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US Presidential Elections of 2020

The 2020 elections signify the next stage of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. The crises of neoliberalism in the USA won’t be solved by "more neoliberalism" like Trump is trying to do; we need some kind of return to the New Deal Capitalism, along with abandoning of the "Full Spectrum Dominance" mantra

Who Rules America > Two Party System as polyarchy

News Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Recommended Links CIA Democrats Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump2020 Bloomberg: a pure oligarchic play in 2020 elections Israel lobby
Major Pete as a typical "CIA democrat" Creepy neocon Joe Biden Tulsi Gabbard Adelson factor in 2020 elections Trump as rabid militarist Trump as America’s First Zionist President Trump's impulsivity and incompetence Trump inauguration speech Trump tax cut for the rich
Nasty and pushy Kamala Harris Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Adam Schiff Witch Hunt MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM "Trump is insane" meme NeoMcCartyism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Steele dossier
Myth about intelligent voter Bait and Switch Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections 2016 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hypocrisy of British ruling elite
Brennan elections machinations Strzok-gate British attempts to rig the US elections Israel attempts to rig the US elections Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ? Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Pluralism as a myth
Rigging the elections and money in US politics Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite New American Militarism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" National Security State
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization The Real War on Reality The Deep State Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections First after the post elections enforce two party system Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  The neoliberal experiment – lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of labour and product markets, financialisation, and globalisation – has been a spectacular failure. Growth is lower than it was in the quarter-century after the second world war, and most of it has accrued to the very top of the income scale. After decades of stagnant or even falling incomes for those below them, neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried.

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

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

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

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


Introduction

A house divided against itself cannot stand ~Abraham Lincoln

To a large extent 2020 election will be second (after 2016, which neoliberals lost) referendum on neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization.  We now live in the period of collapse of neoliberalism and increase diverseness of the society. The market fundamentalism needs to go. It prevented the realization of democracy. It put economic growth above the value of having a healthy middle class, leading to century-high levels of inequality. It emphasized individuals over communities and divided us by race, class, and culture. And because it preferred markets to democracy, it looked away as the wealthiest people and corporations rigged the government to serve their own interests, even at the expense of everyone else:

This is not an ordinary political moment. Everywhere around us, the old order is collapsing. The golden age of postwar economic growth is over, replaced by a new Gilded Age of inequality and stagnation... People once united by common culture and information are now fractured into social media echo chambers.

The [neo]liberal international order is cracking as nationalism grows in strength and global institutions decay. The United States’ role as a global superpower is challenged by the rising strength of China and a new era of Russian assertiveness.

Optimists hope that generational and demographic change will restore inexorable progress. Pessimists interpret the current moment as the decline and fall of democracy.

..  we are currently in the midst of one of these epochal transitions. We live on the edge of a new era in politics — the third since the Great Depression and World War II. The first era is probably best described as liberal.... from the 1940s through the 1970s, a version of political liberalism provided the paradigm for politics. Charting a path between the state control of communists and fascists and the laissez-faire market that dominated before the Great Depression, liberals adopted a form of regulated capitalism. Government set the rules of the road for the economy, regulated finance, invested to create jobs and spark consumer demand, policed the bad behavior of businesses, and provided a social safety net for Americans. Big institutions—big government, big corporations, big labor—cooperated to balance the needs of stakeholders in society. In the United States, it was called New Deal Liberalism. In Europe, social democracy. There were differences across countries, of course, but the general approach was similar. ...even the conservatives of the time were liberal. Republican president Dwight Eisenhower championed the national highway system and warned of the military-industrial complex. President Richard Nixon said, “I am now a Keynesian in economics.” His administration created the EPA and expanded Social Security by indexing benefits to inflation.

...since the 1980s, we have lived in a second era — that of neoliberalism. In economic and social policy, neoliberalism’s tenets are simple: deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. Under neoliberalism, individuals are on their own and should be responsible for themselves. Instead of governments, corporations, and unions balancing the interests of all stakeholders, the primary regulator of social interests should be the marketplace. Neoliberals opposed unions and unionization, they wanted to pursue vouchers instead of public provision of services, and they sought to shrink the size and functioning of government, even if it meant a less effective government. Markets worked like magic, and market logic would be applied to all aspects of life. Around the world, the neoliberal era came with an aggressive emphasis on expanding democracy and human rights, even by military force. Expanding trade and commerce came with little regard for who the winners and losers were—or what the political fallout might be. ...It was President Bill Clinton who said that the "era of big government is over" and  who celebrated the legislation deregulating Wall Street.

...With the election of Donald Trump, the neoliberal era has reached its end. While in control of the House, Senate, and presidency, Republicans neither repealed the Affordable Care Act nor privatized Social Security and Medicare. Their party is increasingly fractured between Trumpist conservatives, who are far more nationalist, and the never-Trump old-line conservatives like Bill Kristol or Jeb Bush. An increasing number of people recognize that neoliberalism’s solutions are unsuited to the challenges of our time.

The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics,… (Hardcover) by Ganesh Sitaraman

The central battle of our time is now between financial oligarchy and economic nationalists.  Unfortunately a significant number of voters feel that no candidate speaks to them.  In other words both parties do not represent the majority of the USA population, They mainly represent two faction of the US oligarchy:

Ukrainian Maydan style riots mark another step in dismantling neoliberalism in the USA, and increases the polarization of the US electorate. But if Biden and his camarilla comes to power in Novemebr the most probable scenario and another neoimperial fake in best Obama "change we can believe in" style. 

At the same time history tells us:

So it looks like the USA entered Catch 22 situation: the country needs to get rid of neoliberal empire and neocons infestation in major departments such the State Department, CIA and Pentagon  (neocons are essentially lobbyists of MIC, so the question is larger then that), but can't do it because their grip of power did not diminished one bit under Trump administration. Neoliberal empire suffered some setbacks, but internally neocons (who are essentially MIC lobbyists) are still in the driver seat in the USA.

This situation suggest that the current neoliberal elite is pretty capable to ride the USA off the cliff, repeating the USSR-style scenario,  but of course history never repeats, it only rhyme.

Like in previous elections the real issues are skillfully buried under avalanche of smoke screen. Currently this is impeachment Kabuki theater, in which each party is afraid to death to tell the true facts and all play some complex fame of chickens.

In reality there are half-dozen major questions for 2020 elections which are carefully avoided by neoliberal MSM:

  1. How to return to the USA meaningful, well paid jobs  that were decimated since 2020. In other words 2020 election is "Job, Jobs, Jobs" election.  although neoliberal Dems try to tell that this is all about "racism" and "white supremacy".  It is not.
  2. How to downsize the USA neoliberal empire as its maintenance and costly imperial war (some mainly benefitting foreign states, not the USA proper),  led to enormous debt, while at the same time to preserve dollar as the major reserve currency.  The broader shift from China decoupling, which is at play is it will result in de-globalization (both  economic and financial -- the latter is the death sentence to global neoliberalism) as well localization of overly complex transnational supply chains.
  3. How to take down the most obnoxious part financial oligarchy, and prosecute the most extreme part of it --  private equity and vulture funds 
  4. How to diminish or at least  downgrade the tremedous political influence of intelligence  agencies, which in alliance with  Clinton wing of the Democratic Party attempt to stage a color revolution against Trump. A new factor in 2016 election was the intelligence agencies actually became a new "shadow" Political Party with tremendous influence on electorate via controlled/influenced by then MSM (Russiagate). This is another step in the direction of creation of the National Security State the cornerstone of which was created by Patriot act.
  5. What to do with the outsize influence of Israel lobby
  6. Does current Russophobia hysteria reflects real danger to the USA emanating from Russia, or this is just a fake threat promoted by neocon, as political prostitutes/lobbyists  of MIC.
  7. What policy should be adopted toward China in view of decimation of manufacturing capacities within continental USA. The latest phase one deal between both countries --  a temporary trade truce of 2019 was broken as a strategic rivalry encompasses trade, technology, investment, currency, and geopolitical concerns will continue to strain relations. The decoupling has already started as Washington races to safeguard the country's cutting-edge technologies, including 5G, automation, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle, hypersonics, and robotics, from getting into the hands of Chinese firms.

The lineup of candidates in 2020 elections

In any case the fight between two faction of the US elite that started in 2016 will continue. Even within neoliberal camp there will be a fight between four groups of neoliberal elite:

 

2020 elections and the two party system

Two part system is very convenient for corporate oligarchy, as in this case the selection of candidate can be fully controlled and risk of undesirable candidates winning the general election almost completely eliminated.  It is one party system in disguise, and I think Bolsheviks were stupid by not adopting it in the USSR. It provides "bread and circuses" effect and an illusion of democracy while in reality being  as close to one party system as one can get. The latter is due to "first after the post" effect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neo-McCarthyism will be a factor in 2020 election and became conscious and long term policy of the US neoliberal elite:

mike k , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT

Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.

Is reelection of Trump desirable

Trump proved to be inept politician, who quickly folded and allowed neocons  to rule in foreign policy. This is huge drawback. His open subservience to Israel is another.  At the same time he  weakened the US-centered global neoliberal empire and this is a plus. Maintenance cost including cost of foreign wars are bankrupting the USA and significantly lowering the standard of living of ordinary Americans.  So from the point of view of continuation of dismantling of the USA-centered global neoliberal empire, the answer is probably yes (Trump inaptness and impulsivity almost guarantee positive result here); in all other area that answer is solid no.

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

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

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

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

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

Mueller witch hunt and Trump Impeachment circus as links of the same chain

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

They were mostly successful in that: Pelosi was not sent to long overdue retirement. Chuck Schumer continued his leadership role in the Senate.  Moreover Pelosi and Schumer recently managed to launch another attack on Trump, replacing now de-funct Russiagate pressure point with a new one. This was done  under the flag of Ukrainegate. Whether CIA leaker is real of is a composite puppet created by Schiff and CIA does not matter. The fact that Ukraine is a colony of the USA and can't be considered  a "foreign power" does not matter iether.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The crisis of neoliberalism make 2020 elections the second referendum on the direction of the country

"Watch out for false prophets.
They come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."

Matthew 7:15

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

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

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

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

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

Who will challenge neoliberal dogma?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The issues on which 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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One thing is clear though. The Democratic establishment has decided that all that they need is a more likeable candidate.  That's probably in one reason why they dusted off Joe Biden, a grinning neoliberal sell-out, who voted for Iraq war. And as such should be ineligible for any public office. Biden is a Hillary-style neocon who stands well to the right of most Republicans on key elements of the USA foreign policy. 

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

The 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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[Aug 09, 2020] Do some research and you will find Hilary and her husband worked for Pappy Bush

Apr 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

From comments to Trump Campaign Time To Go After 'Liars' Who Started Witch Hunt Zero Hedge

stephysat28 , 8 hours ago link

Do some research it becomes clear quickly what the real story is. Hillary and her bunch stink to high heaven and have or YEARS. Started with her and husband. They sold this country o or personal gain.Just search a little and make sure to use factual information. It is there for anyone to find.

oddjob , 8 hours ago link

Do some research and you will find Hilary and her husband worked for Pappy Bush

[Aug 09, 2020] The Mellon Foundation Goes All In for Social Justice by Micah Mattix

Notable quotes:
"... The Mellon Foundation's move towards social justice isn't surprising, but it is political, whatever Alexander may say, in its narrow conception of "the world of man," as Stegner put it, and its decision to support works for their utility alone is based on the misconception that art's primary function is to "change" people. People may change after reading certain works, and, as Seneca said, the arts may "prepare the soul for the reception of virtue," but they cannot make people virtuous -- and even that preparatory work is of secondary value. ..."
"... In other news: A group of writers published an open letter in Harper's condemning our cancel culture and calling for more openness to the "free exchange of information and ideas." It was immediately condemned as "fatuous, self-important drivel." ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
MICAH MATTIX

How long will it be before praising a work of art for its aesthetic excellence alone is considered a revolutionary act? Nearly every literary prize now takes into consideration the race and politics of authors when naming shortlists and winners. When they don't, they get into trouble. More and more, what matters when it comes to literature today is the "utility" of a work -- defined, of course, in a very narrow way -- not its excellence, as if the utility of a work of art isn't found precisely in its excellence.

This is how Wallace Stegner put it in "One Way to Spell Man": "It would be idiotic to defend the arts for pseudoscientific or pragmatic reasons, for any 'usefullness' as 'communication' or 'therapy' or anything else that they may incidentally have. They are indispensable precisely because they are expressions of truth, a way of understanding, at the deepest level, the world of man."

The poet Elizabeth Alexander should read more Stegner. It was announced last week that the Mellon Foundation, of which Alexander is president, would only support projects that advance social justice:

"An increased focus on just communities comes at a moment in which a national spotlight is shining on widespread -- and longstanding -- social and racial injustice. The new mission notes that the Foundation's focus will be on building 'just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking where ideas and imagination can thrive' and animated by a belief that 'the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity.'"

Alexander said in an interview that there wouldn't be "a penny that is going out the door that is not contributing to a more fair, more just, more beautiful society." How they are going to decide which projects contribute in this way is unclear. When asked if the focus on social justice is politicizing the largest supporter of arts and humanities in America, Alexander said that social justice "isn't political any more than social injustice is political." So, when Mellon gave The Justice Collaboratory at Yale (you see how supporting "underrepresented" artists works) a $5.25 million grant for its Million Book Project, it wasn't making a political statement regarding the "cruel and unjust reality of the American penal system" or the "systemic inequities in our conception and application of the law" (my emphasis). It was just supporting an organization committed to truth. Alexander told Len Gutkin at The Chronicle of Higher Education : "It is mischaracterizing it to say that there is something inherently political about trying to create a more fair and just society. And that there is not something equally political about denying resources or denying the humanity or denying the possibility of so many people." I am sure she really believes this, which in itself could be taken as proof that the arts don't expand one's capacity for seeing other points of view or "critical thinking."

The Mellon Foundation's move towards social justice isn't surprising, but it is political, whatever Alexander may say, in its narrow conception of "the world of man," as Stegner put it, and its decision to support works for their utility alone is based on the misconception that art's primary function is to "change" people. People may change after reading certain works, and, as Seneca said, the arts may "prepare the soul for the reception of virtue," but they cannot make people virtuous -- and even that preparatory work is of secondary value.

In other news: A group of writers published an open letter in Harper's condemning our cancel culture and calling for more openness to the "free exchange of information and ideas." It was immediately condemned as "fatuous, self-important drivel."

... ... ...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Micah Mattix is the literary editor of The American Conservative and an associate professor of English at Regent University. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal , National Review , The Weekly Standard , Pleiades , The Washington Times , and many other publications. His latest book is The Soul Is a Stranger in this World: Essays on Poets and Poetry (Cascade). Follow him on Twitter .

[Aug 09, 2020] Are the Democrats a Political Party or a CIA-backed Fifth Column by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public's attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. ..."
"... The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary's ambitious grab for presidential power. ..."
"... Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare. ..."
Jul 05, 2020 | www.unz.com
Vandalized Statue of Christopher Columbus

How do the Democrats benefit from the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests?

While the protests are being used to paint Trump as a race-bating white supremacist, that is not their primary objective. The main goal is to suppress and demonize Trump's political base which is comprised of mainly white working class people who have been adversely impacted by the Democrats disastrous free trade and immigration policies. These are the people– liberal and conservative– who voted for Trump in 2016 after abandoning all hope that the Democrats would amend their platform and throw a lifeline to workers who are now struggling to make ends meet in America's de-industrialized heartland.

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public's attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain't what it used to be.)

The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary's ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings, for example, Democrats have offered nearly blanket support for protests that have inflicted massive damage on cities and towns across the country. In the eyes of many Americans, the Dems support looks like a tacit endorsement of the arson, looting and violence that has taken place under the banner of "racial justice". The Dems have not seriously addressed this matter, choosing instead to let the media minimize the issue by simply scrubbing the destruction from their coverage. This "sweep it under the rug" strategy appears to be working as the majority of people surveyed believe that the protests were "mostly peaceful", which is a term that's designed to downplay the effects of the most ferocious rioting since the 1970s.

Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, "right wing populism" which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. This is Trump's mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities."

Author Charles Burris expanded on this topic in an article at Lew Rockwell titled America's Monumental Existential Problem:

"The wave of statue-toppling spreading across the Western world from the United States is not an aesthetic act, but a political one, the disfigured monuments in bronze and stone standing for the repudiation of an entire civilization. No longer limiting their rage to slave-owners, American mobs are pulling down and disfiguring statues of abolitionists, writers and saints in an act of revolt against the country's European founding, now re-imagined as the nation's original sin, a moral and symbolic shift with which we Europeans will soon be forced to reckon."

The statue-toppling epidemic is vastly more disturbing that the the looting or arson, mainly because it reveals a ideological intensity aimed at symbols of state power. By tearing down the images of the men who created or contributed to our collective history, the vandals are challenging the legitimacy of the nation itself as well as its founding "enlightenment" principles. This is the nihilism of extremists whose only objective is destruction. It suggests that the Democrats might have aspirations that far exceed a mere presidential victory. Perhaps the protests and riots will be used to justify more sweeping changes, a major reset during which traditional laws and rules are indefinitely suspended until the crisis passes and order can be restored. Is that at all conceivable or should we dismiss these extraordinary events as merely young people "letting off a little steam"?

Here's how General Michael Flynn summed up what's going on on in a recent article:

"There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals are under the gun more than at any time in our nation's history I believe the attacks being presented to us today are part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort that uses racism as its sword to aggravate our battlefield dispositions. This weapon is used to leverage and legitimize violence and crime, not to seek or serve the truth .The dark forces' weapons formed against us serve one purpose: to promote radical social change through power and control."

I agree. The toppling of statues, the rioting, the looting, the arson and, yes, the relentless attacks on Trump from the day he took office, to Russiagate, to the impeachment, to the insane claims about Russian "bounties", to the manipulation of science and data to trigger a planned demolition of the US economy hastening a vast restructuring to the labor force and the imposition of authoritarian rule; all of these are all cut from the same fabric, a tapestry of lies and deception concocted by the DNC, the Intel agencies, the elite media, and their behind-the-scenes paymasters. Now they have released their corporate-funded militia on the country to wreak havoc and spread terror among the population. Meanwhile, the New York Times and others continue to generate claims they know to be false in order to confuse the public even while the people are still shaking off months of disorienting quarantine and feelings of trepidation brought on by 3 weeks of nonstop social unrest and fractious racial conflict. Bottom line: Neither the Democrats nor their allies at the Intel agencies and media have ever accepted the "peaceful transition of power". They reject the 2016 election results, they reject Donald Trump as the duly elected president of the United States, and they reject the representative American system of government "by the people."

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty: Which political party is pursuing a radical-activist strategy that has set our cities ablaze and reduced Capitol Hill to a sprawling warzone? Which party pursued a 3 year-long investigation that was aimed at removing the president using a dossier that they knew was false (Opposition research), claiming emails were hacked from DNC computers when the cyber-security company that did the investigation said there was no proof of "exfiltration"? (In other words, there was no hack and the Dems knew it since 2017) Which party allied itself with senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA and elite media and worked together collaboratively to discredit, surveil, infiltrate, entrap and demonize the administration in order to torpedo Trumps "America First" political agenda, and remove him from office?

Which party?

No one disputes the Democrats right to challenge, criticize or vigorously oppose a bill or policy promoted by the president. What we take issue with is the devious and (possibly) illegal way the Democrats have joined powerful elements in the Intelligence Community and the major media to conduct a ruthless "dirty tricks" campaign that involved spying on members of the administration in order to establish the basis for impeachment proceedings. This is not the behavior of a respected political organization but the illicit conduct of a fifth column acting on behalf of a foreign (or corporate?) enemy. It's worth noting that an insurrection against the nation's lawful authority is sedition, a felony that is punishable by imprisonment or death. Perhaps, the junta leaders should consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make their next move.

What we need to know is whether the Democrat party operates independent of the Intel agencies with which it cooperated during its campaign against Trump? We're hopeful that the Durham investigation will shed more light on this matter. Our fear is that what we're seeing is an emerging Axis–the CIA, the DNC, and the elite media– all using their respective powers to terminate the Constitutional Republic and establish permanent, authoritarian one-party rule. As far-fetched as it might sound, the country appears to be slipping inexorably towards tyranny.

[Aug 09, 2020] Remember When Liberals Despised the National Security State by Robert Merry

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Schorr's relentless reporting on these matters reflected a fundamental reality of American politics in those times. If you worked within the national security establishment and involved yourself in abuses of power, you would do well to beware the forces of American liberalism, for they would assuredly come after you. Liberalism was, in those days, the watchdog of American politics, rooting out abuses of power at the CIA, the FBI, and other law enforcement and national security agencies. ..."
"... Even as the Cold War lingered as a specter of danger to America and the West, the liberal moviemakers of Hollywood often ignored all that in preference of their favorite boogeymen -- bad guys at the upper levels of government agencies. ..."
"... director Sydney Pollack brought out Three Days of the Condor , starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It tells the story of Joe Turner (Redford), a studious CIA researcher who works at a clandestine New York front organization. He returns to his office from a lunch carryout errand one day to find all his colleagues slaughtered. Seeking help from CIA officials, he soon discovers that his agency handlers are complicit in ongoing efforts to get him killed. ..."
"... It's a slick and engaging romp of a movie, but think about its message -- even amidst the dangers of Cold War diplomacy, the real threat resided in the CIA. Power corrupts. Beware the unaccountable official with cloak and dagger. ..."
"... In the 1986 thriller F/X , the bad guys are Justice Department officials maneuvering in a dark underworld of intrigue and corruption. In The Pelican Brief (1993), the villain is an oil tycoon willing to assassinate Supreme Court justices who could thwart his drilling plans, which he gets away with for a considerable time in part because he'd wormed his way into the inner circle of the president and his chief of staff. When Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible (1996), seeks to extricate himself from a frame-up, he discovers that his tormenter is his boss, the head of the fabled Mission Impossible Force, who had faked his own death in furtherance of his dastardly aims. ..."
"... More recently, in the post-9/11 era, a 2013 British-American movie called Closed Circuit begins with a bombing that appears to be a product of Islamist fundamentalism. But as the drama unfolds, it turns out the evildoers are -- you guessed it -- officials of MI5. ..."
"... And yet here we are, with more revelations trickling out regularly about the origins of this mysterious Russia probe and an initiative on the part of the outgoing administration to spy on the people of the incoming administration. You don't have to be Sean Hannity to ask the question: what in the world was going on here? And yet the presumed paragons of the liberal establishment media -- The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, MSNBC, various web outlets -- simply refused to accept that there might be a story there. They joined the national security establishment in declaring that the only investigation worth pursuing centered on Russian collusion and likely treason at the highest levels of the Donald Trump entourage. ..."
May 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
In April 1975, former director of national intelligence Richard Helms, then the U.S. ambassador to Iran, left a hearing room where he had been grilled for three hours about CIA misdeeds then coming to light in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Seeing CBS reporter Daniel Schorr waiting outside, the normally controlled spymaster lashed out with breathtaking venom.

"Killer Schorr! Killer Schorr!" he shouted at the newsman, who had just aired a story alleging CIA assassination attempts against various foreign leaders. At a subsequent news conference, he responded to a Schorr question by saying, "I don't like the lies you've been putting on the air."

At the time of Helms' outburst, Dan Schorr was known by serious viewers of television news as a man of undisguised liberalism, an identity that would become more pronounced when he later became an on-air commentator for CNN and NPR. But even as early as 1964, during the Lyndon Johnson-Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, he'd revealed his political bias by reporting falsely from Germany that Goldwater planned to kick off his fall campaign in, of all places, Bavaria, "center of Germany's right wing" and "Hitler's one-time stomping ground." He said Goldwater had given an interview to the magazine Der Spiegel "appealing to right-wing elements in Germany." There were even signs "that the American and German right wings are joining up."

It was all bogus. Goldwater had no plans to campaign in Germany and in fact had not mentioned Germany in any way suggested by Schorr. The Der Spiegel interview was a reprint that had originally been published elsewhere and didn't appeal to German political sensibilities at all. It should have been a firing offense, but Schorr survived it. Hence, in 1975, he was in Washington covering national security matters and filling the CBS airwaves with abundant scoops laying bare security agency abuses then tumbling out of two congressional investigations and another promulgated by the Gerald Ford administration.

Schorr's relentless reporting on these matters reflected a fundamental reality of American politics in those times. If you worked within the national security establishment and involved yourself in abuses of power, you would do well to beware the forces of American liberalism, for they would assuredly come after you. Liberalism was, in those days, the watchdog of American politics, rooting out abuses of power at the CIA, the FBI, and other law enforcement and national security agencies.

Conservatives back then tended to defend those agencies or at least warn ominously against undermining their ability to do their jobs. Liberals seemed more motivated by the age-old warning -- often embraced by conservatives in other contexts -- that power corrupts and that especially those holding stealthy power needed to be watched closely and reined in.

Thinking back on those days, one wonders about today's liberal establishment. How could it be so blasé about what are clear abuses of power by law enforcement and intelligence officials in the now-infamous Russian collusion probe? How could it be so aggressive in defending those actions even as their abusive nature becomes increasingly clear? Where are the Dan Schorrs of today?

And it wasn't just liberals in journalism and the political arena who raised warnings about corruption in the national security state. Consider the popular culture of that time. Even as the Cold War lingered as a specter of danger to America and the West, the liberal moviemakers of Hollywood often ignored all that in preference of their favorite boogeymen -- bad guys at the upper levels of government agencies.

In 1975, the same year that "Killer Schorr" was bedeviling Richard Helms, director Sydney Pollack brought out Three Days of the Condor , starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It tells the story of Joe Turner (Redford), a studious CIA researcher who works at a clandestine New York front organization. He returns to his office from a lunch carryout errand one day to find all his colleagues slaughtered. Seeking help from CIA officials, he soon discovers that his agency handlers are complicit in ongoing efforts to get him killed. After an intense and suspenseful cat-and-mouse drama, we learn that the CIA's deputy director of operations for the Middle East had grown agitated when he'd learned that a Turner research report had provided links to a rogue operation bent on seizing Middle Eastern oil fields. Fearing its disclosure, he had privately ordered Turner's New York section to be killed off.

It's a slick and engaging romp of a movie, but think about its message -- even amidst the dangers of Cold War diplomacy, the real threat resided in the CIA. Power corrupts. Beware the unaccountable official with cloak and dagger.

And consider how Joe Turner manages to expose the CIA corruption and finally extract himself from danger. He gives the story to The New York Times , that cathedral of journalistic liberalism. That may have been a clever move back in 1975, but it wouldn't work today. The Times is now hermetically aligned with the national security establishment. The leaks it publishes all come from that establishment and are usually self-protective in nature, rather than from those who wish to expose wayward corruption.

Later, after the Cold War had ended, liberal moviemakers continued to focus on treachery in the national security labyrinth. In the 1986 thriller F/X , the bad guys are Justice Department officials maneuvering in a dark underworld of intrigue and corruption. In The Pelican Brief (1993), the villain is an oil tycoon willing to assassinate Supreme Court justices who could thwart his drilling plans, which he gets away with for a considerable time in part because he'd wormed his way into the inner circle of the president and his chief of staff. When Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible (1996), seeks to extricate himself from a frame-up, he discovers that his tormenter is his boss, the head of the fabled Mission Impossible Force, who had faked his own death in furtherance of his dastardly aims.

More recently, in the post-9/11 era, a 2013 British-American movie called Closed Circuit begins with a bombing that appears to be a product of Islamist fundamentalism. But as the drama unfolds, it turns out the evildoers are -- you guessed it -- officials of MI5.

And don't forget Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), which suggests roundly that the man behind the John Kennedy assassination was his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson -- despite the total lack of any evidence of Johnson complicity. Although Stone's biopic is entertaining and often authentic in its rendition of events, it nonetheless rises to ridiculous and disturbing heights in pressing the popular culture obsession with what might be called "the enemy within."

How do we account for this obsession on the part of American liberalism? Perhaps it can be attributed in part to the fact that most liberals were civil libertarians, fearful of threats to individualism from any quarter, even from elements of big government (other government agencies didn't seem to bother them much). That was, after all, the post-Vietnam era, when antiwar activists embraced a kind of liberal isolationism that began with the proposition that America was a rogue nation likely to spread pain and suffering whenever it ventured out into the world. That being the case (in this view), it followed that those who wanted to take America into the world were particularly susceptible to villainy.

Taken to extremes, this was not a healthy attitude, for it undermined confidence in American institutions. But in a general sense, it served to remind people of a fundamental reality of any civic structure -- that governmental power needs to be curtailed and monitored lest it be abused. And this is particularly true in the area of national security, shrouded in secrecy as it is.

And yet here we are, with more revelations trickling out regularly about the origins of this mysterious Russia probe and an initiative on the part of the outgoing administration to spy on the people of the incoming administration. You don't have to be Sean Hannity to ask the question: what in the world was going on here? And yet the presumed paragons of the liberal establishment media -- The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, MSNBC, various web outlets -- simply refused to accept that there might be a story there. They joined the national security establishment in declaring that the only investigation worth pursuing centered on Russian collusion and likely treason at the highest levels of the Donald Trump entourage.

That's getting harder and harder to sustain as new revelations raise new questions and as more pieces of the puzzle come together. It now appears likely that the mystery will be unraveled in the end.

But the mystery of today's liberal media will linger on. Daniel Schorr of CBS wasn't an unblemished reporter, as his egregious report on Goldwater attests. But he could smell a story when it was under his nose, and he never aligned himself with unaccountable power cloaked in secrecy. He also never lost sight of an immutable fact of political life: power corrupts.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century (Simon & Schuster).


Tom Riddle 16 hours ago

Except for Argo, the entire Mission:impossible series, Zero Dark Thirty, every Jack Ryan reboot, Taken, The Expendables series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., White House Dow, Olympus has Fallen, and basically every action movie ever, Hollywood would never say anything nice about the Intelligence Community.

No. The real reasons NYT, et. al aren't reporting on the stories the way you want them to is because a) we know the origins of the Russian probe (Australia told us) b) the Obama admin wasn't spying on Trump (that's like the 3rd dumbest conspiracy theory from Trump's twitter this week).

You do in fact "be Sean Hannity to ask the question", because Sean Hannity the TV character is dumb and it's a question dumb people ask.

kirthigdon 11 hours ago • edited
This article ignores what actually happened. The ruling establishment, acting through its deep state components, took over its critics on the left as it had previously taken over its critics on the right. That's exactly what intelligence agencies are designed to do.

Opposition is not to be completely squashed except in rare cases; it's to be subverted, corrupted and controlled. Note Orwell's 1984 for a classical fiction account.

Note socialist journalist Diana Johnstone's recent memoir Circle in the Darkness for how this was accomplished in Europe. This may provide a clarity not obscured by US partisanship. Then apply those insights to the US. Or dismiss all the above as a conspiracy theory and we all know that spy and "law" enforcement agencies never engage in conspiracies.

Wally 11 hours ago
Speaking only for myself... I'm a lefty guy and I despise the national security apparatus and all the awful people working in the military and defense contractors. They are evil. The merchants of death. War criminals. Mercenary thugs. PTSD ridden cowards who are a danger to their friends, families, co-workers and, ultimately themselves. They are the ones who make life miserable for billions of people all over the world. Good luck.
Clyde Schechter Wally 4 hours ago
I endorse the sentiment that the national security apparatus as a whole is an enormous force for evil in the world. But I cannot agree with your blanket condemnation of all the people who work for it.

I have several acquaintances and relatives who have been in the military, or worked for defense contractors, and even one who worked for the NSA. A few of them are sociopaths, but most of them (including the one who worked for the NSA) are decent people, and for the most part they sincerely believed that they were working on the side of the angels. I think they were misguided in that belief, and some probably deluded themselves into thinking that so they could keep a job they, for various reasons, liked or needed. But for most, I do not question their sincerity and motivation.

None of that excuses the people at the top of those organizations, who very well knew exactly what their actions were bringing about in the world and who deserve a reckoning at the Hague.

New England Jon 11 hours ago • edited
Some liberals still despise the national security state. If you visit new media platforms, you can see or hear Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate and others who view Russiagate as a hoax.
Connecticut Farmer 9 hours ago • edited
As Michael Cordeleone said to Senator Geary in Godfather II, "Senator, we're all part of the same hypocrisy."
chris chuba 9 hours ago
I would say that MSM cynicism and scrutiny towards the military and govt agencies grew in the 70's post Vietnam war and then peaked during Reagan's term with Iran/Contra. And you know what, that was a renaissance for our military as the Vietnam era veterans now officers of an all volunteer force performed extremely well during Desert Storm to prove that their stuff actually did work in the desert. It was also the peak of our influence in the world as H.W. Bush built a real coalition and to the shock of the Neocons, 'GASP!' kept his word and stuck within the UN charter that we sponsored.

The post-9/11 requirement to fawn over the military and unquestioned loyalty to all aspects of our security establishment is eroding all aspects of our military preparedness, morale, and world standing while we scream we are #1, join us in our fight against China, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela (or else!).

Since this article brought up pop-culture, pre-9/11 X-files obviously unflattering to govt, and I almost cried watching an Nat. Lampoon movies that implied that law enforcement guys kind of like using excessive force to destroy houses (sorry cops, it was funny). Post 9/11, I'm waiting for the reboot of '24' and I wasn't shocked when 'Navy Seals' was renewed.

[Aug 09, 2020] The CIA Democrats by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop. ..."
"... The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Part one

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare. Elissa Slotkin

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

CNN's "State of the Union" program on March 4 included a profile of Jones as one of many female candidates seeking nomination as a Democrat in Tuesday's primary in Texas. The network described her discreetly as a "career civil servant." However, the Jones for Congress website positively shouts about her role as a spy, noting that after graduating from college, "Gina entered the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the US military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" (the last phrase signaling to those interested in such matters that Jones is gay).

According to her campaign biography, Ortiz Jones was subsequently detailed to a position as "senior advisor for trade enforcement," a post President Obama created by executive order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a director for investment at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. With that background, if she fails to win election, she can surely enlist in the trade war efforts of the Trump administration.

[Aug 09, 2020] Dems have morphed into a branch of the CIA – not unlike origins of the East German Stasi government...

Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Renee Parsons via Off-Guardian.org,

Even before Rep. Tulsi Gabbard threatened to boycott the October 15th Dem debate as the DNC usurps the role of voters in the Democratic primacy 2020 election and with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on the table, the Swamp was stirred and its slimy muck may be about to come to the surface as never before.

If so, those revelations are long overdue.

It is no secret to the observant that since the 2016 election, the Democratic Party has been in a state of near-collapse, the victim of its own hubris, having lost their moral compass with unsubstantiated Russisgate allegations; those accusations continue as a futile exercise of domestic regime change.

Today's Dems are less than a bona fide opposition party offering zero policy solutions, unrecognizable from past glories and not the same political party many of us signed up for many years ago. Instead, the American public is witnessing a frenzied, unscrupulous strategy.

Desperate in the denial of its demise, confronting its own shadow of corruption as the Dems have morphed into a branch of the CIA – not unlike origins of the East German Stasi government.

It should not be necessary to say but in today's hyper volatile political climate it is: No American should be labelled as anything other than a loyal American to be deeply disturbed by the Democrat/CIA collusion that is currently operating an unprecedented Kangaroo Court in secret, behind closed doors; thus posing an ominous provocation to what remains of our Constitutional Republic.

As any politically savvy, independent thinking American might grasp, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their entire coterie of sycophants always knew that Russiagate was a crock of lies.

They lied to their willing Democratic rank n file, they lied to American public and they continue to lie about their bogus Impeachment campaign.

It may be that whistleblower Ed Snowden's revelations about the NSA surveillance state was the first inkling for many Americans that there is a Big Problem with an out-of-control intelligence community until Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Trump was being 'really dumb " in daring to question Intel's faulty conclusion that Russia hacked the 2016 election.

"Let me tell you. You take on the intelligence community = they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

Inescapably, Schumer was suggesting that the Congress has no oversight, that there is no accountability and that the US has lost its democratic roots when a newly elected President does not have the authority to question or publicly disagree with any of the Intel agencies.

Since the 2016 election, there has been a steady drumbeat of the US Intel's unabashed efforts to undermine and otherwise prevent a newly elected President from governing – which sounds like a clear case of insubordination or some might call it treasonous.

The Intel antipathy does not appear to be rooted in cuts to a favorite social services program but rather protecting a power, financial and influence agenda that goes far deeper and more profound than most Americans care to contemplate.

Among a plethora of egregious corporate media reactions, no doubt stirred by their Intel masters, was to a July, 2018 summit meeting between Russian President Putin and Trump in Helsinki emblematic of illegitimate censures from Intel veterans and its cronies:

" Trump sides with Putin over US Intelligence " – CNN

" Did Trump Commit Treason at Putin Meeting ? " – Newsweek , and

" Trump Slammed Over Disgrace, Disgusting Press Conference with Putin " – Newsweek .

Not one praised Trump for pursuing peace with Russia.

And yet, fellow Americans, it is curious to consider that there was no outrage after the 911 attacks in 2001 from any member of Congress, President Bush or the Corporate Media that the US intelligence community had utterly failed in its mission to keep the American public safe.

There was no reckoning, not one person in authority was held accountable, not one person who had the responsibility to 'know' was fired from any of the Intel agencies. Why is that?

As a result of the corrupt foundation of the Russiagate allegations, Attorney General Bob Barr and Special Investigator John Durham appear hot on the trail with law enforcement in Italy as they have apparently scared the bejesus out of what little common sense remains among the Democratic hierarchy as if Barr/Durham might be headed for Obama's Oval Office.

