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

The crises of neoliberalism won’t be solved by more neoliberalism

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 ? Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Israel lobby
Myth about intelligent voter Bait and Switch Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Steele dossier Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM 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 state influence the US Presidential elections ? Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite NeoMcCartyism
Final report of Special procecutorl Mueller 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 Strzokgate Steele dossier Trump vs. Deep State Brennan elections machinations
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

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

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.

In 2016 the election of Trump proved that although is some rare circumnutates the candidate not favored by the elite can win, the elite is able to immaculate him in approximately three month from the moment of inauguration.  In April 2017 Trump ordered air raid on Syria. 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".   Still 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 defeat. 

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 completly different person than Trump2016. Trump2020 displayed blatant contempt for the rule of law and other longstanding republican values, privied us with several public displays of his stupidity, extreme character flaws, and irrefutable evidence of psychological instability. so form one point of view his reelction task is easier, as US people ususally reielect even compelte jerks (Bush II) but from the ofthe point of view is more difficult as now he has a baggage and he lost some important parts of his electiorate and first of all anti-war Republicans and large part of brue collor 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 Capotaism (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.
  2. Corrupt DemoRats. The Guardian pointed out that most Democratic Party candidates such  as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrandare 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 monied interests. It’s telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper’s recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: “We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors.”

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

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

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

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

  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 not has baggage: he proved to be a weak, uneducated, superficial and impulsive politician, He also proved to be  a "national neoliberal" at heart, who lied to his electorate: Republican Obama so to speak. Like Obama he is a 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 an 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 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 consilaroty gentures 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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[Apr 23, 2019] Transactional Trumpism

Apr 23, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Brian 04.21.19 at 2:43 pm

I think the real question is not whether Trump is successful or not. That question is a red herring in American politics today. The real question is whether or not the Democratic "leadership" can allow nomination of a candidate that the Democrat rank and file want. Bernie Sanders should have won the nomination last time. But the superdelegate system gives a literal handful of mandarins the ability to fake the primary process. (I say that as someone who has significant issues with some of Sanders positions.)

Trump won because Hillary was a horrific candidate. Voters stayed home, disgusted. Trump won because the Obama administration didn't deliver hope nor change. He delivered a government of the corporate criminal bankers for them. Middle and working class America got screwed. Black people got screwed worst. Trump won because the utter corruption at the heart of the DNC was exposed for all to see in the emails. Trump win because of the Obama administration making a trade deal top secret classified and trying to force a vote through congress. Not seeing any point in voting, Democrats didnt.

All the evidence since shows the DNC leadership didn't learn anything. They are just as contemptuous of voters, just as manipulative with their window dressing as ever. The Democratic party is the party of endless war even more than the Republicans. It's a party that stopped every effort by Trump to wind down or end war posture with Russia and North Korea. There's now 2 parties in Netanyahu's pocket implementing Likuds insane middle east ideas. Put some solar energy and LGBTQ butter on it with a side of women's rights bullshit and it's "Democrat". But the politicians are just as venal. The legislature just as wildly right wing war mongering.

The 1960's is long over. The Democratic party hasn't seen a new idea since and has converted to govern to the right of Nixon. Way to Nixon's right. The Democratic party is the tool of the Uber-ization of not just America, but the whole world. Flour and break the law to pauperize the working class, and suck money to a few in the SF Bay Area. That's policy now.

You can see it already. Sanders is ahead. But Buttigieg is being anointed. He's the perfect candidate. He's gay! He's out of the closet! And he's a corporate tool who can talk smoothly without speaking a clear word. Best of all, he has ZERO foreign policy experience or positions. So he'll be putty in the hands of the corporations that want endless war for profits. Wall Street wants him. And the street owns the Democratic party. Will he give a flying f*@k about the middle and working class? Will he be anything but another neo-liberal who can be differentiated from a neo-conservative only by mild difference in racism? (Overt vs.covert)

At least Buttigieg isn't Beto O'Rourke, the most completely empty skin in Congress. There's that.

All the evidence I see is no. The Democrat "leadership" don't understand. I predict a Trump win, or else a squeaker election that barely scrapes by with a win.

No matter what, the idiot Democrats won't get it. Pelosi will do her best to cast the Republicans anti-tax anti-government (federal) government culture war in concrete with balanced budget horse manure. The Democrats will continue to force a new cold war on Russia. They will keep backing companies that steal from the middle and working class. (Yes, Uber and Lyft are massive theft operations. They implemented taxi service without licenses. Those licenses cost a lot of money to those who bought them. They put the public at risk causing multiple deaths and assaults from unlicensed taxi drivers.)

Trump's appeal is that he at least talks a game of "f*@k you". Domestically it's all lies on all sides. He lies to everyone. But at least he doesn't lie smoothly like the "good Democrat" candidates do.

Jim Harrison 04.21.19 at 5:17 pm (no link)

Obviously everybody's motives are mixed. The same guys who are calculating the economic advantages of supporting Trump are likely to be cultural nativists too. That said, I think a lot of the traditional Republicans who have come around to heartfelt Trumpism supported him once he got the nomination for rational (zweckrational) reasons. A moderate Democrat like Clinton might not seem like much of a threat, but the era of triangulation is coming to an end no matter who's in charge. The imperative problems of the times -- drastic inequality, economic stagnation, a train wreck of a health care system, climate change -- will have to be faced with measures deeply threatening to the existing order of things, especially since sheer demography is undermining the white Christian base of right-wing politics. Under the circumstances, the only way to defend privilege is to embrace some kind of craziness. The incompetence of the administration and the decline of American power and prestige that goes with it are a trade-off. In any case, though Trump may be worse than necessary, any conservative government will necessarily oversee the debasement of the country in the name of race and religion. As Molly Bloom once murmured, "as well him as another."
eg 04.21.19 at 5:30 pm ( 25 )
I don't believe a whole lot of thought goes into, "I'm for Team Coke because it's not Team Pepsi"

So put me down for #4 and #6 above

Lee A. Arnold 04.22.19 at 1:22 pm (no link)
jim harrison #24: "Under the circumstances, the only way to defend privilege is to embrace some kind of craziness. The incompetence of the administration and the decline of American power and prestige that goes with it are a trade-off."

I think you've put it in a nutshell. But the recognition of this particular thought is prevented in the minds of conservatives, both upper and lower class, by an opposing thought. The conservative logic is that defending privilege is scientifically proper. It is to defend the material hierarchy in which you, yourself, may ascend on your own merits as a productive successful individual. Privilege is not simply "I got mine, so you get yours": it is conservatives' presumed key to capitalism's overall success, thus to defend privilege is to defend the US's status as the world's strongest, most vibrant economy.

There are several reasons why this law of the jungle may no longer remain operational in the US, and they started before Trump 's hastening of US decline. If these reasons ever dawn upon the lower-class conservatives, that awakening may not come yet for 10 or 20 years as the unavoidable bills become due and global financial markets begin to divest from the US as if it were a money-loser. In the meantime the upper class will have taken its money offshore, as foreign economies grow and liberalize investment. Thus it is that neoliberals (in Quinn Slobodian's particular description, of a free-floating globalized financial class that manipulates local national policies) can cut themselves free of the US as it descends further into stratified poverty and brutality. The elites, simply by following the financial markets, will gut the US.

Your quote describes a trade-off that is a vicious circle. It looks impossible to break unless there is a generally agreed-upon rewrite of political economy. I repeat "generally agreed-upon", because the real need is to change a big social preference, and as economists say,"preferences are exogenous", meaning they are prior to the application of the toolkit of modern economics. The US was the first large advanced capitalist country, and it may become the first large advanced democratic socialist country if it is to avoid fascism.

Uncle Jeffy 04.22.19 at 2:05 pm (no link)
Happy Charles Krauthammer Day!

In Memoriam, of course. But his brilliant insight (that there were WMDs in Iraq, and all we needed was a little more time to find them) will live on forever ..

Jay 04.22.19 at 11:43 pm (no link)
or maybe they weren't eager for World War 3 with Russia over Syria or the Ukraine?

I voted for Trump after previously voting for Ralph Nader. And Obama proved beyond a doubt that Nader was right. Meanwhile Trump has done exactly what I hoped he would do; he has shown that our entire election system is rigged by the CIA (obviously not very thoroughly rigged). Like or hate Trump, only a traitor would not be concerned that the CIA is giving marching order to the media and colluding to derail candidates it does not approve of.

Unless a "democrat" stands up who is willing to talk about unconstitutional wars, unconstitutional bailouts, unconstitutional surveillance and unconstitutional rigging of the two major parties, Trump is far better because he is forcing the public to see how corrupt DC is. We have been in a constitutional crisis since at least the 1990's. Of course if you are too weak and stupid to handle any of that discussion, just bury your head and pretend that "racism" is the only reason Trump won.

bruce wilder 04.23.19 at 12:21 am (no link)
Reading the post and comments, I can help but feel the entire agenda is about feeling good about one's own political fecklessness. The abject moral and economic failures of left-neoliberalism / lesser evilism Democratic Party politics are staring at you. And, you are projecting that outward as if Trump is a failure of the Republican Party and its politics!
J-D 04.23.19 at 4:25 am (no link)
Jay

Trump has done exactly what I hoped he would do; he has shown that our entire election system is rigged by the CIA (obviously not very thoroughly rigged).

If you mean that (as a result of Trump's election) most people in the US now believe that that your entire election system is rigged by the CIA, then you're wrong: most people in the US do not believe that your entire election system is rigged by the CIA. On the other hand, you can't mean that as a result of Trump's election you now believe that to be true, because (on your own say-so) you already believed it to be true before Trump's election.

If you mean that as a result of Trump's election you feel justified in priding yourself on having superior insight to the poor dupes who still believe in the system, then I would believe that's how you feel; but perhaps that's not what you mean. I hope that's not what you mean.

Trump is far better because he is forcing the public to see how corrupt DC is

No, the number of people who did not believe that DC was corrupt before Trump but who have come to believe that it is corrupt because of Trump is so small as to be insignificant.

likbez 04.23.19 at 5:58 am (no link)
@Brian 04.21.19 at 2:43 pm ( 18)

First of all thank you for your post. You insights are much appreciated. Some comments:

The real question is whether or not the Democratic "leadership" can allow nomination of a candidate that the Democrat rank and file want.

In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination. And Democratic leadership mainly consists of "CIA-democrats"

Trump won because Hillary was a horrific candidate. Voters stayed home, disgusted. Trump won because the Obama administration didn't deliver hope nor change. He delivered a government of the corporate criminal bankers for them. Middle and working class America got screwed. Black people got screwed worst. Trump won because the utter corruption at the heart of the DNC was exposed for all to see in the emails.

This is a very apt description of reasons for which Trump had won, but anti-war sentiments played also important role and probably should be added to the list. People with neocon foreign policy platform might face hard wing in 2020 as well too. That does not means that voters will not be betrayed again like in case of Trump and Obama, but still

The Democratic party is the party of endless war even more than the Republicans. It's a party that stopped every effort by Trump to wind down or end war posture with Russia and North Korea. There's now 2 parties in Netanyahu's pocket implementing Likuds insane middle east ideas. Put some solar energy and LGBTQ butter on it with a side of women's rights bullshit and it's "Democrat". But the politicians are just as venal. The legislature just as wildly right wing war mongering.

True. But in 2020 that might be their undoing. That's why this corrupt gang is more afraid of Tulsi more then of Trump.

In general the level of crisis of neoliberalism will play important role in 2002 elections, especially if the economy slows down in 2020. Wheels might start coming off the neoliberal cart in 2020; that's why Russiagate hysteria serves as an "insurance policy". It helps to cement the cracks in the neoliberal façade, or at least to attribute them to the chosen scapegoat.

One good thing that Trump has done (beside criminal justice reform) is that he helped to discredit neoliberal media. That effort should be applauded. He really turned the Twitter into a razor to slash neoliberal MSMs.

[Apr 22, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Proposes Wiping Out Almost Everyone's Student Debt

Apr 22, 2019 | www.huffpost.com

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a wide-ranging plan to fix the U.S. college system, with proposals including making two-year and four-year public college free and expanding the size and scope of the federal Pell Grant program. And one particularly radical idea is sure to grab the attention of young people around the country: wiping out student loan debt for the vast majority of American borrowers. "The time for half-measures is over," Warren, one of many politicians and public figures hoping to secure the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, wrote in a post published Monday on Medium. "My broad cancellation plan is a real solution to our student debt crisis. It helps millions of families and removes a weight that's holding back our economy." Last year, outstanding student debt in the U.S. topped $1.5 trillion , a growing financial burden that Warren argues is "crushing millions of families and acting as an anchor on our economy." "It's reducing home ownership rates," she wrote. "It's leading fewer people to start businesses. It's forcing students to drop out of school before getting a degree. It's a problem for all of us." To address the problem, Warren is suggesting what she calls a "truly transformational" approach: wiping out $50,000 in student loan debt for anyone with a household income below $100,000. People with student loans and a household income between $100,000 and $250,000 would receive substantial relief as well. At that point, "the $50,000 cancellation amount phases out by $1 for every $3 in income above $100,000," Warren wrote.

[Apr 22, 2019] Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'

This memorable statement is at 3:53 ;-)
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com

JR says: April 22, 2019 at 6:27 am

One would be naive to expect any truth from Pompeo. Self satisfied creature considers this funny too. How deep can one sink..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsnAR3yqfQ0

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

Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

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

JILL COLVIN - Associated Press - April 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

[Apr 22, 2019] Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent. The very rich are richer than people imagine.

Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , April 18, 2019 at 04:22 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/opinion/bernie-sanders-tax.html

April 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent
The very rich are richer than people imagine.
By Paul Krugman

A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns. The odd thing was that the returns appear to be perfectly innocuous. So what was all that about?

The answer seems to be that Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent. Indeed, some journalists did try to make his income an issue.

This line of attack is, however, deeply stupid. Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they're unlikely to need aren't being hypocrites; if anything, they're demonstrating their civic virtue.

But failure to understand what hypocrisy means isn't the only way our discourse about politics and inequality goes off the rails. The catchphrase "the 1 Percent" has also become a problem, obscuring the nature of class in 21st-century America.

Focusing on the top percentile of the income distribution was originally intended as a corrective to the comforting but false notion that growing inequality was mainly about a rising payoff to education. The reality is that over the past few decades the typical college graduate has seen only modest gains, with the big money going to a small group at the top. Talking about "the 1 Percent" was shorthand for acknowledging this reality, and tying that reality to readily available data.

But putting Bernie Sanders and the Koch brothers in the same class is obviously getting things wrong in a different way.

True, there's a huge difference between being affluent enough that you don't have to worry much about money and living with the financial insecurity that afflicts many Americans who consider themselves middle class. According to the Federal Reserve, 40 percent of U.S. adults don't have enough cash to meet a $400 emergency expense; a much larger number of Americans would be severely strained by the kinds of costs that routinely arise when, say, illness strikes, even for those who have health insurance.

So if you have an income high enough that you can easily afford health care and good housing, have plenty of liquid assets and find it hard to imagine ever needing food stamps, you're part of a privileged minority.

But there's also a big difference between being affluent, even very affluent, and having the kind of wealth that puts you in a completely separate social universe. It's a difference summed up three decades ago in the movie "Wall Street," when Gordon Gekko mocks the limited ambitions of someone who just wants to be "a $400,000-a-year working Wall Street stiff flying first class and being comfortable."

Even now, most Americans don't seem to realize just how rich today's rich are. At a recent event, my CUNY colleague Janet Gornick was greeted with disbelief when she mentioned in passing that the top 25 hedge fund managers make an average of $850 million a year. But her number was correct.

One survey found that Americans, on average, think that corporate C.E.O.s are paid about 30 times as much as ordinary workers, which hasn't been true since the 1970s. These days the ratio is more like 300 to 1.

Why should we care about the very rich? It's not about envy, it's about oligarchy.

With great wealth comes both great power and a separation from the concerns of ordinary citizens. What the very rich want, they often get; but what they want is often harmful to the rest of the nation. There are some public-spirited billionaires, some very wealthy liberals. But they aren't typical of their class.

The very rich don't need Medicare or Social Security; they don't use public education or public transit; they may not even be that reliant on public roads (there are helicopters, after all). Meanwhile, they don't want to pay taxes.

Sure enough, and contrary to popular belief, billionaires mostly (although often stealthily) wield their political power on behalf of tax cuts at the top, a weaker safety net and deregulation. And financial support from the very rich is the most important force sustaining the extremist right-wing politics that now dominates the Republican Party.

That's why it's important to understand who we mean when we talk about the very rich. It's not doctors, lawyers or, yes, authors, some of whom make it into "the 1 Percent." It's a much more rarefied social stratum.

None of this means that the merely affluent should be exempt from the burden of creating a more decent society. The Affordable Care Act was paid for in part by taxes on incomes in excess of $200,000, so 400K-a-year working stiffs did pay some of the cost. That's O.K.: They (we) can afford it. And whining that $200,000 a year isn't really rich is unseemly.

But we should be able to understand both that the affluent in general should be paying more in taxes, and that the very rich are different from you and me ­ -- and Bernie Sanders. The class divide that lies at the root of our political polarization is much starker, much more extreme than most people seem to realize.

anne -> anne... , April 18, 2019 at 04:35 PM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=nEQS

January 30, 2018

Real Disposable Personal Income and Real Median Weekly Earnings, 1980-2018

(Indexed to 1980)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=nEQX

January 30, 2018

Real Disposable Personal Income and Real Median Weekly Earnings, 1988-2018

(Indexed to 1988)

JohnH -> anne... , April 18, 2019 at 06:13 PM
The usual media suspects, the Trump-Putin conspiracy crowd, ignored this: Bernie was a smashing success on FoxNews Bethlehem, Pa townhall.
veryone agrees: Bernie Sanders' Fox News appearance was a major success.

"Sanders takes on Fox -- and emerges triumphant," proclaimed Politico. Vice judged Bernie's appearance "victorious." The Washington Post opined that Bernie's stellar performance "suggest[s] that [Trump] can, indeed, be beaten." The Atlantic, usually eager to declare that Bernie has blundered, conceded that "it paid off."

But most coverage restricts its analysis to Sanders' 2020 election prospects, overlooking the true significance of the event. It's not just that he's willing to make a pitch to Fox's viewership and thus stands a better chance at winning the presidency -- it's that the Right could lose some of the working-class support it doesn't deserve, a process that could easily snowball out of their control."
https://jacobinmag.com/2019/04/berni-sanders-town-hall-fox-news

And when Bernie asked the crowd if they would exchange their company health care plan for M4A, the crowd went nuts.

Of course, Krugman, Pelosi, and the corrupt, centrist Democratic establishment will continue to assure us that 'people are happy with their corporate coverage." BS!!!

The 'no, we can't' crowd here will undoubtedly assure us that 'sure, they'd love universal coverage, but it's not politically feasible.' They need to watch the Fox Town Hall. If it's not feasible, then it's because Democrats don't want it (in deference to insurance companies,) not because it's not feasible.

JohnH -> ken melvin... , April 18, 2019 at 10:14 PM
No surprise there. In geopolitics, one bad deed deserves another...US constantly interfering in others' politics, too. Sadly, Democrats will seize on this to push for confrontation with Russia. Question is, what do they want, nuclear war?

What's sickly ironic to me is that Democrats could care less about the security of the voting system, even after the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004.. Why is it OK for billionaires and corporation to rig electronic voting machines against Democrats? Where was a Mueller Commission back then?

Personally, I think that billionaires' election theft is much more effective and consequenctial than any Russian meddling, which was probably not that effective anyway.

JohnH -> ken melvin... , April 18, 2019 at 10:34 PM
Sanders has clearly demonstrated what resonates with progressive voters...and even with many Fox viewers.

But Pelosi and the corrupt Democratic establishment ignore that...and can't even come up with any coherent message or an appealing agenda at all. Instead, they insist on continuously replaying Hillary's sour grapes. What is the point? How many votes will Hillary's bitterness get for Democrats?

[Apr 22, 2019] Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying he obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election

That's a third Warren blunder after reparations blunder and Indian heritage blunder. She might be out of the race soon...
Does not she understand that impeachment of Trump means President Pence? What is idiotic statement. She is definitely no diplomat and as such does not belong to WH.
Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 09:23 AM

Elizabeth Warren calls for impeachment
proceedings against President Trump
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/04/19/elizabeth-warren-calls-for-impeachment-proceedings-against-president-trump/yWVMo0TSkBeuYDSSeBuP5L/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Danny McDonald - April 19, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying he obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Warren became the first of the Democratic presidential candidates to unambiguously call for impeachment proceedings. Most senior Democrats in Congress have stopped far short of it following the delivery of Mueller's 448-page report.

"The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,'' the Massachusetts Democrat said on Twitter. "That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States."

Also Friday, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for an unredacted version of Mueller's report as Congress escalates its investigation. Trump and other Republicans dismissed the report's findings.

The redacted version of Mueller's report details multiple efforts Trump made to curtail a Russia probe he feared would cripple his administration. While Mueller declined to recommend that Trump be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate the president, all but leaving the question to Congress.

The report stated, "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she doesn't support impeachment without bipartisan backing because it would be too divisive for the nation She signaled she wanted the House to continue to fulfill its constitutional oversight role.

''We believe that the first article -- Article 1, the legislative branch -- has the responsibility of oversight of our democracy, and we will exercise that,'' she said in Belfast on Friday.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said, ''It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.'' He expects the Justice Department to comply by May 1.

On Twitter Friday, Warren said the report "lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack."

She said Mueller "put the next step in the hands of Congress," adding in another tweet that "[t]o ignore a President's repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways."

According to a Warren aide, the senator started to read the Mueller report Thursday during a plane ride back to Boston following campaign stops in Colorado and Utah.

Warren, according to the aide, felt it was her duty to say what she thought after reading the report but does not plan to emphasize impeachment on the campaign trail.

Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist who is not connected to any presidential campaign, said Warren has been the first Democratic candidate to stake out numerous policy stances during the campaign. Her impeachment statement will force everyone else running for president to take a position, Marsh said.

"More often than not the field is reacting to her positions," she said.

Warren's call for impeachment proceedings, Marsh said, "shows she's willing to lead."

"She's willing to make the hard calls," Marsh said.

After the Mueller report's release, Trump pronounced it ''a good day'' and tweeted ''Game Over.'' Top Republicans in Congress saw vindication in the report as well. On Friday, Trump was even more blunt, referring to some statements about him in the report as "total bullshit."

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said it was time to move on and said Democrats were attempting to ''vilify a political opponent.'' The California lawmaker said the report failed to deliver the ''imaginary evidence'' incriminating Trump that Democrats had sought. ...

Now, liberals are pressing the House to begin impeachment hearings, and the issue is cropping up on the presidential campaign trail.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat who is running for president, was asked Friday if Trump should be impeached as he made an appearance at a Stop & Shop union picket line in Malden .

"I think that Congress needs to make that decision," he said. "I think he may well deserve it, but my focus, since I'm not part of Congress, but I am part of 2020, is to give him a decisive defeat at the ballot box, if he is the Republican nominee in 2020."

On Friday, Julián Castro, a former housing secretary running for the Democratic nomination, said he thought "it would be perfectly reasonable'' for Congress to open impeachment proceedings.

Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who is running for president, told MSNBC on Thursday that she also thinks Mueller should testify. When asked about impeachment proceedings, she told that outlet, "I think that there's definitely a conversation to be had on that subject, but first I want to hear from Bob Mueller."

Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator running for president, was asked about impeachment during a campaign trip to Nevada. Specifically in regard to impeachment, he said, ''There's a lot more investigation that should go on before Congress comes to any conclusions like that.''

In the House, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is now signed on to an impeachment resolution from fellow Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

But senior leaders remain cool to the idea.

Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the number two in the House Democratic leadership, told CNN on Thursday, "Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point." However, Hoyer quickly revised his comments, saying "all options are on the table."

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 11:11 AM
Let the impeachment circus begin.

We need to get to the bottom of a special counsel calling the president a "criminal" having gotten no indictments!

Let each topic be examined and witnesses deposed in the house live on C-SPAN! With questions from both sides.

There will be only take one vote in the senate to fail, but we need to get to the bottom of Mueller's untoward remarks in the report.

From the little I read it seems the report, in tone at least, despises fact and is politically motivated.

[Apr 21, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter If our leaders media want to protect our elections, not just score political pts, first most imp

Apr 21, 2019 | twitter.com

If our leaders & media want to protect our elections, not just score political pts, first & most important thing we must do is institute b/up paper ballots by passing my Securing America's Elections Act so no one can manipulate our votes & hack our elections

[Apr 21, 2019] Tulsi Pushes Forward

Apr 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

apenultimate on Sat, 04/20/2019 - 2:45pm Hello All,

First, in response to others saying Leftists should support Bernie unless they have an adversity to winning elections, I propose a couple of thoughts. The first is this link showing Jimmy Carter's status in the Democratic primary race through June of 1975--he's almost exactly where Tulsi is right now in polling, and guess what? He won against the giants of his time.

Carter 6-9 months before first 1976 primaries

At this point, my advice is to support who you think is best, not who someone tells you is the only realistic choice.

Here is another factoid for the caucuses/primaries--candidates who do not get at least 15% of the votes do not get any delegates. Think of the strategic ramificaitons of that for a few minutes. Assuming Biden enters the race, many of the Harris, Booker, O'Rourke, Buttigieg level of candidates do not poll above 15% in many (or any) states, but if they remain in the race, it depresses Biden's results. There are a lot of potential various outcomes there depending on how things play out, and Tulsi staying in the race is not a major factor at this point.

In the past week, Tusli has made 8 stops in Iowa and 4 stops (including 1 today) in New Hampshire on the campaign trail. Good to see her get out and stumping in the early states.

Some very good media things going on. Tulsi was on FOX News with Brett Baier, and she handled it really well. As he tried to talk over her and twist her words, she essentially just talked over him:

Kyle Kulinski show about Tulsi on FOX News

Also, here is a good review of Tulsi's defense of Ilhan Omar:

The Michael Brooks Show

Niko House highlighted Tulsi re-introducing her Off Act and contrasting it with the unactionable Green New Deal:

Niko House

Finally, Tulsi will be on Jimmy Dore today (if she has not been already). Look for that interview on YouTube in the upcoming week.

In two recent national polls--Emerson and Morning Consult--Tulsi is polling at 1%. This is important as a second potential placement for the televised Democratic debates (needing to poll at 1% or greater in at least 3 national or early primary state polls). If there end up being more than 20 candidates with 65,000 unique donors or polling at least 1% in 3 polls, they will allow only candidates that met both criteria. Tulsi seems to be there at this point--including the 2 national polls above, and getting 2% in the last Nevada poll.

[Apr 21, 2019] Has Elizabeth Warren pushed the anti Russian crap? That would bother me as we have been the aggressor with Russia and that is really dangerous.

Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

FincaInTheMountains April 20, 2019 at 10:17 am #

Elizabeth Warren is beginning the calls impeachment. Time to clean the Augean stables

Elizabeth Warren managed to fail a DNA test, for crying out loud. How one could possibly do that?

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 10:47 am #

She did not fail a DNA test, she was told that she was part American Indian by her family which turned out to be not true. Big fucking deal!

She created the Consumer Protection Agency which is a great accomplishment for the American people.

Can you name one thing the Republicans have done for the middle class that comes close to what she did?

elysianfield April 20, 2019 at 11:17 am #

"Can you name one thing the Republicans have done for the middle class that comes close to what she did?"

James,
Uhhhh, War on Drugs comes to mind. Might have kept the barbarians from the gates for a few decades and provided for a lot of living wage jobs.

malthuss April 20, 2019 at 11:41 am #

Big fucking deal! yes it is a big deal, dummy.

a real big deal.

The horrors of AA (Affirmative Action) compounded by cheating.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

I think the ancestry scandal is about as important as wearing white pants after Labor day.

You are far too partisan, you ignore the creation of the CPA and all the benefits it give the public when Republicans at this very moment are looking to loosen the Pay Day Loan lending rules.

I guess a 1400% interest rate is just not enough, do you support the loan sharks and rip off banks? Yes or No.

What does Alcoholics Anonymous have to do with Elizabeth Warren?

hmuller April 21, 2019 at 11:39 am #

By AA he meant Affirmative Action, not Alcoholics Anonymous. Although people with lots of Native American DNA often have drinking problems. prudence would dictate "don't sell whiskey and guns to Elizabeth Warren."

benr April 20, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

Look at the spin machine in action. She used the benefits of lying about her American Indian ancestry to further her career and derive perks. We all know it. AA is a joke and utter reverse racism in action.

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

No, she kept pushing it even to the point of claiming that her genetic result of 1/1024 Indian proved her claim. The lack of judgement -- both technical and political -- is simply astounding. Then she apologized to the Cherokee for pretending to be one of them since she doesn't meet the tribal criterion. To my knowledge she has never back off her claim beyond that -- and never apologized to Whites for trying to get out of OUR Tribe, the one she was born into.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

I always try to look at the big picture, the whole episode was foolish but she harmed no one and gained nothing.

Has she pushed the anti Russian crap? That would bother me as we have been the aggressor with Russia and that is really dangerous.

As we speak nuclear armed bombers are flying daily close the the Russian borders and Russia has to scramble jets to ward them off. One pissed off Russian fighter pilot and there goes the world!

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

She is pushing for criminalizing White Nationalism -- as if We aren't persecuted enough already. Foolishness to the nth degree. Whites have been amazing passive as their Nation has been stolen from them. And those who make peaceful change impossible ..

Dude, she's a monster. Another Hillary Clinton.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm #

Now you are exaggerating, nobody is as disgusting as Hillary.

hmuller April 21, 2019 at 11:42 am #

James Hansen, at last you said something I can fully agree with:

"nobody is as disgusting as Hillary."

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

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

likbez , April 21, 2019 11:15 pm

Pgl,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the following

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , April 20, 2019 2:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

likbez , April 20, 2019 1:12 pm

Arne,

April 20, 2019 11:15 am

"Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration"

They did screw up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 21, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

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

[Apr 21, 2019] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Apr 20, 2019] Joe Biden deals with Ukraine and his sons kickbacks are being questioned

Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

TJ , Apr 20, 2019 4:44:34 PM | link

A different Russian collusion story debunked.

EU finds no 'evidence' Kaspersky Lab software spies for Russia, despite claims by US

Meanwhile Joe Biden deals with Ukraine and his sons kickbacks are being questioned.

Joe Biden's 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

[Apr 20, 2019] $1 Million Trump Campaign Sees Donations Spike After Mueller Report Released

Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Following the highly anticipated public release of the ( 10% redacted ) Mueller report, donations to President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign spiked by over $1 million, according to Trump campaign COO Michael Glassner.

... ... ...

It's clear the Trump camp is in celebration mode as it now turns to "investigating the investigators."

[Apr 20, 2019] The reduction in foreign adventurism under Trump is primarily due to the paralysis of his administration, from being so widely distrusted.

Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Ptb , April 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm

They ask some interesting questions.

In my opinion, Trump is effectively quite a bit less militarist, overseas, than this predecessors. This despite the truly alarming rhetoric.

But the reduction in foreign adventurism is primarily due to the paralysis of his administration, from being so widely distrusted.

The benefit, if you can call it that, is that the mask is off now (at least from the point of view of some allies who were willing to look the other way under Bush and Obama). What is/was under the mask hasn't changed, and is not likely to in this generation of policy-makers.

And domestically Trump is without a doubt militarist. We have industrial scale child abuse at the border, as the cruelest and most obvious example. A generation of ever more conservative judges is set to defend such practices. Defense contractors enjoy the best access to unde executive branch. And even the so called resistance spends their days worshipping the national security agencies, and encouraging jingoist paranoia.

Another 10 years of this and the budding police state, that's been coming together since Bush, will be fully grown.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm

In my opinion, Trump is effectively quite a bit less militarist, overseas, than this predecessors. This despite the truly alarming rhetoric.

I disagree because each new President doesn't start from day 1. Low hanging fruit and lessons the Russians and Chinese learned in light of Libya (which is the U.S. is run by dangerous children) have altered world structures. At the same time, wunder weapons which deployed against Iraq 2003 aren't as wonderful against stronger targets.

The Coalition in the Gulf War included the USSR. This was world wide undertaking and example of phenomenal cooperation, and even then the Iraqis largely withdrew at the start of ground hostitlities, ignoring a chance for a major counter attack, after 6 months of bombing and a decade long war. The 2003 war was possible with as few troops because Iraq was a disaster from an additional 10 years of sanctions and pre-positioned bases and no fly zones. Many Iraqi soldiers and Baath officers assumed the U.S. would arrive and embarrassed into leaving when no WMDs were found and leave after killing/arresting Hussein.

