"... [with] Iran repeating the same old routines, whilst expecting different outcomes is, of course, one definition of madness. A new US Administration will inherit the same genes as the last. ..."
"... "And in any case, the US is institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. A US President – any President – cannot lift Congressional sanctions on Iran. The American multitudinous sanctions on Iran have become a decades' long knot of interpenetrating legislation: a vast rhizome of tangled, root-legislation that not even Alexander the Great might disentangle: that is why the JCPOA was constructed around a core of US Presidential 'waivers' needing to be renewed each six months. Whatever might be agreed in the future, the sanctions – 'waived' or not – are, as it were, 'forever'. ..."
"... "If recent history has taught the Iranians anything, it is that such flimsy 'process' in the hands of a mercurial US President can simply be blown away like old dead leaves. Yes, the US has a systemic problem: US sanctions are a one-way valve: so easy to flow out, but once poured forth, there is no return inlet (beyond uncertain waivers issued at the pleasure of an incumbent President)." ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Speculation's abounded about the political loyalty of the head of Russia's central bank Elvira Nabullina. Luongo simply explains:

"Nabullina has always been a controversial figure because she is western trained and because the banking system in Russia is still staffed by those who operate along IMF prescriptions on how to deal with crises.

"But those IMF rules are there to protect the IMF making the loans to the troubled nation, not to assist the troubled nation actually recover....

"The fundamental problem is a miseducation about what interest rates are, and how they interact with inflation and capital flow. Because of this, the medicine for saving an economy in trouble is, more often than not, worse than the disease itself.

"If Argentina's fourth default in twenty years doesn't prove that to you, nothing will."

It sounds like he's been reading Hudson's J is for Junk Economics !

The real rescue is Putin's aggressive de-dollarization policy that's finally rid Russia of "dollar-dependency":

"She [Nabullina] keeps jumping at the shadows of a dollar-induced crisis. But the Russian economy of 2019 is not the Russian economy of 2015. Dollar lending has all but evaporated and the major source of demand for dollars domestically are legacy corporate loans not converted to rubles or euros."

The key for me is to weave the content emphasis of Putin's Eastern Economic Conference speech with his increasing pressure on Nabullina for the bank to support this very important development policy direction and show China and other nations that Russia's extremely serious about the direction being taken. Just Putin's language about mortgage rate reductions as an attracter ought to be a huge message for Nabullina to respond properly. And a further kick in the pants was provided by the massive deal announced between China and Iran. Luongo briefly alludes to foreign policy in his article, its regional economic aspects, while omitting aspects hidden by the US-China Trade War, specifically Russia's now very clear technological supremacy to the Outlaw US Empire.

This brings us to Crooke's article in which he inadvertently tells us the #1 false assumption in Trump's Trade War policy with China:

"To defend America's technology leadership , policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks." [My Emphasis]

Twice in the same sentence we get told what that assumption is: "America's technology leadership" which so clearly no longer exists in weaponry, electronics, nuclear engineering, rocketry, high speed rail and mass transportation, low energy building techniques, and a host of other realms. This same sort of thinking pervades every defense doctrine paper produced during Trump's administration--the planners have eaten and all too well digested their own propaganda about the backwardness of Russia, China and Iran.

I could write further about the supposed handcuffing of POTUS by the unconstitutional and illegal sanction regime "imposed" by the US Congress. Crooke mentions as a significant hindrance--but if it was indeed a hindrance, any POTUS could break it by suing to prove its unconstitutional, illegal standing, yet no effort is put into that, begging the question Why? Crooke spends lots of space about this but fails to see the above solution:

"The pages to that chapter have been shut. This does not imply some rabid anti-Americanism, but simply the experience that that path is pointless. If there is a 'clock being played out', it is that of the tic-toc of western political and economic hegemony in the Middle East is running down , and not the 'clock' of US domestic politics. The old adage that the 'sea is always the sea' holds true for US foreign policy.

And [with] Iran repeating the same old routines, whilst expecting different outcomes is, of course, one definition of madness. A new US Administration will inherit the same genes as the last.

"And in any case, the US is institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. A US President – any President – cannot lift Congressional sanctions on Iran. The American multitudinous sanctions on Iran have become a decades' long knot of interpenetrating legislation: a vast rhizome of tangled, root-legislation that not even Alexander the Great might disentangle: that is why the JCPOA was constructed around a core of US Presidential 'waivers' needing to be renewed each six months. Whatever might be agreed in the future, the sanctions – 'waived' or not – are, as it were, 'forever'.

"If recent history has taught the Iranians anything, it is that such flimsy 'process' in the hands of a mercurial US President can simply be blown away like old dead leaves. Yes, the US has a systemic problem: US sanctions are a one-way valve: so easy to flow out, but once poured forth, there is no return inlet (beyond uncertain waivers issued at the pleasure of an incumbent President)."

Being British, we should excuse Crooke for not knowing about the crucial Supremacy Clause within the US Constitution, but that doesn't absolve any POTUS if that person is really intent on talking with Iran--or any other sanctioned nation. IMO, the Iranians know what I know and have finally decided the Outlaw US Empire's marriage to Occupied Palestine won't suffer a divorce anytime soon. The result is the recent very active change in policy direction aimed at solidifying the Arc of Resistance and establishing a Persian Gulf Collective Security Pact that will end in check mating the Empire's King thus causing further economic problems for the Empire.

Crooke does a good job of summarizing my comment and many more made over the year regarding the reasons for the utter failure of Outlaw US Empire policy:

"Well, here is the key point: Washington seems to have lost the ability to summon the resources to try to fathom either China, or the Iranian 'closed book', let alone a 'Byzantine' Russia. It is a colossal attenuation of consciousness in Washington; a loss of conscious 'vitality' to the grip of some 'irrefutable logic' that allows no empathy, no outreach, to 'otherness'. Washington (and some European élites) have retreated into their 'niche' consciousness, their mental enclave, gated and protected, from having to understand – or engage – with wider human experience."

The only real way for the Outlaw US Empire to regain its competitive "niche" with the rest of the world is to mount a massive program of internal reform verging on a revolution in its outcome. It's patently obvious that more of the same will yield more of the same--FAILURE--and the chorus of inane caterwauling by BigLie Media over where to place the blame.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 9 2019 17:24 utc | 118

[Sep 08, 2019] 'Flat-Out Lying' Critics Reject Biden Effort to Re-Write History on His Support for US Invasion of Iraq by Eoin Higgins

Notable quotes:
"... Biden claiming to have been against the Iraq War from the start is arguably the most outlandish lie any Democrat has told this campaign. ..."
"... Count his role in supporting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as another part of Joe Biden's long political career that the former vice president -- who voted for the war as a senator -- doesn't quite remember correctly. ..."
"... Biden supported the subsequent bloody counter-insurgency war for the rest of his Senate career, speaking out against bringing the troops home or even setting a timetable for withdrawal. He even became a major advocate of splitting Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines, seen by most people familiar with the region as very dangerous and irresponsible . ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | www.commondreams.org

"Biden claiming to have been against the Iraq War from the start is arguably the most outlandish lie any Democrat has told this campaign."

Count his role in supporting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as another part of Joe Biden's long political career that the former vice president -- who voted for the war as a senator -- doesn't quite remember correctly.

In an interview with NPR published Tuesday morning, Biden told reporter Asma Khalid that he opposed the war from the very moment it began in March of 2003 despite voting for its authorization just months earlier.

Biden said that he believed then-President George W. Bush's claim that Bush needed the threat of war to pressure Iraq to give up its weapons program and therefore voted for the authorization to use military force. But once Bush unleashed the "shock and awe" bombing campaign on the country, the former senator said he had a drastic change of heart.

"Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment," said Biden.

As Khalid pointed out in her report from the interview, that's not backed up by the historical record:

In multiple public remarks made after the invasion began in 2003, Biden openly supported the effort. Biden publicly said his vote was a mistake as early as 2005, but not immediately when the war began in 2003.

"Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today," Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution on July 31, 2003. "It was a right vote then, and it'll be a correct vote today."

In a statement, Bush spokesperson Freddy Ford told NPR that Biden was misremembering the events in question.

"I'm sure it's just an innocent mistake of memory," said Ford, "but this recollection is flat wrong."

Count his role in supporting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as another part of Joe Biden's long political career that the former vice president -- who voted for the war as a senator -- doesn't quite remember correctly.

In an interview with NPR published Tuesday morning, Biden told reporter Asma Khalid that he opposed the war from the very moment it began in March of 2003 despite voting for its authorization just months earlier.

Biden said that he believed then-President George W. Bush's claim that Bush needed the threat of war to pressure Iraq to give up its weapons program and therefore voted for the authorization to use military force. But once Bush unleashed the "shock and awe" bombing campaign on the country, the former senator said he had a drastic change of heart.

"Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment," said Biden.

As Khalid pointed out in her report from the interview, that's not backed up by the historical record:

In multiple public remarks made after the invasion began in 2003, Biden openly supported the effort. Biden publicly said his vote was a mistake as early as 2005, but not immediately when the war began in 2003.

"Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today," Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution on July 31, 2003. "It was a right vote then, and it'll be a correct vote today."

In a statement, Bush spokesperson Freddy Ford told NPR that Biden was misremembering the events in question. "I'm sure it's just an innocent mistake of memory," said Ford, "but this recollection is flat wrong." Biden's continued support for military action -- even if he was publicly "against" the war -- is no better, Stephen Zunes wrote in April:

Biden supported the subsequent bloody counter-insurgency war for the rest of his Senate career, speaking out against bringing the troops home or even setting a timetable for withdrawal. He even became a major advocate of splitting Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines, seen by most people familiar with the region as very dangerous and irresponsible .

The question asked by NPR was simple, wrote Splinter 's Paul Blest on Tuesday, "but because this is Joe Biden giving an interview in the year 2019, he was physically unable to get through the whole thing without saying something that was obviously bullshit."

... ... ...

[Sep 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention

This is a kind of NYT endorsement of Warren...
Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes. ..."
"... "There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared." ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 07, 2019 at 03:12 PM

Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic
Party Convention https://nyti.ms/2POixCr
NYT - Katie Glueck - September 7

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s backers roared supportive slogans and banged on drums as they camped outside Southern New Hampshire University Arena. Backers of Senator Elizabeth Warren marched as part of a jazz-inflected brass band. A fan of Senator Amy Klobuchar admonished passers-by to consider electability, and banners associated with Senator Bernie Sanders that highlighted his own standing in the polls appeared aimed at drawing a contrast with Mr. Biden.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention drew 19 of the presidential candidates and some of the state's most committed party activists -- including more than 1,200 delegates -- to its gathering here Saturday, offering an early test of campaign organization and enthusiasm in a contest that is traditionally a must-win for candidates from neighboring states.

This cycle, that includes Mr. Sanders of Vermont, who won New Hampshire by a wide margin in 2016, and Ms. Warren of Massachusetts, whose ground game is often regarded as the most extensive in a contest that party officials describe as still fluid -- though Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes.

Her supporters wielded inflatable noise makers and she received thunderous applause throughout her address.

"There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared."

It's a version of a line that Ms. Warren has deployed before, though it took on new significance when she deployed it Saturday, days before she faces off against Mr. Biden for the first time on the debate stage.

While many voters feel warmly toward Mr. Biden, some have also cited the perception that he is the most electable candidate in the race, rather than displaying outright enthusiasm for his campaign.

"There's that sense of, we know who Joe is and we trust him," said former State Senator Sylvia Larsen, the former New Hampshire Senate president. "There's still a little bit of people still looking around to say, 'Well, O.K., so what else is out there? Where are the voices? Who else might be a voice?'"

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, was the first of the presidential contenders to speak, and he received a polite though hardly raucous reception as attendees trickled into the arena, which was not yet full on Saturday morning.

Mr. Biden has led in most polls here since entering the race -- though the surveys have been relatively few. He is focused on blue-collar voters, moderates and other Democrats who believe his more centrist brand offers the most promising path to defeating Mr. Trump, in contrast to the more progressive coalitions Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders are working to build.

On the ground, Mr. Sanders's supporters challenged the notion that Mr. Biden is the only candidate well positioned to defeat Mr. Trump.

"Bernie beats Trump," read one banner hanging in the arena. Outside, another banner affixed to a pro-Sanders tent read, "In poll after poll after poll Bernie BEATS Trump."

Mr. Sanders received frequent applause throughout his speech and his supporters -- who appeared dispersed throughout the arena -- greeted many of his remarks with loud whoops.

"Together, we will make Donald Trump a one-term president," he said. "But frankly, frankly, it is not enough just to defeat Trump. We must do much, much more. We must finally create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent."

In a sign of organizational strength, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., was also a prominent presence at the convention: He had a large cheering contingent that punctuated his address with rounds of applause. Flush with a field-leading fund-raising haul, his campaign has significantly expanded its presence in New Hampshire, and has announced the opening of 12 new offices in the state.

Senator Kamala Harris of California had a visible support section, too -- her fans wore bright yellow T-shirts -- and she also received applause and cheers.

Yet Ms. Harris's standing in the polls has slipped over the summer, and party leaders here say she does not have the same footprint in the state as some of the other contenders. Perhaps reflecting those dynamics -- and a lunchtime-hour speaking slot -- her ability to excite the room was at times uneven.

"Everybody else and the pundits can ride polls; I'm not on that roller coaster," she told reporters after her speech. "I am working hard, we are steady, I don't get high with the polls, I don't go low with the polls."

Senator Cory Booker, too, found himself brushing off the polls when speaking to reporters after giving an energetic speech that resonated in the room. His candidacy has mystified some veteran New Hampshire Democrats who note his relatively stagnant poll numbers despite extensive on-the-ground campaign organization, endorsements and an ability to deliver a fiery speech.

Certainly, the convention is an imperfect test of the state of the New Hampshire primary. It's a window into the mood of the most plugged-in activists, but isn't necessarily representative of the entire electorate that will turn out on Primary Day -- and it also drew attendees from out of state, from places including Massachusetts, New Jersey and even, in at least one case, California. ...

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 07, 2019 at 06:47 PM
Son and his wife were there....... with the Warren signs. I have a pix from fb.

We had other set of grandkids over, or I might have been in the Bernie line.

Good thing!

[Sep 07, 2019] Trumpism Is Bad for Business

Sep 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 05, 2019 at 03:28 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/05/opinion/trump-economy.html

September 5, 2019

Trumpism Is Bad for Business
It's hard to make plans when the rules keep changing.
By Paul Krugman

With each passing week it becomes ever clearer that Donald Trump's trade war, far from being "good, and easy to win," is damaging large parts of the U.S. economy. Farmers are facing financial disaster; manufacturing, which Trump's policies were supposed to revive, is contracting; consumer confidence is plunging, largely because the public (rightly) fears that tariffs will raise prices.

But Trump has an answer to his critics: It's not me, it's you. Last week he declared that businesses claiming to have been hurt by his tariffs should blame themselves, because they're "badly run and weak."

As with many Trump statements, one immediate thought that comes to mind is, how would Republicans have reacted if a Democratic president said something like that? In this case, however, we don't have to speculate.

As some readers may recall, back in 2012 Barack Obama made the obvious and true point that businesses depend on public investments in things like roads and education as well as on their own efforts. Referring to those public investments, he said, "You didn't build that." The usual suspects pounced, taking the line out of context and claiming that he was disrespecting entrepreneurs; Mitt Romney made this claim a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

Attacks on Obama as being anti-business were, of course, made in bad faith. Trump, however, really is denouncing businesses and blaming them for the problems his policies have created. And tariffs aren't the only policy area where Trump and American business are now at odds.

Some of Trump's most consequential actions involve his frantic efforts to dismantle environmental regulation. Unlike tariffs, this may at first sound like something business would want.

It turns out, however, that many businesses want to keep those regulations in place. Major oil and gas producers oppose Trump's relaxation of rules on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Major auto producers have come out against Trump's attempt to roll back fuel efficiency standards. In fact, in a move that has reportedly enraged Trump, several companies have reached an agreement with the state of California to stick with Obama-era rules despite the change in federal policy.

When Trump won his upset victory in 2016, many investors assumed that his rule would be good for business. And he did indeed give corporations a huge tax cut -- which has almost entirely been used for higher dividends and stock buybacks, with workers getting essentially nothing.

Aside from the tax cut, however, it's becoming increasingly clear that Trumpism is bad for business. Or more precisely, it's bad for productive business.

Imagine yourself as the head of a business that plans and expects to be around for a long time. Sure, you'd like to pay less in taxes and not have to comply with costly regulations. But you also want to invest in your company's future. And to do that, you need some assurance that the rules of the game will be stable, so that whatever investments you make now aren't suddenly made worthless by future shifts in policy.

The big complaint business has about Trump's trade war isn't just that tariffs raise costs and prices, while foreign retaliation is cutting off access to important markets. It is that businesses can't make plans when policy zigzags in response to the president's whims. They don't want to invest in anything that relies on a global supply chain, because that supply chain might unravel with Trump's next tweet. But they can't invest on the assumption that Trump's tariffs will be permanent, either; you never know when or whether he'll declare victory and surrender.

Environmental policy, it turns out, is similar. Business leaders aren't do-gooders, but they are realists. Most of them understand that climate change is happening, that it's dangerous, and that we'll eventually have to transition to a low-emissions economy. They want to spend now to secure their place in that future economy; they know that investments that worsen climate change are bound to be long-run losers. But they'll hold off on investing in our energy future as long as conspiracy theorists who consider global warming a gigantic hoax -- and/or vindictive politicians determined to erase Obama's achievements -- keep rewriting the rules.