Barr's earlier comment before the Senate that " spying did occur' and that ' it's a big deal' when an incumbent administration (ie the Obama Administration) authorizes a counter-Intelligence operation on an opposing candidate (ie Donald Trump) has the Dems in panic-stricken overdrive – and that is what is driving the current Impeachment Inquiry.

With the stark realization that none of the DNC's favored top tier candidates has the mojo to go the distance, the Democrats have now focused on a July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which Trump allegedly ' pressured ' Zelenskyy to investigate Joe Biden's relationship with Burisma, the country's largest natural gas provider.

At issue is any hanky panky involving Burisma payments to Rosemont Seneca Partners , an equity firm owned by Joe's errant son, Hunter, who served on Burisma's Board for a modest $50,000 a month.

Zelenskyy, who defeated the US-endorsed incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in a landslide victory, speaks Russian, was elected to clean up corruption and end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The war in the Donbass began as a result of the US State Department's role in the overthrow of democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Trump's first priority on July 25th was Crowd Strike , a cybersecurity firm with links to the HRC campaign which was hired by the DNC to investigate Russian hacking of its server.

The Dems have reason to be concerned since it is worth contemplating why the FBI did not legally mandate that the DNC turn its server over to them for an official Federal forensic inspection.

One can only speculate those chickens may be coming home to roost.

Days after an anonymous whistleblower (not to be confused with a real whistleblower like Edward Snowden) later identified as a CIA analyst with a professional history linked to Joe Biden, publicly released a Complaint against Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the initiation of an ambiguous Impeachment Inquiry campaign with little specificity about the process. The Complaint is suspect since it reads more like a professionally prepared Affidavit and the Dems consider Pelosi's statement as sufficient to initiate a formal process that fails to follow the time-honored path of a full House vote predicating a legitimate impeachment inquiry on to the Judiciary Committee.

Of special interest is how the process to date is playing out with the House Intelligence Committee in a key role conducting what amounts to clandestine meetings , taking depositions and witness statements behind closed doors with a still secret unidentified whistleblower's identity and voice obscured from Republican members of the Intel Committee and a witness testifying without being formally sworn in – all too eerily similar to East Germany.

The pretense of shielding the thinly veiled CIA operative as a whistleblower from public exposure can only be seen as an overly-dramatic transparent performance as the Dems have never exhibited any concern about protecting real whistleblowers like Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Julian Assange, Jeffrey Sterling and others who were left to fend for themselves as the Obama Administration prosecuted more true, authentic whistleblowers than any other administration since the Espionage Act of 1917 .

As the paradigm shift takes its toll on the prevailing framework of reality and our decayed political institutions, (the FBI and DOJ come to mind as the Inspector General's report is due at week's end), how much longer does the Democratic Party, which no longer serves a useful public purpose, deserve to exist?

[Aug 09, 2020] NYT as an amplifier for the mislabeled US 'Intelligence' Agencies rumor and baseless claims about foreign interferences in US elections

The first and the most important fact that there will no elections in November -- both candidates represent the same oligarchy, just slightly different factions of it.
Look like NYT is controlled by Bolton faction of CIA. They really want to overturn the results of 2020 elections and using Russia as a bogeyman is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.
Neocons understand very well that it is MIC who better their bread, so amplifying rumors the simplify getting additional budget money for intelligence agencies (which are a part of MIC) is always the most desirable goal.
Notable quotes:
"... But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr. ..."
"... The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process." ..."
"... But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections? ..."
"... But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn? ..."
"... Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence. ..."
"... Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China? ..."
"... If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them? ..."
"... Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget. ..."
"... Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
No Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says

Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.

The New York Times sensationally headlines:

Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:

Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.

When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:

For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.

After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?

The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?

As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :

The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.

But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?

Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.

Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:

The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...

and

Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?

If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?

Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.

Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.

Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

[Aug 08, 2020] The New York Times has finally woken up to the fact that Seattle s CHOP was a complete disaster – a month after it was disbanded by Guy Birchall

Somalia in Seattle ;-)
It would be interesting to see how many of inhabitants of CHAZ zone, who experinced the "summer of love" will vote for Trump in Novemebr.
Notable quotes:
"... The land of soy milk and honey was disbanded on July 1 and was duly eulogised by the usual suspects as basically an extended block party. A month on, the NY Times finally got around to sending a reporter to speak to the people who lived and worked in the area before the protestors moved in and produced an admittedly excellent piece of reportage on the situation. ..."
"... The piece, as journalist Michael Tracey observed on Twitter, would have been dismissed as right-wing propaganda just a month ago and shows that this little experiment in anarcho-communism was a million miles away from paradise. ..."
"... The picture painted by the residents is one of gangs of armed thugs running protection rackets and widespread vandalism. The first person mentioned in the piece, a gay man of Middle Eastern extraction named Faizel Khan, reveals that to get to the coffee shop he runs he had to get permission from "gun wielding white men" who at one point barricaded him and all his customers in the store. ..."
"... In his pre-CHOP days, Mr Hearns was a security guard for many years, but after the police vacated the area (their precinct was taken over by protesters and then promptly set on fire) he became part of the "Black Lives Matter Community Patrol". This patrol had locals "pay for their protection." ..."
"... It doesn't sound like they were particularly good at ensuring community cohesion either, considering six people were shot under their jurisdiction and two of them died. ..."
"... Observers also noted that rather than being a multi-racial melting pot of equality, the CHOP turned into a "white occupation" as the numbers of Antifa activists began to outnumber the BLM protesters. They also established "black only segregated areas" within the CHOP, making it frightening similar to the Confederacy, which also, coincidentally, seceded from the union. ..."
"... The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.rt.com

Following an investigative report the paper of record has revealed that business owners who were stuck in the Capitol Hill Organised Protest 'aren't so sure about abolishing the police'. No sh*t Sherlock.

The New York Times has done something distinctly out of character and actually produced some decent journalism. Taking a break from getting editors sacked for allowing Republican senators to write op-eds and forcing out the few remaining sane people on their staff for not quaffing the identity politics Cool-Aid enthusiastically enough, they dispatched a reporter to Seattle to pick through the remnants of the CHOP , a month after it closed.

The Capital Hill Organised Protest, formally CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), was the area of the city that, for 23 glorious days, declared independence from the United States. A bunch of Black Lives Matter and Antifa radicals hoofed out the police and decided to try and run the area as some sort of Marxist utopia. What they actually established was a gang run hellhole that made the Wild West look like Switzerland.

It wasn't described as such at the time of course. Seattle's mayor said the city was in for a "summer of love" and most of the left-wing press would have had you believe that it was pretty much a hippy commune full of free vegan food and urban collective farms.

The land of soy milk and honey was disbanded on July 1 and was duly eulogised by the usual suspects as basically an extended block party. A month on, the NY Times finally got around to sending a reporter to speak to the people who lived and worked in the area before the protestors moved in and produced an admittedly excellent piece of reportage on the situation. It was headlined, "Abolish the Police? Those Who Survived the Chaos in Seattle Aren't So Sure." The piece, as journalist Michael Tracey observed on Twitter, would have been dismissed as right-wing propaganda just a month ago and shows that this little experiment in anarcho-communism was a million miles away from paradise.

To say they "aren't sure" has to be the understatement of the year. The picture painted by the residents is one of gangs of armed thugs running protection rackets and widespread vandalism. The first person mentioned in the piece, a gay man of Middle Eastern extraction named Faizel Khan, reveals that to get to the coffee shop he runs he had to get permission from "gun wielding white men" who at one point barricaded him and all his customers in the store.

Mr Khan's experiences during these three and a bit weeks of lawlessness were so horrendous that he and a host of other small business owners, described as "lonely voices in progressive areas," are suing Seattle after the local police force refused to respond to their calls for the duration of the CHOP. And as the litany of horrors they were subjected to is laid bare in the NY Times article, it is not hard to see why.

Another character we meet in this saga is Rick Hearns. In his pre-CHOP days, Mr Hearns was a security guard for many years, but after the police vacated the area (their precinct was taken over by protesters and then promptly set on fire) he became part of the "Black Lives Matter Community Patrol". This patrol had locals "pay for their protection." Now what other organisation does that remind you of? If you can't think of it, may I suggest you watch virtually any Martin Scorsese movie and I think you'll get the picture.

It doesn't sound like they were particularly good at ensuring community cohesion either, considering six people were shot under their jurisdiction and two of them died. Interestingly, since they were replacing the "institutionally racist" police force, (run by a black woman incidentally but why let facts spoil it) one of the victims was a black teenager.

Observers also noted that rather than being a multi-racial melting pot of equality, the CHOP turned into a "white occupation" as the numbers of Antifa activists began to outnumber the BLM protesters. They also established "black only segregated areas" within the CHOP, making it frightening similar to the Confederacy, which also, coincidentally, seceded from the union. Oh, and they had a Warlord, Raz from CHAZ, too, just as an icing on the cake.

Quite why these so-called activists felt the need to see how anarchy turns out in a world where Somaila exists is beyond me, and frankly any sane person who is even vaguely aware of history. I'm sure if they'd managed to get hold of the port it wouldn't have been long before they decided to give piracy on the high seas a try, but alas they didn't have the time.

This just makes the tone of the NY Times piece all the more baffling. While it does chart the horrors of the zone well, framing the notion of "abolishing the police" as anything other than irredeemably stupid is frankly ridiculous. I suppose they do deserve praise for finally telling the story, but in no way does it make up for the way they have fomented and given succour to the absurd and dangerous ideas that gave rise to the CHOP for so long.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall 7 Aug, 2020 22:11 Get short URL CHAZ/CHOP protesters remove man for bothering them, June 13, 2020

[Aug 06, 2020] Is War With China Inevitable by J

Notable quotes:
"... "When I analyze the current situation, I understand that this is a rehearsal for biological warfare," ..."
"... "I am not saying that this virus was created by humans... but this is a test of the health system's strength, including the country's biological defense." ..."
"... More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology ..."
"... China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range. ..."
"... More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology ..."
"... China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range. ..."
"... Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success. ..."
"... "There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
"... Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success. ..."
"... "There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
Aug 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The rattling of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S. is becoming louder, and causing many to ponder if World War III is not far off. There are those in the international community increasingly alarmed given the COVID situation, the South China Sea imbroglio, and China's growing threat that they intend to invade and absorb Taiwan into Communist China within a year. These items have led to the belief that World War III is on the horizon.

Just recently, Dr.Leonid Roshal, a noted Moscow physician, hostage negotiator, and advisor to the WHO remarked that the COVID pandemic is a dry run for World War III, and that COVID-19 is practice for future biological warfare. Covid-19 pandemic has functioned as a "rehearsal for biological warfare," Dr. Roshal also believes that the rapidly-spreading virus was a test for the world's healthcare systems.

In an interview with Forbes, Professor Roshal, President of the Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, explained that not all nations were ready for a mass influx of patients, and their lack of preparation has been exposed by the pandemic.

"When I analyze the current situation, I understand that this is a rehearsal for biological warfare," he explained. "I am not saying that this virus was created by humans... but this is a test of the health system's strength, including the country's biological defense."

In addition, Hong Kong-based virologist Yan Li-Meng, currently in hiding at an undisclosed location, claims that the COVID-19 coronavirus came from a People's Liberation Army lab, and not from a Wuhan wet market as Beijing has claimed. Speaking on a live stream interview on Taiwan's News Agency Lude Press, she said, "At that time, I clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military lab. The Wuhan wet market was just used as a decoy." Yan has been in hiding in the U.S. after fleeing Hong Kong in April.

Chinese PLA Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang stated recently that TAIWAN WILL be reunified with the rest of China - and any attempt by the United States to interfere is futile and dangerous. Senior Colonel Guoqiang is Deputy Director of the Ministry of Defense's Information Office, and Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman. J


entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

Well, this is certainly a depressing and frightening post. I can't say, however, that I have been thinking along the same lines. However, since I am basically a nobody, I have tried to assure myself that I am being paranoid. So, it's not helping that some people who are much more knowledgeable have expressed in print some of the fears I have been feeling over these months dealing with the pandemic.

All I can do is pray and hold fast to my faith in God. Perhaps He will lift up the people who can deter us from the predictions of this post. (But are we worthy of being saved?)

Posted by: Diana Croissant , 05 August 2020 at 03:44 PM

Well, this is certainly a depressing and frightening post. I can't say, however, that I have been thinking along the same lines. However, since I am basically a nobody, I have tried to assure myself that I am being paranoid. So, it's not helping that some people who are much more knowledgeable have expressed in print some of the fears I have been feeling over these months dealing with the pandemic.

All I can do is pray and hold fast to my faith in God. Perhaps He will lift up the people who can deter us from the predictions of this post. (But are we worthy of being saved?)

Posted by: Diana Croissant 05 August 2020 at 03:44 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

J

I don't believe there will be any direct military conflict. However, we can expect some saber rattling from both sides.

Sec.Azhar is leading a US delegation to Taiwan. On another note Taiwan ain't HK. They have an independent government. While they will eventually be overwhelmed in any military conflict with China if no other country intervenes on Taiwan's side, they definitely have the capability to inflict a black eye.

The CCP has been emboldened precisely because the US government has actively abetted their rapaciousness for many decades under both parties. From Clinton's MFN designation to Bush & Obama administrations actively supporting the shuttering of US manufacturing.

Trump is making the first course correction albeit in a limited manner with tariffs. He has however changed the tone in an important manner by no longer just kowtowing to whatever the CCP wants.

This story of ARM China exemplifies CCP long-term policy of requiring JVs to access the Chinese market and once technology and know-how have been successfully transferred, then expropriating it. The west in general and the US in particular have turned a blind eye. Huawei got going by stealing cisco source code and design.
https://www.businessinsider.com/arm-conflict-china-complicates-acquisition-prospects-2020-8

It is high time for the US to make the totalitarian Chinese communists pay a price and directly take the fight to them economically and financially. The CCP must be doing their best to insure a Biden win to return to the status quo or wait another Trump term and hope an establishment Democrat or Republican wins after. They have bought and paid the establishment politicians, entire think-tanks, many in academia and the media.

Posted by: Jack , 05 August 2020 at 03:58 PM

J

I don't believe there will be any direct military conflict. However, we can expect some saber rattling from both sides.

Sec.Azhar is leading a US delegation to Taiwan. On another note Taiwan ain't HK. They have an independent government. While they will eventually be overwhelmed in any military conflict with China if no other country intervenes on Taiwan's side, they definitely have the capability to inflict a black eye.

The CCP has been emboldened precisely because the US government has actively abetted their rapaciousness for many decades under both parties. From Clinton's MFN designation to Bush & Obama administrations actively supporting the shuttering of US manufacturing.

Trump is making the first course correction albeit in a limited manner with tariffs. He has however changed the tone in an important manner by no longer just kowtowing to whatever the CCP wants.

This story of ARM China exemplifies CCP long-term policy of requiring JVs to access the Chinese market and once technology and know-how have been successfully transferred, then expropriating it. The west in general and the US in particular have turned a blind eye. Huawei got going by stealing cisco source code and design.
https://www.businessinsider.com/arm-conflict-china-complicates-acquisition-prospects-2020-8

It is high time for the US to make the totalitarian Chinese communists pay a price and directly take the fight to them economically and financially. The CCP must be doing their best to insure a Biden win to return to the status quo or wait another Trump term and hope an establishment Democrat or Republican wins after. They have bought and paid the establishment politicians, entire think-tanks, many in academia and the media.

Posted by: Jack 05 August 2020 at 03:58 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology .

There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising Trump. Certainly, US Naval Intel and PACCOM (now INDOPACCOM) brass who would love a grand Coral Sea 2.0 battle to destroy PLAN vessel on the seas. However, no one, except few Marine 4 stars want any land war. The Marines think they can defeat the PLA on some islands. That kind of warfare is for hollywood movies. China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range.

There won't be any war in SE Asia or East Asia. This area now has a circuit breaker, Russia. Russia is building a naval presence, expanding it's aerospace arm, has basing rights in the zone in Vietnam and has long range radars that cover a lot of the zones, and submarines the US is having issues tracking.

The signals from China and Russia to the US military is very clear. You can walk and talk like the Hegemon but the days of regional hegemony are over. ASEAN nations will not accepting accept a return to gunboat diplomacy and colonization. All these nations want prosperity and progress, not western hegemony and military destruction.

This is why the hybrid war of sanctions, trade war, Infowars, cyberwar, proxies in Central Asia (ISIS and AQ), color revolution attempts in Hong Kong, hysterics about Tibet and Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia (Bannon front) are on the front burner. Military action is a losing proposition for the US. They simply cannot win anything anywhere in the Asia Pacific, western Asia or even against near peer powers proxies like Venezuela.

China simply has to do what Russia does and tell the US to pound sand.

Posted by: Horatio , 05 August 2020 at 04:51 PM

More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology .

There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising Trump. Certainly, US Naval Intel and PACCOM (now INDOPACCOM) brass who would love a grand Coral Sea 2.0 battle to destroy PLAN vessel on the seas. However, no one, except few Marine 4 stars want any land war. The Marines think they can defeat the PLA on some islands. That kind of warfare is for hollywood movies. China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range.

There won't be any war in SE Asia or East Asia. This area now has a circuit breaker, Russia. Russia is building a naval presence, expanding it's aerospace arm, has basing rights in the zone in Vietnam and has long range radars that cover a lot of the zones, and submarines the US is having issues tracking.

The signals from China and Russia to the US military is very clear. You can walk and talk like the Hegemon but the days of regional hegemony are over. ASEAN nations will not accepting accept a return to gunboat diplomacy and colonization. All these nations want prosperity and progress, not western hegemony and military destruction.

This is why the hybrid war of sanctions, trade war, Infowars, cyberwar, proxies in Central Asia (ISIS and AQ), color revolution attempts in Hong Kong, hysterics about Tibet and Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia (Bannon front) are on the front burner. Military action is a losing proposition for the US. They simply cannot win anything anywhere in the Asia Pacific, western Asia or even against near peer powers proxies like Venezuela.

China simply has to do what Russia does and tell the US to pound sand.

Posted by: Horatio 05 August 2020 at 04:51 PM

entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

Bjorn H

... BTW, "J" is a farmer in Oklahoma who served a long time in USAF.

Posted by: turcopolier , 05 August 2020 at 05:04 PM

Bjorn H

... BTW, "J" is a farmer in Oklahoma who served a long time in USAF.

Posted by: turcopolier 05 August 2020 at 05:04 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

We've been in a war with China for a few decades now, and losing. Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success.

Horatio,

"There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Posted by: Fred , 05 August 2020 at 05:05 PM

We've been in a war with China for a few decades now, and losing. Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success.

Horatio,

"There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Posted by: Fred 05 August 2020 at 05:05 PM

entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

The rattling. of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S.

That line as introduction gives away the article as plain and unsofisticated propaganda. Nobody refers to the USA as the Republican Party, the red scare is a momified bogey..

Posted by: Paco , 05 August 2020 at 05:28 PM

The rattling. of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S.

That line as introduction gives away the article as plain and unsofisticated propaganda. Nobody refers to the USA as the Republican Party, the red scare is a momified bogey..

Posted by: Paco 05 August 2020 at 05:28 PM

[Aug 04, 2020] Joe Biden is Not a Nice Guy - The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... I think the issues regarding the abuse of others material is valid, and it reflects something about the nature of his positions and responses to: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Libya and of course the Ukraine. ..."
"... The Democratic party had the opportunity to run a more decent, forward looking candidate both in 2016 and 2020, but in both cases presented us with insiders who feel entitled to the nomination simply because of seniority and name recognition. ..."
"... Don't need that history when the real Biden was on display with the corrupt and ugly Ukraine kickback and extortion scheme. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Steve Jackson Geoff Guth3 hours ago

You have got to be kidding!! Not only is Biden a serial liar about his background and other important things, the article didn't even touch on his massive financial corruption during his ridiculously long career in "public service ". Not only "sweetheart deals" for Hunter but also for his two brothers, sister and daughter and her husband. If you are so inclined, you can read all about it in Peter Schweitzer's book, "Profiles in Corruption".

Collin Reid Geoff Guth2 hours ago

Wow! Claims that Biden dodged the draft to avoid becoming Vietnam. That do it! It did not work for Quayle, Clinton, Bush, Cheney, and Trump. So 20 of the last 28 years we have a President that found ways of avoiding going to Vietnam! In fact avoiding wars to helped your Presidential case? Care to ask Kerry about it?

EliteCommInc.13 hours ago

I don't much like the character debates. They are loaded with suggestions and eventually get into all manner of speculation of did he, did she, has she has he . . . snore. What I need to know is their integrity on policy and here VP Biden loses, he even loses to the current executive.

Even someone as prudish as me knows, it's not hard to make a mess of some issue regardless of washed one attempts to be.

I think the issues regarding the abuse of others material is valid, and it reflects something about the nature of his positions and responses to: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Libya and of course the Ukraine.

The current executive's weakness in the knees unless he is making personal attacks or appointing judges or some innocuous policy move such as removing several thousand troops out of Germany which apparently were already in decline. has managed avoiding actually making matters worse despite the hooopla ha.

Given the disastrous state we were supposed to be in -- well more disastrous --- it is safe to say on foreign policy, the VP doesn't have much in the way to offer that would get me near 100 yards of considering voting for him.

John10 hours ago

The snark in the comments is astounding. Biden is nasty with people who challenge him - "lying dog-faced pony soldier," anyone? This behavior was recognized as problematic by the left before he won the nomination. These comments are also more directed at women, too, showing his sexism. No whataboutism with Trump, please.

The Democratic party had the opportunity to run a more decent, forward looking candidate both in 2016 and 2020, but in both cases presented us with insiders who feel entitled to the nomination simply because of seniority and name recognition.

It's too bad the Green Party is so marginalized and the Democrats keep presenting themselves as progressive, when it is clear they are nothing but a mouthpiece for left leaning corporate oligarchs. We might get a real choice from them otherwise.

JPH10 hours ago

Don't need that history when the real Biden was on display with the corrupt and ugly Ukraine kickback and extortion scheme. Add to that the 1.5 billion Chinese investment channeled through that Hunter creature. And do not overlook Biden's participation in Obamagate weaponizing the Intelligence Services against a political opponent (even after Trump's election and installation) which reduced Watergate to a boy scout prank.

Mother12410 hours ago

Biden's most disgraceful act was more personal:

His first wife drove into an intersection with her young children in the car, and was hit by large truck driven by Curtis Dunn. She, along with her infant daughter were killed; the two boys were injured. For years, Biden related the story that Dunn had "decided to drink his lunch" and that was the cause of the tragedy. Police investigation found Dunn blameless .

Joe was approached by Dunn's family, even after he died in the 90's, begging him to clear Dunn's name. He didn't. He repeated the slander until as late as 2007.

If someone can be destroyed for using the N -word 40 years ago (Paula Deen, call your office!) how much worse is this act by Joe, which he took on the road for DECADES?

No one, it appears, ahs EVER questioned him about it, and called him to account for it.

https://www.nationalreview....

BCZ Mother12410 hours ago

It's good to one how even handed and committed to police reports you would be if your spouse and I can't child were killed....

... Your cold rectitude is deeply impressive.

Mother124 BCZ9 hours ago • edited

So, the police investigated, determined that Dunn wasn't drinking, but Joe "knows" that he was??????

Biden received enormous sympathy for losing his wife and daughter, and the injuries to his sons. But that wasn't enough for him; he had to embellish.

Biden is the Walter Mitty of politics. He constantly creates scenarios in which he is a hero, adored, and the center of the story. He has to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.

I'm sure he "believes" that Dunn had a 2-martini lunch. Just like he "believes" he got arrested with Mandela, and took part in civil rights marches and sit-ins, and had a soldier tell him he didn't deserve a medal because his buddy died.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Do some research.

Feral Finster KevinS4 hours ago

Sociopaths are well known for their ability to feign emotion.

gnt7 hours ago

I will add this to my list of reasons not to vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden. So far, the list includes:
- Joe Biden is not as sharp as he once was
- Joe Biden treats women badly
- Joe Biden will have an aggressive foreign policy
- Joe Biden is an authoritarian
- Joe Biden and his family are corrupt
- Joe Biden is not nice (today's entry)

The stories all share the same weakness. Even if I believe every word of every thinly-sourced allegation, Donald Trump is worse on every one of those measures.

It may be possible that Joe Biden is just as bad as Donald Trump. However, Joe Biden is a competent politician, and will put together a competent team of people. Trump's incapable of competence. If the election comes down to a choice between two bad men, I'll take the competent one.

SatirevFlesti Blood Alcohol2 hours ago • edited

Clearly you've had your head in the sand. Biden has been at the heart of the American political system's corruption for 5 decades. Scum is too nice a word for this guy. He deserve a scaffold, not the White House. Do some research (here are some good starters):

[Aug 04, 2020] Elections as "garbage in, garbage out" process

Aug 04, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

AGPhillbin Fred Bowman 2 hours ago

Personally, i am voting for Incitatus in the presidential election. Incitatus was supposedly appointed to the Roman Senate by the emperor Caligula. He was also a horse. How about this for a slogan:

IT'S TIME TO VOTE FOR A WHOLE HORSE...

Bungalow Bill 2 hours ago

... As George Carlin said, "garbage in, garbage out."

[Aug 04, 2020] Russia never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred"). ..."
"... I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore). ..."
"... True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways: ..."
"... While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump's psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician.

Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that "guys, we better get used to this" (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.).

Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred").

Simply put -- there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let's look at what changed.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

A "general" reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war . Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov's excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here ).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe .

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here ), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady , for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse, Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships ! The message here was clear:

Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2s2V8iPofFs?feature=oembed

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7uu5fk

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a "gay pride" one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled " Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror " shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one , have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: "the US is sinking -- do you really want to go down with it?".

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call "European suicide politics", but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. "Forward deployment" is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for "popular diplomacy", especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Twilight Patriot , says: • Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT

I really agree with you that the “blame Russia” and “blame China” thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.

But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that “Russian asset” would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?

With Republicans I think that “blame China” is stronger. China makes a good scapegoat for the economic situation in the United States. But convincing the working class that China is the source of their problems (and that Mr. MAGA is going to solve those problems by standing up to China) requires ignorance of the crucial facts about the trade relationship between those two countries.

Namely, that the trade deficit exists only because the Federal Reserve chooses to create huge amounts of new dollars each year for export to other countries, and it’s only possible for US exports to fall behind imports so badly (and thus put so many American laborers out of work) because the Fed is making up the difference by exporting dollars. Granted, it isn’t a policy that the US can change without harming the interests of its own upper classes; at the same time, it isn’t a policy that China could force on the US without the people in charge of the United States wanting it.

This is a topic I’ve dealt with a few times on my own blog.

Why I Don’t Fear Chinese Hegemony: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/05/why-i-dont-fear-chinese-hegemony.html

Nobody Will Win The Trade War: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2019/09/nobody-will-win-trade-war.html

[Aug 02, 2020] The national conversation about race needs to be short and simple: " All colours and ethnicities are subject to the exploitation of members of a ruling class that knows no barriers of race, culture, religion or sex. Which has in common only bad behaviour. A ruling class which owes its continued existence and its impunity, despite its evident criminality, to the refusal of its victims to unite and act in their own interests.

Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Aug 2 2020 14:55 utc | 5

What stands in the way of conversation between exploited people of different races is the white noise of liberal nonsense, which, incidentally, seems to be growing exponentially because it never runs up against reality and its rasping frictions.
The national conversation about race needs to be short and simple: " All colours and ethnicities are subject to the exploitation of members of a ruling class that knows no barriers of race, culture, religion or sex. Which has in common only bad behaviour. A ruling class which owes its continued existence and its impunity, despite its evident criminality, to the refusal of its victims to unite and act in their own interests."
And these are among the least original thoughts on offer. Humanity has known these things since the days when it lived in caves and sent Birthday Cards to chimpanzees.

Let us put this Hydroxychloroquine nonsense to bed for the last time.
Whilst any form of fever mitigation is likely to have a place, however small, in the nurses' quiver of helpful practices, the promotion of this particular drug, which is known to have often mortal side effects in vulnerable people, is dangerous and dishonest. Chicken soup and lime juice are other much less dangerous alternatives over which the Pharmaceutical Protection Racket has no control. The same can be said of a regime of patient care, loving attention and good accommodation- full time staff in properly equipped facilities working in an atmosphere in which the loss of any life is recognised as a social tragedy and a defeat.

[Aug 02, 2020] Antifa have accounts on FB and Twitter! and have active cells in every major city. In the national security state this is impossible without tacid support of intelligence againces

Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robert Dolan , says:

[Aug 02, 2020] To put it more simply, there are no more reliable jobs for the amount of people, no loans, bad healthcare etc. If BLM Antifa white fragility the worship of George Floyd and the rest did not exist, then America would truly face the change of a real revolution.

Notable quotes:
"... Besides strange funding sources, also note that in this country we can't sneeze without Alphabet or "alphabet-soup" agencies being aware of it. ..."
"... The one revolution I lived through as a child looks eerily familiar. BBC provided the 'communication and propaganda support' services for that one. The middle class of the nation in question was sitting on its hands (clueless as all middle class everywhere) as spectators, while the nation was turned upside down in less than a year. The first color revolution. ..."
Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com
anon [817] Disclaimer , says: August 1, 2020 at 8:28 am GMT
@Concept Politico

To put it more simply, there are no more reliable jobs for the amount of people, no loans, bad healthcare etc. If BLM Antifa white fragility the worship of George Floyd and the rest did not exist, then America would truly face the change of a real revolution.

I agree with this analysis.

Besides strange funding sources, also note that in this country we can't sneeze without Alphabet or "alphabet-soup" agencies being aware of it. (TOR was designed by US Navy, darling.)

The one revolution I lived through as a child looks eerily familiar. BBC provided the 'communication and propaganda support' services for that one. The middle class of the nation in question was sitting on its hands (clueless as all middle class everywhere) as spectators, while the nation was turned upside down in less than a year. The first color revolution.

My advice to middle class reader is: Don't be a spectator.

[Aug 02, 2020] Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA by ROB URIE

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences. ..."
"... The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. ..."
"... To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so? ..."
"... Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business. ..."
"... Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world. ..."
"... Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered. ..."
"... To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind. ..."
"... Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War. ..."
"... the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith. ..."
"... Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control . ..."
"... The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948. ..."
"... That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges ..."
"... Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?' ..."
"... Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. ..."
Jul 31, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
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The political success of Russiagate lies in the vanishing of American history in favor of a façade of liberal virtue. Posed as a response to the election of Donald Trump, a straight line can be drawn from efforts to undermine the decommissioning of the American war economy in 1946 to the CIA's alliance with Ukrainian fascists in 2014. In 1945 the NSC (National Security Council) issued a series of directives that gave logic and direction to the CIA's actions during the Cold War. That these persist despite the 'fall of communism' suggests that it was always just a placeholder in the pursuit of other objectives.

The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.

The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.

The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. Furthermore, Steinem's aggressive ignorance of the actual history of the CIA illustrates the liberal propensity to conflate bourgeois dress and attitude with an imagined gentility . To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so?

On the American left, Russiagate is treated as a case of bad reporting, of official outlets for government propaganda serially reporting facts and events that were subsequently disproved. However, some fair portion of the American bourgeois, the PMC that acts in supporting roles for capital, believes every word of it. Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.

Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.

By the time that (Senator) John F. Kennedy claimed a U.S. 'missile gap' with the Soviets in 1958, the CIA was providing estimates of Soviet ICBMs (Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles), that were wildly inflated -- most likely provided to it by the Gehlen Organization. Once satellite and U2 reconnaissance estimates became available, the CIA lowered its own to 120 Soviet ICBMs when the actual number was four . On the one hand, the Soviets really did have a nuclear weapons program. On the other, it was a tiny fraction of what was being claimed. Bad reporting, unerringly on the side of larger military budgets, appears to be the constant.

Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered.

The historical sequence in the U.S. was WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, to an economy that was heavily dependent on war production. The threatened decommissioning of the war economy in 1946 was first met with an honest assessment of Soviet intentions -- the Soviets were moving infrastructure back into Soviet territory as quickly as was practicable, then to the military budget-friendly claim that they were putting resources in place to invade Europe. The result of the shift was that the American Generals kept their power and the war industry kept producing materiel and weapons. By 1948 these weapons had come to include atomic bombs.

To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.

What ties the Gehlen Organization to CIA estimates of Soviet nuclear weapons from 1948 – 1958 is 1) the Gehlen Organization was central to the CIA's intelligence operations vis-à-vis the Soviets, 2) the CIA had limited alternatives to gather information on the Soviets outside of the Gehlen Organization and 3) the senior leadership of the U.S. military had long demonstrated that it approved of exaggerating foreign threats when doing so enhanced their power and added to their budgets. Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War.

Where this gets interesting is that American whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was working for the Rand Corporation in the late 1950s and early 1960s when estimates of Soviet ICBMs were being put forward. JFK had run (in 1960) on a platform that included closing the Soviet – U.S. ' missile gap .' The USAF (U.S. Air Force), charged with delivering nuclear missiles to their targets, was estimating that the Soviets had 1,000 ICBMs. Mr. Ellsberg, who had limited security clearance through his employment at Rand, was leaked the known number of Soviet ICBMs. The Air Force was saying 1,000 Soviet ICBMs when the number confirmed by reconnaissance satellites was four.

By 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the CIA had shifted nominal control of the Gehlen Organization to the BND, for whom Gehlen continued to work. Based on ongoing satellite reconnaissance data, the CIA was busy lowering its estimates of Soviet nuclear capabilities. Benjamin Schwarz, writing for The Atlantic in 2013, provided an account, apparently informed by the CIA's lowered estimates, where he placed the whole of the Soviet nuclear weapons program (in 1962) at roughly one-ninth the size of the U.S. effort. However, given Ellsberg's known count of four Soviet ICBMs at the time of the missile crisis, even Schwarz's ratio of 1:9 seems to overstate Soviet capabilities.

Further per Schwarz's reporting, the Jupiter nuclear missiles that the U.S. had placed in Italy prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis only made sense as first-strike weapons. This interpretation is corroborated by Daniel Ellsberg , who argues that the American plan was always to initiate the use of nuclear weapons (first strike). This made JFK's posture of equally matched contestants in a geopolitical game of nuclear chicken utterly unhinged. Should this be less than clear, because the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith.

The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .

The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948.

That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges.

Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?'

The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act came about in part because Nazi hunters kept coming across Nazi war criminals living in the U.S. who told them they had been brought here and given employment by the CIA, CIC, or some other division of the Federal government. If the people in these agencies thought that doing so was justified, why the secrecy? And if it wasn't justified, why was it done? Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. Cue the Sex Pistols .

[Aug 01, 2020] The ethnic and sex-based groups created and supported by neoliberal oligarchy are constructed so that they can never discover any common ground between themselves, and thus will fight among themselves for the scraps thrown from the oligarchs' table.

Highly recommended!
Aug 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 08.01.20 at 6:30 pm

John Quiggin 07.30.20 at 10:17 am (7)

An important problem is the conflation of public opprobrium actual sanctions like being fired. This is mainly a problem in the US because of employment at will

No. The cancel culture is just a new incarnation of the old idea of religious and pseudo-religious (aka Marxist or Maoist) "purges". A new flavor of inquisition so to speak.

The key idea here is the elimination of opposition for a particular Messianic movement, and securing all the positions that can influence public opinion. As well as protection of own (often dominant) position in the structure of political power (this was the idea behind Mao "cultural revolution")

You probably can benefit from studying the mechanic of Stalin purges. Mechanisms are the pretty similar ("History repeats ", etc) .

If opposition to the new brand of Messianism is suppressed under the smoke screen of political correctness, the question arise how this is different from Stalinist ideas of "Intensification of the class struggle under socialism" and Mao Red Guards excesses (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensification_of_the_class_struggle_under_socialism )

You can probably start with "Policing Stalin's Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953 (Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes)"

A new book which waits for its author can be similarly titled "Policing US neoliberalism : Repression and Social Order in the USA 1980-2020") ;-)

Here is one thought-provoking comment from the Web:

GeeBee, August 1, 2020 at 7:42 am GMT

The government will eventually be Marxist

With all due respect, you – like the great majority of people – fail to understand the dynamics involved. 'Cultural Marxism' isn't political Marxism. It is a method – a tool if you wish – used by the oligarchs who wield true power to 'divide and rule' (not least by deflecting attention from the yawning gulf that lies between their own excesses and monstrous wealth on the one hand, and the increasing indigence of the great mass of people on the other).

It is called 'Cultural Marxism' purely because it uses Marx's technique of dividing society into a small clique of 'oppressors' and 'the masses' who are 'oppressed'. Marx, of course, had the capitalists in mind when he wrote of the oppressors, and the proletariat naturally were the oppressed.

Today, the last thing the oligarchs desire is a unified and organised proletariat with 'agency': that would constitute a serious threat to their existence. Instead, they divide the sacred role of 'the oppressed' into a multitude of more or less fissiparous groups, whom we are all aware of, but of which those comprising 'BAME' are perhaps the most useful. Others include feminists (more or less all young women in today's world), homos, those suffering from sexual dysphoria (that's 'trannies' in today's 'Newspeak') and the disabled.

These groups will never discover any common ground between themselves, and thus will fight among themselves for the scraps thrown from the oligarchs' table. No danger there, and that's just how they planned it. As for the 'oppressors', there are no prizes for guessing that they are White, heterosexual (i.e. normal) males.

So much for your fear of actual Marxism. As for 'the government', it is important to understand that no government in today's West is invested with any meaningful power.

Not only are they not 'sovereign' but they are little more than puppets, dancing to their masters' dismal tunes.