A country like Iran is several magnitudes of difference. The at the time publicized Millenium War Games demonstrated a major U.S. assault on Iran would end in disaster. The recent warming of relations with North Korea is a direct result of South Korean elections where almost 80% of votes were cast for "peace" candidates. Without the South Koreans, attacking North Korea is out of the question. I think about Obama's dismissing of Russia as a regional power. This is true. Its just that Obama seemed to not understand Russia was concerned about issues in their region. The U.S. might be lashing out rhetoric wise and running special operations in weaker areas of Africa, but much of the actual foreign policy situation has been determined because the low hanging fruit is gone. The Venezuela operation was expected to be done by defecting Venezuelan soldiers, and now that has passed, we are passing additional sanctions on Cuba largely to show how tough we are.

Ptb , April 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm

I'm taking 'militarist' to mean, first of all, direct body count, or number of people displaced due to wars we started. Right now it looks like by the end of 2020, the Trump admin will come in behind both GW Bush and Obama administrations by these measures.

Maybe if the Boltons and Pompeos of the world had their way, we would have weekly cruise missile strikes on Iran, full economic sanctions on China, and anyone involved in the ICC would be captured and 'renditioned' to Guantanamo bay.

But I don't think they have the trust of enough of the US govt to do it. These guys are so plainly insane, their agenda so over the top aggressive, that it becomes self defeating. Not exactly comforting, but it's what we got.

Synoia , April 19, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Q: It Trump for Detente of Militarism?
A: Yes. Whatever works.

[Apr 20, 2019] The Anti-Sanders Press Influenced the 2016 Primary. Will It Do the Same Again naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp has demonstrated an almost monomaniacal focus on 'winning' to the exclusion of all else. ..."
"... If Sanders splits the Democrat Party, he will be handing Trump a second term, but laying the groundwork for a reformed and restored Democrat Party in later campaigns. If Sanders toes the line and supports Clinton for a second run, he will also be basically handing Trump a second term. (Unless something catastrophic happens between now and the election. Those Black Swans will pop up out of nowhere, as is their wont.) ..."
"... The Clinton phenomenon shows up a basic flaw in politics. Concentration of political power, no matter how effected, will end up in ruin. What is so sad is that the Clintons are not unique, but exemplars of a perennial trend; corruption, both personal and public. ..."
"... While I certainly don't doubt that the Clintonistas are banking on that strategy, it's dependent on all the not-Bernie candidates happily playing along being cannon fodder to stop Bernie. ..."
"... The present top predator class's basic mistake is a common one. After a string of success's, no group seriously considers the fact that nothing is permanent. That would bring the groups self identity as being "Exceptional" into doubt. Hopefully, this present apex predator class will suffer the same malign fate as have all others who have gone before. ..."
"... The Sanders staff and supporters and well-wishers should think about how to re-engineer Trump's "fake news" schtick as much or as little to be able to use it for the Sanders' Campaigns own self-defense and protection. ..."
"... Where is the congressional investigation of the role the press played in "the disinformation campaign against the American people and their presidential election of 2016?" now THAT would be news worthy. ..."
"... Some us remember that WaPo published 16 negative pieces on Bernie in 16 hours during the run up to the last election. By those standards, "our famously free press" is only getting warmed up but the electorate is ready this time. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

But let's start with a national problem in the 2016 election -- the role of the press in trying to make sure, to the extent it could, that Bernie Sanders would lose to Hillary Clinton. One of the best sources of information for this is Thomas Frank's long-form examination " Swat Team: The media's extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform ," written for the November 2016 issue of Harper's Magazine . (Unless you're a Harper's subscriber, the article is paywalled. An archived version can be found here .)

Frank states his goal: "My project in the pages that follow is to review the media's attitude toward yet a third politician, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year. By examining this recent history, much of it already forgotten, I hope to rescue a number of worthwhile facts about the press's attitude toward Sanders. Just as crucially, however, I intend to raise some larger questions about the politics of the media in this time of difficulty and transition (or, depending on your panic threshold, industry-wide apocalypse) for newspapers."

His examination of the "press's attitude toward Sanders" produces a striking discovery:

I have never before seen the press take sides like they did this year, openly and even gleefully bad-mouthing candidates who did not meet with their approval.

This shocked me when I first noticed it. It felt like the news stories went out of their way to mock Sanders or to twist his words, while the op-ed pages, which of course don't pretend to be balanced, seemed to be of one voice in denouncing my candidate. A New York Times article greeted the Sanders campaign in December by announcing that the public had moved away from his signature issue of the crumbling middle class. "Americans are more anxious about terrorism than income inequality," the paper declared -- nice try, liberal, and thanks for playing. In March, the Times was caught making a number of post-publication tweaks to a news story about the senator, changing what had been a sunny tale of his legislative victories into a darker account of his outrageous proposals. When Sanders was finally defeated in June, the same paper waved him goodbye with a bedtime-for-Grandpa headline, HILLARY CLINTON MADE HISTORY, BUT BERNIE SANDERS STUBBORNLY IGNORED IT.

Frank marshalls much data to support his claims. I'll leave you to examine those details for yourself.

"Defining Sanders Out"

Frank then turns to the question of why this occurred (emphasis mine below):

I think that what befell the Vermont senator at the hands of the Post should be of interest to all of us. For starters, what I describe here represents a challenge to the standard theory of liberal bias. Sanders was, obviously, well to the left of Hillary Clinton, and yet that did not protect him from the scorn of the Post -- a paper that media-hating conservatives regard as a sort of liberal death squad. Nor was Sanders undone by some seedy journalistic obsession with scandal or pseudoscandal. On the contrary, his record seemed remarkably free of public falsehoods, security-compromising email screwups, suspiciously large paychecks for pedestrian speeches, escapades with a comely staffer, or any of that stuff.

An alternative hypothesis is required for what happened to Sanders, and I want to propose one that takes into account who the media are in these rapidly changing times. As we shall see, for the sort of people who write and edit the opinion pages of the Post , there was something deeply threatening about Sanders and his political views . He seems to have represented something horrifying, something that could not be spoken of directly but that clearly needed to be suppressed.

That threat was to their own status as insider Ivy League–educated friends-of-people-with-power, especially Democratic Party power, which had aligned itself with the upper 10%, the professional class, against the lower 90%, the great unwashed.

In Bernie Sanders and his "political revolution" I believe these same people saw something kind of horrifying: a throwback to the low-rent Democratic politics of many decades ago . Sanders may refer to himself as a progressive, but to the affluent white-collar class, what he represented was atavism, a regression to a time when demagogues in rumpled jackets pandered to vulgar public prejudices against banks and capitalists and foreign factory owners. Ugh.

Choosing Clinton over Sanders was, I think, a no-brainer for this group. They understand modern economics, they know not to fear Wall Street or free trade. And they addressed themselves to the Sanders campaign by doing what professionals always do: defining the boundaries of legitimacy, by which I mean, defining Sanders out.

And it wasn't just bias in the way the news was written; the editorials and op-eds were also brutal. As Frank points out, "the Post's pundit platoon just seemed to despise Bernie Sanders."

Four Year Later

It's been four years since 2015, when the upstart first reared his head and showed himself a viable threat. The forces arrayed against him have had time to reflect, as have the forces on his side.

Will the the leaders of the present Party do all they can to extinguish the threat of Sanders' "political revolution"? It's clear they've already started . Will the press do their part to stem the tide? The jury's out so far. Some coverage has been remarkably bad (also here ), while other coverage is surprisingly fair . We'll see.

In those four years the voters have also had time to reflect. Many took note of the 2016 sabotage, as they would call it, and many are ready, their remembered anger just waiting to be rekindled. Party leaders are aware of this. As a former vice-chair of the DNC said recently , "if we even have anybody raising an eyebrow of 'I'm not happy about this,' we're going to lose [the general election] and they'll have this loss on their hands," meaning the DNC.

It won't take much to make a martyr of Sanders in the eyes of his supporters, especially after 2016. The only questions are:

• Is the fear of Sanders and his political revolution, which would send many of them scrambling for other work and start to cut Party ties to the donor class, enough to make their opposition turn to obviously illegal means?

• If Sanders is indeed made "a martyr," as the party official quoted above fears, what will be the response of the independent voters who swell those stadium appearances?

The stakes were high in 2016. Given our greater nearness to looming catastrophes, climate being just one of them, the stakes are exponentially higher today. We do indeed live in interesting times .


ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 1:32 am

Putting on my Bespoke Tinfoil Hat, I'll posit that the "dirty tricks" are already happening. As Magister Strether declared, the Clintonistas also have had two years to plan for combating a strong Sanders campaign.

To the extent this is about politics, it is about institutional politics, not public policy politics. The Clinton camp has demonstrated an almost monomaniacal focus on 'winning' to the exclusion of all else.

So, I expect a crowded field of Democrat primary candidates to drown out Sanders as much as possible and to, most importantly, deny Sanders a first round win at the convention. Then, the "olde guard" comes into play and the Superdelegates can swing the nomination to H Clinton as a "Unity Candidate."

That is when Sanders will face his most difficult decision. Will he abandon the Democrat Party as a bad job? Sanders seems to be leaving a Third Party run option open with his development of a parallel structure to the Party apparatus.

If Sanders splits the Democrat Party, he will be handing Trump a second term, but laying the groundwork for a reformed and restored Democrat Party in later campaigns. If Sanders toes the line and supports Clinton for a second run, he will also be basically handing Trump a second term. (Unless something catastrophic happens between now and the election. Those Black Swans will pop up out of nowhere, as is their wont.)

The interesting problem here is whether or not any party can govern the nation with only ten or fifteen percent of the population's support. To manage such would, presumably, involve the full on imposition of an authoritarian state.

Our cousins to the South have much to teach us about how extremes of inequality play out "on the ground." Oligarchies will sail along without a care in the world until a major opposition rises up to contest for supremacy. Usually, as the Southern experience shows, those contests will end up in fire and bloodshed, over and over again, down the years.

The Clinton phenomenon shows up a basic flaw in politics. Concentration of political power, no matter how effected, will end up in ruin. What is so sad is that the Clintons are not unique, but exemplars of a perennial trend; corruption, both personal and public.

America was supposed to bring the "blessings of democracy" to the "less well off" of the southlands. The opposite is happening today.

PKMKII , April 19, 2019 at 10:40 am

While I certainly don't doubt that the Clintonistas are banking on that strategy, it's dependent on all the not-Bernie candidates happily playing along being cannon fodder to stop Bernie.

Problem is, the establishment isn't as unified as it was in 2016, and many of them would have no problem poking the rest of the establishment in the eye if they thought it would increase their chances of winning. A split convention with ~9 candidates coming in with delegates isn't just a threat to Bernie's chance, it's a threat to all but one candidate.

There's a strong motivation for them, even stronger than for Bernie quite frankly, to thin the herd out as fast as possible, and I think we're going to see some ugly politics done with that goal in mind. The establishment in-fighting is going to be nastier than the Bernie-establishment fighting.

Of course, if it does work out and they superdelegate Biden in even though Bernie had the most overall votes but shy of an outright majority, they'll be dooming themselves to not just giving Trump another term but relegating the Democrats to second place status in US politics for a generation. But clearly they're willing to pay that price to keep their country club in control of the party.

Skip Intro , April 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm

I think the crowd of establishment neoliberals is going to backfire on the DNC. They will fragment their loyalists while uniting the Sanders voters, who saw through the same shtick in 2016, and arguably in 2012.

In typical DNC fashion, their scheme to rig the election by bringing in superdelegates for the second round will be sabotaged by their arrogance and opportunistic minions all running for their own [x] slots, and diluting the strength of their donor owners.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 19, 2019 at 3:44 pm

The other side is not understanding HRC's support either. Her voters weren't all neoliberals. Between the certainty of her victory, the narratives of a secret "liberal" HRC, and her importance to an older generation, these are not transferrable to other candidates because Terry MacAuliffe or any celebrity says so.

Obama vowed to take it personally if African Americans don't show 2014 Democrats the same support he received in 2012. Cult like attention doesn't necessarily transfer.

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Too true. And cults do not translate into populist movements. Quite the opposite. The very organizational form of a cult is an authoritarian one.

polecat , April 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm

What else would one expect, when rainbow swans swoop in, only to drown in a dirty pool of their own projection.

Mike , April 19, 2019 at 2:17 pm

True. And, if you wish to draw parallels, the demise of social-democratic parties in Europe, especially the British, German, and French, shows this is a global pattern being juiced by, and carried out by, a global elite of which the US is part and a leading member.

Bernie wants to have a rebuilt, renewed Democratic Party that reflects social-democratic norms as they have historically been in Europe. The problem? Soc-Dem parties have mostly surrendered to the neo-liberal agenda just as the Dems here have. Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands – all have shifted mightily to the Right.It is no mistake or error on their part. Their class interests demand they take sides. All these parties are outgrowths of professional upper middle-class elements who have taken these parties from the working class. In doing so, they dragged the "liberal" press with them to become propaganda mouthpieces for their true "brothers". The causes and particular results within each party could take volumes to describe – suffice it to say they wee all enemies of elites in their origin, and were treated as such, spied upon, infiltrated, and whatever else it took to tame them.

Off The Street , April 19, 2019 at 11:43 am

All of that seemingly coordinated effort would appear to tin-foil-hatters and many others to be evidence of some conspiring, if not RICOesque activity. Given the thrust of those noted anti-Sanders media efforts, the century-old Upton Sinclair quote may be repurposed.

It is difficult to get a man to understand report on something, when his salary (and social standing, and access to the best parties, tables, schools, et cetera) depends on his not understanding acknowledging it.

Freedom of the press keeps getting attacked from ever more clever enemies, thereby reinforcing its utter necessity.

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm

True, a formal conspiracy is not necessary to have 'conspiracy like' outcomes. Feynman's addendum to the Challenger disaster report sets that out.

Read, the dreaded Appendix F : https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/51-l/docs/rogers-commission/Appendix-F.txt

Sinclair's Quote (TM) is famous exactly because it is applicable across all timelines, all classes of person, and all types of organization.
Human nature doesn't seem to have changed over the last hundred millennia or so.

Going back over the recent past several thousand years of human history, it becomes clear that the present assault on press freedom is but another evolution of the perpetual war on the individual's right to think independently.

The present top predator class's basic mistake is a common one. After a string of success's, no group seriously considers the fact that nothing is permanent. That would bring the groups self identity as being "Exceptional" into doubt. Hopefully, this present apex predator class will suffer the same malign fate as have all others who have gone before.

Happy Good Friday to all the religious out there. For the rest, enjoy a weekday without the stock market to worry about.

Cal2 , April 19, 2019 at 1:39 am

"How will these people respond if they think Sanders was cheated again?"

1.Stay home on election day or vote for Trump?

2. Sanders + Tulsi = Democratic Victory.

Anything else? See number 1.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 7:02 pm

They could also come out and vote for one of the little Vanity Third Parties. If the DemParty ticket is not some combination of Sanders Warren Gabbard . . . . and several-to-many million Bitter Berners vote for a Third Party, and the Dem Ticket loses, and the numbers of Dem voters + the numbers of Third Party voters would add up to having been a victory for the Dems; then a message will have been sent about the cruciality of the Bitter Berner vote and how it can not be safely ignored if "winning the election" really is the goal.

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 2:12 am

I think its incumbent to remember its not Sanders per se that is causing orthodoxy to act out . its what he represents e.g. something that can throw a spanner in the good works of neoliberalism.

Sanders crimes are for enabling the unwashed an opportunity to consider options outside that dominate narrative.

rod , April 19, 2019 at 10:12 am

And he's reminding them and everyone with his new slogan–"It's not me-it's us"

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 6:35 pm

Challenging the the foundational cornerstone of methodological individualism and all the aspects bolted on too it – seems a critical point to advance. Lots of time and energy is spent on questioning the bolt-ons, yet for every one refuted the core can spit out more, dog chasing tail experience.

Even to the point of forwarding nationalism in one breath and bespoke individualism in the other – our nationalism protects my squillions . and the consequences of that is "Natural" [tm].

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

One of Sander's main 'crimes' is to offer the "unwashed" potentially 'real' Hope. The Obama-bot offered Hope in bad faith. Thus, both sides of the Classical Greeks' ambiguous view of 'Hope' are on display. Hope came last out of Pandora's box. The Chorus is still out on the verdict.

polecat , April 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm

With Obama's false hope, you'd be lucky to receive a dry sip from the water bag as you continue to grasp, with bloodied and blistered hands, that trireme oar, knowing in the back of your mind that you'll Never truly escape the chains holding you down to that hot, burning deck of death !

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 6:42 pm

I'm with you on the Hope [tm], albeit more a case of desperation than informed perspective.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 2:16 am

The Sanders staff and supporters and well-wishers should think about how to re-engineer Trump's "fake news" schtick as much or as little to be able to use it for the Sanders' Campaigns own self-defense and protection.

Whenever the media run a dishonest news article, the Sanders Campaign could call it Fake News. Whenever the media run a dishonest editorial, the Sanders Campaign could call it Fake Views. The Sanders Campaign could speak of Fake News and Views from the Rich Corporate MSM.

nathan , April 19, 2019 at 6:34 am

the "liberal", "progressive" upper class and most of the upper middle class democrats did well by trump's tax giveaway.
noam chomsky calls them moderate republicans. they stand for identity issues but not financial ones, nothing that would involve taxing them to give to the rest of the country.

when it comes down to it most of them will prefer to give trump four more years and hope for the best and taking back the white house with one of their own later than supporting a socialist. they're hoping not to face that prospect (in the mirror as well as otherwise) by defeating bernie – and probably warren, who isn't seen as a big threat now – in the primaries. if the bernie supporters sit the election out then trump is on them goes the view.

If biden falters early I see bloomberg coming in as a democrat. if bernie wins anyway i see schultz coming in as an independent.
it will take a near miracle

Kurt Sperry , April 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

I want to see a Sanders vs. Trump election not least because it I think the choice it forces will put the neoliberal, entitled 10% -- the same neoliberal Clinton supporters who derided and mocked those Sanders supporters who wouldn't or couldn't get on board with HRC -- in an a similar but reversed position.

Will they follow their own self-righteous admonitions from four years ago and vote for their hated primary opponent to remove Trump as they hectored Sanders supporters to do? Will they sit out the election, unable to hold their noses and vote a Sanders ticket likely to raise their taxes? Exactly the way many Sanders supporters did with HRC and were viciously excoriated by that same 10% for doing? Or will they go full "evil"/self-loathing and secretly vote for the Satan Trump to keep the country out of socialist hands and prevent having their taxes raised?

I can't wait to hear the neoliberal chattering classes trying to publicly reason it out. Many exploding heads, rank hypocrisy, and much cognitive dissonance will be on full public view.

I get schadenfreude just thinking about it.

John k , April 19, 2019 at 6:40 am

The article mentions that some media seems reasonably fair this time around maybe some thinking sanders can't be stopped, or the lack of somebody obviously about to be coronated.

If Biden doesn't take off more media will become fair institutions want to be on the winning side.

Andy Raushner , April 19, 2019 at 7:06 am

Anti-Sanders press? Oh come on. The Anti-Clinton press was in full bloom as well. Sanders has been a mess so far. SJW politics, health care reform and free college ..basically the Clinton 2016 playbook. It didn't build the enthusiasm to make her campaign electoral proof against the Trump Russian supporters hack, bots and fake news campaigns to ship up her likeability issues.

Then Biden comes out with what one union rep called kitchen table issues. Major corporate welfare for domestic manufacturers, multi trillion dollar infrastructure program, stuff Obama campaign ed on in 2008 but pivoted away from by September 2009 which in Biden's opinion, hurt his Presidency.

Bernie much like AOC live so much in esoteric fantasy, much like Hillary Clinton .which made him such a nice foil to her. The problem is this time, he is going to go against a bunch of other candidates that are bullshitters, reality manipulators and salesmen, he gets drowned. Well beyond Biden as well, there is going to be 15+ sniping away.

Bernie needs to pivot imo by fall of the union vote is going to turn on him

Donald , April 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

You seem confused. The press was anti Sanders and very much pro Clinton during the primaries.

The anti Clinton press played some role in the general election, but for the most part by noticing her actual flaws. There was also an enormous amount of anti Trump press, again based on his actual flaws, but he also received massive free publicity during the whole year and it turned out his voters simply didn't care about his flaws.

GramSci , April 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

Bernie is using the Clinton playbook? I don't think so. And as for the unions endorsing Biden, it's been at least 40 years since the rank-and-file voted with the union bosses.

tegnost , April 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

I know
Sanders has been a mess so far. SJW politics, health care reform and free college ..basically the Clinton 2016 playbook
what?

flora , April 19, 2019 at 8:34 am

The Union vote ain't what it once was. In 2016 the Union brass supported Clinton but the rank and file did not.

Mac na Michomhairle , April 19, 2019 at 9:14 am

If I say something enough times, especially if I have a big media outlet, it is true. Up is down; an orange is the city of Houston; DNC slicksters who would sell your grandmother for cat food are just reg'lar folks fighting for all of us

rob , April 19, 2019 at 9:21 am

wow, you don't think the press was aligned against bernie, that is stunning. What color is the sky in your world? Have you ever been to earth?
So bernie was using hillary's playbook? Hillary clinton?

I'm guessing you think you can just "say stuff", and it will be taken seriously. Fat chance with that drivel . time to get a clue even the most casual observer would remember the hit squad on bernie in every aspect of the media . but for those who don't have the ability to discern reality, the secret is to " bang the rocks together" . so dude.. watch your fingers.

Grant , April 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

This is the most incoherent post I have seen on this site. I truly mean that. How in the world could anyone think that Bernie is copying Clinton of all people? SHE was the one leading on policy? What bubble do you live in?

"Bernie much like AOC live so much in esoteric fantasy"

Based on what? What policies that he supports are unpopular and would not work? When he goes to West Virginia and meets with a room full of Trump supporters, goes on Fox and connects with people there, are you claiming that most other candidates, especially left of center, could do the same? How could anyone, especially after the leaks, claim that the press wasn't fully on the side of the Clinton campaign, often openly colluding with the campaign?

Plenue , April 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm

https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-newspaper-endorsement-count-clinton-57-trump-2

Surely David Brock can afford better trolls than you.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm

You seem confused about who kept playing the SJW cards as well. I think I remember in the first Sanders-Clinton debate a point where Sanders called for re-breaking-up, re-Glassing and re-Steagalling the banks. And Clinton said " breaking up the banks won't do a THING about racism." And it is the anti-Sanders Neera Tandecrats seeking the nomination who are presenting themselves as a live action multi-choice menu of SJW Housekeeping Seal of Approval Identy choices.

You seem confused in many directions.

Carolinian , April 19, 2019 at 8:10 am

Sanders was here yesterday and as requested by Lambert I'll have something to say about it during Water Cooler. But I will say that the crowd was very enthusiastic and the press coverage fair. 2020 may not in fact be a replay of 2016. This time Trump including TDS is the spectre that hangs over the entire process.

jefemt , April 19, 2019 at 8:50 am

Remember when Bernie had pulled even, if not ahead of Hillarity, just prior to the 2016 Dim convention? And he had the Speech of His Life in either AZ or NV?
And Trump was set to speak at the identical time?
And the media focused on Trump's empty podium, mysteriously empty for 1.5 hours
And the media did not cover Bernies speech-of-the-year, not one whit?

Never, ever forget -- and treat the media with the derision and suspicion they have so justly earned

divadab , April 19, 2019 at 9:19 am

Yes the Dem press will be flinging poo at Sanders. But take a gander at Faux News and their town hall with Bernie – and Tucker Carlson's amazing mention of Dem Party cheating of Sanders in the primary. Just as the "liberal" press gave Trump tons of free publicity, so too the reactionary press seems to be giving free coverage to Sanders.

It will be nice to see Sanders wipe the floor with Biden. And if the Dems cheat again and nominate Biden or some other obedient and photogenic bought and paid for candidate, watch Trump wipe the floor with them.

Will the Dems fall on their swords again to keep Sanders out? They will try, helped by their pals in the propaganda apparatus.

Svante Arrhenius , April 19, 2019 at 11:59 am

It's kinda like how we used to tease our Nazi 'bagger, Republican friends, about Re-antimating Zombie Reagan to run, since they had nobody that wasn't a pathetic, waddling stereotype to vote for? Maybe, simply run Dead Kennedys. Meanwhile, perhaps a holographic Fred Rodgers, Sally Struthers' disembodied whine or comforting Dr Seuss character? Liberals all like Gandalf, right?

Empires FALL, it's what we do: https://mobile.twitter.com/alyssa_milano/status/1112869883069382656

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm

The people here have more time than money. And they ( we) have invested our time in finding out enough things to where the spenders of fire hose-loads of money find us resistant to their propaganda.
So since the money will not be taken out of politics until the people who engineer the money into politics have been driven out of public life, the rest of us will have to fight on various un-monetized battlefields.

Time isn't money. Time is life itself.
A British-India Indian is once supposed to have said ( to the West in general . . .) " You have all the watches. But we have all the time."

rob , April 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

After a couple of years of " the press" yammering on with stories of "Russians" subverting our elections, when will we see the real "deplorable's" be shamed. The press, and their snide comments,their acts of omission,their down right lying, their assault on the hearts and minds of the voting population. The press is probably the most valuable group in the election of Donald trump. They are the ones who champion the lie and the smear, they are the ones who make the news "fake", so the supporters of trump have something to latch onto.

Where is the congressional investigation of the role the press played in "the disinformation campaign against the American people and their presidential election of 2016?" now THAT would be news worthy.

ChrisAtRU , April 19, 2019 at 11:33 am

Thanks for taking on this, Yves! I look forward to future installments!

IMO, it has become increasingly difficult for mainstream media (MSM) to de-legitimatize Bernie this time around. My take is that I see #TeamSanders taking steps to make sure the signal-to-noise ratio remains in Sanders' favor. MSM attempts this time around take on more of a mindless screeching tone, and thus far, given the Senator's now nationwide popularity, it appears that far less people are being moved by these attempts (see latest nationwide poll). But it's all going to play on repeat from 2015/2016. Krugman has already begun his insufferable tone policing and disqualifying .

Some us remember that WaPo published 16 negative pieces on Bernie in 16 hours during the run up to the last election. By those standards, "our famously free press" is only getting warmed up but the electorate is ready this time.

Joe Well , April 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Here's something that worries me about Bernie:

Here in Massachusetts, almost all the Our Revolution chapters are in affluent municipalities (if you've studied American history you've heard of them: Concord, Cambridge, Lexington, Amherst), with a couple that are supposedly forming in less affluent communities. The events that have been advertised have all been in these more affluent communities so I imagine that's where the real action is. I emailed the one chapter I saw for a more working class community like my hometown and got no response.

In the Our Revolution MA Facebook group, there are some wonderful people, but there has been almost no discussion of the housing crisis, which is the biggest progressive issue facing the state right now. The resolution to the housing crisis will require precisely overcoming opposition to new housing in those affluent municipalities.

So, how do your organize a real progressive movement when the people who call themselves progressives are overwhelmingly deeply embedded in the top 10%?

NotTimothyGeithner , April 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm

This is unfortunately Putnam's decline of bowling leagues. There isn't an easy answer. One of the points of The 50 State Strategy was the recognition of this problem and the need for support and even the ability to access space for the purposes of meeting places. Obama used his celebrity to stamp out much of these efforts. People can't do it forever, so in a sense everyone is starting over with an openly hostile DNC under Perez. Obviously, the decade of additional economic decline for most Americans is a problem.

One problem is the sympathetic among the 10% need to understand the "moderate suburban Republicans" have polished jackboots ready to go and have no interest in good government despite their seemingly "polite" nature. The DSA's brake light clinic is probably the model that needs to be followed, just expanded. Something like "free tax filing" assistance in January. Obviously, CPAs have to earn a living, but taxes don't need to be done in April. Maybe they could be paid.

Time and resources are obvious issues.

sharonsj , April 19, 2019 at 6:23 pm

If the establishment rigs the process once again and Sanders doesn't get the nomination, I will not vote for the anointed Democratic candidate. I forced myself to vote for Hillary Clinton and I will never do that again. I also will do everything in my power to burn down the Democratic party. I wonder if the establishment has a clue as to how furious most people are? Are they paying attention to what's happening throughout Europe–and I wonder how long it will be before you see weekly protests here? P.S. I'm ordering my yellow vest now .

[Apr 20, 2019] Get ready for a slippery slope, because because Cory Booker just introduced a reparations bill in Congress

Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And, how far back should politicians go? Should descendants of the Visigoths have to give money to Italians for the sack of Rome in 410?

Should the US government make reparation payments for killing countless Filipino civilians in the early 1900s during the armed occupation of the Philippines?

Or to descendants of Japanese-Americans who died in internment camps during World War II?

[Apr 19, 2019] What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due? by Andrew Levine

Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

April 19, 2019 He's vagaries, have turned Donald Trump, as uncharismatic a figure as could be, into the leader of a sixty-three million strong personality cult.

... ... ...

By 2016, the widespread unpopularity of neoliberal, liberal imperialist, Wall Street and military-industrial complex friendly politics, which the Clintons did so much to establish, helped Trump secure an Electoral College victory. So did Hillary Clinton's shortcomings as a First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. The tone deafness of the campaign she and her team ran didn't help either.

... ... ...

For the still continuing debacles that began to unfold on her watch, she is by no means the only one at fault. But wherever she most plainly left her mark – in Honduras, Libya, Syria and elsewhere – she became the most culpable of all the contemporaneous Clintonite politicians; more culpable even than Barack Obama himself, notwithstanding the fact that ultimately the buck stopped with him.

No doubt, retrograde, racist, and nativist populism would be a factor in today's politics even had Hillary left Bill after his fling with Monica, and even if she had then given the rest of her life over to the idle pleasures dear to the Donald's first First Lady, the peerless Ivana, mother of three, not just one, bearer of bad seed.

But had, say, John Kerry been calling the shots instead of Hillary during Obama's first term, there might not now be the refugee crises – in Europe and on the U.S.-Mexico border -- that are causing so much strife in the world today.

And then there is Clinton's role in the revival of Cold War anti-Russian animosities and her part in encouraging the Obama administration's war on whistle blowers and, more generally, on First Amendment protections of journalists.

Culpability for the criminally sadistic prison sentence Chelsea Manning was forced to endure, and is now enduring again because prosecutors want her to turn on Julian Assange; and for the de facto imprisonment, and whatever comes next, of Assange himself are on her as much as on any other miscreant in the Democratic and Republican folds.

But reasons to oppose the mainstream Democratic Party from the left don't explain the Trump base, at least not directly. It is that "basket of deplorables," more than anything else, which accounts for Trump's continuing hold over the American government and for the present and future consequences of the Trump presidency.

Perhaps the idea is just to keep "the resistance" alert or perhaps those who make the claim really believe it; whichever is the case, the conventional wisdom nowadays is that Trump will be hard to defeat in 2020. Needless to say, in a sane society, he would lose in a landslide running against a potted plant.

Nevertheless, later-day Clintonites have seized on the idea of Trump being a formidable opponent because, for their purposes, it is useful – for scaring Democrats into nominating someone like Hillary or worse to run against the Trumpian menace. Joe Biden is worse; he just hasn't yet had the chance to do as much harm.

There is ample reason to worry, though, that, as long as the Trump base remains intact, Democrats will again find a way to turn an all but certain victory into a pitiful defeat.

All they would have to do to remain losers is accede to the idea that the way forward is to field candidates of the kind that made Trump and Trumpism possible and even necessary.

That there is an urgent need to win back white working class voters is beyond dispute, even if not all MSNBC and CNN "experts" agree. However, contrary to what they claim, this does not imply "moderation" or "centrism" or any of the other common sense nostrums currently being bandied about. No way.

Let Obama and others inveigh against "purity." Their way is a losing way. It might seem right at first – in the way that avoiding strenuous exercise might seem right for patients recovering from heart attacks or surgeries. But, over time and at great human cost, it has become clear that just the opposite is the case. This has been demonstrated time and again.

These considerations help explain why there is, and ought to be, a left opposition to Clintonism and, more broadly, to the mainstream Democratic Party. However, they explain the existence and durability of the Trump base only insofar as the rising inequality Clintonism encourages does. That is only part of the story.

A very sizeable minority of voters, roughly sixty-three million of them -- voted for Trump in 2016. Realizing the enormity of the mistake they made, quite a few of them have defected from the Trumpian ambit. Astonishingly, though, quite a few have not.

The defections mostly happened early on. The size of the Trump base has, by most accounts, remained fairly stable for the past two years, even as the obviousness of Trump's unfitness for much of anything, much less the presidency, has become a lot harder than it used to be to ignore.

... ... ...

The best answers are often ones that academic and media gurus deem superseded. The idea that Trump supporters are remaining loyal to him mainly for economic reasons is a case in point.

Trump's policies plainly harm the "forgotten man" Franklin Roosevelt spoke of; just as plainly, they favor the "economic royalists" whose hatred Roosevelt said he welcomed. He was talking about the Trump base demographic of his time. And yet Trump's base abides.