To be fair, however, some kinds of business do thrive under Trumpism -- namely, businesses that aren't in it for the long run, operations whose strategy is to take the money and run. These are good times for mining companies that rush in to extract whatever they can, leaving a poisoned landscape behind; for real estate speculators sponsoring dubious ventures that take advantage of newly created tax loopholes; for for-profit colleges that leave their students with worthless degrees and crippling debt.

In other words, under Trump it's springtime for grifters.

But to say the obvious, these smash-and-grab operations aren't the kinds of business we want to thrive. Put it this way: Remaking the U.S. economy in the image of Trump University isn't exactly making America great again.

likbez -> anne... , September 06, 2019 at 11:15 PM
Krugman became too superficial to read and take seriously. He is now mostly neoliberal propagandist and Clinton wing of Dems stooge not the analyst.
As for his optimistic take on business realism " Business leaders aren't do-gooders, but they are realists. Most of them understand that climate change is happening, that it's dangerous, " compare with John Kenneth Galbraith "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage." and "The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil."


Why Professor Krugman thinks that "Aside from the tax cut, however, it's becoming increasingly clear that Trumpism is bad for business. Or more precisely, it's bad for productive business." and not to Wall Street and Silicon valley is unclear to me.

Even a perverted way of protecting domestic manufactures that Trump clearly practice is better then nothing.

[Sep 07, 2019] No Joe: On Character, Quality and Authenticity by Paul Street

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't think five hundred billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys," Biden sickeningly told the Brookings Institution last year – this as he claimed to worry about how the "gap is yawning" between the American super-rich and everyone else. ..."
"... Most nauseating of all, "blue-collar" Biden says that he has "no empathy" for Millennials' struggle to get by in the savagely unequal and insecure precariat economy he helped create over his many years of abject service to the Lords of Capital. "The younger generation now tells me how tough things are -- give me a break," said Biden, while speaking to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times ..."
"... No, no, I have no empathy for it, give me a break ..."
"... So what if Millennials face a significant dilution of opportunity, wealth, income and security compared to the Baby Boomers with whom Biden identifies? Who cares if "lunch bucket Joe" helped shrink the American Dream for young people with the neoliberal policies and politics he helped advance? ..."
"... That's the core systemic inauthenticity of U.S. politics right there, consistent with a still-left Christopher Hitchens' onetime description of "the essence of American politics" as "the manipulation of populism by elitism." ..."
"... Look for those atop the Inauthentic Opposition (the late Princeton political scientist Sheldon Wolin's dead on term to describe the neoliberal-era Democratic Party) to do everything they can to prevent their fiefdom from running its most viable candidate against the authentically gruesome ecofascist Donald Trump. ..."
Sep 07, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Also problematic was the Clinton team's decision to run almost completely on the issue of candidate quality and quality – on the undeniable awfulness of Trump. This was a blunder, given Hillary's weak character standing with voters, already low before the e-mail scandal that FBI Director James Comey re-ignited late in the season.

Which brings us to Joe Biden. Like Hillary (and Bill) Clinton, he represents the corporate-establishmentarian wing of the Democratic Party. Also like Hillary, his main hook is the undisputable dreadfulness of the Donald.

... ... ...

But Biden's worst deception is his pretense of being regular old working-class "lunch-bucket" Joe, a great product and friend of ordinary working people. His fiercely corporatist and pro-Wall Street record militates strongly against this faux blue-collar branding:

Adding clumsy neoliberal insult to concrete neoliberal policy injury, Biden now absurdly criticizes those who advocate a universal basic income of "selling American workers short" and undermining the "dignity" of work. He opposes calls for free college tuition and Single Payer health insurance. He defends Big Business from popular criticism, writing in 2017 that "Some want to single out big corporations for all the blame. But consumers, workers, and leaders have the power to hold every corporation to a higher standard, not simply cast business as the enemy." That's called propagating a fantasy – the existence of a democratic political system in which the working-class majority has the power to hold concentrated wealth accountable.

"I don't think five hundred billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys," Biden sickeningly told the Brookings Institution last year – this as he claimed to worry about how the "gap is yawning" between the American super-rich and everyone else.

Most nauseating of all, "blue-collar" Biden says that he has "no empathy" for Millennials' struggle to get by in the savagely unequal and insecure precariat economy he helped create over his many years of abject service to the Lords of Capital. "The younger generation now tells me how tough things are -- give me a break," said Biden, while speaking to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times last year. "No, no, I have no empathy for it, give me a break."

Read that a second time: " No, no, I have no empathy for it, give me a break ."

So what if Millennials face a significant dilution of opportunity, wealth, income and security compared to the Baby Boomers with whom Biden identifies? Who cares if "lunch bucket Joe" helped shrink the American Dream for young people with the neoliberal policies and politics he helped advance?

Biden's incredibly low standing with young Americans – he is backed by just 7 percent (!) of U.S. voters under 30 – is richly deserved. Sadly enough, Biden is the preferred candidate of older Black voters reached by pollsters so far. That position is richly undeserved...

... ... ...

That's the core systemic inauthenticity of U.S. politics right there, consistent with a still-left Christopher Hitchens' onetime description of "the essence of American politics" as "the manipulation of populism by elitism." Throw in unmistakable signs of deeply flawed personal character like Hillary's covering for her husband's serial sexual assaults and Biden's history of plagiarism and lying and you have big problems for Democratic presidential candidates in an ever more savagely unequal nation where, as Bernie keeps pointing out, three absurdly rich people now possess between them as much wealth as the bottom fifty percent.

... ... ...

Look for those atop the Inauthentic Opposition (the late Princeton political scientist Sheldon Wolin's dead on term to describe the neoliberal-era Democratic Party) to do everything they can to prevent their fiefdom from running its most viable candidate against the authentically gruesome ecofascist Donald Trump.

[Sep 06, 2019] America's Billionaires Congealing Around Warren and Buttigieg by Eric Zuesse

In comparison with Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, Warren is huge progress even with her warts and all.
Notable quotes:
"... the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to. ..."
"... Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general. ..."
"... The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia? ..."
"... Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. ..."
"... History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people. ..."
"... To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. ..."
"... The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. ..."
"... Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. ..."
"... Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? ..."
"... I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders? ..."
"... I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes. ..."
"... America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence. ..."
"... Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | off-guardian.org

So: the rise of Elizabeth Warren gives the billionaires a 'progressive' candidate who might either win the nomination or else at least split progressive voters during the primaries (between Sanders and Warren) and thus give the nomination to Buttigieg, who is their first choice (especially since both Biden and Harris have been faltering so badly of late).

This explains the gushings for Warren, at such neocon rags as The Atlantic, The New Republic , New Yorker , and Mother Jones .

It's being done in order to set up the final round, so as for its outcome to be acceptable to the billionaires who fund the Democratic Party. Her record in the U.S. Senate is consistently in support of U.S. invasions, coups, and sanctions against countries that have never invaded nor even threatened to invade the U.S., such as Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, and Iran ; she's 100% a neocon (just like G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump were/are); and, to billionaires, that is even more important than her policy-record regarding Wall Street is, because the Military Industrial Complex, which she represents, is even more important to enforcing and spreading the U.S. megacorporate empire than the investment-firms are.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity


Jumpbean Max

I feel like any analysis that even mentions polls is guesswork, because nowadays polls are almost entirely useless. In that they aren't accurately measuring people who are actually going to go to open/semi-open or even closed primaries, and caucuses. The cohort of likely voters is different from the cohort who bothers to pick up a phone call from an unknown (polling) number. Or make it through a whole poll. Or do any online polls. Or have a reachable phone # at all.

Plus the fact that the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to.

Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general.

I liked the article other than that though.

mark
"Vote for me, I'm gay!"
"Vote for me, I'm a Red Indian!"
Daniel Rich
Do these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' have names and further affiliations? Could it be that most of these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' favor the Apartheid State? Hmmmmm?
George Cornell
David Bradley's The Atlanticmagazine headlined on August 26th, "Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment". Wooing in American politics = betraying your principles, cutting deals, bending to the wishes of the powerful, and all round submissive boot-licking.
Roberto
That would be describing successful politics in any country at any time in history. An unsuccessful politician would do the inverse of what you list. For those with good memories, let's try to name some.
George Cornell
Not everyone would agree with that definition of success, but you are quite right.
wardropper
Voice in the "Emperor's New Clothes" story: "Why don't we just ban all financial support of presidential candidates? – I thought this was supposed to be about the person best qualified and best suited to run the country "

HEY! Somebody shut that child up right now, will you!

nevermind
US politics running the UK? Still western nations 'Haves' are playing with themselves and politics. What big fat Yawn.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cOmdkN6MOwU

bevin
The significance of Sanders is this: if he wins the nomination he will have done so by leading an insurrectionary movement, not only within the Democratic Party but in US society itself. He simply cannot win otherwise. And if he wins the primaries it will have been in spite of the great mass of money and Establishment influence having been mobilised against him.

In other words he is right to call his supporters a "revolution."