Who are these oligarchs – these Masters of the Universe? That's a story for another day. But you won't go far wrong if you place the word 'oligarchs' in triple parentheses

[Jul 31, 2020] Tucker Carlson calls Obama 'one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures' in US political history

Highly recommended!
So Obama managed to beat Clinton? Incredible achievement !
BTW Gen. Flynn case goes 'all the way to the top' to Obama: Rep. Jordan
Jul 31, 2020 | www.msn.com

Tucker Carlson described former President Obama as "one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics" after his eulogy at the funeral of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Thursday.

© The Hill tucker Carlson

Carlson, who also described the former president as "a greasy politician" for calling on Congress to pass a new Voting Rights Act and to eliminate the filibuster, which Obama described as a relic of the Jim Crow era that disenfranchised Black Americans, in order to do so.

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"Barack Obama, one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics, used George Floyd's death at a funeral to attack the police," Carlson said before showing a segment of Obama's remarks.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

[Jul 29, 2020] America's Own Color Revolution by F. William Engdahl

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, "democracy" NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order. ..."
"... Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. ..."
"... The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously , Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000. ..."
"... That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000). ..."
"... And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 "organizers" in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. ..."
"... Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a "staff" of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group . ..."
"... The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: "The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America." ..."
"... Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to "democrats and progressives." As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden. ..."
"... What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. ..."
"... The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, "democracy" NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order.

If we step back from the immediate issue of videos showing a white Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd , and look at what has taken place across the nation since then, it is clear that certain organizations or groups were well-prepared to instrumentalize the horrific event for their own agenda.

The protests since May 25 have often begun peacefully only to be taken over by well-trained violent actors. Two organizations have appeared regularly in connection with the violent protests -- Black Lives Matter and Antifa (USA). Videos show well-equipped protesters dressed uniformly in black and masked (not for coronavirus to be sure), vandalizing police cars, burning police stations, smashing store windows with pipes or baseball bats. Use of Twitter and other social media to coordinate "hit-and-run" swarming strikes of protest mobs is evident.

What has unfolded since the Minneapolis trigger event has been compared to the wave of primarily black ghetto protest riots in 1968. I lived through those events in 1968 and what is unfolding today is far different. It is better likened to the Yugoslav color revolution that toppled Milosevic in 2000.

Gene Sharp: Template for Regime Overthrow

In the year 2000 the US State Department, aided by its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and select CIA operatives, began secretly training a group of Belgrade university students led by a student group that was called Otpor! (Resistance!). The NED and its various offshoots was created in the 1980's by CIA head Bill Casey as a covert CIA tool to overthrow specific regimes around the world under the cover of a human rights NGO. In fact, they get their money from Congress and from USAID.

In the Serb Otpor! destabilization of 2000, the NED and US Ambassador Richard Miles in Belgrade selected and trained a group of several dozen students, led by Srđa Popović, using the handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, translated to Serbian, of the late Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution. In a post mortem on the Serb events, the Washington Post wrote, "US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-Milošević graffiti on walls across Serbia."

Trained squads of activists were deployed in protests to take over city blocks with the aid of 'intelligence helmet' video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones, would then overwhelm police. The US government spent some $41 million on the operation. Student groups were secretly trained in the Sharp handbook techniques of staging protests that mocked the authority of the ruling police, showing them to be clumsy and impotent against the youthful protesters. Professionals from the CIA and US State Department guided them behind the scenes.

The Color Revolution Otpor! model was refined and deployed in 2004 as the Ukraine Orange Revolution with logo and color theme scarves, and in 2003 in Georgia as the Rose Revolution. Later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the template to launch the Arab Spring. In all cases the NED was involved with other NGOs including the Soros Foundations.

After defeating Milosevic, Popovic went on to establish a global color revolution training center, CANVAS, a kind of for-profit business consultancy for revolution, and was personally present in New York working reportedly with Antifa during the Occupy Wall Street where also Soros money was reported.

Antifa and BLM

The protests, riots, violent and non-violent actions sweeping across the United States since May 25, including an assault on the gates of the White House, begin to make sense when we understand the CIA's Color Revolution playbook.

The impact of the protests would not be possible were it not for a network of local and state political officials inside the Democratic Party lending support to the protesters, even to the point the Democrat Mayor of Seattle ordered police to abandon several blocks in the heart of downtown to occupation by protesters.

In recent years major portions of the Democratic Party across the US have been quietly taken over by what one could call radical left candidates. Often they win with active backing of organizations such as Democratic Socialists of America or Freedom Road Socialist Organizations. In the US House of Representatives the vocal quarter of new representatives around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib and Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar are all members or close to Democratic Socialists of America. Clearly without sympathetic Democrat local officials in key cities, the street protests of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa would not have such a dramatic impact.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Neoliberal Color Revolution in America

To get a better grasp how serious the present protest movement is we should look at who has been pouring millions into BLM. The Antifa is more difficult owing to its explicit anonymous organization form. However, their online Handbook openly recommends that local Antifa "cells" join up with BLM chapters.

FRSO: Follow the Money

BLM began in 2013 when three activist friends created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to protest the allegations of shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by a white Hispanic block watchman, George Zimmermann. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi were all were connected with and financed by front groups tied to something called Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical left organizations in the United States formed out of something called New Communist Movement that dissolved in the 1980s.

On June 12, 2020 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization webpage states, "The time is now to join a revolutionary organization! Join Freedom Road Socialist Organization If you have been out in the streets this past few weeks, the odds are good that you've been thinking about the difference between the kind of change this system has to offer, and the kind of change this country needs. Capitalism is a failed system that thrives on exploitation, inequality and oppression. The reactionary and racist Trump administration has made the pandemic worse. The unfolding economic crisis we are experiencing is the worst since the 1930s. Monopoly capitalism is a dying system and we need to help finish it off. And that is exactly what Freedom Road Socialist Organization is working for ."

In short the protests over the alleged police killing of a black man in Minnesota are now being used to call for a revolution against capitalism. FRSO is an umbrella for dozens of amorphous groups including Black Lives Matter or BLM. What is interesting about the self-described Marxist-Leninist roots of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) is not so much their left politics as much as their very establishment funding by a group of well-endowed tax-exempt foundations.

Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.

The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously , Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000.

Garza also got major foundation money as Executive Director of the FRSO front, POWER, where Obama former "green jobs czar" Van Jones, a self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist," now with CNN, was on the board. Alicia Garza also chaired the Right to the City Alliance, a network of activist groups opposing urban gentrification. That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000).

And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 "organizers" in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. With the Forward Together of FRSO, Garza sat on the board of a "multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change." It officially got $4 million in 2014 revenues and from 2012 and 2014, the organization received a total of $2.9 million from Ford Foundation ($655,000) and other major foundations .

Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a "staff" of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group .

The Freedom Road Socialist Organization that is now openly calling for a revolution against capitalism in the wake of the Floyd George killing has another arm, The Advancement Project, which describes itself as "a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization." Its board includes a former Obama US Department of Education Director of Community Outreach and a former Bill Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The FRSO Advancement Project in 2013 got millions from major US tax-exempt foundations including Ford ($8.5 million), Kellogg ($3 million), Hewlett Foundation of HP defense industry founder ($2.5 million), Rockefeller Foundation ($2.5 million), and Soros foundations ($8.6 million).

Major Money and ActBlue

By 2016, the presidential election year where Hillary Clinton was challenging Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), "a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition" in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement . This was serious foundation money.

The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: "The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America."

The Movement for Black Lives Coalition (M4BL) which includes Black Lives Matter, already in 2016 called for "defunding police departments, race-based reparations, voting rights for illegal immigrants, fossil-fuel divestment, an end to private education and charter schools, a universal basic income, and free college for blacks ."

Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to "democrats and progressives." As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden.

That was before the May 25 BLM worldwide protests. Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters.

What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America.

The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

***

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © F. William Engdahl , Global Research, 2020

[Jul 23, 2020] Opinion - Defund the Pentagon- The Liberal Case - POLITICO

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | www.politico.com

Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case

Cutting the defense budget by a modest 10 percent could provide billions to combat the pandemic, provide health care and take care of neglected communities.

Capitol Souvenir Company, Inc. via Boston Public Library

By SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

07/16/2020 02:15 PM EDT

Sen. Bernie Sanders is an independent from Vermont.

▶ Click here for the conservative case for reducing defense spending.

Fifty-three years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged all of us to fight against three major evils: "the evil of racism, the evil of poverty and the evil of war." If there was ever a moment in American history when we needed to respond to Dr. King's clarion call for justice and demand a "radical revolution of values," now is that time.

Whether it is fighting against systemic racism and police brutality, defeating the deadliest pandemic in more than a hundred years, or putting an end to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, now is the time to fundamentally change our national priorities.

Advertisement

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Sadly, instead of responding to any of these unprecedented crises, the Republican Senate is on a two-week vacation. When it comes back, its first order of business will be to pass a military spending authorization that would give the bloated Pentagon $740 billion -- an increase of more than $100 billion since Donald Trump became president.

me title=

Let's be clear: As coronavirus infections , hospitalizations and deaths are surging to record levels in states across America, and the lifeline of unemployment benefits keeping 30 million people afloat expires at the end of the month, the Republican Senate has decided to provide more funding for the Pentagon than the next 11 nations' military budgets combined.

Under this legislation, over half of our discretionary budget would go to the Department of Defense at a time when tens of millions of Americans are food insecure and over a half-million Americans are sleeping out on the street. After adjusting for inflation, this bill would spend more money on the Pentagon than we did during the height of the Vietnam War even as up to 22 million Americans are in danger of being evicted from their homes and health workers are still forced to reuse masks, gloves and gowns.

Moreover, this extraordinary level of military spending comes at a time when the Department of Defense is the only agency of our federal government that has not been able to pass an independent audit, when defense contractors are making enormous profits while paying their CEOs outrageous compensation packages, and when the so-called War on Terror will cost some $6 trillion.

Let us never forget what Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former four-star general, said in 1953: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

What Eisenhower said was true 67 years ago, and it is true today.

If the horrific pandemic we are now experiencing has taught us anything it is that national security means a lot more than building bombs, missiles, nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction. National security also means doing everything we can to improve the lives of tens of millions of people living in desperation who have been abandoned by our government decade after decade.

https://3565f954715d35ca5f1c38d2fcda79fc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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me title=

That is why I have introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that the Senate will be voting on during the week of July 20th, and the House will follow suit with a companion effort led by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Our amendment would reduce the military budget by 10 percent and use that $74 billion in savings to invest in communities that have been ravaged by extreme poverty, mass incarceration, decades of neglect and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under this amendment, distressed cities and towns in every state in the country would be able to use these funds to create jobs by building affordable housing, schools, childcare facilities, community health centers, public hospitals, libraries and clean drinking water facilities. These communities would also receive federal funding to hire more public school teachers, provide nutritious meals to children and parents and offer free tuition at public colleges, universities or trade schools.

This amendment gives my Senate colleagues a fundamental choice to make. They can vote to spend more money on endless wars in the Middle East while failing to provide economic security to millions of people in the United States. Or they can vote to spend less money on nuclear weapons and cost overruns, and more to rebuild struggling communities in their home states.

In Dr. King's 1967 speech, he warned that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

He was right. At a time when half of our people are struggling paycheck to paycheck, when over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and when 87 million lack health insurance or are underinsured, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth, and when millions of Americans are in danger of going hungry, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have no national testing program, no adequate production of protective gear and no commitment to a free vaccine, while remaining the only major country where infections spiral out of control, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when over 60,000 Americans die each year because they can't afford to get to a doctor on time, and one out of five Americans can't afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe, we are approaching spiritual death.

Now, at this unprecedented moment in American history, it is time to rethink what we value as a society and to fundamentally transform our national priorities. Cutting the military budget by 10 percent and investing that money in human needs is a modest way to begin that process. Let's get it done. MOST READ

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[Jul 23, 2020] Demorats defeat amedment ot cut Defence by 10%

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Amendment to make across-the-board reductions overwhelmingly defeated by members of both parties

Eric Garris Posted on July 21, 2020 Categories News

By a vote of 324-93 , the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to reduce Pentagon authorized spending levels by 10%. The amendment does not specify what to cut, only that Congress make across-the-board reductions. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). No Republicans voted for the amendment. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the amendment.

Earlier, the House defeated an amendment to stop the Pentagon's submission of an unfunded priorities list. Each year, after the Pentagon's budget request is submitted to Congress, the military services send a separate "wish list," termed "unfunded priorities." This list includes requests for programs that the military would like Congress to fund, in case they decide to add more money to the Pentagon's proposed budget.

This article was written while observing the voting on CSPAN. The House Clerk has not yet posted the roll-call vote. Additional information will be added to the article when available.

[Jul 20, 2020] The Real 'Russian Playbook' Is Written in English -- Strategic Culture

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. ..."
"... Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'? ..."
"... a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources. ..."
"... His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.

Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning

There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.

And asks

Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?

Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)

The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)

I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .

Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.

So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.

What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .

So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".

And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.

There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .

The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.

So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.

Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.

His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "

The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it.

[Jul 19, 2020] American Maidan is social revolution that is pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders have nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands are centered on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice ideals pursued with the fervor of regious converts

Highly recommended!
Just look at the cost of smartphone that they display at the riots and you instantly get a certain impression about income of their parents
Notable quotes:
"... And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers." ..."
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Jul 19 2020 1:35 utc | 80

A section quoted by Crooke in the piece karlof1 linked to

"A social revolution that would be pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology.

And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers."

And Crooke's thoughts..

"So, what can we make of all this? The US has suddenly exploded into, on the one hand, culture cancelation, and on the other, into silent seething at the lawlessness, and at all the statues toppled. It is a nation becoming angrier, and edging towards violence.

One segment of the country believes that America is inherently and institutionally racist, and incapable of self-correcting its flawed founding principles – absent the required chemotherapy to kill-off the deadly mutated cells of its past history, traditions and customs.

Another, affirms those principles that underlay America's 'golden age'; which made America great; and which, in their view, are precisely those qualities which can make it great again."

The link again https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/13/is-this-awokening-a-revolution-or-not/

[Jul 15, 2020] The shadow of Soviet Politburo over Washington: Joe Biden looks more and more as Konstantin Chernenko plus dementia -- Over A Third Of Americans Believe He Is Incapable Of Debating Trump

Highly recommended!
Soviet joke: TASS communicated that "Today, being in dangerous state of health and without regaining consciousness Konstantin Ustonivich Chernenko took up the duties of Secretary General" (the first part of the sentence is the common beginning of state leaders' obituaries)
Although only medical evaluation can tell the truth, the inability to hold on to his own train of thought, slurring of his speech, forgetting where he is and who he's with, grossly incorrect use of language, and inappropriate behavior are typical early symptoms of dementia. Excessive irritability and paranoia is also a symptom.
Over time though, I began to pity Joe as I realized the untenable situation Democrats had placed him in. What is wrong with his family, allowing him to be humiliated on a daily basis? Some think he is being "set up"
Elite rotation clearly is not working in the USA. Just look at Pelosi.
On the other hand Reagan was clearly senile, and that was no hindrance to him becoming President -- so why should it be any different in the case of Biden?
Jul 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

With questions continuing to swirl about his mental health, a new Rasmussen poll has found that only 54 per cent of Americans believe Joe Biden is capable of debating President Trump.

The national telephone survey found that just over half of likely voters thought Biden could take part in a debate with Trump while 36 per cent disagree and say he is not capable. A further 11 per cent are not sure either way.

... Polls show that 38 per cent of American voters think Biden has "some form of dementia," including one in five Democrats. 61 per cent of voters also think Biden should address the dementia issue publicly.

CB March 9, 2020 at 13:07

Today, NPR has been playing clips from Biden's terrifyingly incoherent St. Louis speech. He sounds like he's falling down drunk.

Here's my transliteration of 31:10 on C-SPAN:

"You're all part ma movemen a moob men that has a backbone the backbone of the Democratic Party a mooin's gun defeat Donald Trump."

Hearing the clip this morning put tears in my eyes because it so acutely reminded me of the final speech patterns of my grandfather, a brilliant nuclear physicist who died of Alzheimers at age 78.

I also cried at clip #33 because the pain in Jill Biden's eyes projected me right back into the helplessness of witnessing Granddad's cognitive decline.

It's tragically time to take away Biden's car keys, and yet these endorsements are trying to buy him a Maserati. How can this nightmare be happening. Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone, for maintaining this much-needed reality check.

[Jul 14, 2020] In foreign policy Biden is worse than Trump by Ted Rall

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Biden was the guy who convinced Obama to ramp up Bush's drone assassination program, which kills 50 innocent bystanders for every 1 targeted "militant" -- who often gets away and is rarely a threat to the United States, just to our authoritarian allies. Someday soon, Biden's drone killings abroad will be used to justify killing Americans here at home. ..."
"... Elsewhere, Marcetic writes: "When Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983, bombing a hospital in the process, Biden said he 'did the right thing.' When he bombed Libya three years later, killing 36 civilians and dictator Muammar Gaddafi's 15-month-old daughter, Biden said, 'There can be no question that Gaddafi has asked for and deserves a strong response like this.' And when George H. W. Bush invaded Panama three years after that, an outrageous war to depose a leader who had been a CIA asset and that saw dead civilians 'buried like dogs,' as one witness put it, Biden called it 'appropriate and necessary.'" ..."
"... Another problem with Biden - one of them at least - that all of the stupid talking heads ignore is that he has been in govt so long and is running on a campaign of fixing alleged problems that have allegedly existed for years. Why didn't he just tell Obama how to fix things? Trump will ask him that if given a chance. If not given a chance, Trump will simply state it in campaign ads and viewers will say, "Hmmm. Yeah really!". ..."
"... Think of NGOs, Civil Societies, non-state actors and of course the silicon valley and social media. the future foreign policy of the U.S. lies right here and Silicon Valley is a big part of it. No Direct military intervention, but mobilization of young naive people in targeted countries through social media and other methods to topple the incumbent government's institutions and the culture without firing a bullet ..."
"... I consider Biden as part of the 1st group that still peddle the joint neoconservative+liberal democratic template of the new world order, NATO, maintaining and spreading liberal int'l institutions, keeping troops in Afgh. and Iraq to do social engineering with the help of EU which is not going anywhere btw. So anything other than their views are not allowed at all as F.P. ..."
"... Strangely the 1st group are rather soft on China and were the faction responsible for making China a godzilla by opening up western markets to China (1990s and early 2000s) with the hope that once it is economically liberal somehow magically it would automatically transform into a liberal democracy of Washington's desire. ..."
"... While the 1st are extremely hawkish on Russia and Iran (anti-authoritarianism) and economical with their condemnation of China, the 2nd camp is quite hawkish on China and Iran and moderately hawkish on Russia (Anti-totaliratianism). ..."
"... As Jim Kunstler wrote today, "Joe Biden is an obvious stalking horse for something more sinister." ..."
Jul 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Biden, notes Marcetic, pushed for "the 1999 bombing of Serbia, which actually dissolved the local pro-democracy movement and rallied popular support around the country's dictator." Biden voted for the U.S. wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. "I voted to go into Iraq, and I'd vote to do it again," Biden said in August 2003. Now he defends himself by saying he was so stupid that he fell for Bush's lies about WMDs.

Biden was the guy who convinced Obama to ramp up Bush's drone assassination program, which kills 50 innocent bystanders for every 1 targeted "militant" -- who often gets away and is rarely a threat to the United States, just to our authoritarian allies. Someday soon, Biden's drone killings abroad will be used to justify killing Americans here at home.

Elsewhere, Marcetic writes: "When Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983, bombing a hospital in the process, Biden said he 'did the right thing.' When he bombed Libya three years later, killing 36 civilians and dictator Muammar Gaddafi's 15-month-old daughter, Biden said, 'There can be no question that Gaddafi has asked for and deserves a strong response like this.' And when George H. W. Bush invaded Panama three years after that, an outrageous war to depose a leader who had been a CIA asset and that saw dead civilians 'buried like dogs,' as one witness put it, Biden called it 'appropriate and necessary.'"

A vote for Biden isn't just a vote against Trump. It's a vote in favor of Biden's vote to kill 1 million Iraqis. If we elect Joe Biden, we will send a message to the world: America hates you; we're glad we killed all those people, and we plan to kill more." Ted Rall

---------------

Rall isn't someone I am likely to cite extensively but in this case I can only agree with much of what he says about these two men in the foreign policy area.

I do not know Trump, have never met him, and wouldn't cross the street to do so. Actually, that takes some effort these days.

Biden is one of the most belligerent and nastily "pushy" people I have known in the Borg (foreign policy establishment). He is a screamer who will get right up in your face to see if you will back away from him. He will stab in the chest with a forefinger for the same purpose. He will insult you or threaten to fight you in an attempt to intimidate. He has a bully's personality, and he is not too bright. Let us not forget his history of plagiarism.

He and Obama seemed to have enjoyed killing "inferiors" around the world and they participated directly in the process of selection of targets for Death by Drone. LBJ, another loathsome critter, picked individual bombing targets in VN, but I don't think he targeted individuals.

As Rall says, if Biden wins you will see a lot more patriotic Americans condemned to participate in Death by Biden. pl

Posted at 01:08 PM in Borg Wars , Policy | Permalink | Comments (11)


Deap , 13 July 2020 at 01:33 PM

our personally observed description of Biden is so far apart from the image the general public sees, and is not intentionally created for him in his campaign videos.

The reassuring, calm, magnanimous friendly uncle, not the crazy lady in the attic. I worry how this carefully scripted Biden imagery will play out in November, since everyone now has vivid impressions of media-filtered Trump in the raw.

Biden will never come out of his bunker - his handlers will not allow this. The medium is the massage. From the Selling of the President to Sequestering the President - our political journey into mass media comes full circle since TV's first Nixon vs Kennedy race in the 1960's.

J , 13 July 2020 at 04:43 PM

Colonel,

Since former VP Cheney is now among the Anti-Trump Lincoln Project, I imagine that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is most probably now an associate member in it's backdrop. Liz has been working fervently with Dem. (former Army Ranger with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan) Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) to keep U.S. bogged down in Afghanistan, and continue the Germany boondoggle. Although the Germany boondoggle had it's perks I have to admit, their beer, wine, food, and fests.

Crow/Cheney Amendment to the NDAA, appears that Crow and Cheney bought into the bogus GRU bounty crap.

One would think that since Rep. Crow ate sand in both sandboxes, he'd want everybody out of there, but I guess since his arse isn't on the firing line anymore he could give a crap about other people's children.

Harry , 13 July 2020 at 05:23 PM

Disconcerting.

I was already had a bad opinion of Mr. Biden. Your testimony has made it worse.

Eric Newhill , 13 July 2020 at 05:58 PM

Sir,

Interesting and useful information. Trump will be wise to use it. Americans are not eager for more senseless war. And there is the whole "racism" facet to the wars and killings that could be played up in this weird over-sensitive climate.

Another problem with Biden - one of them at least - that all of the stupid talking heads ignore is that he has been in govt so long and is running on a campaign of fixing alleged problems that have allegedly existed for years. Why didn't he just tell Obama how to fix things? Trump will ask him that if given a chance. If not given a chance, Trump will simply state it in campaign ads and viewers will say, "Hmmm. Yeah really!".

Polish Janitor , 13 July 2020 at 06:36 PM

Col. Lang,

The way I see the foreign policy establishment is based on how best and most efficient the dual goal of 1. spread of democracy and 2. the building a military forts in the targeted country can be achieved. There are 3 camps which formulate their own ideas of how this goal can be achieved and that they operate basically like cartels (call it foreign policy cartels if you will). Each have their competing templates based on which they conceptualize their doctrines and depending on which administration is in power their doctrines will ultimately find their ways to the W.H.; for the purpose of simplification allow me define these camps by their template doctrines:

  1. Wilson Doctrine (as the main template) with variations derived from it as the following: Truman Doctrine, Kennedy Doctrine, Carter Doctrine (Brzezinski Doctrine is a derivation), Clinton/Albright Doctrine, Bush Doctrine (Both Sr. and Jr.). This is the most powerful and bipartisan camp with regards to f.p.
  2. Reagan Doctrine (Main template) with variations as the following: Kirkpatrick Doctrine (Bolton and Pompeo Doctrine is modern day variation of Kirkpatrick's), Powell Doctrine, Trump Doctrine (if there's any...)
  3. Obama and Power Doctrine (as one main template), try to sell themselves as realist but they are quite interventionist and not conventionally but unconventionally. Think of NGOs, Civil Societies, non-state actors and of course the silicon valley and social media. the future foreign policy of the U.S. lies right here and Silicon Valley is a big part of it. No Direct military intervention, but mobilization of young naive people in targeted countries through social media and other methods to topple the incumbent government's institutions and the culture without firing a bullet. Basically they will do it for the u.s. policy makers, so no need for boots on the ground.

    Think of the Arab Spring wave in the M.E. Jared Cohen, a former State Dep. official is an architect. So is Susan Rice and Sam Power.

    Their model is S.Africa post apartheid. Their people in congress are the progressives and the so-called "Squad" quartet with more coming, think of jamal Malik. Watch them carefully. IMH when the times comes these will also become frenzied and as interventionist as neocons during W's tenure, but very cunningly. During the Floyd riots, america experienced some of this F.P. domestically, and it is very chaotic and anti-institutional in their methods.

Notable mention: Realist Doctrine (Kissinger, Scowcroft, Nixon and Powell Doctrines) is no longer represented in the new F.P. oracle.

Which brings us to Joe Biden: I consider Biden as part of the 1st group that still peddle the joint neoconservative+liberal democratic template of the new world order, NATO, maintaining and spreading liberal int'l institutions, keeping troops in Afgh. and Iraq to do social engineering with the help of EU which is not going anywhere btw. So anything other than their views are not allowed at all as F.P.

Strangely the 1st group are rather soft on China and were the faction responsible for making China a godzilla by opening up western markets to China (1990s and early 2000s) with the hope that once it is economically liberal somehow magically it would automatically transform into a liberal democracy of Washington's desire.

Compared to the 2nd group, the 1st group except for condemning China's human rights record and related issues, are concerned mostly with transforming China politically and do not share the holistic view of the 2nd camp that view China as America's new strategic foe in the long term. While the 1st are extremely hawkish on Russia and Iran (anti-authoritarianism) and economical with their condemnation of China, the 2nd camp is quite hawkish on China and Iran and moderately hawkish on Russia (Anti-totaliratianism).

Interestingly, the 3rd camp are modestly pro-China and again for obvious reasons which do not need further elaboration.

The biggest thing IMO on the horizon for the U.S. policy makers is the China question and more specifically, how will Biden define the China policy? Will his pick for the VP (assuming "SHE" will be mostly belonging to the 3rd camp) define China policy, or the good 'ol liberal democratic+ neocons define it for him as they have been doing so far? or the new formula of the convergence of 1st and 3rd camp for a new foreign policy globally?

P.S.
I remember reading one of your past posts about your memory of a meeting with Biden and how rude and crude Joe Biden's F.P. views were and how one of his aides (whisperers?) would literally dictate his talking points to him...

upstater , 13 July 2020 at 06:43 PM

As Jim Kunstler wrote today, "Joe Biden is an obvious stalking horse for something more sinister."

How about Susan Rice as a IDpol check-the-boxes VP and Samantha Power at State. R2P on steroids. Create several dozen Ukraines, Libyas and Syrias.

Trump has proven himself to be a great disappointment and a weak leader. But an HRC-like bunch threatens nuclear war.

Effinghell , 13 July 2020 at 06:46 PM

300 odd million people and those two are the best you can come up with..truely incredible. That said, as a Brit, I would still back Trump over Biden. How Trump handles the incoming bad news (for him) will be key.

Vegetius , 13 July 2020 at 08:58 PM

Other than cutting off all aid to parasite clients, dronestriking cartel leaders, and possibly invading Canada to depose Trudeau and liberate Alberta, I support a less aggressive approach to our foreign policy.

Deap , 13 July 2020 at 09:03 PM

Biden's America: a black man reports on a BLM protest in Dallas, while he is trying to dine with family and friends - very candid and very worth watching. BLM infected with white Berniecrats - goal is to create chaos and then scream police brutality - all in one easy to follow video with an excellent ongoing commentary: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CChuSeWJxm5/?utm_source=ig_embed

Deap , 13 July 2020 at 09:08 PM

Trump is not a weak leader.

But he is weakened right now after 3.5 years of utter partisan garbage thrown at him. He will get his second wind. He deserves some down time right now before the big push to November. The zone will come.

The Silent Majority is not leaving him. But he does need some down time. True colors will be displayed to anyone who cannot grant him that.

akaPatience , 13 July 2020 at 10:17 PM

I suspect one big reason - and maybe the MAIN reason - for prolonging the irrational COVID-19 fear mongering is:

I'm not surprised to read the colonel's real-life personal impression of Biden. To me, he's let his mask slip enough times over the decades to reveal a bullying, high-handed and narrow-minded nature. Trump's a goy real estate developer based in NYC, a challenging occupation that probably accounts for much of his pugilistic demeanor.

[Jul 09, 2020] Neoliberal Dems support of black population is just a tactical trick: they despise rioters as pawns in the bigger game and are afraid of extremists in BLM

Highly recommended!
People vote their resentments as much as their wallets. Dems are fighting to create voting block that will lead them to the victory. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference as for the base of neoliberal Democrats.
People who think the Democratic Party is responsive to the concerns or interests of the poor and working classes are delusional, full stop. The Democrats are neoliberal sellouts to the financial oligarchy.
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And -- since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought -- the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. ..."
"... Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare. ..."
"... They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, "right wing populism" which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. ..."
"... This is Trump's mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. ..."
"... "Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities." ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 07.07.20 at 12:15 am

People vote with their wallets.

The answer is "not always" due to existence of "What's the matter with Kansas" effect.

People can and do vote against their economic interests, although this is more common for lower strata of population than for the elite.

This is the essence of the current play by the Neoliberal Democrats. Mike Whitney pointed out that their support of black population is just a tactical trick:

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public's attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain't what it used to be.)

The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And -- since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought -- the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate.

In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary's ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings

Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, "right wing populism" which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism.

This is Trump's mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities."

He than went off the rail, but still the part of his analysis reproduced above looks pretty prescient.

[Jul 07, 2020] I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am. ..."
Jul 07, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Andres 07.06.20 at 4:54 pm58

Chetan Murthy @48: "The Dems didn't lose working-class votes in 2016: the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter [or maybe it was average? In any case, not much difference.] What the Dems lost, was "white non-college-educated" voters. They retained working class voters of color."

I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that. What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am.

What I see is that U.S. voters are forced into a choice between a conservative center-right national-security party (Democrats) whose main virtues are that they are not fascist or racist and are willing to provide a basic welfare state safety net, though one not as extensive as in Europe. Opposed to them is a party whose ideology and behavior are degenerating into something combining the pre-conditions of fascism (e.g., pre-Great War Germany) and the 1860 secessionist South.

Changing this state of affairs is not something that will be accomplished by elections, but by large and sustained protest movements (think Occupy or BLM multiplied many times). The next few decades will be interesting, but not fun.

Orange Watch 07.06.20 at 5:40 pm (no link)

Chetan Murthy@48:

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. 43% of the US are non-voters. The median household income of non-voters is less than half of the median income of a Clinton voter (which was higher than the overall US median, albeit by less than the Trump median was). Clinton didn't lose in 2016 because of who voted as much as who didn't ; every serious analysis (and countless centrist screeds) since Trump's installation has told us that. Losing the working class doesn't require that the Republicans gain them; if the working class drops out, that shifts the electoral playing field further into the favor of politics who cater to the remaining voting blocks. Democrats playing Republican-lite while mouthing pieties about how they're totally not the party of the rich will always fare worse in that field than Republicans playing Republicans while mouthing pieties about how they ARE the party of the rich, but also of giving everyone a chance to make themselves rich. I know it's been de rigour for both Dems and the GOP to ignore the first half of Clinton's deplorable quote, but it truly was just as important as the half both sides freely remember. The Democrats have become a party of C-suite diversity, and they have abandoned the working class. And when their best pick for President's plenty bold plan for solving police violence is to encourage LEOs to shoot people in the leg instead of the chest (something that could only be said by a grifter or someone with more knowledge of Hollywood than ballistics or anatomy), the prospect of keeping the non-white portions of the working class from continuing to drop out is looking bleak.

MisterMr@49:

The traditional threading of that needle is to expand class-based analysis to more accurately reflect real-world political and economic behavior. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference.

[Jul 06, 2020] America's Two Right-Wing Parties Absurdly Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left By Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... This tactic of negatively associating Trump with communism and socialism, combined with the consistent pattern of attacking the president for being insufficiently warlike, would only work if it was directed at the members of a reactionary, jingoistic right-wing political ideology. And it does work, because that's exactly the ideology of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... So one of the innumerable insane developments of 2020 is that both of America's mainstream political parties are using different strategies to attack one another as being far-left extremists, which is absolutely bizarre since by global standards they are both very much right-wing parties. Neither party even has any interest in the basic social safety nets that are the norm in other developed nations, let alone wealth redistribution to end economic inequality, and are both as far as you can possibly get from having actual leftist goals like ending capitalism and worker ownership of the means of production. ..."
"... Both parties work to advance the interests of oligarchs, war profiteers and imperialist government agencies in more or less exactly the same way; all they did was shift the spectrum of acceptable debate to issues which powerful capitalists do not care about like gay marriage and unisex public toilets. So now mainstream "conservatives" think leftism means having pink hair and mainstream "liberals" think Trump supporters are useful idiots of the Kremlin, but in terms of actually challenging actual power there's not a bee's dick of difference between them. ..."
"... Noam Chomsky once said that "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum," and you really couldn't ask for a clearer illustration of this than the American political uniparty. People are encouraged by establishment narrative managers to squabble about inconsequential nonsense on the periphery with fever pitch intensity, and to never even think about addressing dynamics which would actually inconvenience the powerful like ending militarism, government opacity, or plutocracy. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jul 04, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It's insane that both U.S. mainstream political parties are attacking one another as being far-left extremists because by global standards they are both very much right-wing parties, says Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone CaitlinJohnstone.com

T he Biden campaign has a new Spanish-language ad out claiming that President Trump is cut from the same cloth as leftist leaders Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolas Maduro. This is not the first time the Biden campaign has done this, with the same comparison made to Spanish-speaking voters in Florida ads last month.

The hashtag #ComradeTrump is trending on Twitter as of this writing because a well-funded Super PAC run by never-Trump Republicans put out an appallingly stupid viral video featuring footage of Trump splashed with red hammer-and-sickle symbols interspersed with images of Soviet leaders while an English-captioned narrator gushes about Mother Russia's support for "Comrade Trump" in Russian. As of this writing the video has over two million views on Twitter alone.

This tactic of negatively associating Trump with communism and socialism, combined with the consistent pattern of attacking the president for being insufficiently warlike, would only work if it was directed at the members of a reactionary, jingoistic right-wing political ideology. And it does work, because that's exactly the ideology of the Democratic Party.

Trump, meanwhile, appears to have positioned his entire 2020 campaign around portraying his right-wing opponent as far left, spending the last month tweeting absurd statements like:

" Not only will Sleepy Joe Biden DEFUND THE POLICE, but he will DEFUND OUR MILITARY! He has no choice, the Dems are controlled by the Radical Left." " Sleepy Joe Biden will be (already is) pulled all the way Left." "Sleepy Joe Biden refuses to leave his basement "sanctuary' and tell his Radical Left BOSSES that they are heading in the wrong direction."

You've also got cartoonist/MAGA thought leader Scott Adams promoting the increasingly common belief there's going to be some kind of American Great Purge of Republicans by the radical left Democratic Party, claiming that "If Biden is elected, there's a good chance you will be dead within the year. Republicans will be hunted."

Yes Republicans, your very mainstream status quo ideology which challenges power in no meaningful way whatsoever is going to literally get you all murdered.

So one of the innumerable insane developments of 2020 is that both of America's mainstream political parties are using different strategies to attack one another as being far-left extremists, which is absolutely bizarre since by global standards they are both very much right-wing parties. Neither party even has any interest in the basic social safety nets that are the norm in other developed nations, let alone wealth redistribution to end economic inequality, and are both as far as you can possibly get from having actual leftist goals like ending capitalism and worker ownership of the means of production.

Whenever I say that America has two right-wing parties I always get Republican victims of the incredible shrinking Overton window sputtering in confusion and outrage because they believe people like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are far far far far far left communists. This is of course a total propaganda construct.

Both parties work to advance the interests of oligarchs, war profiteers and imperialist government agencies in more or less exactly the same way; all they did was shift the spectrum of acceptable debate to issues which powerful capitalists do not care about like gay marriage and unisex public toilets. So now mainstream "conservatives" think leftism means having pink hair and mainstream "liberals" think Trump supporters are useful idiots of the Kremlin, but in terms of actually challenging actual power there's not a bee's dick of difference between them.

This dynamic of attacking one another from the right and accusing the other party of being far left of course continues to move the US political spectrum further and further right while killing the possibility of any leftward movement, and that is of course by design.

Noam Chomsky once said that "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum," and you really couldn't ask for a clearer illustration of this than the American political uniparty. People are encouraged by establishment narrative managers to squabble about inconsequential nonsense on the periphery with fever pitch intensity, and to never even think about addressing dynamics which would actually inconvenience the powerful like ending militarism, government opacity, or plutocracy.

The Democratic and Republican parties can't even rightly be called different ideologies; sure they behave a bit differently in the same way a boxer uses his left jab and right cross in different ways, but just like a boxer's fists they are both used to advance the exact same agenda. In the case of the boxer it's knocking his opponent senseless, and in the case of the uniparty it's advancing the interests of oligarchy and imperialism.