To be sure, Trump's supporters are not the smartest kids on the block. But it is not just ignorance and stupidity that keeps them on board. It is also economic reality.

The ways presidents and their administrations affect the economy, and therefore the economic wellbeing of individuals affected by the economy they preside over, are complicated.

Even so, our overripe capitalist economy, some ten years after Obama et. al . saved it from going under as the world financial system that sustained it was melting down, should be delivering Trumpism its deathblow – partly thanks to the self-serving machinations of the Donald and his minions, and partly for reasons beyond Trump's or anyone else's control.

That deathblow is surely coming – probably sooner than later. When it does, thanks to the "deconstruction" of the regulatory state along with nearly all other mitigating factors, the outcome won't be pretty.

For now, though, the gods or God, always on the lookout for ways to do us mortals harm have been working overtime to keep the economic indicators looking good.

The sad fact of the matter, though, is that there are times when the indicators mislead. Thus Trump's tax cuts for the rich caused them to improve for a while. But this was because Trump gave the economy the statistical equivalent of a sugar high.

To his supporters, this was viewed as evidence of the adroitness of their man's stewardship of the economy. Rightwing media hosts, abetted by a few academics and journalists who ought to know better, encouraged their delusion.

They even seem to have convinced, or at least neutralized, some of Trumpism's earliest victims. Being unable not to notice how the wrong-headedness and general incoherence of Trumpian kakistocratic rule made them worse off, they nevertheless remained loyal -- taking one for the team.

Some of them may only be "values voters" with piss poor values. Most of them, though, are victims of a well-executed con. Their seemingly limitless willingness to be deluded by a venal and sadistic egotist and the kakistocrats who serve him is truly awe-inspiring.

[In a "kakistocracy," the worst, the least qualified, the most unscrupulous and corrupt rule. The Trump administration is a full-blown kakistocracy.]

***

Trump or no Trump, capitalist economies go through cycles of boom and bust. On this, all major economic theorists – from Karl Marx to Milton Friedman – agree.

The Obama era 'fixes' to the Great Recession, consisting mostly of bailouts to banksters awash in "get out of jail free" cards, restored a semblance of the old regime's economic order. And so, the rich continue to get richer in ways that generate economic data that suggest that a recovery is underway.

In truth, though, the most that most people can say is that they are doing about as well as their counterparts a generation or two back did, and that their share of the nation's wealth is at least not deteriorating more than it already has.

With recoveries like that, our later-day economic royalists hardly even need recessions to keep workers feeling and being insecure!

Thus Trump has been benefiting from what got going, partly with government help but also in the normal course of events in capitalist economies, when Obama was starting out. The resulting statistical rise, such as it is, has been going on for roughly ten years. Unless capitalism has fundamentally changed – which, of course, it has not -- it cannot go on for much longer. As such things, go, ten years is already a long time.

When Trump's luck runs out, nearly everyone will find him or herself worse off than they currently are, and worse off than need be. The most ardent Trump supporters will be among the hardest hit.

In the Obama era, there were no soft landings, but there were no catastrophic downturns either. But now, thanks to Trump, the guardrails are mostly gone. When the Donald's lucky streak ends, the "collateral damage" will therefore be worse than a decade ago.

On the one hand, though, it will be glorious to watch him, his children, and his close associates fall. On the other, they will be taking a lot down with them.

The suffering will affect nearly everybody to some extent – but pity, above all, the true believers, the certifiable loonies, and the victims who just won't face up to the fact that they have been snookered.

Trump will continue to menace until either his health fails – thanks God for cholesterol! -- or Republicans rise up and desert him.

He knows no shame, and the mean-spiritedness and capacity for self-deception of his supporters seem to know no bounds.

But there is always the economy, stupid. It has a way of concentrating the minds of even the most obtuse among us.

As long as his supporters can convince themselves that the economy is fine, even if it is not, and that Trump's "deals" offer hope for a better future – not for Muslims or Central Americans, of course, but for people like them -- it won't matter that their president is a laughing stock.

It just might matter, though, that he is leading them to ruination in ways that, try as they might, they cannot deny.

If that won't be enough to cause at least some of them, enough to make a difference, at long last finally to turn against Trump, then nothing will, and there will be nothing to do but, like souls entering the Inferno, to "abandon all hope."

Take heart, though: we are not there yet, and, in all likelihood, we never will be. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Apr 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

Thank you Max, it's a great summary of what is wrong with the foreign policy and why racism is so rampant.

There are candidates for 2020, who understand and probably share your views. Take for example Tulsi Gabbard in her recent twonhall meeting video:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

Quote from her replies

"People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?"

And just to drive home this point, quote:

"This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one."

Tulsi did get in to trouble. A day after the video posted on Twitter, it had been deleted by Twitter without explanation

Mark Dierking , April 18, 2019 at 15:53

Thanks to you any everyone that has responded for the thoughtful comments. If you are able to edit yours, a more accessible link for the Safari browser is:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

[Apr 19, 2019] CounterPunch

Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due? by Andrew Levine April 19, 2019 He's vagaries, have turned Donald Trump, as uncharismatic a figure as could be, into the leader of a sixty-three million strong personality cult.

... ... ...

By 2016, the widespread unpopularity of neoliberal, liberal imperialist, Wall Street and military-industrial complex friendly politics, which the Clintons did so much to establish, helped Trump secure an Electoral College victory. So did Hillary Clinton's shortcomings as a First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. The tone deafness of the campaign she and her team ran didn't help either.

... ... ...

For the still continuing debacles that began to unfold on her watch, she is by no means the only one at fault. But wherever she most plainly left her mark – in Honduras, Libya, Syria and elsewhere – she became the most culpable of all the contemporaneous Clintonite politicians; more culpable even than Barack Obama himself, notwithstanding the fact that ultimately the buck stopped with him.

No doubt, retrograde, racist, and nativist populism would be a factor in today's politics even had Hillary left Bill after his fling with Monica, and even if she had then given the rest of her life over to the idle pleasures dear to the Donald's first First Lady, the peerless Ivana, mother of three, not just one, bearer of bad seed.

But had, say, John Kerry been calling the shots instead of Hillary during Obama's first term, there might not now be the refugee crises – in Europe and on the U.S.-Mexico border -- that are causing so much strife in the world today.

And then there is Clinton's role in the revival of Cold War anti-Russian animosities and her part in encouraging the Obama administration's war on whistle blowers and, more generally, on First Amendment protections of journalists.

Culpability for the criminally sadistic prison sentence Chelsea Manning was forced to endure, and is now enduring again because prosecutors want her to turn on Julian Assange; and for the de facto imprisonment, and whatever comes next, of Assange himself are on her as much as on any other miscreant in the Democratic and Republican folds.

But reasons to oppose the mainstream Democratic Party from the left don't explain the Trump base, at least not directly. It is that "basket of deplorables," more than anything else, which accounts for Trump's continuing hold over the American government and for the present and future consequences of the Trump presidency.

Perhaps the idea is just to keep "the resistance" alert or perhaps those who make the claim really believe it; whichever is the case, the conventional wisdom nowadays is that Trump will be hard to defeat in 2020. Needless to say, in a sane society, he would lose in a landslide running against a potted plant.

Nevertheless, later-day Clintonites have seized on the idea of Trump being a formidable opponent because, for their purposes, it is useful – for scaring Democrats into nominating someone like Hillary or worse to run against the Trumpian menace. Joe Biden is worse; he just hasn't yet had the chance to do as much harm.

There is ample reason to worry, though, that, as long as the Trump base remains intact, Democrats will again find a way to turn an all but certain victory into a pitiful defeat.

All they would have to do to remain losers is accede to the idea that the way forward is to field candidates of the kind that made Trump and Trumpism possible and even necessary.

That there is an urgent need to win back white working class voters is beyond dispute, even if not all MSNBC and CNN "experts" agree. However, contrary to what they claim, this does not imply "moderation" or "centrism" or any of the other common sense nostrums currently being bandied about. No way.

Let Obama and others inveigh against "purity." Their way is a losing way. It might seem right at first – in the way that avoiding strenuous exercise might seem right for patients recovering from heart attacks or surgeries. But, over time and at great human cost, it has become clear that just the opposite is the case. This has been demonstrated time and again.

These considerations help explain why there is, and ought to be, a left opposition to Clintonism and, more broadly, to the mainstream Democratic Party. However, they explain the existence and durability of the Trump base only insofar as the rising inequality Clintonism encourages does. That is only part of the story.

A very sizeable minority of voters, roughly sixty-three million of them -- voted for Trump in 2016. Realizing the enormity of the mistake they made, quite a few of them have defected from the Trumpian ambit. Astonishingly, though, quite a few have not.

The defections mostly happened early on. The size of the Trump base has, by most accounts, remained fairly stable for the past two years, even as the obviousness of Trump's unfitness for much of anything, much less the presidency, has become a lot harder than it used to be to ignore.

... ... ...

The best answers are often ones that academic and media gurus deem superseded. The idea that Trump supporters are remaining loyal to him mainly for economic reasons is a case in point.

Trump's policies plainly harm the "forgotten man" Franklin Roosevelt spoke of; just as plainly, they favor the "economic royalists" whose hatred Roosevelt said he welcomed. He was talking about the Trump base demographic of his time. And yet Trump's base abides.

To be sure, Trump's supporters are not the smartest kids on the block. But it is not just ignorance and stupidity that keeps them on board. It is also economic reality.

The ways presidents and their administrations affect the economy, and therefore the economic wellbeing of individuals affected by the economy they preside over, are complicated.

Even so, our overripe capitalist economy, some ten years after Obama et. al . saved it from going under as the world financial system that sustained it was melting down, should be delivering Trumpism its deathblow – partly thanks to the self-serving machinations of the Donald and his minions, and partly for reasons beyond Trump's or anyone else's control.

That deathblow is surely coming – probably sooner than later. When it does, thanks to the "deconstruction" of the regulatory state along with nearly all other mitigating factors, the outcome won't be pretty.

For now, though, the gods or God, always on the lookout for ways to do us mortals harm have been working overtime to keep the economic indicators looking good.

The sad fact of the matter, though, is that there are times when the indicators mislead. Thus Trump's tax cuts for the rich caused them to improve for a while. But this was because Trump gave the economy the statistical equivalent of a sugar high.

To his supporters, this was viewed as evidence of the adroitness of their man's stewardship of the economy. Rightwing media hosts, abetted by a few academics and journalists who ought to know better, encouraged their delusion.

They even seem to have convinced, or at least neutralized, some of Trumpism's earliest victims. Being unable not to notice how the wrong-headedness and general incoherence of Trumpian kakistocratic rule made them worse off, they nevertheless remained loyal -- taking one for the team.

Some of them may only be "values voters" with piss poor values. Most of them, though, are victims of a well-executed con. Their seemingly limitless willingness to be deluded by a venal and sadistic egotist and the kakistocrats who serve him is truly awe-inspiring.

[In a "kakistocracy," the worst, the least qualified, the most unscrupulous and corrupt rule. The Trump administration is a full-blown kakistocracy.]

***

Trump or no Trump, capitalist economies go through cycles of boom and bust. On this, all major economic theorists – from Karl Marx to Milton Friedman – agree.

The Obama era 'fixes' to the Great Recession, consisting mostly of bailouts to banksters awash in "get out of jail free" cards, restored a semblance of the old regime's economic order. And so, the rich continue to get richer in ways that generate economic data that suggest that a recovery is underway.

In truth, though, the most that most people can say is that they are doing about as well as their counterparts a generation or two back did, and that their share of the nation's wealth is at least not deteriorating more than it already has.

With recoveries like that, our later-day economic royalists hardly even need recessions to keep workers feeling and being insecure!

Thus Trump has been benefiting from what got going, partly with government help but also in the normal course of events in capitalist economies, when Obama was starting out. The resulting statistical rise, such as it is, has been going on for roughly ten years. Unless capitalism has fundamentally changed – which, of course, it has not -- it cannot go on for much longer. As such things, go, ten years is already a long time.

When Trump's luck runs out, nearly everyone will find him or herself worse off than they currently are, and worse off than need be. The most ardent Trump supporters will be among the hardest hit.

In the Obama era, there were no soft landings, but there were no catastrophic downturns either. But now, thanks to Trump, the guardrails are mostly gone. When the Donald's lucky streak ends, the "collateral damage" will therefore be worse than a decade ago.

On the one hand, though, it will be glorious to watch him, his children, and his close associates fall. On the other, they will be taking a lot down with them.

The suffering will affect nearly everybody to some extent – but pity, above all, the true believers, the certifiable loonies, and the victims who just won't face up to the fact that they have been snookered.

Trump will continue to menace until either his health fails – thanks God for cholesterol! -- or Republicans rise up and desert him.

He knows no shame, and the mean-spiritedness and capacity for self-deception of his supporters seem to know no bounds.

But there is always the economy, stupid. It has a way of concentrating the minds of even the most obtuse among us.

As long as his supporters can convince themselves that the economy is fine, even if it is not, and that Trump's "deals" offer hope for a better future – not for Muslims or Central Americans, of course, but for people like them -- it won't matter that their president is a laughing stock.

It just might matter, though, that he is leading them to ruination in ways that, try as they might, they cannot deny.

If that won't be enough to cause at least some of them, enough to make a difference, at long last finally to turn against Trump, then nothing will, and there will be nothing to do but, like souls entering the Inferno, to "abandon all hope."

Take heart, though: we are not there yet, and, in all likelihood, we never will be. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Apr 19, 2019] People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?

Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

Thank you Max, it's a great summary of what is wrong with the foreign policy and why racism is so rampant.

There are candidates for 2020, who understand and probably share your views. Take for example Tulsi Gabbard in her recent twonhall meeting video:

hxxps://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

Quote from her replies

"People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?"

And just to drive home this point, quote:

"This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one."

Tulsi did get in to trouble. A day after the video posted on Twitter, it had been deleted by Twitter without explanation

[Apr 19, 2019] Trump is incompetent, impulsive and amoral. Heaven help us all

What is WaPo pressitute forgot is the Hillary is very much the same or worse.
Dec 24, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com
Eugene Robinson Eugene Robinson Columnist focusing on politics and culture Email Bio Follow Columnist

The chaos all around us is what happens when the nation elects an incompetent, narcissistic, impulsive and amoral man as president. This Christmas, heaven help us all.

Much of the government is shut down over symbolic funding for an insignificant portion of a useless border wall that President Trump said Mexico would pay for. The financial markets are having a nervous breakdown that Trump and his aides are making worse.

... ... ...

It has become a cliche to quote William Butler Yeats's poem " The Second Coming ," written almost 100 years ago in the aftermath of World War I. But no one has said it better: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . . And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

It is difficult, at the moment, to fully assess the damage Trump is wreaking. We have never had a president like him, so history is a poor guide...

[Apr 19, 2019] Raimondo: So Trump is not just stupid, and crazy he is also a coward.

Jan 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

densa , says: April 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT

Raimondo:

So he's not just stupid, and crazy – he's also a coward. He refuses to confront the War Party head on, despite his campaign trail rhetoric. Just the other day he was telling crowds in Ohio how we were on the way out of Syria because "we have to take care of our own country." The crowd cheered. Would he go back to that same audience and tell them we need to intervene in a country that's been wracked by warfare for years, with no real hope of a peaceful settlement? Of course not.

Coulter:

He is a shallow, lazy ignoramus who just wants Goldman Sachs to like him.

We get words; the neocon banker NY scum, running and ruining this world on the fast track since 9-11, get action. They also own the congressional swamp with its amazingly high approval rating of 15%. They own the former liberal left, now the Resistance, that can turn out half a million bleeding hearts in pussy hats but the same oddly can't be bothered to protest war.

Although I believe the timing of the raid on Trump's lawyer's office to be convenient to help persuade him to ignore his base and appease his owners, at this point I won't be troubled when they throw him away.

[Apr 19, 2019] A child could see through the fake "chemical attack" supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:29 pm GMT

Justin Raimondo has just done a U turn on 'president' Dump

' doesn't this prove I was wrong about Trump and his movement all along?

I was very wrong to discount the role of character, personality, and intelligence: Trump is simply not fit to be President '

Raimondo's reaction to Dump's incredible imbecility re the Syria 'chemical attacks '

' A child could see through the fake "chemical attack" supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria '

Yes anyone watching that white helmets footage is immediately cringing for those poor kids being abused as props in a macabre stage play

How stupid is Dump anyway ? That's the question

[Apr 19, 2019] You have restraint on your side, and Trump is a bully so if you try to counter his crazy remarks you lose

Apr 19, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com

FP: Is there any way you can predict what Trump will do, say, or tweet?

GA: I will tell you the advice I gave [to Paris] about the tweets. He once criticized the French president [Emmanuel Macron], and people called me from Paris to say, "What should we do?" My answer was clear: "Nothing." Do nothing because he will always outbid you. Because he can't accept appearing to lose. You have restraint on your side, and he has no restraint on his side, so you lose. It is escalation dominance.

FP: As ambassador, you bridged two very different presidents, Obama and Trump. Talk about what that was like.

GA: On one side, you had this ultimate bureaucrat, an introvert, basically a bit aloof, a restrained president. A bit arrogant also but basically somebody who every night was going to bed with 60-page briefings and the next day they were sent back annotated by the president. And suddenly you have this president who is an extrovert, really a big mouth, who reads basically nothing or nearly nothing, with the interagency process totally broken and decisions taken from the hip basically. And also, for an ambassador, you had a normal working administration with Obama. People in the executive branch offices were able to explain to you what the president was thinking or what the president was going to do. And suddenly it's the opposite. A lot of offices are still empty. It's amazing -- after 55 months, a lot of people are changing overnight.

It's the fourth G-7 [emissary] we've had in the White house in two years! So the first problem is we have nobody in the offices or if they are there, they're going to leave. But on top of that, even if you have somebody in the offices, they don't know what the president is going to say. And if the president has said something, they don't know what he means.

[Apr 19, 2019] Bernie Steals the 'No More Wars' Issue From Trump by Patrick J. Buchanan

Trump betrayed anti-war republicans. As the result he lost any support of anti-war Republicans. That can't be revered as he proved to be a marionette of Israel lobby. How that will influence outcome of 2020 elections remains to be seen.
Apr 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars . I agree with that," Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday's town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then, turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added: "Mister President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country."

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a "dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities."

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump's veto, that should have been the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the "no-more-wars" theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president? Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing "Trump's endless wars" in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq war and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia's Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 -- Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker -- not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and re-imposed severe sanctions.

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

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

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the "right-wing" Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan's 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela -- ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts -- Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to "get out."

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel, and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party and by Sanders, who voted "no" on the Iraq war that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting towards the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

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

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

[Apr 18, 2019] Were FBI honchos on drugs when they went to such an extent to entrap Trump and smear him as Putin's bitch?

Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 18, 2019] Bernie's millionaire problem

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Doe , Apr 18, 2019 8:08:15 AM | link

Bernie's millionaire problem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee8GedvPmBU

[Apr 18, 2019] The sanctions imposed in the wake of the Salisbury allegations are the harshest any US administration has imposed on Russia since the end of the Cold War

And like Syrian bombing there were done on false premises... Bravo Trump !
Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk

Brian c , April 17, 2019 at 11:45

The sanctions imposed in the wake of the Salisbury allegations are the harshest any US administration has imposed on Russia since the end of the Cold War. There has also been a ramping up in the past two years of US/NATO misslle installations and war games on Russia's border, a vast increase in military aid to ferociously anti-Russian neo-Nazis in Ukraine, the bombing of Russia's Syrian ally, the threatened regime change of Russia's Venezuelan ally, and a unilateral tearing up of the INF treaty agreed between Reagan and Gorbachev.

Yet despite all that and despite the nothingburger of the Mueller report large parts of the USUK political class, mass media and intelligentsia are persisting with the conspiracy theory that Trump is somehow Putin's puppet.

Coincidentally they are also among the people most likely to accuse others of spreading fake news and propaganda.

[Apr 18, 2019] Strange links between Trump and Deutsche bank

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Apr 17, 2019 8:33:51 AM | link

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 16, 2019 8:34:23 PM | 65

"Donald Trump reveals he considered making Ivanka head of World Bank because she's 'good with numbers'"

And there was a video of him bringing her to the microphone on the subject of 5G which amazed me:

Trump Invites Ivanka To Talk About 5G Deployment In The U.S.

I think Trump truly believes Ivanka is presidential material!

Speaking seriously, I see no reason why Ivanka would be less qualified for any of these organized crime positions than anyone who previously has held them, other than from the point of view of supporters of the system who want it to be as well-run as possible. Of course enemies of the system want the opposite.

If she's really stupid, that's much better from the point of view of anyone other than a supporter of the system. As we see again, most who criticize the system still are supporters of it, a kind of "loyal opposition".

The past few days two religious electoralists, assuming I also was a member of their cult, asked "who I liked". I think I'll just start responding, Ivanka! Though Kim Kardasian also is a worthy contender.

Russ | Apr 17, 2019 3:17:38 AM | 7 6

Not to worry Russ @ 77

If Daddy can't get Ivanka slotted at the World Bank, maybe he can use his influence and get her a job with this bank , where he has been a conspicuous customer over the decades and just as conspicuously a repository for hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate investment by hundreds of anonymous foreign shell companies.

Over two decades, Trump borrowed more than $2bn from Deutsche. In 2008, he defaulted on a $45m loan repayment and sued the bank. Its private wealth division in New York subsequently loaned Trump a further $300m – a move that bemused insiders and which has yet to be fully explained.

In recent years, the bank has had a series of bruising encounters with international regulators. Between 2011 and 2018, it paid $14.5bn in fines, with exposure to dubious Russian money a regular theme.

Germany's troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of "senior management" because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says.

This isn't the only EU bank to have facilitated the global movement of massive private wealth out of Russia into safe western assets, such as luxury private real estate holdings in New York City .

The bank is under investigation for its role in Europe's biggest banking scandal, involving Denmark's Danske Bank. Danske laundered €200bn (£178bn) of Russian money via its branch in Estonia. Deutsche provided correspondent banking services via its US subsidiary.

Aren't these class-based, rigged games of globalist Monopoly played exclusively by the .01% at the expense of the po fokes back home (in all countries) hilarious, Russ-kie? Maybe, in exchange for your ongoing support, Trump will arrange a loan for your very own luxury fallout shelter, a place to call home where you will ride out the storm in comfort during the coming armageddon?

Welcome to the donkkkeyhole

[Apr 17, 2019] Gina Haspel As If Nuremberg Never Happened

Notable quotes:
"... I was not in the least surprised at reports that a known torturer was slated to head the CIA, and I expected quick confirmation. Such is my opinion of our ruling classes. ..."
"... Whatever Haspel may be, we can be sure the CIA will continue to torture, detain people without charge, assassinate and terrorize with its own drone force, and cause mayhem around the world and at home. No one can be trusted with the Ring of Power. ..."
"... American Exceptionalism is perhaps the most toxic ideology since Nazism and Stalinism. It says that the United States is always virtuous even when it tortures, when it bombs towns, villages, cities in the name of "freedom or installs dictators, military governments, trains torturers, and, yes, rapes and loots in the name of "democracy." ..."
"... Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious. ..."
"... There won't be a 'Nuremberg' tribunal because Al Qaida didn't defeat the United States, and you'd have to convict not just Ms. Haspel, but a sizeable portion of the U.S. Government. ..."
"... If nothing else, the appointment of Bloody Gina as CIA head finally drives a wooden stake through the heart of the myth that "we're The Good Guys(tm)!" or its cousin "all we gotta do is elect Team D and we can be The Good Guys(R) again!" ..."
"... I do not know whether to admire Mr. van Buren's idealism or be astonished at his naivete. Has he never heard of the School of the Americas, of sinister reputation, or the Condor Plan, aided and abetted by U.S. intelligence? People in Latin America know better than to believe the U.S. protestations of virtue. They know about torturers, and the U.S. support for them. ..."
"... She was put in charge there not long after and oversaw the waterboarding of at least one prisoner, and later followed orders to destroy the tapes of waterboarding at that site. Your claim that " She had nothing to do with torture anywhere" is incorrect. ..."
"... furbo: your contention that " US extreme interrogation techniques are not equivalent to forcible sodomy, beating the genitals, pounding the kidneys, or breaking bones" is wrong. The UN Convention against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, states " For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person " Ask anyone who has been waterboarded whether that fits the official definition? ..."
"... Ceterum censeo: given that the Iraq invasion and occupation was an act of aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter and thus illegal under US law, it is not just torturers but also war criminals in government and general staff that have to be considered in the contexts of these words. ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Nothing will say more about who we are, across three American administrations -- one that demanded torture, one that covered it up, and one that seeks to promote its bloody participants -- than whether Gina Haspel becomes director of the CIA.

Haspel oversaw the torture of human beings in Thailand as the chief of a CIA black site in 2002. Since then, she's worked her way up to deputy director at the CIA. With current director Mike Pompeo slated to move to Foggy Bottom, President Donald Trump has proposed Haspel as the Agency's new head.

Haspel's victims waiting for death in Guantanamo cannot speak to us, though they no doubt remember their own screams as they were waterboarded. And we can still hear former CIA officer John Kiriakou say : "We did call her Bloody Gina. Gina was always very quick and very willing to use force. Gina and people like Gina did it, I think, because they enjoyed doing it. They tortured just for the sake of torture, not for the sake of gathering information."

It was Kiriakou who exposed the obsessive debate over the effectiveness of torture as false. The real purpose of torture conducted by those like Gina Haspel was to seek vengeance, humiliation, and power. We're just slapping you now, she would have said in that Thai prison, but we control you, and who knows what will happen next, what we're capable of? The torture victim is left to imagine what form the hurt will take and just how severe it will be, creating his own terror.

Haspel won't be asked at her confirmation hearing to explain how torture works, but those who were waterboarded under her stewardship certainly could.

I met my first torture victim in Korea, where I was adjudicating visas for the State Department. Persons with serious criminal records are ineligible to travel to the United States, with an exception for dissidents who have committed political crimes. The man I spoke with said that under the U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Park Chung Hee he was tortured for writing anti-government verse. He was taken to a small underground cell. Two men arrived and beat him repeatedly on his testicles and sodomized him with one of the tools they had used for the beating. They asked no questions. They barely spoke to him at all.

Though the pain was beyond his ability to describe, he said the subsequent humiliation of being left so utterly helpless was what really affected his life. It destroyed his marriage, sent him to the repeated empty comfort of alcohol, and kept him from ever putting pen to paper again. The men who destroyed him, he told me, did their work, and then departed, as if they had others to visit and needed to get on with things. He was released a few days later and driven back to his apartment by the police. A forward-looking gesture.

The second torture victim I met was while I was stationed in Iraq. The prison that had held him was under the control of shadowy U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces. Inside, masked men bound him at the wrists and ankles and hung him upside-down. He said they neither asked him questions nor demanded information. They did whip his testicles with a leather strap, then beat the bottoms of his feet and the area around his kidneys. They slapped him. They broke the bones in his right foot with a steel rod, a piece of rebar ordinarily used to reinforce concrete.

It was painful, he told me, but he had felt pain before. What destroyed him was the feeling of utter helplessness, the inability to control things around him as he once had. He showed me the caved-in portion of his foot, which still bore a rod-like indentation with faint signs of metal grooves.

Gina Haspel is the same as those who were in the room with the Korean. She is no different than those who tormented the Iraqi.

As head of a black site, Haspel had sole authority to halt the questioning of suspects, but she allowed torture to continue. New information and a redaction of earlier reporting that said Haspel was present for the waterboarding and torture of Abu Zubaydah (she was actually the station chief at the black site after those sessions) makes it less clear whether Haspel oversaw the torture of all of the prisoners there, but pay it little mind. The confusion arises from the government's refusal to tell us what Haspel actually did as a torturer. So many records have yet to be released and those that have been are heavily redacted. Then there are the tapes of Zubaydah's waterboarding, which Haspel later pushed to have destroyed.

Arguing over just how much blood she has in her hands is a distraction from the fact that she indeed has blood on her hands.

Gina Haspel is now eligible for the CIA directorship because Barack Obama did not prosecute anyone for torture; he merely signed an executive order banning it in the future. He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured that almost all government documents on the torture program remained classified. He did not prosecute the CIA officials who destroyed videotapes of the torture scenes.

Obama ignored the truth that sees former Nazis continue to be hunted some 70 years after the Holocaust: that those who do evil on behalf of a government are individually responsible. "I was only following orders" is not a defense of inhuman acts. The purpose of tracking down the guilty is to punish them, to discourage the next person from doing evil, and to morally immunize a nation-state.

To punish Gina Haspel "more than 15 years later for doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders, would be a travesty and a disgrace," claims one of her supporters. "Haspel did nothing more and nothing less than what the nation and the agency asked her to do, and she did it well," said Michael Hayden, who headed the CIA during the height of the Iraq war from 2006-2009.

Influential people in Congress agree. Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will soon review Haspel's nomination, said , "I know Gina personally and she has the right skill set, experience, and judgment to lead one of our nation's most critical agencies."

"She'll have to answer for that period of time, but I think she's a highly qualified person," offered Senator Lindsey Graham. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson defended Haspel's actions, saying they were "the accepted practice of the day" and shouldn't disqualify her.

His fellow Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, signaled her likely acceptance, saying , "Since my concerns were raised over the torture situation, I have met with her extensively, talked with her She has been, I believe, a good deputy director." Senator Susan Collins added that Haspel "certainly has the expertise and experience as a 30-year employee of the agency." John McCain, a victim of torture during the Vietnam War, mumbled only that Haspel would have to explain her role.

Nearly alone at present, Republican Senator Rand Paul says he will oppose Haspel's nomination. Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, both Democrats, have told Trump she is unsuitable and will likely also vote no.

Following World War II, the United States could have easily executed those Nazis responsible for the Holocaust, or thrown them into some forever jail on an island military base. It would have been hard to find anyone who wouldn't have supported brutally torturing them at a black site. Instead, they were put on public trial at Nuremberg and made to defend their actions as the evidence against them was laid bare. The point was to demonstrate that We were better than Them.

Today we refuse to understand what Haspel's victims, and the Korean writer, and the Iraqi insurgent, already know on our behalf: unless Congress awakens to confront this nightmare and deny Gina Haspel's nomination as director of the CIA, torture will have transformed us and so it will consume us. Gina Haspel is a torturer. We are torturers. It is as if Nuremberg never happened.

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 and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. He tweets @WeMeantWell.


Douglas K. March 19, 2018 at 3:19 am

Covering up torture is quite possibly the worst thing Obama did. (I'd put it neck-and-neck with targeted killing.) This nation desperately needs a president who will expose all of these horrors, and appoint an attorney general who will prosecute these acts as war crimes.
I Don't Matter , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:49 am
Trump likes waterboarding. He said so himself. One assumes he meant, being a whimpering coward himself, when someone else does it to someone else. But who knows? Enjoy judge Gorsuch.
Mark Thomason , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:49 am
"doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders"

To complete the parallel, we would need to prosecute and punish those who asked her to do it, and those who told her those orders were lawful. Instead, some are doing paintings of their toes, some are promoted to be Federal judges, and some are influential professors at "liberal" law schools. Why punish *only* her?

Peter Hopkins , says: March 19, 2018 at 6:52 am
Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.
Ian , says: March 19, 2018 at 7:10 am
As we've proved, we're not better than them. Any of them.
Bagby , says: March 19, 2018 at 8:00 am
I was not in the least surprised at reports that a known torturer was slated to head the CIA, and I expected quick confirmation. Such is my opinion of our ruling classes. I am in full support of Mr. Van Buren's thesis. However, Pro Publica, which seems to have been the source of much reporting of Haspel's torture record, has retracted the claim that Haspel had tortured in Thailand. Mr. Van Buren quotes another source from his blog that supports the thesis that Haspel is a torturer. How does one know what to believe? Whatever Haspel may be, we can be sure the CIA will continue to torture, detain people without charge, assassinate and terrorize with its own drone force, and cause mayhem around the world and at home. No one can be trusted with the Ring of Power.
Centralist , says: March 19, 2018 at 8:19 am
Its because we lost our sense of what makes us who we are. We are an empire that dances for private interests. In Rome they were called families and led by patricians, they had money private guards, gladiators, and even street people supporting them. In the Modern USA they are called Interest Groups and/or Corporations. They are lead by CEOs and instead of gladiators they have Lawyers. Our being better matters less then their own squabbles which is why a torturer could reach the highest seat in intel. The majority of Americans have lost their sense of being Americans instead they are Republicans, Democrats, etc, etc. Things that once use to be part of an American have come to define us.
Banger , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:09 am
American Exceptionalism is perhaps the most toxic ideology since Nazism and Stalinism. It says that the United States is always virtuous even when it tortures, when it bombs towns, villages, cities in the name of "freedom or installs dictators, military governments, trains torturers, and, yes, rapes and loots in the name of "democracy."