It is of course equally true of the Corbyn movement- any victories are immense defeats for both the Establishment and its media. That, in itself is important.
And nowhere more than in Canada where the third and fourth parties- the NDP and the Greens- continue to tack further and further to the right, trying to catch up with the rightward swing of the Liberal Party -now close to full on neo-naziism- and the ultra right Tories.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/01/the-canadian-prime-minister-needs-a-history-lesson/

nottheonly1
Thank You for the link. While I am keenly aware of the untold history of WWII and the fact that Hitler would have never gotten where he was from 1933-1941 without the propping up by both U.S. and Zionist interests (mind the redundancy), eager to crush the perceived anti-capitalist behemoth Soviet Union, I am wondering about the present re-run of the same story unfolding.

The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia?

Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. The rest of the what goes for the 'value West' is more of a disgrace than at any time before. These are the real dark ages, as I have stated before. Nothing good can come from these psychopathic puppets in control of countries that ought to deserve much better. Maybe, just maybe, the people of the countries in question should read Rudi Dutschke's works about 'Extra Parliamentary Opposition' – for Dummies?

Junaid
Until Turkey is able to produce S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems – it will buy weapons from Russia. Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

nottheonly1
While Bernie Sanders is no Henry A. Wallace by a long shot, Elizabeth Warren is the new Harry Trumann. The Democrats are still the Democratic fascist Party of America and have their party base hypnotized into believing that it has the well being of its voters on its mind.

That is of course a lie and pure propaganda. And since the U.S. is the second most vulnerable nation to propaganda and fascism – with Germany being the number one, in both the past and the present – the people that refuse to leave the Democratic Fascist Party are remiscent of those people who kept following Hitler, even after it had become clear that his 'party' would drive Germany into the abyss.

For the brownshirt-like followers of proven war criminals that both lead, or finance the 'party', absolutely no crime is big enough that would warrant to turn their back on the fascist party.

History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people.

That did not sit too well with the fascists and they stole the nomination from him. Present day America has turned into this corrupt cesspool because of this stolen nomination. Everything that is sickening about the U.S. today, started in 1944. All the surveillance, the mindcontrol, the cold war and the transformation into a wannabe empire – they are all the result of this infamy by the hands of the Democratic fascists.

To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. Suffering from such deep sitting cognitive dissonance, party members will find all kinds of excuses to prevent the truth from coming out. Just as there was no war crime by Clinton and Obama sufficient enough to not cheer them like the greatest baseball team ever. Leave the Democratic fascist party now, or have history piss on your graves.

Norcal
Very convincing argument and link, perfectly done. Thank you nottheonly1.
nottheonly1
Thank You, Norcal. It may be best to download these video clips, since they are all taken down one after another based on 'copyright issues'.

The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. As the clip states, the American people only have to be frightened and you can sell them their own demise on a golden platter. The ridicule and shaming of those who want a third party can also be traced back to this time.

It is equally very disturbing that the owner class managed to brain wash the people into accepting the use of 'oligarchs', 'billionaires', or 'donors' when in truth they are the real fascists Henry Wallace had warned about. This must be reversed by all means available. People must understand that the concerted use of these euphemisms will make it next to impossible to accept what these persons really are and what their goals are.

Jen
Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. Of course there was also the genocide of First Nations peoples through the theft of their lands, the wars waged to force them onto reservations, and the massive slaughter of bison as a way of destroying many indigenous cultures.
nottheonly1
Yes, but never before was the deliberate change of course towards fascism so blatant than with the ouster of Wallace. This was the watershed moment that turned the U.S. into the greatest threat for humanity. When You read about Wallace, You will find out that he generally wanted reconcile with the Native Indian Nation. He wanted cooperation with the Soviet Union/Russians for a lasting global peace and prosperity for everyone, not just a few American maggots. Present day U.S. started at that real day of infamy.
Lysias
Wallace was also a big supporter of establishing Israel.
Seamus Padraig

So, whereas they would be able to deal with Warren, they wouldn't be able to deal with Sanders, whose policy-record is remarkably progressive in all respects, and not only on domestic U.S. matters.

Frankly, Bernie could be better on foreign policy. While he did vote against the Iraq War–I give him all due credit for that–he hasn't really opposed any of Washington's other wars, coups and régime-change operations in recent memory. Oh: and Bernie, the self-described socialist, once referred to Hugo Chavez as a "dead dictator". That being said, he would still be preferable to the remaining flotsam in the today's Democrap Party.

Rhys Jaggar
Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? The Republicans are supposed to be the party for the rich, not the Democrats . And is not time for billionaires to be bumped off by politicians, not politicians bumped off by billionaires?
ANDREW CLEMENTS
Democrat Party are plantation owners at heart
Philip Roddis
A tad uncritical on Sanders, especially his foreign policies, but otherwise an excellent and closely argued takedown of the risible but sadly widespread delusion that America is a democracy. Thanks Eric.
Wilmers31
Democracy itself does not say anything about quality of life, it's just a system. US democracy runs on money. Most thing in life do – pretending it is otherwise, that's where the problem is.

Democracy is just the shell – if you fill it with sh1t it's bad; if you fill it with honey it's sweet.

Biden is remote-controllable, he'd do as told – so of course big money would prefer him.

Philip Roddis
I've just the other day written this piece on democracy . The immediate context is the fiasco re the UK Queen granting Boris Johnson's request to prorogue (temporarily dissolve) parliament, but the issues run deeper and wider.
Dungroanin

There is a long way to that election yet. (The US, ours is finally within reach, unless some wildebeast tramples in )

The DNC dirty tricks won't wash this time – perhaps its time to start reading and talking about the nitty gritty of these leaked mails – if for nothing else for the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of Seth Rich.

How about it Phillip Roddis?

Philip Roddis
Well I'm already stretched perilous thin, DG, but will give it thought.

Meantime, this piece from last week by Katia Novella Miller, first of a two parts with second part to follow on the same KBNB World News site, gives a precis of what Wikileaks showed the world.

George Cornell
Thanks for this -a must read.
Chris Rogers
The lack of mention of Gabbard is telling, as is the fact the Billionaire crowd (Rubinites) are pushing for a candidate I ain't even heard of.

The fact remains, a Sanders – Gabbard ticket against Trump is the preferable outcome for many observers on the Left.

Just as a reminder, neither Sanders & Gabbard are God like figures, in much the same way Corbyn ain't, however, they are the best available at this juncture in time if we really want some change, even if it is incremental.

Dungroanin
I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders?

I read somewhere that the US electorate were self identified as third Republican, Democrat and independent.

If they were given an independent ticket- not part of the two billionaire funded main parties then enough may join the independent third from these.

I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes.

Grafter
America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence.

Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking.

[Sep 06, 2019] Nebraska Farmers Union president calls Trump's approach to China a 'huge unforced error' TheHill

Sep 06, 2019 | thehill.com

The president of the Nebraska Farmers Union ripped President Trump on Wednesday over his escalating trade war with China, calling it a "huge unforced error."

John Hansen said that even though China has been engaging in unfair trade practices for some time and needed to be reigned in, Trump's decision to impose high tariffs on Beijing along with other trading partners has hurt the United States. "The U.S. should have isolated China from the rest of the world as they started on this effort," Hansen told Hill.TV. "Instead, unfortunately, the president has isolated the U.S. from most of the rest of the world economy."

"It was a huge unforced error so there's that issue," he added.

Hansen said Trump's trade policies haven't gotten to the "nuts and bolts of how do we go about the business of making sure that farmers get paid a fair price for what they produce."

[Sep 06, 2019] Protectionism is worse when it's erratic and unpredictable

Sep 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 05, 2019 at 04:08 AM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/opinion/trump-china-tariffs.html

August 26, 2019

Trump and the Art of the Flail
Protectionism is worse when it's erratic and unpredictable.
By Paul Krugman

The "very stable genius" in the Oval Office is, in fact, extremely unstable, in word and deed. That's not a psychological diagnosis, although you can make that case too. It's just a straightforward description of his behavior. And his instability is starting to have serious economic consequences.

To see what I mean about Trump's behavior, just consider his moves on China trade over the past month, which have been so erratic that even those of us who follow this stuff professionally have been having a hard time keeping track.

First, Trump unexpectedly announced plans to greatly expand the range of Chinese goods subject to tariffs. Then he had his officials declare China a currency manipulator -- which happens to be one of the few economic sins of which the Chinese are innocent. Then, perhaps fearing the political fallout from the higher prices of many consumer goods from China during the holiday season, which would result from the tariff hikes, he postponed -- but didn't cancel -- them.

Wait, there's more. China, predictably, responded to the new United States tariffs with new tariffs on U.S. imports. Trump, apparently enraged, declared that he would raise his tariffs even higher, and declared that he was ordering U.S. companies to wind down their business in China (which is not something he has the legal authority to do). But at the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz he suggested that he was having "second thoughts," only to have the White House declare that he actually wished he had raised tariffs even more.

And we're not quite done. On Monday Trump said that the Chinese had called to indicate a desire to resume trade talks. But there was no confirmation from the Chinese, and Trump has been a notably unreliable narrator of what's going on in international meetings. For example, he made the highly improbable claim that "World Leaders" (his capitalization) were asking him, "Why does the American media hate your Country so much?"