That old saying that both parties are just two wings on the same bird is true, but it's a weird mutant bird with two right wings.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books " Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone " and " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

[Jul 06, 2020] The inevitable end of neoliberal Dems political dominance

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is a zugzwang for neoliberal Dems. Without working class votes they can't win. And those votes are lost. Clinton gambit that in Cola-Pepsi duopoly the working class has nowhere to go (because Republicans are ever worse) worked for a couple of decades but in 2016 suddenly stopped. They same happened in UK. And will soon happen in Germany as Merkel is history too: Biden without senility. ..."
"... We need to accept the fact that the Neoliberal Dems lost its key constituency and that limits their ability to win the political power. They can't even select a decent leader, because Biden as a party leader is a cruel joke. ..."
"... IMHO 20% of upper middle class is not enough as the key constituency simply because a part of this voter block belongs to Republicans (military middle class). And that essentially all what the neoliberal Dems, as "Republicans-lite" currently have. ..."
"... Although in 2020 they might have a unique chance due to Trump self-disintegration. But their ability to hold into minorities votes, while selling those minorities down the river is an aberration, so in this case in 2022 they might lose all the gains. ..."
"... Biden in a way symbolizes the crisis of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party really well: they have no future, only the past. ..."
"... It is July. By January 2021, the U.S. economy will have suffered a structural collapse in multiple sectors. That is the economic consequence of the pandemic. Restaurants, shopping malls, bars, colleges, hotels, airlines, cruise lines -- easily 15% of the workforce will be unemployed and another 25% seriously underemployed. ..."
"... For some reason, the main divide in politics today is a sort of culture war, and republicans and other right wing parties managed to present the traditionalist side of the culture war as the "working class" one, and therefore the other side as the evil cosmopolitan prosecco sipping faux leftish but in reality very snobbish one, so that they pretend that they are the working class party because of their traditionalist stance. ..."
"... But they aren't: already the fact that they blame "cosmopolitans" shows that they think in terms of nationalism (like Trump and his China virus), which is a way to deflect the attention from class conflict. ..."
"... This doesn't automatically mean that the Dems get the working class: what happens is that conservative vote is U shaped, they get a ton of votes from very low incomes, and a ton of votes from very high incomes, but few votes in the middle. ..."
"... it is still true that in the very low incomes Reps rake up a lot of votes (although, as for my previous comment, I think this is a case of false consciousness, aka they cling to their guns and their Bibles, aka they've been bamboozled). ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 07.05.20 at 10:36 pm ( 39 )

a party that is no longer of the working class is unlikely to pass legislation that benefits the working class.

This is an important point worth repeating again and again.

This is a zugzwang for neoliberal Dems. Without working class votes they can't win. And those votes are lost. Clinton gambit that in Cola-Pepsi duopoly the working class has nowhere to go (because Republicans are ever worse) worked for a couple of decades but in 2016 suddenly stopped. They same happened in UK. And will soon happen in Germany as Merkel is history too: Biden without senility.

Using "identity wedge" and amplifying the current riots is a desperate move of "substituting with minorities" the lost working class votes. They want to split the country in such a way that Republicans are in minority. Probably will not work as nationalism as a platform is on upswing now and Trump's "national neoliberalism" has some grass roots support even among the minorities, despite that his promises are all fake. Riots dramatically increased polarization and the result of this polarization are not necessary beneficial to neoliberal Dems.

We need to accept the fact that the Neoliberal Dems lost its key constituency and that limits their ability to win the political power. They can't even select a decent leader, because Biden as a party leader is a cruel joke. The fact that "there is no alternative" no longer holds -- the return (on a new level) to some form of the New Deal is clearly an alternative. The alternative that the majority of population wants.

All those neoliberal fairy tales about "free market" (can it exists with multinationals in power?), "personal responsibility" (which means unlimited ability of capital to eliminate decent jobs and replace them with perma-temps, or offshore them) and that "rising tide lifts all boats" no longer work. That's why Bezos supports BLM while paying below average to the workers in warehouses. He "feels the pain." ;-)

IMHO 20% of upper middle class is not enough as the key constituency simply because a part of this voter block belongs to Republicans (military middle class). And that essentially all what the neoliberal Dems, as "Republicans-lite" currently have.

Although in 2020 they might have a unique chance due to Trump self-disintegration. But their ability to hold into minorities votes, while selling those minorities down the river is an aberration, so in this case in 2022 they might lose all the gains.

Biden in a way symbolizes the crisis of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party really well: they have no future, only the past.

While Republicans now can play the nationalist card like in Weimar Germany. The recent riots play into their hands, and this effect will last till November.

bruce wilder 07.06.20 at 4:11 am (45 )

mainstream Democrats recognise the need for radical change, and Biden will align with the mainstream position as he always has done

You said you would leave this, your third assumption, to comments, so here is my comment.

The U.S. is in the midst of a deep legitimacy crisis and contrary to popular belief among liberals, it is not Trump particularly whose legitimacy is being called into question. Oh, sure, there have been relentless attacks on him -- from partisan opponents and from much of mainstream media -- but like the "anti-racism" of the recent protests -- much of it is dissembling and distraction. Charges of colluding with Putin to win the 2016 election turned out to be fake news -- rather obviously so from the beginning -- but a big enough mob went down that path with no self-awareness. I am not saying Trump is not an egregiously bad President; he is. But, notice please, before you go assuming that mainstream Democrats are going wake up in 2021 wanting to govern in the real world , that they have not shown much inclination toward truth-telling or critical realism these last 20 years.

It is July. By January 2021, the U.S. economy will have suffered a structural collapse in multiple sectors. That is the economic consequence of the pandemic. Restaurants, shopping malls, bars, colleges, hotels, airlines, cruise lines -- easily 15% of the workforce will be unemployed and another 25% seriously underemployed.

Did I mention that the U.S. is undergoing a legitimacy crisis?? Whose legitimacy is being called into question?

I would submit that the legitimacy of the elite professional and managerial classes is being called into question, for want of performance or any sense of responsibility. The urban PMC are the core constituency of the establishment Democratic Party. The vestigial working class elements and the ideological Left are distant memories and oppressed minorities seeking social justice, mere props. I would say the Party establishment is confident they can put the re-animated corpse of Biden into the White House. And look how gleefully they welcome Republican never-Trumpers into the clubhouse! If you were one of the fools and tools who thought Obama did not want Republicans to control Congress, you are getting another chance to see how the Obama Alumni Association works with the Lincoln Project, how happy they are to deliver the kind of policy that appeals to rich, old, suburban Republican women.

The thing is, the political classes -- the millionaire media pundits, the politicians, the lobbyists, the generals, the journamalists, the manipulative political operatives and propagandists, the pious policy "experts", the highly paid executives and financial managers running monopolies into the ground and non-profits into irrelevance -- they have enacted their neo-liberal agenda and it doesn't work.

We have just watched the once highly touted CDC completely botch the great Pandemic. They could not devise a test. They screwed up the rules on who could or should be tested. They lied early on about the need to wear masks. They staged a moral panic over a need for ventilators, when ventilators are a terrible therapeutic alternative. In the new Puritanism, they shut down public beaches but they watched passively as liberal heroes like Cuomo set off a holocaust by sending COVID-19 patients to nursing homes.

This in a country that cannot manufacture PPE. Or win a war. Trump, in his fumbling way, might get the U.S. out of Afganistan, but the NY Times -- who brought us WMD not that long ago -- reports the Russians are paying bounties on American soldiers killed. No report on the treatment of Julian Assange though. Boeing is going to get the 737 Max in the air real soon now. Citibank is borrowing at 0.03 from the Fed and lending to credit card users at 27% and may be insolvent.

So, let us assume the Democrats, after nominating an elderly sob who had a hand in the crime bill that gave the U.S. the highest incarceration rate in the world, the bankruptcy bill that saddled tens of millions with credit card and student debt that cannot be discharged, and every stupid war of the last nearly twenty years, will suddenly see the necessity of radical change. And, after making an alliance with conservative Republicans hostile to even Trump's fake populism in order to elect Biden, seeing the light on radical reform is so likely! So plausible.

And, what's the play? The carrot of bi-partisan cooperation coupled with the fearful stick of abolishing the filibuster someday somehow if they don't play nice. You do realize that only Republicans are allowed to manipulate the filibuster and only in ways that favor their agenda of, say, stacking the courts? And, the strategic vision? Reinforcing the Rube Goldberg contraption which is Obamacare? You do know Biden is on record as adamantly opposed to Medicare4all? And, that Medicaid is a need-based nightmare of controlled deprivation? In a country where public health is such a shambles that a pandemic is running out of control.

You can do better.

Chetan Murthy 07.06.20 at 6:45 am ( 48 )

likbez @ 39:

Without working class votes they can't win. And those votes are lost

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. The Dems didn't lose working-class votes in 2016: the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter [or maybe it was average? In any case, not much difference.] What the Dems lost, was "white non-college-educated" voters. They retained working class voters of color.

But hey, they don't count as working-class voters to you. Thanks for playing.

MisterMr 07.06.20 at 8:21 am ( 49 )

Two points:

  1. White collar are, by definition, working class, because they don't own the means of production. What I see is an opposition between blue collars and white collars, that are two wings of the working class, not that democrats are going against the working class.

    For some reason, the main divide in politics today is a sort of culture war, and republicans and other right wing parties managed to present the traditionalist side of the culture war as the "working class" one, and therefore the other side as the evil cosmopolitan prosecco sipping faux leftish but in reality very snobbish one, so that they pretend that they are the working class party because of their traditionalist stance.

    But they aren't: already the fact that they blame "cosmopolitans" shows that they think in terms of nationalism (like Trump and his China virus), which is a way to deflect the attention from class conflict.

    So comparatively the Dems are still the working class party, and the fact that some working class guys vote for trump sows that they suffer from false consciousness, not that the Dems are too right wing (the dems ARE too right wing, but this isn't the reason some working class guys are voting Trump).

  2. Neoliberalism and free markets are not the same thing, and furthermore neoliberalism and capitalism are not the same thing; at most neoliberalism is a form of unadultered capitalism. However since neoliberalism basically means "anti new deal", and new deal economies were still free market and still capitalist (we can call them social democratic, but in this sense social democracy is a form of controlled capitalism), it follows that the most economically successful form of capitalism and free markets to date is not neoliberalism.
MisterMr 07.06.20 at 8:30 am ( 50 )

@Chetan Murthy 48

"the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter"

This doesn't automatically mean that the Dems get the working class: what happens is that conservative vote is U shaped, they get a ton of votes from very low incomes, and a ton of votes from very high incomes, but few votes in the middle.

Since income distribution is pear shaped (there is more distance between high incomes and the median than between low incomes and the median) this still gives an higher average income than the Dem's base, but it is still true that in the very low incomes Reps rake up a lot of votes (although, as for my previous comment, I think this is a case of false consciousness, aka they cling to their guns and their Bibles, aka they've been bamboozled).

[Jul 04, 2020] The Return of the Neoliberal Interventionists and their alliance with Bush republicans by James W. Carden

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As Johnstone recounts, after the Cold War liberals became bewitched by the prospect of waging wars for humanitarian ends. A generation of journalists and foreign policy experts including Samantha Power, Christiane Amanpour, Jamie Rubin, and Christopher Hitchens, would make the Balkans a proving ground for their liberal theories of preventative war, in the process throwing the ancient and venerable tradition of St. Augustine's Just War theory on the trash heap and paving the way for what was to follow in the coming decades, including Iraq II, Libya, Syria and a global drone war and a "targeted" assassination program." Carden ..."
"... Ah, for the good old days when lefties could be treated as a deluded minority rather than a vanguard party of globalist imperialists. pl ..."
"... . While the former's rise in the Democratic Party led to the exodus of Neoconservatives (former Trotskyists, Socialist and Marxists) to the Conservative movement, the latter is also moving the New Democrats to the Right, but the problem is that the current Political Right is mostly controlled by the Trumpists so these New Democrat types (Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Menendez, Biden etc.) are stuck between a hard place and a rock. In other words we are seeing the tight squeezing of the New Democrats (Wall-Street, Tech, humanitarian intervention) by the radical left (Green New Deal, UBI) and by the angry Trumpists. ..."
"... Recently Sanders and the Democratic Socialists expressed their opposition to Bibi's planned annexation of West-bank and adjacent Palestinian enclaves and threatened to to cut-off the military aid to Israel if Bibi moved on with his plan. ..."
"... Judging by my observation, the current trend is the alliance between the NeverTrumpers (The Lincoln project, The Right Pac) like Bill Kristol and the Reagan-to-Bush-43-neoconservatives (most of whom were Reagan Democrats in the late 70s and 80s themselves so nothing new for them) to push Trump out of office in their view before the RNC in Aug and to make room for the New Democrats and also to restore their previous 20+ years of reigning over the Republican Party. If their plan becomes successful, in the post 2020 election we will see a political configuration resembling the 90s and early 2000s with one major difference which is the introduction of several, in my opinion less that 10 seats in the House reserved for the far-Left socialist Democrats. ..."
"... And in terms of Foreign policy, everyone will get happy and the Blob/Borg think tank class in D.C. will see business as usual ..."
Jul 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Only "a few decades ago, "the Left" was considered the center of opposition to imperialism, and champion of the right of peoples to self-determination."

Johnstone is part of a distinguished line of American expatriate writers, who, perhaps because of an objectivity conferred by distance, saw their country more clearly than many of their stateside contemporaries.

Members of the club include William Pfaff who for many years wrote from Paris and the longtime Asia correspondent Patrick Lawrence . The Paris based Johnstone brings a moral clarity to matters of war and peace that is, alas, too often absent from most contemporary foreign affairs writing. Its near total absence on the Left during the Trump years should be cause for reflection, and concern.

As Johnstone recounts, after the Cold War liberals became bewitched by the prospect of waging wars for humanitarian ends. A generation of journalists and foreign policy experts including Samantha Power, Christiane Amanpour, Jamie Rubin, and Christopher Hitchens, would make the Balkans a proving ground for their liberal theories of preventative war, in the process throwing the ancient and venerable tradition of St. Augustine's Just War theory on the trash heap and paving the way for what was to follow in the coming decades, including Iraq II, Libya, Syria and a global drone war and a "targeted" assassination program." Carden

---------------

Ah, for the good old days when lefties could be treated as a deluded minority rather than a vanguard party of globalist imperialists. pl

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/01/the-return-of-the-anti-antiwar-left/

exiled off mainstreet , 04 July 2020 at 03:36 PM

This is a serious article addressing a serious problem. If the "left" sells out on war issues as they have done the last 20 years or so, there is no pushback against the permanent war system. Those one-time leftists who have sold out are no longer really leftists, especially once they are relying on the corrupt permanent spy state for their information and support.

Polish Janitor , 04 July 2020 at 04:05 PM

Col Lang,

Interesting and correct observation. Allow me to throw in my own two cents with regards to the rise of what is defined as the "anti-Anti War left". I should note that there are eerily similar parralels between the rise of the New Left in the 60s that was the mix of socialist democrats, sexual revolutionaries, flower-power hippies, anti-imperialist/anti-war activists, and identitarianists (Huey Netwon, Cesar Chavez, MLK) etc. and today's BLM, Antifa, 'woke' types, third-gen feminists, broke millennials\

. While the former's rise in the Democratic Party led to the exodus of Neoconservatives (former Trotskyists, Socialist and Marxists) to the Conservative movement, the latter is also moving the New Democrats to the Right, but the problem is that the current Political Right is mostly controlled by the Trumpists so these New Democrat types (Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Menendez, Biden etc.) are stuck between a hard place and a rock. In other words we are seeing the tight squeezing of the New Democrats (Wall-Street, Tech, humanitarian intervention) by the radical left (Green New Deal, UBI) and by the angry Trumpists.

Just to give you one example, last week a prototype New Democrat and long time congressman (since 89) Elliot Engel of NY who fits well into this definition was defeated handily in the NY-16 primaries by the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed candidate, Jamal Bowman. Mr. Bowman, an African American is ideologically very similar to AOC, Tlaib, and Omar. He won on a platform of foreign policy endorsed by the left-zionists (ex-labor zionists) against the likudnik right-wing zionist of Engles' which is very interesting since, Engel has been known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and extremely pro-Israel and chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee recently.

Recently Sanders and the Democratic Socialists expressed their opposition to Bibi's planned annexation of West-bank and adjacent Palestinian enclaves and threatened to to cut-off the military aid to Israel if Bibi moved on with his plan.

Domestically, there are several seats up for re-election and especially two in Georgia and Arizona Senate whose pointed Republican candidates are in very shaky grounds versus their democratic challengers. What is clear is that the New Democrat platforms are no longer popular by the Democratic base and given recent events, it can be safely said that either the most law and order and Trumpian candidates will win or the Democratic socialists endorsed ones. So another problem for the New Dems.

Judging by my observation, the current trend is the alliance between the NeverTrumpers (The Lincoln project, The Right Pac) like Bill Kristol and the Reagan-to-Bush-43-neoconservatives (most of whom were Reagan Democrats in the late 70s and 80s themselves so nothing new for them) to push Trump out of office in their view before the RNC in Aug and to make room for the New Democrats and also to restore their previous 20+ years of reigning over the Republican Party. If their plan becomes successful, in the post 2020 election we will see a political configuration resembling the 90s and early 2000s with one major difference which is the introduction of several, in my opinion less that 10 seats in the House reserved for the far-Left socialist Democrats.

And in terms of Foreign policy, everyone will get happy and the Blob/Borg think tank class in D.C. will see business as usual as the Democratic Socialists will be "persuaded" to team up with the New Democrats with regards to sending Troops to conduct humanitarian intervention abroad (i.e. the Powell Doctrine) in exchange for domestic welfare programs, the NeverTrumpers and the Republican hawks (Cotton, Graham, Rubio, Cruz, etc.) will have war plans already written for them at AEI, Hudson and Heritage that focuses on China with the help of the New Democrats and probably the Far-left.


[Jul 03, 2020] Call me a dreamer: I would like to dream about any possibility to espace Cola-Pepsi duopoly of political parties in the USA

Highly recommended!
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mark2 , Jul 2 2020 18:58 utc | 29

Maybe it's time to form a new third major political party, directly opposing both Republican and Democratic party's.

Standing for true law and order, defunding the defense industry, and encouraging a peaceful multicultural society with peaceful cooperation between other countries.

OK call me a dreamer.

[Jun 28, 2020] Russian position for Start talks: "We don't believe the US in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever".

Highly recommended!
Jun 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

START. Talks began in Vienna with a childish stunt by the American side . I wouldn't expect any results: the Americans are fatally deluded . As for the Russians: " We don't believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever ".Russian has a word for that: недоговороспособны and it's characterised US behaviour since at least this event (in Obama's time). Can't make an agreement with them and, even if you do, they won't keep it.

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 23, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple. ..."
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
"... Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Jun 21, 2020] Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace'.

Highly recommended!
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78

Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?

In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.

[Jun 18, 2020] Populism vs. inverted totalitarism and the illusion of choice in the US elections

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics. ..."
"... "Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them." ..."
"... Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling. ..."
"... "If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy." ..."
"... We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism. ..."
"... "The significance of the African-American prison population is political," ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

...Inverted totalitarianism also "perpetuates politics all the time," Wolin said when we spoke, "but a politics that is not political." The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics.

"Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them."

Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling.

"If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy."

The result, he writes, is that the public is "denied the use of state power." Wolin deplores the trivialization of political discourse, a tactic used to leave the public fragmented, antagonistic and emotionally charged while leaving corporate power and empire unchallenged.

"Cultural wars might seem an indication of strong political involvements," he writes. "Actually they are a substitute. The notoriety they receive from the media and from politicians eager to take firm stands on nonsubstantive issues serves to distract attention and contribute to a cant politics of the inconsequential."

"The ruling groups can now operate on the assumption that they don't need the traditional notion of something called a public in the broad sense of a coherent whole," he said in our meeting. "They now have the tools to deal with the very disparities and differences that they have themselves helped to create. It's a game in which you manage to undermine the cohesiveness that the public requires if they [the public] are to be politically effective. And at the same time, you create these different, distinct groups that inevitably find themselves in tension or at odds or in competition with other groups, so that it becomes more of a melee than it does become a way of fashioning majorities."

In classical totalitarian regimes, such as those of Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. But "under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics -- and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."He continues: "The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

The corporate state, Wolin told me, is "legitimated by elections it controls." To extinguish democracy, it rewrites and distorts laws and legislation that once protected democracy. Basic rights are, in essence, revoked by judicial and legislative fiat. Courts and legislative bodies, in the service of corporate power, reinterpret laws to strip them of their original meaning in order to strengthen corporate control and abolish corporate oversight.

He writes: "Why negate a constitution, as the Nazis did, if it is possible simultaneously to exploit porosity and legitimate power by means of judicial interpretations that declare huge campaign contributions to be protected speech under the First Amendment, or that treat heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations as a simple application of the people's right to petition their government?"

Our system of inverted totalitarianism will avoid harsh and violent measures of control "as long as dissent remains ineffectual," he told me. "The government does not need to stamp out dissent. The uniformity of imposed public opinion through the corporate media does a very effective job."

And the elites, especially the intellectual class, have been bought off. "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system," Wolin writes. "No books burned, no refugee Einsteins."

But, he warns, should the population -- steadily stripped of its most basic rights, including the right to privacy, and increasingly impoverished and bereft of hope -- become restive, inverted totalitarianism will become as brutal and violent as past totalitarian states. "The war on terrorism, with its accompanying emphasis upon 'homeland security,' presumes that state power, now inflated by doctrines of preemptive war and released from treaty obligations and the potential constraints of international judicial bodies, can turn inwards," he writes, "confident that in its domestic pursuit of terrorists the powers it claimed, like the powers projected abroad, would be measured, not by ordinary constitutional standards, but by the shadowy and ubiquitous character of terrorism as officially defined."

The indiscriminate police violence in poor communities of color is an example of the ability of the corporate state to "legally" harass and kill citizens with impunity. The cruder forms of control -- from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass -- will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward. We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism.

"The significance of the African-American prison population is political," he writes. "What is notable about the African-American population generally is that it is highly sophisticated politically and by far the one group that throughout the twentieth century kept alive a spirit of resistance and rebelliousness. In that context, criminal justice is as much a strategy of political neutralization as it is a channel of instinctive racism."

[Jun 16, 2020] How Woke Politics Keeps Class Solidarity Down by GREGOR BASZAK

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Anti-racism as an ideology serves a perfect function for corporations that ultimately take workers for granted. ..."
"... Today, we find Lincoln statues desecrated . Neither has the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry , one of the first all-black units in the Civil War, survived the recent protests unscathed. To many on the left, history seems like the succession of one cruelty by the next. And so, justice may only be served if we scrap the past and start from a blank slate. As a result, Lincoln's appeal that we stand upright and enjoy our liberty gets lost to time. ..."
"... Ironically, this will only help the cause of Robert E. Lee -- and the modern corporations who rely on cheap, inhumane labor to keep themselves going. ..."
"... Before black slaves did this work, white indentured servants had. (An indentured servant is bound for a number of years to his master, i.e. he can't pack up and leave to find a new opportunity elsewhere.) ..."
"... But in the eyes of the Southern slavocracy, the white laboring poor of the North also weren't truly human. Such unholy antebellum figures as the social theorist George Fitzhugh or South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond urged that the condition of slavery be expanded to include poor whites, too. Their hunger for a cheap, subservient labor source did not stop at black people, after all. ..."
"... Always remember Barbara Fields's formula: The need for cheap labor comes first; ideologies like white supremacy only give this bleak reality a spiritual gloss. ..."
"... Michael Lind argues in his new book The New Class War that many powerful businesses in America today continue to rely on the work of quasi indentured servants. Hungry for unfree, cheap workers, corporations in Silicon Valley and beyond employ tens of thousands of foreign workers through the H-2B visa program. These workers are bound to the company that provided them with the visa. If they find conditions at their jobs unbearable, they can't switch employers -- they would get deported first. In turn, this source of cheap labor effectively underbids American workers who could do the same job, except that they would ask for higher pay. ..."
"... We're getting turned into rats. Naturally, this is no fertile soil for solidarity. And with so many jobs precarious and subcontracted out on a temporary basis, there is preciously little that most workers can do to fight back this insidious managerial control. Free labor looks different. ..."
"... It's hard to come out of the 2020 primaries without realizing that the corporations that run our mainstream media will do anything to protect their right to abuse cheap labor. ..."
"... At this point in history, to the extent that black people suffer any meaningful oppression at all, its down to disproportionate poverty rates, not their racial background. ..."
"... I agree one hundred percent with your take on Biden. Let me add something else: he is a war hawk who not only voted for the Iraq war but used his position as the chairman of an important committee to promote it. ..."
"... Because of slavery alot of bad political policy was incorporated in the founding documents. If a police officer is about to wrongly arrest you because you are black , you do not care if his hatred stems from 400 years of discrimination against blacks. Rather you care that he won't kill you in this encounter because of his racism. ..."
"... Baszak believes racism has no life of its own, it exists only as a tool of the bosses. This is vulgar Marxism. At least since the decades after Bacon's Rebellion ended in 1677, poor whites have invested in white supremacy as a way of boosting their social status. Most Southern families owned no slaves, yet most joined the Civil War cause. ..."
"... They made a movie that beautifully touches this in the 1970s with Harvey Keitel and Richard Pryor called " Blue Collar ." ..."
"... "That's exactly what the company wants: to keep you on their line," says Smokey, the coolest and most strategically minded of the crew. "They'll do anything to keep you on their line. They pit the lifers against the new boys, the old against the young, the black against the white -- everybody -- to keep us in our place." ..."
"... The core thesis in this piece is the animating foundation of The Hill's political talk show "Rising." Composed of a populist Bernie supporter (Krystal Ball) and populist conservative (Saagar Enjeti) as hosts, they frequently highlight the purpose of woke cultural battles is to distract everyone for their neoliberal economic models ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Anti-racism as an ideology serves a perfect function for corporations that ultimately take workers for granted.

Former injured Amazon employees join labor organizers and community activists to demonstrate and hold a press conference outside of an Amazon Go store to express concerns about what they claim is the company's "alarming injury rate" among warehouse workers on December 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On April 2, 1865, in the dying days of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln wandered the streets of burnt out Richmond, the former Confederate capital. All of a sudden, Lincoln found himself surrounded by scores of emancipated men and women. Here's how the historian James McPherson describes the moving episode in his magisterial book Battle Cry of Freedom :

Several freed slaves touched Lincoln to make sure he was real. "I know I am free," shouted an old woman, "for I have seen Father Abraham and felt him." Overwhelmed by rare emotions, Lincoln said to one black man who fell on his knees in front of him: "Don't kneel to me. That is not right. You must kneel to God only, and thank Him for the liberty you will enjoy hereafter."

Lincoln's legacy as the Great Emancipator has survived the century and a half since then largely intact. But there have been cracks in this image, mostly caused by questioning academics who decried him as an overt white supremacist. This view eventually entered the mainstream when Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote misleadingly in her lead essay to the "1619 Project" that Lincoln "opposed black equality."

Today, we find Lincoln statues desecrated . Neither has the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry , one of the first all-black units in the Civil War, survived the recent protests unscathed. To many on the left, history seems like the succession of one cruelty by the next. And so, justice may only be served if we scrap the past and start from a blank slate. As a result, Lincoln's appeal that we stand upright and enjoy our liberty gets lost to time.

Ironically, this will only help the cause of Robert E. Lee -- and the modern corporations who rely on cheap, inhumane labor to keep themselves going.

***

The main idea driving the "1619 Project" and so much of recent scholarship is that the United States of America originated in slavery and white supremacy. These were its true founding ideals. Racism, Hannah-Jones writes, is in our DNA.

Such arguments don't make any sense, as the historian Barbara Fields clairvoyantly argued in a groundbreaking essay from 1990. Why would Virginia planters in the 17th century import black people purely out of hate? No, Fields countered, the planters were driven by a real need for dependable workers who would toil on their cotton, rice, and tobacco fields for little to no pay. Before black slaves did this work, white indentured servants had. (An indentured servant is bound for a number of years to his master, i.e. he can't pack up and leave to find a new opportunity elsewhere.)

After 1776 everything changed. Suddenly the new republic claimed that "all men are created equal" -- and yet there were millions of slaves who still couldn't enjoy this equality. Racism helped to square our founding ideals with the brute reality of continued chattel slavery: Black people simply weren't men.

But in the eyes of the Southern slavocracy, the white laboring poor of the North also weren't truly human. Such unholy antebellum figures as the social theorist George Fitzhugh or South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond urged that the condition of slavery be expanded to include poor whites, too. Their hunger for a cheap, subservient labor source did not stop at black people, after all.

Always remember Barbara Fields's formula: The need for cheap labor comes first; ideologies like white supremacy only give this bleak reality a spiritual gloss.

The true cause of the Civil War -- and it bears constant repeating for all the doubters -- was whether slavery would expand its reach or whether "free labor" would reign supreme. The latter was the dominant ideology of the North: Free laborers are independent, self-reliant, and eventually achieve economic security and independence by the sweat of their brow. It's the American Dream. But if that is so, then the Civil War ended in a tie -- and its underlying conflict was never really settled.

***

Michael Lind argues in his new book The New Class War that many powerful businesses in America today continue to rely on the work of quasi indentured servants. Hungry for unfree, cheap workers, corporations in Silicon Valley and beyond employ tens of thousands of foreign workers through the H-2B visa program. These workers are bound to the company that provided them with the visa. If they find conditions at their jobs unbearable, they can't switch employers -- they would get deported first. In turn, this source of cheap labor effectively underbids American workers who could do the same job, except that they would ask for higher pay.

America's wealth rests on this mutual competition between workers -- some nominally "free," others basically indentured -- whether it be through unjust visa schemes or other unfair managerial practices.

Remember that the next time you read a public announcement by the Amazons of this world that they remain committed to "black lives matter" and similar identitarian causes.

Fortunately, very few Americans hold the same racial resentments in their hearts as their ancestors did even just half a century ago. Rarely did we agree as much than when the nation near unanimously condemned the death of George Floyd at the hands of a few Minneapolis police officers. This is in keeping with another fortunate trend: Over the last 40 years, the rate of police killings of young black men declined by 79% percent .

But anti-racism as an ideology serves a perfect function for our corporations, even despite the evidence that people in this country have grown much less bigotted than they once were: As a management tool, anti-racism sows constant suspicion among workers who are encouraged to detect white supremacist sentiments in everything that their fellow workers say or do.

We're getting turned into rats. Naturally, this is no fertile soil for solidarity. And with so many jobs precarious and subcontracted out on a temporary basis, there is preciously little that most workers can do to fight back this insidious managerial control. Free labor looks different.

And so, through a surprising back door, the true cause for which Robert E. Lee chose to betray his country might still be coming out on top, whether we remove his statues or not -- namely, the steady supply to our ruling corporations of unfree workers willing to hustle for scraps.

It's time to follow Abraham Lincoln's urging and get off our knees again. We should assert our rights as American citizens to live free from economic insecurity and mutual resentment. The vast majority of us harbor no white supremacist views, period. Instead, we have so many more things in common, and we know it.

Another anecdote from the last days of the Civil War, also taken from Battle Cry of Freedom, might prove instructive here: The surrender of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865 essentially ended the Civil War. The ceremony was held with solemn respect for Lee, though one of Grant's adjutants couldn't help himself but have a subtle dig at Lee's expense:

After signing the papers, Grant introduced Lee to his staff. As he shook hands with Grant's military secretary Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian, Lee stared a moment at Parker's dark features and said, "I am glad to see one real American here." Parker responded, "We are all Americans."

Gregor Baszak is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a writer. His articles have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, Spectator USA, Spiked, and elsewhere. Follow Gregor on Twitter at @gregorbas1.


Megan S 15 hours ago

It's a bit off-topic but this is a big reason I supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary this year, he was the only candidate talking about how businesses demand that cheap labor, illegal labor, replace American labor. For this, the corporate media called him a racist, an anti-semite, a dangerous radical. None of his opponents aside from Elizabeth Warren had anything to run on aside from pseudo-woke touchy-feely bs. And somehow, with the media insisting that Joe Biden was the only one who could beat Trump, we ended up with the one candidate who was neither good on economics, good for American workers, or offering platitudes about wokeness.

It's hard to come out of the 2020 primaries without realizing that the corporations that run our mainstream media will do anything to protect their right to abuse cheap labor.

JonF311 Victor_the_thinker 8 hours ago

Racism is very real. If it weren't it couldn't be used to "divide and conquer" the working calss. we can walk and chew gum and the same time: oppose racism, and also oppose exploitive labor practices.

Bureaucrat Victor_the_thinker an hour ago • edited

What kind of polemic, unsupported statement is "black fast food workers are the ones who gave us the fight for $15"? How about it was a broad coalition of progressives (of all colors)? Moreover, $15 minimum wage is a poor, one-size-fits-all band-aid that I doubt even fits ONE scenario. Tackling the broader shareholder capitalism model of labor arbitrage (free trade/mass immigration), deunionization, and monopolistic hurdles drafted by corporations is where it actually matters. And on that, we are seeing the inklings of a populist left-right coalition -- if corporate-funded race hustlers could only get out of the way.

Bureaucrat JonF311 2 hours ago • edited

That's the problem. We CAN'T chew gum and walk at the same time. Every minute focusing on racial friction is a minute NOT talking about neoliberal economics. What's the ratio of air time, social media discussion, or newspaper inches are devoted to race vis-a-vis the economic system that has starved the working class -- which is disproportionately black and brown? 10 to 1? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1? If there are no decent working class jobs for young black and brown men, then it makes it nearly impossible to raise families. Let's be clear: Systemic racism is real, but it is far less impactful than economic injustices and family dissolution.

Selvar Victor_the_thinker 33 minutes ago • edited

Class really isn't the primary issue for black people.

That's a frankly ridiculous statement. At this point in history, to the extent that black people suffer any meaningful oppression at all, its down to disproportionate poverty rates, not their racial background. No one--except a few neurotic, high-strung corporate HR PMC types--cares about "microaggressions". Even unjust police shootings of blacks are likely down to class and not race--despite the politically correct narrative saying otherwise.

Putting racial identity politics as an equal (or even greater) priority than class-based solidarity creates an absurd system where an upper-middle class black woman attending Yale can act as if a working class white man is oppressing her by not acknowledging his "white privilege", and not bowing to her every demand. It's utterly delusional to think that sort of culture is going to create a more just or equal world.

joeo Megan S 9 hours ago shiva

Biden is a Rorschach test, people see whatever they want in a party apparatchik. Trump has been Shiva, the destroyer of the traditional Republican party. How else do you explain the support among Multi-Billionaires for the Democratic party. Truly ironic.

Jessica Ramer Megan S 8 hours ago

I agree one hundred percent with your take on Biden. Let me add something else: he is a war hawk who not only voted for the Iraq war but used his position as the chairman of an important committee to promote it. I understand that he still wants to divide Iraq into three separate countries--a decision for Iraqis to make and not us. If we try to implement that policy, it would doubtless lead to more American deaths--to say nothing of Iraqi deaths.

So not only is he not good for American workers, he is not good for the American soldier who is disproportionately likely not to be from the elite classes but rather from the working and lower-middle class.

The only other Democratic candidate who opposed war-mongering besides Sanders was Tulsi Gabbard. I watched CNN commentary after a debate in which she participated. While the other participants received lots of commentary from CNN talking heads. she got almost nothing. She was featured in a video montage of candidates saying "Trump"; other than that, she was invisible in the post-debate analysis.

Megan S Jessica Ramer 7 hours ago

I don't know how far it travelled outside of Democratic primary voters, but I recall Biden's campaign saying that they were planning to be sort of a placeholder that would pass the torch to the next generation. He's insinuated that he only wants to serve one term and saw jumping into the race as the only way to beat Trump. Not the most exciting platform for the Democrats to run on.

As depressing as this primary was, it's good to see that the rising generation of Democrats was resistant to platitudes and demanded actual policy proposals.

Shame the party elders fell for the same old tricks yet again. I just hope that once there are more of us, we can have a serious policy debate in both major parties about free trade, immigration, inequality. The parties' voters aren't all that far apart on economics, yet neither of us is being given what we want. Whichever party sincerely takes a stand for the American working class stands to dominate American politics for a generation.

kouroi Megan S 5 hours ago

"Shame the party elders fell for the same old tricks yet again."

Oops, they tripped, poor oldies, not good in keeping their balance, eh?!

Bureaucrat Megan S 2 hours ago • edited

The problem with Biden's "placeholder" comments is that he specifically mentioned it for Pete Buttigeig, the McKinsey-trained career opportunist who believes in his bones the same neoliberal economics and interventionist foreign policies as the last generation. Same bad ideas, new woke packaging.

Megan S Bureaucrat 2 hours ago

On the bright side, young people despise Buttigieg and his attempt to cast us all as homophobic didn't really catch on outside of corporate media.

Bureaucrat Megan S an hour ago

Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, both tops on the VP list, will do just fine in place of Buttigieg - he's slated to revive TPP as the new USTR cabinet lead.

kouroi 14 hours ago

And just like that Mr. Baszak has become the second favorite writer here at TAC, after Mr. Larison...

stephen pickard 9 hours ago

Because of slavery alot of bad political policy was incorporated in the founding documents. If a police officer is about to wrongly arrest you because you are black , you do not care if his hatred stems from 400 years of discrimination against blacks. Rather you care that he won't kill you in this encounter because of his racism.

To me, I have always thought that America's original sin was slavery. Its stain can not be completely wiped out.

And I further believe that if Native Americans would have enslaved the newly arrived Europeans, and remained the ruling majority, white people would be discriminated against today.

So the problem is not that white people are inherently evil, or other races are inherently good. It is that because of slavery black people are bad, white people are good.