At least this appointment along with the election of Trump shows the true face of the United States in international affairs. When we face the fact we are (a) an oligarchy and (b) a brutal Empire we might have a chance to return to something more human. Few readers, even of TAC, will want to look at our recent history of stunning brutality and lack of interest in even being in the neighborhood of following international law.

Peter Van Buren , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:31 am
CIA has purposefully refused to disclose Haspel's role for a decade+ They have selectively released information last week to discredit those criticizing her. I don't think we should play their game, letting them set the agenda. Instead, I declaim torture itself and any role she played in it, whether she poured the water or kept the books.
Kurt Gayle , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:34 am
Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of the CIA's Haspel put him at risk?

In the 2003 film "Love Actually" the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) jokes with a Downing Street employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon):

"PM: You live with your husband? Boyfriend, three illegitimate but charming children? –
"NATALIE: No, I've just split up with my boyfriend, so I'm back with my mum and dad for a while.
"PM: Oh. I'm sorry.
"NATALIE: No, it's fine. I'm well shot of him. He said I was getting fat.
"PM: I beg your pardon?
"NATALIE: He said no one's going to fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
"PM: Right You know, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
"NATALIE: Thank you, sir. I'll think about it.
"PM: Do – the SAS are absolutely charming – ruthless, trained killers are just a phone call away."

It's just a film. It's just a joke. But the joke works because the public knows that – in reality – the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it.

Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious.

Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this:

"Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."

When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services.

After all, none of the three are joking. They're serious. And the American people know that they're serious.

Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of CIA operative Haspel put him at risk?

Peter Van Buren , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:35 am
New information makes it less clear whether Haspel oversaw the torture of all of the prisoners at her black site, but pay it little mind. The confusion is because the government refuses to tell us what Haspel actually did as a torturer. Arguing over just how much blood she has on her hands is a distraction when she indeed has blood on her hands.

The idea is her participation on any level at the black site is sufficient to disqualify her from heading the Agency. If the Agency wishes to clarify her role, as was done via trial for the various Nazis at Nuremberg, we can deal with her actions more granularly.

Wilfred , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:25 am
Since we have not had any more successful attacks on the scale of 9-11, it is very easy to be scrupulous regarding rough treatment of terrorists.

But if we had suffered a dozen or more such attacks, of increasing magnitude and maybe involving nuclear weapons, how many of you would still be condemning Mrs Haspel et al.? Or would you then be complaining they had not used water-boarding enough?

The 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, was caught weeks before 9-11. Investigators figured out he was up to no good, tried to get permission to search his computer, but were denied. The U.S. Government carefully protected his privacy rights. So are you pleased with the outcome, Mr van Buren?

furbo , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:45 am
I'm sorry – this whole piece is a massive non sequitur. Ms. Haspel has no 'blood' on her hands as US extreme interrogation techniques (sleep deprivation, uncomfortable positions, waterboarding) didn't draw any. They are not equivalent to forcible sodomy, beating the genitals, pounding the kidneys, or breaking bones. US techniques might have been bad policy – won't argue – but lets not fall for a false equivalency.

Ms. Haspel was an agent of her government, acting on it's orders under it's policies and guidelines. Which leads to

Nuremberg. The Nuremberg tribunals (they were military tribunals – not trials) were conducted by a victorious military force against a defeated military force. They were widely criticized as vengeance even by such august people as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Stone and associate Justice Douglas. There won't be a 'Nuremberg' tribunal because Al Qaida didn't defeat the United States, and you'd have to convict not just Ms. Haspel, but a sizeable portion of the U.S. Government.

And lastly there's this from a comment of the authors: "The idea is her participation on any level at the black site is sufficient to disqualify her from heading the Agency." Utter nonsense. That was the mission of the Agency at that time. It's like saying a 33yr old Drone Pilot who takes out an ISIS/Al Qaida operative as well as 15 civilians is disqualified to be the Sec Def 2 decades later.

Just stop.

Sid Finster , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:59 am

If nothing else, the appointment of Bloody Gina as CIA head finally drives a wooden stake through the heart of the myth that "we're The Good Guys(tm)!" or its cousin "all we gotta do is elect Team D and we can be The Good Guys(R) again!"

We demonize Russia at every opportunity, but I don't see Russia rewarding torturers by appointing them to high office.

Sally Stewart , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:11 am
Douglas K. What are you talking about? Covered up? You mean Bush http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/175/end-the-use-of-torture/
Stephen J. , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:12 am
A lot of info below on the War criminals at large.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
May 26, 2015 Do We Need Present Day Nuremberg Trials? http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/05/do-we-need-present-day-nuremberg-trials.html

And

March 9, 2018 Are We Seeing Government By Gangsters? http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/03/are-we-seeing-government-by-gangsters.html

connecticut farmer , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:49 am
I didn't know too much about this woman's background until I read that Rand Paul opposes her nomination. I tend to take notice whenever Rand Paul holds forth on any subject. All I can say is that if her actual record even approximates what has been alleged, then this woman is unfit for the post–Nuremberg or no Nuremberg.
Winston , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:54 am
"As we've proved, we're not better than them. Any of them." Oh, -PLEASE-, spare us the hyperbole! WE burn alive captives held in cages? WE saw off their heads?

Thousands of US Navy and Air Force pilots have been waterboarded as part of their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training programs.

Lex Talionis , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm
All of the torturers should be brought to justice. So should all of the officials who ordered or authorized torture.

There is no statute of limitations on capital Federal crimes. For a U.S. citizen to kill via torture is a capital Federal crime, no matter where the torture took place. If statutes of limitations make it too late to prosecute some acts of torture, it is not too late to bring about some measure of justice by making torturers pariahs. As many sexual harassers have recently learned, there is no statute of limitations in the court of public opinion.

bob sykes , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm
The story linking her to torture has been formally retracted. She had nothing to do with torture anywhere. How about a retraction of this story and an apology.
Youknowho , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:30 pm
I do not know whether to admire Mr. van Buren's idealism or be astonished at his naivete. Has he never heard of the School of the Americas, of sinister reputation, or the Condor Plan, aided and abetted by U.S. intelligence? People in Latin America know better than to believe the U.S. protestations of virtue. They know about torturers, and the U.S. support for them.

Personally, I prefer that the cruelty should be, as Lincoln once put it, "unalloyed by the base metal of hypocrisy"

Tyrone Slothrop , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm
bob sykes: you should read Pro Publica's retraction ( https://www.propublica.org/article/cia-cables-detail-its-new-deputy-directors-role-in-torture ) of the claim that Haspel was in charge of the Thai black site when Abu Zubaydeh was tortured. She was put in charge there not long after and oversaw the waterboarding of at least one prisoner, and later followed orders to destroy the tapes of waterboarding at that site. Your claim that " She had nothing to do with torture anywhere" is incorrect.

Winston: why do you suppose "thousands of US Navy and Air Force pilots have been waterboarded as part of their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training programs"? Is it not to prepare them for the possibility of what we call torture when used by our adversaries?

furbo: your contention that " US extreme interrogation techniques are not equivalent to forcible sodomy, beating the genitals, pounding the kidneys, or breaking bones" is wrong. The UN Convention against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, states " For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person " Ask anyone who has been waterboarded whether that fits the official definition?

Near Rockaway , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm
"Has he never heard of the School of the Americas, of sinister reputation, or the Condor Plan, aided and abetted by U.S. intelligence?"

Evil stuff. And we're still paying for it. Keeping Haspel out of the Director's chair is a basic step toward avoiding more such needless, stupid evil.

Chris Mallory , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Wilfred, the problem was not that the Feds protected Zacarias Moussaoui's right to privacy. The problem is that it let any of the 20 Arab Muslims into the US in the first place. Closing our borders and mass deportations would have been the best thing to do in the aftermath of 9/11, not torture and invasions.
b. , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Very well put. Lest we forget: Bush also delivered the stern warning that "war crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished, and it will be no defense to say, 'I was just following orders'."

Ceterum censeo: given that the Iraq invasion and occupation was an act of aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter and thus illegal under US law, it is not just torturers but also war criminals in government and general staff that have to be considered in the contexts of these words.

Wilfred , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Chris Mallory (Mar 19 @1:47 p.m.), I agree with you. We shouldn't be letting them in.

But if someone had sneaked-a-peek at Moussaoui's laptop during the 3 weeks they had him before 9-11, we might have been able to thwart the attack altogether. (And the Press has been strangely incurious about investigating whoever it was who issued the injunction protecting Moussie's precious computer). This type of hand-wringing cost us 3,000 lives. Even more, considering the Afghan & 2nd Iraq wars would never have been launched, were it not for 9-11.

[Apr 17, 2019] Al-Sisi is evidently not impressed with Trump

Notable quotes:
"... This is a humiliation for the US in that it demonstrates the waning power and influence of the US in the region and most especially of Donald Trump who has demonstrated his indifference to the interests of the Arabs in repeated slavish support of Israel against the Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians. pl ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

It surprises me that Egypt has rather brazenly walked away from the Boltonesque fantasy of an "Arab NATO." I would have thought that the paychecks Egypt receives every year from the American taxpayer and the Saudis would have kept Sisi in line, but apparently the prospect of other sources of funding affected the decision to defy the Amiirkaan.

With the exception of Jordan's small but competent armed forces, Egypt is the only country among the members that possesses significant military power, The armed forces of the other countries are mere playthings for princes. Egypt's withdrawal from this alliance makes the farcical nature of the plan quite clear.

This is a humiliation for the US in that it demonstrates the waning power and influence of the US in the region and most especially of Donald Trump who has demonstrated his indifference to the interests of the Arabs in repeated slavish support of Israel against the Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians. pl

https://southfront.org/egypt-pulled-out-of-u-s-efforts-to-form-arab-nato-to-combat-iran-reports/

[Apr 17, 2019] Perhaps in case of Haspel Novichok fairy tale Donald Trump has a soft spot for ducks because of Donald Duck?

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Apr 16, 2019 11:17:30 PM | link

@Mataman #9:
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals.

Perhaps Donald Trump has a soft spot for ducks because of Donald Duck?

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:26:59 PM | link
Now Haspel can boast that she grabbed him by the duckie .

[Apr 17, 2019] Haspel revelation sheds a whole new light on the death of those two poor little hamsters, or was it guinea pigs, said to be starved while the police was investigating the premises of Skripal.

Notable quotes:
"... With Haspel around they might have succombed to her nasty ways of torturing. ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

willie , Apr 16, 2019 6:29:03 PM | link

This sheds a whole new light on the death of those two poor little hamsters, or was it guinea pigs, said to be starved while the police was investigating the premises of Skripal.

With Haspel around they might have succombed to her nasty ways of torturing.

[Apr 17, 2019] Putin's remark about people with breifcases and impotent US presidents

With Haspel at the helm of CIA, the threat of waterboarding the President is also very real;-)
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Apr 16, 2019 6:41:05 PM | link

Concerning who is pulling the strings, please forgive a repost of an interview with one who knows. On 31 May 2017 Putin gave an interview with Le Figaro where he said:

"I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration."

A long list of people with briefcases so far ends with Gina.

[Apr 17, 2019] Perhaps Trump received the JFK lecture

Apr 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

ThomasEdmonds , 18 minutes ago link

Once upon a time, President Trump wanted to bring the troops home from Syria and Afghanistan. Perhaps he received the JFK lecture.

Tulsi Gabbard will receive the same if elected. They all will.

Haboob , 15 minutes ago link

Maybe thats what Obama told Trump at their little sit down after Trump won.

Enceladus , 43 minutes ago link

The Neo CON man.

tmosley , 29 minutes ago link

Whereas Adam Schiff is a man who stands for freedom, justice, and the American way!

[Apr 16, 2019] Is The US Losing Influence In The World's Biggest Oil Region

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump also hoped the Sisi meeting would re-invigorate his idea of an "Arab NATO", the proposed Middle East Security Alliance (MESA), raised at the beginning of his Presidency. MESA would, U.S. planners believed, align the Gulf Arab states -- particularly Saudi Arabia -- with Jordan and Egypt to strategically balance and oppose Iran. Cairo cannot realistically support such a position in black and white terms (neither can Qatar or Jordan, at this stage).

Cairo is actually open to improved relations with Iran, particularly because the Egyptian Government feels less than secure that the current Saudi regime is stable and reliable.

Trump, during the White House meeting, strenuously attempted to support Saudi Arabia and MbS, but received strong pushback from al-Sisi on that account.

The measure of Egypt's rejection of the U.S. pressure was indicated when al-Sisi, immediately upon returning to Cairo on April 10, 2019, formally withdrew Egypt from MESA. Egypt had very deliberately not sent a delegation to the MESA summit in Riyadh on April 8, 2019.

...

The ongoing belief in the U.S. that Egypt's defenses are existentially dependent on Washington is something which Cairo cannot comprehend. Washington policy thinking is that Cairo would obey U.S. diktat because it needed spare parts for U.S.-supplied equipment, or because it so needed the relatively small contribution offered by the Camp David Accord aid payments.


supermaxedout , 22 minutes ago link

The author says very little about Egypts relations with Syria. I remember when the US agent Morsi tried to push Egypt to fight against Assad. Genral Al Sisi stopped this because it would have torn also Egypt apart, especially the Army which has very friendly ties with the Syrian army.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/morsi-role-at-syria-rally-seen-as-tipping-point-for-egypt-army-1.1450612

https://www.middleeastobserver.org/2016/11/25/18-egyptian-pilots-have-started-to-work-at-hama-military-airbase-in-syria/

General Al Sisi and President Assad have something very basic in common. Both want to preserve the culture of their countries which are multi religious, representing the developments in these areas over thousands of years. AL Sisi was acting swiftly to protect the Copts which is a christian religion, maybe the true birthplace of christianity. The copts have deep roots in the old Egyptian religion. In a speech Al Sisi said that the copts are an essential part of Egypt and that they are the link to Egypts great past.

WhiteOakQueen , 1 hour ago link

You sure as hell can't say trump isn't trying! He just vetoed the Senate bill to end all aid to continue the war on Yemen! What did Yemen ever do to us? Not a damn thing! His true colors are shining more every day. His followers will say it's a trick! It's 4d chess! It's disgusting!

J S Bach , 1 hour ago link

The area around Venezuela is actually now the richest "oil region" in the world.

You know... I often ponder how must simpler and peaceful the world could and SHOULD be were the ziombie United States not such a belligerent force. Our Founding Fathers would be outrageously appalled at their descendants to whom they bequeathed responsibility for maintaining and championing their original philosophy.

RoyalDraco , 54 minutes ago link

The question now is who in the Washington bureaucracy will take the blame for pushing Trump to insist on actions by al-Sisi which any fundamental analysis of the situation points to being infeasible and against Egypt's view of its own strategic interests.

i think the question now is whether Trump is such an idiot Zionist that he takes his orders from Sheldon Adelson Bolt-on, and Pompous. MIGA.

J S Bach , 51 minutes ago link

Trump is his own MAGA... Massive Arrogant Goy *******.

Winston Churchill , 46 minutes ago link

Already answered,and the ***-whipping when he takes on Iran will be well deserved,no way to

win short of using nukes. Iran is far too important to Russia and China for that to be allowed. Logistics and demographics are not on the US's side, even the Pentagram wants nothing to do with an actual war with Iran.

High Vigilante , 1 hour ago link

Bonobo and Killary fucked up US foreign policy.

skippy dinner , 1 hour ago link

First Law of Politics: Don't piss people off.

RagaMuffin , 1 hour ago link

"Is The US Losing Influence In The World's Biggest Oil Region?"

Only if you consider the last 40 years of screwing up as success.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

No One Can Trust Trump

erratic and dysfunctional, absurd and incongruous,

fantastic and ludicrous - he rules from an immoral crevasse:

he sustains massive corporate profits and upper caste power.

[Apr 16, 2019] MAKE YEMEN SHITHOLE AGAIN!: I voted for Trump and I got a copy of Hillary instead

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

†FreeThought†

What happened to "Nationalism, not globalism will be our credo"...? I voted for Trump and I got Trumpstein instead.

Haboob

Reality is a bitch.

Deep Snorkeler , 8 minutes ago link

Victory in Yemen! Victory in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere else! Our $trillon military, led by genius generals, will bring home slaves and loot to replenish our bankrupt treasury. We shall crush our enemies and hear the lamentations of their women.

ClickNLook, 44 minutes ago

MAKE YEMEN SHITHOLE AGAIN!

warsev

I guess we now know fully where President Trump stands on reining in executive warmongering.

[Apr 16, 2019] The Bizarre Billionaire that Backed Bannon and Made Trump President - a TRNN Documentary - YouTube

Apr 05, 2019 | www.youtube.com

TRNN Documentary: Steve Bannon was fired from the White House on Friday, August 18th, 2017, but most of the media is missing the story of Robert Mercer, the billionaire that brought Bannon to the White House, who has now reappointed him as chairman of Breitbart News - TRNN replay

Subscribe to our page and support our work at https://therealnews.com/donate .


MrVancityeagle , 1 week ago

Steve Bannon, David Bossie, KellyAnne Conway, Andrew Breitbart, Peter Schweizer, ALL MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL FOR NATIONAL POLICY. Robert Mercer is a financier of the CNP. Why will nobody do an indepth look at the CNP ? That is the key.

Rob Vann , 1 week ago

Looks like the road to fascism.. a frightening exposé.

Invesigator 2 , 1 week ago

The bastard Robert Mercer is also behind Cambridge analytica, Facebook and Brexit.

Robert Giggles , 1 week ago

Never forget who gave you Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams.... It is puppet masters hiding in the shadow like Adelson, Mercer and the rest of the Zio-Con Cartel... The True Deep State....

stewart hart , 1 week ago

Billionaire Robert Mercer now owns the United States Presidency & he ain't gonna play fair to keep it. For the 2016 (s)election, Billionaire Robert Mercer sought a disruptive figure who could upend both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. He used psychographics, a combination of behavior science & big data, to manipulate the genuine anger toward the corrupt system to influence voter's thoughts, opinions and desires to elect Trump. Deciding? No manipulating Hilary and the DCCC made it easier by being obvious bankster owned neo-con war hawks.

Stephan Baish , 1 week ago

Wall Street's billionaire monsters breed monstrous governments that spread chaos and suffering over the entire planet. And instead of fighting them, the Democrat™ party leaders invent ludicrous spy-novel narratives to shift the blame.

M. Gilley , 1 week ago

Bannon's ideology is such a muddled mess. He cites Evola, who was a far-right self-proclaimed elitest who wanted a caste system (you stay where you're born becuase spiritually you were destined for that spot, social mobility is bad, etc etc), and he also promotes ethno-nationalist populism and capitalism, the latter of which Evola saw as gross and materialistic. I realize he probably wants a spiritual justification for the people he promotes, but he's just kinda acts, like Olly from Philosophy Tube said, as an arsonist instead.

D' Essay , 1 week ago (edited)

Certainly Brietbart appealed to the republican working class wing of the party and unleashed racist forces in society. And the racist forces became the one hope for a dejected rural working class. Got nowhere for the workers in 2019. Bannon is off in some eastern European country organizing a nationalist anti-immigrant campaign that will purportedly shake the western world down to its knees. Nationalism is working out in America because it can afford to be nationalistic. It can afford to be socialistic too. This is the blessing of having such a high productivity. You have choices. But what this team of billionaires do not have is control of the price of choice. The faces of the far right do not have control over the forces of nature and control over the oscillations of price on the world market. The billionaires do not know how to operate in clear terms for the world to trust in what they do. They are ambiguous on foreign policy and isolationist on domestic policy retreating from social responsibility of any of the negative effects of their policies. Situation has completely changed in 2019. Rural working class voters are listening to democrats. It took an act of nature for them to listen to the big government green new deal people. Subsidies to keep afloat farmers from the negative impact of tariffs are no substitute for selling products on the world market. Farmers get paid at the sale of their yield an amount that covers their annual cost of living plus a profit. Subsidies come monthly and changes the dynamic of the farmer family's consumption lifestyle. The straw that breaks the camel's back might be this historic flood swinging the pendulum leftward in the farm belt. Leftward because food prices will rise in cities and markets generally not because of a shortage of food due to the rivers swelling and levies breaking and plains flooding and livestock and grain contaminated. This country can feed the nation times over with its surplus produce. Prices rise because wages for the working class has not risen, the consumers of food need money in their pocket or the vast abundance of food produced will rot on the shelves while people lay hungry is a nightmare for the American farmer and worker that can happen in America. Food growers raise prices in a rush to profit above the cost of their lifestyle is an act totally avoidable if wages were increased. Urban workers and rural farmers have a natural basis to be allies to fight any kind of force that breaks the food chain even if it means going against a government that refuses to raise wages.

Tsnore , 1 week ago

Merika is all 'bout freedom - freedom to buy whatever your money can, and if ya'll have piles of it, ya'll can buy anything. God bless it.

[Apr 16, 2019] Look on the bright side, Trump's overt pandering to Israel has disgusted the Europeans so much that Macron is at the lowest point in his popularity as Rothschild's puppet, and there is rising support for the AfD in Germany.

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Thinker , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT

Look on the bright side, Trump's overt pandering to Israel has disgusted the Europeans so much that Macron is at the lowest point in his popularity as Rothschild's puppet, and there is rising support for the AfD in Germany.

The NYT reported that 40% of Germans now think it's right to blame Jews for Israel's policy in the Mideast, German youth couldn't care less about the holocaust, and Merkel is pivoting to Russia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/opinion/germany-nazis.html

It is now (America + Israel) vs. (the rest of the world led by Russia, China, Iran, Syria, with increasing pivot from Germany and India)

Even the rest of the Five Eyes a.k.a. America's lap dogs are casting a wary eye towards this unholy alliance, and avoid outright support for Israel. Netanyahu has let his new found power, i.e. America's muscles, gone to his head. He's digging a grave for himself, turning Israel more and more into a pariah state with each passing day.

I'm guessing chess is not Trump's strong suit, nor any of the Israel Firsters (incl. Pence & Pompeo) hanging around him. They're all letting their new found power go to their collective heads. Things are going to backfire on them sooner or later.

[Apr 16, 2019] "Trump panders to his base at the Republican Jewish Coalition." but the problem is that the Republican Jewish Coalition was never his base.

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Thinker , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm GMT

@wayfarer "Trump panders to his base at the Republican Jewish Coalition."

The trouble is, the Republican Jewish Coalition was never his base. These people were the biggest Trump haters until he got elected. Now they're just holding their noses to buy power through him.

Meanwhile, the real Trump's base could care less about Israel, and are frankly disgusted with his foreign policy and complete failure on immigration.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump probably should get one step further at the Republican Coalition

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT

"Trump also told the Republican Coalition audience how he came to a decision on recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights."

He should and probably will recognize USA as the colony of Isreal and the Jews, and get it over with.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump Dances to Israel's Tune by Philip Giraldi

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

So newly reelected Israeli monster-in-chief Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted , with a grin, that America's President Donald J. Trump followed through on his proposal to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group. Bibi was smiling because the timing of the move, one day before the Israeli election, strongly suggests it was done to assist him against what had become a very strong opposition challenge. That Trump likely colluded with Netanyahu to blatantly interfere in the election has apparently bothered no one in Israel or in the tame American media.

The gift from Washington came on top of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, threatening members of the International Criminal Court if they try to prosecute Israel for war crimes, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, removing the word "occupation" from the State Department's assessments of human rights infringements on the West Bank, eliminating relief funding for Palestinian refugees, leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council because it was too critical of Israel, and looking the other way as Israel declared itself a state only for Jews. Washington also ignored the bombing of hospitals, schools and water treatment infrastructure in Gaza while Israeli army snipers were shooting unarmed demonstrators demanding their freedom.

The labeling of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group is particularly disturbing as it means that the United States military by virtue of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) now has a mandate to attack the IRGC wherever it appears, including in Syria or even in the waterway the Straits of Hormuz, where the guard has regular patrols in small boats. It is a de facto declaration of war and it comes on top of a number of deliberate provocations directed against Iran starting with the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) one year ago, which led to the unilateral imposition of harsh sanctions directed against the Iranian economy to bring about a popular uprising as well as regularly repeated false claims that Iran is the leading "state sponsor of terrorism." Next month, the U.S. will begin enforcing a unilaterally declared worldwide sanction on any and all Iranian oil sales.

Netanyahu pledged to annex Israeli settlements on the largely Palestinian West Bank if elected, which is undoubtedly a move cleared in advance with the Trump team of foreign policy sociopaths as it de facto puts an end to any delusional speculation over a possible two-state negotiated solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. It will also lead to a massive upsurge in violence as the Palestinians object, which is neither a concern for the White House or Netanyahu, as they are assuming that it can be suppressed by overwhelming force directed against an almost completely unarmed civilian population.

And Trump will no doubt expect Bibi to return the favor when he is running for reelection in 2020 by encouraging American Jews who care about Israel to support the Republicans. Trump is focused on his own electability and is absolutely shameless about his betrayal of actual American interests in the Middle East, possibly because he has no inkling of the actual damage that he is doing. His speech last week before the casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson-hosted Jewish Republican Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas was a disgusting pander to a group that includes many key players who have little or no concern for what happens to the United States as long as Israel flourishes. The only good news that came out of the meeting was that Adelson himself appears to be "gravely ill."

Trump at times appeared to be speaking to what he thought was a group of Israelis, referring to "your prime minister" when mentioning Benjamin Netanyahu and several times describing Israel as "yours," suggesting that deep down he understands that many American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States. At another point, Trump declared that "The Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and their country," apparently part of a White House plan to keep playing that card to turn American Jews and their political donations in a Republican direction before elections in 2020.

Trump also told the Republican Coalition audience how he came to a decision on recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He described how "he'd been speaking to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, over the phone about an unrelated issue when he suddenly brought up the Golan Heights." Trump shared how "I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I'm working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie.' After the advisers filled him in, Trump said he asked Friedman: 'David, what do you think about me recognizing Israel and the Golan Heights?' Friedman, apparently surprised by the suggestion, reacted like a 'wonderful, beautiful baby,' Trump said, and asked if he would 'really do that.' 'Yeah, I think I'm doing it right now. Let's write something up,' Trump said he responded, prompting applause and cheers from his audience in Las Vegas. 'We make fast decisions and we make good decisions.'"

Putting the Trump story about the Golan Heights in some kind of context is not really that difficult. He wanted an answer to please Netanyahu and he went to three Orthodox Jews who support the illegal Israeli settlements and have also individually contributed financially to their growth so he was expecting the response that he got. That he was establishing a precedent by his moves on Jerusalem and the Golan apparently did not occur to him as his administration prides itself on having a foreign policy vision that extends no longer than the beginning of next week, which is why he hired Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams. And then there is always the doleful Stephen Miller lurking in the background as well as the three musketeers of Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman for really serious questions relating to why acceding to the wishes of parasite state Israel should continue to be the apparent number one priority of the government of the United States.

Donald Trump neither poses nor answers the question why he feels compelled to fulfill all of the campaign pledges he made to the Jewish community, which by and large did not vote for him, while failing to carry out the promises made to those who actually did support him . The absurd Jewish Republican Coalition narrative about how Trump gave Israel the Golan Heights should have resulted in a flood of opprobrium in the U.S. media about his profound ignorance and fundamental hypocrisy, but there was largely silence.

The nonsense going on in Las Vegas in front of a lot of fat cats who regard the United States as little more than a cash cow that they control as well as in the White House itself unfortunately has real world consequences. America is being led by the nose by a well-entrenched and powerful group of Israeli loyalists and this will not end well. The U.S. doesn't even have a Middle Eastern foreign policy anymore – it has a "to do" list handed by Netanyahu to whomever is president. The fact that the current man in charge in Washington is either so ignorant or so deluded as to allow the process to escalate until the U.S. is drawn into yet more catastrophic wars is beyond regrettable. U.S. foreign policy should not depend on the perceptions of Kushner and company. It should be based on real, tangible American interests, not those of Israel. Someone should explain that to the president.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Anon [163] Disclaimer , says: April 16, 2019 at 2:59 am GMT

The gift from Washington came on top of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, threatening members of the International Criminal Court if they try to prosecute Israel for war crimes

It reminds me of the following agreements concluded during the Bush era:

US Bilateral Exemption Agreements

"The Bush Administration is actively opposed to the International Criminal Court. Its insistence on placing all Americans above international law risks undermining the ICC in its earliest and most fragile years. Currently, the State Department is pushing individual countries to conclude bilateral agreements with the US, exempting all Americans (and even some non-nationals) from accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes . These proposed agreements, in the form requested by the US government, are illegal under the Rome Statute and are not required by US law.

– see http://www.iccnow.org/html/aiusimpunity200208.pdf

and

http://www.iccnow.org/html/ciccart98memo20020823.pdf .

· The European Union has concluded that "Entering into US agreements – as presently drafted would be inconsistent with ICC States Parties' obligations with regard to the ICC Statute and may be inconsistent with other international agreements."

To bring the US proposal back within the legal scope of Article 98(2), the EU would require four modifications:

· No impunity: A guarantee that the US would investigate and potentially prosecute the accused in its domestic courts.

· No reciprocity: Nationals of ICC States Parties must be excluded from coverage.

· No universal scope: These agreements can only cover persons officially sent on government business by a State.

· Ratification: The agreement must be approved according to the constitutional procedures of each individual state.

US Bilateral Exemption Agreements

http://www.iccnow.org/documents/FS-WFA-Art98Impunity.pdf

Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 4:21 am GMT
Does any election matter? Does who is elected matter at all ? Is it election or selection by TPTB?

The monster has total control of the West and beyond for ages, and it will not end well.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/netanyahu-trump-putin-love-story-190408095633979.html

http://againstourbetterjudgment.com/

About the book

Soon after WWII, U.S. statesman Dean Acheson warned that creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would "imperil" both American and all Western interests in the region. Despite warnings such as this one, President Truman supported establishing a Jewish state on land primarily inhabited by Muslims and Christians.

Few Americans today are aware that U.S. support enabled the creation of modern Israel. Even fewer know that U.S. politicians pushed this policy over the forceful objections of top diplomatic and military experts.

As this work demonstrates, these politicians were bombarded by a massive pro-Israel lobbying effort that ranged from well-funded and very public Zionist organizations to an "elitist secret society" whose members included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

Against Our Better Judgment brings together meticulously sourced evidence to illuminate a reality that differs starkly from the prevailing narrative. It provides a clear view of the history that is key to understanding one of the most critically important political issues of our day.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/c8jfE1XjgaM?feature=oembed

Interview with Scholar and Journalist, Mark Bruzonsky. Mark Bruzonsky, a Jewish, American Scholar and Journalist, has been a key member behind the scenes of the Israeli Palestinian peace initiative in the 1980s, meeting with Former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and with Palestinian officials. In this exclusive interview with Press TV's Autograph, Mr. Bruzonsky talks about the challenges and missed opportunities he witnessed first-hand, and how Zionist groups infiltrated American politics, US institutions and organizations. He goes further to explain the specific time and day Obama sold out to the AIPAC lobby, and how President Obama would never dare oppose the stronghold of the Zionist, Israeli Lobby in the US.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mark+Bruzonsky

[Apr 16, 2019] Fox News Crowd CHEERING LOUDLY at Bernie's Town Hall, For Gov't-Run Healthcare, Taxing the Rich, Protecting SS, etc. caucus99

Notable quotes:
"... Great description of the kind of panic I'm sure the network heads were feeling. Would love to hear the anxious chatter in the board rooms of how to disseminate it, how to selectively cut and edit clips for their own narrative, how to twist his words to tarnish him, etc (hope the Bernie folks only agreed under the direction that they'd get the whole video also). ..."
"... The campaign website, Pete for America, doesn't feature a policy section, something that has caught the attention of critics who say Buttigieg is an empty suit ..."
"... From the New York Times today: 'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Fox News Crowd CHEERING LOUDLY at Bernie's Town Hall, For Gov't-Run Healthcare, Taxing the Rich, Protecting SS, etc.


Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:11pm I ain't got much to say here. Just perusing Twitter and #BernieTownHall is trending, though obviously being overshadowed by the Notre Dame fire.

And while I don't believe much in electoral politics the message here, the evidence that the divide and conquer bullshit isn't as effective as we've been led to believe, the fact that when asked people on the Right do want many of the same things we want - are all something to behold.

We all know that here. But to actually witness that is always a good reminder, and goes a long way to dissolving the manufactured divisions that the corporate media manipulates.

And we all know what happened when he went to WV for a town hall that MSNBC hosted. Here's videos of coal miners thanking him for fighting for them , him consoling an overworked woman whose friends have died , converting propagandized folk into believers in socialist ideas.