To repeat, all of this has happened just this month. Now imagine yourself as a business leader trying to make decisions amid this Trumpian chaos.

The truth is that protectionism gets something of an excessively bad rap. Tariffs are taxes on consumers, and they tend to make the economy poorer and less efficient. But even high tariffs don't necessarily hurt employment, as long they're stable and predictable: the jobs lost in industries that either rely on imported inputs or depend on access to foreign markets can be offset by job gains in industries that compete with imports.

History is, in fact, full of examples of economies that combined high tariffs with more or less full employment: America in the 1920s, Britain in the 1950s and more.

But unstable, unpredictable trade policy is very different. If your business depends on a smoothly functioning global economy, Trump's tantrums suggest that you should postpone your investment plans; after all, you may be about to lose access to your export markets, your supply chain or both. It's also, though, not a good time to invest in import-competing businesses; for all you know, Trump will eventually back down on his threats. So everything gets put on hold -- and the economy suffers.

One question you might ask is why Trumpian trade uncertainty is looming so much larger now than it did during the administration's first two years. Part of the answer, I think, is that until fairly recently most analysts expected the U.S.-China trade conflict to be resolved with minimal disruption. You may recall that after denouncing Nafta as the worst trade deal ever made, Trump essentially surrendered and declared victory, settling for a new deal almost indistinguishable from the old one. Most economic newsletters I get predicted a similar outcome for the U.S. and China.

At the same time, the U.S. economy is slowing as the brief sugar high from the 2017 tax cut wears off. Another leader might engage in some self-reflection. Trump being Trump, he's blaming others and lashing out. He has declared both Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and Xi Jinping, China's leader, enemies. As it turns out, however, there's nothing much he can do to bully the Fed, but the quirks of U.S. trade law do allow him to slap new tariffs on China.

Of course, Trump's trade belligerence is itself contributing to the economic slowdown. So there's an obvious possibility for a vicious circle. The economy weakens; a flailing Trump lashes out at China, and possibly others (Europe may be next); this further weakens the economy; and so on.

At that point you might expect an intervention from the grown-ups in the room -- but there aren't any. In any other administration Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a.k.a. the Lego Batman guy, would be considered a ridiculous figure; these days, however, he's as close as we get to a voice of economic rationality. But whenever he tries to talk sense, as he apparently did over the issue of Chinese currency manipulation, he gets overruled.

Protectionism is bad; erratic protectionism, imposed by an unstable leader with an insecure ego, is worse. But that's what we'll have as long as Trump remains in office.

[Sep 06, 2019] Trump vs MSM spectacle gets boring

Notable quotes:
"... Anyone read Ronan Farrows "War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence"? In one passage he describes a meeting at the State Department where they are complaining that nobody is interested in their policy prescriptions and decide that the problem is that they need some graphs. They all turn to Farrrow and look at him as he is the youngest in the meeting and figure he is the only one who would know how to do that. "Ageism" he thought. ..."
"... The problem with the mainstream media calling out Trump is that this is like the pot calling a kettle black. Trump is awful, sure. But so is the corporate media with its pro-war and neoliberal economic agenda. ..."
"... As Ian Welsh notes, the press is Trump's enemy, not the servant of the people: https://www.ianwelsh.net/the-press-is-trumps-enemy-not-the-lefts-friend/ ..."
"... RussiaRussiaRussia has been very profitable, not only personally for the talking heads in the intelligence community but for the press. Removing clearance not only hits the talking heads in the wallet, it disrupts the relation between the press and its network of anonymous sources. ..."
"... Re 2), there seems to be an element of induced demand to support the preponderance of repetitive coverage, somewhat akin to the dopamine manipulation in video games and on social media websites. Bug and feature. ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , August 17, 2018 at 7:59 am

This author is right. I do not know if you would call what the media did a form of virtue-signalling or whatever but the net effect is a demonstration that the media is into coordinated campaigns. I do not think that people have forgotten the "This Is Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy" Sinclair script a few months ago. This is just more of the same.
I don't even know why they act so b***-hurt when Trump attacks their honesty. In the last few months I have seen them call him a traitor, a gay-bitch, they have called for a military coup to unseat him, they have begged for the deep state to rescue them, they have elevated people who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers to the ranks of noble heroes of the Republic. As far as I am concerned, they have made their own bed and now they can lay in it, even if they have to share it with Donald J. Trump.

Kokuanani , August 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

Big media outlets need not actually report news that affects your life and point to serious solutions for social ills. They can just bad mouth Trump.

Substitute "The Democratic Party" for "big media outlets" and you've got another accurate picture.

Angie Neer , August 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Yesterday when I looked at the NYT online, the big featured graphic in the center of the page, typically a photo, was a rotating feed of Trump tweets, in headline-sized text. It struck me as a new low in the pathetic Trump-media feedback loop. It's all a game of "made you look!"

Bill Smith , August 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Yeah, they probably got a summer intern to do that.

Anyone read Ronan Farrows "War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence"? In one passage he describes a meeting at the State Department where they are complaining that nobody is interested in their policy prescriptions and decide that the problem is that they need some graphs. They all turn to Farrrow and look at him as he is the youngest in the meeting and figure he is the only one who would know how to do that. "Ageism" he thought.

Altandmain , August 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

The problem with the mainstream media calling out Trump is that this is like the pot calling a kettle black. Trump is awful, sure. But so is the corporate media with its pro-war and neoliberal economic agenda.

As Ian Welsh notes, the press is Trump's enemy, not the servant of the people: https://www.ianwelsh.net/the-press-is-trumps-enemy-not-the-lefts-friend/

A case could be made that independent media like Naked Capitalism is doing a key public service. Not the corporate media though, whose main objective is always to maximize advertising revenues and to impose the views of its owners, the very rich, on society.

Lambert Strether , August 18, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Two random comments on this topic:

1) The best justification for giving officials formally out of government clearance on either side of the revolving door is that you may need to call on them for advice. It seems to me that this incentivizes "intelligence" over wisdom. And for wisdom, long experience plus open sources should be enough. (For example, if you want to call in an ex-official on North Korean nukes, they don't really need to know the details of the latest weaponry, or Kim's weight gain, or whatever. That can be explained to them by the customer , as needed. What's really needed is an outside voice -- the role played by an honest consultant -- plus wisdom about power relations on the Korean peninsula. No need for clearance there.)

2) RussiaRussiaRussia has been very profitable, not only personally for the talking heads in the intelligence community but for the press. Removing clearance not only hits the talking heads in the wallet, it disrupts the relation between the press and its network of anonymous sources.


Enquiring Mind, August 18, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Re 2), there seems to be an element of induced demand to support the preponderance of repetitive coverage, somewhat akin to the dopamine manipulation in video games and on social media websites. Bug and feature.

[Sep 06, 2019] While PG E Played a 'Cat and Mouse Game' With California Regulators, Where Was Kamala by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Notable quotes:
"... Back to Kamala. Seems I'm not the only one who's been asking a similar question. Where was Kamala on all this? Now, to be clear, the primary responsibility for regulating the utility falls with the California Public Utilities Commission. But Harris had a potential role to play – one she chose not to. Let's look at one episode in detail, the San Bruno pipeline explosion.In 2010, a natural gas pipeline owned by PG&E exploded. A massive fire ensued, destroying or damaging dozens of homes and other property; eight people died. ..."
"... After the pipeline explosion, the City of San Bruno sued to obtain thousands of emails between PG&E executives and the state's utility regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission. ..."
"... In what became known as the judge shopping scandal , PG&E was granted the administrative judge of its choosing. The company was fined $1 million after the scandal became public, a sanction that critics said was a slap on the wrist for a company with annual revenues of $17 billion. ..."
"... "There is no way for us to know the current status of that ongoing investigation, but she believes that if there is evidence to support them, charges should be filed against any and all bad actors so they can be held fully accountable for their actions," Mr. Harris said. The office of the current attorney general, Xavier Becerra, would not confirm whether an investigation was still open. ..."
"... Willie Brown, a longtime Democratic power broker and a former mayor of San Francisco and speaker of the California Assembly, said in an interview that he has consulted for PG&E for the past decade, and recently approached [California governor Gavin] Newsom with a message that the company paid him to deliver. ..."
"... Mr. Brown declined to give details on the discussion or when it occurred, but said he hoped to continue lobbying for PG&E, even in bankruptcy. ..."
"... Willie Brown isn't the only one generating invoices. I'll mention in passing that PG&E regularly availed itself of the best legal advice it could buy – including the services of Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe – not a name many would normally associate with a recidivist corporate predator (see The New Yorker's Tribe takedown, Did Laurence Tribe Sell Out? ). ..."
"... And finally, Kamala's soft prosecutorial approach to California utilities also extended to California Edison, according to the San Diego Reader, Attorney general Kamala Harris's predictable "malpractice ": ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The Wall Street Journal published a comprehensive story yesterday, U.S. PG&E's Long Record of Run-Ins With Regulators: A 'Cat and Mouse Game, outlining Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) long history of breaking the law with impunity.