As a nation we have never been able to wash out the stain completely. Never will. Getting closer to the promised land is the best we are going to do. Probably take another 400 years.

In everyday encounters no one cares how discrimination began, just treat me like you want to be treated. Pretty simple.

Randolph Bourne 2 hours ago

"As a management tool, anti-racism sows constant suspicion among workers who are encouraged to detect white supremacist sentiments in everything that their fellow workers say or do."

The author does not offer one smidgen of proof that any company uses antiracism to divide workers. It might be plausible that it's happened, but Baszak has no data at all.

Over the last 40 years, the rate of police killings of young black men declined by 79% percent.

You think this is an accident? It came about through intense pressure on the police to stop killing Black people -- exactly the sort of racial emphasis the author seems to be decrying. Important to note that the non-fatal mistreatment has remained high.

The need for cheap labor comes first; ideologies like white supremacy only give this bleak reality a spiritual gloss

Baszak believes racism has no life of its own, it exists only as a tool of the bosses. This is vulgar Marxism. At least since the decades after Bacon's Rebellion ended in 1677, poor whites have invested in white supremacy as a way of boosting their social status. Most Southern families owned no slaves, yet most joined the Civil War cause. The psychological draw of racism, its cultural strength, are obviated by Barszak. And I bet Barbara Fields does not consider racism an epiphenomenon of economics.

Bureaucrat 2 hours ago

They made a movie that beautifully touches this in the 1970s with Harvey Keitel and Richard Pryor called "Blue Collar."

"That's exactly what the company wants: to keep you on their line," says Smokey, the coolest and most strategically minded of the crew. "They'll do anything to keep you on their line. They pit the lifers against the new boys, the old against the young, the black against the white -- everybody -- to keep us in our place."

Bureaucrat an hour ago

The core thesis in this piece is the animating foundation of The Hill's political talk show "Rising." Composed of a populist Bernie supporter (Krystal Ball) and populist conservative (Saagar Enjeti) as hosts, they frequently highlight the purpose of woke cultural battles is to distract everyone for their neoliberal economic models -- a system that actually has greater deleterious impact on black communities.

This video is one recent example of what you'll rarely see in mainstream media:

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

[Jun 14, 2020] Trojan horse in BLM camp (superpredators in her terminology): With friends like Hillary (she pushed Joe Biden's 1994 Crime Bill), who needs enemies; she is simply salivating at another opportunity to take revenge on Trump

Highly recommended!
Neoliberalism promotes identity wedge to spit "despicable" in a classic startegy "devide and conqure".
Notable quotes:
"... She supported her husband and Joe Biden's 1994 Crime Bill that led to an explosion in mass incarceration across the country. ..."
Jun 14, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

The former New York senator published her thoughts on her on Medium blog , where she appeared to endorse the Black Lives Matter movement, something she has previously stayed well clear of doing. "George Floyd's life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor's lives mattered. Black lives matter," she began by stating.

"I promise to keep fighting alongside all of you to make the United States a place where all men and all women are treated as equals, just as we are and just as we deserve to be," she added, positioning herself on the same side as the protestors, many of whom are demanding the abolition of the police. Clinton commended the amazing "power of solidarity" she had seen and promised to "speak out against white supremacy in all its forms," declaring that America is long overdue for "an honest reckoning" with its racism problem.

However, an honest reckoning with Clinton's past unearths a myriad of troubling incidents and positions that are difficult to square with her newfound radical antiracist stance. She supported her husband and Joe Biden's 1994 Crime Bill that led to an explosion in mass incarceration across the country.

[Jun 14, 2020] The personalities of Trump and Biden no longer matter in 2020 elections: the level of polarization of the USA electorate is a more important factor now

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From this point of view the current situation is a mixed bag for Neoliberal Dems: protest are partially genuine protests against the level of inequality caused by neoliberalism, partially are an attempt to exploit legitimate grievances in order to topple Trump (CHAZ in Seattle looks like a kind of a new Maidan and clearly were at least partially city council and the governor supported.) ..."
"... The USA version of Hongweibings toppling statues definitely play into Trump hand: radicalization of protests gives Trump an advantage to present himself now as the only "law and order" candidate, the "Silent majority" candidate, a la Nixon. ..."
"... The key weakness of Neoliberal Democrats is the level of hypocrisy in their support of protests: Pelosi (and Schumer) looks like a wolf in sheep clothing donning African scarves. Along with Bill Clinton they did a lot to deprive Afro Americans of the social security benefits they enjoyed under the New Deal Capitalism, and putting them in jails for minor infractions with the law (Biden was the key player here) ..."
"... I would assume that the 2020 election will be a choice between two platforms, not between two candidates. And Trump now represents "law and order" platform. While Biden is forced to represent "change we can believe in" platform. And Democrats already burned all the bridges. ..."
Jun 14, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , June 14, 2020 10:31 pm

Trump is staggering. He's plunging in the polls, and his behavior has become erratic and unhinged. I don't mean he's being crude, infantile and wrapped in a world of fantasy -- he's always like that. Rather, I see him as suddenly incoherent, fumbling with threats and catchphrases as if he were locked out of his house at night, frantically trying one key after another to see if any will work.

I think the personalities of Trump and Biden no longer matter: the level of polarization of the USA electorate is a more important factor now.

In other words, the reaction to the protests of independents will determine the results on 2020 elections.

From this point of view the current situation is a mixed bag for Neoliberal Dems: protest are partially genuine protests against the level of inequality caused by neoliberalism, partially are an attempt to exploit legitimate grievances in order to topple Trump (CHAZ in Seattle looks like a kind of a new Maidan and clearly were at least partially city council and the governor supported.)

The USA version of Hongweibings toppling statues definitely play into Trump hand: radicalization of protests gives Trump an advantage to present himself now as the only "law and order" candidate, the "Silent majority" candidate, a la Nixon.

The key weakness of Neoliberal Democrats is the level of hypocrisy in their support of protests: Pelosi (and Schumer) looks like a wolf in sheep clothing donning African scarves. Along with Bill Clinton they did a lot to deprive Afro Americans of the social security benefits they enjoyed under the New Deal Capitalism, and putting them in jails for minor infractions with the law (Biden was the key player here)

One minor point: exaggerated threats is the way Trump operate. He like poker players use bluffing as a part of the political strategy. It's like he is trying to determine some limits for each situation and sense how far he can go, as well as putting the opponents off balance provoking them to overreact,. Then he retreats to a more reasonable position.

I would assume that the 2020 election will be a choice between two platforms, not between two candidates. And Trump now represents "law and order" platform. While Biden is forced to represent "change we can believe in" platform. And Democrats already burned all the bridges.

Please note that Biden political history is the history of a staunch neoliberal, completely hostile to the interests of the majority of the USA population and, especially, Afro Americans and white working class (aka deplorable). As such he will now look as hypocrite no matter what he say.

[Jun 13, 2020] Korea is just another distraction: false conflicts with China, North Korea, Russia and Iran are needed to keep support for MIC and Security State which cost 1.2 trillion a year

Highly recommended!
The saying "War is racket" means not only that conquered nations are loots, but the the USA taxpayers will be looted as well
Jun 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kay Fabe , Jun 13 2020 0:10 utc | 35
Just another distraction.

Heck US aircraft carriers used to visit HK quite often until recently, even after the hand over. They anchored in the harbor while thousands of sailors headed to the Wanchai bars, although after the hand over they anchored in a less visible part of the harbor. China didn't have a problem.

I doubt China sweats a couple of aircraft carriers when we have large bases in Japan and South Korea, not to mention Guam.

False conflicts with China, North Korea, Russia and Iran are needed to keep support for MIC and Security State which cost 1.2 trillion a year.

If the US were serious about confronting China there would be sanctions and not tariffs. China and US are partners. We sell them chips that they put in our electronics and sell to us, so we can spy on our people, and they test out our social control technology on their own people. They clothe us, sell cheap API's for drugs and they invest in treasuries and other US assets and we educate their young talent and give them access to our research and technology and fund some of their own research and share numerous patents

[Jun 10, 2020] The Democratic Party and Authentic Change

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face. ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.

[Jun 03, 2020] Dems ratpack of reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, and race hustlers is actually a fifth column for Trump re-election by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line? ..."
"... Probably the Russians are behind it. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

They're going to do it, I tell you: The whole touchy-feely do-gooding ratpack of Microaggression worriers, reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, race hustlers, bat.-Antifa psychos, and egalitarian enstupidators of universities. They are going to elect Trump. Again.

Washington, where I shortly will be for a bit, is crazy. It has not the slightest, wan, etiolated idea of what is going on in America. The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line?

Probably the Russians are behind it.

[Jun 03, 2020] The first rule of political hypocrisy: Justify your actions by the need to protect the weak and vulnerable

Highly recommended!
Jun 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

...If you bomb Syria, do not admit you did it to install your puppet regime or to lay a pipeline. Say you did it to save the Aleppo kids gassed by Assad the Butcher. If you occupy Afghanistan, do not admit you make a handsome profit smuggling heroin; say you came to protect the women. If you want to put your people under total surveillance, say you did it to prevent hate groups target the powerless and diverse.

Remember: you do not need to ask children, women or immigrants whether they want your protection. If pushed, you can always find a few suitable profiles to look at the cameras and repeat a short text. With all my dislike for R2P (Responsibility to Protect) hypocrisy, I can't possibly blame the allegedly protected for the disaster caused by the unwanted protectors.

[Jun 03, 2020] The Australian Government has made an ad about Preferential Voting, and it s surprisingly honest and informative.

Highly recommended!
Nice, really informative video ;-). Please please please, watch this video.
Fantastic video for understanding how two party system works
May 14, 2019 | twitter.com


jacob, 20h 20 hours ago

Gotta love their use of that "Mad Max: Fury Road" shot when they were talking about climate emergency Lol

James W. 20h 20 hours ago

It's an exceptional touch.

BuniculaTv 20h 20 hours ago

This perfectly explains the US voting system as well.

Jay Davies ‏ 24h 24 hours ago

Us Americans need this video shown on billboards across the country.

[Jun 03, 2020] Nine Reasons Why You Should Support Joe Biden For President by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Apr 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a video statement telling the American people that the accusations he is now facing of touching women in inappropriate ways without their consent is the product of changing "social norms", assuring everyone that he will indeed be adjusting to those changes.

And thank goodness. For a minute there, I was worried Biden might cave under the pressure of a looming scandal and decline to run for president on the grounds that it could cripple his campaign and leave America facing another four years of Donald Trump. Here are nine good reasons why I hope Joe Biden runs for president, and why you should support him too:

1. It's his turn.

It's Biden's turn to be president. He's spent years playing second fiddle while other leading Democrats hogged all the limelight, and that's not fair. He's been waiting very patiently. Come on.

2. Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

If Joe Biden secures the Democratic Party nomination for president, he would be the Most Qualified Candidate Ever to run for office. His service as a US Senator and a Vice President has given him unparalleled experience priming him for the most powerful elected office in the world. Everything Biden has done throughout his entire career proves that he'd make a great Commander-in-Chief.

3. He's closely associated with a popular Democratic president.

You think Biden, you think Obama. You think Obama, you think greatness. You can't spend that much time with a great Democratic president without absorbing his greatness yourself. It's called osmosis.

4. You liked Obama, didn't you?

Biden was part of the Obama administration. Remember the Obama administration? It was magical, right? If you want more of that, vote Biden.

5. But Trump!

Do you want Trump to win the next election? You know he'll shatter all our norms and literally end the world if he does, right? You should be terrified of the possibility of Trump winning in 2020, and if you are, you should want him running against Joe Biden. What's the alternative? Nominating some crazy unelectable socialist like Bernie Sanders? Might as well just hand Trump the victory now, then. Anyone who wants to beat Trump must fall in line behind the Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

6. Iraq wasn't so bad.

Okay, maybe some of his past foreign policy positions look bad in hindsight, but come on. Pushing for the Iraq war was what everyone was doing back in those days. It was all the rage. We all made it through, right? I mean, most of us?

7. This is happening whether you like it or not.

We're doing this. We're going to push Joe Biden through whether you like it or not, and we can do it the easy way or the hard way. Just relax, take deep breaths, and think about a nice place far away from here. Don't struggle. This will be over before you know it. We'll use plenty of lube.

8. Just vote for him.

Just vote for him, you insolent little shits. Who the fuck do you think you are, anyway? You think you're entitled to a bunch of ponies and unicorns like healthcare and drinkable water? You only think that because you're a bunch of racist, sexist homophobes. You will vote for who we tell you to or we'll spend the next four years calling you all Russian agents and screaming about Susan Sarandon.

9. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Honestly, what could possibly go wrong? It's not like the Most Qualified Candidate Ever could manage to lose an election to some oafish reality TV star. Hell, Biden could beat Trump in his sleep. He could even skip campaigning in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and still win by a landslide, because those states are in the bag. There's no way he could fail, barring some unprecedented and completely unforeseeable freak occurrences from way out of left field that nobody could possibly have anticipated.

[Jun 01, 2020] This is one war party -- war party, imperial party of militarism, conquest and killing of civilians

Highly recommended!
Jun 01, 2020 | www.antiwar.com

Antiwar.com contributing editor Danny Sjursen appeared for an extensive interview with Jimmy Dore:

https://youtu.be/VfmWC1bYUrc

[May 31, 2020] If Trump campaign manage to present elections as the choice "Republicans vs China" and "any vote for Democrats is a vote for China" he can win

Highly recommended!
May 31, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Originally from: Schlichter: This Election Is Republicans Versus China

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/31/2020 - 20:00 Authored by Kurt Schlichter, op-ed via Townhall.com,

It's pretty clear who the commie bastards known for their shoddy lab practices and their weird fetish for gnawing on pangolins badly want to win in November, and it's not Trump and the Republicans. The Chinese communists want their money's worth, and they will go all-in for the Democrats who find the chance to hurt Trump at the same time they hurt America too delicious to pass up. Plus, the Dems heartily approve of what Mao's Pals are doing to freedom-loving Hong Kongers, seeing it as a template for what they would love to do to freedom-loving us.

[May 31, 2020] We Are Combat Vets, and We Want America to Reboot Memorial Day by Matthew Hoh and Danny Sjursen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In recent years, U.S. troops were killed not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Syria, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen, and Niger. Few Americans could locate these countries on a map; fewer knew its soldiers fought there. Additionally, Pentagon pilots and proxies killed people in Libya, Pakistan, and elsewhere in West Africa without losing a single soldier. ..."
"... The campaigns in Somalia and Yemen best expose the absurd casualty inequity of modern American warfare. In the former, only a few U.S. service members have been killed in an 18-year intervention. Conversely, hundreds of thousands of Somalis died or were displaced as a direct or indirect result (an exacerbated famine , for example) of a largely U.S.-catalyzed war. In Yemen, just one American soldier died in combat, compared to more than 100,000 locals -- including 85,000 children starved to death -- in a terror campaign the Saudis couldn't wage without U.S. complicity . ..."
"... With unemployment sky-rocketing to Great Depression rates, and income inequality at Gilded Age levels , both holidays now "celebrate" egregious blood and treasure disparity. For example, sifting through the Department of Labor's statistics reveals that some 8,000 contractors have been killed in America's war zones. That outnumbers U.S. military fatalities. Since Washington has progressively privatized and outsourced its wars, perhaps Americans should also observe a Mercenary Memorial Day. ..."
"... Faced with unrecognizable brands of war, most people substitute nostalgia and myth. Grappling with war's reality has implications that are too disturbing. Far simpler and more satisfying is to commemorate long past sacrifices at Normandy and Iwo Jima, rather than more confounding losses in Niger and Iraq. The temptation persists even as the last World War II veterans pass; old notions of what combat is ..."
"... The United States has lost its ethical and strategic way. Riddled with a virus that has now killed more Americans than the Revolutionary, Mexican, Spanish, Indian, Philippine, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghan Wars combined , this nation requires serious soul-searching. Reimagining its bookended summer celebrations might be a good start; but it won't be easy. ..."
May 25, 2020 | www.motherjones.com

Pandemic or no, resilient Americans will celebrate Memorial Day together. Be it through Zoom or spaced six feet apart from ten or less loved ones at backyard cookouts, folks will find a way. In these peculiar gatherings, is it still considered cynical to wonder if people will spare much actual thought for American soldiers still dying abroad -- or question the utility of America's forever wars? Etiquette aside, we think it's obscene not to.

Just as the coronavirus has exposed systemic rot, this moment also reveals how obsolete common conceptions of U.S. warfare truly are -- raising core questions about the holiday devoted to its sacrifices. The truth is that today's " way of war " is so abstract, distant, and short on (at least American) casualties as to be nearly invisible to the public. With little to show for it, Washington still directs bloody global campaigns, killing thousands of locals. America has no space on its calendar to memorialize these victims: even the children among them.

"Just as the coronavirus exposed much internal systemic rot, this moment also reveals how obsolete common conceptions of U.S. warfare truly are."

Eighteen years ago, as a cadet and young marine officer, we celebrated the first post-9/11 Memorial Day -- both brimming with enthusiasm for the wars we knew lay ahead. In the intervening decades, for individual yet strikingly similar reasons, we ultimately chose paths of dissent. Since then, we've penned critical editorials around Memorial Days. These challenged the wars' prospects , questioned the efficacy of the volunteer military, and encouraged citizens to honor the fallen by creating fewer of them.

Little has changed, except how America fights. But that's the point: outsourcing combat to machines, mercenaries, and militias rendered war so opaque that Washington wages it absent public oversight or awareness -- and empathy. That's the formula for forever war.

In recent years, U.S. troops were killed not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Syria, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen, and Niger. Few Americans could locate these countries on a map; fewer knew its soldiers fought there. Additionally, Pentagon pilots and proxies killed people in Libya, Pakistan, and elsewhere in West Africa without losing a single soldier.

The campaigns in Somalia and Yemen best expose the absurd casualty inequity of modern American warfare. In the former, only a few U.S. service members have been killed in an 18-year intervention. Conversely, hundreds of thousands of Somalis died or were displaced as a direct or indirect result (an exacerbated famine , for example) of a largely U.S.-catalyzed war. In Yemen, just one American soldier died in combat, compared to more than 100,000 locals -- including 85,000 children starved to death -- in a terror campaign the Saudis couldn't wage without U.S. complicity .

No one wants to see American troops killed, but a death disparity so stark stretches classic definitions of combat. Yet for locals, it likely feels a whole lot like "real" war on the business end of U.S. bombs and bullets.

So this year, given the stark reality that even a deadly pandemic -- and pleas for global ceasefire -- hasn't slowed Washington's war machine, it's reasonable to question the very concept of Memorial Day. There are also important parallels with Labor Day -- the holiday bookend to today's seasonal kick off. Just as memorializing America's obscenely lopsided battle deaths is increasingly indecent, a federal holiday devoted to a labor movement the government has aggressively eviscerated is deeply troubling.

With unemployment sky-rocketing to Great Depression rates, and income inequality at Gilded Age levels , both holidays now "celebrate" egregious blood and treasure disparity. For example, sifting through the Department of Labor's statistics reveals that some 8,000 contractors have been killed in America's war zones. That outnumbers U.S. military fatalities. Since Washington has progressively privatized and outsourced its wars, perhaps Americans should also observe a Mercenary Memorial Day.

Widening the aperture unveils thousands more "non-combat" -- but war-related -- uniformed deaths in desperate need of memorializing. From 2006-2018 alone , 3,540 active-duty service members took their own lives -- just a fraction of the 15-20 daily veteran suicides -- and another 640 died in accidents involving substance-abuse. Each death is unique, but studies demonstrate that the combined effects of PTSD and moral injury -- these wars' " signature wound " -- contributed to this massive loss of life. On a personal level, at least four soldiers under our commands took their own lives, as have several friends. These are real folks who left behind real loved ones.

Faced with unrecognizable brands of war, most people substitute nostalgia and myth. Grappling with war's reality has implications that are too disturbing. Far simpler and more satisfying is to commemorate long past sacrifices at Normandy and Iwo Jima, rather than more confounding losses in Niger and Iraq. The temptation persists even as the last World War II veterans pass; old notions of what combat is die with them.

The United States has lost its ethical and strategic way. Riddled with a virus that has now killed more Americans than the Revolutionary, Mexican, Spanish, Indian, Philippine, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghan Wars combined , this nation requires serious soul-searching. Reimagining its bookended summer celebrations might be a good start; but it won't be easy.

In a new take on an old tradition, perhaps it's proper to not only pack away the whites, but don black as a memorial to a republic in peril.

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. He previously served in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer and contributing editor at antiwar.com . He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. He is the author of a memoir of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge .

[May 29, 2020] Trump's Tax Cuts Get an "F" for enriching the Globalist Elite by Michael Cuenco

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Instead of reining in the "globalist elites" he so vociferously ran against or those corporations "who have no loyalty to America," his one legislative achievement has been to award them a massive tax cut. Through it, he has maintained their favorite mix of low revenue intake and high deficits which gives Republicans a pretext to "starve the beast" and induce fiscal anorexia. ..."
"... Trump ran as a populist firebrand -- a fusion of Huey Long and Ross Perot -- and while he never abandoned that style, he has governed for the most part as a milquetoast free market Republican in perfect tandem with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, one whose solution to everything is more tax cuts and deregulation: a kind of turbo-charged "high-energy Jeb." ..."
"... With the outbreak of COVID-19, many on the reformist right are hoping for the emergence of the President Trump they thought they were promised, a leader just as ready to break out of the donor-enforced "small government" straitjacket while in power as he was during the campaign. ..."
"... The heightened rhetoric against China will continue -- the one thing Trump is good at -- but it is unlikely to be matched with the required policy ..."
"... If neoliberalism excused inequality at home by extolling the equalization of incomes across the globe (millions of Chinese raised from poverty, while millions of American workers fall back into it!), the new position must shift emphasis back to ensuring a more equitable domestic distribution of wealth and opportunity across all classes and communities in this country. ..."
"... It is worth pondering what might have happened if the administration had gone the other way and followed the last piece of policy advice given by Steve Bannon before his ouster in August 2017. Bannon suggested raising the top marginal income tax rate to 44 percent while "arguing that it would actually hit left-wing millionaires in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood." ..."
"... It might well have put Trump on the path to becoming what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed as a model for Richard Nixon when he gifted the 37th president a biography of Disraeli, namely a Tory Republican who could outsmart the left by crafting broad popular coalitions based on a blending of patriotic cultural conservatism with class-conscious economic and social policy. ..."
"... Then and even more so now, the idea resonates: a Reuters/Ipsos poll from January found that 64 percent of Americans support a wealth tax, a majority of Republicans included. Poll after poll has reaffirmed this. It seems as if there is right-wing populist support for taxing the rich more. ..."
"... There is one more thing to be said about the significance of taxing the rich. Up until very recently, there has been a prevailing tendency among the reformist right (with some important exceptions) to couch criticism of the elites primarily or even exclusively in cultural terms. There seems to have been a polite hesitation at taking the cultural critique to its logical economic conclusions. It is easy to excoriate the excesses of elite identity politics, the "woke" part of woke capitalism; it's something all conservatives -- and indeed growing numbers of liberals and socialists -- agree on. Fish in a barrel. ..."
"... But to challenge the capitalism part, i.e. free market orthodoxy, not in a secondary or tertiary way, but head on and in specific policy terms as Lofgren and a few others have done, would involve confronting difficult truths, namely that the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts and Reaganite economic policy in general, which most conservatives enthusiastically promoted for four decades, are the selfsame decadent coastal elites they claim to oppose. It is they who more than anyone else thrive on financialized globalization, arbitrage and offshoring. ..."
"... In other words, it amounts to an honest recognition of the complicity of conservatism in the mess we're in, which is perhaps a psychological bridge too far for too many on the right, reformist or not. (Trigger Warning!) This separation of culture and economics has led to the farce of a self-styled nationalist president lining the pockets of his nominal enemies, the globalist ruling class. ..."
"... A conservative call to tax the rich would signal that the right is ready to end this charade and chart a course toward a more patriotic, public-spirited and yes, proudly hyphenated capitalism. ..."
"... Michael Cuenco is a writer on politics and policy. He has also written for American Affairs. ..."
May 26, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?

Much has been written about the disappointment of certain segments of the right in the apparent capitulation of Donald Trump to the agenda of the conservative establishment.

Instead of reining in the "globalist elites" he so vociferously ran against or those corporations "who have no loyalty to America," his one legislative achievement has been to award them a massive tax cut. Through it, he has maintained their favorite mix of low revenue intake and high deficits which gives Republicans a pretext to "starve the beast" and induce fiscal anorexia.

The president has granted them as well their ideal labor market through an ingenious formula: double down on mostly symbolic raids (as opposed to systemic solutions like Mandatory E-Verify) and ramp up the rhetoric about "shithole countries" to distract the media, but keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby.

Trump ran as a populist firebrand -- a fusion of Huey Long and Ross Perot -- and while he never abandoned that style, he has governed for the most part as a milquetoast free market Republican in perfect tandem with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, one whose solution to everything is more tax cuts and deregulation: a kind of turbo-charged "high-energy Jeb."

With the outbreak of COVID-19, many on the reformist right are hoping for the emergence of the President Trump they thought they were promised, a leader just as ready to break out of the donor-enforced "small government" straitjacket while in power as he was during the campaign.

Despite signs of progress, what's more likely is a return to business as usual. Already the GOP's impulse for austerity and parsimony is proving to be stronger than any willingness to think and act outside the box.

The heightened rhetoric against China will continue -- the one thing Trump is good at -- but it is unlikely to be matched with the required policy, such as a long-term plan to reshore U.S. industry (that doesn't just rely on blindly giving corporations the benefit of the doubt). At this point, we already know where the president's priorities lie when given a choice between the advancement of America's workers or continued labor arbitrage and carte blanche corporate handouts.

Lest they be engulfed by it like everyone else, the reformist right should ask: is there any way to stand athwart the supply-side swamp yelling Stop?

Many of these conservatives lament the Trump tax cut not just because it was a disaster that failed to spark reinvestment, left wages stagnant, needlessly blew up the deficit and served as a slush fund for stock buybacks, but more fundamentally because it betrayed the overwhelming intellectual inertia and lack of imagination that characterizes conservative policymaking.

More than in any other issue then, a distinct position on taxes would make the new conservatism truly worth distinguishing from the old: tax cuts were after all the defining policy dogma of the neoliberal Reagan era.

If neoliberalism excused inequality at home by extolling the equalization of incomes across the globe (millions of Chinese raised from poverty, while millions of American workers fall back into it!), the new position must shift emphasis back to ensuring a more equitable domestic distribution of wealth and opportunity across all classes and communities in this country.

A reformulation of fiscal policy along populist economic nationalist lines can help with that.

It is worth pondering what might have happened if the administration had gone the other way and followed the last piece of policy advice given by Steve Bannon before his ouster in August 2017. Bannon suggested raising the top marginal income tax rate to 44 percent while "arguing that it would actually hit left-wing millionaires in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood."

Such a move would have been nothing short of revolutionary: it would have been a faithful and full-blown expression of the populist economic nationalism Trump ran on; it would have presented a genuine material threat to the elite ruling class of both parties, and likely would have pre-empted the shock value of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposing a 70 percent top marginal rate.

It might well have put Trump on the path to becoming what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed as a model for Richard Nixon when he gifted the 37th president a biography of Disraeli, namely a Tory Republican who could outsmart the left by crafting broad popular coalitions based on a blending of patriotic cultural conservatism with class-conscious economic and social policy.

Not that Trump would have needed to go back to Nixon or Disraeli for instruction on the matter. In 1999, long before Elizabeth Warren came along on the national scene, a presidential candidate eyeing the Reform Party nomination contemplated the imposition of a 14.25 percent wealth tax on America's richest citizens in order to pay off the national debt: his name was Donald Trump.

What ever happened to that guy? The Trump of 1999 was onto something. Maybe this could be a way to deal with our post-pandemic deficits.

Then and even more so now, the idea resonates: a Reuters/Ipsos poll from January found that 64 percent of Americans support a wealth tax, a majority of Republicans included. Poll after poll has reaffirmed this. It seems as if there is right-wing populist support for taxing the rich more.

To the common refrain, "the rich are just going to find ways to shelter their income or relocate it offshore," I have written elsewhere about the concrete policy measures countries can and have taken to clip the wings of mobile global capital and prevent such an outcome.

I have written as well about how taxing the rich and tightening the screws on tax enforcement have implications that go beyond the merely redistributive approach to fiscal policy conventionally favored by the left; about how it can be a form of leverage against an unaccountable investor class used to shopping at home and abroad for the most opaque assets in which to hoard vast amounts of essentially idle capital.

A deft administration would use aggressive fiscal policy as an inducement for this irresponsible class to make things right by reinvesting in such priorities as the wages and well-being of workers, the vitality of communities, the strength of strategic industries and the productivity of the real economy – or else Uncle Sam will tax their wealth and do it for them.

It would also be an assertion of national sovereignty against globalization's command for countries to stay "competitive" by immiserating their citizens with ever-lower taxes on capital holders and ever more loose and "flexible" labor markets in a never-ending race to the bottom.

Mike Lofgren has penned a marvelous essay in these pages about the virtual secession of the rich from the American nation, "with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility."

What better way to remind them that they are still citizens of a country and members of a society -- and not just floating streams of deracinated capital -- than by making them perform that most basic of civic duties, paying one's fair share and contributing to the commonweal? America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome.

There is one more thing to be said about the significance of taxing the rich. Up until very recently, there has been a prevailing tendency among the reformist right (with some important exceptions) to couch criticism of the elites primarily or even exclusively in cultural terms. There seems to have been a polite hesitation at taking the cultural critique to its logical economic conclusions. It is easy to excoriate the excesses of elite identity politics, the "woke" part of woke capitalism; it's something all conservatives -- and indeed growing numbers of liberals and socialists -- agree on. Fish in a barrel.

But to challenge the capitalism part, i.e. free market orthodoxy, not in a secondary or tertiary way, but head on and in specific policy terms as Lofgren and a few others have done, would involve confronting difficult truths, namely that the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts and Reaganite economic policy in general, which most conservatives enthusiastically promoted for four decades, are the selfsame decadent coastal elites they claim to oppose. It is they who more than anyone else thrive on financialized globalization, arbitrage and offshoring.

In other words, it amounts to an honest recognition of the complicity of conservatism in the mess we're in, which is perhaps a psychological bridge too far for too many on the right, reformist or not. (Trigger Warning!) This separation of culture and economics has led to the farce of a self-styled nationalist president lining the pockets of his nominal enemies, the globalist ruling class.

Already, the White House is proposing yet another gigantic corporate tax cut. Using the exact same discredited logic as the last one, senior economic advisor Larry Kudlow wants Americans to trust him when he says that halving the already lowered 2017 rate to 10.5 percent will encourage these eminently reasonable multinationals to reinvest. There he goes again.

A conservative call to tax the rich would signal that the right is ready to end this charade and chart a course toward a more patriotic, public-spirited and yes, proudly hyphenated capitalism.

Michael Cuenco is a writer on politics and policy. He has also written for American Affairs.


Kent 3 days ago

"America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome."

Those tax rates were offset by direct investment in the US economy. So if I invested in the stock market, I'd get a 90% tax rate because that doesn't produce actual wealth. On the other hand, if I invested in building factories that created thousands of jobs for American citizens, my tax rate may fall to 0%. And those policies created a fantastic economy that we oldsters remember as the golden age. That wasn't bolshevism, it was competitive capitalism. What we have today is libertarianism. And as long as conservatives are going to let the libertarian boogey-man's nose under the tent, we are going to have this ugly, bifurcated economy. Your choice. Man up.

Winston Nevis Kent 3 days ago • edited
You ever tell hear of sarcasm, bud? I think that's what the author was going for. Don't think he was trying to say that Ike and Truman were Bolsheviks but was rather making fun of libertarians who hyperbolically associate high tax rates with socialism and Soviet Communism...
K squared Winston Nevis 3 days ago
Plenty of goldwater's supporters in 1964 called President Eisenhower a communist
GAguilar K squared 2 days ago
Particularly the John Birchers, including my parents!
SKPeterson Kent 3 days ago • edited
We absolutely do not have libertarianism operating in this country today. There is simply no evidence that there is any sort of libertarian economic or political system in place. Oh sure, you'll whine "but globalism without actually defining what globalism is, or what is wrong about precisely, but just that it's somehow wrong and that libertarians are to blame for it. There's a good word for such an argument: bullshit.
We have an economy that is extraordinarily dominated by the state via mandates, regulations, and monetary interference that is most decidedly not libertarian in any way whatsoever. The current system though does create and perpetuate a system of rent-seeking cronies who conform rather nicely to the descriptions of said actors by Buchanan and Tullock. The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence, and Cuenco's sorry policy prescriptions do nothing to minimize the state but instead just create a different set of rent-seeking cronies for which the wealth and incomes of the nation are to be expropriated.
marku52 SKPeterson 3 days ago
O dear, No True Scotsman....
SKPeterson marku52 2 days ago
If you can point to how the current situation is in any way "libertarian" without creating your own perfect little lazy straw man definition then by all means do so. Until then your retort is without
substance (you see a no true Scotsman reply doesn't work if the facts are in the favor of the person supposedly making such an argument. Here you fail to establish why what I said is such a case; saying it doesn't make it so). When Kent makes some throwaway comment that we're somehow living in some sort of libertarian era he's full of it, you know it, and all you can do is provide some weak "no true Scotsman" defense? Come on and man up, stop appealing to artificial complaints of fallacious argumentation, and give me an actual solid argument with evidence beyond "this is so libertarian" that we're living in some libertarian golden age that's driving the oppression of the masses.
cka2nd SKPeterson 3 days ago
Busted unions, contracting out and privatization, deregulation of vast swaths of the economy since the late 1970's (Jimmy Carter has gotten kudos from libertarian writers for his de-regulatory efforts), lowered tax rates, especially on financial speculation and concentrated wealth, a blind eye or shrugged shoulder to anti-trust law and corporate consolidation. Yeah, nothing to see here, no partial victories for the libertarian wings of the ruling class or the GOP, at all. The Koch Brothers accomplished nothing, absolutely nothing, since David was the Libertarian Party's nominee for Vice President in 1980; all that money gone to waste. Sure.
SKPeterson cka2nd 2 days ago
So, now some sort of "partial victory" means we're living in some sort of libertarian era? And what exactly was so wonderful about all the things you listed being perpetuated? So, union "busting" is terrible, but union corruption was a great part of our national solidarity and should have been protected? Deregulation of vast swathes of the economy? You mean the elimination of government controlled cartels in the form of trucking and airlines? You mean the sorts of things that have enabled the working class folks you supposedly favor to travel to places that were previously out of reach for them and only accessible to the rich for their vacations? Yes, that's truly terrible. Again, you're on the side of the little guy, right? Lowered taxes? Are you seriously going to argue that the traditional conservative position has been for high tax rates? What are taxes placed upon? People and property. What do conservatives want to protect? People and property. So... arguing for higher taxes or saying that low taxes are bad or even especially, libertarian, is really going off the rails. That's just bad reasoning. And regarding financialization, those weren't especially libertarian in their enacting, but rather flow directly out of the consequences of the modern Progressive implementation of neo-Keynesian monetary and fiscal policy. Suffice it to say, I don't think you'll find too many arguments from libertarians that the policies encouraging financialization were good or followed libertarian economic policy prescriptions. Moreover, they led entirely to the repulsive "too big to fail" situation and if there's one thing that libertarians hold to is that there is no such thing (or shouldn't be) as "too big to fail." The objection to anti-trust law is that it was regularly abused and actually created government-protected firms that harmed consumers. If you think anti-trust laws are good things and should be supported by conservatives then by all means encourage Joe Biden to have Elizabeth Warren as his vice-presidential running mate and go vote Democrat this fall.
Blood Alcohol SKPeterson 3 days ago
"The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence". That's because the "state interference" is working as proxy for the interests of vulture capitalist.

What we have today is vulture capitalism as opposed to free enterprise capitalism.

DUNK Blood Alcohol 2 days ago • edited
You could also call it "crony capitalism" or "inverted totalitarianism".

Chris Hedges: "Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism" (November 2, 2015)

GAguilar DUNK 2 days ago
Princeton professor Sheldon Wolin's excellent book is entitled, "Democracy Incorporated."

He lays out how we're living in a totalitarian, capitalist surveillance state, as if that's not already obvious to most people around here.

SKPeterson Blood Alcohol 2 days ago
Exactly. The existence of a vulture capitalist or crony capitalist economy, which we have in many sectors, is evidence that "libertarianism" is nothing more than a convenient totem to invoke as a rationale for complaint against the outcomes of the existing crony capitalist state of affairs. My contention is that Cuenco, et al are simply advocating for a replacement of the cronies and vultures.
1701 3 days ago
A very similar article(but probably coming at it from a slightly different angle) wouldn't look out of place in a socialist publication.
The culture war really is a pointless waste of time that keeps working class people from working towards a common solution to shared problems.
bumbershoot 3 days ago
Trump wants to "keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby."

Well of course he does -- otherwise how would he staff Mar-A-Lago and other Trump Organization businesses?

SKPeterson 3 days ago
I used to think that conservatism was about protecting private property and not, like Cuenco, in coming up with ever more excuses for expropriating it.
Kent SKPeterson 3 days ago
No, that's libertarianism (or more properly propertarianism). Conservatism is first and foremost about responsibility to God, community, family and self. Property is only of value in its utility towards a means.
GAguilar Kent 2 days ago • edited
As I see it, here are examples of how "conservatives" have actually practiced their "responsibility to God, community, family and self":

The genocide of Native Americans
The slavery and murder of blacks

Their opposition to child labor laws, to womens' suffrage, etc.
Their support of Jim Crow laws
Their opposition to ending slavery and opposition to desegregation
Opposition to Civil Liberties Laws

Willingness to block, or curtail, voting rights.

Hyping the "imminent threat" of an ever more powerful communist menace bearing
down on us from the late 40s to the "unanticipated" collapse of the
USSR in '91. All of which was little more than endless "threat inflation" used
by our defense industry-corporate kleptocrats to justify monstrous increases
in deficits that have been "invested" in our meddlesome, murderous militarism all around the world, with the torture and deaths of millions from S. E. Asia, to Indonesia, to Latin America, to the Middle East, to Africa, etc.

Violations of privacy rights (conservative hero J. Edgar Hoover's illegal domestic surveillance and acts of domestic terrorism, "justified" by
his loopy paranoia about commies on every corner and under every bed.)

Toppling of democracies to install totalitarian despots in Iran
("Ike" '53), Guatemala (Ike, again, '54), Chile (Nixon '73), Brazil (LBJ, '64) and many, many more countries.

Strong support of the Vietnam War, the wars in Laos and Cambodia, and the Iraq War, which, according to conservative W. Bush, God had inspired.

The myriad "dirty wars" we've fought around the world, and not only in Latin America.

With a few, notable exceptions, conservatives have routinely been on the wrong side of these issues. For the most part, it has been the left, particularly the "hard left," that has gotten it right.

AdmBenson SKPeterson 2 days ago
"conservatism was about protecting private property"

You're conflating conservatism and libertarianism. Conservatives realize they are citizens of a country. Libertarians wish they weren't.

SKPeterson AdmBenson 2 days ago
So conservatism should be entirely about taking people's property "for the good of the country"? That the purpose of a country is to loot the people? That the people exist for the government and not the government for the people? Seems Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk would like to have a word with you Adm.

To quote Kirk as just one example of your fundamental error:

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked . [Apparently, Adm. you dispute Kirk's assertion and accuse him thereby of conflating libertarianism and conservatism. Yes, I know Kirk was a hater of the idea of patriotism, but he was such a raging libertarian what else could he do?] Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth. Economic levelling [this is the outcome of Cuenco's policy prescriptions by the way] , conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.

So, either "Mr. Conservative" Russell Kirk wasn't really a conservative but a man who horribly conflated libertarianism and conservatism, or we can say that Kirk was a conservative and that he recognized the protection of private property as crucial in minimizing the control and reach of the Leviathan state. If the latter holds, then maybe what we've established is that AdmBenson isn't particularly conservative.

Winston Nevis SKPeterson 2 days ago • edited
"The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth." This status quo has produced precisely the opposite of this. Wealth, assets, capital has been captured by the elite. The pitchforks are coming. See this CBO chart: View Hide
AdmBenson SKPeterson 2 days ago
Conservatives accept taxes as a part of citizenship. Since taxes can't be avoided, a conservative insists on democratic representation and has a general desire to get maximum bang for their taxpayer buck.

Libertarians, on the other hand, see everything through the lens of an individual's property rights. Taxes and regulation are infringements on those rights, so a libertarian is always at war with their own government. They're not interested in bang for their taxpayer buck, they just want the government to go away. I can't fault people for believing this way, but I can point out that it is severely faulty as the operating philosophy beyond anything but a small community.

As for me not being particularly conservative, ya got me. It really depends on time of day and the level of sunspot activity.

SKPeterson AdmBenson 2 days ago
Sunspots, eh? And here I thought it was your reliance on tinfoil.
AdmBenson SKPeterson 2 days ago
The tinfoil and the mask were scaring people. The tinfoil had to go, but that's had side effects.
SKPeterson AdmBenson 2 days ago
I should have put the /s on my reply, but your response did give me a good chuckle. Besides, for that finger pointing at you, there were three more pointing back at me.
JMWB 3 days ago
And somehow people continually fall for the Trickle Down economic theory. George HW Bush was correct when he called this VooDoo economics. Fiscal irresponsibility at it's finest.
Victor_the_thinker JMWB 3 days ago
Nah people don't fall for it, republicans do. The rest of us know this stuff doesn't work. We didn't need an additional datapoint to realize that. The Tax Cuts and Jobs act was the single most unpopular piece of legislation to ever pass since polling began. It never had support outside of the Republican Party which is why it's never had majority support.

https://news.gallup.com/pol...

Blood Alcohol JMWB 3 days ago
John Kenneth Galbraith called Trickle Down "economics", "Oats and Horse Economics". If you feed the horse a lot of oats, eventually some be left on the road...
Nelson 3 days ago
The leader of Republicans isn't Trump. It's Mitch McConnell.
J Villain Nelson 3 days ago
Mitch is fully owned by Trump as is every republican that holds office except Romney. Mitch can't go to the bathroom with out asking Trumps permission.
Nelson J Villain 3 days ago
Mitch is owned by corporations and he likes it that way. He basically says as much whenever campaign finance reform pops up and he defends the status quo.
aha! Nelson 2 hours ago
Yep. The guy who declared war on the Tea Party. The guy who changed his tune entirely about China when he married into the family of a shipping magnate.
SeekingTruth 3 days ago
I'm eagerly awaiting a GOP plan for economic restructuring. I've been waiting for decade(s). Surely there is someone in the entire body of think tanks, congressional staffers, and political class that can propose a genuine and comprehensive plan for how to rebalance production, education, and technology for the better of ALL Americans. Surely...
Tradcon SeekingTruth 3 days ago
American Affairs (the policy journal this author writes for) and The American Compass are both very good.
cka2nd SeekingTruth 3 days ago
I honestly wonder if Jack Kemp might have had a "Road to Damascus" conversion away from his pseudo-libertarian and supply side economic convictions if he had lived through the decade after the Great Recession. Probably not, given his political and economic activity up until his death.
Barry_II 3 days ago
"They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?"

In your dreams, just like those many large projects which Trump drove into bankruptcy.

Right alongside the money owed to the many people he's stiffed.

Name 3 days ago
So after 30 years or more of " globalism" , the GOP is adopting Bernie Sanderism?
Johnny Larue Name 3 days ago
Uh, no.
Name Johnny Larue 2 days ago
Uh, it seems so. Did you even read?
TheSnark 3 days ago • edited
Trump pushed the tax cut because it saves him at least $20 million each year in taxes, probably closer to $50 million. That's the only reason he does anything, because he benefits personally.
kouroi 3 days ago
Thank you very much for posting the link to the wonderful essay by Mike Lofgren. Written 8 years ago it feels even more actual than then. I have bookmarked it for future reference.

Looking at the US it always comes to my mind the way Rome and then Byzantium fell: a total erosion of the tax-base the rich refused to pay anything to the imperial coffers, and then some of the rich had land bigger than some modern countries... And then the barbarians came...

Kent kouroi 3 days ago
And, by then, the population welcomed the barbarians.
kouroi Kent 3 days ago
Likely true, with some exceptions... The Huns - and on that one I keep wondering if there isn't a whiff of "Yellow Peril" smell in all that outcry...
Ray Woodcock kouroi 2 days ago • edited
Lofgren: "What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot."

That was in 2012, but that was what struck me about my well-to-do classmates when I transferred from Cal State Long Beach to Columbia University in 1977 . Suddenly I was among people who saw America, American laws, and a shared sense of civic responsibility as quaint, bothersome, rather tangential to the project of promoting oneself and/or one's special interest.

kouroi Ray Woodcock 2 days ago
Cold, eh mate? Reptiles, lizards...?
Adriana Pena 3 days ago
Did you ever hope that Trump would do what you wanted? You are adorable
sam 3 days ago
The only way that factories would come back is when Americans start buying made in America. We can't wait for ANY government to bring those factories and jobs ( and technology) . Only people voting with their pocketbooks can do it.
J Villain 3 days ago
Still waiting for the day the first American asks "What have WE done wrong?" Rather than just following in Trumps step and playing the victim card every step of the way and wondering why nothing gets better.
Blood Alcohol J Villain 3 days ago
nuffsaid. The blood is on everyone's hands.

[May 26, 2020] News Stories Avoid Naming Israel by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In reality, the part left out of the story is that the phone call to Kislyak on December 22, 2016, was made by Flynn at the direction of Jared Kushner, who in turn had been approached by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had learned that the Obama Administrating was going to abstain on a United Nations vote condemning the Israeli settlements policy, meaning that for the first time in years a U.N. resolution critical of Israel would pass without drawing a U.S. veto. Kushner, acting for Netanyahu, asked Flynn to contact each delegate from the various countries on the Security Council to delay or kill the resolution. Flynn agreed to do so, which included a call to the Russians. Kislyak took the call but did not agree to veto Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed unanimously on December 23 rd . ..."
"... The phone call made at the request of Israel was neither benign nor ethical as the Barack Administration was still in power and managing the nation's foreign policy. At the time, son-in-law Jared Kushner was Trump's point man on the Middle East. He and his family have extensive ties both to Israel and to Netanyahu personally, to include Netanyahu's staying at the Kushner family home in New York. The Kushner Family Foundation has funded some of Israel's illegal settlements and also a number of conservative political groups in that country. Jared has served as a director of that foundation and it is reported that he failed to disclose the relationship when he filled out his background investigation sheet for a security clearance. All of which suggests that if you are looking for possible foreign government collusion with the incoming Trumpsters, look no further. ..."
"... And it should be observed that the Israelis were not exactly shy about their disapproval of Obama and their willingness to express their views to the incoming Trump. Kushner went far beyond merely disagreeing over an aspect of foreign policy as he was actively trying to clandestinely subvert and reverse a decision made by his own legally constituted government. His closeness to Netanyahu made him, in intelligence terms, a quite likely Israeli government agent of influence, even if he didn't quite see himself that way. ..."
"... Kushner's actions, as well as those of Flynn, would most certainly have been covered by the Logan Act of 1799, which bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on behalf of the United States and also could be construed as a "conspiracy against the United States." But in spite of all that the investigation went after Flynn instead of Kushner. As Kushner is Jewish and certainly could be accused of dual loyalty in extremis , that part of the story obviously makes many in the U.S. Establishment and media uncomfortable, so it was and continues to be both ignored and expunged from the record as quickly as possible. ..."
May 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

There are two stories that seem to have been under-reported in the past couple of weeks. The first involves Michael Flynn's dealings with the Russian United Nations Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. And the second describes yet another bit of espionage conducted by a foreign country directed against the United States. Both stories involve the State of Israel.

The bigger story is, of course, the dismissal by Attorney General William Barr of the criminal charges against former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn based on malfeasance by the FBI investigators. The curious aspect of the story as it is being related by the mainstream media is that it repeatedly refers to Flynn as having unauthorized contacts with the Russian Ambassador and then having lied about it. The implication is that there was something decidedly shady about Flynn talking to the Russians and that the Russians were up to something.

In reality, the part left out of the story is that the phone call to Kislyak on December 22, 2016, was made by Flynn at the direction of Jared Kushner, who in turn had been approached by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had learned that the Obama Administrating was going to abstain on a United Nations vote condemning the Israeli settlements policy, meaning that for the first time in years a U.N. resolution critical of Israel would pass without drawing a U.S. veto. Kushner, acting for Netanyahu, asked Flynn to contact each delegate from the various countries on the Security Council to delay or kill the resolution. Flynn agreed to do so, which included a call to the Russians. Kislyak took the call but did not agree to veto Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed unanimously on December 23 rd .

In taking the phone calls from a soon-to-be senior American official who would within weeks be part of a new administration in Washington, the Russians did nothing wrong, but the media is acting like there was some kind of Kremlin conspiracy seeking to undermine U.S. democracy. It would not be inappropriate to have some conversations with an incoming government team and Kislyak also did nothing that might be regarded as particularly responsive to Team Trump overtures since he voted contrary to Flynn's request.

The phone call made at the request of Israel was neither benign nor ethical as the Barack Administration was still in power and managing the nation's foreign policy. At the time, son-in-law Jared Kushner was Trump's point man on the Middle East. He and his family have extensive ties both to Israel and to Netanyahu personally, to include Netanyahu's staying at the Kushner family home in New York. The Kushner Family Foundation has funded some of Israel's illegal settlements and also a number of conservative political groups in that country. Jared has served as a director of that foundation and it is reported that he failed to disclose the relationship when he filled out his background investigation sheet for a security clearance. All of which suggests that if you are looking for possible foreign government collusion with the incoming Trumpsters, look no further.

And it should be observed that the Israelis were not exactly shy about their disapproval of Obama and their willingness to express their views to the incoming Trump. Kushner went far beyond merely disagreeing over an aspect of foreign policy as he was actively trying to clandestinely subvert and reverse a decision made by his own legally constituted government. His closeness to Netanyahu made him, in intelligence terms, a quite likely Israeli government agent of influence, even if he didn't quite see himself that way.

Kushner's actions, as well as those of Flynn, would most certainly have been covered by the Logan Act of 1799, which bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on behalf of the United States and also could be construed as a "conspiracy against the United States." But in spite of all that the investigation went after Flynn instead of Kushner. As Kushner is Jewish and certainly could be accused of dual loyalty in extremis , that part of the story obviously makes many in the U.S. Establishment and media uncomfortable, so it was and continues to be both ignored and expunged from the record as quickly as possible.

The second story , which has basically been made to disappear, relates to spying by Israel against critics in the United States. The revelation that Israel was again using its telecommunications skills to spy on foreigners came from an Oakland California federal court lawsuit initiated by Facebook (FB) against the Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group. FB claimed that NSO has been using servers located in the United States to infect with spyware hundreds of smartphones being used by attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, critics of Israel and even of government officials. NSO allegedly used WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by FB, to hack into the phones and install malware that would enable the company to monitor what was going on with the devices. It did so by employing networks of remote servers located in California to enter the accounts.

NSO has inevitably claimed that they do indeed provide spyware, but that it is sold to clients who themselves operate it with the "advice and technical support to assist customers in setting up" but it also promotes its products as being "used to stop terrorism, curb violent crime, and save lives." It also asserts that its software cannot be used against U.S. phone numbers.

Facebook, which did its own extensive research into NSO activity, alleges that NSO rented a Los Angeles-based server from a U.S. company called QuadraNet that it then used to launch 720 hacks on smartphones and other devices. It further claims in the court filing that the company reverse-engineering WhatsApp, using an program that it developed to access WhatsApp's servers and deploy "its spyware against approximately 1,400 targets" before " covertly transmit[ting] malicious code through WhatsApp servers and inject[ing]" spyware into telephones without the knowledge of the owners."

The filing goes on to assert that the "Defendants had no authority to access WhatsApp's servers with an imposter program, manipulate network settings, and commandeer the servers to attack WhatsApp users. That invasion of WhatsApp's servers and users' devices constitutes unlawful computer hacking."

NSO, which is largely staffed by former (sic) Israeli intelligence officers, had previously been in the news for its proprietary spyware known as Pegasus, which "can gather information about a mobile phone's location, access its camera, microphone and internal hard drive, and covertly record emails, phone calls and text messages." Pegasus was reportedly used in the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Adnan Kashoggi in Istanbul last year and it has more recently been suggested as a resource for tracking coronavirus distance violators. Outside experts have accused the company of selling its technology and expertise to countries that have used it to spy on dissidents, journalists and other critics.

Israel routinely exploits the access provided by its telecommunications industry to spy on the host countries where those companies operate. The companies themselves report regularly back to Mossad contacts and the technology they provide routinely has a "backdoor" for secretly accessing the information accessible through the software. In fact, Israel conducts espionage and influence operations both directly and through proxies against the United States more aggressively than any other "friendly" country, which once upon a time included being able to tap into the "secure" White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinsky.

Last September, it was revealed that the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel in Washington D.C. was clearly intended to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might be considered top secret.

A Politico report detailed how "miniature surveillance devices" referred to as "Stingrays" were used to imitate regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the devices are referred to by technicians as "international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use."

Over one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the devices to let them "tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are." One source observed afterwards that "It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible."

So two significant stories currently making the rounds have been bowdlerized and disappeared to make the Israeli role in manipulating and spying against the United States go away. They are only two of many stories framed by a Zionist dominated media to control the narrative in a way favorable to the Jewish state. One would think that having a president of the United States who is the most pro-Israel ever, which is saying a great deal in and of itself, would be enough, but unfortunately when dealing with folks like Benjamin Netanyahu there can never be any restraint when dealing with the "useful idiots" in Washington.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .

[May 24, 2020] FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump. ..."
"... Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign." ..."
"... Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term. ..."
"... This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November. ..."
"... And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran. ..."
May 24, 2020 | christiansfortruth.com

According to recently released FBI documents, Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Roger Stone, who was convicted last year in Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was "going to be defeated" unless Israel intervened in the election :

The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public on Tuesday. The documents -- FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone -- were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.

A longtime adviser to Trump, Stone officially worked on the 2016 presidential campaign until August 2015, when he said he left and Trump said he was fired. However he continued to communicate with the campaign, according to Mueller's investigation.

The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a "minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs," the PM, and the Prime Minister . In all these references the names and countries of the minister and prime minister are redacted.

Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister in 2016 , and the Israeli government included a minister without portfolio, Tzachi Hanegbi, appointed in May with responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. One reference to the unnamed PM in the material reads as follows:

"On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC."

Netanyahu made a state visit to Italy at the end of June 2016 .

The explicit reference to Israel appears early in the text of a May 2018 affidavit by an FBI agent in support of an application for a search warrant, and relates to communication between Stone and Jerome Corsi, an American author, commentator and conspiracy theorist. " On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [NAME REDACTED] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct," the affidavit states .

The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump.

The redacted material features numerous references to an "October surprise," apparently relating to a document dump by Wikileaks' Julian Assange, intended to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and salvage Trump's .

Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign."

Mueller's investigation identified significant contact during the 2016 campaign between Trump associates and Russians, but did not allege a criminal conspiracy to tip the outcome of the presidential election.

This story first appeared last month, at the height of the COVID-19 plandemic, which conveniently and not coincidentally allowed all the mainstream media in America to ignore it.

Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term.

This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November.

We can only guess what further information about Israel's involvement in the election was redacted from this FBI document, but there can be little doubt that the orders to help Trump win came from the very top -- from Netanyahu himself.

And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran.

And even if the brain-dead American public found out about this Israeli intervention (i.e., "subversion of our democracy"), they would probably just shrug it off -- after all, Israel is our "most trusted friend and ally," goyim .

[May 20, 2020] Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine's Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion Quid Pro Quo To Fire Burisma Prosecutor Zero

Highly recommended!
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine's Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion "Quid Pro Quo" To Fire Burisma Prosecutor by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/20/2020 - 05:12 Leaked phone calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko explicitly detail the quid-pro-quo arrangement to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin - who Poroshenko admits did nothing wrong - in exchange for $1 billion in US loan guarantees (which Biden openly bragged about in January, 2018 ).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3118

The calls were leaked by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach , who says the recordings of "voices similar to Poroshenko and Biden" were given to him by investigative journalists who claim Poroshenko made them.

Shokin was notably investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden's son, Hunter, to sit on its board. Shokin had opened a case against Burisma's founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who granted Burisma permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In January, 2019, Shokin stated in a deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.

Viktor Shokin

The leaked calls begin on December 3, 2015 , when former Secretary of State John Kerry starts laying out the case to fire Shokin - who he says "blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor Generals' Office," and sated that Biden "is very concerned about it," to which Poroshenko replies that the newly reorganized prosecutor general's office (NABU) won't be able to pursue corruption charges, and that it may be difficult to fire Shokin without cause.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EbmDLhJ43cU

Later in the leaked audio on February 18, 2016 - less than three months after the Kerry conversation - Poroshenko delivers some "positive news."

"Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin," says Poroshenko. And despite of the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges, we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him - no, it was day before yesterday - I specially asked him to resign. In, uh, as his, uh, position as a state person. And despite of the fact that he has a support in the power. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation . And this is my second step for keeping my promises. "

To which Biden replied: "I agree."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EbmDLhJ43cU?start=246

Four weeks later on March 22, 2016, Biden says "Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars. "

Poroshenko tells Biden that one of the leading candidates is the man who replaced Shokin, Yuriy Lutsenko who later said in a deposition that Hunter Biden and his business partners were receiving millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma.

Then, on May 13, 2016, Biden congratulates Poroshenko on "getting the new Prosecutor General," saying that it will be "critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did."

" And I'm a man of my word ," Biden adds. "And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we're ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee ."

Poroshenko thanks Biden for the support, and says that it was a "very tough challenge and a very difficult job."

Shokin, meanwhile, filed a criminal complaint against Biden in Kiev this February, in which he writes:

During the period 2014-2016, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine was conducting a preliminary investigation into a series of serious crimes committed by the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Mykola Zlotchevsky and by the managers of the company "Burisma Holding Limited "(Cyprus), the board of directors of which included, among others, Hunter Biden, son of Joseph Biden, then vice-president of the United States of America.

The investigation into the above-mentioned crimes was carried out in strict accordance with Criminal Law and was under my personal control as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

Owing to my firm position on the above-mentioned cases regarding their prompt and objective investigation, which should have resulted in the arrest and the indictment of the guilty parties, Joseph Biden developed a firmly hostile attitude towards me which led him to express in private conversations with senior Ukrainian officials, as well as in his public speeches, a categorical request for my immediate dismissal from the post of Attorney General of Ukraine in exchange for the sum of US $ 1 billion in as a financial guarantee from the United States for the benefit of Ukraine.

* * *

And while we cannot verify the authenticity of the recordings with absolute certainty, we now have the audio revealing how the deed was orchestrated.

[May 19, 2020] America: "We demand an coronavirus origin investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Highly recommended!
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13

America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?

[May 13, 2020] Dramatic change of direction for Syrian envoy

Highly recommended!
This is MIGA in action...
Notable quotes:
"... former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ). ..."
"... Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute : ..."
"... He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government." ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).

And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :

Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery

He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh

-- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020

But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

* * *

Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OJ3fTFHQ0KA

[May 11, 2020] Old white male plutocrat Dems media have no shame backing Joe Biden, who personifies exactly what they bash Trump for by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... lunch bucket Joe ..."
"... I don't think five hundred billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys. ..."
"... The younger generation now tells me how tough things are -- give me a break, ..."
"... No, no, I have no empathy for it, give me a break ..."
"... a physical revolution ..."
"... beaten the hell out of Trump ..."
"... You're a damn liar .Look, fat you're too old to vote for me ..."
"... We hold these truths to be self-evident ..."
"... All men um, are created by the, um, co, oh, YOU KNOW THE THING ..."
"... put on the television, I mean the record player ..."
"... a lying dog-faced pony soldier. ..."
"... have been killed ..."
"... the lesser evil. ..."
"... Aptly described by the late left political scientist Sheldon Wolin as " the Inauthentic Opposition, ..."
May 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Do the Democratic Party's leadership and its many allied mainstream media outlets have no shame? They are determined to run Joe Biden, a presidential candidate who embodies many of the evils for which they condemn Donald Trump. Corporate Joe

Democrats rightly charge the reputed billionaire Donald Trump with serving the wealthy few . Yes, but what about Joe? His corporatist and pro-Wall Street record in Congress included votes to rollback bankruptcy protections for college graduates (1978) and vocational school graduates (1984) with federal student loans.

He worked with Republicans to pass the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which put " clean slate " Chapter-7 bankruptcy out of reach for millions of ordinary Americans (2005).

Biden voted against a bill that would have compelled credit card companies to warn customers of the costs of only making minimum payments. He honored campaign cash from Coca-Cola by cosponsoring a bill that permitted soft-drink producers to skirt antitrust laws (1979).

He joined just one other Congressional Democrat to vote against a Judiciary Committee measure to increase consumers' rights to sue corporations for price-fixing (1979).

He strongly backed the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which permitted the re-merging of investment and commercial banking by repealing the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act. (This helped create the 2007-8 financial crisis and subsequent recession, which led to a massive taxpayer bailout of the rich combined with little for the rest of the population – a policy that Biden backed as vice presidential candidate and as Vice President).

During his time as a US Senator, " lunch bucket Joe " Biden supported the globalist investor rights North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which cost millions of US manufacturing workers their jobs.

Adding neoliberal insult to neoliberal injury, presidential candidate Biden has criticized those who advocate a universal basic income (a fundamental need, in the wake of the current Covid-19 crash) of " selling American workers short " and undermining the "dignity" of work.

Biden opposes calls for supposedly " too expensive " universal Single Payer health insurance, going so far as to say he would veto a Medicare for All bill as president! He defends Big Business and the rich from popular criticism, mocking those who "want to single out big corporations for all the blame" and proclaiming " I don't think five hundred billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys. "

Biden even says he has "no empathy" for Millennials' struggle to get by in the savagely unequal precariat economy he helped create over his many years of service to the Lords of Capital. " The younger generation now tells me how tough things are -- give me a break, " said Biden, while speaking to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times two years ago. " No, no, I have no empathy for it, give me a break ."

Biden has not spoken one critical word about Trump and Congress's taxpayer-funded bailout for the American capitalist "elite" and its top corporations and financial institutions in the wake of Covid-19 – a massive and largely unaccountable giveaway that puts no caps on executive compensation and elite profits while offering little more than a pittance to the nation's working-class majority.

Also on rt.com Wait, what? Biden claims he'll 'appoint' first African-American woman to US Senate in fresh gaffe Lyin' Joe

The Democrats and their media rightly accuse Trump of serial deception, misstatement, and lying. Okay, but what about Joe? In a lie told twice , in 2001 and 2007, Biden falsely and viciously claimed that his first wife and baby boy were killed by a drunk truck driver in 1972.

On the campaign trail last year, Biden told a ridiculous tale (a longstanding recurrent Biden fib) about his supposed heroic role in honoring a medal-winning US soldier in a war zone as vice president.

Last February, at a campaign event in South Carolina, Biden tried to win Black votes by falsely claiming to have been arrested while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in jail during the apartheid era in South Africa.

Last January, during a debate, Biden claimed that he argued against George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq immediately after it began. In fact, it took Biden two years to admit that Bush's war and Biden's own Senate vote to authorize it were "mistakes" (try 'crimes').

Sleepy Joe

The Democrats and their media raise legitimate questions about Trump's mental health and fitness. Fine, but what about Joe? Earlier this year, he strangely invaded centrist MSNBC host Joy Reid's physical space to accuse her of being a radical who wants " a physical revolution ."

As a presidential candidate in the current cycle, Biden has forgotten what state he's in, confused his wife with his sister , and claimed that he would have " beaten the hell out of Trump " in high school. Last September , he tried to woo Black voters with a bizarre and rambling story about an alleged past adolescent swimming pool confrontation with a young Black tough named " Corn Pop ."

On the campaign trail in Iowa, an unhinged Biden said this to an older white male Elizabeth Warren supporter who dared to ask about the corruption involved in Hunter Biden's lucrative presence on the board of a gas company in Ukraine: " You're a damn liar .Look, fat you're too old to vote for me ."

Speaking in Texas last March, Biden made audience members cringe when he called Super Tuesday " Super Thursday " and tried to quote from the American Declaration of Independence. " We hold these truths to be self-evident ," Biden gaffed: " All men um, are created by the, um, co, oh, YOU KNOW THE THING !"

Biden responded to a debate question about racial inequality, segregation, and the legacy of slavery last September by smirkng and then awkwardly telling Black parents to " put on the television, I mean the record player " for their children.

Last February, he called a young female voter in New Hampshire " a lying dog-faced pony soldier. " He also said that "150 million" Americans – almost half of the US population – " have been killed " due to gun violence.

In debates and interviews, the 77-year old Biden routinely loses his train of thought in mid-sentence, mis-pronounces his words, forgets basic facts, and generally looks confused while seeming to rave and be on the verge of punching someone.

Bodyguards have had to stand between Biden and voters because he lacks the impulse control to stop himself from touching, sniffing, and massaging women in his vicinity.

It's not for nothing that the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign are keeping "Sleepy Joe" as much out of the public eye – almost literally locked in his basement – as possible.

But just as FOX News looks the other way when it comes to Trump's mental illness and difficulties, the liberal mainstream media is shockingly silent on Biden's clearly fading cognitive health.

In 2020 as in previous US elections, Democrats are telling American progressives yet again that they must vote for an inadequate, duplicitous, imperial, and corporate-captive presidential candidate as " the lesser evil. " In reality, however, Lesser Evil-ism is a self-fulfilling prophecy that helps move the narrow American major-party spectrum further to the right while channeling popular political energies into an electoral system that does not represent the nation's working- and middle-class majority.

Aptly described by the late left political scientist Sheldon Wolin as " the Inauthentic Opposition, " the neoliberal Democratic Party offers no serious resistance, electoral or otherwise, to the corporate and financial class rule advanced by the rightmost of the only two viable political organizations. The mentally declining liar and corporatist Joe Biden is graphic and depressing evidence for Wolin's thesis.

Paul Street is the author of numerous books, including They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014) and The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Routledge, 2011).

[May 04, 2020] Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are the two sides of the one political coin that Americans are allowed to choose

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the nations CEO's become sort of one big club, and the top of the club is the head parasites pulling the strings on the stock market (outfits like Goldman Sachs). ..."
"... NO ONE wants to cross the head parasites, the corrupt political class turns to them as their economic brain trust, and the propaganda class (MSM) spin narratives that comport to the corrupt political class' interests and the corrupt status quo. ..."
May 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

Chris Moore says: Website Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 7:38 pm GMT 400 Words

As our guest puts it, the recently passed Trump "Bank and Landlord Relief" bill, mistakenly named the Coronavirus bill, starts by providing banks with an even larger giveaway of wealth than they received from Obama in 2008. Helping the banks, financial and real estate sectors in a so-called free market system is conflated with helping the industrial economy and general living standards for most Americans. The essence of a parasite is not only to drain the host's nourishment, but to dull the host's brain so that it does not recognize that the parasite is there.

One of the ways it does this is to entice most of the biggest companies onto the stock markets, which in turn subordinates them to the financial sector -- more specifically, the investment bankers. And then the nations CEO's become sort of one big club, and the top of the club is the head parasites pulling the strings on the stock market (outfits like Goldman Sachs).

NO ONE wants to cross the head parasites, the corrupt political class turns to them as their economic brain trust, and the propaganda class (MSM) spin narratives that comport to the corrupt political class' interests and the corrupt status quo.

This is why [neo]liberalism and neoconservatism are the two sides of the one political coin that Americans are allowed to choose. Lean left? You'll get a liberal who mostly uses identity politics to divide and rule. Lean right? You'll get a neocon who mostly uses foreign affairs to divide and rule. But increasingly, the two cross-over, hence you'll see liberals harping 24/7 about Russiagate and neocons harping 24/7 about Iran, Islam and now China.

None of this is to say that Russia, China and Iran aren't competitors, because they are. But the liberal and neocon fanatics turn them into existential, kill or be killed competitors...

... ... ...

[Apr 29, 2020] Trump, despite pretty slick deception during his election campaign, is an typical imperialist and rabid militarist. His administration continuredand in some areas exceeded the hostility of Obama couse against Russia

Highly recommended!
One of trademarks of Trump administration is his that he despises international law and relies on "might makes right" principle all the time. In a way he is a one trick pony, typical unhinged bully.
In a way Pompeo is the fact of Trump administration foreign policy, and it is not pretty
Apr 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Apr 29 2020 17:32 utc | 7
It is mostly, though not only, Trump related or libertarian pseudo "alt media" behind "just the flu" theories or "China unleashed virus to attack US".

There is a small military/zionist cabal at the White House that is pushing for that information war in order to prop up the dying US empire as well as US oligarhic business interests, and to secure Trump reelection prospects.

It is enough to see how Zerohedge have been turned into full blown imperialist media with many "evil China" outbursts every day.

Beware of Trumptards infiltrating alt media to prop up the dying US Empire and its business interests.

Trump is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years. He made a good job at deceiving many anti-system voices.

His WTO attacks are too part of US efforts to take over the organisation. His has no problem with international institutions as long as they are US empire controlled (such as OPCW, WADA, etc.)

Trump-tards and related libertarians (Zerohedge etc.) made their choice on the side of global US imperialism (driven by their hidden racism, hence the evil "chinks" making a good enemy) and are now the enemy of the multipolar world.

Trump is scum. He turned on Russia and Assange after he got into the White House and did far more against Russia than even Obama. I say that as someone who initially made the mistake to support him.

[Apr 22, 2020] Especially as the insane neoliberal economy we live in, we are ruled by a group of kleptocrats and vicious stooges. Which make allegations against Biden deserving a closer look but that does not make them automatically credible

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Progressive ..."
Apr 22, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Evidence" means testimony, writings, material objects, or other things presented to the senses that are offered to prove the existence or nonexistence of a fact. -- California Evidence Code sec 140


JTMcPhee , April 21, 2020 at 6:19 pm

... ... ...

Even the NYT acknowledged (before it erased the text in its story on Reade that noted there were no other sexual misconduct charges pending against him other than that long history of assaults and sniffing and hands-on, text removed by the Times at the instance of the Biden campaign staff?

Here's the original text: " The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable." Waiting for the apologists to tell us why the edit to remove the last clause starting "beyond " is just "Good journalism."

He and Trump are bad examples of the male part of the species. Nothing to choose that I can see, other than who among the people that revise those bribes to them will be the first in line at the MMT watering hole

just_kate , April 21, 2020 at 8:54 pm

i had a lengthy discussion about this with my brother and sil, it came down to her saying I DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT re bidens history of being a ttl letch plus possible rapist and my brother questioning what is obvious discomfort in multiple video evidence.

They said defeating trump was paramount to anything against biden. i simply give up at this point.

cm , April 21, 2020 at 3:28 pm

No mention of Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford in the article

michael99 , April 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm

The Heart-Wrenching Trauma of the Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh Hearings
It's difficult. It hurts. It's unfair. But women will keep telling our stories.
By Joan Walsh
September 28, 2018

lyman alpha blob , April 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm

Lots of partisan hackery and TDS going around in the last few years in once respectable lefty publications. Mother Jones has gone completely to hell rather than raising any, as was once their mission statement. I haven't read the Nation as much in recent years – I let my subscription lapse a while ago as I found I just couldn't keep up with reading it. Coincidentally I think that was about the time I started reading NC. The Nation has a history of sheepdogging lefties to rally behind bad Dem candidates, which was another reason I didn't feel bad letting my subscription go.

I do still have my subscription to Harper's but they were getting on my nerves quite a bit to the point I considered cancelling them too. Rebecca Solnit wrote some truly cringe-worthy editorials for them after Trump's election. They seem to have removed her from writing the main editorial so maybe I wasn't the only one who felt she left a little to be desired. I'm quite fond of the newer woman they have doing editorials, Lionel Shriver. She seems like she'd fit in quite well here!

sierra7 , April 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

I left (pun intended) the Nation pub in the dust way back in the 1990's and buried it post 9/11. Used to be a real good alternative press pub 30-40 years ago. Somewhere along the line it lost it's way and joined the wishy-washy "gatekeeper' society of "approved news."
RIP

urblintz , April 21, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Joan Walsh is a partisan fraud and The Nation's worst hire since . forever.

Olga , April 21, 2020 at 8:09 pm

The Nation was a sanity saviour back in late 70s and through 1980s; then something happened. Not clear when or what, but I know I let my subscription lapse. Tried again later, but it was never the same. It's mostly unbearable now, except for Stephen Cohen. Walsh has been in the unbearable category for many years now.

Voltaire Jr. , April 21, 2020 at 10:08 pm

Subscribed to The Nation and The Progressive in 1971. Read and learned for a decade or so, moved on. Also read every Henry George book I could.

marku52 , April 21, 2020 at 3:59 pm

Leonard Pitts just had an editorial in my local paper where he opined that even if Biden had sexually assaulted Reade, it didn't really matter because we had to vote against Trump.

I wrote this in reply:
So Leonard Pitts thinks that Biden's alleged sexual attack on Tara Reade isn't disqualifying, even if true. Strange, he didn't think that way about Brett Kavanagh. I didn't want to attack the columnist as a hypocrite without being sure, so I looked it up. Here is what he wrote:

"It's a confluence of facts that speak painfully and pointedly to just how unseriously America takes men's predations against women. You might disagree, noting that the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Ford to testify. But if history is any guide, that will prove to be a mere formality – a sop to appearances – before the committee recommends confirmation."

Looks very much like "Well, It's excusable when our guys do it."

Not to me.

( Here is the link to his first opinion piece)
https://www.pressherald.com/2018/09/19/leonard-pitts-fairness-statute-has-not-run-out-on-allegations-against-kavanaugh/#

jo6pac , April 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

The late Alexzander Cockburn would be most proud of this take down of joan walsh.

I don't read the nation and I'm sorry that LP feels that way.

Thanks Lambert and NC

I'll be voting Green again without Bernie in the race.

Reply

Watt4Bob , April 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

So disappointing.

It was the Nation that helped wake me politically back in the early 1970s with their reporting on the Chilean coup, and later, the murder of Orlando Letelier, and Ronnie Moffet .

Arguably, the first state-sponsored international terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

It has has since morphed into cat box liner.

Am I wrong to blame Katrina vanden Heuvel?

kirk seidenbecker , April 21, 2020 at 5:43 pm

Excuse me if this is a repeat –

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/04/evaluating-tara-reades-claims

Reply

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , April 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm

Always had a crush on K v d Heuvel. (How's that for an opening to a post about misogyny and sexual misconduct)?

But can't we disqualify Joe! as the craven proponent of the worst neo-lib policies that got us exactly where we are today? Or, in polite company, ask politely whether he is even in a mental state to hand over the keys to the to the family car, let alone the nuclear football?

Let's take the Id out of IdPol, I don't care if the candidate has green skin and three eyes if the policies they would enact come within smelling distance of benefiting the 99% (or more precisely in Joe's case within hair smelling distance).