Here's some clips and commentary about Bernie's Fox town hall tonight:

Should we raise the minimum wage to a living wage? Yes!
Should we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure? Yes!
Should we ensure veterans get health care they earned? Yes!
Should we protect Social Security and Medicare? Yes!

A majority of the American people agree. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/qZmuBuA6MM

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 16, 2019

Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of your private health insurance company. We need Medicare for All. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/3euHRCjqn9

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019

Cheering wildly when he exposes Trump for being a fraud on taxes:

. @BernieSanders calls out Fox for not asking Trump what his tax rate is #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/VF7LRr5XYj

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

People. Fucking. Hate. Insurance. Companies.

That backfired... #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/NCKNDIQauZ

-- DSA for Medicare for All (@dsam4a) April 15, 2019

Socialism:

Democratic socialism is about creating a government and economy that work for all Americans, not just the top 1%. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/FybjC7SPPw

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019

. @BernieSanders closing statement at #BernieTownHall on @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/mrpB9jTgwn

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

If you think Bernie isn't doing WORK converting some right leaning fence sitters watching this Fox News town hall you're delusional. Even if it's just 5% of the audience at home it's worth it. This is why you engage instead of shame! #BernieTownHall

-- Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) April 15, 2019

"It is not anti Semitic to be critical of a right-wing government in Israel." - @BernieSanders #BernieTownHall

-- Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) April 15, 2019

. @BretBaier "Your plan calls for significant cuts in the military"

*audience cheers* #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/MYpkgAIoE9

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

. @BernieSanders "CHECK OUT WHO FUNDS THE THINK TANKS" #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/Ysqfuquabj

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

Forgot that this was taking place tonight.

When propaganda spectacularly blows up in the face of the propagandists it is something hopeful, at the very least.

Imagine being the CEO of United Healthcare or BlueCross and watching all the money you spent trying to scare people away from Medicare for All blow up this spectacularly #BernieTownHall . pic.twitter.com/gOmmKAXzt0

-- Hamid Bendaas (@HBendaas) April 15, 2019

@BernieSanders brought the heat at the #FoxNewsTownHall !

Not much has changed since he spoke out against Fox as a Congressman years ago. Explore Sanders's critiques of the network and more in our film Outfoxed: https://t.co/oOlpxf46YT #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/zGuiiqII9X

-- Brave New Films (@bravenewfilms) April 15, 2019

Wally on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:20pm
Please remind naysayers

@Mark from Queens

. . . who emphasize Bernie has less than 30% of the votes in polls (less than the 50% + 1 delegate required to get the nomination) that delegates are awarded by states via primaries (different formulas), not by total US % vote. So, he can possibly even pull it off on the first ballot, before the superdelegates' votes kick in.

There really is a chance to pull it off this time! Especially if Bernie does well in the early primaries and on the newly early Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

And for those emphasizing that it's still early. . . the debates start in June, only about two months away.

When propaganda spectacularly blows up in the face of the propagandists it is something hopeful, at the very least.

Imagine being the CEO of United Healthcare or BlueCross and watching all the money you spent trying to scare people away from Medicare for All blow up this spectacularly #BernieTownHall . pic.twitter.com/gOmmKAXzt0

-- Hamid Bendaas (@HBendaas) April 15, 2019

@BernieSanders brought the heat at the #FoxNewsTownHall !

Not much has changed since he spoke out against Fox as a Congressman years ago. Explore Sanders's critiques of the network and more in our film Outfoxed: https://t.co/oOlpxf46YT #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/zGuiiqII9X

-- Brave New Films (@bravenewfilms) April 15, 2019

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:36pm
Niko House already has a thorough overview if you're interested

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hhg4LIjonko

Le Frog on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:37pm
Bret Baier's face!

Thank you for posting these, Mark!

I enjoyed these snippets, and particularly how Bret constantly looked like he was debating pulling a fire alarm to break up this cheerfest or to just run and leave the cohost to deal with it.

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:48pm
Heh...They're running scared.

@Le Frog

Great description of the kind of panic I'm sure the network heads were feeling. Would love to hear the anxious chatter in the board rooms of how to disseminate it, how to selectively cut and edit clips for their own narrative, how to twist his words to tarnish him, etc (hope the Bernie folks only agreed under the direction that they'd get the whole video also).

This kind of thing blows their whole Us vs. Them cover. They'll probably not be doing this again.

gjohnsit on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:23pm
Fox Producer in the back room

@Le Frog
"Someone interrupt the cheering, for Gawd Sakes! Change the subject! Cut to commercial! Anything!"

The UnitedHealth employee who leaked The Post this video says: "I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that's fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege." https://t.co/fQAXmVTmdf

-- Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) April 12, 2019

Cassiodorus on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:26pm
Ah yes. Pete Buttigieg.

@gjohnsit From this piece in "New York" magazine :

The campaign website, Pete for America, doesn't feature a policy section, something that has caught the attention of critics who say Buttigieg is an empty suit -- or, in his case, empty dress pants plus a white or blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up (tie, but no blazer). Buttigieg talks in specifics about the Electoral College (he wants to get rid of it) and the Supreme Court (he imagines an extreme reconfiguration, with 15 judges instead of nine, five of them confirmed by unanimous vote of the other ten, a way of ensuring nonpartisanship, he says). On other matters, he is less detailed. "I'm very specific on policy. I just think that we need to talk about values first. You can't just expect people to be able to derive your values by looking at the minutiae of your policy proposals," he told me.

So what are Pete Buttigieg's proposed policies? I gather he's trying to get a toehold on the "surprise me" vote. Oh, and policy is "minutiae," not the life-or-death matter for millions which it in fact is.

Dallasdoc on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:59pm
Divide and Conquer is Fox's business model

@Mark from Queens
It's too bad Bernie will probably never get live time on Fox again, and that the DNC idiots refused to have a debate on Fox. We all had stories of Republicans who liked Bernie in 2016, even those who would have voted for him over Trump. Democrats just cannot bring themselves to admit that the reason 2016 played out the way it did wasn't Vladimir Putin's fault, it was Hillary Clinton's.

Moron Beltway gasbags think that winning over Republican votes requires a conservative or a racist. No, it requires somebody with authenticity who wants to help average voters. Trump's scam has been played, and a lot of his 2016 voters won't fall for it again. As in 2016, Dems will lose if they run a milquetoast corporate poser. And as in 2016, they'll try their damnedest to do just that.

gjohnsit on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:58pm
That was f*cking brilliant!

How could you not love that?

There is no question that Fox News hates Bernie Sanders. Without a doubt Fox News hates the idea of Medicare For All. So when Bernie has a Town Hall on Fox, you can bet that they wanted to make him look bad. If you read Fox's review of the Town Hall that is exactly what happened. Except that isn't what happened.

What actually happened is that Fox moderator Bret Baier made the unforgivable mistake of asking the audience - a Fox News audience - what they thought of Medicare For All, and the reaction was poetry.

BTW, I found this article on insurancenewsnet.com

Medicare for All May Be Cheaper For Employers, But They Still Don't Like It

This is HUUUGE!

Medicare For All wouldn't just be great for the working class, it would probably be great for small businesses. Why haven't I heard more about this? It would immediately bump the approval rating for MFA by 10%-15%-20% in red states.

JtC on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:03pm
Beat you to it...

@Cassiodorus
within 100,000 of a second. I promoted it and as I came back to the CC page your comment was there.

Unless we still want to be in the 100,000s on Alexa...

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:11pm
Over on Reddit at the live thread commentary at WOTB,

which you can find here , I learned that the crowd was booing the Fox News host for some of their questions, one being a slimy insinuation that Bernie wanted to let felons vote because it would help him . They also chanted Bernie's name after his closing remarks (reminiscent of the NY debate).

Heh, remember this classic?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a3QwnlXFgGE

This one just gets better with time, doesn't it?

lotlizard on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:20am
If Sanders can speak at Liberty U. and win people's respect,

@gjohnsit
he can go on FOX and do the same.

I hope FOX seizes the opportunity to, at least in part, reinvent itself under the radar and appeal to a broader demographic. FOX could carve out a new market niche occupying pro-Bernie populist territory, where other networks fear to tread.

A lot of FOX viewers are probably economically hard-pressed. It ain't a Bloomberg or CNBC audience we're talking about here.

#8
Boy, all those centrist assholes were right, it was totally a bad move for Sanders to go on Fox News for a townhall. What an embarrassing look for him, right?

Le Frog on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:29am
If nothing else, FOX made ratings

@lotlizard

having Bernie do that town hall. Meanwhile, things at CNN are disgusting. The blatant anti-Bernie agenda is burning like a thousand suns over there. The bias is so obvious but it's so strange to watch unfold. I just watched FOX host Bernie Sanders, with a FOX-curated audience chanting BERNIE! BERNIE! while CNN trashes him. I'm not saying CNN is a bastion of fair coverage and a beacon of the left, but this is madness in real time.

Pluto's Republic on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:45pm
I've been watching that encouraging trend.

Last night I was writing about this huge swathe of people across the nation -- the unrepresented and silenced Left -- who are stepping out into the light once more to show their strength and support for humane and intelligent national policies that benefit all of the people equally. They are out there and they know what they want.

Outrageous criminal greed among the ruling class is what is fueling the rise of the American Left. The Intelligence Cartel thinks an intense round of anti-communist fear and propaganda blasted across the general population will shut the Left down. The think the brainwashed centrists and corporate media will chase them back into their marginalized existence. It's always worked before.

The Democrat leaders, standing the ruins of their shattered Hoax, are not so sure this time. That's why they pushed a crowd of Democratic contenders into the race to dilute the focus on inconvenient issues. Fifteen years ago, these new candidates would have all looked promising -- but the betrayal of the neoliberals who screwed and exploited and abandoned the working class changed all that. Now, people want their share of government protection against the terrible economic downturns that the corruption of Wall Street and War Street have dumped on them -- and their families. They want their human right to a safe and healthy life, for starters. They want food for their hungry children and a roof over their heads, no matter what.

That bell cannot be unrung.

Snode on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:33am
Not only the protection of economic downturns

@Pluto's Republic but in a lot of ways protection from government. The conservatives have built their creds on the horror of "I'm from the government, I'm here to help" but in the end no matter who's in control the real horror has been "I'm from the government". It's why most people see no difference between the r's and d's. Neither will do them any good and both misread the support from their "base". The r's and d's serve their masters and it's why elections have devolved into the farce it is.

wokkamile on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 8:06am
Good points on

@gulfgal98 his potential cross appeal. And it was in his favor that he didn't go after Biden on the progressive question. Bernie is better off running an issues-only campaign in his competition with the other Ds; let the people decide who is truly progressive by their policies and their record.

He also did well in not running from the socialism tag, not that he has much choice. He will need to continue doing this as this country has been conditioned for decades to associate it with the hammer and sickle. Continued de-conditioning will be needed.

Also a positive was his feisty, fighting spirit in calling out some of the low-blow questions, esp the cheap shot from the female moderator about Bernie wanting rapists and murderers to be able to vote for him. My sense is this sort of tough, punch-back approach is going to resonate better with voters than the soft, polite, confrontation-averse types which the DP has so many of.

So overall a very good showing by the Bernmeister, a needed small victory for the D side, and for the moment that other issue, which didn't come up last night, is on the back burner.

Roy Blakeley on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:48pm
I grew up in an area that is now Trump central

@gulfgal98 but people were once FDR Democrats. They strongly support social security and decent wages. They are damned mad that their jobs have been shipped out of the country, and that their children's prospects are worse than theirs. They will never be corporate friendly. The Democratic Party left them, but they are not corporate Republicans.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:49am
IT'S HAPPENING !!!

https://twitter.com/i/status/1117935444098994176

Jen on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 9:49am
There he is

There is the Bernie that I love. I did not realize how much I needed to see that until I was watching it with tears running down my face.

I will admit that I was having serious doubts because of how he jumped in the Russiagate boat and how he seemed to be on the wrong side of the Venezuela issue. I don't have those doubts anymore.

When talking about the MIC, more than once he said "we have to have a strong defense". I totally agree, but that's it - just defense. Cut that budget in half (or more) and there's still plenty for defense - just not enough to set up a base in every country that they are able to so.
When he mentioned the 12 year deadline is when the tears really started to flow. Have any of the other candidates even acknowledged that deadline?

I have never voted in my life. If Bernie is not cheated again and he gets on the ballot, I will register and I will cast my first vote ever. I bet I'm not the only one.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 1:16pm
Bill McKibben on our window of opportunity

@Jen From Democracy Now with Amy Goodman:

//www.youtube.com/embed/ID_0jG8mxuk?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

smiley7 on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:48am
I trust Bernie; have done so for decades.

Thanks for this good news and diary.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:49am
David Brock speaks on Bernie

"There's a growing realization that Sanders could end up winning this thing, or certainly that he stays in so long that he damages the actual winner," said David Brock, the liberal organizer,

From the New York Times today: 'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/bernie-sanders-democratic...

WoodsDweller on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:57pm
Hmmm ...

@MrWebster
That is what I was thinking. Fox certainly knows how to stack an event like this. How could they possibly have failed to vet the audience members? On the other hand we saw an interview a couple of weeks ago with an "average Joe" in a greasy spoon somewhere in the rust belt who was all on board for (I think it was) Medicare for All.

Maybe their screens are faulty. They are making the mistake of screening for labels (are you a Republican? are you a conservative? did you vote for Trump?) and are themselves so ideologically blinded that they don't realize that even people who self-describe with all those labels still want New Deal policies?

Maybe they have an agenda. Visibly TRY but clearly FAIL to discredit Sanders, to set Sanders up as the Democratic candidate with the idea that Trump will easily beat him. Stupid or evil? That's always the question. In this case I'm coming up with "stupid or stupid".

[Apr 16, 2019] Sanders Takes the Campaign Against CAP to Eleven

Apr 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

One of my biggest concerns about the 2016 Sanders campaign was that, at least at the beginning, it was too easily forced to apologize for attacks on supposed "allies of progressives" in the Democratic ecosystem -- because "unity."

The prime example of that occurred when Sanders accused the Planned Parenthood Action Fund -- not Planned Parenthood the health care organization, Planned Parenthood AF, the highly Clintonist political action committee, which had early-endorsed Clinton despite Sanders' excellent record on women's issues -- of being "part of the establishment."

He was immediately accused by the rest of the establishment, falsely, of attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. And he backed down, unwisely in my view. (For more on that episode, read the first few paragraphs of this piece .)

Well, the highly Clintonist, highly corporate establishment is at it again, in the form of the corrupt Center for American Progress (CAP) and its online publication ThinkProgress . (For more on their corruption, see also here and here .) ThinkProgress published a video critical of Sanders, as Lee Fang (who also delves into their corruption) explains here:

In response to that video Sanders sent CAP a letter , saying in part:

Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas. I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement . (emphasis mine)

Team Sanders then went a whole lot further than that in a public fundraising letter, parts of which are reproduced below. Note the expansion of the "corporate money" point from the CAP letter, and also the directness (emphasis mine throughout):

"We are under attack"

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends –

Just like that, our campaign is under attack from the corporate establishment .

This week, an organization that is the epitome of the political establishment -- the Center for American Progress (CAP) -- unleashed and promoted an online attack video against Bernie.

And behind the scenes on the day Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill, they held a conference call with reporters attacking the bill.

That is the Center for American Progress' real goal. Trying to stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda .

CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie -- and for all of us. They see our political revolution as a threat to their privilege and influence .

The Center for American Progress is an organization whose massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires and corporate executives that profit from finance, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuels, and sending American jobs overseas.

Last year alone, they took funding from financial giants like Bank of America and Blackstone, whose CEO was chair of Trump's business council and is a leading Republican donor.

Before that, they cashed checks from companies like BlueCross Blue Shield, Pfizer, WalMart , and defense contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems .

They also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel pumping United Arab Emirates while the country was bombing innocent civilians in Yemen – a war Bernie has led the fight to end.

The Center for American Progress has deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families in every zip code. And what we must do today is send a message that we are prepared to fight back against those who are working day and night to defeat our movement .

In solidarity,

Team Bernie

That's powerful stuff, no-holds-barred truth-telling. Note the many bells it rings:

"corporate establishment" "epitome of the political establishment" "real goal stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda" "threat to their privilege and influence" "massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires" "deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families" "working day and night to defeat our movement"

The letter also names a few of the companies and countries that bankroll CAP -- Walmart, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Blackstone, the UAE. He could have listed a great many more. There are countless stories emerging from former ThinkProgress writers about CAP leadership squelching aggressive reporting because their reports were negatively affecting CAP fundraising. Read this twitter thread by former ThinkProgress reporter Zaid Jilani to see some of those. There are others as well .

Bernie Sanders is not backing down this time. Unlike 2016, this will be a battle with the enemy named out loud and its deeds detailed. Looks like the fight, the one our country has been avoiding for years, is finally on.


Lee , , April 16, 2019 at 11:01 am

This over at Daily Kos:

Fox crowd roars in approval as Bernie explains how M4A is more stable than private insurance
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/04/16/1850603/-Fox-crowd-roars-in-approval-as-Bernie-explains-how-M4A-is-more-stable-than-private-insurance

And, FWIW, Bernie keeps kicking butt in their semi-monthly straw polls over there. There is a whole lot of anti-progressive, push-back but the Sanders Swarm is gathering strength on that centrist platform.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/15/1850407/-Daily-Kos-Democratic-Primary-Straw-Poll-Tax-Day

ambrit , , April 16, 2019 at 3:23 am

I commented about this on another thread to the effect that this is the beginning of a "Night of the Long Knives" quality power struggle in the Democrat Party.
Glad to see the Sanders campaign being proactive about the dirty dealing that is being used to try and stop them.
Now for Sanders to start framing the struggle as being between "Their" Democrat Party and "Our" Democrat Party. Sanders really needs to pull off what Trump managed to do in the Republican Party; a hostile takeover.

Brooklin Bridge , , April 16, 2019 at 3:45 am

Well Put. But regardless, this is still vastly better than 2016.

Left in Wisconsin , , April 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

Exactly right. Unlike Trump, however, Bernie will have to do it with the entire corporate and political establishments against him. And not even a "left" Fox News in his corner. It will truly be us against (all of) them.

Carolinian , , April 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Did Trump take over the Republican party or did the Republican party take over him? Winning the presidency is only part of the battle.

rob , , April 16, 2019 at 6:55 am

If any democrat wants to be real, they have to attack other democrats, because the democrats suck.
As a political party, they are so pathetic, they lost to donald trump.
The republicans are vile , and mornic.that is how they appeal to their base ..
So if anything is to be done to try and break the stalemate, it must be the debate of ideas. Not the battle of personalities , we have now.
The republicans have no real ideas, just worn out tropes. The democratic leadership, go around "saying", they are progressives ( pelosi interview),but really they are as tired in their way of thinking as the republicans .
Both groups are not worth a thing.
when pelosi pointed out AOC had a group of five she was being dismissive saying she was steering a bigger ship democrats of all stripes. even the republicans who won seats as democrats . but really her and her band of good for nothing democrats, doesn't count for anything near the five new democrats who are out spoken, and have the good character to be on the right side of history..
I for one, would vote for anyone who battles the democratic blob of a machine. and anyone who doesn't have a problem with the democratic party, is un-electable.

Pelosi needs to go.
So sanders should fight the democratic corporatists in the senate, if he is trying to be real. It is about time he needs that "audacity of hope" thingy.

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F04%2Fsanders-takes-the-campaign-against-cap-to-eleven.html

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antidlc , , April 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

"Mr. Sanders's team remains convinced that the Democratic establishment worked behind the scenes to deprive him of the party's nomination in 2016.."

Well, yeah, it;s true.

Reply

Ashburn , , April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

Bernie is definitely in it to win this time. Last night he crushed it on Fox News. He had the Fox Town Hall audience cheering and applauding. Yes, Fox News.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/16/backfired-watch-bernie-sanders-counter-right-wing-talking-point-make-case-medicare

I don't know of any announced candidate that could pull this off, or that would have the guts to go on Fox.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm

It's exactly what both sides of the broken political duopoly feared. Trump's tweet on the subject bears testament to the latter . The pre #BernieFoxTownHall agita from pearl-clutching Dem cultists online serves as evidence of the former .

Bernie's in it to win it.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Ooops meant to add "(Dem & GOP)" after duopoly – qualifies former and latter .

Reply

Michael C. , , April 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

Sanders is staying away from some issues, such as Assange arrest and Venezuela, which has caused some complaints from the Left. Personally, I think he is being tactical and smart in that he is attempting to reach the largest portion of the electorate. I doubt that he or his staff is ignorant on these type issues, but he is set on a goal and does not want to let issues that might divert his direction toward that goal. Or am I being unduly naïve? I am pretty skeptical of all politicians, but his consistent history gives me some confidence that he will be straight on these issues if elected/.

Reply

Spring Texan , , April 16, 2019 at 10:47 am

I agree. And he HAS to be tactical and smart to win.

Reply

Joe Well , , April 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

We said the same about Obama in 08.

Reply

Grant , , April 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Saying something about two radically different people doesn't logically lead to the same thing. Obama was great at giving speeches, was a historic candidate and did try to (in a vague way) make it sound as if he wanted to change the system. He didn't. He pretended to want to re-negotiate NAFTA, but when the Canadians freaked a bit, his campaign assured them that it was just talk, cause it was. It was obvious before he took office, to anyone paying attention, that Obama was a neoliberal that wouldn't change much of anything. But Obama in 2008 is not Bernie then or now. Obama in 2008 is Beto or mayor Pete now. Empty platitudes, totally cut off from the struggles of working people, paid to not structurally change what needs to structurally change by people that benefit from the system as is. Obama was just much better at being that empty slate than the 2020 version of him. I can almost smell the mayor Pete book deal though, and I am sure he can too.

Reply

Carey , , April 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for this comment. I tried to read yesterday's New York piece
on the Democrats' Folksiest Heartland Hope, but between that
mcPhoto at the top, and the conversational, we're-all-in-this
together tone of the writer, stopped after a couple of paras.
The #resistance are all so tired; do they not realize that?

Regarding Mister Obama's speeches, to me they reeked of
hollowness. He had the gestures and cadences down, though.

Reply

deplorado , , April 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I think you are not being unduly naive. Watch some of Bernie's videos from the 80ies. He is very clear eyed about what he's dealing with – and has always said the same thing. He is being realistic, tactical and smart – raising powerful issues where there is clear daily pain for the common person that can bring a powerful response – is anyone really surprised about the Fox audience reaction? (Im only surprised they didnt stack the room with fakes who would boo him ).

The foreign policy issues are not so clear cut for the common working class person (please understand that!) and would muddle the message. He finally sees an opening and he is going for it. He knows what he's doing.

Reply

jrs , , April 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

it's likely tactical, but he may govern with the exact same tactical concerns

Reply

John , , April 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

The other thing about Fox is that the owner Murdochs are amoral and apolitical. They go where the money is. Totally neoliberal. That is all they care about. They know the money train is coming to a very complex junction and are setting up to go with the money, whether corporate or little people's.

Reply

voteforno6 , , April 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

I think this touches on what could be the most important aspect of a Sanders presidency – it's not so much the policies (they are important), but the people that would be brought into government. This letter is an indication that the usual suspects will not be running the show. In that regard, it could be similar to Reagan's time in office, except way, way better.

Reply

Arizona Slim , , April 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Just got another email from Bernie's campaign. Here it is:

Subject: A serious threat to our campaign

The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."

"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.

"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.

"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.

"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.

"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"

Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.

That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.

That's why I'm asking you today:

[Link to donation site] Make a $27 contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country. [End link]

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.

In solidarity,

Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Reply

Jen , , April 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Well, just moments after reading the NYT article in question, which is quite a doozy, this popped up in my in box:

"The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."
"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.
"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.
"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.
"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.
"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"
Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.
That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.
That's why I'm asking you today:
Make a contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country.

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.
In solidarity,
Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Forgetting nothing, learning nothing. One of the true, primal joys of Bernie's 2016 campaign was hitting the donate button every time the dollar dems dumped on him.

Reply

Chuck T. , , April 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Likewise. I'm giving every time they dump on him, and again every time he hits back. At this pace, $27 may get to be too expensive. A good problem to have I'd say.

Reply

[Apr 16, 2019] The incompetent, the corrupt, the treacherous -- not just walking free, but with reputations intact, fat bank balances, and flourishing careers. Now they re angling for war with Iran.

Highly recommended!
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Return of the Just April 14, 2019 at 10:46 am

You're right. I see people like Robert Kagan's opinions being respectfully asked on foreign affairs, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams being hired to direct our foreign policy.

The incompetent, the corrupt, the treacherous -- not just walking free, but with reputations intact, fat bank balances, and flourishing careers. Now they're angling for war with Iran.

It's preposterous and sickening. And it can't be allowed to stand, so you can't just stand off and say you're "wrecked". Keep fighting, as you're doing. I will fight it until I can't fight anymore.

Ken Zaretzke , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm
Fact-bedeviled JohnT: “McCain was a problem for this nation? Sweet Jesus! There quite simply is no rational adult on the planet who buys that nonsense.”

McCain had close ties to the military-industrial complex. He was a backer of post-Cold War NATO. He was a neoconservative darling. He never heard of a dictator that he didn’t want to depose with boots on the ground, with the possible exception of various Saudi dictators (the oil-weaponry-torture nexus). He promoted pseudo-accountability of government in campaign finance but blocked accountability for the Pentagon and State Department when he co-chaired the United States Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs with John Kerry.

And, perhaps partly because of the head trauma and/or emotional wounds he suffered at the hands of Chinese-backed Commies, it’s plausible to think he was regarded by the willy-nilly plotters of the deep state as a manipulable, and thus useful, conduit of domestic subversion via the bogus Steele dossier.

Unfortunately, the episode that most defines McCain’s life is the very last one–his being a pawn of M-16 in the the deep state’s years-long attempt to derail the presidency of Donald Trump.

Joe Dokes , says: April 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm
Measuring success means determining goals. The goals of most wars is to enrich the people in charge. So, by this metric, the war was a success. The rest of it is just props and propaganda.
Andrew Stergiou , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:11 am
“Pyrrhic Victory” look it up the Roman Empire Won but lost if the US is invaded and the government does not defend it I would like to start my own defense: But the knee jerk politics that stirs America’s cannon fodder citizens is a painful reminder of a history of jingoist lies where at times some left and right agree at least for a short moment before the rich and powerful push their weight to have their way.

If All politics is relative Right wingers are the the left of what? Nuclear destruction? or Slavery?

Peter Smith , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:13 am
My goodness! I am also a veteran, but of the Vietnam war, and my father was a career officer from 1939-1961 as a paratrooper first, and later as an intelligence officer. He argued vigorously against our Vietnam involvement, and was cashiered for his intellectual honesty. A combat veteran’s views are meaningless when the political winds are blowing.

Simply put, we have killed thousands of our kids in service of the colonial empires left to us by the British and the French after WWII. More practice at incompetent strategies and tactics does not make us more competent–it merely extends the blunders and pain; viz the French for two CENTURIES against the Britsh during the battles over Normandy while the Planagenet kings worked to hold their viking-won inheritance.

At least then, kings risked their own lives. Generals fight because the LIKE it…a lot. Prior failures are only practice to the, regardless of the cost in lives of the kids we tried to raise well, and who were slaughtered for no gain.

We don’t need the empire, and we certainly shouldn’t fight for the corrupt businessmen who have profited from the never-ending conflicts. Let’s spend those trillions at home, so long as we also police our government to keep both Democrat and Republican politicians from feathering their own nests. Term limits and prosecutions will help us, but only if we are vigilant. Wars distract our attention while corruption is rampant at home.

Fayez Abedaziz , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:25 am
Thanks, I appreciate this article.
I’ll make two points, my own opinion:
it’s the same story as Vietnam, the bull about how the politicians or anti-war demonstrators tied the military ‘hand,’ blah, blah.
Nonsense. Invading a nation and slaughtering people in their towns, houses…gee…what’s wrong with that, eh?
The average American has a primitive mind when it comes to such matters.
Second point I have, is that both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, Hillary and Trump should be dragged to a world court, given a fair trial and locked up for life with hard labor… oh, and Cheney too,for all those families, in half a dozen nations, especially the children overseas that suffered/died from these creeps.
And, the families of dead or maimed American troops should be apologized to and compensation paid by several million dollars to each.
The people I named above make me sick, because I have feelings and a conscience. Can you dig?
kingdomofgodflag.info , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:19 am
Though there is a worldly justification for killing to obtain or maintain freedoms, there is no Christian justification for it. Which suggests that Christians who die while doing it, die in vain.

America’s wars are prosecuted by a military that includes Christians. They seldom question the killing their country orders them to do, as though the will of the government is that of the will of God. Is that a safe assumption for them to make? German Christian soldiers made that assumption regarding their government in 1939. Who was there to tell them otherwise? The Church failed, including the chaplains. (The Southern Baptist Convention declared the invasion of Iraq a just war in 2003.) These wars need to be assessed by Just War criteria. Christian soldiers need to know when to exercise selective conscientious objection, for it is better to go to prison than to kill without God’s approval. If Just War theory is irrelevant, the default response is Christian Pacifism.

Mark Thomason , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:43 am
“has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished.”

The one guy who did tell us has just been arrested for doing exactly that.

The arrest is cheered by those who fantasize about Russiagate, but it is expressly FOR telling us about these things.

Stephen J. , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:51 am
“Iraq Wrecked” a lot of innocent people. Millions are dead, cities reduced to rubble, homes and businesses destroyed and it was all a damned lie. And the perpetrators are Free.
Now there is sectarian violence too, where once there was a semblance of harmony amongst various denominations. See article link below.

“Are The Christians Slaughtered in The Middle East Victims of the Actions of Western War Criminals and Their Terrorist Supporting NATO ‘Allies’”?

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/are-christians-slaughtered-in-middle.html

the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:53 am
We are a globalist open borders and mass immigration nation. We stand for nothing. To serve in this nation’s military is very stupid. You aren’t defending anything. You are just a tool of globalism. Again, we don’t secure our borders. That’s a very big give away to what’s going on.
the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:57 am
If our nation’s military really was an American military concerned with our security we would have secured our border after 9/11, reduced all immigration, deported ALL muslims, and that’s it. Just secure the borders and expel Muslims! That’s all we needed to do.

Instead we killed so many people and imported many many more Muslims! And we call this compassion. Its insane.

Kouros , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Maybe if Talibans get back in power they will destroy the opium. You know, like they did when they were first in power…. It seems that wherever Americans get involved, drugs follow…
JohnT , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm
“Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In Eisenhower’s televised farewell address January 17, 1961.
Rational thought would lead one to believe such words from a fellow with his credentials would have had a useful effect. But it didn’t. In point of fact, in the likes of Eric Prince and his supporters the notion of war as a profit center is quite literally a family affair.
Ken Zaretzke , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm
The military-industrial complex couldn’t accomplish this all by its lonesome self. The deep state was doing its thing. The two things overlap but aren’t the same. The deep state is not only or mainly about business profits, but about power. Power in the world means empire, which requires a military-industrial complex but is not reducible to it.

We now have a rare opportunity to unveil the workings of the deep state, but it will require a special counsel, and a lengthy written report, on the doings in the 2016 election of the FBI (Comey, Strzok, et. al.), and collaterally the CIA and DIA (Brennan and Clapper). Also the British government (M-16), John McCain, and maybe Bush and Obama judges on the FISA courts.

[Apr 16, 2019] CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene: ..."
"... Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose: ..."
"... Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. ..."
"... Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option. ..."
"... If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked. ..."
"... The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him: ..."
"... The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. ..."
"... The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men. ..."
"... The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead. ..."
"... It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing. ..."
"... Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter. ..."
"... Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss. ..."
"... Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War. ..."
"... after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative.. ..."
"... once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible. ..."
"... Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians. ..."
"... The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both. ..."
"... Haspel will not be fired. ..."
"... It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). .. ..."
"... The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.

In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.

The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:
President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration's plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.

The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies -- part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

"We'll match their numbers," Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration's increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration's stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia's already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:

Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.

London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
...
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill . No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)

If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.

The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.

Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.

The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:

Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.

Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


Russ , Apr 16, 2019 9:02:41 AM | link

I don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.

I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.

Jerry , Apr 16, 2019 9:14:30 AM | link
The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.

The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.

One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.

manny , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:16 AM | link
Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director

After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity.. In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...

Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...

Sally Snyder , Apr 16, 2019 9:35:40 AM | link
Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/03/which-is-greater-threat-russia-or.html

It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.

donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:40:06 AM | link
b

Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?

There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.

They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.

BM , Apr 16, 2019 9:42:46 AM | link
Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]

Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?

Mataman , Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).
the pair , Apr 16, 2019 10:08:18 AM | link
another example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.

even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".

my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.

Twiki , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:11 AM | link

The consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned. https://www.onaquietday.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DocSaysNoNerveAgentInSalisbury.jpg
bjd , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:51 AM | link
" the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, "

There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else. The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function. The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 10:59:48 AM | link
The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA. Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.

Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her. Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.

Babyl-on , Apr 16, 2019 11:04:28 AM | link
I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eisenhower's term in office.

Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.

How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.

Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.

What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.

But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.

Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:16:08 AM | link
Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis. Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:
  • VP Pence: John McCain's buddy
  • Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)
  • Wm Barr: close with Mueller
  • Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIA
And Trump himself was close to the Clintons.
lysias , Apr 16, 2019 12:00:59 PM | link
Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.
Jose Garcia , Apr 16, 2019 12:08:01 PM | link
What can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, "Make America Great Again." How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I'm sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.
Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 12:24:11 PM | link
lysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacy

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.

juliania , Apr 16, 2019 12:28:54 PM | link
I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.

Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'

"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.

Ross , Apr 16, 2019 12:41:17 PM | link
Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.
Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 12:49:37 PM | link
What a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.

b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.

Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.

jayc , Apr 16, 2019 1:00:38 PM | link
Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.
Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM

This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".

In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.

Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:11 PM | link
Yes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen. Just outrageous in its execution. On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.

Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May. Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.

Here's some interesting background:

Noirette , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:44 PM | link
Macron was (afaik?) the only EU 'leader' who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:

.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...

I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.

Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.

Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.

Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.

Theresa May's speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:

.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..

https://ind.pn/2XcAIk4

Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.

semiconscious , Apr 16, 2019 1:31:34 PM | link
@25 & @26:

imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 1:53:44 PM | link
Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.
james , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:20 PM | link
after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..

what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...

so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??

my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..

c1ue , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | link
Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme. The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.

Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area. The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.

The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.

Michael Droy , Apr 16, 2019 2:12:37 PM | link
Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!

I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain. It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.

Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.

bjd , Apr 16, 2019 2:25:23 PM | link
The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.
fastfreddy , Apr 16, 2019 2:48:31 PM | link
Haspel will not be fired.
Russ , Apr 16, 2019 3:02:51 PM | link
@c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32

"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."

The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.

karlof1 36

Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.

This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.

snake , Apr 16, 2019 3:29:24 PM | link
@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/04/15/593529/Ecuadoran-president-sold-off-Assangeto-America-Ron-Paul

I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?

It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). ..

The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air.

Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.

John Anthony La Pietra , Apr 16, 2019 3:47:03 PM | link
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/quotes?ref_=m_tt_trv_qu

Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?

Joe Turner: They'll print it.

Higgins: How do you know?

[Apr 15, 2019] Former Massachusetts Gov. To Challenge Trump For Republican Nomination

30 millions do not mean much if people hate you... And why this super-duper billionaire Trump needs to raise money?
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
With a nearly 90% approval rating among Republicans, President Trump's dominance of the party is beyond question. But that doesn't mean some of the lingering #NeverTrumpers who tried, and failed, to stop him in 2016 won't give their Quixotic quest one last go.

John Kasich, long considered the most likely candidate to challenge Trump for the 2020 nomination, has already admitted that "I can't beat him", and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, another credible challenger from what's left of the party's moderate wing, has ruled out a run.

But apparently Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, best known nationally for being Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson's running mate in 2016, thinks he has a shot to bet Trump in the Republican primary.

The former governor announced on Monday that he plans to challenge Trump, whose campaign has already raised $30 million for his reelection run, dwarfing the sums raised by even the most popular Democratic challengers, for the 2020 nomination.

[Apr 14, 2019] Pro-Israeli groups defining the US foreign policy: Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business

Highly recommended!
US neocons motto as expressed by Ledeen, who was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende : "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
The US foreign policy is defined by interests of neoliberals and neocons, or to be exact by interests of multinational corporations, who are not necessary led by Jews ;-). The whole discussion of the US foreign policy via the lens of Jew/non-Jew dichotomy is far from the best approach to this problem.
While it is true that a large number of neocons end even some "economic nationalists" like Steve Bannon identify with Israel. But the real allegiance of neocons is not to Israel. It is to many from American MIC. In this sense, neither chickenhawk Michael Ledeen (a second rate figure at best, without much political influence), no chickenhawk Bill Kristol (third rate figure, with little or no political influence at all), but Senator McCain and Dick Cheney are proper examples of really dangerous neocons.
Yes, neocons has a large, sometimes decisive influence on the US foreign policy. But this is because they are neoliberals with the gun, political prostitutes serving MIC interests, not so much because some of them are "Israel-firsters" (this term is not without problems, although it denotes Jewish nationalists pretty well, see an interesting discussion in The Volokh Conspiracy )
Notable quotes:
"... Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ..."
"... I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
"... This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud. ..."
"... Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s. ..."
"... Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. ..."
"... Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout. ..."
"... The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted. ..."
"... I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism. ..."
"... You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan. ..."
"... Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down. ..."
"... A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM. ..."
"... So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them. ..."
"... Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel. ..."
"... There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it.. ..."
"... Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"? ..."
"... I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad? ..."
"... Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it). ..."
"... Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba). ..."
"... How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"? ..."
"... "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard? ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars by Philip Giraldi September 19, 2017 - The Unz Review

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

@Brabantian Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel:

US alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, appeared on Israeli TV last month to call himself a "white Zionist"
The above from an interesting article by British activist and Nazareth, Palestine resident Jonathan Cook , speaking of how Israel's Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ... and hence the 'progressive' Jews should abandon any support for boycott of Israel or for Palestinian rights:
The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly called on all Jews to come to Israel, claiming it as the only safe haven from an immutable global anti-semitism. And yet, Mr Netanyahu is also introducing a political test before he opens the door.

Jews supporting a boycott of Israel are already barred. Now, liberal Jews and critics of the occupation like Mr Soros are increasingly not welcome either. Israel is rapidly redefining the extent of the sanctuary it offers – for Jewish supremacists only.

For Mr Netanyahu may believe he has much to gain by abandoning liberal Jews to their fate, as the alt-right asserts its power in western capitals.

The "white Zionists" are committed to making life ever harder for minorities in the West in a bid to be rid of them. Sooner or later, on Mr Netanyahu's logic, liberal Jews will face a reckoning. They will have to accept that Israel's ultra-nationalists were right all along, and that Israel is their only sanctuary.

Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-Semitism that will benefit them both.

Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel

Steve Bannon and his supposed alt-right rag Breitbart are incredibly pro-Israel. I supposed it has something to do with its founder Andrew Breitbart being a Jew. Every time Trump or Nikki Haley says something nasty about Iran, you'll get plenty of Breitbart commenters echoing their sentiment egging them on, you can tell by their inane comments many have no idea why they should hate Iran, other than Breitbart told them to.

They've fully bought into the Breitbart narrative that Iran is evil and must be destroyed. The Trump fan boys/girls who continue to blindly support him despite all his betrayals are every bit as stupid as the libtards they claim to hate.

jamsok , September 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht..."

I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud.

Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Randal

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.
Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.
Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

"What gives" is that I think lunatic screeds about "America's Jews" (like Noam Chomsky?) manipulating foreign policy do damage to the anti-war cause. I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just Jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's slightly better than the 1-dimensional Joo-paranoia, but it doesn't begin to describe the problem.

You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

I am glad you think Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Yet it doesn't square with your earlier statement which reads " I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them ". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

Before you decide to label as sociopath, anyone who proposes a worldview grounded in reality, you might think long and hard about the multitude of paths this world can take under the scenario of a wholesale withdrawal of U.S. presence in the Gulf. Most one hears on this forum, including your own, reduce to precious nothing over virtue signaling.

Like it or not the world is never going to assume the shape of a collection of nations equal in power, interests and endowments. Hoping for that is to live in a state of delusion.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran . Far from it; yet facilitating her allies' aspirations to join the American vision isn't one we are about to walk away from. That is not chest beating. It is eminently in evidence from the number of nations wishing to join the Western economic and cultural model. I am keenly aware of the lunatics on this forum who believe they'd be perfectly happy to embrace other cultures, I can only invite them to make haste.

Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

"I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

In the case of a defensive war with United States, there sure would be. At that point Iran would not have much hope but to inflict as much damage as possible on the aggressor. Although Iran does not nearly have the ability to fully reciprocate the harm the US can inflict on it, it hopefully has the capability to inflict enough damage so that an offensive war against it would be intolerable to the US. That's how deterrence works.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran.

If that's true, and I sincerely hope it is, it's because Iran has sufficient deterrent capacity, which includes not only the anti-ship missiles in the Gulf, but also Hezbollah's arsenal of ~130,000 short, medium and long-range rockets capable of reaching every square inch of Israeli territory.

Believe me, I'm a realist. You don't have to lecture me on the reality of aggressive rogue nations.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Nope. As far as I know, he was being perfectly serious.

And that is exactly the way the power elite think - although they are usually much more cautious about speaking their mind in public.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed – not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir.

True words sir!

The evil empire sustains itself primarily through this attitude of its people. It does not matter how the Jews connive to shape it. Only thing that matters is that they buy into it without exercising their conscience.

Americans, remember, such glory has a cost. You will find soon enough that a cancerous soul is too high a price to be "Top Nation," for essentially a blink in cosmic time.

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM.

The late Samuel Huntington said in his amazing book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for supremacy in the Islamic world. Syria is a proxy war between the two countries. Now Israel has become BFF with Saudi Arabia because they too want a piece of Syria, for the oil reserve in the Golan Heights. So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them.

Make no mistake Jews and Arabs run this country. That is why Trump went to Israel and SA for his first foreign trip, he knows who America's daddy is, even if most Americans are still in the dark.

His entire administration is crawling with Israel loving Jews, starting with his son-in-law the most loyal son of Israel. Even Steve Bannon and Breitbart are crazy gung ho pro-Israel. Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel.

When was the last time Iran conducted a jihad against the west? All the Muslim terrorists now attacking the west are Sunnis, funded by Saudi Arabia. The only time Iran had direct armed conflict with the US was when they kicked us out of Tehran, for trying to steal their oil. All their beef is with Israel, not with the US. Why are we taking up Israel's cause? Trump is a moron of the first order and has no understanding of what really goes on in the mideast. He surrounds himself with pro-Israel neocons and Jews and is easily manipulated. He's stupid and dangerous. I voted for him because he presented himself as someone completely different, someone anti-war and anti-immigration, now he's a neocon globalist libtard, the worst of all worlds. Someone needs to primary him out in 2020.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@iffen as sociopaths like you

Speaking of unhinged I'd say the sentiment that America has the right to threaten and/or attack other countries to maintain its "economic interests" is sociopathic. What would you call it? And I didn't say that he personally was in charge of US/Israeli/Saudi policy towards Iran, if that's what you thought I meant. That would be unhinged. I just said that sociopaths like him are.

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

@KBRO [In comments, allcaps is shouting. Stop shouting or your comments will be trashed.]

RE:
BUSH-CHENEY-CLINTON-TRUMP--MCMASTER--KELLY---AND THE LOT OF THEM ALL AIN'T JEWS:

WELL PUT. GIRALDI IS A MIXED BAG, WRITES SOME GOOD STUFF, BUT IT MISIDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM--THE ENEMY-- BY LABELING IT AS "THE JEWS". THE NEO-CONS--AND NEO-LIBERALS--WHO DRIVE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COME IN MANY FLAVORS.
I'M AN ANTI-ZIONIST, AND IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST.

IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST

There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it..

Giraldi is discussing the latter and not the former, and doing a service to the American nation by his taboo-busting.

Brooklyn Dave , September 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT

I wonder where Mr. Giraldi would put David Horowitz on the list? Although Horowitz is not a public policy maker, but rather an author and blogger, but definitely is a known Jewish voice. I respect Horowitz tremendously because of his background as an ex-Communist and his dead-on criticism of the American Left, both historically and currently. Although rather knee-jerk in his defense of Israel, I would not doubt his loyalty to this country one iota.

I do not know if David Horowitz is a dual Israeli-American citizen, but he is not a legislator nor a government policy maker, so as far as I am concerned, the issue is moot. If one questions the loyalty to America, of Jews or any other group for that matter, the issue of holding dual citizenship while holding certain government offices should be something of concern. Once out of public office or service, then they can resume their dual citizenship. It makes the issue of loyalty less questionable.

wayfarer , September 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@bjondo Regarding jew and war:

Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"?

reckon his serving in other ways was/is lying and pushing for wars for his real country israel. Truth hurts, America.

Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent or less than a half of one-percent.

Guess they were too busy partying in college, while pursuing their law degrees.

During the Vietnam war the U.S. selective service system gave deferments to those attending college, which delayed their eligibility for conscription.

"Among partners of the top law firms in New York, I estimate that at least 25% are Jews."

source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4726694_Going_to_College_to_Avoid_the_Draft_The_Unintended_Legacy_of_the_Vietnam_War [accessed Sep 19, 2017].

source: http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/6/5/is-lack-of-diversity-at-big-law-firms-a-crisis

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@matt I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.

Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@matt I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons. In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran. On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. The fact that there are so many who profess to the Christian faith, who are as evil as those Joo neocons, such as those you mentioned, simply cannot be denied. Even if hypothetically speaking the Joos were to vanish overnight, the wars of aggression by the Evil Empire will continue unabated.

The Evil Empire and its Evil b!tch both share the same satanic vision of world domination. Two evil nations, made for each other, in a match made in Hell.

Btw, the orange scumbag was hilariously evil at the UN.

Both N.Korea and Iran should simply call this bastard's bluff, by literally giving him the finger. I say, let the chips fall where they may. Let's see how the American, Japanese, S.Korean, Israeli & "Royal" pussies like the consequences.

To you N.Koreans, its been written that you will target the thousands of American Terrorists stationed in the south. I am counting on that, so don't you miss chaps.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anonymous

They should. If Raimondo starts blaming the Jews, he can avoid taking responsibility for his idiotic and embarrassing cheerleading for the current warmonger-in-chief.
I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad?

And started plans for attacking Iran? Who? Hillary? Hahahaha. Ted Cruz? Hahahaha. Etc.

Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it).

Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba).

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

@Randal

If an article titled "America's Jews are Behind America's Wars" isn't unhinged and bigoted, I'd like you to tell me what is.
How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"?

Or is it not the statement of the facts that you are outraged by, but merely the proposed solutions? If so, then what solutions to the problem identified by Giraldi and by Haaretz would you propose?

If Trump's insane rhetoric on Iran and push for war isn't an example of bloodlust, why don't you tell me what it is?
Good examples might be the desperate attempts to prevent the deal with Iran that hopefully will prove to have cauterised the longstanding efforts to use the spurious nuclear weapons issue to push the US towards confrontation and war with Iran:

KEY JEWISH DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SAY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST IRAN DEAL

Or when Israel's primary agents of political influence in the US went "all out" to try to get the US to attack Syria and hand yet another country to (even more) jihadist-ridden chaos:

AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

But hey, I suppose for you those are just more examples of "unhingedness" and "bigotedness".

It must be strange living in the world you inhabit, so far removed from basic reality by a desperate need to avoid being seen as any kind of badwhite. I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Sam Shama They can certainly try, and, I suppose you'd require the U.S. to stay her hand as a matter of fair principle while watching said bases destroyed. Nice idea, but I'd stick to reality. U.S. has vast interests, including economic ones; those which benefit every U.S. citizen, and, to be practical, all her allies. Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Its anti-ship missiles are for deterrence, which Iran has plenty of need for, as sociopaths like you populate the American, Israeli, and Saudi governments and are itching to attack.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

Heather Heyer's Ghost , September 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Jews are white. Ashkenazi Jews, and those are the ones we are mainly dealing with, are an endogamous caste of bankers, progressive journalists, lawyers, and social scientists (including, now, education), that have migrated all over Europe, but never identifying as European, with exceptions that prove the rule.

As a tribe, once can read Kevin MacDonald's work to see how they work in remarkable ethnic cohesion–not necessarily as an "organized conspiracy" (though that certainly happens), but as an ethnic drive.

Being neither European as such, nor Christian, and although their skin is white, they are not White.

Stan d Mute , September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

Dual loyalty is an avoided and career-ending subject for a couple reasons. One must never, ever, criticize Jews (a third rail at complete odds with) and one may not criticize immigrants' behavior.

The obvious problem is Treason. Just how much Treason is the result of so-called "dual loyalty"? And isn't Treason subject to some rather serious legal sanctions?

...

just an internet commenter , September 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

I just want to point out, being a (fake) "news" consumer, I hear about Israel all the time, all while not hearing a lot of follow-up detail about Israel and its interests. Isn't that a clever sleight of hand? According to the pro-Israel (by extension jews) propaganda I'm required to care about, despite it having nothing to do with my life, my family's life, my neighbors' lives, and my community's lives Israel is that big of a deal. Actually, I hear more about Israel in the media than I hear about my home state of Michigan. Michigan is probably a lot more important to the US economy, US security, US tourism industry, Midwestern industrial technology industry, US engineering industry, and the Midwestern Farming economy, than Israel is. Then there are the people who live here, who are Americans. Israel first, then Americans? Okay, got it.

If the public were exposed to as much emotionally captivating propaganda about Michigan as they were about Israel, I'd posit the public would see a far better investment in Michigan than they would in Israel. That includes an emotional investment.

I don't know what can be politely said or how it would shape up, but Midwesterners desperately need to understand the Israel (by extension jewish) problem. They're bleeding us and getting away with it, all while getting away with incessantly calling us racists and anti-semites. Because again, caring about Michigan and its people first is just morally irreprehensible. Israel first, then Israel second, etc Got it bigot? That sleight of hand, it's just always there. I don't fully grasp how this large scale agit-prop psychology works. I do understand jewish solidarity. I'll hand it to jews, they have the strongest ethnic/religious/cultural solidarity I've ever seen. If Midwesterners realized the value of this level of solidarity, they wouldn't enlist their sons in the military to serve jewish interests overseas.

Anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

From Money Manipulation And Social Order (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1944) by Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Dublin:

When the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, created in 1913 by Mr. Paul Warburg, a German Jew belonging to the Banking Firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had been a few years in existence, in 1916 to be precise, President Woodrow Wilson thus summed up the situation in U.S.A.: "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. . .

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world!no longer a Government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." From the similar testimonies quoted by Christopher Hollis in The Two Nations, let us take one. "Behind the ostensible government," ran Roosevelt's policy, " sits enthroned an invisible government owning no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

Corvinus , September 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@Che Guava

Bullshit.

Anyone who reads knows that Israel (and its agents, where not dual citizens, the Jewish ones effectively all are, and the goyim dupes and toadies, who are not, 'cept sometimes with marriage) have been the tail that wags the US dog for many years, starting over a century ago, in finance, commerce, and law in NYC, in a small way the scope is ever wider and the effects more and more blatant.

The USA is a colony of Israel, everybody is knowing it, but some lie and deny.

From my reading of history, I would placing the tipping point from 'excessive power' to 'colonial masters' at the 1967 war of Israel and its neighbours.

Others may dating it to the end of the Third Reich, with all sorts of Jewish DPs and US Jews who had never seen combat running around in US military and MP uniforms to persecuting and killing Germans, under the command of Eisenhauer, the Morgenthau plan, etc.

Others may picking a different time.

It is funny that you are posting as Anonymous on this, can only mean that you are a more subtle pro-Israel troll with your usual u-name. "So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews."

Certainly SOME Israelis and American Jews are involved in developing policy designed to generate hostility to the point of potential war.

But Dick Cheney and Erik Prince, among other prominent non-Jews, bear mentioning.

Regardless, the Jew fixation here is duly noted. Boo! Goes the Joo!

"The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard?

[Apr 14, 2019] Something about Trump decision making process

Is this Dementia? Or arrogance? Or incompetence? Or all of them ?
Notable quotes:
"... "I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I'm working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie," Trump said to laughter from the Las Vegas crowd, Reuters reported. ..."
"... "I went - 'BING!' - it was done," Trump said on Saturday, describing the swiftness of his decision. "We make fast decisions. And we make good decisions." ..."
Apr 07, 2019 | www.tasnimnews.com

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas, Trump said he made the snap decision during a discussion with his top Middle East peace advisers, including the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I'm working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie," Trump said to laughter from the Las Vegas crowd, Reuters reported.

"'How do you like the idea of me recognizing exactly what we're discussing?'" said Trump, recounting the conversation.

Trump said Friedman was shocked, "like a wonderful, beautiful baby," and asked the president if he would actually do it.

"I went - 'BING!' - it was done," Trump said on Saturday, describing the swiftness of his decision. "We make fast decisions. And we make good decisions."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Trump last month. At their March 25 meeting, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting US recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory.

Golan is a border area the Tel Aviv regime seized from Syria in 1967.

[Apr 14, 2019] If you think Trump is spineless towards Israel, wait until Israel's next choice for POTUS, Nutty Nikky Haley steals the WH

Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , Website July 3, 2018 at 7:13 pm GMT

It will be interesting to see if Ocasio-Cortez-if elected–sticks to her principles or succumbs to the shekel storm headed her way.

Radical Jews of the Hasidic type are also acting thuggish on American streets, like in Brooklyn where they committed assault, battery and kidnapping on a bicyclist.

These kind of fanatics are growing in numbers all over the USA.

If you think Trump is spineless towards Israel, wait until Israel's next choice for POTUS, Nutty Nikky Haley steals the WH.

[Apr 14, 2019] Another neocon controlled think tak to be beware of: Center For American Progress

Apr 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 14, 2019 6:08:14 PM | link

Headline at the Neocon York Times:

"Bernie Sanders Accuses Liberal Think Tank of Smearing Progressive Candidates"

The "liberal" outfit under discussion is the Center For American Progress. This outfit is against "single payer" health care. It was in favor of Obama's escalation in Afghanistan. Funding comes from billionaires like Soros and corporations like Wal-Mart.

The blogger complaining about Sander's awful behavior is a Biden fan, I generally don't link to stupid sites, and all the connected ones in this case qualify.

[Apr 14, 2019] Trump a>cknowledgement of Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" was a silly idea with no basis in law

Not sure that this was anticipated by Trump...
Notable quotes:
"... I like Trump's ambiguity. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" was a silly idea with no basis in law. But when they slipped into Full Spectrum Vampire mode and started slaughtering/ maiming Palestinians like there was no tomorrow, it became obvious that he knew exactly what he was doing, and why. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 18, 2018 8:36:55 AM | 88

I like Trump's ambiguity. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of "Israel" was a silly idea with no basis in law. But when they slipped into Full Spectrum Vampire mode and started slaughtering/ maiming Palestinians like there was no tomorrow, it became obvious that he knew exactly what he was doing, and why.

Now the whole world has been reminded, again, what a bunch of self-worshipping ratbags they are. Passing an Only Jews Are People law in "The M.E's only democracy" merely added to the farce.

It's 'interesting' that:

financial matters , Aug 18, 2018 9:20:25 AM | 90
Hoarsewhisperer @ 88

Yes. I think Israel is rapidly losing support and that of Hezbollah is growing. I think history will soon be on the side of the Palestinians and Syrian Golan.

I also see Russia as getting fed up with the Palestinian debacle. If Israel overreaches and gets a Hezbollah response they may find themselves without friends.

[Apr 14, 2019] AIPAC Is Back In Town! by Philip Giraldi

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This article is read as if it was written yesterday. What is interesting is the absence of US immune system, which would allow question the US relationship with Israel and the power of Zionist lobby in the USA. Philip Giraldi was and remain a clear outliner who at least tries to analyze the phenomenon. But more and deeper research is needed.
The level of subservience of Trump to Israel lobby is a couse of concerns.
Notable quotes:
"... Gus Savage was a black Member of Congress who was targeted by the Israel Lobby. And he had the foresight to use his position as an incumbent of the HofR to put his experience on the congressional record. ..."
"... Israel receives almost one-third of all the United States' foreign assistance, $3 billion in the foreign assistance bill, and usually $400 million or $500 million more tacked on here and there, roughly $3.5 billion a year. That is not the Government's money. That is your money, your tax dollars. ..."
"... We do not have enough money to maintain full funding for student grants and student loans for those in need to attend the colleges of their choice, for which they are qualified, not enough money to create jobs programs for those pockets of poverty in our Nation, not enough funds for long-term Medicare for our senior citizens in need, but $3 1/2 billion of your tax dollars to one little nation, Israel, a nation with only about 3 1/2 million citizens. That means then that you are giving $1,000 a year to every man, woman, and child citizen of Israel. Think about that. ..."
"... It's all about the money. As said in your excerpts, you can't run an effective campaign in the US w/o cash. The Israel Lobby's method is to "primary" non-compliant MOCs like McKinney and Savage by throwing money behind a similar candidate from the same Party – but one who has pledged support for Israel if elected. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

Spring in Washington would not be complete without the city's famous cherry blossoms and the annual "Policy Conference" meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The 15,000 plus participants began arriving on Sunday and will be here at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center until tomorrow morning, at which point many of them will descend on Congress like a swarm of ravenous locusts to make sure that our Solons on the Potomac are doing what is right by Israel.

AIPAC is the most powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington. Its annual budget exceeds $77 million plus it has an endowment of $100 million . It has nearly 400 employees and also supports local chapters and initiatives throughout the United States. What do all those employees do? They mostly lobby Congress and increasingly state legislatures shamelessly on behalf of a foreign country that has little in the way of actual common interests with the United States. When anything happens in the Middle East, AIPAC's drones get to work, drafting up position papers detailing the Israeli position which are then placed by runners on the desks of every single congressman within a matter of hours. The congressmen, too lazy to engage in any real inquiry into what is going on, rely on the AIPAC research. That is, lamentably, how our system works. And if the congressman ignores the "expert" advice, AIPAC and its friends makes sure he or she has a strong, well-funded opponent in the next election, someone who knows how to say "I love Israel" without moving his or her lips.

The current speakers' list for the 2017 conference includes many of the leading political parasites that have long made the nation's Capitol a "must miss" destination. I will not attempt to summarize what Michael Pence, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Steny Hoyer and others said on Sunday night and yesterday as it was all basically the same speech, declaring undying love for Israel and the Jewish people and pledging that the United States will always have "Israel's back," whatever that is supposed to mean. Twenty-nine congressmen were featured as attendees on the AIPAC website but more than two thirds of the entire Congress is expected to appear for a photo op while muttering something about that apparently vulnerable "back." Or do they mean backside? Whatever. I won't name any more of the specific panderers as the reader probably already has a good idea who they are.

And, of course, the redoubtable Professor Alan Dershowitz was also a featured speaker, a wonderful human being who recently told us goyim that Jewish power in this country is both deserved and granted by Jehovah. It is interesting how Jews among themselves boast about their power but if a gentile so much as suggests the same thing it is anti-Semitism.

There were also two certifiable loonies among the speakers, apart from Dershowitz. They were Nikki Haley, America's stalwart U.N. Ambassador, and Stephen Harper, until recently Prime Minister of Canada. Those who are following Haley's meteoric career are probably aware that while governor of South Carolina she took the lead on making her state the first in the nation to legislate against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) which supports peaceful pressure on Israel to abandon its apartheid policies when dealing with its own Arab citizens as well as the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. Such legislation is an abrogation of First Amendment rights and will likely prove to be unconstitutional if it ever gets to the Supreme Court, but Haley clearly believed then and believes now that nothing is too good when it comes to Israel. Since going to the U.N., Haley has spoken more about Israel than about any possible American interests, pledging full support and protection for Netanyahu and his government. She blocked the appointment of a well-qualified Palestinian to a senior U.N. position purely because he was Palestinian. Ignorant of nearly everything that goes on in the world outside the U.S., it might be said that she is so horribly inept that she actually makes her ghastly predecessor Samantha Power look good.

Stephen Harper is another certified knee jerker when it comes to Israel. A fundamentalist Christian who believes the second coming of Christ is imminent, while Prime Minister he led what was possibly the world's most pro-Israeli government . Harper described Israel as a light that " burns bright, upheld by the universal principles of all civilized nations – freedom, democracy justice." He has also said "I will defend Israel whatever the cost" to Canada, an interesting proposition for those who might have believed that his duty was to protect his own country and advance its interests. Harper, who has received awards from both Canadian and American Jewish organizations, personally endorsed Israel's bombing of Lebanon in 2006, calling it "measured" even when Canadian peacekeepers were killed in the bombardment.

Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, also spoke at the conference. Why? I don't know but it probably has something to do with characteristically liberal American Jews pulling their usual doublespeak trick, trying to pretend that fundamentally racist Israelis are not actually racist by inviting a black man to speak at a pro-Israel conference. I'll bet he was paid handsomely to do so.

And former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, perhaps suggesting that love for Israel is truly international, spoke and was also probably paid handsomely to do so as he an incorporated brand. Between 2007 and 2015 Blair was the "special envoy" representing (and personally profiting from) the Quartet seeking to bring about a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Marwan Bishara explained in The New York Times : "A natural panderer to power, Mr. Blair morphed his complicity with the United States over Iraq into a new complicity with Israel. The assumption that operates is that schmoozing with the powerful is the only way to make a difference. So while Mr. Blair worked to reform the Palestinian Authority's finances, security and governance, he turned a blind eye as Israel expanded its illegal settlements and tightened its hold on the autonomous territories. In the process, Mr. Blair helped render the Palestinian Authority more, not less, dependent on Israel. Instead of protecting the Palestinians from the Israeli settlers, Palestinian security forces have since been protecting Israeli settlers from Palestinian resentment." Blair also attacked the Palestinian leadership's decision to seek United Nations recognition of the Palestinian state, calling it "deeply confrontational." Bishara dismisses him as "Israel's puppy." As I am extremely fond of dogs, I would modify that to read "Israel and now AIPAC's butt boy."

The avenging angel Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the conference by satellite link and yet again described the threat posed by Iran. The satellite visit was somewhat surprising, as he usually likes to drop by in person so he can pick up his annual tribute money from the U.S. Treasury. This year's Danegeld will be $3.8 billion thanks to President Barack Obama, guaranteed for ten years, and there will be, of course, various supplements as the Israelis discover things that they just need to have to stave off Netanyahu's wily Persians and fight the rising tide of anti-Semitism. A rising tide, which we have just learned, was carried out by an Israeli Jew who also holds U.S. citizenship, which again leads to the question why so many Israelis are allowed to have American passports even though they live in Israel and serve in the Israeli Army?

And, of course, Persia was an integral part of the conference as it is tough to want to destroy the entire Muslim Middle East without having a really formidable enemy to focus on. Iran fits the bill quite nicely, but speakers were also prone to skewer those terrible Ay-rabs who just do not want peace. And the Israelis settlements are not a problem, nosiree! The theme of this year's gathering was, in fact, "Many voices, one mission," the mission presumably being the expansion of Israel so it will stretch east to west from the Nile to the River Jordan and north to the Turkish border. The indigenous inhabitants will have to be removed, but as they are mostly terrorists that should be okay with the world community and Donald Trump.

And with the 15,000 AIPAC attendees. The AIPAC gathering is really all about subverting Congress, so it is a good thing that a large majority of Congressmen were attending, making the necessary bowing and scraping that much easier. And they will enjoy it even more when the 15,000 AIPAC loyalists descend on Capitol Hill as the conference ends to make sure that Congress is listening. Democracy in action is great, isn't it?

Even though I jest about the absurdity of thousands of Americans who appeared to be confused about what country they actually live in gathering to honor a foreign country that has an army that acts like a terrorist group, does not believe in equal rights even for its own citizens and bans visitors who do not accept its more questionable policies, the AIPAC people are not a joke. They are a deadly serious threat to our own democracy and way of life as they have figured out how to use money and the power that money buys to leverage and corrupt the system in such a way as to produce wars and turmoil that have blown back on the United States and made every American citizen both less safe and poorer.

I have written and spoken before how AIPAC is ultimately doomed as Israel and its basic policies towards Arabs and its neighbors are unsustainable both from a human rights and practical point of view. But that does not mean that it is going away any time soon. The Israel Lobby has the U.S. Congress and media by the throat and the Trump administration promises to be completely uncritical in its relationship with Netanyahu and whatever homicidal kleptocrat might be in line to succeed him. Ms. Haley and her peers in state governments have successfully pushed legislation in a majority of states that punishes anyone who tries to boycott Israeli institutions or products. On university campuses non-violent criticism of Israel is being suppressed. There is also increasing pressure to define any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism and therefore a hate crime, modeled on similar legislation in Canada, Britain and France.

In a number of European countries it is a crime to challenge the standard narrative on "the Holocaust." Why should that be? You can in much of Europe stand in a town square and say horrible things about your own country but if you criticize the factual basis of one particular "event" that took place in the 1940s you will go to jail.

So hang on to your hats, my fellow Americans. AIPAC is not going away and it will be doing all it can to keep neighboring Syria a cauldron of death and destruction while also calling for war on Iran. And AIPAC as well as the other bits and pieces of the Israel Lobby will have many Quislings in the Congress and U.S. media who will echo whatever they propose, even if it does grave damage to American interests. Meanwhile the billions and billions of dollars will continue to flow from an increasingly straitened United States to a wealthy Israel. At its conference AIPAC announced the latest windfall from America, applauding " the U.S. House of Representatives for significantly bolstering its support of U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 defense appropriations bill. The House appropriated $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs." That is on top of everything else Israel gets. Will it ever end? I don't know.

Wally , March 28, 2017 at 6:16 am GMT \n

100 Words 'Join the US army, Fight for Israel

http://68.media.tumblr.com/639563970a638b606f4adb0ef05c778b/tumblr_inline_o7t4eewwJn1r75mb5_500.jpg

It's revealing that Zionist support Israeli immigration laws which specify JEWS ONLY, while those same Zionists demand massive 3rd world immigration into the US & Europe.

It's also revealing that we don't see Zionists criticizing Israel's very real WALL.

Fake News Versus No News
How Russia is pilloried while real news about Israel goes unreported

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/fake-news-versus-no-news/

Israel interferes in our politics all the time, and it's never a scandal.
"The Israeli interference in our politics is the conspiracy in plain sight that no one in the media talks about because they're too implicated themselves."

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2017/02/philip-weiss-israel-interferes-in-our-politics-all-the-time-and-its-never-a-scandal/

Jew arrested for dozens of fake 'hate crimes'

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/03/23/israeli-jew-19-arrested-antisemitic-hate-crime-hoax-spree/

Israel removes Africans

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/toughening-its-stance-toward-migrants-israel-pushes-africans-to-leave/2015/05/14/e1637bce-f350-11e4-bca5-21b51bbdf93e_story.html

Israeli Mossad's motto: "By deception thou shalt do war"

Moscow has 92 synagogues for less than a thousand practicing Jews – they are staffed and manned by the imported American Rabbis of Habad. Best and the choicest pieces of Russian municipal land are given to synagogues and Jewish cultural centres for free.

http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-russian-scare/

Ludwig Watzal , Website March 28, 2017 at 6:36 am GMT \n
200 Words Very well said, Phil Giraldi. The power of the Israel Lobby in the US is almost absolute. Slowly but surely, they get also a hold of the political elites in Great Britain, France, and Germany. None of these folks have the guts to criticize the brutal Apartheid regime in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories out of fear of being branded an "anti-Semite".

The US Congress doesn't serve the interest of the American people but only the Zionist regime and their expansionist lust for territory and their aggression towards Iran. Not Iran is the major sponsor of terrorism such as the Zionist and their cheerleaders in the US pretend but Israel with its terrorist military gang, the so-called IDF, which should be renamed in ITF (Israeli Terrorist Forces).

Miko Peled, the author of "The General's Son" described this military gang as follows: "the IDF is the best trained, best equipped, best fed terrorist organization in the world". And the US taxpayers are financing a terror organization that is against US law.

http://between-the-lines-ludwig-watzal.blogspot.de/2012/10/miko-peled-generals-son.html

Seraphim , March 28, 2017 at 7:28 am GMT \n
300 Words @back in town

Was it ever out? It is more 'in' than ever.

"White House Announces Jared Kushner Is Now Responsible For Everything"
@ http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/jared-kushner-everything czar_us_58d95499e4b02a2eaab6664f

"Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's choice of neighborhood narrows the focus on Chabad":
The residence they have reportedly picked, on Tracy Place NW, is about half a mile from TheShul of the Nation's Capital, a synagogue run by the active Orthodox Jewish organization Chabad .
ome of Washington's highest-profile observant Jews, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and longtime senator and 2000 vice presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman, have sometimes attended services at TheShul as an alternative to Kesher Israel, where they more frequently spent Shabbat. Numerous Jewish ambassadors from foreign countries have chosen to worship at TheShul "
@ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/01/05/ivanka-trump-and-jared-kushners-choice-of-neighborhood-narrows-the-focus-on-chabad/?utm_term=.1bce47e39bc2

"Recently, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner visited the Ohel*, and every Jewish media outlet covered their visit. However Trump and Kushner's visit was not publicized by Chabad".
@ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/227102

*The Cambria Heights, Queens "Ohel" (literally 'tent' but used by Chabad hassidim to mean 'tomb') of the sixth and seventh Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbes, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Scheerson and his son-in-law Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, has become a 24-hour hub of activity with visitors stopping at all hours of day and night to pray and ask for blessings.
Thousands of Jews, from all backgrounds and ethnicities, as well as politicians, diplomats, and many others, visit the site every day of the year.

Yes, the ones with silly hairstyles.
"Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday put the issue of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem back on the table, telling pro-Israel lobbying group that President Donald Trump was giving "serious consideration" to the issue.
@ http://www.newsweek.com/mike-pence-trump-us-embassy-jerusalem-consideration-574576

Lasciate ogni speranza

WorkingClass , March 28, 2017 at 8:15 am GMT \n
These are the folks who put the Zio in Anglo/Zio Empire. If you are an Imperialist (Hillary supporter) you gotta love these people. Nationalists not so much.
Spiridon , March 28, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT \n
100 Words You are wrong when it comes to explain Kagame presence ; it is not cosmetic at all, it is not to give some "antiracist" acceptable face to AIPAC. But it has to do with many years of Israel lobbying in Africa, it's hidden role in managing access to resources and manipulating powers in Africa. Besides, Kagame is himself this kind of terrorist, most probably at the very origin of Rwanda massacre, blaming others for being terrorist and dressing himself in innocent pure white colour a fake victim. He received officially last year Netanyahu in Rwanda. Israel has been secretly very active in Africa for the benefit of UK and USA, trying to encroach on French turf. One famous journalist has written crystal clear book on this influences : "Carnages" by Pierre Pean. Israel was eager to play a role in destabilizing Sudan, an Rwanda was a piece on the chessboard. The FPR (patriotic front of Rwanda) led by Kagame was an important tool of this war.
Incitatus , April 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm GMT \n
100 Words @iffen (deliberate) attack on the USS Liberty '67

What do the parentheses mean? Why did you use deliberate? Of course it was deliberate. Are you trying to obscure the issue of mis-identification by using deliberate?

LBJ's reaction was shameful.

Why was it shameful? Are you joining in with the warmonger, flag waving casket jumpers now? " (deliberate) attack on the USS Liberty '67 "

"What do the parentheses mean?"

"Deliberate" was thus noted because I tried to make a larger point about Israel's possible motive (mistrust after Suez). No question the attack was sustained and deliberate.

"Why was it [LBJ's reaction] shameful?"

The whole incident reeked cover up. LBJ planned to run for reelection. QED the clumsy obfuscation, willing acceptance (wink-wink) of Israel's lame excuse, and turning the MOH into a consolation prize to keep survivors quiet. He even avoided personally awarding it (customary). That's why LBJ's reaction was shameful.

"Are you joining in with the warmonger, flag waving casket jumpers now?"

Not at all. Truth – correcting the record – would satisfy me. And be healthier for Israel. It's too easy to drink koolaid and believe one's own lies (e.g. GW Bush Iraq 2003).

L.K , April 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Chuck Orloski Hey 'iffen-iffen,

Do yourself a favor? Spread your "wings" and ass cheeks, fly to Israel, and stay there.

U.S. Liberty Calling Sam The Sham: Cease meditations for a moment and show ''iffen-iffen the open door to Israel? Hey Chuck,
Yeah, I guess iffen-iffen, sam the sham and all these other hasbara assholes should indeed move to their beloved israel(Palestine).
Except, if all the diaspora zio slime moved there, it would only make the Palestinians' lives even more miserable. Then again, they don't wanna go anyway
Read the following interview with the brave Jeffrey Blankfort(who is Jewish), a journalist and Middle-East analyst, well worth it. He closes it with;

"Should Israel find a way to attack Iran, the repercussions from that might be sufficient to send Israel on the road to what will ultimately be viewed as self-destruction. At the moment, thanks to the unconditional backing by the U.S. for all it crimes, and given its arsenal of nuclear weapons, I consider Israel to be the most immediate threat to the future of the planet."

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/israel-is-the-most-immediate-threat-to-the-future-of-the-planet/

BTW Chuck, and I only ask bc you already revealed even your home address, do you have any email address you'd be willing to share? Perfectly alright if don't wish to, of course.

Take care

iffen , April 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm GMT \n
200 Words ... ... ...

Note the title of one: Iran-hawks, not neo-cons.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-many-questions-not-asked-on-russiagate/

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/iran-hawks-take-the-white-house/

geokat62 , April 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT \n
700 Words @RobinG Hi Geo,

Maybe you can help me with this. (You seem to have a good filing system (-: )

When I mentioned to a friend (not a person who follows Israel/Palestine) that MOCs are "invited" to pledge loyalty to Israel, she couldn't believe it, and asked for proof.

Is there hard evidence? Is there a written document, or is this an oral pledge? [I imagine an AIPAC delegation in every new MOCs office.] Has any official - besides Cynthia McKinney - spoken about this?

Judging from my friend's reaction, this should go to the top of the LFTL list of essential information, (not to mention prominent placement at If Americans Knew).

The only thing I know about (to send to my friend) is the video of Cynthia at a past WRMEA conference, telling her story. Also, I think one of the other speakers, a former AIPAC employee, mentioned this.

Is there hard evidence? Is there a written document, or is this an oral pledge? [I imagine an AIPAC delegation in every new MOCs office.] Has any official – besides Cynthia McKinney – spoken about this?

Hi, RobinG. I wasn't even aware of this allegation. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I did a Google search and the only thing I could come up with was this article:

Cynthia McKinney Drops Bombshell: Candidates to sign pledges of support for "Israel"

by Richard Edmondson

In an interview which aired on Press TV on Saturday–one day before the AIPAC conference got under way in Washington–former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney revealed what amounts to some pretty startling news regarding the extent of the Israeli lobby's influence over Congress.

During her years in Congress, she stated, candidates for both the House and the Senate were requested to sign pledges of support for Israel, documents in which the candidate promised to vote to provide consistent levels of economic aid to the Zionist state. Refusal to sign the pledge meant no funding for the candidate's campaign.

"You make a commitment that you will vote to support the military superiority of Israel-the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that," McKinney, who served in Congress from 1993-2003 and again 2005-2007, tells Press TV interviewer Marzieh Hashemi in the two-part video program below.

According to McKinney, the pledge also included a vow to support Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.

" Every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge, they were given a pledge to sign " she said. "If you don't sign the pledge, you don't get money. For example, it was almost like water torture for me. My parents observed this. I would get a call and the person on the other end of the phone would say 'I want to do a fundraiser for you.' And then we would get into the planning. I would get really excited, because of course you have to have money in order to run a campaign. And then two weeks, three weeks into the planning, they would say, 'Did you sign the pledge?' And then I would say, 'No, I didn't sign the pledge.' And then my fundraiser would go kaput."

During her years in Congress, McKinney opposed U.S. involvement in foreign wars, questioned the official version of the events of 911, and introduced articles of impeachment against former President George W. Bush. Her final term in Congress came to an end after AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, funneled money into the campaign of her opponent, Hank Johnson.

Here's the video of CM's interview:

https://youtu.be/hXaCym8RjJU

In the interview, Miss McKinny also references one of her predecessors, Gus Savage, who was targeted by the Lobby before she was. Here's what she had to say:

Gus Savage was a black Member of Congress who was targeted by the Israel Lobby. And he had the foresight to use his position as an incumbent of the HofR to put his experience on the congressional record.

Here's an excerpt from Gus Savage's excellent speech:

Now, let me say something about my position regarding Israel that may explain the concern, but certainly does not justify a body with no legal right to do so whose primary concern is a foreign nation rather than the interests of America, trying to determine the outcome of an American election for Congress. That, my friends, Mr. and Mrs. America, is dangerous, indeed.

Israel receives almost one-third of all the United States' foreign assistance, $3 billion in the foreign assistance bill, and usually $400 million or $500 million more tacked on here and there, roughly $3.5 billion a year. That is not the Government's money. That is your money, your tax dollars.

We do not have enough money to maintain full funding for student grants and student loans for those in need to attend the colleges of their choice, for which they are qualified, not enough money to create jobs programs for those pockets of poverty in our Nation, not enough funds for long-term Medicare for our senior citizens in need, but $3 1/2 billion of your tax dollars to one little nation, Israel, a nation with only about 3 1/2 million citizens. That means then that you are giving $1,000 a year to every man, woman, and child citizen of Israel. Think about that.

https://www.sott.net/article/229489-Israel-Lobby-Laying-Out-The-Facts-1990-Congressional-Record-of-Rep-Gus-Savage

Read More
geokat62 , April 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT \n
100 Words @geokat62

Is there hard evidence? Is there a written document, or is this an oral pledge? [I imagine an AIPAC delegation in every new MOCs office.] Has any official – besides Cynthia McKinney – spoken about this?
Hi, RobinG. I wasn't even aware of this allegation. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I did a Google search and the only thing I could come up with was this article:

Cynthia McKinney Drops Bombshell: Candidates to sign pledges of support for "Israel"

by Richard Edmondson


In an interview which aired on Press TV on Saturday–one day before the AIPAC conference got under way in Washington–former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney revealed what amounts to some pretty startling news regarding the extent of the Israeli lobby's influence over Congress.

During her years in Congress, she stated, candidates for both the House and the Senate were requested to sign pledges of support for Israel, documents in which the candidate promised to vote to provide consistent levels of economic aid to the Zionist state. Refusal to sign the pledge meant no funding for the candidate's campaign.

"You make a commitment that you will vote to support the military superiority of Israel-the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that," McKinney, who served in Congress from 1993-2003 and again 2005-2007, tells Press TV interviewer Marzieh Hashemi in the two-part video program below.

According to McKinney, the pledge also included a vow to support Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.

" Every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge, they were given a pledge to sign " she said. "If you don't sign the pledge, you don't get money. For example, it was almost like water torture for me. My parents observed this. I would get a call and the person on the other end of the phone would say 'I want to do a fundraiser for you.' And then we would get into the planning. I would get really excited, because of course you have to have money in order to run a campaign. And then two weeks, three weeks into the planning, they would say, 'Did you sign the pledge?' And then I would say, 'No, I didn't sign the pledge.' And then my fundraiser would go kaput."

During her years in Congress, McKinney opposed U.S. involvement in foreign wars, questioned the official version of the events of 911, and introduced articles of impeachment against former President George W. Bush. Her final term in Congress came to an end after AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, funneled money into the campaign of her opponent, Hank Johnson.

Here's the video of CM's interview:

https://youtu.be/hXaCym8RjJU

In the interview, Miss McKinny also references one of her predecessors, Gus Savage, who was targeted by the Lobby before she was. Here's what she had to say:

Gus Savage was a black Member of Congress who was targeted by the Israel Lobby. And he had the foresight to use his position as an incumbent of the HofR to put his experience on the congressional record.
Here's an excerpt from Gus Savage's excellent speech:

Now, let me say something about my position regarding Israel that may explain the concern, but certainly does not justify a body with no legal right to do so whose primary concern is a foreign nation rather than the interests of America, trying to determine the outcome of an American election for Congress. That, my friends, Mr. and Mrs. America, is dangerous, indeed.

Israel receives almost one-third of all the United States' foreign assistance, $3 billion in the foreign assistance bill, and usually $400 million or $500 million more tacked on here and there, roughly $3.5 billion a year. That is not the Government's money. That is your money, your tax dollars.

We do not have enough money to maintain full funding for student grants and student loans for those in need to attend the colleges of their choice, for which they are qualified, not enough money to create jobs programs for those pockets of poverty in our Nation, not enough funds for long-term Medicare for our senior citizens in need, but $3 1/2 billion of your tax dollars to one little nation, Israel, a nation with only about 3 1/2 million citizens. That means then that you are giving $1,000 a year to every man, woman, and child citizen of Israel. Think about that.

https://www.sott.net/article/229489-Israel-Lobby-Laying-Out-The-Facts-1990-Congressional-Record-of-Rep-Gus-Savage

We do not have enough money to

The only revision I would make to Rep. Savage's great list of what the large annual tribute could be better spent on in the US would be repairing broken down fire trucks for bankrupt cities like Detroit, MI (just south of the border from Canada, where some suggest these fire trucks are said to be mfged).

Talha , April 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm GMT \n
100 Words @geokat62

We do not have enough money to...
The only revision I would make to Rep. Savage's great list of what the large annual tribute could be better spent on in the US would be repairing broken down fire trucks for bankrupt cities like Detroit, MI (just south of the border from Canada, where some suggest these fire trucks are said to be mfged). Hey Geo,

Don't forget support for the thousands of veterans and their families that are traumatized by their participation in the overseas ME 'adventures' – these guys are committing suicide left and right and it should be made into headlines, but that would mean more scrutiny on why the hell we went to war in the first place.

Peace.

RobinG , April 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT \n
200 Words @geokat62

Is there hard evidence? Is there a written document, or is this an oral pledge? [I imagine an AIPAC delegation in every new MOCs office.] Has any official – besides Cynthia McKinney – spoken about this?
Hi, RobinG. I wasn't even aware of this allegation. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I did a Google search and the only thing I could come up with was this article:

Cynthia McKinney Drops Bombshell: Candidates to sign pledges of support for "Israel"

by Richard Edmondson


In an interview which aired on Press TV on Saturday–one day before the AIPAC conference got under way in Washington–former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney revealed what amounts to some pretty startling news regarding the extent of the Israeli lobby's influence over Congress.

During her years in Congress, she stated, candidates for both the House and the Senate were requested to sign pledges of support for Israel, documents in which the candidate promised to vote to provide consistent levels of economic aid to the Zionist state. Refusal to sign the pledge meant no funding for the candidate's campaign.

"You make a commitment that you will vote to support the military superiority of Israel-the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that," McKinney, who served in Congress from 1993-2003 and again 2005-2007, tells Press TV interviewer Marzieh Hashemi in the two-part video program below.

According to McKinney, the pledge also included a vow to support Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.

" Every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge, they were given a pledge to sign " she said. "If you don't sign the pledge, you don't get money. For example, it was almost like water torture for me. My parents observed this. I would get a call and the person on the other end of the phone would say 'I want to do a fundraiser for you.' And then we would get into the planning. I would get really excited, because of course you have to have money in order to run a campaign. And then two weeks, three weeks into the planning, they would say, 'Did you sign the pledge?' And then I would say, 'No, I didn't sign the pledge.' And then my fundraiser would go kaput."

During her years in Congress, McKinney opposed U.S. involvement in foreign wars, questioned the official version of the events of 911, and introduced articles of impeachment against former President George W. Bush. Her final term in Congress came to an end after AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, funneled money into the campaign of her opponent, Hank Johnson.

Here's the video of CM's interview:

https://youtu.be/hXaCym8RjJU

In the interview, Miss McKinny also references one of her predecessors, Gus Savage, who was targeted by the Lobby before she was. Here's what she had to say:
Gus Savage was a black Member of Congress who was targeted by the Israel Lobby. And he had the foresight to use his position as an incumbent of the HofR to put his experience on the congressional record.
Here's an excerpt from Gus Savage's excellent speech:
Now, let me say something about my position regarding Israel that may explain the concern, but certainly does not justify a body with no legal right to do so whose primary concern is a foreign nation rather than the interests of America, trying to determine the outcome of an American election for Congress. That, my friends, Mr. and Mrs. America, is dangerous, indeed.

Israel receives almost one-third of all the United States' foreign assistance, $3 billion in the foreign assistance bill, and usually $400 million or $500 million more tacked on here and there, roughly $3.5 billion a year. That is not the Government's money. That is your money, your tax dollars.

We do not have enough money to maintain full funding for student grants and student loans for those in need to attend the colleges of their choice, for which they are qualified, not enough money to create jobs programs for those pockets of poverty in our Nation, not enough funds for long-term Medicare for our senior citizens in need, but $3 1/2 billion of your tax dollars to one little nation, Israel, a nation with only about 3 1/2 million citizens. That means then that you are giving $1,000 a year to every man, woman, and child citizen of Israel. Think about that.

https://www.sott.net/article/229489-Israel-Lobby-Laying-Out-The-Facts-1990-Congressional-Record-of-Rep-Gus-Savage

Hank Johnson , who still holds that seat, is a typical Dem., and CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) Member. While his obeisance to Israel is less blatant than some others (CBC's Alcee Hastings touts his unwavering support of Israel, and his official site now features photos of his recent AIPAC appearance), Rep. Johnson demonstrates his loyalty in only slightly more subtle ways. His official site lists these accomplishments:

It's all about the money. As said in your excerpts, you can't run an effective campaign in the US w/o cash. The Israel Lobby's method is to "primary" non-compliant MOCs like McKinney and Savage by throwing money behind a similar candidate from the same Party – but one who has pledged support for Israel if elected.

[Apr 14, 2019] We can talk about intentional [over]flooding of the field with corporate centrist neoliberals like Harris, Booker, Biden, Hickenlooper et al., enough of a deluge to draw attention support from the more-progressive candidates, including Bernie, Warren, and Tulsi (particularly vehement for her open criticism of the war economy)

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Vin LoPresti , 12 Apr 2019 09:57

Oh please: this is just a more-elaborate replay of what the DNC did to Bernie in '16 and what it does to anyone not espousing the idiocy of the party's corporately enshrined majority. Hence, what's actually happening is the [over]flooding of the field with corporate centrist neoliberals like Harris, Booker, Biden, Hickenlooper et al., enough of a deluge to draw attention & support from the more-progressive candidates, including Bernie, Warren, and Tulsi (particularly vehement for her open criticism of the war economy)
T0nyN -> SoonToBeDead , 12 Apr 2019 10:01
The USA has become anti-intellectual. It prefers 'style' over substance and theatrics over facts.
charlieblue -> Swan17 , 12 Apr 2019 09:59
We're not talking about "Change for changes sake" here. We're talking about Elizabeth Warren vs. Donald Trump. We're talking about a smart, educated woman and proven capable leader and US senator, vs. a vulgar, lazy, Reality TV host and failed businessman. We're talking a calm, rational human being vs. a bloviating jackass.
candoll -> jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 09:57
" white, straight and struggling middle class, "

Not if you add up those things. USA is only ~ 60% white. Depending on how you define middle class, I think more of the US is working class than middle class these days. Straight? Maybe, but I think you could just as easily say "most of the US is *not* a straight white male middle class, and frankly is fed up with the default identity being straight white, male and middle class.

ChesBay -> John Finan , 12 Apr 2019 09:56
My guess is that you are well to do, and enjoying your tax cut. Most of the rest of us are not. The economy is not synonymous with the stock market, which is up because of stock buy-backs. Do you understand how this works? Do you know how many workers have been laid off in the last 3 months? How many companies have moved out of the country, after receiving their tRump bribes? How many more companies paid NO TAX last year--or how many more got REBATES (out of my pocket?) You are soon to be horribly surprised.
retsiLdivaD -> KedarB , 12 Apr 2019 09:55
-You blame her for being good at her job and for having married someone who is good at his job, or for having policies that would distribute wealth? Rich people can be left wing. Find me any politician who isn't loaded.

- High salaries at Universities are a problem, but not responsible for high student loans- roughly half the budget at Havard is spend on salaries, and that includes pensions, and a lot of people in lower paid positions https://finance.harvard.edu/files/fad/files/harvard_annual_report_2018_final.pdf

theredmenace -> GeorgeFrowny , 12 Apr 2019 09:58
She didn't list herself as such when applying for jobs, she volunteered a recipe for a cookbook. Everything else you're repeating is just Fox News propaganda.

"In 2012 she was criticized for having listed herself as a minority in a directory for Harvard Law School. Some critics alleged that she falsified her heritage to advance her career through minority quotas. Warren denied that, and several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring. An investigation by The Boston Globe in 2018 found "clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools". PolitiFact noted: "Before this controversy arose in 2012, there is no account that Warren spoke publicly of having Native American roots, although she called herself Cherokee in a local Oklahoma cookbook in 1984."

You should apologise and retract.

Atlant -> Beaufort100 , 12 Apr 2019 09:54

And there is no Democrat who is going to take votes from Trump's base.

I've told this story before but I guess it still bears repeating:

In November of 2016, my wife won a seat in the New Hampshire State House as a Democrat. As she campaigned, she knocked on hundreds and hundreds of doors, the doors of Democrat, Republican, and "Undeclared" households. And many times, she spoke to Republicans who stated that they could easily have seen themselves voting for Bernie Sanders over Trump but they'd BE DAMNED if they were ever going to vote for Hillary Clinton.

My wife didn't argue this point with them. After all, it was her job to get herself elected, not to get Hillary elected. In New Hampshire, the Democrats who DID argue for Clinton (including two more women in our election ward) went down to defeat; my wife won.*

Hillary was absolutely poison for the Democrats nationwide but Bernie would have 1) won and 2) had yuuuuge coat-tails. When they did him in, the Democrats did themselves in.

* Hillary narrowly won New Hampshire's Electoral votes and Democrats narrowly won our U.S. Senate race and both Congressional districts but Democrats lost the Governor's race, three of five Executive Council races, the State House, and the State Senate. That is, Democrats got wiped out within New Hampshire just like they got wiped out nationally.

candoll -> HarryFlashman , 12 Apr 2019 09:53
By electing Trump the American people were rejecting middle-of-the-road politics-as-usual. Warren is the much needed change in the democratic party.
Instead, they're going to push Biden or Beto and try to serve the "safe" more of the same crap that people don't want anymore. We're all fed up to death with the neo-liberal corporate-owned politicians. We need real change for the everyday working people, who have seen their quality of life decline and cost of living incline for decades now.
mwesqcpa , 12 Apr 2019 09:51
Elizabeth Warren has a tremendous academic background in economics, economic history, finance and bankruptcy law; she also is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

She was in the forefront during the 2008 economic crisis and raising the alarm about the corrupt banking practices of trillions of risky sub prime lending loans and credit default swaps.

Her current campaign is floundering for many reasons. She is fuzzy on many issues and other issues may be repulsive to most of the electorate such as reparations for the horrible institution of slavery. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The only candidate that rings the bell and frames the hot button issues in a brilliant and articulate manner is Mayor Pete. His only negative is the repulsion of many voters to gay people who in reality are just people who happen to be different than the majority.

ChesBay -> Amanzim , 12 Apr 2019 09:51
The right has moved sooo far right, that reasonable, popular positions may seem "radical." After all, who in the world would vote for health care for themselves? Positively far left, eh? I would like to know: HOW are we going to pay for a $1.9 TRILLION tax cut for the filthy rich, or $730 BILLION for defense? WHERE will we get the money for those "basic needs?"
Thomas1178 -> OliversTravels , 12 Apr 2019 09:48
She didn't -- the bar application does not have a section for race. What she did was fill in an optional area on race to indicate her interest in organizations or societies centered around ethnicity. Not uncommon in academia

Her own argument, that she actually believed that she was far more Native American than she was and was interested in meeting other women with a similar background, matches up well with that. It was not in any way part of deciding to admit her to the bar. Think about it – that would be illegal anyway.

JudeUSA -> ChesBay , 12 Apr 2019 09:48
The majority of Americans do not back packing the courts and reparations.They will be losing issues for those candidates that give those issues strong support.
ThisEarthling , 12 Apr 2019 09:47
It's a shame she didn't run last time, instead of Hilary Clinton - things might have been different. That was her chance, and it's gone now. She will be put in the same bracket as Hilary now by too many voters, and it'll be the kiss of death for her chances. That silly comment about her ancestry aside, she is a very smart woman who wuld have made a decent POTUS, but she's missed her chance at it. Or the party missed its chance with her. Somehow it was deemed to be Hilary's "turn" last time round. If there's anything positive to come out of Trump's election, it might be to wake politicians up to the fact the the old way of doing things must go, though unfortunately the Democrats don;t seem to have really grasped this. The people have voted in some fresh faces, but the party is still stuck in the past.... Bernie Sanders, ffs. God help us.
ChesBay -> Daubish , 12 Apr 2019 09:46
Daubish--Don't hold your breath. Remember who, and what, is "leading" the party. It's an "organization" I intend to quit immediately following next year's closed primary. Remember the words of Mark Twain: "I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."
ChesBay , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
Warren and Sanders are the only clear thinkers in the group. I support Bernie, but I am also sending money to Warren to keep her in the race. She represents the thinking of the majority of Americans. She's right on the money! Backward, corporate,conservative Nancy Pelosi be damned.
BorgleyUderwad -> Afraid of Americans , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
I think the expression "Don't try to argue with an idiot, they'll just drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience" applies.
Henny Miller , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
Although I live outside the US, it is important for the rest of the world to have a competent, decent, ethical and honourable person to be elected as the next president, especially after this disastrous term with Trump. I personally would love to see Elizabeth Warren as the next president, having read a lot about her over the years and her performance after the financial crises when she to the Wall street bankers to task was marvelous. She is the sort of person that would be very beneficial for the US and the world, I think the rest of the world would start to have respect for the US again, as it is definitely on the nose now.
AdamCMelb , 12 Apr 2019 09:39
There is no doubt that Warren has smarts. Her competition policy around the tech giants is actually quite nuanced and sensible, despite presenting some challenges.

But she is not a good presidential candidate. She has wrecked her chances with her 'Pocahontas' antics and - mystifyingly - doubled down on her alleged Indian ancestry before the election. (This is despite the fact that Native American identity is generally not based on DNA alone. Mystifying stuff.)

Meanwhile, ideas like scrapping the electoral college are just bizarre and naive. I had not been aware that this was a 'policy' of Warren's. It does not show her in a good light.

[Apr 14, 2019] the chances of the Democrats winning the election are looking pretty slim right now. They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead.

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

gunnison -> dallasdunlap , 12 Apr 2019 09:34

Even Donald Trump had experience running an international business empire.


Some would say international crime syndicate, but never mind that.
Running anything as an authoritarian CEO in a private institution of any kind, with no shareholders and no accountability, is not a useful background in the context of a presidency, as we have been finding out on a daily basis since that assrocket took office.
Being a mayor of any kind of city is better preparation by far, because you have to fine ways for people who are not natural allies to pull in the same direction.
gunnison -> jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 09:22

They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead

. I think that's bollocks. Present your evidence. Sure, it's going to be a hard fought fight, but the chances that Dems supporting a candidate who does not win the primary would boycott the election and put Trump back in the White House are vanishingly small
this time around.

Most of America is white, straight and struggling middle class, I'm afraid. A unity candidate like Obama is needed to build bridges between different demographics, but what did we hear from a prominent Democrat activist last week? An attack on Obama as being the worst thing to happen to the Democrat Party in a generation.

Obama campaigned on the theme of progressive change, and won, twice, then once in office governed as a milquetoast centrist trying to seek consensus with an adversary committed to destroying both him and any remnants of the New Deal.
His lackluster performance in this regard and the Dem party establishment's commitment to corporate fealty by thumbing the scale to ensure the confirmation of Clinton's focus-group corporate windsockery so infuriated the traditional working class midwestern party roots that we now have Trump.

The mewling of the remnants of that party establishment can be ignored. There's a new energy now, unleashed by Sanders' remarkable insurgency in the 2016 cycle, and there's no putting the cork back in that bottle.

Trump isn't smiling. Trump has never smiled in his life. He smirks a lot, but that's not the same thing, and over the next year or so he's about to suffer the death of a thousand cuts if the newly empowered House investigative committees do an even halfway competent job of revealing what a corrupt and vindictive scumbag he really is.

dallasdunlap , 12 Apr 2019 09:17
Warren was my early favorite in the Dems primaries, but abolishing the Electoral College, packing the Supreme Court, and paying reparations make her unacceptable to me.
jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 08:58
I'd like her to win the nomination, but she won't.

That won't necessarily be a bad thing, however, because the chances of the Democrats winning the election are looking pretty slim right now. They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead.

Most of these activists are either New Yorkers or Californians or people who think like New Yorkers and Californians. New York and California will vote Democrat whoever wins the nomination. The next election, like the last, will be won or lost in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

It will annoy people on the Guardian website to hear, but people in those states are typically not as interested in what might be called 'identity politics' as people on the seaboards. 2016 should have taught Democrats that. Instead they have doubled down on fighting a little civil war between demographics who claim only their candidate should be President.

Most of America is white, straight and struggling middle class, I'm afraid. A unity candidate like Obama is needed to build bridges between different demographics, but what did we hear from a prominent Democrat activist last week? An attack on Obama as being the worst thing to happen to the Democrat Party in a generation.

Trump is smiling, and those smiles aren't fake.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren is been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?

Apr 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

popgoesthepop , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

Four more years of Trump is in the works.

The fact that she lied about her ethnicity in the past in hopes of gaining a leg up will backfire spectacularly if she's the DNC nominee for POTUS. Conservatives will beat this point over and over and over.

Is the Left secretly trying to put Trump in the WH for another term? It sure looks like it.

jae426 -> gunnison , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

the chances that Dems supporting a candidate who does not win the primary would boycott the election and put Trump back in the White House are vanishingly small this time around

They were warned that that would happen last time, and they still let it happen. The "Bernie bros" are back out in force, and not only have they not learnt their lesson, they feel validated by Clinton's defeat to the extent where they are even more determined that their old man should be the candidate and nobody else. These are people who abandoned the Democrats for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who managed to make Sarah Palin look intelligent. They will do it again because they are largely white, male and think just because they read liberal newspapers that means they don't have a sense of entitlement.

Both Michigan and Pennsylvania would have gone to Clinton if only 20% of Green voters hadn't lodged protest votes. These people don't want Elizabeth Warren, they don't want Kamala Harris, they don't want Beto O'Rourke, they don't want Pete Buttigieg. They want Bernie. If Bernie isn't the Democrat, they won't vote Democrat.

You can dismiss this as much as you like, but I placed a bet on Trump winning the Republican nomination when he was the joke candidate and when he won the nomination I bet on him winning the presidency. I think that would be an even safer bet this time round.

Thomas1178 -> Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:25
That's just funny. She's been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?
popgoesthepop -> WishesandHorses , 12 Apr 2019 10:23
She lies about her ethnicity to get ahead in life? That may have something to do with it.
Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:22
This conjecture is entirely fiction at best but centrist neo libeberal bollocks as a certainty. Warren was and is a republican. She is a corporate bootlicker, a thrall of Hillary and has no serious attachment to truth. I regret to admit that I am a US citizen, 68 years of age. I have wittnessed Warren's shameless plagirising of Bernie Sanders' arguments and am sickened to see her lionized by people who, if honest, should know better.
Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
The columnist is right about Warren's intellectual stature and influence, and anyone who's looked at what she's accomplished for Massachusetts (or for that matter watched her takedown of the sleazy head of Wells Fargo during the Senate hearings) knows she's tough. She also has a *workable* vision of what the Democrats could offer Americans. From affordable childcare to making college tuition affordable again to helping out working-class people like the fisherman in Massachusetts, while reigning in the banks and making sure we don't have another crash – it's the blueprint.

There's something hysterically funny about all the people who have signed in here, clearly skipped the article, just to yell "squirrel!" – or in this case -- "oh no she filled out the optional ethnicity box and it turns out her family stories were mistaken!"

What they're missing, what Warren is laying out and the article is pointing out, is what the GOP will really be up against in the future.

Patrician1985 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
I don't like this argument: she may not win the primary, but it's her ideas that will dominate the conversation.

It worked for Bernie supporters to console themselves.

If we elect someone, it needs to be the person who will be passionate about that idea (as opposed to lukewarm like Pelosi is on Green New Deal). We need someone who knows what it will take to get it done. What will get in the way. How to get around it.

Warren not only had the idea for CFPB. She actually set it up. Then Obama lacked the moral courage and political spine to have her lead the agency - just because Wall Street had pressured the Democrats against it.

Warren is the right candidate for the right time. She has ideas to fix the country and doesn't just rail against people. That's why even Steve Bannon is scared of her policy positions that they could be theirs.

Democrats need to stop playing pundits and go with their heart. If they vote for someone they like less but because he (why is it always a 'he' who is electable?) can win - we will end up with a candidate no one really cares about and how is that a winning strategy?

SolentBound , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
Democrat primary voters need to recognise that defeating Trump is going to be very difficult.

Since WW II, only Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr. have failed to win re-election, in both cases to superb campaigners who captured the public's imagination and, critically, swing voters.

Which of the potential Democrat challengers is a Ronald Reagan or a Bill Clinton? Or, indeed, a Barack Obama?

For a dose of reality, Democrats could do worse than read Mike Bloomberg's piece on his decision to stay out of the race: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-05/our-highest-office-my-deepest-obligation

JayThomas -> Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:20
And because nobody expects a politician to keep a promise, they have to find some other way to be convincing.
BenjaminW , 12 Apr 2019 10:19
Warren rules -- her policy ideas are creative, intelligent and moral, and the world would be an indescribably better place if people like her were ever allowed into positions of authority. That anyone on the planet would prefer to be represented by someone like Biden, never mind Trump, is utterly depressing.
charlieblue , 12 Apr 2019 10:16
Sadly, FOX News has already issued their proscribed talking points on Sen.Warren. You will find them listed and repeated anywhere Elizabeth's Warren's candidacy is discussed (including here). Most of it will be lies or exaggerations, claims that she received jobs and promotions based on her claims of Native American ancestry, claims that she received scholarships or some kind of preferential treatment by calling herself an "Indian". They will insist that this is an obvious character flaw, that she's a liar and some sort of cultural thief.

Sadly, too many American's still imagine FOX News and it's ilk are purveyors of fact. They imagine the propaganda they are being fed about Elizabeth Warren is a truth the "mainstream media" won't mention. We saw all of this with Hillary Clinton. 30% of Republican voters still think Sec. Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of a DC pizza parlor.

If Sen.Warren, or any other rational candidate has a fair chance at running for President, if all the lies and propaganda of the right-wing media establishment are to be countered, the left and the center of US politics needs an effective counter to right-wing narrative.

Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
A presidential campaign is not about specific, detailed policy proposals. It's about a vision for the country. A vision that must be consistent with voters' feelings and expectations; and must be communicated in a clear, energetic way by an effective messenger. That's the way Reagan, Clinton, Obama and Trump won.

Does anybody remember Trump's healthcare policy?

People don't vote for policy manifestos. People vote for candidates that inspire and convince.

outkast1213 -> newageblues , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
The same Liz that stated as a Senator she had a better chance to effect change than as POTUS in 2016 now is a genius?
GeorgeC , 12 Apr 2019 10:12
If Warren is the 'intellectual powerhouse' of the Democratic party, then god help them. Not a word about 1 trillion dollar budget deficits and rising (under Trump)-but remember Obama was little better; in 15 years time the US state pension system will be bankrupt, various other states' pension schemes are also effectively bankrupt (see Illinois, Tennessee) as are various cities (Chicago), and all Warren and Trump can think of is more debt, and nor will MMT help (we know this is just deficit spending on steroids). None of these people are 'progressive' - by not tacking the key problem of runaway debt it just robs everyone by forcing a default - not an 'honest' one, but rather the route taken by all politicians, namely rapid devaluation of the currency; something that robs all people, and destroys savings. Instead all we get are jam today, and bankruptcy tomorrow.
needaname100 -> Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:11
She changed her ethnicity from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Also, a large majority of Americans have Native American DNA....and EW has less than the average American (which is 5%)...she has 0.20. She abused a privilege and got called out.
Thomas1178 -> mwesqcpa , 12 Apr 2019 10:05
She's too damn smart, is the problem. Along with all her qualifications she has also a lot of very solid wins that she brought home for the people of Massachusetts as a senator, from helping fisherman to low-income students suffering from college debt -- emphasizing that she's actually helped working class people and people in student debt should be a no brainer. And yet she seems not to have a savvy political operator advising her – she sure as hell hasn't gotten out ahead of the Native American thing, and I don't know why no one is doing that for her.
LydiaLysette , 12 Apr 2019 10:03
"Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party"

Then they really are in trouble.....

Just take 1 point....

"She has called for abolishing the electoral college, the unfair institution the US used to elect executives "

Well that requires a constitutional amendment, that requires a two thirds majority in both houses and then ratification by three quarters of the States. The ERA was proposed in 1923 didn't get through Congress until 1972 and is still short of the 38 State ratifications to adopt it. That's an issue of direct concern to at least half the population. The idea that a procedural change to the constitution for partisan benefit is getting through the process is blatantly laughable. Particularly as there appear to be about 27 states that have enhanced importance under the current system ( http://theconversation.com/whose-votes-count-the-least-in-the-electoral-college-74280 ) and only 13 are needed to kill it.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
HARPhilby -> HARPhilby , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
ABT-Anybody But Trump
moderate_rebel_rebel , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

In short it is now a part of the problem and no longer a part of any workable solution. Who becomes POTUS is therefore irrelevant.

Warren is flawed ideologically and personally, US citizens need to wake up and recognise that the POTUS is an irrelevant position with no authority and that until you tackle the neocon ridden nature of US politics nothing will ever change.

There is no hope in systems, only hope in people. Politics has become irrelevant in the face of our impending extinction.

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party by Moira Donegan

Notable quotes:
"... Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas

since her initial announcement in December, Warren's campaign has rolled out a series of detailed policy proposals in quick succession, outlining structural changes to major industries, government functions, and regulatory procedures that would facilitate more equitable representation in the federal government and overhaul the economy in favor of the working class. These policy proposals have made Warren the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity, a formidable influence who is steadily pushing the presidential primary field to the left and forcing all of her primary challengers to define their political positions against hers.

Warren has become the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity

Warren herself is an anti-trust nerd, having come to the Senate from a career as an academic studying corporate and banking law. On the stump, she's most detailed in the same areas where she is most passionate, like when she talks about about breaking up huge tech companies such as Amazon and Google, and implementing a 21st-century -- version of the Glass-Steagall act that would separate commercial and investment banking (she has also called for prosecuting and jailing bank executives who break the law). But her policy agenda is broader than that, taking on pocketbook issues that have resonance with working families.

Warren outlined a huge overhaul of the childcare system that would revolutionize the quality, cost and curriculum of early childhood education, with subsidies for families and a living wage for caregivers. It's a proposal that she talks about in the context of her own career when, as a young mother and fledgling legal mind, she almost had to give up a job as a law professor because childcare for her young son was too expensive.

Warren has also proposed a housing plan that would limit huge investors' abilities to buy up homes, give incentives for localities to adopt renters' protections, and build new public housing. Crucially, and uniquely, her housing plan would also provide home ownership grants to buyers in minority communities that have historically been "redlined", a term for the racist federal housing policies that denied federally backed mortgages to black families. The provision, aimed to help black and brown families buy their first homes, is a crucial step toward amending the racial wealth gap, and it has helped sparked a broader conversation within the party about the need to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves -- a concept that Warren has also endorsed.

Taking her cues from pro-democracy and voting rights advocates such as Stacey Abrams, Warren has also taken on anti-majoritarian constitutional provisions, aiming to make American democracy more representative and less structurally hostile to a progressive agenda. She has called for abolishing the electoral college , the unfair institution the US uses to elect chief executives that makes a vote in New York count less than a vote in Wyoming, and which has resulted in two disastrous Republican presidencies in the past two decades. She has advocated eliminating the filibuster , an archaic procedural quirk of the Senate that would keep the Democrats from ever passing their agenda if they were to regain control of that body. And she has signaled a willingness to pack the courts , another move that will be necessary to implement leftist policies such as Medicare for All -- because even if the next Democratic president can pass her agenda through Congress, she will not be able to protect it from the malfeasance of a federal bench filled with conservative Trump appointees eager to strike it down.

When other candidates campaign, Warren's strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her

Warren has been the first to propose all of these policies, and it is not difficult to see other candidates falling in line behind her, issuing belated and imitative policy proposals, or being forced to position themselves to her right. Warren has promised not to go negative against other Democrats , but her campaign's intellectual project also serves a political purpose: when other candidates campaign, her strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her.

After Warren announced her childcare overhaul, senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris rolled out plans similarly designed to combat gendered economic injustice, calling for guaranteed family leave and better teacher pay , respectively. After Warren rolled out her pro-democracy agenda of eliminating the electoral college, abolishing the filibuster and packing the courts, her ideological rival Bernie Sanders was forced to come out against both eliminating the filibuster and packing the courts , damaging his reputation with a party base who knew that without these interventions, a progressive agenda will probably never be enacted. The pressure eventually forced Sanders to cave to Warren's vision and concede that he would be open to eliminating the filibuster in order to pass Medicare for All.

There's still a long time before the first contests, and it's possible that Warren will succumb to the flaws that her critics see in her campaign. In particular, she might not be able to raise enough money. She's decided not to take any Pac money and not to fundraise with wealthy donors, a position that may be as much practical as it is principled: the super-rich are not likely to donate to Warren anyway, since she has such a detailed plan, called the Ultra Millionaire Tax , to redistribute their money. She may fall victim to the seemingly unshakable controversy over her old claims of Native American ancestry, and she seems doomed to be smeared and underestimated for her sex, called cold and unlikable for her intellect and then, as with other female candidates, derided as pandering when she tries to seem more relatable.

But it would be a mistake to write Warren off as a virtuous also-ran, the kind of candidate whose intellectual and moral commitments doom her in a race dominated by the deep divisions in the electorate and the craven demagoguery of the incumbent. Elizabeth Warren does not seem to be running for president to make a point, or to position herself for a different job. Instead, she is making bold interventions in the political imagination of the party. It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas.

Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



CharlesLittle -> Ken Kutner , 12 Apr 2019 11:00

Thanks Ken and Thomas. I couldn't have said it better myself. Are we going to pare down the list of Democratic candidates on the basis of one or two stupid missteps? Looking through the Bible, I note that Jesus lost his temper at the money-changers and put down the hard-working Martha. So, he's out too.
geejay123 -> Beaufort100 , 12 Apr 2019 10:58
Ex Veteran Tulsi Gabbard has a very good chance of taking votes from Trump's base imo.
All round the best democratic candidate to declare so far.
Ranger69 , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Im just glad Gabbard made it to the debate stage. More progressives the better.
SoonToBeDead -> T0nyN , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Not only the USA, with everyone becoming wealthier, the need for education has declined, across the western world, being liberal or educated has become a swear word. Social media and lazy journalists are doing the rest, its all propaganda now, and permanent contradictory stories means only simple messages cut through the noise, hatred, immigrants, islamophobia, anti-semitism, etc. are classic messages that get through and stir people's emotions. Intellect doesn't win elections with a gullible electorate
BaronVonAmericano -> CharlesLittle , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
She really is thin in all areas but financial regulation and consumer protection.

An excellent Commerce/Treasury secretary, or VP. But she lacks the cohesive vision that Sanders articulates.

zagrebZ -> alex13 , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
Trump IS dumb... Or do you want me to Google a few thousand references for you?

'Moron'; 'Child-like'; 'Idiot'; 'Can barely read'...

Sound familiar? Words about Trump from his own staff.

FolkSpirit -> OliversTravels , 12 Apr 2019 10:48
It was a mistake and it was self-interested and it was unethical. And it was a different time before tribal groups in the US developed and enforced laws regarding membership status. Had Trump not shown disdain for her and all native Americans by calling her Pocahontas as though it were a racial slur, few would have made a big deal from this mistake.

Warren did confess without need to do so that she had purchased distressed mortgages to turn a profit as a young lawyer like so many of her ethically misguided law colleagues.

If you are or intimately know more than two attorneys you know this was and in some towns and cities still is common practice for building wealth among lawyers who have first notice when these “deals” are posted at the local Court House. Find me a “clean” lawyer anywhere if you can and I doubt you can — they write law and protect themselves and wealthy constituents mightily in doing so.

If you can help remove most of them from political office and replace them with people working professions of greater merit I stand with you. Congress needs intellectual strength and diversity of backgrounds.

Shakespeare: “First, we kill the lawyers”.

Excession77 -> HarryFlashman , 12 Apr 2019 10:42
Tulsi Gabbard or don't bother.

Unfortunately she opposes wars of choice from the position of an impressive service record in Iraq so she gets ignored in favour of the ridiculous Elizabeth Warren here and in other places. Warren's window was last time anyway when she was coming off the back of viral public speeches about inequality.

garlicbreakfast , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would.
BaronVonAmericano , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
While I'd prefer the genders reversed, I think she would be an ideal running mate for the front-runner among the declared candidates.

Sanders has much more assiduously defined the moral center that any candidate for president must have: unapologetic confrontation with the oligarchy. Warren is the intellectual weapon such an administration could deploy on the specifics of banking and anti-trust.

This is all the more practical given that Warren has failed to tie race, social justice and criminal justice issues all together in her values-based worldview -- certainly not to the extent that Sanders has, his being well beyond any other candidate's efforts.

Sheldon Hodges -> Londonsage , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Because Obama was a canny corporate move to place someone that offered such qualities as intelligence and grammar in sharp relief to GW Bush while remaining closely controlled by the oligarchy.
BigDave47 , 12 Apr 2019 10:30
Intellectual powerhouse?

Do you include her fraudulent and offensive claims to Native American heritage in that? As CNN has reported, as far back as 1986 she was falsely claiming "American Indian" heritage on official documents. Despite repeated calls by the leaders of the Tribal Nations, she has still failed to apologise. That's some intellectual powerhouse..

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is timely candidate: The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BMW ends pensions for workers

The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

The latest evidence: after freezing it's two UK pension plans in 2017, BMW will do the same for its remaining US plans.

Since 2011 new workers have not been offered a pension, but rather a defined contribution plan.

Workers who formerly had a pension will keep what they have accrued, but not accrue more. Current retirees receiving a pension will not be affected.

[Apr 14, 2019] 'Boom!' an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell by Michael Tracey

That was Neo-McCarthyim hysteria plain and simple; and it still is continuing as "FullOfSchiff" fqrse.
Notable quotes:
"... Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump . ..."
"... The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. ..."
"... As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason. ..."
"... (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit). ..."
"... Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible. ..."
"... Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point? ..."
"... Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | spectator.us
'Boom!': an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell Dunking on Rachel Maddow may be fun, but she's far from the sole perpetrator Michael Tracey Rachel Maddow

Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump .

The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. It's convenient to disavow Maddow's excesses if you're a journalist who wants to pretend that the media failures which gave rise to Trump-Russia weren't a full-scale indictment of their entire profession. To act as though the misconduct was somehow confined to one unhinged cable news personality would be a gross distortion.

As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason.

Easy as it might be to pooh-pooh Maddow as some zany outlier, the undeniable reality is that the sick conspiratorial mindset she embodied was thoroughly mainstream: it infected virtually every sector of elite American culture, from journalism, to entertainment, to the professional political class. Rachel is just the tip of the rotten iceberg.

Take, for instance, Keith Olbermann. Keith was the most influential host on MSNBC during the George W. Bush years, when audiences ate up his furious denunciations of the Iraq War, which scratched a genuine itch because of the prevailing pro-war media conformity of the time. Olbermann gave voice to frustrated liberals who felt that their well-founded grievances were not being represented in the popular media, and his style came to be emulated across the industry (including by the host he recruited for a top spot on the network, Rachel Maddow.)

Then came the Trump era, when Olbermann's brain appeared to explode. He began recording short video rants for GQ magazine, which rank among the most mind-bendingly deranged content produced throughout the entire Russiagate ordeal. Please, just watch this unbelievable screed from December 2016:

'We are at war with Russia,' Olbermann gravely proclaims. The inauguration of Donald Trump, he prophesies, will mark 'the end of the United States as an independent country.' Anyone who rejects this analysis is a 'traitor' says Olbermann, and in league with 'Russian scum.' His recommendation is to thwart Trump via some harebrained Electoral College scheme where electors are intimidated into violating their duty to vote according to the election outcome in their respective states and districts. I covered this attempted coup at the time, which failed, but was supported by leading Democrats ranging from Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe; as well as Michael Moore, Lawrence Lessig, Peter Beinart, DeRay McKesson, Paul Krugman, and Neera Tanden. Prominent liberals had been melodramatically whinging for months about how appalled they were by Trump's alleged propensity to violate 'norms,' but the next minute they turned around and demanded that all norms governing the centuries-old Electoral College process be thrown out the window. The wild propaganda promoted by Olbermann had become the standard, mainstream view among American liberals: fundamentally corrupting their capacity to view subsequent political events with any semblance of rationality.

Despite their truly insane offerings, focusing solely on demented opinionators like Olbermann and Maddow still lets ostensibly 'neutral' journalists off the hook. The amount of journalistic resources squandered on the Trump-Russia boondoggle, for instance by the New York Times and the Washington Post , will never be fully quantified. Both newspapers were lavished with Pulitzer Prizes and every other pointless accolade for their supposedly intrepid journalism. Their constant 'bombshell scoops' routinely ricocheted across Twitter before they were injected into the rest of the turbocharged media ecosystem, each one breathlessly touted on cable news for hours at a time. The harsh truth is that most all of these 'scoops' were predicated on a fiction. There was supposed to be a core conspiracy, which was meant to explain why Trump associates kept getting caught in lies – why their communications were extrajudicially intercepted, why they were surveilled on dubious pretenses. But no underlying conspiracy was ever revealed. The whole thing was based on a fairytale. Shouldn't the Times and WaPo therefore apologize and give back their Pulitzers? Or at very least toss them in the dumpster.

Benjamin Wittes, the LawFare website guru and arguably the most lauded Twitter authority on the Trump-Russia scam, became well-known for his fun slogan, 'BOOM!,' which he would gleefully tweet every time a supposed bombshell article burst on the scene. Here's a Washington Post story from October 21 last year headlined 'Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens,' which got the Wittes 'boom' treatment. Wow, very dramatic! Sounds a lot like Mueller and his squad were closing in on Stone as the evil mastermind behind some grand Trump-Russia conspiracy plot, given his suspicious ties to WikiLeaks, right? The only problem is, when Stone was indicted three months later, Mueller not only brought zero charges alleging Stone as party to any conspiracy, he dispelled such notions.

All the correspondence cited in Mueller's indictment showed that Stone had no advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks releases or any privileged access to its operations. Roger Stone was just doing what Roger Stone does best: bullshitting.

Stone was eventually charged by Mueller for making false statements, but again: none of those statements pertained to a conspiracy cover-up. They pertained to the dirty trickster being who he's been for decades: a fabulist who frequently misrepresents himself and gets in stupid feuds with fellow political hucksters. The October 2018 story about which Wittes tweeted 'boom' ultimately had no real significance. Like so many other stories touted at the time as an incredible BOMBSHELL, everyone got amped up over a total fantasy. The story had no serious value, other than to temporarily scintillate now-discredited obsessives like Wittes.

Special scorn should be reserved for those in prominent media positions who ought to have known better, but indulged day after day in conspiratorial nonsense anyway. Take Chris Hayes, the popular 8pm MSNBC host, who unlike Maddow has a journalistic background (he was formerly the Washington Editor of The Nation magazine). Theoretically, Hayes should have been imbued with a greater sense of ingrained skepticism regarding CIA and FBI claims, which are what drove the entire Trump-Russia investigation to begin with. He is also a genuinely intelligent person, having (ironically) written the excellent Twilight of the Elites (2012), a book which examined the propensity for upper-crust society to engage in self-defeating groupthink.

But Hayes too ended up witlessly amplifying the most obscene Russiagate antics – no doubt influenced by the pressure of having to turn in big ratings every night. His shows were always brimming with security state spooks like John Brennan , the former CIA Director and proven fantasist . Brennan was eventually hired by NBC, becoming one of Hayes's colleagues despite having played a central role in instigating the original Trump-Russia investigation in 2016 and inflaming its most incendiary elements (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit).

For further insight on the subject, Hayes generally turned to pseudo-journalistic figures like Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic , whose frenetically conspiratorial Russia coverage has also proven to have been total bunk – as well as former prosecutors and FBI officials like Chuck Rosenberg, disreputable security state apparatchiks like former NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey, and outright charlatans like purported 'intelligence expert' Malcolm Nance. (Here's an example from 2016 of the esteemed Nance getting tricked by a Twitter troll.)

Hayes even went so far as to promote the theory that Trump had been colluding with Russia since 1987, a story somehow featured on the cover of New York magazine despite drawing on source material that literally originated with the recently deceased, notorious madman Lyndon LaRouche. Hayes's descent into fact-free mania culminated with his declaration to Stephen Colbert on March 8 last year that Trump and his associates were 'super guilty' of collusion. Whoops!

While many once-respectable media figures like Hayes have seen their reputations inserted directly into the toilet, maybe the most bizarre case of all is Marcy Wheeler, the independent journalist known as @emptywheel . Wheeler appeared on Hayes's first show after Mueller decisively cleared Trump of collusion – you know, the central tenet of the Special Counsel's mandate. The fact that Hayes would have Wheeler on at that moment – after the entire Trump-Russia drama was definitively exposed as a ludicrous fantasy – showed that Hayes was committed to perpetuating the deceit even in the face of all countervailing evidence, whether unconsciously or consciously. That's because Marcy Wheeler is almost certainly a deluded basket case.

The most obvious evidence for this is Wheeler's sensational admission in July 2018 that she burned a source to the FBI, voluntarily and proactively, thereby committing one of journalism's mortal sins. Wheeler justified her demented action on numerous fronts. First, she claimed that she possessed bombshell, smoking gun info that proved a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and felt a patriotic duty to hand this over to the FBI – in retribution for what she called Russia's 'attack' on the United States. Let's remember, shall we, that said attack at most amounted to some Twitter bots, goofy Facebook memes, and spear-phished Gmail accounts: John Podesta famously clicked on a phony link, which led to his emails being swiped. Hardly 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, wouldn't you say? However, those comparisons have been seriously made by various prominent elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would have presided over impeachment proceedings had things panned out differently.

When pressed – even after the Mueller clearly asserted that no such Trump-Russia conspiracy ever existed – Wheeler still refuses to divulge any details about the extraordinary dispositive evidence she mysteriously claims to possess. Second, Wheeler further justified her insane conduct by insisting she could literally be killed by some unknown sinister alliance of Russians and Trump-backed mafia figures, or something ( I'm not making this up .). Shamefully, Wheeler's outlandish assertions were treated as gospel by members of the media who failed to apply even a modicum of critical scrutiny; Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post heralded Wheeler as following her conscience and wrote this about the supposed Russian hit squad out to get her: 'Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening.' Utter lunacy. Since the Mueller finding, Wheeler has strangely not revealed any additional information about the nature of these would-be assassins.

Think about it. For months, Wheeler dangled cryptic hints about the explosive info that she alone supposedly knew about, enthralling blog readers and Twitter followers – and earning her major platforms not just on MSNBC but even the New York Times , where she contributed columns that contained blatant falsehoods. In the pages of the world's most influential newspaper, she claimed that Mueller had been 'hiding' evidence showing Trump's participation in a Russia conspiracy, and it would all come out once Mueller issued his final verdict. No dice.

Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible.

So much journalistic energy was wasted chronicling the ins-and-outs of the Russiagate non-story. Imagine if instead that time was devoted to reporting in the public interest: like, say, I don't know – investigating the militaristic think tanks which attempted to undermine Trump's key diplomatic initiatives (such as North Korea), or how Trump was co-opted by the Republican donor class, or his various actual corruptions that didn't happen to involve any international espionage conspiracy.

Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point?

Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage.

See other Michael Tracy articles Michael Tracey, Author at Spectator USA

[Apr 14, 2019] Two years of Trump: Trump healthcare and beyong

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

charlieblue -> Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:39

Yeah, I remember Trump's healthcare "policy". It was a great, really, really great. The best healthcare ever. Repeal and replace. Obamacare is failing, it has failed, it's a huge failure, but Trump will do better. We were going to have the best healthcare in the world... I guess he's just to distracted by building that wall he's not building. Or, golf.

[Apr 14, 2019] Convicted Felon Charles Kushner Is Back in Business

Notable quotes:
"... Jared Kushner is 36 and he had already stepped up to a senior position in his family's real estate business Kushner Companies. This was in part because daddy Charles Kushner was in jail. But now that he has taken on a job as White House advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner has been forced to step aside from Kushner Companies and his father Charles Kushner is stepping back in. ..."
"... So Charles Kushner, father of current Presidential advisor Jared Kushner and son in law to the President has been convicted on federal election fraud charges and witness tampering. ..."
"... Well Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization focused on election laws, put it best when he told Bloomberg , "It can't hurt to be doing business with Jared Kushner's family. It's a road to the administration. At the very least they're going to have an inside track." ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | jewishbusinessnews.com

Jared Kushner's father , Charles Kushner, who also just so happens to be a convicted felon, has gotten back to work. He has also hired some of the people who he did time with.

In 2004 , after already paying a $508,900 fine to the Federal Election Commission for improperly contributing money to political candidates, Charles Kushner was forced to agree to a plea bargain with Federal prosecutors and was sentenced to 14 months in a federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama. The charges against Kushner revolved around illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. Charles Kushner had arranged for a prostitute to sleep with his brother in law William Schulder, who had agreed to testify against him. The encounter was filmed and Kushner used it to try and blackmail Schulder. Gross!

The federal prosecutor who handled the case was none other than future New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie later worked side by side on Donald Trump's presidential campaign with Jared Kushner, the son in law of the President Trump who just so happens to also be the son of Charles Kushner.

Jared Kushner is 36 and he had already stepped up to a senior position in his family's real estate business Kushner Companies. This was in part because daddy Charles Kushner was in jail. But now that he has taken on a job as White House advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner has been forced to step aside from Kushner Companies and his father Charles Kushner is stepping back in.

Did you follow all of that?

At the time Chris Christie stated about the charges, "There is nothing, nothing more sacrosanct than the integrity of the grand jury system."

Apparently prison is a good place to make business connections. Avram Lebor and Richard Goettlich are two former convicts who served prison time with Charles Kushner who are now working for Kushner Companies. Bloomberg reports that the two men were convicted in separate fraud schemes. Lebor, 68, served seven years in prison and is now the firm's director of acquisitions. Goettlich served ten years in jail for his part in a ponzi scheme.

The two men were hired as part of the Kushner Companies' second-chance program. Charles Kushner is board member of Getting Out & Staying Out, which mentors young inmates at Rikers Island.

So Charles Kushner, father of current Presidential advisor Jared Kushner and son in law to the President has been convicted on federal election fraud charges and witness tampering.

The big question now that everyone is still asking about his son Jared is whether or not he will be able to separate his new job working for the people of the United States from his business interests, or if there will be conflicts of interest. And will doing business with Kushner Companies make it easier for you to get access to the White House?

Well Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization focused on election laws, put it best when he told Bloomberg , "It can't hurt to be doing business with Jared Kushner's family. It's a road to the administration. At the very least they're going to have an inside track."

So what is Charles Kushner doing these days?

The Real Deal reports that Charles Kushner just spent $12 million on three units in 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Encompassing an area of 4,614 square feet, the three apartments are each on a different floor, the seventh, eighth and ninth floors.

[Apr 13, 2019] How Trump Helps the Mafia to Launder Blood Money

Mar 14, 2019 | YouTube

Blackstone Intelligence Network, Published on Mar 14, 2019

Donald Trump has a decades-long history of doing business with mobsters from both the Italian and Jewish mafias. Trump was 1 of only 2 real estate moguls in all of New York City who allowed organized crime families to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars in Trump properties using anonymous shell companies.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsnG...

[Apr 13, 2019] Pompeo repeats Gene Sharp recipes: China, Russia Spread Disorder And Corruption In Latin America

That happened often when a second rate provincial lawyer became the Secretary of State. At least Kerry knows French. Pompeo knows absolution nothing and is capable only of repeating old cliché.
Today's special word is: Projection
Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo should go into advertising. Since the late '50's, we've torn Latin America to shreds, but we're the good guys, eh?!. ..."
"... Doesn't Pompeo also believe in the rapture. ..."
Apr 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

idontcare , 2 minutes ago link

Pompeo should go into advertising. Since the late '50's, we've torn Latin America to shreds, but we're the good guys, eh?!.

I luv my country, but I hate my government.

beemasters

This must have been the most transparently crooked administration ever in the US history! Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black!

2willies

Doesn't Pompeo also believe in the rapture.

Idaho potato head

At some point even the most deluded sheep has got to realize he is being lied to. Or is it just as in the Matrix, there is an age limit as to when a mind can be awoken.

After reading CYMS1 below I retract that question.

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet

Mark Twain

[Apr 13, 2019] Trump Puts America Last by Daniel Larison

Money quote (from comments): This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.
Notable quotes:
"... As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials: ..."
"... After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. ..."
"... Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies ..."
"... There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors. ..."
"... Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him. ..."
"... Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support. ..."
"... I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?! ..."
"... Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. ..."
"... The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it. ..."
"... I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel. ..."
"... To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend. ..."
"... Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye. ..."
"... Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation. ..."
"... All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.

Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose quite a bit in terms of our international standing.

There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.

Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him.

Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:

Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the battlefield.

Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said, "because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."

Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support.


SF Bay March 21, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Well, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in -- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.

My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"

It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.

Kouros , , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm
I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!
Trump 2016 , , March 22, 2019 at 1:45 am
Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.
Grumpy Old Man , , March 22, 2019 at 3:29 am
He ought to recognize Russia's seizure of Crimea. Why not? Кто кого?
Tony , , March 22, 2019 at 8:50 am
The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it.

The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at it.

The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the administration's claims.

Some Perspective , , March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am
I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.

I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.

We're losing our country. We're losing America.

Sid Finster , , March 22, 2019 at 10:22 am
To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.

Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.

G-Pol , , March 22, 2019 at 11:15 am
I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.

Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Ara