This made me wonder: where was Kamala Harris? You know, the person who served as California's attorney general from 2011 through 2017, and touts that experience as grounds to support her presidential candidacy.

Before I answer the question, let me share some gems from the article:

The Wall Street Journal identified repeated instances over 25 years in which PG&E misled regulatory authorities, withheld required information, didn't follow through on promised improvements, engaged in improper back-channel communications with regulators or obstructed an investigation.

The company has paid more than $2.6 billion in state and federal penalties and lawsuit settlements in such cases. While the penalty came to less than $1 million in about a half-dozen of the incidents, it was much more in other cases, some of them involved death and heavy property destruction, and regulators consider all violations that involve safety to be serious matters .

Recall that PG&E has now filed for bankruptcy, for the second time in two decades, for its role in causing wildfires. The company estimates its potential liability from these claims alone at more than $30 billion.

The company has long played its own regulatory game, according to its own rules:

Several close observers of PG&E said they witnessed a pattern of conduct over the years that troubled them because it seemed to violate norms of behavior for California utilities. "PG&E, in comparison to others, stands apart," said Mark Ferron, a former member of the California Public Utilities Commission.

For years, he said, PG&E seemed to play a "cat and mouse game" with regulators of doing what it wanted and waiting to see if it got caught, which he said was unfortunate because the utilities commission "is not a particularly adroit cat."

Catherine J.K. Sandoval, another former utilities commissioner and now a Santa Clara University law professor, said PG&E has "a trust issue and a conduct issue," and it violates rules of conduct so often it amounts to a pattern. "They are definitely the worst" among the utilities she oversaw, she said.

This has stymied regulators, who have failed to find a way to compel the utility to obey the law:

"The commission has tried to rein PG&E in using the traditional tools of regulation -- increasing fines and removal of responsible parties -- and those tools haven't worked," said Darwin Farrar, chief counsel of the state utilities commission's Public Advocates Office, in an email. Mr. Farrar wrote in a July public filing that PG&E "has dealt with the Commission dishonestly."

The utilities commission since 2015 has been studying what to do about PG&E's safety culture. According to state fire officials, its record includes accidentally starting fires that killed 107 people in 2017 and 2018, destroyed 22,000 buildings and burned 350,000 acres.

The WSJ account thoroughly examines multiple lapses by the company, and I encourage interested readers to read the full account (alas, it is paywalled). I'll highlight here just one recent incident:

On July 10, Judge Alsup, overseeing PG&E's federal probation, ordered the company to respond, paragraph by paragraph , to a Journal article saying PG&E long knew it had power lines that could spark fires but failed to perform necessary upgrades to towers and other equipment . The judge told the company to give him a clear answer and not bury him in thousands of pages of records, which he said it had done in the past.

In its response, PG&E acknowledged it had long known its aged high-voltage lines could fail and trigger fires, and had delayed some upgrades to the line that broke in November and sparked the Camp Fire that ravaged the town of Paradise . But PG&E denied it had neglected maintenance, saying the delayed upgrades weren't related to maintenance but rather to design, such as the height of lines above the ground.

Kamala Harris and PG&E – Soft on Utilities

Back to Kamala. Seems I'm not the only one who's been asking a similar question. Where was Kamala on all this? Now, to be clear, the primary responsibility for regulating the utility falls with the California Public Utilities Commission. But Harris had a potential role to play – one she chose not to. Let's look at one episode in detail, the San Bruno pipeline explosion.In 2010, a natural gas pipeline owned by PG&E exploded. A massive fire ensued, destroying or damaging dozens of homes and other property; eight people died.

As The New York Times tells the story in The Political Playbook of a Bankrupt California Utility :

After the pipeline explosion, the City of San Bruno sued to obtain thousands of emails between PG&E executives and the state's utility regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission.

The emails revealed that a PG&E executive complained to the commission about a judge assigned to determine who should pay for pipeline upgrades, a case with major financial consequences.

In what became known as the judge shopping scandal , PG&E was granted the administrative judge of its choosing. The company was fined $1 million after the scandal became public, a sanction that critics said was a slap on the wrist for a company with annual revenues of $17 billion.

Other emails obtained by San Bruno described how company executives socialized and casually discussed company projects with the official meant to be regulating them. A 2010 dinner between a top PG&E lobbyist, Brian Cherry, and Michael Peevey, who was then president of the Public Utilities Commission, took place at Mr. Peevey's vacation home and became famous for the "two bottles of good Pinot" that they drank. Mr. Cherry and two other executives at the company were fired after the emails became public.

Jim Ruane, the former mayor of San Bruno, tried to have the staff of the California attorney general at the time, Kamala Harris, bring charges for what he said was illegal cooperation between the company and regulators.

"They just blew us off," said Britt Strottman, a lawyer who represented San Bruno after the pipeline explosion.

A year later, a state senator, Jerry Hill, wrote to Ms. Harris to renew calls for an investigation.

"The response we got was 'thanks for the letter -- go away,'" Mr. Hill said.

This issue is being reexamined, now that Harris is running for president. Over to The New York Times:

Chris Harris, the head of communications for Ms. Harris, who is now a United States senator and a 2020 presidential candidate, said an investigation was opened while she was attorney general.

"There is no way for us to know the current status of that ongoing investigation, but she believes that if there is evidence to support them, charges should be filed against any and all bad actors so they can be held fully accountable for their actions," Mr. Harris said. The office of the current attorney general, Xavier Becerra, would not confirm whether an investigation was still open.

Ms. Harris did not receive any contributions from PG&E for her successful campaign for Senate, her spokesman said.

Note that while she may not have received any campaign contributions from PG&E, that really doesn't mean much. There need not be any explicit quid pro quo for influence to be deployed – no matter what the United States Supreme Court says. According to The New York Times:

Willie Brown, a longtime Democratic power broker and a former mayor of San Francisco and speaker of the California Assembly, said in an interview that he has consulted for PG&E for the past decade, and recently approached [California governor Gavin] Newsom with a message that the company paid him to deliver.

Mr. Brown declined to give details on the discussion or when it occurred, but said he hoped to continue lobbying for PG&E, even in bankruptcy.

"I hope that they call me because every call generates an invoice," he said.

Willie Brown isn't the only one generating invoices. I'll mention in passing that PG&E regularly availed itself of the best legal advice it could buy – including the services of Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe – not a name many would normally associate with a recidivist corporate predator (see The New Yorker's Tribe takedown, Did Laurence Tribe Sell Out? ).

And finally, Kamala's soft prosecutorial approach to California utilities also extended to California Edison, according to the San Diego Reader, Attorney general Kamala Harris's predictable "malpractice ":

On March 26, 2013, an executive of California Edison, Stephen Pickett, had a clandestine meeting with Michael Peevey , then president of the California Public Utilities Commission, at a hotel in Warsaw, Poland.

At this meeting, Peevey sketched out a strategy for Edison (majority owner of the now-shuttered San Onofre power plant) and San Diego Gas & Electric (minority owner) by which they could pass on the decommissioning costs of closing San Onofre to ratepayers, who had nothing to do with the mismanagement that led to the shutdown. Later, the commission approved a deal, which was very similar to what Peevey had suggested in Warsaw: ratepayers would pick up the tab for a whopping $3.3 billion. (Edison and SDG&E already had among the highest utility rates in the nation.)

The state attorney general's office investigated and recovered the notes from that Warsaw meeting. Those notes were a smoking gun for obstruction of justice. But skeptics guffawed: attorney general Kamala Harris was running for the U.S. Senate. She wouldn't dare cross Peevey pal and fellow Democratic governor Jerry Brown -- whose sister Kathleen has been on Sempra Energy's board of directors since 2013. (Sempra is the parent company of SDG&E.) The skeptics doubted that Harris would actually pursue a prosecution.

The skeptics were right.

Last month, the three-year period of the statute of limitations ran out. Unless the attorney general's office investigates another angle on this case, Peevey, Edison, and Brown will skate. Harris did the same in the case against San Bruno, which suffered the destruction of a neighborhood and several deaths from an explosion that Pacific Gas & Electric will have to throw some money in the pot for. At least, in the San Bruno case, federal investigators have moved in. But "the feds are missing in action" on San Onofre, says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre.

"For her to let the statute go is malpractice," says Aguirre.

Interested readers might also wish to see also this KQED account, Critics Unhappy With Kamala Harris' Approach to San Onofre Probe ; and this report by Capitol Watchdog, Harris Lets Statute Of Limitations On San Onofre Lapse, Defends Brown .