We can use his personal conduct as a component in our judgement but pleeease can we focus on the stuff that would actually affect our lives. In his case, for the absolute worse.

(Note: I sincerely doubt whether Joe is currently allowed to drive a car, please oh please Mr.God-Yahweh-Mohammed-Buddha-Obama can we not let him drive a nation).

[Apr 17, 2020] The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January. The USA botched the delopyment due to CDC incompetence and NIH syndrom

Highly recommended!
The USA government was paralyzed by Ukrainegate and impeachment in January.
Notable quotes:
"... Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them. ..."
"... Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM
The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January.

Even if I am not happy with the Chinese policy overall, the main problem in most advanced western countries was and still is that the response of the governments are often poor:

  1. Not implementing a coherent communication strategy. It does not make sense when one minister tells that the virus situation is an real issue and another minister tell you at the same time that everything is not so bad.
  2. Downplaying the infection numbers for domestical political reasons. Complete lack of understanding of an exponential function or more precise the combination of an virus operating on an exponential function, while the own resources are more or less a constant.
  3. Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development or combination of both.

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.

likbez , 17 April 2020 at 12:22 PM

@Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.
Very true. But we should not forget the role of Pelosi in this mess: Trump administration was partially paralyzed in January by impeachment proceedings. She acted like the fifth column in this respect.

Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them.

IMHO, Trump demonstrated some level of courage by closing flights from China on Jan 31. I guess pressure to postpone this measure further was tremendous. But they missed the time, and it was too late.

3) Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development, or a combination of both.
That's true, and the CDC needs to be investigated for this blunder. But also implementing social distancing measures and the obligatory wearing of masks in large cities was completely botched.

Retired persons can be quarantined without a major blow to the economy. And that should have been done first. The nursing homes are starkly vulnerable to the coronavirus. It was clear from the beginning. That means that the medical personnel in them need to be provided with full protection gear and isolated with patients. That was not done. On the contrary, they became hotspots that spread the disease.

Treatment of medical personnel, who along with patients in nursing homes are the most vulnerable category, was abysmal. No free hotel stay (for those without children), no special transportation and free meals were provided for them. Even basic protection equipment was absent in home hospitals until late March.

The USA did not have strategic storage of masks and, which is more important, equipment to make them and materials from which they are made. That was a big blunder for which previous administrations also share responsibility.

Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines.

[Apr 17, 2020] The word socialism became just a neoliberal smear. We should talk about public sector vs private sector, not about socialism

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

migueljose , Apr 16 2020 14:13 utc | 150

The word socialism is meaningless. A government, by nature is socialistic. Again, following up on my sociopathy comment, it's on a spectrum. Some governments-- Sweden, Finland, Cuba-- do more, others-- Guatemala, Honduras, now Bolivia-- do less.

"Public sector" would be a more accurate term to describe what the particular government in question is using public funds. Tennessee, for example, will not put out your house fire if you have not paid your "fire tax". Most southeastern states have smaller public sectors than northern states.
Another issue: be honest. Military is public sector. Police, prisons... public sector. you a cop? your public sector. your money comes from the people. That's socialism. It makes no sense for right wingers to be against "socialism" and work for the public sector.

Bernie never defined "socialism" accurately which allowed DNC scum and republicans to tar him with that dirty word since we Americans are so addicted to Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

[Apr 17, 2020] Declassified Horowitz Footnotes Show Obama Officials Knew Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo Designed To Target Trump Zero He

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com, ..."
"... "Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." ..."
"... , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Systemic FBI Effort To Legitimize Steele and Use His Information To Target POTUS

Newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's December FBI report reveals that senior Obama officials, including members of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team knew the dossier compiled by a former British spy during the 2016 election was Russian disinformation to target President Donald Trump.

Further, the partially declassified footnotes reveal that those senior intelligence officials were aware of the disinformation when they included the dossier in the Obama administration's Intelligence Communities Assessment (ICA).

As important, the footnotes reveal that there had been a request to validate information collected by British spy Christopher Steele as far back as 2015, and that there was concern among members of the FBI and intelligence community about his reliability. Those concerns were brushed aside by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their pursuit against the Trump campaign officials, according to sources who spoke to this reporter and the footnotes.

The explosive footnotes were partially declassified and made public Wednesday, after a lengthy review by the Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell's office. Grenell sent the letter Wednesday releasing the documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, both who requested the declassification.

"Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." Grenell consulted with DOJ Attorney General William Barr on the declassification of the documents.

Grassley and Johnson released a statement late Wednesday stating "as we can see from these now-declassified footnotes in the IG's report, Russian intelligence was aware of the dossier before the FBI even began its investigation and the FBI had reports in hand that their central piece of evidence was most likely tainted with Russian disinformation."

"Thanks to Attorney General Barr's and Acting Director Grenell's declassification of the footnotes, we know the FBI's justification to target an American Citizen was riddled with significant flaws," the Senator stated. "Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his team did what neither the FBI nor Special Counsel Mueller cared to do: examine and investigate corruption at the FBI, the sources of the Steele dossier, how it was disseminated, and reporting that it contained Russian disinformation."

The Footnotes

A U.S. Official familiar with the investigation into the FBI told this reporter that the footnotes "clearly show that the FBI team was or should have had been aware that the Russian Intelligence Services was trying to influence Steele's reporting in the summer of 2016, and that there were some preferences for Hillary; and that this RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] sourced information being fed to Steele was designed to hurt Trump."

The official noted these new revelations also "undermines the ICA on Russian Interference and the intent to help Trump. It undermines the FISA warrants and there should not have been a Mueller investigation."

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/456702034/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-FfQY6LojXtyOnkGw6OiJ

Russian's Appeared To Have Preferred Clinton

The footnotes also reveal a startling fact that go against Brennan's assessment that Russia was vying for Trump, when in fact, the Russians appeared to be hopeful of a Clinton presidency.

"The FBI received information in June, 2017 which revealed that, among other things, there were personal and business ties between the sub-source and Steele's Primary Sub-source, contacts between the sub-source and an individual in the Russian Presidential Administration in June/July 2016 [redacted] and the sub source voicing strong support for candidate Clinton in the 2016 U.S. election. The Supervisory Intel Analyst told us that the FBI did not have a Section 702 vicarage on any other Steele sub-source."

Steele's Lies

The complete four pages of the partially redacted footnotes paint a clear picture of the alleged malfeasance committed by former FBI Director James Comey, former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, who were all aware of the concerns regarding the information supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele in the dossier. Steele, who was hired by the private embattled research firm Fusion GPS, was paid for his work through the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The FBI also paid for Steele's work before ending its confidential source relationship with him but then used Obama DOJ Official Bruce Ohr as a go between to continue obtaining information from the former spy.

In footnote 205, for instance, payment documents show that Steele lied about not being a Confidential Human Source.

"During his time as an FBI CHS, Steele received a total of $95,000 from the FBI," the footnote states. "We reviewed the FBI paperwork for those payments, each of which required Steele's Signed acknowledgement. On each document, of which there were eight, was the caption 'CHS payment' and 'CHS Payment Name.' A signature page was missing for one of the payments."

Footnote 350

In footnote 350, Horowitz describes the questionable Russian disinformation and the FBI's reliance on the information to target the Trump campaign as an attempt to build a narrative that campaign officials colluded with Russia. Further, the timeline reveals that Comey, Brennan and Clapper were aware of the disinformation by Russian intelligence when they briefed then President-elect Trump in January, 2017 on the Steele dossier.

"[redacted] In addition to the information in Steele's Delta file documenting Steele's frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from [redacted] indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele' election reporting," stated the partially declassified footnote 350. "A January 12, 2017 report relayed information from [redacted] outlining an inaccuracy in a limited subset of Steele's reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen. The [redacted] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele's reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.

A second report from the same [redacted] five days later stated that a person named in the limited subset of Steele's reporting had denied representations in the reporting and the [redacted] assessed that the person's denials were truthful. A USIC report dated February 27, 2017, contained information about an individual with reported connections to Trump and Russia who claimed that the public reporting about the details of Trump's sexual activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) 'infiltrate[ing] a source into the network' of a [redacted] who compiled a dossier of that individual on Trump's activities. The [redacted] noted that it had no information indicating that the individual had special access to RIS activities or information," according to the partially declassified footnote.

Looming Questions

Another concern regarding Steele's unusual activity is found in footnote 210, which states "as we discuss in Chapter Six, members of the Crossfire Hurricane Team were unaware of Steele's connections to Russian Oligarch 1."

The question remains that "Steele's unusual activity with 10 oligarch's led the FBI to seek a validation review in 2015 but one was not started until 2017," said the U.S. Official to this reporter. "Why not? Was Crossfire Hurricane aware of these concerns? Was the court made aware of these concerns? Didn't the numerous notes about sub sources and sources having links or close ties to Russian intelligence so why didn't this set off alarm bells?"

More alarming, it's clear, Supervisory Intelligence Agent Jonathan Moffa says in June 17, that he was not aware of reports that Russian Intelligence Services was aware of Steele's election reporting and influence efforts.

"However, he should have been given the reporting by UCIS" which the U.S. Official says, goes back to summer 2016.

Footnote 342 makes it clear that "in late January, 2017, a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team received information [redacted] that RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] may have targeted Orbis."

[Apr 14, 2020] The media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang (Operation Mockingbird), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

PJB , Apr 14 2020 12:02 utc | 91

@Wlliam Gruff

Whether social democrat or socialist - I agree Sanders did progress the cause for needed societal, financial and political change.

But why did he fold so weakly and meekly in both 2016 and again now?

Especially in the face of obvious vote rigging by the Hillary campaign (as proven in a Florida civil court ruling - albeit with the judge's decision accepting the DNC Defense argument that the DNC has the right to appoint their candidate and override the primaries - sudden untimely death of two of the lawyers for the Bernie Sanders supporters who brought the case as well).

This time the totally unexpected victory on "Super Thursday" as Sleepy Joe called it in 9 state primaries stinks to high heaven. Maybe he did win given the media support and enough ignoramuses voted for a man who is blatantly suffering dementia as well as having been a corrupt nepotist of the highest order and an alleged rapist and video documented serial creepy fondler of women and young children.

Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed.

Trump will win - because many will hope he is a renegade oligarch who has some moral compass even if a broken one.

William Gruff , Apr 14 2020 12:32 utc | 93

PJB @89

A social democrat will refuse to demand that General Motors make concessions to the workers unless General Motors is making solid profits. Extend the concept to the entire economy. Capitalism is in crisis. For a social democrat that means heavy demands are off the table until the crisis is resolved and capitalism returns to profitability. How could Sanders deliver on his promises even if he won? Better to just throw in the towel, at least from a social democrat perspective.

"Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media."

Indeed, but there is more to it. The mass media isn't so much colluding with the Dems as the media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang ( Operation Mockingbird ), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party. Instructions to both the mass media and the Dems are coming from the same folks, so it looks like collusion, but actual direct connections between the two will not be so conspicuous.

[Apr 08, 2020] Feudal Japan Edo and the US Empire by Hiroyuki Hamada

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Representative democracy" ..."
"... "people should be shaking up a little" ..."
Apr 08, 2020 | off-guardian.org

After the warlord period of the 15th century, Japan was united by a few families then by a shogun family. The period is called the Edo period. They disarmed civilians and established a mild caste system.

The country was closed except for a few ports controlled by the central government, travel restrictions were put in place and certain technological developments were prohibited.

The period also had an interesting feature called sankinkoutai .

It forced regional leaders to march across the country in formal costumes along with their armies in order to alternate their residences between their home regions and the capital of the feudal Japan, Edo. It also forced leaders' wives and family members to remain in Edo at all time. It was an elaborate system to keep the hierarchical structure intact.

The reign lasted a few centuries with no conflicts within the land until the US forced to open Japan in order to use its ports for whaling business. I've been suspecting that the aim of some people among the ruling class circle is to establish such a closed hierarchical system which can function in a "sustainable" manner. But of course it is not exactly a system of equality and sharing as it would be advertised.

The notion of "sustainable" is also very much questionable as we see blatant lies hidden behind carbon trade schemes, nuclear energy, "humanitarian" colonialism rampant in Africa and other areas and so on.

I mentioned about the special feature, sankinkoutai , since I see an interesting parallel between it and "representative democracy" within the capitalist West today. Of course, we don't have such an obvious requirement among us, but similar dynamics occur within our capitalist framework. Our thoughts and activities are always subservient to the moneyed transactions guided by the economic networks.

Our economic restrictions can force us to make decisions to do away with our needs -- we might abandon our skills, interests, friendships, life styles, philosophies, ideologies, community obligations and so on.

In fact, some of us are forced to live on streets, die of treatable illness, suffer under heavy debt and so on as we struggle. In a way, we surrender our basic needs as hostages to the system just as the Japanese regional leaders had to leave their family members under the watch of the Shogun family. Moreover, the more our thoughts differ from that of neoliberal capitalist framework, the more we must put our efforts in adjusting to it. Some of us might be labeled as "dissidents", and such a label can create obstacles in our social activities.

This functions similar to the fact that Japanese feudal regional leaders who were further away from the capital geographically had to put more efforts in marching across the country, requiring them to expend more resources. In a capitalist system, this occurs economically as well -- those who are already oppressed by the economic strife must spend more resources to conform to the draconian measures to survive.

Now, one might wonder why regional leaders had subjected themselves to such an inhumane scheme. The march across the country was considered as a show of strength and authority -- it was a proud moment to put on their costume to show off. The populations across the country were forced to respect this process with reverence and awe. There were strict regulations regarding how to treat such marches.

This situation can be compared to our political process -- Presidential election in particular, in which our powers and interests are put in the corporate political framework to be shaped, tweaked and distorted. Sanctioned by capitalist mandates and agendas, political candidates march across the nation while people proudly cheer their favorite ones. The more complacent to the capitalist framework the candidates are, the more lavish the marches. This forces the contents of political discourse to remain within the capitalist framework while excluding candidates and their supporters whose ideas are not subservient to it.

"Representative democracy" within a capitalist framework can be one of the most strong ways to install values, beliefs and norms of the ruling class into minds of the people whose interests can be significantly curtailed by those ideas. All this can be achieved in the name of "democracy", "free election" and so on.

Since people's minds and their collective mode of operations are deeply indoctrinated to be a part of the capitalist structure, any crisis would strengthen the fundamental integrity of the structure. I heard a Trump supporter saying that "people should be shaking up a little" . That's actually a very appropriate description. You shake their ground, people try to hold onto whatever they think is a solid structure. Some of us might, however, try to hold onto a Marxist perspective for example.

That, of course, provokes triggering reactions by those who go along with the capitalist framework, because they are particularly threatened, sensing that their entire belief system might fall. Examination of facts and contexts during the time of crisis can generate divisions and opportunities to control and moderate opposing views.

Capitalist institutions are dominated by this mentality which might explain the extremely quick mobilization of the draconian restrictions and the demand for more restrictions during the time of "crisis". Economic incentives, as well as self-preservation within the system, force people to engage actively in unquestioning manner.

For example, we have observed concerted efforts in mobilizing media, government agencies, legal system and so on to "combat" "drug issues", "inner-city violence" and so on which has led to mass incarceration, police killings and "gentrification" of primarily minority communities.

Needless to say, 9/11 has created enormous momentum of colonial wars against middle eastern countries. No major media outlets or politicians questioned blatant lies surrounding WMD claim against Iraq for example. As a result, many countries were destroyed while one out of a hundred people on the planet became refugees. Draconian regulations became normal, racism and xenophobia among people intensified and the term "global surveillance" became a household term.

This situation requires further examination since there are a few layers which must be identified.

First, we must recognize that there is an industry that commodifies "dissenting voices". The people who engage in this have no intention of examining the exploitive mechanism of capitalist hierarchy. Some of them typically chose topics of government wrongdoings in contexts of fascist ideologies (jews are taking over the world, for example), space aliens and so on. The angles are calibrated to keep serious inquiries away but they nonetheless garner major followings.

When certain topics fall into their hands, discussing them can become tediously unproductive as it prompts a label "conspiracy". It also contributes in herding dissidents toward fascist ideology while keeping them away from understanding actual social structure.

The second point is related to the first, when the topic enters the realm of "conspiracy", and when we lose means to confirm facts, many of us experience cognitive dissonance. The unspoken fear of the system becomes bigger than any of the topics at hand, and some of us shut down our thought process. As a result, we are left with hopelessness, cynicism and complacency. This is a major tool of the system of extortion. It makes some of us say "if there is a President who tries to overthrow capitalism, he or she will be assassinated".

Such a statement illustrates the fact that understanding of the violent system, fear and complacency can firmly exist in people's minds without openly admitting to it.

Third, aside from the unspoken fear toward the destructive system, there is also unspoken recognition that the system is inherently unsustainable to itself and to its environment. The cultish faith in capitalist framework is upheld by myths of white supremacy, American exceptionalism and most of all by our structural participation to it.

Any cult with an unsustainable trajectory eventually faces its doomsday phase. It desires a demise of everything, which allows cultists to avoid facing the nature of the cult. It allows them to fantasize a rebirth. This, in turn, allows the system to utilize a catastrophic crisis as a springboard to shift its course while implementing draconian measures to prop itself up. "The time of survival" normalizes the atrocity of structural violence in reinforcing the hierarchical order, while those with relative social privilege secretly rejoice the arrival of "the end".

Any of those three dynamics can be actively utilized by those who are determined to manipulate and control the population.

Now, there is another interesting coincidence with the Japanese history. The title Shogun had been a figurehead status given by the imperial family of Japan long before the Edo period. Shogun is a short version of Seiitaishogun, which can be translated as Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians. The title indicates the nature of the trajectory more bluntly than the US presidency which is also Commander in Chief–which has engaged in numerous colonial expeditions over the generations.

But as I mentioned above, the Edo period was not a time of fighting "barbarians", it was a time of a closed feudal system and its hierarchy was strictly controlled by its customs and regulations. The current trajectory of our time prompts one to suspect that the inevitable path to be a similar one.

Our thoughts and ideas have been already controlled by capitalist framework for generations. We knowingly and unknowingly participate in this hostage taking extortion structure. While shaken by crisis after crisis, we have gone through waves of changes, which have implemented rigid social restrictions against our ability to see through lies and rise above the feudal order of money and violence.

I must say that I do understand that above discussion is very much generalized. One can certainly argue against validity of the parallel based on historical facts and contexts. Some might also argue that Edo period to be far more humane on some regards, in terms of how people related to their natural surroundings, or the system being actually sustainable, for instance. But I believe that my main points still stand as valid and worthy of serious considerations.

Also, it is not my intention to label, demean and demonize policy makers of our time in cynical manner. My intention is to put the matter as a topic of discussion among those who are concerned in a constructive manner. The comparison was used as a device for us to step back from our time and space in evaluating our species' path today.

Doctortrinate ,

there's no doubt -- the game has many strings to its bow, not helped by the peoples alacrity of contribution -- notably, when called to Vote.

Generations through generation, used and abused, oppressed and distressed, and still they returned to the spiders labyrinth to sustain the fabric of its future slaves to it's design, expanding the web, sanctioning Its cause all the while, to a degeneration of theirs.

Example after example of the corruption, deviance, distortions and exploitation, and again they return, depersonalized by repetition saturation, caught in a Stockholm syndrome victim captor beguilement of slavery Is freedom -- and what of this latest attack, the warring virus -- will the mass of unhinged automotons view it as another rescue -- condemning us "all" to a big tech digitally enslaved end.

Or, will they finally, Wake Up and see the light ?

Charlotte Russe ,

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate there's been over 30 million cases of influenza during America's flu season, which began in September 2019, with a death toll exceeding 20,000." It must be noted, that in 2018 45 million were infected with the flu in the US, and there were 80,000 deaths. As of this moment, the World-O-Meter cites 338,999 cases of Covid-19 in the US with 9,687 deaths. This mortality rate indicates the deaths resulting from COVID-19 could be much "lower" than those resulting from the 2018 flu where the touted vaccine did NOT work.

I think it's safe to say, we'll trully never know the source of Covid-19. We can only speculate. It could have been transmitted from bats in a Wuhan wet market, or it could have leaked out of a military lab. What can be definitely said, is that the panic associated with the pandemic benefitted the rulers of ALL major capitalist dictatorships.

Fascist nation-states like China and Russia are grasping for a chance to make new friends in high places as a way to replace the numero-uno superpower. And while China and Russia are attempting to build new alliances the infighting persists within the EU. In the end, it makes no difference which member of this sinister trio becomes the "big macher"– the working-class, middle-class, and the working-poor will remain victims of exploitative leeches.

Simply put, a landlord might sell his property to a new owner, but the occupying tenant will still be required to pay rent, and might actually see an increase in their monthly fee. It's like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Worldwide every country is "infected" with a bunch of crumb-bum leaders. A crisis intensifies their lechery. This is especially the case for those who have very little. We see this constantly, every time there's an ecological disaster whether it's a flood, hurricane, earthquake, typhoon, etc Disasters always wipeout the most vulnerable. These populations possess fewer resources, hence fewer options. This has been the case for time and immemorial. We're just more cognizant every time a disaster occurs because of surveillance technology and globalization.

The real question which needs to be explored is why does the human species remain so flawed. Human nature has not evolved in thousands of years. The same brutish sociopathic tendencies which existed 10,000 years ago exist today. Perhaps Homo sapiens, are in an evolutionary quagmire where only the "dung and malarkey" are allowed to rise to the top.

Whatever the case may be, billions are organized by various forms of "muck authority" who yield significantly more power than 15th Century Edo feudal lords. In addition, if the entire worldwide capitalist system collapsed 90 percent of the world's population would perish. The sustenance of billions are too intertwined within the capitalist resource system. Interestingly enough, primitive societies (if any are left) and survivalists might be the small remainders of a civilization which became too big for its breaches.

So what are the options you might be thinking, since many of us never bothered to hone those imperative life saving survival skills. The only answer is "reform." Groups with shared interests need to organize and mobilize. Peaceful, but tenaciously protests could force concessions without alienating the remaining population. This could be done. It happened in the 1930's and the outcome of mass demonstrations lead to the New Deal. It's something to think about, once the world stops self-isolating. The options are limited -- the path either leads to neo-feudalism or barbarism. Unless of course, someone can figure out how to eliminate the sociopathic gene within the human species.

Rhys Jaggar ,

I think I can answer this question: the fact is that when a leader rules by fear, power and crushing dissent, only those displaying similar characteristics will thrive under them.

Back when the human condition was rather tenuous and being eaten by big predators a significant possibility, the traits selected for were ruthless killing, hunting and, in the case of males, winning the right to breed. There were no 11 pluses for selecting breeders, rather punch ups, elimination of rivals and the like. The females were selected for childbearing capabilities, since giving birth was one of the most hazardous activities a female would undertake. They were not selected for religious evolution, nor for philosophical insight.

As a result, the hierarchies of human society grew around those more primitive traits and, by and large, remain there, albeit diluted down somewhat.

But thuggery, chicaneries, spying and lying are still the traits most valued in a dog-eat-dog world. Insight can be stolen, bled dry and then dumped.

Who needs a brain when you can steal someone else's ey?

Charlotte Ruse ,

To put it simply, deviant ruthless behavior is baked into the cake.

[Apr 05, 2020] Esper tone deafness: a sad illustration of wildly misplaced priorities of military industrial complex

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Modernizing our strategic nuclear forces is a top priority for the @DeptofDefense and the @POTUS to protect the American people and our allies. ..."
"... As a pandemic ravages the nation, a sad illustration of wildly misplaced priorities ..."
Apr 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

b on April 5, 2020 at 14:28 UTC | Permalink

Tone deafness: @EsperDoD @EsperDoD - 16:09 UTC 4 Apr 2020

Modernizing our strategic nuclear forces is a top priority for the @DeptofDefense and the @POTUS to protect the American people and our allies.
Kingston Reif @KingstonAReif - 18:29 UTC - Apr 4 2020
As a pandemic ravages the nation, a sad illustration of wildly misplaced priorities.

Initial FY 2021 budget requests for:

[Apr 02, 2020] There is ZERO DIFFERENCE between the ENTIRE Democratic party and RUNOS - because they are the same crooked, corrupt and terrible people. Same scam artists. Same criminals.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And now you are hoping the Bushites team up with Democrats. Let me tell you something. THEY ALREADY ARE AND HAVE BEEN. Most of the Bush family and their admins voted for Clinton. ..."
"... One of my far left Bernie buddies said something interesting ..."
"... . "The Democrats have embraced hypocrisy. They hated Nixon and loved Obama. Both did the exact same thing. One got busted. Democrats hated the Bush family, but love the Clintons and the Democrat establishment. THEY ARE THE SAME DAMN PEOPLE. There are 3 groups of people in the US. Trump supporters, Bernie supporters and the domestic enemy establishment." ..."
Apr 02, 2020 | thehill.com

Gee Money 10 hours ago • edited

The Dems will give Rino lawmakers a choice in two weeks. Drop Donny or get on the unemployment line in November. I wonder what the GOP will decide.

Don Draighneaux Gee Money10 hours ago
I ain't giving them a choice, I'm giving them the boot

215 days until Correction Day

Je vois tout Gee Money10 hours ago
Investigate everyone of them for crimes against America and Americans.
Tyye Gee Money10 hours ago
They will take their "socialist" government welfare and still vote for Trump to own the libs...
Durwood McElroy Gee Money10 hours ago
You just Freudianly said something interesting. As a former Democrat, I am proud of NEVER have voted for anyone named "Bush". The entire family is as crooked as it gets. The entire anti-Trump, never Trumping RINOs are led by the Bushes and their crooked apologists, like Bill "I love me some Bush Oil Wars" Kristol.

How much did the Bush family throw at Jebby, in hopes he get the nomination in 2016? I think it was $150m in Iowa alone?

And now you are hoping the Bushites team up with Democrats. Let me tell you something. THEY ALREADY ARE AND HAVE BEEN. Most of the Bush family and their admins voted for Clinton.

There is ZERO DIFFERENCE between the ENTIRE Democratic party and RUNOS - because they are the same crooked, corrupt and terrible people. Same scam artists. Same criminals.

Thanks for pointing it out. One of my far left Bernie buddies said something interesting . "The Democrats have embraced hypocrisy. They hated Nixon and loved Obama. Both did the exact same thing. One got busted. Democrats hated the Bush family, but love the Clintons and the Democrat establishment. THEY ARE THE SAME DAMN PEOPLE. There are 3 groups of people in the US. Trump supporters, Bernie supporters and the domestic enemy establishment."

He is more correct than I am

[Apr 02, 2020] We have two discredited old parties, incapable of dealing with the crises facing them, attempting to revive the only ideas that have ever galvanised the US public in their lifetimes: opposition to communism and the racism which underlay just about every US military adventure since 1945

Highly recommended!
Apr 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Apr 1 2020 20:48 utc | 38

US Politicians never forget that for the past seventy years russophobia and sinophobic racism- both of which have deep roots in the culture- formed the bases of the ideology of anti-communism.

The Democrats, totally discredited by the 2016 Election campaign and decades of Clinton/Obama swings towards the right and away from the old New Deal constituencies, began by accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians- who most of the DNC deliberately suggested, and probably genuinely thought, were Communists.

Trump's response is now to revive the anti-Peoples Republic witch-hunts of the past to use against the Democrats.

We have two discredited old parties, incapable of dealing with the crises facing them, attempting to revive the only ideas that have ever galvanised the US public in their lifetimes: opposition to communism and the racism which underlay just about every US military adventure since 1945 - the all purpose anti-gook racism that saw them through the wars against Japan, Korea, IndoChina and the People's Republic.

It is going to make the spectacle of two monkeys throwing shit at each other seem positively restrained - the Democrats howling about Russia and the Republicans, reverting to type, starting up lynch mobs against China.

[Mar 26, 2020] An interesting hypothesis about why Biden won Super Thusday by John O'Kane

Highly recommended!
Will Sanders supporters vote for Biden? I think the answer is NO.
Notable quotes:
"... His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016? ..."
"... The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. ..."
"... The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run. ..."
"... It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns ..."
"... Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams ..."
"... Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. ..."
"... Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. ..."
"... These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." ..."
"... For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig ..."
"... The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. ..."
"... It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. ..."
"... The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations. ..."
Mar 25, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Originally from: Joe Biden's Opinion-Shaping Machine And Race

Wall Street broke out its checkbooks for Joe Biden in the wake of Super Tuesday, no surprise since his campaign is already its major recipient. Plus, he was the VP for an administration greatly indebted to it. Transparency. His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016?

Biden is the last moderate standing, having positioned himself clearly against the Sanders "revolution" in the debates, though it's difficult to conjure a theme or concept that shapes his campaign besides beating Trump, the perception he can giving him an edge. We can thank the Democratic party establishment for pressuring the other moderates out of the race to prop Biden up (Matthew Stevenson, "The Super Tuesday Sting," 3/6/20, CounterPunch ).

But race played a curious role. The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. He trumpeted his record on race in the debates which Kamala Harris -- who has now endorsed him -- exposed as checkered at best. Though avoiding any direct discussion of Obama's policies, he has at least been mentioning him more often. This surely gave him a bump as well since the former president is still popular among Blacks. Though selective amnesia likely rules here since the Congressional Black Caucus separated itself from him early in his administration. The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run.

Black voters make up 56% of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina and Biden got an estimated 61-64% of it. Sanders received 17%. These proportions generally hold nationally through the latest series of primaries. But Blacks have the largest support of any group for the signature progressive issue endorsed by Sanders, single payer health insurance. The national percentage is 74%. Since it's hard to believe such deep-seeded beliefs could be countered, what intervened? The all-out media assault from sundry front groups doing the bidding of the private insurance industry to dissuade voters from choosing any candidate spouting Medicare For All was surely influential but hardly determining.

It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns , like their decreasing standard of living and their increasing economic insecurity, according to Adolph Reed Jr. and Willie Legette. In the run-up to the 2016 South Carolina primary, for example, Congressmen James Clyburn (D-SC), John Lewis (D-GA), and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) denounced calls for free public higher education as "irresponsible" because "there are no free lunches." Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams , 3/7/20).

Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. The expectation has been that the post-Civil Rights semblance of movements would coalesce around a resistance to this bloc, but the Black brokers and opinion shapers have mostly relished their roles in the dominant power structure. Since 2016, according to Reed and Legette, it has converged around a narrative that Sanders has difficulty appealing to Black voters, even as polls have shown repeatedly that his program is more popular among Black Americans than any other group. It has graded Sanders down for his critique of Obama and especially for mounting a primary challenge against him. Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. Its main objective is to "undermine Black Americans' participation in a broad movement for social transformation along economically egalitarian lines. "

These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." She finds that voters concur, believing that Biden will fight for those rights since, as one representative interviewee claims, he was "with Obama all those years." The clincher is that he is also the best bet to beat Trump. They're "deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump" ("Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden," New York Times , 3/6/20).

Is this an elite-fed discourse that stuck, or possibly some toxic populism like what circulates among Trump supporters? An investment in the good ole days when the Civil Rights Movement was ascendant is a worthy sentiment for sure. Where would racial relations be without the historic transformation that produced the pivotal "rights" legislation in the 1960s? And many who passed through those moments might have a romantic attraction to Biden's image even though his support of Blacks before Obama hitched him was feeble.

But consider what's happened since. The turn to the right in the 1970s brought on a mild "Reconstruction"-era backlash whose signal legal event was the Bakke case in 1977 which weakened Affirmative Action and banned quotas that were now deemed proof of "reverse discrimination." The down-turning economy during this decade was the start of a structural change that revealed the widening wealth and income gap between the lower and upper classes, and Blacks were hit disproportionately hard. The rights legislation that helped to narrow the gap in the prior decade offered less protection.

The Reagan administration attempted to turn the clock back to the pre-Civil Rights era and partially succeeded in wiping away the gains Blacks had made. Toward the end of the decade protections, especially Affirmative Action, were further weakened legally, and culturally as "reverse discrimination" claims from intellectuals like Charles Murray and others compounded, supporting the rollback of social policy initiatives. These sympathies were also evident in Black communities where leaders pondered how to do the right thing and reverse the loss of ground. Many began to view Affirmative Action, for example, as a fetter, a burden that tainted performance by suggesting it was undeserved. The 1990s went far in dismantling all regulatory regimes, discrediting social policy initiatives, heeding the suggestions of Murray and passing the burden of improvement onto responsible individuals. The 1996 welfare "reform" law crystalized these changes, reversing AFDC and its underlying concept, no-fault entitlement, and the impact on Blacks was devastating. The Clintons were staunch advocates but somehow this association didn't erode Hilary's huge support in the Black community in 2016. Any gains for those who got the point and took personal responsibility after this change and tried to work the market to their advantage were wiped out by the effects of the 2008 Great Recession. As recent studies show, this event severely impacted Blacks, deflating their capital assets -- mainly property values through the housing market crash -- to a level not seen for many since the pre-Movement years, widening the wealth gap with whites.

Mara Gay claims that "despite enormous progress," referring to South Carolina, "poverty in this still largely rural region, for Southerners of every race, remains crushing." Enormous progress for what strata of society? Is every race being crushed equally? Progress and regress exist here in a kind of murky relationship. Who are the winners? If there is only a generalized, abstract poverty, then perhaps Blacks just see themselves as part of one big unfortunate swatch of misery and there's no need for a special candidate to articulate their issues. Biden will do just fine!

Do the Blacks who voted for Biden really believe that rights, and possibly a stronger Affirmative Action, will get them better jobs and health care and education and housing, what polls say they want? The Supreme Court certainly weakened provisions of the rights legislation, ironically during the Obama years, and that needs to be redressed. But rights for individuals or a group need to be expressed with the potential of producing results. They could be in the 1960s when the kind of liberal Democrats Sanders espouses controlled Congress and our society was an ascendant, center-left one, mostly sympathetic with improving the plight of the underprivileged. Now structural change needs to accompany the expression of rights and compensate for this loss of sympathy in a society that is much more unequal generally, and especially within racial and ethnic groups.

A romantic attachment to the legacy and concept of civil rights in a vacuum allows the discourse of identity politics to capture the critical energy of race. The times demand the opposite, the link between rights and social justice; the gathering of all identities, affiliations, and dispositions together to discuss the common structure that can overcome division and artificial barriers. Class is such a structure. The delink of rights and social justice converts to the denial of the realities of class.

For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig , 3/3/20).

There's a striking inequality gap within the Black community that's been widening for some time, as William Julius Wilson's research has amply documented for nearly half a century. The failure of rights activism has left many in the lower and working classes behind as the educated professional class has separated itself from them and achieved significant success. It's interesting that nearly 9% of Blacks voted for Trump in 2016. Why have so few of the Black masses been absorbed a half century after Martin Luther King's death? The inclusion of more from the lower strata will need to break down the not-very-visible structural barriers to mobility that divide and exclude. Something like the pro-active re-structuring pushed by the Rainbow Coalition, Jesse Jackson's multi-racial, structural response to the widening of the inequality gap in his 1980s run for the presidency, which was clearly the revival of MLK's late expression of the link between race and class. The distance between King's social justice vision and activism and the rights-rhetoric infused activity of today is remarkable. It's interesting that Jackson recently endorsed Sanders.

The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. Further evidence of this strength came recently in an interchange between Michael Eric Dyson, a persistent critic of the Obama legacy, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a staunch Sanders supporter (DemocracyNow. 3/16/20). Dyson has endorsed Biden, a surprise to many progressives given his critical history of mainstream liberalism. His reasoning is curious.

It's not that he feels Biden is or has become a progressive. It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. There's a hint it seems that Biden could be in the early stages of conversion to progressive ideas, or at least perhaps is a latently aggressive liberal and spirited supporter of the Black cause who can make change if elected because he -- and the Democratic Party? -- have been pushed to the left by the Sanders "revolution" begun in 2016. Biden has the best "methodology" and will be able to "deploy" it.

A staunch advocate of structural change, Dyson now seems to be saying that it can be accomplished through Biden who will have the authority and desire to marshal the necessary forces and interests together to build alliances, forge a consensus. It's true that Biden's public relations gestures -- considered separate from his debate focus -- have passed the desire test. He's come out liberal and even progressive-sounding on most issues, pushed there perhaps by Sanders' momentum as Dyson suggests ("Joe Biden's Positions on the Issues," Politico , 3/5/20).

But what will he forge a consensus about? In the process of marshaling forces together will he become a converted progressive, pumped up by his successes as an alliance builder? Will he support Medicare for All from having witnessed the effects of our health care system straining under pressure from the coronavirus? Will he be able to convince Sanders' supporters to come along and bide their time as this -- utopian -- process evolves?

The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations.

... ... ...

John O'Kane teaches writing at Chapman University. His next book, From Hyperion to Erebus, is due out this year from Wapshott Press.

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senator

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "better prepared than ever ..."
"... "akin to the 1918 pandemic." ..."
"... "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," ..."
"... "Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks." ..."
"... "stomach churning," ..."
"... "For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," ..."
"... "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself." ..."
"... "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," ..."
"... "calling for immediate investigations" ..."
"... "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, commenters from all sides have demanded swift punishment for US senators who dumped stock after classified Covid-19 briefings. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called for criminal prosecution. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has received daily briefings on the threat posed by Covid-19 since January. Burr insisted to the public that America was ready to handle the virus, but sold up to $1.5 million in stocks on February 13, less than a week before the stock market nosedived, according to Senate filings . Immediately before the sale, Burr wrote an op-ed assuring Americans that their government is "better prepared than ever " to handle the virus.

Also on rt.com Liberal icon Sean Penn wants a 'compassionate' army deployment to fight Covid-19

After the sale, NPR reported that he told a closed-door meeting of North Carolina business leaders that the virus actually posed a threat "akin to the 1918 pandemic." Burr does not dispute the NPR report.

In a tweet on Saturday, former 2020 presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for criminal investigations. "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," she wrote.

"Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks."

Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated & prosecuted for insider trading (the STOCK Act). It is illegal & abuse of power. Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks. https://t.co/rbVfJxrk3r

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2020

Burr was not the only lawmaker on Capitol Hill to take precautions, it was reported. Fellow Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and her husband sold off more than a million dollars of shares in a biotech company five days later, while Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe (R) made a smaller sale around the same time. Both say their sales were routine.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) attended a Senate Health Committee briefing on the outbreak on January 24. The very same day, she began offloading stock, dropping between $1.2 and $3.1 million in shares over the following weeks. The companies whose stock she sold included airlines, retail outlets, and Chinese tech firm Tencent.

She did, however, invest in cloud technology company Oracle, and Citrix, a teleworking company whose value has increased by nearly a third last week, as social distancing measures forced more and more Americans to work from home. All of Loeffler's transactions were made with her husband, Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) have joined the clamor of voices demanding punishment. Ocasio-Cortez described the sales as "stomach churning," while Omar reached across the aisle to side with Fox News' Tucker Carlson in calling for Burr's resignation.

I am 💯 with him on this 😱 https://t.co/Gbi3i2BagY

-- Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

"For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," Carlson said during a Friday night monolog. "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself."

As of Saturday, there are nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US, with the death toll heading towards 300. Now both sides of the political aisle seem united in disgust at the apparent profiteering of Burr, Loeffler, and Feinstein.

Right-wing news outlet Breitbart savaged Burr for voting against the STOCK Act in 2012, a piece of legislation that would have barred members of Congress from using non-public information to profit on the stock market. At the same time, a host of Democratic figures - including former presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Kirsten Gillibrand - weighed in with their own criticism too.

"If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," Yang tweeted on Friday.

If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest.

-- Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 20, 2020

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed complaints with the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee "calling for immediate investigations" of Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws."

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Mar 21, 2020] Tucker Senator Burr sold shares after virus briefing

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bowhead31 , 5 hours ago

The problem is these people no longer see themselves as public servants.

Maria Summers , 6 hours ago

The Georgia Senator is just as guilty as the rest of them, regarding "Insider Trading".

shane passey , 3 hours ago

She's a crook just like the rest of the politicians. They say they be there for the people. But they're really there to make themselves rich

[Mar 21, 2020] Don't forget our congress critter Senator Kelly Loeffler

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@supenau

who make profits as well. I cannot remember exactly when insider trading for them became legal but it should be no surprise to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that they're ALL doing it. That is one reason, at least in my semi-educated opinion, they did not go after Trump for emoluments during Shampeachment, because THEY ALL DO IT.

That goes all the way to the White House, no doubt.

Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 10:28am

Looks as if the crisis profiteers were on top of it:

Think about this:

Weeks before you had any inkling you were going to lose your job, was selling off millions of stocks -- and *buying* stock in a teleworking company.

-- Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 20, 2020

[Mar 20, 2020] Such a nice Trojan Horse: How is it possible to morph from a Tulsi, to a Tulsigieg so fast??

Highly recommended!
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Ronald van Kemenade , 9 hours ago

After the DNC stabbing her in the back, she should have endorsed Trump.

Nate Hoffman , 11 hours ago

Great actress. Very convincing.

tim ahlf , 5 hours ago

Obama gave her a call like he did everybody else.

Rita Marie Kelley , 12 hours ago

Aloha will never be the same...

Jack Carvis , 1 hour ago

Every dem politician has a role(acting job) to play and she deserves the Oscar .

eancd , 6 hours ago

I guess they won't be calling Tulsi a Russian agent any more

State of Opportunity , 12 hours ago

She should've just endorsed Lindsey Graham.

TheNada73 , 5 hours ago

They made her an offer she can't refuse.

Bruce Liu , 3 hours ago

Tulsi is controlled opposition

[Mar 13, 2020] US send 20,000 soldiers to Europe for killing practice (Defender Europe) while locking down US. Are they immune? How

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

charliechan , Mar 13 2020 20:36 utc | 115

charlie chan wonders why entire media world fear mongering.

The CDC test kits error 49% to positive.

And charlie chan not hear of one case of flu death. Did Corona Virus cure the flu?

US send 20,000 soldiers to Europe for killing practice (Defender Europe) while locking down US. Are they immune? How?

[Mar 13, 2020] Daffy Duck. cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. It dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2020 | thesaker.is

Vaughan on March 12, 2020 , · at 7:43 pm EST/EDT

Recently, I was watching the old Looney Tunes Cartoons with my Grandchild and we were watching, "Duck Dodges in the 21st and a Half Century"
I don't know if you've watched this cartoon starring Daffy Duck. You can view it here
https://vimeo.com/76668594

This cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. But while watching this cartoon, it dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.
I could write an article on this but I think we'll leave it as a note with a snide laugh to be had by all.

Patricia Ormsby on March 12, 2020 , · at 8:16 pm EST/EDT
Laughter is one of the best medicines. Thank you for this!

[Mar 12, 2020] The Democratic Party Surrenders to Nostalgia by Bill Blum

Highly recommended!
Trump does not have a party with the program that at least pretends to pursue "socialism for a given ethnic group". He is more far right nationalist then national socialist. But to the extent neoliberalism can be viewed as neofascism Trump is neo-fascist, he definitly can be called a "national neoliberal."
Notable quotes:
"... I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket. ..."
"... Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory ..."
"... The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term. ..."
"... Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. ..."
"... An appeal to a frustrated middle class that is suffering from an economic crisis of humiliation and fear of the pressure exerted by lower social groups. ..."
"... Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles. ..."
"... Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions. ..."
"... Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age . ..."
Mar 11, 2020 | www.truthdig.com
Now that the Michigan Democratic primary is over and Joe Biden has been declared the winner , it's time to read the handwriting on the political wall: Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president, and Bernie Sanders will be the runner-up once again come the party's convention in July. Sanders might influence the party's platform, but platforms are never binding for the nominee. Sanders has lost, and so have his many progressive supporters, myself included.

I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket.

Funded by wealthy donors, run by Beltway insiders and aided and abetted by a corporate media dedicated to promoting the notion that Sanders was " unelectable ," the Democratic Party never welcomed Sanders as a legitimate contender. Not in 2016 and not in 2020. In several instances, it even resorted to some good old-fashioned red-baiting to frighten voters; the party is, after all, a capitalist institution. Working and middle-class families support the Democrats largely because they have no other place to go on Election Day besides the completely corrupt and craven GOP.

Now we are left with Donald Trump and Biden to duke it out in the fall. Yes, it has come to that.

In terms of campaign rhetoric and party policies, the general election campaign will be a battle for America's past far more than it will be a contest for its future. The battle will be fueled on both sides by narratives and visions that are illusory, regressive and, in important respects, downright dangerous.

Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory that ignores our deeply entrenched history of patriarchal white supremacy and brutal class domination.

The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term.

As the celebrated Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1935 , fascism "is a historic phase of capitalism the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive and most treacherous form of capitalism." Trumpism, along with its international analogs in Brazil, India and Western Europe, neatly accords with Brecht's theory.

Trumpism similarly meets the definition of fascism offered by Robert Paxton in his classic 2004 study, " The Anatomy of Fascism ":

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Trump and Trumpism similarly embody the 14 common factors of fascism identified by the great writer Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay, Ur Fascism :

Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles.

To grasp what neoliberalism means, it's necessary to understand that it does not refer to a revival of the liberalism of the New Deal and New Society programs of the 1930s and 1960s. That brand of liberalism advocated the active intervention of the federal government in the economy to mitigate the harshest effects of private enterprise through such programs as Social Security, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That brand of liberalism imposed high taxes on the wealthy and significantly mitigated income inequality in America.

Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions.

Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age .

As transformational a politician as Barack Obama was in terms of race, he too pursued a predominantly neoliberal agenda. The Affordable Care Act, Obama's singular domestic legislative achievement, is a perfect example of neoliberal private-public collaboration that left intact a health industry dominated by for-profit drug manufacturers and rapacious insurance companies, rather than setting the stage for Medicare for All, as championed by Sanders.

Biden never tires of reminding any audience willing to put up with his gaffes, verbal ticks and miscues that he served as Obama's vice president. Those ties are likely to remain the centerpiece of his campaign, as he promises a return to the civility of the Obama era and a restoration of America's standing in the world.

History, however, only moves forward. As charming and comforting as Biden's imagery of the past may be, it is, like Trump's darker outlook, a mirage. If Trump has taught us anything worthwhile, it is that the past cannot be replicated, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

[Mar 12, 2020] The Democratic Party Surrenders to Nostalgia by Bill Blum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

Mar 11, 2020

Now that the Michigan Democratic primary is over and Joe Biden has been declared the winner , it's time to read the handwriting on the political wall: Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president, and Bernie Sanders will be the runner-up once again come the party's convention in July. Sanders might influence the party's platform, but platforms are never binding for the nominee. Sanders has lost, and so have his many progressive supporters, myself included.

I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket.

Funded by wealthy donors, run by Beltway insiders and aided and abetted by a corporate media dedicated to promoting the notion that Sanders was " unelectable ," the Democratic Party never welcomed Sanders as a legitimate contender. Not in 2016 and not in 2020. In several instances, it even resorted to some good old-fashioned red-baiting to frighten voters; the party is, after all, a capitalist institution. Working and middle-class families support the Democrats largely because they have no other place to go on Election Day besides the completely corrupt and craven GOP.

Now we are left with Donald Trump and Biden to duke it out in the fall. Yes, it has come to that.

In terms of campaign rhetoric and party policies, the general election campaign will be a battle for America's past far more than it will be a contest for its future. The battle will be fueled on both sides by narratives and visions that are illusory, regressive and, in important respects, downright dangerous.

Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory that ignores our deeply entrenched history of patriarchal white supremacy and brutal class domination.

The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term.

As the celebrated Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1935 , fascism "is a historic phase of capitalism the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive and most treacherous form of capitalism." Trumpism, along with its international analogs in Brazil, India and Western Europe, neatly accords with Brecht's theory.

Trumpism similarly meets the definition of fascism offered by Robert Paxton in his classic 2004 study, " The Anatomy of Fascism ":

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Trump and Trumpism similarly embody the 14 common factors of fascism identified by the great writer Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay, Ur Fascism :

Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles.

To grasp what neoliberalism means, it's necessary to understand that it does not refer to a revival of the liberalism of the New Deal and New Society programs of the 1930s and 1960s. That brand of liberalism advocated the active intervention of the federal government in the economy to mitigate the harshest effects of private enterprise through such programs as Social Security, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That brand of liberalism imposed high taxes on the wealthy and significantly mitigated income inequality in America.

Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions.

Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age .

As transformational a politician as Barack Obama was in terms of race, he too pursued a predominantly neoliberal agenda. The Affordable Care Act, Obama's singular domestic legislative achievement, is a perfect example of neoliberal private-public collaboration that left intact a health industry dominated by for-profit drug manufacturers and rapacious insurance companies, rather than setting the stage for Medicare for All, as championed by Sanders.

Biden never tires of reminding any audience willing to put up with his gaffes, verbal ticks and miscues that he served as Obama's vice president. Those ties are likely to remain the centerpiece of his campaign, as he promises a return to the civility of the Obama era and a restoration of America's standing in the world.

History, however, only moves forward. As charming and comforting as Biden's imagery of the past may be, it is, like Trump's darker outlook, a mirage. If Trump has taught us anything worthwhile, it is that the past cannot be replicated, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

[Mar 09, 2020] The One-Choice Election by Chris Hedges

Highly recommended!
Sanders is not a panacea. He is a sheep dog. But neoliberal oligarchs and the Deep State are afraid of sheep dog too. They need puppets.
Bernie Sanders is actually trying to save the Democratic Party from irrelevance. But irrelevance does not bother party bureaucracy and Clintons who still rule the party that much: all they want is money and plush positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. ..."
"... Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty. ..."
"... Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. ..."
"... Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it. ..."
"... Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No. ..."
"... Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office. ..."
Mar 09, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

There is only one choice in this election. The consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden. The oligarchs, with Trump or Biden, will win again. We will lose. The oligarchs made it abundantly clear, should Bernie Sanders miraculously become the Democratic Party nominee, they would join forces with the Republicans to crush him. Trump would, if Sanders was the nominee, instantly be shorn by the Democratic Party elites of his demons and his propensity for tyranny. Sanders would be red-baited -- as he was viciously Friday in The New York Times' " As Bernie Sanders Pushed for Closer Ties, Soviet Union Spotted Opportunity " -- and turned into a figure of derision and ridicule.

The oligarchs preach the sermon of the least-worst to us when they attempt to ram a Hillary Clinton or a Biden down our throats but ignore it for themselves. They prefer Biden over Trump, but they can live with either.

Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. It is impossible working within the system to shatter the hegemony of oligarchic power or institute meaningful reform. Change, real change, will only come by sustained acts of civil disobedience and mass mobilization, as with the yellow vests movement in France and the British-based Extinction Rebellion . The longer we are fooled by the electoral burlesque, the more disempowered we will become.

I was on the streets with protesters in Philadelphia outside the appropriately named Wells Fargo Center during the 2016 Democratic Convention when hundreds of Sanders delegates walked out of the hall. "Show me what democracy looks like!" they chanted, holding Bernie signs above their heads as they poured out of the exits. "This is what democracy looks like!"

Sanders' greatest tactical mistake was not joining them. He bowed before the mighty altar of the corporate state. He had desperately tried to stave off a revolt by his supporters and delegates on the eve of the convention by sending out repeated messages in his name -- most of them authored by members of the Clinton campaign -- to be respectful, not disrupt the nominating process and support Clinton. Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty.

After the 2016 convention, Sanders held rallies -- the crowds pitifully small compared to what he had drawn when he ran as an insurgent -- on Clinton's behalf. He returned to the Senate to loyally line up behind Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose power comes from his ability to funnel tens of millions of dollars in corporate and Wall Street money to anointed Democratic candidates. Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. He endorsed Democratic candidates who espoused the neoliberal economic and political positions he claims to oppose. Sanders, who calls himself an independent, caucused as a Democrat. The Democratic Party determined his assignments in the Senate. Schumer offered to make Sanders the head of the Senate Budget Committee if the Democrats won control of the Senate. Sanders became a party apparatchik.

Sanders apparently believed that if he was obsequious enough to the Democratic Party elite, they would give him a chance in 2020 , a chance they denied him in 2016. Politics, I suspect he would argue, is about compromise and the practical. This is true. But playing politics in a system that is not democratic is about being complicit in the charade. Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it.

Sanders is wounded. The oligarchs will go in for the kill. They will subject him to the same character assassination, aided by the courtiers in the corporate press, that was directed at Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, the only two progressive presidential candidates who managed to seriously threaten the ruling elites since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The feckless liberal class, easily frightened, is already abandoning Sanders, castigating his supporters with their nauseating self-righteousness and championing Biden as a political savior.

Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No.

Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office.

By voting for Biden , you endorse the humiliation of courageous women such as Anita Hill who confronted their abusers. You vote for the architects of the endless wars in the Middle East. You vote for the apartheid state in Israel. You vote for wholesale surveillance of the public by government intelligence agencies and the abolition of due process and habeas corpus. You vote for austerity programs, including the destruction of welfare and cuts to Social Security . You vote for NAFTA, free trade deals, de-industrialization, a decline in wages, the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs and the offshoring of jobs to underpaid workers who toil in sweatshops in China or Vietnam. You vote for the assault on public education and the transfer of federal funds to for-profit and Christian charter schools. You vote for the doubling of our prison population, the tripling and quadrupling of sentences and huge expansion of crimes meriting the death penalty. You vote for militarized police who gun down poor people of color with impunity. You vote against the Green New Deal and immigration reform. You vote for limiting a woman's right to abortion and reproductive rights. You vote for a segregated public-school system in which the wealthy receive educational opportunities and poor people of color are denied a chance. You vote for punitive levels of student debt and the inability to free yourself of debt obligations through bankruptcy . You vote for deregulating the banking industry and the abolition of Glass-Steagall. You vote for the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical corporations and against universal health care. You vote for bloated defense budgets. You vote for the use of unlimited oligarchic and corporate money to buy our elections. You vote for a politician who during his time in the Senate abjectly served the interests of MBNA , the largest independent credit card company headquartered in Delaware, which also employed Biden's son Hunter.

There are no substantial political differences between the Democrats and Republicans. We have only the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and their liberal apologists adopt tolerant positions on issues regarding race, religion, immigration, women's rights and sexual identity and pretend this is politics. The right wing uses those on the margins of society as scapegoats. The culture wars mask the reality. Both parties are full partners in the reconfiguration of American society into a form of neofeudalism. It only depends on how you want it dressed up.

"By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes" that it can make their interests a priority, the Democratic Party "pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system," political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes.

The Democrats will once again offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate totalitarianism. What the public wants and deserves will again be ignored for what the corporate lobbyists demand. If we do not respond soon to the social and economic catastrophe that has been visited on most of the population, we will be unable to thwart the rise of corporate tyranny and a Christian fascism.

We need to reintegrate those who have been pushed aside back into the society, to heal the ruptured social bonds, to give workers dignity, empowerment and protection. We need a universal health care system, especially as we barrel toward a global pandemic. We need programs that provide employment with sustainable wages, job protection and pensions. We need quality public education for all Americans. We need to rebuild our infrastructure and end the squandering of our resources on war. We need to halt corporate pillage and regulate Wall Street and corporations. We need to respond with radical and immediate measures to curb carbon emissions and save ourselves from ecocide and extinction. We don't need a "Punch and Judy" show between Trump and Biden. But that, along with corporate tyranny, is what we seem fated to get, unless we take to the streets and tear the house down.

[Mar 09, 2020] There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. Biden is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Highly recommended!
Mar 09, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , March 9, 2020 12:11 pm

> Listen to Cornel West for a real understanding of what has happened and what are our options.

There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. This is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Biden is a dead end into which neoliberal Dems drove themselves.
See, for example

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/march/on-super-Tuesday

A possibility remains, therefore, that the Democrats will conduct a 'brokered convention'. Secondary candidates like Buttigieg and Warren had lately put themselves in the anti-popular posture of endorsing such a proceeding (though there's been nothing like it since the 1950s): at a brokered convention, a candidate with a solid plurality can be denied the nomination on the first ballot and defeated later by a coalition.

If Biden now runs far ahead of Sanders, he may sew it up in advance.

On the other hand, his verbal gaffes (announcing himself a candidate for the Senate rather than the presidency; saying 'I was a Democratic caucus') and his fabricated or false memories (a non-existent arrest in South Africa for demonstrating against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela) have exposed a cognitive fragility that some people fear could make him ridiculous by November.

A Biden-Trump contest in 2020 would resemble Clinton-Trump in at least one respect. It would be a case, yet again, of the right wing of the Democratic Party making the conventional choice against the party's own insurgent energy.

The Democrats and their media outworks are treating Latinos, African Americans and whites as separate nations. Women are a nation, too – parsed (where useful) as Latino, African American or white.

So the answer to Trump's divide and conquer comes in the form of these college-certified categories that self-divide and surrender.

The only other weapon of note has been an attempted revival of the Cold War. On 23 February, the New York Times led with two anti-Sanders hatchet jobs, targeting him as both a destroyer of the Democratic Party and a possible Russian agent

But the mainstream media and their captive party, the party and its captive media, show no sign of letting up the pressure. A recent leak from a misinterpreted fragment of a report by the Director of National Intelligence became a two-day Red Scare

The truth is that the corporate-liberal media are comfortable with the Trump presidency. They have prospered wonderfully from his entertainment value, even as they staked out a high ground in the anti-Trump 'resistance'. It will be hard to deny the plausibility of the charge likely to issue soon from the Sanders campaign, namely that 'the fix is in'; and that, once more, the people are being denied their proper voice – at first through an organised propaganda campaign that was fed into debates as well as news coverage, and at last through public co-ordination by the party establishment to guide Democrats into the one acceptable box.

[Mar 07, 2020] The Neoliberal Plague by Rob Urie

Highly recommended!
Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.
We can view "Creepy Joe" and Trump as representatives of "neoliberal plague" The slogan should be " No Pasaran " ( Dolores Ibárruri's famous battlecry appeal for the defense of the Second Spanish Republic)
Notable quotes:
"... For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. ..."
"... Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford. ..."
"... If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. ..."
"... While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. ..."
"... If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger. ..."
"... But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. ..."
"... Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. Today, by way of the emergence of a lethal and highly communicable virus (Coronavirus), we -- the people of the West, have an opportunity to reconsider what we mean to one another. The existential lesson is that through dread and angst we can choose to live, with the responsibilities that the choice entails, or just fade away.

Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford.

Market provision of virus test kits, vaccines and basic sanitary aids will, in the absence of government coercion, follow the monopolist's model of under-provision at prices that are unaffordable for most people. The most fiscally responsible route, in the sense of assuring that the rich don't pay taxes, is to let those who can't afford health care die. If this means that tens of millions of people die unnecessarily, markets are a harsh taskmaster. ( 3.4% mortality rate @ 2X – 3X the contagion rate of the Spanish Flu @ 4 X 1918 population).

If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. According to Ryan Grim of The Intercept, Bill Clinton eliminated the ' reasonable pricing ' requirement for drugs made by companies that receive government funding. This has bearing on both commercially developed Coronavirus test kits and vaccines.

Leaving aside technical difficulties that either will or won't be resolved, how would any substantial portion of the 80% of the population that lives hand-to-mouth be effectively quarantined when losing an income creates a cascade effect of evictions, foreclosures, starvation, repossessions, shut-off utilities, etc.? The current system conceived and organized to make desperate and near desperate workers labor with the minimum of pay and benefits is a public health disaster by design.

While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. The same Federal Reserve that has been engineering a non-stop rise in stock prices since Wall Street was bailed out in 2009 knows perfectly well how narrowly stock ownership is concentrated amongst the rich -- it publishes the data. It quickly lowered the cost of financial speculation as the cost of Coronavirus tests and a vaccine -- and the question of who will bear them, remain indeterminate.

If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.

The brutality of the logic used by the Obama administration in constructing the ACA, Obamacare, is worthy of exploration. The premise behind the 'skin in the game' idea is neoliberalism 101, developed by a founder of neoliberalism, economist Milton Friedman, to ration health care. The basic idea is that without a price attached to it, people will 'demand' more health care than they need. That from a public health perspective, oversupplying health care is better than undersupplying it, is ignored under the premise that public health concerns are communistic. (Read Friedman).

But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. Through the 'market' pricing mechanism that existed, the incentive was for people to avoid purchasing healthcare because it was / is wildly overpriced. Not considered was that through geographical and specialist 'natural monopolies,' health care providers had an incentive to undersupply health care by providing high-margin services to the rich.

Furthermore, why would a healthcare system be considered from the perspective of individual users? In contrast to the temporal sleight-of-hand where Obamacare 'customers' are expected to anticipate their illnesses and buy insurance plans that cover them, the entire premise of health insurance is that illnesses are unpredictable. Isn't the Coronavirus evidence of this unpredictable nature? And through the nature of pandemics, it is known that some people will get sick and other people won't. Not known is precisely who will get sick and who won't.

While there are public health emergency provisions in Obamacare that may or may not be invoked, why does it make sense in any case to require that people anticipate future illnesses? Such a program isn't health care and it isn't even health insurance. It is gambling. Guess right and you live. Guess wrong and you die. Why should we be guessing at all? Prior to Obamacare, health insurance companies gamed the system with life and death decisions. In true neoliberal fashion, Obamacare randomized the process as health insurers continue to game the system.

As I understand it, the public health emergency provision in Obamacare might cover virus testing and the cost of a vaccine if one is ever found. Great. What about care? How many readers chose a plan that covers Coronavirus? How many days can you go without a paycheck if you get sick or are quarantined? Who will take care of your children and for how long? How will you pay your rent or mortgage? Who will deliver groceries to your house and how will you pay for them? How will you make the car payment before they repossess it and how will you get to work without it if you recover?

The rank idiocy -- and the political content, of the frame of individual 'consumers' overusing health care quickly devolves to the fact that some large portion of the American people can't afford to go to the doctor when they need to. Even if they can afford the direct costs, they can't afford the indirect costs. When Obamacare was passed, the U.S. had the worst health care outcomes among rich countries. Ten years later, the U.S. has the worst healthcare outcomes among rich countries . And medical bankruptcies are virtually unchanged since Obamacare was passed.

The reason for focusing on Obamacare is it is the system through which we encounter the Coronavirus. In the narrow political sense of getting a health care bill passed, Obamacare may or may not have been 'pragmatic.' In a public health care sense, it is a disaster decades in the making. The problem wasn't / isn't Mr. Obama per se. It is the radical ideology behind it that was posed as pragmatism. Mr. Obama's success was to get a bill passed -- a political accomplishment. It wasn't to create a functioning healthcare system.

The otherworldly nature of neoliberal theory has led to a most brutal of social philosophies. Mr. Obama later put his energy into lengthening drug company patents to give drug companies an economic advantage provided by the government. Economist Dean Baker has made a career out of hammering this general point home. Michael Bloomberg benefited from government support for both technology and finance. His fortune of $16 billion in 2009 followed stock prices higher to land him at $64.2 billion in 2020.

Donald Trump inherited a large fortune that likewise followed stock and Manhattan real estate prices higher. Both he and Mr. Bloomberg could have put their early fortunes into passive portfolios and received the returns that they claim to be the product of superior intelligence and hard work. Analytically, if the variability of these fortunes tracks systemic, rather than personal, factors, then systemic factors explain them. The same is true of most of the great fortunes of the epoch of finance capitalism that began around 1978.

The point of merging these issues is that they represent flip sides of the neoliberal coin. In a broad sense, neoliberalism is premised on economic Darwinism, the quasi-religious (it isn't Darwin) idea that people land where they deserve to land in the social order. This same idea, that systemic differences in economic outcomes are evidence of systemic causes, applies here. However, differences in intelligence, initiative and talent don't map to systemic outcomes , meaning that concentrated wealth isn't a reward for these.

The ignorant brutality of this system appears to be on its way to getting a reality check through a tiny virus. Unless the Federal government figures this out really fast, most of the bodies will be carried out of poor and working class neighborhoods like mine. Few here have health insurance and most health care providers in the area don't take the insurance they do have. More than a day away from work and many of my neighbors will no longer have jobs. Evictions are a regular state of affairs in good times. There are no resources to facilitate a larger-picture response.

Liberalism, of which neoliberalism is a cranky cousin, lives through a patina of pragmatism until the nukes start flying or a virus hits. Getting healthcare 'consumers' to consider their market choices follows a narrow logic up to the point where none of the choices are relevant to a public health emergency. One I plus another I plus another I doesn't equal us. The fundamental premise of neoliberalism, the Robinsonade I, has always been a cynical dodge to let rich people keep their loot.

The mortality rate and contagion factor recently reported for Coronavirus (links at top) place it above the modern benchmark of the Spanish Flu of 1918 in terms of potential lethality. What should make people angry is how the reconfiguration of political economy intended to make a few people really rich has put the rest of us at increased risk. These are real people's lives and they matter.

Finally, for students of neoliberalism: there is no conflation of neoliberalism with neoclassical economics here. Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Mar 05, 2020] Intelligence Officials Sow Discord By Stoking Fear of Russian Election Meddling by Dave DeCamp

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Under Trump, NATO has strengthened and held its largest war games since the cold war. The Trump administration withdrew from the Reagan-era nuclear arms treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), an arms control agreement that prohibited Russia and the US from developing medium-range nuclear and ballistic missiles. Shortly after tearing up the treaty, the Pentagon began developing and testing missiles that were banned under the INF. ..."
"... Despite all the drama over military aid to Ukraine, Trump never actually delayed it, and the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $300 million in lethal aid to Ukraine , $50 million more than the previous year. The NDAA also calls for mandatory sanctions against any companies working on completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany. Of all Trump's hawkish policies, his effort to kill the Nord Stream 2 and the pressure he puts on Germany not to buy gas from Russia can do the most damage to Russia's economy. ..."
"... The policies listed above are just a few examples of Trump's hostility towards Russia. Others include attempting to overthrow Russia's ally in Venezuela, maintaining a troop presence in Syria to "secure the oil," sanctioning Russian officials and businessman, and much more . ..."
"... Despite all these provocations towards Russia, Trump is still accused of being a "puppet" of Vladimir Putin. No matter how much the president moves the US closer to direct confrontation with Russia, the talking heads and pundits of the mainstream media take superficial examples – like the 2018 Helsinki conference – as proof of Trump's loyalty to Putin. Trump's words are put under a microscope, while his policies that make nuclear war more possible are largely ignored. ..."
Feb 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
Another presidential election year is upon us, and the intelligence agencies are hard at work stoking fears of Russian meddling. This time it looks like the Russians do not only like the incumbent president but also favor who appears to be the Democratic front-runner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

On Thursday, The New York Times ran a story titled , "Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump." The story says that on February 13 th US lawmakers from the House were briefed by intelligence officials who warned them, "Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected."

The story provides little detail into the briefing and gives no evidence to back up the intelligence officials' claims. It mostly rehashes old claims from the 2016 election, such as Russians are trying to "stir controversy" and "stoke division." The intelligence officials also said the Russians are looking to interfere with the 2020 Democratic primaries.

It looks like other intelligence officials are already undermining the leaked briefing. CNN ran a story on Sunday titled "US intelligence briefer appears to have overstated assessment of 2020 Russian interference." The CNN article reads, "The US intelligence community has assessed that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election and has separately assessed that Russia views Trump as a leader they can work with. But the US does not have evidence that Russia's interference this cycle is aimed at re-electing Trump, the officials said."

According to The Times, President Trump was upset with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for letting the briefing happen, and Republican lawmakers did not agree with the conclusion since Trump has been "tough" on Russia. In his three years in office, Trump certainly has been tough on Russia, and it is hard to believe that Putin would work to reelect such a Russia hawk.

Under Trump, NATO has strengthened and held its largest war games since the cold war. The Trump administration withdrew from the Reagan-era nuclear arms treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), an arms control agreement that prohibited Russia and the US from developing medium-range nuclear and ballistic missiles. Shortly after tearing up the treaty, the Pentagon began developing and testing missiles that were banned under the INF.

The Trump Administration might let another nuclear arms treaty lapse. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) limits the number of nuclear warheads that Russia and the US can have deployed. The US does not want to re-sign the treaty and is using the excuse that it wants to include China in the deal. China's nuclear arsenal is estimated to be around 300 warheads , which is just one-fifth of the amount that Russia and the US are allowed to have deployed under the New START. It makes no sense for China to limit its deployment of nuclear warheads when its arsenal is nothing compared to the other two superpowers. China appears to be a scapegoat for the US to blame if the treaty does not get renewed. Without the New START, there will be nothing limiting the number of nukes the US and Russia can deploy, making the world a much more dangerous place.

Despite all the drama over military aid to Ukraine, Trump never actually delayed it, and the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $300 million in lethal aid to Ukraine , $50 million more than the previous year. The NDAA also calls for mandatory sanctions against any companies working on completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany. Of all Trump's hawkish policies, his effort to kill the Nord Stream 2 and the pressure he puts on Germany not to buy gas from Russia can do the most damage to Russia's economy.

The policies listed above are just a few examples of Trump's hostility towards Russia. Others include attempting to overthrow Russia's ally in Venezuela, maintaining a troop presence in Syria to "secure the oil," sanctioning Russian officials and businessman, and much more .

Despite all these provocations towards Russia, Trump is still accused of being a "puppet" of Vladimir Putin. No matter how much the president moves the US closer to direct confrontation with Russia, the talking heads and pundits of the mainstream media take superficial examples – like the 2018 Helsinki conference – as proof of Trump's loyalty to Putin. Trump's words are put under a microscope, while his policies that make nuclear war more possible are largely ignored.

The leaked briefing harkens back to an intelligence assessment that came out in January 2017 during the last days of the Obama administration. The assessment concluded that Vladimir Putin himself ordered the election interference to help Trump get elected. At first, a falsehood spread through the media that all 17 US intelligence agencies agreed with the conclusion. But later testimony from Obama-era intelligence officials revealed the assessment was prepared by hand-picked analysts from the CIA, FBI, and NSA. The assessment offered no evidence for the claim and mostly focused on media coverage of the presidential candidates on Russian state-funded media.

On Friday, The Washington Post piled on to the Russia hysteria and ran a story titled "Bernie Sanders briefed by US officials that Russia is trying to help his campaign." The story says Sanders received a briefing on Russian efforts to boost his campaign. The details are again scant and The Post admits that "It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken."

The few progressive journalists that have been right on Russiagate all along had the foresight to see how accusations of Russian meddling would ultimately be used to hurt Sanders' campaign. Unfortunately, Sanders did not have that same foresight and frequently played into the Russiagate narrative.

Last week, during a Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, when criticized for his supporters' behavior on social media, Sanders pointed the finger at Russia . "All of us remember 2016, and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our elections and divide us up. I'm not saying that's happening, but it would not shock me," Sanders said.

In comments after The Post story was published, Sanders said he was briefed on Russian interference "about a month ago." Sanders raised the issue with the timing of the story, having been published on the eve of the Nevada caucus. But the story did not slow down Sanders' momentum in the polls, and he came out the clear victor of the Nevada caucus. Sanders' victory seemed to rattle the Democratic establishment, and some wild accusations were thrown around during coverage of the caucus.

Political analyst James Carville appeared on MSNBC as Sanders took an early and substantial lead in Nevada. Carville said, "Right now, it's about 1:15 Moscow time. This thing is going very well for Vladimir Putin. I promise you. He's probably staying up watching this right now." What could be played off as a joke was followed up with some serious accusations from Carville, "I don't think the Sanders campaign in any way is collusion or collaboration. I think they don't like this story, but the story is a fact, and the reason that the story is a fact is Putin is doing everything that he can to help Trump, including trying to get Sanders the Democratic nomination."

This delusional attitude about the Russians rigging the Democratic primary is underpinned by claims of meddling from the 2016 election. Central to Robert Mueller's claim that Russia engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election" is the St. Petersburg based company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

The IRA is accused of running a troll farm that sought to interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Trump over Hillary Clinton. Mueller failed to tie the IRA directly to the Kremlin, and further research into their social media campaign shows most of the posts had nothing to do with the election. A study on the IRA by the firm New Knowledge found just "11 percent" of the IRA's content "was related to the election."

Many believe the Russian government is responsible for hacking the DNC email server and providing the emails to WikiLeaks. But there are many holes in Mueller's story to support this claim. And WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – who Mueller did not interview – has said the Russian government was not the source of the emails.

Regardless of who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, they show that DNC leadership had a clear bias against Bernie Sanders back in 2016. The emails' contents were never disputed, and Democratic voters had every right to see the corruption within the DNC. With the release of the DNC emails, and later the Podesta emails, the American people were able to make a more informed choice in the presidential election. This type of transparency provided by WikiLeaks would be celebrated in a healthy democracy, not portrayed as the work of a foreign power.

Sanders would be wise to keep a watchful eye on how the DNC operates over the next few months. The debacle that was the Iowa caucus shows the Democrats can "stoke division" and "stir controversy" just fine on their own.

These claims of Russian meddling will continue throughout the election season. President Trump's defense that he is "tough" on Russia is nothing to be proud of, but that is inevitably where these accusations lead. Trump is encouraged to be more hawkish towards Russia in an effort to quiet the claims of Putin's preference for him. And if Bernie Sanders plays into this narrative now, can we believe that he will make any real foreign policy change towards Russia if he gets the nomination and beats Trump?

Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave .

[Mar 04, 2020] Russiagate should be viewed as classic, textbook case of gaslighting and projecting election interference

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference. ..."
"... Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal.

Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets.

The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn.

[Mar 03, 2020] Super Tuesday Bernie vs The DNC Round Two

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

No matter who comes away with the nomination, it has to be asked "was any of this process legitimate?". We know from a plethora of examples that US elections are not fair. They border on meaningless most of the time. The DNC's doubly so, having argued in court they have no duty to be fair.

Any result, then, you could safely assume was contrived, for one reason or another.

If the Buttigieg-Klobuchar-Biden gambit works, we end up with Trump vs. Biden. And, realistically, that means a second Trump term.

Biden is possibly senile and definitely creepy . Watching him shuffle and stutter through a Presidential campaign would be almost cruel.

Politically, he has all of Hillary's weaknesses, being a big-time establishment type with a pro-war record, without even the "I have a vagina" card to play.

He'll get massacred.

Is that the plan?

There's more than enough signs that Trump has abandoned all the policies that made him any kind of threat to the political establishment. Four years on: no wars ended, no walls built, no swamp drained. Just more of the same. He's an idiot who talked big and got co-opted. It happens.

The Senate and other institutions might talk about Trump being a criminal or an idiot or a "Nazi", but the reality is he's barely perceptibly different from any other POTUS this side of JFK.

#TheResistance was a puppet show. A weak game played for toy money. When it really counts, they're all in it together. Biden getting on the ticket would be a public admittance of that. It would mean the DNC is effectively throwing the fight. Trump is a son of a bitch, but he's their son of a bitch. And that's much better than even the idea of President Bernie.

... ... ...

falcemartello ,

Does it really matter?
Empire of kaos will never move one inch to change the status quo.
The quaisi fascist state that most western /antlantacist nations have become it will make no difference
Gianbattista Vico"Their will always be an elite class" Punto e basta.
Name me one politico that made any difference to we the sheeple in the modern era.
If someone were to mention FDR I will scream.
Aldo Moro got murdered by the deep state for only suggesting to make a pact with Berlinguer the head of Il Partito Communista Italiano.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."