[Sep 06, 2019] Why Kirsten Gillibrand Was The Worst 2020 Candidate by Paul Gottfried

She is Hillary style "kick the can down the road" neoliberal. Neoliberal candidates do not resonate with the USA electorate... This is part of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and the loss of legitimacy of the neoliberal elite. Biden is probably next.
The question is who pushed her into Senate from NY state, which money?
Notable quotes:
"... She's a mean hypocrite---jumping on and off ideological bandwagons like #MeToo only when it's politically convenient. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson characterized her as the "worst candidate to run for any office" on account of her "meanness." This woman of great affluence, in an elegant dress and well-coiffed hair, actually lectured the poor wives of Youngstown, Ohio, factory workers (some of whom may have been unemployed) on the benefits of their "white privilege." ..."
"... What is most offensive about Gillibrand may be less her "meanness" than her blatant hypocrisy and mendacity. Even in a field of dishonest panderers, she stood out as especially obnoxious. And her problems didn't start when she threw her diamonds into the presidential race. ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

She's a mean hypocrite---jumping on and off ideological bandwagons like #MeToo only when it's politically convenient.

... Tucker Carlson characterized her as the "worst candidate to run for any office" on account of her "meanness." This woman of great affluence, in an elegant dress and well-coiffed hair, actually lectured the poor wives of Youngstown, Ohio, factory workers (some of whom may have been unemployed) on the benefits of their "white privilege." Apparently young black men were being arrested at a much higher rate in Youngstown than these women or their children, a situation that may be attributed to differential crime rates but certainly not to any "privilege" that Gillibrand's audience enjoyed.

What is most offensive about Gillibrand may be less her "meanness" than her blatant hypocrisy and mendacity. Even in a field of dishonest panderers, she stood out as especially obnoxious. And her problems didn't start when she threw her diamonds into the presidential race.

For years, Gillibrand served at the beck and call of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and when Hillary exchanged her senatorial office for a cabinet post in the Obama administration, Gillibrand was rewarded with her boss's old seat. In all this time, she never expressed any concerns about Bill's predatory behavior toward women, including his relationship with the young intern Monica Lewinsky. Yet she was outraged by the sexual predations of Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein, helping to launch the #MeToo movement with great fanfare. Since the Clintons were no longer essential to her career , she now dared to suggest that Bill might have resigned following revelations about his affair with Monica. She turned on her fellow Democratic senator (and certified liberal) Al Franken of Minnesota for extremely minor ( and recently revisited ) sexual infractions, forcing his sacrificial resignation. She then predictably went after Trump as a supposed sexual predator. Her #MeToo movement was turned into a Democratic wrecking ball against the GOP.

Among Gillibrand's party services as a supposed feminist was to blast away at Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, in September and October of last year. This action was taken in response to an entirely unsubstantiated accusation that in the 1980s Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a young woman (who had since become a very engaged Democratic activist). But it wasn't until a second woman came forward to accuse Democratic Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault that Gillibrand called for his resignation. Not surprisingly, the standard of proof was infinitely higher for Democrats than for Republicans.

Why Democratic Attacks on Obama Will Boomerang Joe Rogan: The Most Trusted Man in America

Gillibrand certainly wasn't the only distasteful posturer in the Democratic primary race. But she was probably the most indigestible of all the hypocrites. Even hardcore feminists and abortion rights advocates didn't much like her; hence why her poll numbers remained at zero. In her case, even that may have been overly generous.

Paul Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years. He is a Guggenheim recipient and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents .


Mavis Jarvis a day ago

In other words, she was this year's version of Mitt Romney.
Kevin Morgan a day ago
I'm a life long New Yorker from Buffalo. Gillibrand is as phony as a set of purple teeth. It's NYC that keeps putting her in. The rest of the state is more conservative.
Jack 18 hours ago
The "sexism" argument is so stupid. Ask a liberal woman, who believes people rejected HRC because of sexism, if she supported Sara Palin. They will look at you with their head tilted to the side and say "of course not". My reply is always the same: "So you reserve the privilege to reject a candidate based on ideological grounds to yourself, but you don't extend that same privilege to other people who don't support your favored candidate"? These people are so stuck in their ideology that they can't envision how anybody could think differently about anything and as a consequence they must reach for nonsense reasons, like sexism. Or they are just massive hypocrites.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
This article offers a worthy elaboration on key themes in Matthews's article. My blog post addressed those same themes several days earlier, but I was more focused on sexism in Matthews's coverage of Gillibrand. What's amazing about Gillibrand's campaign is not that it failed -- it's that it lasted as long as it did.
Commander_Chico 7 hours ago
She campaigned like she didn't know men can vote, too.
Derek Commander_Chico 3 hours ago
I'm sure that's part of her platform...

[Sep 04, 2019] We will destroy Lebanon... Michael Katz, MoD of Israel in Tweet yesterday - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , 01 September 2019 at 01:02 PM

Sir

I'm willing to wager that Trump will order the US military to enter that war on the side of Bibi.

IMO, Bibi knows Trump is weak to zionist & neocon instigated media hysteria. This will be his "war president" moment. He'll have the full backing of Chuckie and Nancy and the rest of the Congressional crew as AIPAC calls in their check. I recall well in the heat of the Russia Collusion media hysteria when he ordered the missile strike in Syria how the media were calling it his presidential moment.

I believe Bibi for his own domestic political reasons as well as knowing that Trump is a fully bought and paid for Zionist asset has been probing what he can instigate that will cause the US to do his work. My question to this committee of military experts is what will this war look like? How will Syria and Iran respond, since both have an obligation to Hezbollah? And what will Putin do with his forces in the middle of a war zone?

walrus , 01 September 2019 at 01:02 PM
I wonder if the Israeli Government has decided that time is not on their side, leading to a decision to act now?

The game changer for Israel would be the resolution of the Syrian civil war.

That would result in a battle hardened and capable SAA being free to operate along the Southern border and on the flank of any Israeli incursion into Lebanon.

Then there is the possibility of Syria extending its air defense network to include Lebanon.

Then there is the question of money to be made in reconstructing Syria, building transport infrastructure for the Iran to Mediterranean leg of OBOR as well as perhaps other projects- this economic activity increases the political power of Syria, Iran, Lebanon and China.

All in All, perhaps Bibi has decided to go now.

blue peacock , 01 September 2019 at 06:16 PM
Col. Lang

Is there any circumstance that you see where the US will not get militarily involved if thousands are killed in Israel even if it is in response to an Israeli provocation?

It would seem that the pressure on any US president would be immense. Hezbollah after all has been demonized for so long as an Islamic terrorist organization. The support for military intervention here would be universal and bipartisan. And the ziocon media would be in full on escalation propaganda mode showing images of Israeli kids in rubble and malevolent images of the evil Nasrallah.

The likely only opposition voices would be Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan and Tulsi Gabbard and they will be maligned quickly as irrelevant.

Mathias Alexander -> blue peacock... , 02 September 2019 at 02:43 AM
The support would be bipartisan but would it be universal?
Tulsi Gabbard will fold like a cheap suit.
blue peacock said in reply to Mathias Alexander... , 02 September 2019 at 11:38 AM
Universal means the majority across all geographies from the two coasts to the mid-west and south. The people have been conditioned for decades that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.

The only way to judge a person is how they acted in the past under similar conditions. Tulsi has shown courage of conviction in the past in opposing the very popular Obama's Syria policy of supporting & arming Al Qaeda when it was not popular to do that and she's paying for it by being labeled an Assad apologist among the establishment. And resigning from the DNC to endorse Bernie.

Now of course you are entitled to your own opinion which doesn't have to be based on any facts.

jdledell , 01 September 2019 at 06:21 PM
If the IDF general command has any say in the matter they are telling Bibi - DO NOT wage a total war in Lebanon. The only way Israel can keep Hezballah defanged is to occupy most of Lebanon - something the IDF and it reliance on reserve soldiers is NOT equiped to do except for a very short time. Southern Lebanon is crisscrossed with hundreds of tunnels, an issue where IAF saturation bombing proved to be ineffective. The IDF and their tanks were hit with withering fire from the rear and IDF operational discipline broke down quickly. There is no cohesion between the Professional soldiers in the IDF and the reservists and this makes large scale operations very difficult. Among the professional IDF, you would be hard pressed to find a single soldier who wants to fight Hezballah again.

I think Trump would gladly join Israel in a war in Lebanon and that would turn the tide in Israel's favor temporarily. However, Hezballah would not give a moments peace to any Israeli or U.S. soldier on the ground in Lebanon and the entire population of Lebanon would support Hezballah to throw the invaders out of the country. It would be a bloody occupation for however long it lasted.

jdledell said in reply to milomilo... , 02 September 2019 at 09:55 AM
One of my nephews is an F-16 pilot in the IAF and there is significant concerns about Hezballah's limited air defense capabilities. Israeli intelligence on Hezballah's capabililiies and location is very poor. The IAF has lost several planes in Syria in recent years and are loath to fly over Lebanon proper. The usual tactic is for the IAF planes to fly out to sea and fire missiles from there. Without good intelligence the IAF bombing runs usually end up churning up a lot of dirt.
Fred , 01 September 2019 at 08:00 PM
So the IDF has to penetrate the first line, which they barely managed the first time, then they face a second line of prepared defenses? How much recent combat experience do they have? If I recall correctly at least some of the Lebanese have served in Syria in one capacity or another. It certainly wasn't West Bank occupation duty.
ISL , 01 September 2019 at 09:37 PM
Dear Colonel,

It seems as if Israel is ready to re-fight the last war, and Hezbollah has prepared for the next. More importantly, if war is politics by other means, I see no clear Israeli political objectives nor any indication as to why they think a do over of 2006 will lead to a better outcome.

Absent contributing an occupation force for Lebanon, what would US contribute? Bombing targets in Lebanon? Israel will have taken out all significant targets in a few days and long term bombing changes little. I am sure Bolton is whispering in Trumps ear that Hezbollah will surrender once the might of the US enters the fray.

stumpy , 02 September 2019 at 05:20 PM
Given this discussion, it throws a bit more weight on the side of the recent air strikes by IAF in Iraq and Lebanon as an initial nibble, weighing responses from various parties in order to adjust course.

I'm quite confident that there are enough munitions that are deliverable from unmanned systems to waste Hizbulla's defenses.

The question to be weighed is whether Hizbullah can count on Israel's uncertainty as a deterrent to a massive attack against Lebanon. The Samson effect cuts both ways if Iran jumps in. Unless tptb decide to go with theatre-level weaponry, what is left of Israel even if Iran and Lebanon are squashed?

Even more interesting, if Trump jumps in with his typically flaccid braggadocio, does his action endanger Israel by falling short of the killer punch?

turcopolier , 02 September 2019 at 05:36 PM
stumpy

"I'm quite confident that there are enough munitions that are deliverable from unmanned systems to waste Hizbullah's defenses. "

Do you have any qualifications with which to make such a judgment? What unmanned weapons so you mean?

stumpy said in reply to turcopolier ... , 02 September 2019 at 08:01 PM
Sir, cruise missiles and drones. I read.
ISL said in reply to stumpy ... , 04 September 2019 at 12:33 AM
stumpy, If Israeli saturation bombing of Lebanon achieved nothing in 2006 (except defeat), why exactly do you argue it will have an effect this time?

Moreover, there likely will be a highly complex EW environment, with which Israel has no experience. Did you notice at all what happened to the US Tomahawk volley? Those missiles you admire or worship (missiles - what a novel idea), without IDF on the ground for spotters and to consolidate gains (and die) will push dirt.

Try and name ANY case where air power has been decisive politically without ground forces. You cant for a reason.

[Sep 04, 2019] Kiss of Krugman can be fatal for Warren

Notable quotes:
"... What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost . ..."
"... So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise? ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bugs Bunny , September 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Warren has the Acela corridor's backing and that has been expressed in some fawning coverage from the likes of the WaPo and NYT. Krugman has hinted that she's his candidate as well.

Unless something completely untoward happens, expect her to get great reviews in the next debate.

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts liberal like Warren (to me she's very close to Teddy K in her policy views ) motivates enough abstaining voters to beat Trump. Not enough there, there.

inode_buddha , September 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts Liberal represents anyone under $100K/yr let alone understand their lives.

Pelham , September 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Re the polls: Matt Taibbi recently wrote that if Biden lost ground Sanders would be the likely gainer, since Bernie is the second choice for most Biden supporters. But it appears Warren is benefiting as Biden slides.

Too bad. Still, maybe it's just the minority of Biden supporters who pick Warren as their 2nd choice who are bailing on Biden so far. Sanders may still gain if the more hard-core Bidenites begin to leave.

As for Beto's plan to snatch our AK's and AR's, good for him for being so forthright. It's a terrible idea, but one can appreciate the flat-out honesty.

nippersmom , September 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

" the enduring questions surrounding Biden's age and fitness for office may mean Democrats will lack the "safe" choice they have had in the past, whether the candidate has been former Vice President Al Gore in 2000, former U.S. Senator John Kerry in 2004 or Clinton, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in 2008 and 2016."

What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost .

Pat , September 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That and they didn't upset the apple carts of the political consultants and the major donors.

Funnily I think the author is missing several 'safe' candidates still in the running, all of whom might secure the nomination on the second ballot depending on who the superdelegate darling is. All of whom would probably be able to uphold that loss record of the safe candidate.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

I didn't click through to read if it was a joke, but I suspect "safe" for Team Blue types means "a candidate who most assuredly won't be criticized by the Republicans."

Al Gore would blunt whining about the deficit. John Kerry was for a "stronger America."

Hillary was so qualified and had faced all arrows including machine gun fire in Serbia. Yep, those moderate Republicans are going to eliminate the need for Team Blue elites to ever have to worry about the poors again.

Jeff W , September 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Right -- and none of them had the press openly speculating about a lack of cognitive capacity, as is happening with the current "safe" candidate. That's what passes for "safe" these days, I guess.

Also: "Biden's appeal wanes," Gillibrand crashes and burns, Harris "hasn't caught fire," and Black Lives Matter of South Bend calls for Buttigieg to resign as mayor. (What language(s) will "Mayor Pete" give his resignation speech in, one wonders.)

So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise?

cuibono , September 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Warren is the Billionaires way to get Pete B:
https://off-guardian.org/2019/09/03/americas-billionaires-congealing-around-warren-and-buttigieg/

[Sep 04, 2019] Trump can lose Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin (no surprises here), Iowa, and Ohio.

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Mark K , September 3, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Regarding Taegan Goddard's 2020 electoral map: A couple of days ago I got curious as to which are the states that Trump won in 2016, but where there is clearly potential for a Democrat (other than Hillary Clinton!) to defeat him in 2020. It occurred to me that I could use Obama's 2008 vote total in a state as a proxy for how many votes a Democrat could get in that state. Not a perfect measure, I know, but readily available, and might provide some interesting results.

So I identified the states that Trump won, but where Obama actually garnered more votes in that state 8 years prior than Trump did in 2016. There are actually 5 such states:

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin (no surprises here), Iowa, and Ohio. The first four are among Goddard's toss-ups, but oddly Ohio isn't, even though his list also includes Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina, where Trump got more votes than Obama..

Obama won Oho again in 2012, and Sherrod Brown won re-election last year. I would think that, without the vote-suppressing effect of having Clinton as the candidate, Ohio will be in play for the Democrats again in 2020.

Carla , September 3, 2019 at 11:10 pm

"I would think that, without the vote-suppressing effect of having Clinton as the candidate, Ohio will be in play for the Democrats again in 2020.

It depends on WHICH Democrat. Ohioans are hurting, and I think Bernie could take the state. We need change. Not a return to the Obama Quo.

[Sep 04, 2019] Why Kamala Harris Hasn t Caught Fire in the Democratic 2020 Race

She actually is hated by a lot of voters... Mostly for the same reasons as Hillary was hated in 2016.
Sep 04, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

In some ways, Harris risks falling into the same trap that ensnared Rubio in 2016 -- eloquent on the stump, adept at raising money, acceptable across the party spectrum but not loved by enough voters .

NotTimothyGeithner September 3, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Re: Harris and California as an early state.

She still hired a mess of Clintonistas. They aren't exactly the most politically aware people. I think its probably more apt to say she isn't an embarrassment on the stump (Biden or Beto) or comes off as doing a trick to impress her 10th grade English teacher (Buttigieg), but what demand is she filling? She looks like a candidate out of central casting and would be perfect for a background character in a terrible romantic comedy about two politicos from different sides of the aisle.

Harris is the United States Senator from California and has been an ardent champion of . Profit! (South Park reference). The only other legislator with that kind of weight and access to media is New York. In the absence of a show (Mayor Pete), she isn't offering anything.

I would put Gillenbrand in the same category as Harris.

[Sep 04, 2019] What do all those "safe" for DNC candidates have in common?

After turning into the second war party neoliberal Dems do not need to win the elections to get the loot ; they will be royally fed by MIC and Wall Street anyway.
Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

nippersmom , , September 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

" the enduring questions surrounding Biden's age and fitness for office may mean Democrats will lack the "safe" choice they have had in the past, whether the candidate has been former Vice President Al Gore in 2000, former U.S. Senator John Kerry in 2004 or Clinton, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in 2008 and 2016."

What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost .

Pat , September 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That and they didn't upset the apple carts of the political consultants and the major donors.

Funnily I think the author is missing several 'safe' candidates still in the running, all of whom might secure the nomination on the second ballot depending on who the superdelegate darling is. All of whom would probably be able to uphold that loss record of the safe candidate.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

I didn't click through to read if it was a joke, but I suspect "safe" for Team Blue types means "a candidate who most assuredly won't be criticized by the Republicans."

Al Gore would blunt whining about the deficit. John Kerry was for a "stronger America."

Hillary was so qualified and had faced all arrows including machine gun fire in Serbia. Yep, those moderate Republicans are going to eliminate the need for Team Blue elites to ever have to worry about the poors again.

[Sep 04, 2019] Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren: "Monopolist's Worst Nightmare: The Elizabeth Warren Interview" [The American Prospect].

Warren: "Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably."