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

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

Picture from Secret Money For Private Armies

Who Rules America > Two Party System as polyarchy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the same time if US voters re-elected reformed neocon stooge, former alcoholic and cocaine addict Bush II, CIA-stooge, no less staunch neocon then Bush Ii (with four  destroyed countries under the belt: Libya, Ukraine, Yemen  and Syria in comparison with Bush II two ),  serial betrayer of voter promised (with his famous "change we can believe in"  bait and switch maneuver)  and also former cocaine addict Obama, then why they can't reelect Trump?

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:

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.

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

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

If neoliberals/neocons  like Biden or Kamala Harris win the nomination and then the election that 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. 

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.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generally we have three main types of candidates in  2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump might  lose 2020 elections

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

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

Comment on Sic Semper Tyrannis

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US far right  does not qualify as a national socialist movement

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

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

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

The curse of neoliberalism is still very strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neoliberalism as the New Fascism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Crisis of Reason and Fantasies of Freedom

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

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

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

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

Restaging Fascism Within Democracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mobilizing Passions of Fascism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rethinking the Politics of Inverted Totalitarianism

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...


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[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty". ..."
"... There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary. ..."
"... The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM. ..."
"... No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality ! ..."
"... The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor. ..."
"... By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects. ..."
"... I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner. ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."

when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.

The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.

His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."

With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Martin Usher
I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.

Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.

The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.

( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

http://thesaker.is/the-terrorists-among-us11-azov-battalion-and-american-congressional-support/

Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections

"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.

Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States."

Simon Hodges
"My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."

In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.

I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.

One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.

The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.

As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever

Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

https://thesaker.is/the-age-of-anger-exploding-in-serial-geysers/

"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.

Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.

Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."

vexarb
And from Yemen:

https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/

vexarb
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:

Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.

-- -- -- -

Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.

The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.

https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696

Antonym
Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.

In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.

RobG
In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.

Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.

There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.

Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.

American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
phree

I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.

And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.

I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.

Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.

This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.

There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.

The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.

Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?

The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.

All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Tim Jenkins
Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !

Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/my-speech-on-the-deep-state-plot-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.

Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?

Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.

Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.

[Nov 14, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Ukraine cancels arrest warrant against Zlochevsky and closes the case against him. ..."
"... Ukraine's prosecutor closes the case against Burisma after the company agrees to pay UAH 180 millions of tax liabilities. ..."
"... Burisma announces a donation of between $100,000 and 249,999 to the Atlantic Council ..."
"... U.S. supported National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) closes its case against Zlochevsky ..."
"... Joe Biden brags publicly how he blackmailed Poroshenko into firing Shokin. ..."
"... When put this way it is difficult to not ..."
"... Biden son's case is more than demonstrated right now and, in itself, is not even that impressive: it's just bread & butter patronage corruption, which happens all the time in Western Democracies, at all countries, at all levels. What's really impressive here is the scale, because an entire country was destroyed overnight. I mean, if a man as powerful as a vice-POTUS is willing to destroy entire nations just to give his son a sinecure, then no country is safe. ..."
"... A discussion to be followed by prison terms. ..."
"... "Here is to hoping that both sides continue the battle until the whole treasonous house of cards collapses." ..."
"... I agree with previous posters that the real crime was the 2014 coup, and people like Hillary, Victoria Noland and Biden are the greater criminals. But let's not make this a Dem vs Rep thing. Bush and Cheney lied us into a war in Iraq to steal their oil. Both war parties supported Poroshenko and unending anti-Russian invective. It is from that mindset that they argue over whether conditioning military aid to Ukraine constitutes quid pro quo. ..."
"... We've gone through a lot of news sources to see if we couldn't figure out what is going on in Ukraine as to why the Democrats, led by Jewish congressional representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who leads the impeachment committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who is on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-New York) along with 21 other Jewish Democratic congressional representatives all calling for the impeachment of President Trump because of his phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine. ..."
"... As I wrote in April 2015, there are very strong indications that Foreign Affairs Representative for the EU Catherine Ashton, IMF boss Christine Lagarde and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland provided the united US/EU media front for the Ukraine coup, with Biden, Kerry and John McCain too publicity hungry to remain in the background like they were almost certainly supposed to. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/ ..."
"... It is like a virtual country that wants to impose a distorted view of itself. Just imagine for a minute if California became independent and all of the sudden the official language is Spanish, all relations at schools, hospitals, state centers, banks, etc. etc. are to be held in Spanish only. Well, that's happening in that new "liberated" for democracy country, the priceless work of Nulands, Bidens et al, plus all the killing, that goes without saying. ..."
"... when a corrupt system lies to itself about its corruption there is some hope. ..."
"... We desperately need a bringer of light. Could it be Tulsi Gabbard? Perhaps, if she has the guts to turn away from Indian and Israeli nationalism and if the people choose to support her truth telling. It's a long shot, but she might be our last hope. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

This is a working thread intended to be updated when new details come to light.

The Washington Post provided a timeline of the 2015/206 intervention

by then-Vice President Joe Biden against the then-General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of the gas company Burisma Holdings which paid Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden at least $50,000 per month for being on its board.

We used that timeline to show that Biden's intervention reached its height shortly after the prosecutor confiscated Zlochevsky houses.

A new report by John Solomon, based on released State Department emails, supports the suspicion that Joe Biden and others intervened against Shokin on behalf of Burisma and on request of his son:

Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son's company for corruption, newly released memos show.

During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Just three weeks before Burisma's overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.

Solomon points to the same Interfax-Ukraine report about the prosecutor's action against Burisma owner Zlochevsky that we have used to make our case against Biden. Other media have so far ignored that report and several have falsely claimed that the case against Burisma was "dormant" when Biden intervened to get the Prosecutor General fired.

Below is an integrated timeline which combines the one WaPo provided with the new dates from Solomon's reporting and from additional sources. It is intended as a working reference that can be updated when new details come to light.

Posted by b on November 5, 2019 at 20:13 UTC | Permalink


karlof1 , Nov 5 2019 20:34 utc | 1

Considering the deep peril the legitimacy of the Outlaw US Empire's electoral system enjoys as Elizabeth Vos reports, why put forth the effort to prize then reveal the truth of Ukrainegate or Russiagate.

The DNC will forward whomever it chooses to face Trump in 2020 -- the court determined that whomever the people choose through the primary and convention exercises doesn't matter as DNC can legally negate that choice.

Now I don't mean to belittle the great amount of effort b's done on those issues, but IMO the message within Vos's essay is what must be addressed.

William Gruff , Nov 5 2019 20:45 utc | 2
When put this way it is difficult to not see the corruption. How is Trump asking Ukraine's new president to investigate this obvious corruption more of a crime than the corruption that Trump is asking to be investigated? That will take some mental gymnastics for the establishment's spinmeisters to explain.
worldblee , Nov 5 2019 20:53 utc | 3
#2 @William Gruff

Totally agree, but want to add one more important point: How is Trump's melding his legitimate and personal interests together in a phone call also more serious than the original war crime of overthrowing the legal Ukrainian government in an armed coup? Biden's corruption is obvious upon logical review of the known facts, but along with ignoring this, the US elites also completely ignore the serious crime of otherthrowing a government (because, such things are not discussed in polite company, one supposes).

Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 5 2019 21:11 utc | 4
William Gruff | Nov 5 2019 20:45 utc | 2. Says "How is Trump asking Ukraine's new president to investigate this obvious corruption more of a crime than the crime itself?"

No problem for the TDS afflicted sheeple. Not much different than the position of the sheeple that the exposure of DNC machinations is the crime rather than the crimes of DNC themselves.

Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 5 2019 21:17 utc | 5
Continued from 4

... or the exposure of war crimes by Assange, Manning and John Kiriaku are the crimes rather than the exposed crimes. We live in a surreal world

james , Nov 5 2019 21:18 utc | 6
thanks b... as far as crimes go, biden corrupt is small potatoes and ditto trumps.. the big enchilada is the dynamic leading up to the coup of feb 23 2014.... that is what needs to be examined and of course it won't be, as that would highlight just how corrupt the whole usa system is here... that said, i agree with @1 karolf1 and @ 2 william gruffs comments.. in the greater scheme of things though - meddling in a foreign country, whether it be an election or outright war and everything in between is what the usa has excelled at for as long as i can remember - 60's forward... they are one bullshite country with a bullshite msm completing the propaganda loop that is on display 24/7... i am not sure what it takes to break it.. your work certainly helps!
vk, Nov 5 2019 21:23 utc | 7
Biden son's case is more than demonstrated right now and, in itself, is not even that impressive: it's just bread & butter patronage corruption, which happens all the time in Western Democracies, at all countries, at all levels. What's really impressive here is the scale, because an entire country was destroyed overnight. I mean, if a man as powerful as a vice-POTUS is willing to destroy entire nations just to give his son a sinecure, then no country is safe.
William Gruff , Nov 5 2019 21:25 utc | 8
worldblee @3

My thinking on the matter is that the Washington establishment is panicking over this relatively small issue because, like pulling a loose end of yarn on a sweater, they fear the whole cover story on the Ukraine covert actions will unravel if the Biden corruption investigation continues.

bevin , Nov 5 2019 21:42 utc | 9

The obvious explanation, for the way that the democrats have used all their energies to ensure that the entirety of this sordid scandal is made known to the world is that the John Birch Society entrists, such as the Clintons, are about ready to withdraw from the Democrats altogether and so, like good arsonists, they have poured flammable, explosive material everywhere, confident that a spark will ignite it.
In any case arguing that 'black is white' and 'up is down' is easy compared to convincing the world that Biden, his son, Kerry and all are not totally corrupt.

Jen , Nov 5 2019 21:49 utc | 10

Dear B,

According to Wikipedia, Vitaly Yarema was the Ukrainian Prosecutor General from 19 June 2014 to 10 February 2015. He was nominated to the position by President Petro Poroshenko.

A list of Prosecutor General title-holders is here at this link if you need to refer to it. The odd thing though is that while Yarema was Prosecutor General, he was all very much for bring Mykola Zlochevsky to justice in the London court (depending on who you read , of course).

The U.K. asked Ukraine to investigate whether Burisma's founder had benefited from criminal dealings with Sergei Kurchenko, a shadowy billionaire who acted as the alleged frontman for the money of Viktor Yanukovych and his older son, Oleksander Yanukovych. Prosecutor General Vityaly Yarema ordered Zlochevsky brought to court, which put him on what Ukrainians call their "wanted list."

According to that Daily Beast source, Zlochevsky was on the "wanted list" in January 2015.

On reading that Guardian article which you cite, the thought occurred to me that someone other than Yarema must have written and signed that letter sent from the Prosecutor General's office to the UK court, which then ordered the case against Zlochevsky to be dropped. That in itself would be worth an article, as the timeline seems to be a bit confused: did Zlochevsky go on the "wanted list" before the letter was sent to the UK and the money released or did he go on the "wanted list" AFTER the UK court dropped the case against him and ordered the release of the $23 million?

bevin , Nov 5 2019 21:52 utc | 11
karlofi@1

I agree about the Voss article, but there is nothing new in it is there? The DNC 'defence' has been in the public domain ever since it was first annunciated. As to the absolute scandal of the disenfranchiement of 100,000 Democrats in Bernie's hometown, it was obvious on the night that it was this which allowed HC to steal the New York Primary.

The problem was that the Sanders campaign seems to have done nothing about it- it is hard to believe that, back in 2016, they were thinking of 2020 and running Sanders again.
Were not the White primaries, a DNC favourite at the time, banned on just these grounds that public money and resources could not be used to disenfranchise large numbers of people?

You are right that the story, which reminds us that it was the democrats who invented dirty tricks and the NY Democrats, who used to meet at Tammany Hall, were on the cutting edge of electoral corruption, is one that cannot be too widely discussed. A discussion to be followed by prison terms.

snake , Nov 5 2019 22:19 utc | 12
Once again this Ukraine story shows that its not the government, its not the structure of the government, its not even the functions of the government, but instead its is the actors that run the government and the actors that benefit from the government being run by the actors-in-charge that make a strong case that an independent non governmental auditor is needed (one paid from a % of the taxes collected but one that answers only to the HR courts). So the government would not pay the auditors any salaries since the auditors are the governed. In other words, any qualified voter would be an eligible Auditor. Such people (auditors) would have the right to audit the-conduct of any person claiming or benefiting from a government interest.

The independent HR court would hear all charges made by any HR auditor. All persons claiming or benefiting in some way from a government interest would be subject to the jurisdiction of the HR courts. The HR court would be empowered to hear a claim of wrongful behavior made against any government person (elected, appointed, bureaucrats, military and contractors) and if the court agrees substantive facts exist, then the court would assemble a case, impanel a jury (from the ranks of the governed) and instruct that jury to hear the charges and to develop the case, and to decide on the innocence or guilt of the person charged, and if guilty then to decide on the penalty.

Important here is that the HR rights courts would hear cases against individuals that involve corruption, fraud, theft, self dealing, negligence and treason.. the HR rights courts are not government, they are courts made up of judges and juries that are appointed by the governed people.

karlof1 , Nov 5 2019 22:47 utc | 16
bevin @11--

Thanks for your reply! Did you note the number of people who committed multiple felonies that have yet to be prosecuted years now after-the-fact? The lack of justice being applied to those who broke the law and violated the public trust is also a big issue itself that I mentioned on the week in review. The bottom line: No democracy + no justice = no legitimacy, which appears to be the main point. I just finished listening to this interview with Dr. Hudson where in the last few minutes he says the DNC in 2020 aims at electing Donald Trump, which seems to be the consensus arrived at by us barflies and with which I agree. What Hudson doesn't touch on, nor is he asked, is what can be done to overturn the Reagan Revolution which installed the current policy direction, although we can make a few assumptions based on his preferences for Sanders and Gabbard and the movement to deal with student debt relief.

My comment to the article wasn't optimistic and has yet to be posted. I don't really have anything of substance to add to what b's proving about Biden as I've already called him out for his Capital Crimes and the usual corruption. Maybe I ought to throw up my arms in disgust and adopt a Don't Worry; Be Happy/What, Me Worry? escapist attitude and ignore it all for my remaining days and party like it's 1999. Too bad Styx didn't offer a solution to having Too Much Time on My Hands aside for that being a calamity for my sanity.


Mike Sylwester, Nov 5 2019 22:49 utc | 18
I offer my interpretation of the timeline.

General-Prosecutor Victor Shokin was being pressured -- mostly by the USA -- to prosecute corruption more effectively.

In response to such pressure, Shokin initiated an investigation of Mykola Zlochevsky on October 17, 2015. It seems that Britain had established an investigation of Zlochevsky in 2014, had suspended that investigation on January 21, 2015, but then resumed that investigation in October 2015. Shokin joined that British investigation on October 17, 2015.

It seems further that the USA eventually took unknown actions to prevent that joint British-Ukrainian investigation of Zlochevsky.

On December 7-8, 2015, Vice President Biden indicated that a large US grant of aid money would be conditional. However, the conditions seem to be secret.

In this situation, before the end of December 2015, General-Prosecutor Shokin transfered the Zlochevsky investigation to the so-called National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which essentially was a creature of the US Government.

The situation seemed to remain quiet through the month of January 2016. On February 2, however, Shokin seized some of Zlochevsky's property, even though the NABU was supposed to be managing the Zlochevsky case.

Sholin's seizure of Zlochevsky's property on February 2 sparked a US-Ukraine crisis. The US (i.e. the Bidens) felt it had been double-crossed by Shokin.

Although the property seizure occurred on February 2, it was not announced publicly until February 4. On that same day, Hunter Biden began following the Twitter account of US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who managed Ukrainian affairs. (I wonder if Blinken communicated in code to Hunter Biden by means of Twitter.)

On February 12, Vice President Joe Biden talked with Ukrainian President Poroshenko by telephone and ordered the firing of Shokin. The firing essentially happened later that same day.

Joe Biden's story about waiting for an airplane due to take off in six hours might be false or might refer to an airplane taking off in some country other than Ukraine.

Evelyn , Nov 5 2019 22:51 utc | 19
bevin @11
A discussion to be followed by prison terms.

Several (numerous?) topics so qualify. Either they're scarcely hinted at, or the lies and misdirections prevail. Applause for anyone brave enough to name the first three forbidden items that come to mind.

Roger , Nov 5 2019 22:52 utc | 20
Not sure how this fits in, but makes an interesting read.

https://theduran.com/debunking-some-of-the-ukraine-scandal-myths-about-biden-and-election-interference/?fbclid=IwAR0zTbfwwMQgG8fck6FZYMD1wVZk5ebUIyt9AjzInXmhvANAoqQUrwvnqX0

evilempire , Nov 5 2019 22:54 utc | 21
Are vlochevsky, kolomoisky, and pinchbuk partners in crime? $1.8 billion in imf loans "disappeared" in koilomoiski's
privat bank. After that privat bank was nationalized and kolomoiski
fled to the us. Was this how vlochevsky's asets doubled? Coincidentally
the chinese firm investment in rosemont seneca was over $1 billion. Some
have speculated that the bidens could have become billionaires from this.
Was the chinese firm a pass through for the embezzled $1.8 billion imf loan?
ben , Nov 6 2019 0:05 utc | 23
Come on' folks, there are no Dems, there are no Repubs, there are no Independants ,only reps who take the $ offered by the wealthy. In the U$A today, the party of $ owns the system. Case closed. We get who they want. The rules have been changed to favor them. Vote if you want, it's good therapy,but, the system is rigged.

Sanders, Warren, and Tulsi are history. Want some reality? Read this; https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-enemy-within/

Likklemore , Nov 6 2019 0:08 utc | 24
@ psychohistorian 17

"Here is to hoping that both sides continue the battle until the whole treasonous house of cards collapses."

exactly. A huge mistake the Dems made; all to deflect from Ukraine funding. Recall reports claiming Hillary said 'IF he wins, we will all hang"

Oh dear. Zerohedge just posted the latest report from John Solomon Obama Admin Coached Anti-Trump Ukraine Ambassador On Biden Scandal

The latest report from journalist John Solomon reveals that the Obama State Department saw Joe and Hunter Biden's brewing Burisma scandal as a "Biden problem" during the 2016 US election, and specificialy coached now-recalled US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on how to answer awkward questions about it. [.]

Memos newly released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation on my behalf detail how State officials in June 2016 worked to prepare the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to handle a question about "Burisma and Hunter Biden."
In multiple drafts of a question-and-answer memo prepared for Yovanovitch's Senate confirmation hearing, the department's Ukraine experts urged the incoming ambassador to stick to a simple answer.

"Do you have any comment on Hunter Biden, the Vice President's son, serving on the board of Burisma, a major Ukrainian Gas Company?," the draft Q&A asked.
The recommended answer for Yovanovitch: "For questions on Hunter Biden's role in Burisma, I would refer you to Vice President Biden's office."[.]

Linda Amick , Nov 6 2019 0:28 utc | 26
The Media has created a story whose purpose it is to keep the public focused on some small details of goings-on in Ukraine mostly since 2014 and NOT the fact that this is a clear example of a US backed coup which destabilized the country enough to allow the US Corporate jackals in to strip off the booty. THAT is what all the participants in this scheme want to keep secret. Why? Because the American citizens benefit not one bit from any of this. Change will require something major to trigger it.
Citizen621 , Nov 6 2019 0:36 utc | 27
I agree with previous posters that the real crime was the 2014 coup, and people like Hillary, Victoria Noland and Biden are the greater criminals. But let's not make this a Dem vs Rep thing. Bush and Cheney lied us into a war in Iraq to steal their oil. Both war parties supported Poroshenko and unending anti-Russian invective. It is from that mindset that they argue over whether conditioning military aid to Ukraine constitutes quid pro quo.

In the meantime I wonder if Zelensky, who was elected over Porky with an end the war platform, is thinking "Why do these idiots think they can negotiate by offering me something I absolutely do not want?"

karlof1 , Nov 6 2019 0:57 utc | 31
I guess Caitlin Johnstone recently summarized it best:

"Remember when voters in 2016 were like 'can we please have even one major candidate who doesn't have something seriously wrong with them?', and the entire US political system was all 'LOL nope,' and then nobody burned that system to the ground and flushed it down the toilet? Good times."

Except IMO there were thousands of people willing and ready to burn down the system just as there are now--that's what ought to happen to things that are corrupt: they get exposed as illegitimate and get torched by the public is a fit of righteous outrage and exact justice collectively.

But that didn't happen within the Outlaw US Empire in 2016, nor did it happen when Obama backstabbed millions, broke the law he was supposed to enforce and gave billions to fraudulent banksters. Most all political riots--not police riots--during my life were against racism and its associated injustices long ongoing. Within the Outlaw US Empire historically, corruption in politics is as traditional as apple pie, meaning the people are mostly inured to its occurrence. As with customary bribery in some nations, political corruption is seen as a normal happening usually of little consequence until something morally repulsive occurs to raise awareness again. The problem of course is that corruption is always morally repulsive. Perhaps such leniency says more about a nation's public than anything else--tons of corruption's tolerated just as the killing of millions of innocents overseas is tolerated/abided/excused. Guess it's time for some Victory Gin as there's not much more to say.

juliania , Nov 6 2019 1:20 utc | 32
I think you've left out the Vietnam era, karlof1 - there were certainly riots against that war plus there was l968 in Chicago Democratic Convention. I'd call both of those political. And I would call the Occupy movement at least anti-political in its focus on the banksters. Plus protests against the invasion of Iraq. Those two latter 'thrusts' by the citizenry were indeed handled oppressively and not covered adequately or at all in the case of protests against the invasion and/or other political events. Just because they weren't covered doesn't mean they didn't happen or weren't part of the general malaise. Trump got elected on that premise. And just because you don't see it on TV doesn't mean the general public isn't totally unhappy with the way things are.

Do you see happy faces? I don't.

james , Nov 6 2019 2:23 utc | 37
@ 34 jr.. you asked, lol..

Since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the international energy group Burisma has been providing systematic and comprehensive assistance to the defenders of the Fatherland. Among the military, whom the Burisma Group has supported since 2014, is the Poltava Special Purpose Police Battalion, which has repeatedly served in the war zone in the Donbass. from one of their press releases - being the good nazis biden requested of them..

Jackrabbit, Nov 6 2019 2:48 utc | 38
james 37

AFAIK, Burisma supported regaining Donbas because that's where the fracking opportunity is.

Who else was an ardent supporter of regaining the Donbas? Kolomoyskyi, who is also militantly pro-Israel, and is rumored to be the real owner (or part owner?) of Burisma.

Biden is also a Zionist and what his son made is peanuts compared to what Biden has/could make if he plays along. Obama is said to have made $70 million after leaving the Presidency and has just bought a $15 million home. And where else is a fracking opportunity sought by a corrupt company that is connected to corrupt politicians? Golan Heights and Genie Energy..

NOBTS , Nov 6 2019 3:16 utc | 39
karlof1@16

I liked Dr. Hudson's remarks concerning that DNC's quest for a candidate most sure to lose to Trump. This of course accounts for their hysterical fear of Tulsi Gabbard, as she is the only one who would be certain to beat him! The DNC will probably be willing, this time around, to let Bernie sheepdog on into the general election if that's what it takes to stop Tulsi. It's very sad to see the would be left media falling in line with the Jacobin/Intercept/Omidyar psyops regime. The one slim hope is that actual voters not controlled by any of the usual gatekeepers might overwhelm the DNC rigging machine in early primaries. I'm encouraged whenever I'm out on the real street I frequently overhear people mentioning her name and passersby chime in. Don't hear a thing about any of the mediocrities supported by the DNC and the press.

Robert Snefjella , Nov 6 2019 4:20 utc | 40
Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 0:05 utc | 23

From the Chris Hedges article you linked to: "The deep state committed the greatest strategic blunder in American history when it invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq."

The sentence quoted is an example of the murky self-assured but dubious 'wordscape' that we are so inundated by. This is not to imply that the author doesn't make many sensible points in this particular article, or to dismiss his work more generally. In my opinion he does lots of good work.

Note the use of the cryptic abstraction "deep state" to describe the 'perpetrator' of the 'invasions and occupations'.

Note the use of the abstract term "greatest" to describe the "strategic blunder". One can declare without deserving even a raised eyebrow 'that was the greatest day of my life!' or that was greatest number of apples I've ever eaten at one sitting, but never again!" But how does one calibrate those two wars of aggression as the "greatest" whatever?

Note that these particlular wars of aggression, the supreme crime, and both not coincidentally based on lies upon lies, have been verbally downgraded to "invasions". As in, say, the Normandy invasion, or an invasion of grasshoppers? And all the horrors that followed the wars of aggression are condensed by the summary word "occupation". Many of us have occupations.

And for who were these "strategic blunders?" From the perspective of the MIC, and PNAC, and 'strategic positioning' re Earthly heroin flows, say, perhaps these were "strategic blessings". Or even diabolically cunning?

The point I'm making here is that even in the 'good articles', even in 'noble efforts' its pretty hard not to slip into, what? Let's call it, Empire Speak. Or is that Swamp Speak?

psychohistorian

, Nov 6 2019 4:41 utc | 41

@ Robert Snefjella with the analysis of the wording of the Chris Hedges article that ben linked to

Nice work but I want to add that the real reason for going after Iraq and Afghanistan was because they were not yet owned and subservient to the Western private banking cult.

Like Libya before Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton served her masters.

Sorghum , Nov 6 2019 4:55 utc | 42

@ 42 Rboert
Personally, I don't care to dissect Hedges word choices. Those invasion were the greatest mistake, because they broke the US public image, its military, and its economy. No, not directly, but those overextensions were the watershed moments. While it has been quite lucrative for certain parties since then, it has been a huge quagmire and literal sand in the military's gears. It also destroyed the invincible image of the US military. Trillions of dollars, thousands of troops, millions of civilians and yet we are all negotiating to stay in Afghanistan against troops with tire scandals, no air force, and very limited mechanization.

@ 43 psycho I agree that the banking, and gold in particular, were reason for destroying the countries. Along with human trafficking, Sumerian artifacts, takfiri recruitment, etc.

uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 5:13 utc | 43
sorghum #35
Exactly, JR. The very limited amount of reporting on that quickly led to Jewish oligarchs and that has been studiously ignored since. Since then it has been an endless shit show of Biden's corruption and how the US foreign policy is handled with everyone trying to thinly slice the corruption of DC so as to only smear the other side.

There are some sites that think about these things.

We've gone through a lot of news sources to see if we couldn't figure out what is going on in Ukraine as to why the Democrats, led by Jewish congressional representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who leads the impeachment committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who is on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-New York) along with 21 other Jewish Democratic congressional representatives all calling for the impeachment of President Trump because of his phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine.

This site seems devoted to looking for links of this nature, but is often sketchy IMO. Where is O when you need an obsessive analysis.

uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 5:20 utc | 44

So if the Biden's and Rosemont Seneca were in Ukraine stealing IMF funds, what were they stealing in China?

Do they have no shame? Or is that Whitey Bulger's clan ethics at play. Is all currency ok as long as its stolen? How much bitcoin can they steal and convert or is that story yet to be told?

Jen , Nov 6 2019 5:28 utc | 45
Jack Rabbit @ 34, 38:

Did you say Ihor Kolomoisky is rumoured to be owner or part-owner of Burisma Holdings? Wonder no more ... Yves Smith / Naked Capitalism reposted an old 2014 article recently on Ihor Kolomoisky and his ownership of Burisma Holdings through his Privat Group.

That is the oldest trick in the book: owning a company as a subsidiary of another company that you own. The wonder is that Kolomoisky didn't insert another layer of another subsidiary between Privat Group and Burisma Holdings to cover his tracks even more.

Jen , Nov 6 2019 5:33 utc | 46
Oh my goodness ... here's a juicy tidbit from January 2017

to be filed away for future reference:

The largest private gas producer in Ukraine is establishing relations with the new US administration.

The Atlantic Council and the Burisma Group, Ukraine's largest independent gas producer, have signed a partnership agreement. The Atlantic Council, with the support of Burisma, will develop transatlantic relations programs with a focus on energy security in Europe and the world, the company said in an official press release.

For the Burisma Group, this is a new stage in the development of cooperation between the United States and European countries together with such an influential world institution as the Atlantic Council.

Relations with Ukraine and future programs with the Burisma Group will be overseen by an authoritative diplomat, US Ambassador to Ukraine (2003-2006) and Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center (structure under the Atlantic Council) John Herbst.

"Support and cooperation with Burisma will allow us to expand our program development activities in Ukraine and create new platforms for discussing important and relevant issues," said John Herbst.

It is symbolic that the collaboration between the Atlantic Council and the Burisma Group coincided with the launch of the new US Presidential Administration Donald Trump. According to experts, this will allow for more efficient implementation of new joint projects in the energy sector and gain support from one of the most respected and influential organizations in the United States. The conclusion of an agreement between Burisma and the Atlantic Council and the full implementation of joint projects became possible after all charges against Burisma Group and its owner Nikolai Zlochevsky were dropped.

According to Mykola Zlochevsky, president of the Burisma Group, the Atlantic Council plays a key role in Ukraine in building transatlantic relations, democracy and energy security. "Ambassador Herbst has been and continues to be the lawyer of Ukraine, and Burisma is pleased to be able to support the work of the ambassador and the Atlantic Council," said Nikolai Zlochevsky.

The Atlantic Council (US Atlantic Council) is the largest American non-governmental analytical center for international relations of the Atlantic community, headquartered in Washington. It is one of the most influential non-governmental organizations in the United States, operates ten regional centers and functional programs that deal with issues of international security and global economic development.

The Atlantic Council and Burisma Holdings working together!

Stephen McIntyre , Nov 6 2019 5:43 utc | 47
A. Kravetz was prosecutor who sent letter in early Dec 2014 that was used in UK.
Bryan Hemming, Nov 6 2019 5:48 utc | 48
As I wrote in April 2015, there are very strong indications that Foreign Affairs Representative for the EU Catherine Ashton, IMF boss Christine Lagarde and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland provided the united US/EU media front for the Ukraine coup, with Biden, Kerry and John McCain too publicity hungry to remain in the background like they were almost certainly supposed to. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/
uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 6:24 utc | 49
Jen #47

Thank you for that link. Rolling up the naked capitalism story is this rather more profound analysis from the Saker. It is also linked to in the abel danger site I referenced earlier.

Paco , Nov 6 2019 8:21 utc | 51
Something that really shocks me about Ukraine is like the video about the kitsch palace of the Zlochevsky guy, the neighbors on the other side of the river complain about not being able to swim across anymore, as they used to do, but the whole interview is in Russian¡¡¡¡, I mean, it is supossed to be Kiev, not the east and everybody speaks in a language that does not have official status anymore.

It is like a virtual country that wants to impose a distorted view of itself. Just imagine for a minute if California became independent and all of the sudden the official language is Spanish, all relations at schools, hospitals, state centers, banks, etc. etc. are to be held in Spanish only. Well, that's happening in that new "liberated" for democracy country, the priceless work of Nulands, Bidens et al, plus all the killing, that goes without saying.

vk, Nov 6 2019 11:46 utc | 54
Dems think Bernie better on MOST policy issues, but will vote for Biden in hopes he dethrones Trump – poll

The same case happens in the UK (with Corbyn). They want the policies, but they don't want "socialism".

This is the great contradiction of the USA and other First World countries: they know they need to reform, but they don't want to give up the good things that capitalist imperialism gave them. Therefore, they want the best of both worlds.

Paul , Nov 6 2019 12:22 utc | 55
Great, true comment, vk. The people of America are willing participants in the American Dream, aka The American Death Cult. Let's give the American People full credit for the horror show they've inflicted on the world. They willfully chose this and continue to choose this and that is why they embrace horrific figures like Trump, Hillary, Biden, etc..

But the American People do have a better angel. They also want community. They want to see themselves as individually and collectively good. They want to believe that they are on the light side of the Force, not the dark side of the Force, so to speak. How it plays out is that they want the elites to tell them lies, sweet little lies...

For me the turning point of America, at least of the America that I've seen, was the Iraq War. The Libya War can be seen as a second stage of that war; same with the Syria War. It's not that such acts of global mayhem have been worse than what America has done before. It's that the American System has embraced the evil more knowingly than ever before, it seems to me. No one can credibly claim that they didn't see the US knowingly lie its way into war vs. Iraq. No one can credibly call that a just war.

when a corrupt system lies to itself about its corruption there is some hope. When it knows it is corrupt and embraces this anyway then there is no hope. The Ukraine controversey we are seeing play its way out now typifies and illustrates this state of affairs. What Trump did was brutal and corrupt, yet his fans continue to defend him and even to defend this. What Biden did was far far more brutal and corrupt, yet the Dems continue to defend him and what he did. Biden helped plunge a country into chaos and then feasted on the corpse. The Ukraine controversey is a journey into the heart of our darkness.

We desperately need a bringer of light. Could it be Tulsi Gabbard? Perhaps, if she has the guts to turn away from Indian and Israeli nationalism and if the people choose to support her truth telling. It's a long shot, but she might be our last hope.

As for Biden? Well I suppose he's a placeholder for Hillary Clinton.

vk, Nov 6 2019 13:22 utc | 56
We've already discussed this on the topic about American extreme pragmatism:

The US Military Is a Socialist Organization: Affordable housing and food, tuition assistance, and universal health care are hallmarks of a social welfare system -- and life in the armed forces.

The USA is a capitalist society. However, as Marx demonstrated in his opus, the development of capitalism tends to socialism. Socialism cannot be born out of manorialism or antiquity, but only from capitalism.

The American elite knows this, so they came up with a very interesting strategy: they keep the rest of the world down, in a permanent state of destruction and rebuild (groundhog day mode); and, at home, they try to preserve a minimum of industrial dynamism and life quality for their masses with "domesticated and restricted socialism". FDR did it during 1938-1944 and it worked; after the end of Bretton Woods and the establishment of the Dollar Standard, they adopted restricted socialism in a specific sector -- the Military -- in order to maintain its industrial and innovation capacity going in face of its inexorable tendency of "financialization".

Although the Pentagon by itself is socialist, the USA remains capitalist because of the way the Pentagon relates to the rest of the nation: it takes the infinite pool of taxpayer money (so the profit motivation is removed) but they give it back to private contractors, who are capitalist and thus have the profit motivation. Taxpayer money is then converted into money-capital through a socialist institution.

However, this comes at a price for the capitalists: as profits go down over time (as Marx also scientifically demonstrated), the share of the Pentagon on the overall American economy rises, thus rising the "socialist piece of the pie". Heterodox estimates put the Pentagon social architecture at 10% of the American economy; most still put it at around 5%, and some of then put it at an insignificant 3%. If think that, if you take out the ficitious part of the capitalist economy (i.e. Wall St.), the figures are much closer to the 10%, probably even more.

imo , Nov 6 2019 13:39 utc | 57
@56 -- "... it [Pentagon] takes the infinite pool of taxpayer money (so the profit motivation is removed) but they give it back to private contractors, who are capitalist and thus have the profit motivation. Taxpayer money is then converted into money-capital through a socialist institution."

State-base 'capitalism' just like China!

The only additional point is that a sizable % of the socialist $$$'s (more Fed than taxpayer these days) also flow from said funds into lobbying and then into the pockets of the politician du jour. The corrupt Clinton's were not the exception -- rather the rule. Was this systemic corruption not referred to previously as the military-industrial-congressional complex?

vk, Nov 6 2019 13:59 utc | 58
@ Posted by: imo | Nov 6 2019 13:39 utc | 58

No, it would be China if the contractors themselves were owned by the Government.

China is pretty much the polar opposite of the USA: it has a socialist system with some restricted pockets of capitalism. Capitalism there is restricted to the special economic zones, and private enterprise is restricted to non-strategic sectors.

That's why China's tax rates are actually lowering, not rising.

Goldhoarder , Nov 6 2019 14:01 utc | 59
@2 If you recall the media explained that Joe Biden's corruption is really Joe Biden fighting corruption. They create their own reality. We are just supposed to swallow it. The CFR video doesn't matter. Just like Victoria Nuland's call. Snowden's revelations, or the volumes of wikileaks documents proving the enormity of US self described "elite" corruption
karlof1 , Nov 6 2019 17:06 utc | 63
juliania @32--

I'd written a long detailed reply that I was about to post when my computer locked-up and I lost my entire effort, and that ended my contributions yesterday. Of the many observations I made, this IMO was the most important--When MLK was murdered, blacks nationwide rioted; but when JFK and RFK were murdered, nothing of the sort occurred. I'll also reinforce the notion of people rioting as the vast majority of what's deemed a riot by Media was in fact a Police Riot as they run amok amidst peaceful protesters just as they would do against striking workers, of which there's a long bloody history of massacres.

[Nov 14, 2019] In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%.

Nov 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Nomad Money said in reply to Buscar Mañana... , November 11, 2019 at 09:08 AM

"In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%."
~~Elizabeth Warren~

do you see how EW has finally opened our eyes?

sure! poor people think about wealth as being income. they think about Wealth as being their salary. from the perspective of a wealthy senator wealth is a function of assets. EW had the guts to share this perspective with us, to open our eyes to reality.

we should not be taxing the payroll we should not be taxing the capital gains and other income. we should be taxing non productive assets, assets which cannot be hidden which cannot be taken off shore.

the Swiss have such a tax. all of their real estate is taxed at a rate of 0.3% per annum. it would be easy for us to stop all local taxes All County taxes all state taxes and all federal tax then initiate a 1% tax on all real property unimproved and on all improved real property. we should continue this tax until our federal debt is completely discharged. such a taxation shift would revv up our productive activity and increase our per capita GDP. as usual there would be winners and there would be losers. the losers would be those who want more inequality and the winners would be

those who want more
equality
.!

[Nov 14, 2019] Opinion Attack of the Wall Street Snowflakes by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral." ..."
"... Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

No, the really intense backlash against Warren and progressive Democrats in general is coming from Wall Street . And while that opposition partly reflects self-interest, Wall Street's Warren hatred has a level of virulence, sometimes crossing into hysteria, that goes beyond normal political calculation.

What's behind that virulence?

First, let's talk about the rational reasons Wall Street is worried about Warren. She is, of course, calling for major tax increases on the very wealthy, those with wealth exceeding $50 million, and the financial industry is strongly represented in that elite club. And since raising taxes on the wealthy is highly popular , it's an idea a progressive president might actually be able to turn into real policy.

Warren is also a big believer in stricter financial regulation; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was highly effective until the Trump administration set about gutting it, was her brainchild.

So if you are a Wall Street billionaire, rational self-interest might well induce you to oppose Warren. Rationality does not, however, explain why a money manager like Leon Cooperman -- who just two years ago settled a suit over insider trading for $5 million, although without admitting wrongdoing -- would circulate an embarrassing, self-pitying open letter denouncing Warren for her failure to appreciate all the wonderful things billionaires like him do for society.

Nor does it explain why Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral."

The real tell here, I think, is that much of the Wall Street vitriol now being directed at Warren was previously directed at, of all people, President Barack Obama.

Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012.

I wonder, by the way, if this history helps explain an odd aspect of fund-raising in the current primary campaign. It's not surprising that Warren is getting very little money from the financial sector. It is, however, surprising that the top recipient isn't Joe Biden but Pete Buttigieg , who's running a fairly distant fourth in the polls. Is Biden suffering from the lingering effects of that old-time Obama rage?

In any case, the point is that Wall Street billionaires, even more than billionaires in general, seem to be snowflakes, emotionally unable to handle criticism.

I'm not sure why that should be the case, but it may be that in their hearts they suspect that the critics have a point.

What, after all, does modern finance actually do for the economy? Unlike the robber barons of yore, today's Wall Street tycoons don't build anything tangible. They don't even direct money to the people who actually are building the industries of the future. The vast expansion of credit in America after around 1980 basically involved a surge in consumer debt rather than new money for business investment.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that when the financial sector gets too big it actually acts as a drag on the economy -- and America is well past that point .

Now, human nature being what it is, people who secretly wonder whether they really deserve their wealth get especially angry when others express these doubts publicly. So it's not surprising that people who couldn't handle Obama's mild, polite criticism are completely losing it over Warren.

What this means is that you should beware of Wall Street claims that progressive policies would have dire effects. Such claims don't reflect deep economic wisdom; to a large extent they're coming from people with vast wealth but fragile egos, whose rants should be discounted appropriately. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

[Nov 14, 2019] The Impeachment Pantomime by PATRICK LAWRENCE

Notable quotes:
"... Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias." ..."
"... why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own. ..."
"... There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev. ..."
Nov 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the "whistleblower" whose "complaint" last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry's perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his "complaint" to the CIA's inspector general.

This information comes after Schiff stated on the record that the staff of the House Intelligence Committee, which he heads, had no contact with the whistleblower. Schiff has since acknowledged the Ciaramella connection.

Phantom in Plain Sight

No wonder no one in Washington will name this phantom in plain sight. The impeachment probe starts to take on a certain reek. It starts to look as if contempt for Trump takes precedence over democratic process -- a dangerous priority. Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias."

Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own.

There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev.

There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure.

[Nov 13, 2019] It is amazing that the Democrats, Obama, and Joe Biden can get away with suck obvious fraud and criminality. But, with the CIA attacking Sovereign Countries around the world in order for the USA to steal their resources

Nov 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

ToivoS , November 13, 2019 at 14:38

Patrick, thanks for this. Last Monday and Tuesday when Solomon posted those cables he obtained through FOIA, my reaction was that the NYT, WaPO, other MSN outlets would have to acknowledge Biden's misdeeds in Ukraine. Yet complete silence on their end, they are pretending that there is nothing there. Not a single mention in any of those outlets about those state department memos. Also good for you to acknowledge b's timeline in Moon of Alabama -- this most certainly shows a temporal pattern supporting a prima facia case of outright corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his idiot son Hunter.

Raymond Comeau , November 13, 2019 at 11:59

Thank You, Patrick Lawrence! It is amazing that the Democrats, Obama, and Joe Biden can get away with suck obvious fraud and criminality. But, with the CIA attacking Sovereign Countries around the world in order for the USA to steal their resources, OR, to acquire a much-valued country which can be used by the USA to enhance its desire for world Domination this is how the USDA works.

Joe Biden who seems apparently suffering from early Dementia is fighting the truth of his criminality, because he thinks, " The USA'S successful coup in Ukraine was to enable USA millionaires like himself and his family to loot Ukraine." So Biden is trying to continue to lie to save himself. Biden's lies also keep Ukrainegate going. Someone, ( Like Biden and Son) should soon be going to jail, and Trump's impeachment should be canned with Shiff joining Biden in Jail!

[Nov 13, 2019] The Impeachment Pantomime - A Primer

Notable quotes:
"... Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged? ..."
"... All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama? ..."
"... Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump. ..."
"... Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own. ..."
"... There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev. ..."
"... There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure. ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Now that "Russiagate" has failed and " Ukrainegate " neatly takes its place, many questions arise.

Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged?

All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama?

Corollary line of inquiry: Will the corporate media, The New York Times in the lead, get away with self-censoring what is now irrefutable evidence of the impeachment probe's various frauds and corruptions? Ditto in the Biden case: Can the Times and the media that faithfully follow its lead continue to disregard accumulating circumstantial evidence of Biden's guilt as he appears to have acted in the interest of his son Hunter while the latter sat on the board of one of Ukraine's largest privately held natural gas producers?

Innuendo & Interference

It is not difficult to imagine that Trump presented Zelensky with his famous quid pro quo when they spoke last summer: Open an investigation into Biden père et fils and I will release $391 million in military aid and invite you to the White House. Trump seems to be no stranger to abuses of power of this sort. But the impeachment probe has swiftly run up against the same problem that sank the good ship Russiagate: It has produced no evidence. Innuendo and inference, yes. Various syllogisms, yes. But no evidence.

There is none in the transcript of the telephone exchange. Zelensky has flatly stated that there was no quid pro quo. The witnesses so far called to testify have had little to offer other than their personal opinions, even if Capitol Hill Democrats pretend these testimonies are prima facie damning. And the witnesses are to one or another degree of questionable motives: To a one, they appear to be Russophobes who favor military aid to Ukraine; to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump's true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation).

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the "whistleblower" whose "complaint" last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry's perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his "complaint" to the CIA's inspector general.

This information comes after Schiff stated on the record that the staff of the House Intelligence Committee, which he heads, had no contact with the whistleblower. Schiff has since acknowledged the Ciaramella connection.

Phantom in Plain Sight

No wonder no one in Washington will name this phantom in plain sight. The impeachment probe starts to take on a certain reek. It starts to look as if contempt for Trump takes precedence over democratic process -- a dangerous priority. Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias."

Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own.

There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev.

There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure.

'Bursimagate'

John Solomon, a singularly competent follower of Russiagate and Ukrainegate, published a report last Monday exposing Hunter Biden's extensive contacts with the Obama State Department in the early months of 2016. Two developments were pending at the time. They lie at the heart of what we may well call "Burismagate."

One, the Obama administration had committed to providing Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees. In a December 2015 address to the Rada, Ukraine's legislature, V–P Biden withheld an apparently planned announcement of the credit facility.

Two, coincident with Hunter Biden's numerous conferences at the State Department, Ukraine's prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, was swiftly advancing a corruption investigation into Burisma's oligarchic owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was by early 2016 living in exile. Just prior to Biden's spate of visits to Foggy Bottom, Shokin had confiscated several of Zlochevsky's properties -- a clear sign that he was closing in. Joe Biden wanted Shokin fired. He is, of course, famously on the record boasting of his threat [starts at 52.00 in video below]to withhold the loan guarantee as a means to getting this done. Shokin was in short order dismissed, and the loan guarantee went through.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4

Solomon documents his report with memos he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act earlier this year. These add significantly to the picture. "Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle," he writes, "including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son's company for corruption."

Last Tuesday, a day after Solomon published his report, Moon of Alabama , the much-followed web publication, posted a granularly researched and well-sourced timeline of the events surrounding Shokin's dismissal at Vice President Biden's request. This is the most complete chronology of the Burismagate story yet available.

In an ethical judicial system, it or something like it would now sit on a prosecutor's desk. There is no suggestion in the Moon of Alabama's timeline that Shokin had shelved his investigation into Burisma by the time Biden exerted pressure to get him sacked, as Biden's defenders assert. Just the opposite appears to be the true case: The timeline indicates Shokin was about to pounce. Indeed Shokin said so under oath in an Austrian court case, testifying that he was fired because of Biden's pressure not to conduct the probe.

It is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence that Joe Biden misused his office in behalf of his son's business interests simply because there has been no investigation. Given what is beginning to emerge, however, the need for one can no longer be in doubt. Can Democrats and the media obscure indefinitely what now amounts to very strong circumstantial evidence against Biden?

We live in a time when the corporate media make as much effort to hide information as they do to report it. But as in the case of Ciaramella's identity, it is unlikely these myriad omissions can be sustained indefinitely -- especially if Biden wins the Democratic nomination next year. Forecast: If only because of Burismagate, Joe Biden will never be president.

As everyone in Washington seems to understand, it is highly unlikely Trump will be ousted via an impeachment trial: The Republican-controlled Senate can be counted on to keep him in office. Whatever Trump got up to with Zelensky, there is little chance it will prove sufficient to drive him from office. As to the charge that Trump's dealings with the Ukrainian president threatened national security, let us allow this old chestnut to speak for itself.

Price of Irresponsible Theatrics

This leaves us to reckon the price our troubled republic will pay for months of irresponsible theatrics that are more or less preordained to lead nowhere.

More questions. What damage will the Democrats have done when Ukrainegate draws to a close (assuming it does at some point)? What harm has come to U.S. political institutions, governing bodies, judiciary and media? The corporate press has been profligately careless of its already questionable credibility during the years of Russiagate and now Ukrainegate. Can anyone argue there is no lasting price to pay for this?

More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state -- "deep," if you like -- opposes it?

USAllDay , 35 seconds ago link

Impeachment less than year before an election is a bitch move and everybody knows it.

[Nov 13, 2019] Let's invade Mexico!, by Fred Reed

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

If AMLO were to invite the Americans into Mexico, he would be lynched. Few Americans are aware of how much the United States is hated in Latin America, and for that matter in most of the world. They don't know of the long series of military interventions, brutal dictators imposed and supported, and economic rapine. Somoza, Pinochet, the Mexican-American War, detachment of Panama from Colombia, bombardment of Veracruz, Patton's incursion–the list could go on for pages. The Mexican public would look upon American troops not as saviors but as invaders. Which they would be.

The incursion would not defeat the cartels, for several reasons that trump would do well to ponder. To begin with, America starts its wars by overestimating its own powers, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the kind of war on which it is embarking. The is exactly what Trump seems to be doing.

He probably thinks of Mexicans as just gardeners and rapists and we have all these beautiful advanced weapons and beautiful drones and things with blinking lights. A pack of rapists armed with garden trowels couldn't possibly be difficult to defeat by the US. I mean, get serious: Dope dealers against the Marines? A cakewalk.

You know, like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. That sort of cakewalk. Let's think what an expedition against the narcos would entail, what it would face.

To begin with, Mexico is a huge country of 127 million souls with the narcos spread unevenly across it. You can't police a nation that size with a small force, or even with a large force. A (preposterous) million soldiers would be well under one percent of the population. Success would be impossible even if that population helped you. Which it wouldn't.

[Nov 13, 2019] Where is Trump's James Baker, or better yet, his Sergey Lavrov. to moderate and control his goofier instincts

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

schrub , says: Next New Comment November 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm GMT

Trump's biggest weakness is that he appears incapable of friendships with other adult males because he trusts no one. This is probably partially the result of his dealing in the absolutely cut throat New York real estate industry along with his own relentless and long time need for publicity no matter how outrageous this publicity is? (Remember Trump's forays into professional wrestling?)

Trump decided to hang out with the dogs and, no surprise, ended up getting fleas.

His continual purging of his cabinet members and his bad mouthing of them afterwards has probably made his White House staff paranoid about challenging anything that comes out of his mouth no matter how outrageous it is.

Along with all this self promotion has come an increasing inability to accept any sort of criticism whatsoever. To claim he is slightly "prickly" is a gross understatement.

Where is Trump's James Baker, or better yet, his Sergey Lavrov. to moderate and control his goofier instincts

.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: Next New Comment November 12, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen If Trump is smart enough and wants History to write his name with Golden Letters, he has to order a new and true investigation on 9/11 in his second term.

[Nov 13, 2019] Americans Must Learn to Reject Unjust and Unnecessary Wars by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has frequently engaged in hostilities against other states in this period because our government could and not because it had to. There are very few instances in which the U.S. used force as a last resort. In several cases, U.S. intervention has been flagrantly illegal under international and/or U.S. law. The U.S. resorts to force too quickly and too easily and with far too little consideration for the consequences it will have for the people serving the military and the people living in the affected countries. Unlike people from a century ago, many of us have lost our disgust with war, whose human costs are obscured from view or simply ignored. Despite our extraordinary security, many Americans readily accept their leaders' threat inflation. Preventing more unnecessary wars and bringing the current ones to an end will require a constant effort to counter the alarmist and fear-mongering claims about foreign threats. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Danny Sjursen calls for remembering the original meaning of Armistice Day:

My fellow veterans don't necessarily need more thanks. We need, instead, your attention, your support, your careful deployment of our energies and sacrifices only in defense of the most vital national interests and the homeland itself. Most of all we need the reinvigorated dream of Armistice Day -- -a holiday imbued with hopes and dreams for a better world. At the very least, for a nation that chooses not to wage forever war.

The standard for sending Americans to war should be a very high one, and even a cursory glance at the many military interventions of the last three decades shows that almost none of them has even come close to meeting it. From the invasion to Panama to the unending war in Afghanistan, the U.S. has been hyperactive in using force in other parts of the world for the last 30 years and very little of it has had anything to do with vital interests or the defense of the United States. Instead of "careful deployment," we have tended to see reckless and irresponsible deployments of U.S. troops who are tasked with carrying out vague, impossible, and sometimes illegal missions. Virtually every intervention in that time has been a war of choice, and most of the time it has been the wrong choice.

The U.S. has frequently engaged in hostilities against other states in this period because our government could and not because it had to. There are very few instances in which the U.S. used force as a last resort. In several cases, U.S. intervention has been flagrantly illegal under international and/or U.S. law. The U.S. resorts to force too quickly and too easily and with far too little consideration for the consequences it will have for the people serving the military and the people living in the affected countries. Unlike people from a century ago, many of us have lost our disgust with war, whose human costs are obscured from view or simply ignored. Despite our extraordinary security, many Americans readily accept their leaders' threat inflation. Preventing more unnecessary wars and bringing the current ones to an end will require a constant effort to counter the alarmist and fear-mongering claims about foreign threats.

Steven Katz makes a similar case for how Americans can best honor veterans:

This year, as one of thousands of veterans who suffered moral injury in the Iraq War, I ask that in addition to the annual "thank you for your service" that you also "thank" veterans by helping us avoid waging unjust wars.

To that end, Americans have to learn an abhorrence for starting wars.

Preventive war is inherently unjust, and it needs to be rejected on principle. We need to understand that the Iraq war wasn't simply a "mistake," but a terrible crime that should never be repeated. Preventive war is not just another "option" that our government can choose, but rather something illegitimate and wrong by its very nature. When politicians and pundits entertain the idea of launching aggressive attacks on Iran or North Korea or any other country, they need to be shamed and ridiculed as the warmongers they are. The U.S. should never engage in aggressive warfare again.

Until Americans and our leaders learn that lesson from the Iraq debacle, we will not have learned the most important lesson. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog .

He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[Nov 13, 2019] Does Schiff's Impeachment Lynch Mob Signal The End Of America's Two-Party Political System

Nov 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Does Schiff's Impeachment Lynch Mob Signal The End Of America's Two-Party Political System? by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/12/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

If anything good can come from the Democrat's incessant efforts to impeach Donald Trump it will be the outgrowth, from the nurturing 'mother of necessity,' of a more inclusive political system that acknowledges more than just a compromised duopoly as the voice of the American people.

With complete disregard for the consequences of their actions, the Democrat House Intelligence Committee under Adam Schiff has abandoned all pretense of democratic procedure in their effort to remove the 45th President of the United States from office.

Indeed, the Democrats have provided the Republicans with a Machiavellian crash course on the subtle art of decadent behavior for getting what you want , which of course is ultimate political power, and to hell in a proverbial hand basket with the consequences. The Republicans have been snoozing through a game of 2D checkers, holding out hope that Sheriff Billy Barr and his deputy John Durham will round up the real criminals, while the Democrats have been playing mortal combat.

The dark prince in this Gothic tale of diabolical, dare I say biblical, proportions is none other than Adam 'Shifty' Schiff, who, like Dracula in his castle dungeon, has contorted every House rule to fit the square peg of a Trump telephone call into the bolt hole of a full-blown impeachment proceeding. Niccolò Machiavelli would have been proud of his modern-day protégé.

As if to mock the very notion of Democratic due process, whatever that means, Schiff and his torch-carrying lynch mob took their deliberations down into the dank basement, yes, the basement, of the US Capital where they have been holding secretive depositions in an effort to get some new twist on the now famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky back in June. But why all the cloak and dagger theatrics when the transcript has long been available for public consumption?

At one point, the frazzled Republicans bared a little backbone against this bunker mentality when they crashed the basement meetings for some really outstanding optics. Schiff, betraying a lack of foresight, could not defenestrate the well-dressed hooligans since the meetings, as mentioned, are being held inside of a windowless dungeon. The Republican troublemakers were ushered back up the stairs instead.

Considering what Prince Schiff has managed to pull off over the course of this not-made for television impeachment process is astounding, and could not have happened without the drooling complicity of the lapdog media corporations. Schiff got the ball bouncing when he performed a Saturday Night Live skit of the Trump-Zelensky phone call on the hallowed floor of Congress. The imaginary voices in Schiff's head made the president sound like a mafia boss speaking to one of his lackeys.

Not only did Schiff survive that stunt, it was revealed that he blatantly lied, not once but several times, about his affiliation with the White House insider, reportedly a CIA officer, who, without ever hearing the Trump-Zelensky phone call firsthand, blew the whistle anyways. The Democrats claim Trump was looking for some 'quid pro quo' with Kiev, which would dig up the dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for the release of $400 million in military aid. The transcript, however, points to no such coercion, while Zelensky himself denies that he was pressured by Trump.

Meanwhile, Schiff has taken great efforts to keep the identity of the whistleblower a 'secret' out of "safety concerns." The Republicans in the House said they will subpoena the whistleblower for the public impeachment that starts next week, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters. Yet Schiff has awarded himself the power to reject any witnesses the Republicans may wish to grill.

"We'll see if he gives us any of our witnesses," Jordan said.

A person need not feel any particular fondness for Donald Trump to find these circumstances surrounding the impeachment show trial as disgraceful, dishonorable and beneath the dignity of the American people. And whether they want it or not, the fallout from Schiff's shenanigans will have repercussions long into the future of the US political system, which is groaning under the weight of corruption and deceit.

It is doubtful the Republicans will soon forgive and forget what the Democrats have put them through ever since Trump entered office in 2016. From Russiagate to Ukrainegate, the Trump White House has been held hostage by a non-stop, media-endorsed hate campaign to oust a democratically elected POTUS. Although it would be difficult for the Republicans, who lack the support of the media, an overwhelmingly left-leaning propaganda machine, to exact an equal amount of revenge on the Democrats when the latter have one of their own in the White House, they will certainly try. This will lead the Republic into an inescapable vortex of infighting where the sole function of the political system will be based on that of vengeance and 'pay backs' and more waste of time and money as the parties investigate the crimes of the other side.

The public, which is slowly awakening to the problem, will ultimately demand new leadership to break the current two-party internecine struggle. Thus, talk of a civil war in the United States, while possible, is being overplayed. The truth will be much simpler and far less violent.

Out of the dust and ashes of the defunct duopoly that is now at war with itself, the American people will soon demand fresh political blood in Washington and this will bring to the forefront capable political forces that are committed to the primary purpose of politics: representing the needs of the people, once again. Tags Politics

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[Nov 13, 2019] In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed. By this criteria Trump is a weakling

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Wilberweld says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT 100 Words Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Klapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Nov 12, 2019] The best argument for voting for young beautiful women as POTUS

Nov 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque , says: November 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm GMT

@The Alarmist

The emperor is naked

That is the best argument for voting for young beautiful women as POTUS.

[Nov 11, 2019] Michael Bloomberg age is a problem

all Bloomberg could realistically achieve in the race is weakening Joe Biden. The 77-year-old billionaire is still a decent shape, but aging is visible even in his physical appearance.
At the end of the day, it does not matter much, as whatever you think of the merits of the sweeping progressive agenda Warren and Sanders are running on, the chances that it will be enacted by Congress in 2021 are nearly zero.
Nov 11, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
  1. dilbert dogbert , November 9, 2019 10:05 am

    He will be 79 when he takes office, if elected.
    Next week I will observe my 84th birthday. I have experienced the indignities of old age. The decline of physical and mental capacities accelerates in the 70;s and goes into hyperdrive in the 80's.
    I don't think it is a good idea to have another Alzheimer's patient in the Oval Office.
    I also don't think it a good idea for the Democratic Party to nominate a Republican for president.

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    Joel , November 9, 2019 5:26 pm

    Matt Yglesias nails the case against a Bloomberg candidacy:

    https://www.vox.com/2019/11/8/20955068/bloomberg-president-good-for-warren

[Nov 11, 2019] OK Bloomberg - The American Prospect by David Dayen

the appeal for a socially liberal, fiscally conservative billionaire doesn't exist outside of Tom Friedman columns.
As I wrote in 2016 in dealing with one of the endless Bloomberg flirtations with the presidency, "An anti-teachers'-union, anti-gun, pro-nanny state, pro-Wall Street, pro-stop-and-frisk, pro-inequality, pro-immigration, pro-surveillance, pro-Iraq War neoconservative is almost surgically designed to repel practically every American voter on some level." Oh, and he's 77, in a race where everyone is allegedly longing for a contrast with the septuagenarians currently leading the field.
Bloomberg is the architect of the paramilitary crackdown on Occupy Wall Street protesters, who said out loud in 2011 "it was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis," who saw his role as mayor of New York City to stop by Goldman Sachs headquarters for a pep talk (it's "my job to stand up and support companies that are here in this city that bring us a tax base and that employ our people," he said), and who compared wealth taxes to the policies of Venezuela , is supposed to steal votes from Democrats.
Mike Bloomberg's base is, literally, the people whose failure brought the country to the brink in 2008.
Nov 08, 2019 | prospect.org

... ... ...

It gives me no pleasure to have become a serial chronicler of Bloomberg's absurd flirtations with the presidency: here , here , and here , all the way back in 2008. Each time my point is the same: This is someone with no constituency once you take the elevator down from an East 79th St. penthouse or step out of the Morning Joe greenroom. This Twitter thread describing a speech he gave less than a year ago -- coming out against marijuana legalization, minimum-wage increases (!), and retraining workers for tech jobs ("they're just not wired that way") -- highlights the inanity of the exercise.

If anything, this strengthens the hand of Sanders and Warren by putting another competitor on the moderate side to split votes. Bloomberg also reportedly won't "seek or accept campaign contributions," a genius move which means, under current DNC rules, that he won't appear in any primary debates. But that's not the only show of ignorance on display here.

Bloomberg, speaking for his class, is terrified that popular ideas like the wealth tax are getting traction. For about $50,000, he and his pals could get Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, and a handful of other Senate Democrats to block any legislation to that effect (actually they probably don't have to spend a dime, these aren't exactly bold progressive thinkers). They've bought the Congress for decades and they're afraid that somebody talking about soaking the rich will penetrate the iron fortress they've built? Do they think their corruption of democracy is that fragile?

Actually, that's a paradoxical ray of hope. The billionaires are convinced that they're small men behind the curtain, and anyone pulling that curtain back will rob them of their power. They know this is a country founded in rebellion to aristocrats, that fights Gilded Ages, and they're desperate to stifle those voices, lest they start a fire. Maybe democracy isn't quite dead yet.

[Nov 11, 2019] The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'.

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT

Recent class history of US is quite simple: the elite class first tried to shift the burden of supporting the lower classes on the middle class with taxation. But as the lower class became demographically distinct, partially via mass immigration, the elites decided to ally with the ' underpriviledged ' via identity posturing and squeeze no longer needed middle class out of existence.

What's left are government employees, a few corporate sinecures, NGO parasitic sector, and old people. The rest will be melded into a few mutually antagonistic tribal groups providing ever cheaper service labor. With an occasional lottery winner to showcase mobility. Actually very similar to what happened in Latin America in the past few centuries.

The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along.

alexander , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
BUILDING OUT vs. BLOWING UP

China 2000-2020 vs. USA 2000-2020

Unlike the USA (under Neocon stewardship) China has not squandered twenty trillion dollars of its national solvency bombing countries which never attacked it post 9-11.

China's leaders (unlike our own) never LIED its people into launching obscenely expensive, illegal wars of aggression across the middle east. (WMD's, Mushroom clouds, Yellow Cake, etc.)

China has used its wealth and resources to build up its infrastructure, build out its capital markets, and turbo charge its high tech sectors. As a consequence, it has lifted nearly half a billion people out of poverty. There has been an explosion in the growth of the "middle class" in China. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are now living comfortable "upwardly mobile" lives.

The USA, on the other hand, having been defrauded by its "ruling elites" into launching and fighting endless illegal wars, is now 23 trillion dollars in catastrophic debt.
NOT ONE PENNY of this heinous "overspending" has been dedicated to building up OUR infrastructure, or BUILDING OUT our middle class.

It has all gone into BLOWING UP countries which never (even) attacked us on 9-11.

As a consequence , the USA is fast becoming a failed nation, a nation where all its wealth is being siphoned into the hands of its one percent "war pilfer-teers".

It is so sad to have grown up in such an amazing country , with such immense resources and possibilities, and having to bear witness to it going down the tubes.

To watch all our sovereign wealth being vaporized by our "lie us into endless illegal war" ruling elites is truly heartbreaking.

It is as shameful as it is tragic.

SafeNow , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
That's fascinating about the declining "middle class" usage. A "soft synonym" that has gone in the opposite direction, I think, is "the community."
LoutishAngloQuebecker , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
The white middle class is the only group that might effectively resist Globohomo's designs on total power.

Blacks? Too dumb. Will be disposed of once Globohomo is finished the job.
Hispanics? Used to corrupt one party systems. Give them cerveza and Netflix and they're good.
East Asians? Perfectly fine with living like bug people.
South Asians? Cowardly; will go with the flow.

The middle class is almost completely unique to white people.

Racial aliens cannot wrap their minds around being middle class. They think I'm crazy for appreciating my 2009 Honda Accord. They literally cannot understand why somebody would want to live a frugal and mundane life. They are desperate to be like Drake but most end up broke. It will be very easy for GloboHomo to control a bucket of poor brown slop.

Svevlad , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm GMT
Ah yes, apparatchiks. The worst kind of person
Counterinsurgency , says: November 9, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

There IS a black middle class, but a big chunk of that works for governments of all shapes and sizes.

Strictly speaking, there is no more "middle class" in the sense of the classical economists: a person with just enough capital to live off the income if he works the capital himself or herself. By this definition professionals (lawyers, dentists, physicians, small store owners, even spinsters [1] and hand loom operators in a sense) were middle class. Upper class had enough property to turn it over to managers, lower class had little or no property and worked for others (servants and farm workers, for example). Paupers didn't earn enough income per year to feed themselves and didn't live all that long, usually.

What we have is "middle income" people, almost all of whom work as an employee of some organization -- people who would be considered "lower class" by the classical economists because they don't have freedom of action and make no independent decisions about how the capital of their organizations is spent. Today they are considered "intelligentsia", educated government workers, or, by analogy, educated corporate workers. IMHO, intelligentsia is a suicide job, and is responsible for the depressed fertility rate, but that's just me.

Back in the AD 1800s and pre-AD 1930 there were many black middle class people. usually concentrating on selling to black clientele. Now there are effectively none outside of criminal activities, usually petty criminal. And so it goes.

Of course, back then there were many white middle class people also, usually concentrating on selling to white clientele. Now there are effectively none, except in some rural areas. And so it goes.

Counterinsurgency

1] Cottagers who made their living spinning wool skeins into wool threads.

Mark G. , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm GMT
@unit472 A lot of the middle class are Democrats but not particularly liberal. Many of them vote Democrat only when they personally benefit. For example, my parents were suburban public school teachers. They voted for Democrats at the state level because the Democrats supported better pay and benefits for teachers but voted for Republicans like Goldwater and Reagan at the national level because Republicans would keep their federal taxes lower. They had no political philosophy. It was all about what left them financially better off. My parents also got on well with their suburban neighbors. Suburbanites generally like their local school system and its teachers and the suburban school systems are usually careful not to engage in teaching anything controversial. A lot of the government employed white middle class would be like my parents. Except in situations where specific Republicans talk about major cuts to their pay and pensions they are perfectly willing to consider voting Republican. They are generally social moderates, like the status quo, are fairly traditionalist and don't want any radical changes. Since the Democrats seem be trending in a radical direction, this would put off a lot of them. Trump would be more appealing as the status quo candidate. When running the last time, he carefully avoided talking about any major cuts in government spending and he's governed that way too. At the same time, his talk of cutting immigration, his lack of enthusiasm for nonwhite affirmative action, and his more traditional views on social issues is appealing to the white middle class.
anon [201] • Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm GMT
Wealth held by the top 1% is now close to equal or greater than wealth held by the entire middle class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-09/one-percenters-close-to-surpassing-wealth-of-u-s-middle-class

Something similar was seen in the 1890's, the "gilded age". This is one reason why Warren's "wealth tax" has traction among likely voters.

WorkingClass , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:55 pm GMT
The term middle class is used in the U.S. to mean middle income. It has nothing to do with class. Why not just say what you mean? Most of the middle class that we say is disappearing is really that rarest of phenomenons. A prosperous working class. The prosperous American working class is no longer prosperous due to the Neoliberal agenda. Free trade, open borders and the financialization of everything.

Americans know nothing of class dynamics. Not even the so called socialists. They don't even see the economy. All they see is people with infinite need and government with infinite wealth. In their world all of Central America can come to the U.S. and the government (if it only wants to) can give them all homes, health care and education.

Lets stop saying class when we mean income. Not using the word class would be better than abusing it.

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
@Audacious Epigone

Are we to the point where we've collectively resigned ourselves to the death of the middle class?

In the neoliberal worldview, the middle class is illegitimate, existing only as a consequence of artificial trade and immigration barriers. Anytime Americans are spied out making a good living, there is a "shortage" that must be addressed with more visas. Or else there is an "inefficiency" where other countries could provide said service or produce said product for less because they have a "comparative advantage."

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

I don't know about that anymore. Increasingly, "middle class" means Asian, with Whiteness being associated with the lower middle class (or perhaps "working class"). Sometimes the media uses the term " noncollege Whites," which I think is actually very apt. They are the ones who identify with Whiteness the most.

[Nov 10, 2019] A Bloomberg Candidacy Still Makes No Sense by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... He combines intrusive and authoritarian measures with an eager defense of plutocracy. ..."
"... This is the "centrism" of catering to corporate interests, pursuing a destructive hawkish foreign policy, and shortchanging the public at home. He would serve as the perfect foil for both Sanders and Warren. ..."
"... His stubborn brand of plutocratic centrism, as well as his overzealous use of stop-and-frisk tactics, would likely be a nonstarter for progressives, as well as the blue-collar workers who flipped to Trump in 2016. ..."
"... All indications are that most Democratic voters have no interest in what Bloomberg is selling. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

His brand of plutocratic centrism does not makes much sense in 2019

Bret Stephens cheers on Mike Bloomberg's odd decision to run for the Democratic presidential nomination:

First, he would be a very good president, potentially a great one. Second, he stands a much better chance of beating Donald Trump than anyone in the current Democratic field.

The claim that Bloomberg would be a good president is debatable at best, and there doesn't appear to be any evidence to support the assertion that he has a better chance of winning than any other Democratic candidate. Stephens is committing the pundit's fallacy by assuming that the Democratic candidate that he finds least obnoxious must be the most appealing to voters, and he is so ideologically biased against most Democrats and misrepresents their positions so badly that his assessment of what they will do can't be trusted.

Both of Stephens' claims are almost beside the point, since it is very doubtful that Bloomberg has any chance of securing the nomination. Bloomberg has repeatedly flirted with the idea of running for president, and until now he has always been smart enough not to do it, but for whatever reason he now intends to waste his money and everyone else's time with a vanity campaign that has no real constituency among voters. The former mayor of New York could try running on his record, but during his time as mayor he showed why he would have very limited appeal in a general presidential election. He combines intrusive and authoritarian measures with an eager defense of plutocracy. His presidential campaign is itself an expression of that plutocracy reacting against what it perceives to be an unacceptable threat. Bloomberg has been described as a centrist, but he is a "centrist" only in the worst sense of siding with entrenched and powerful interests. This is the "centrism" of catering to corporate interests, pursuing a destructive hawkish foreign policy, and shortchanging the public at home. He would serve as the perfect foil for both Sanders and Warren.

Tina Nguyen summed it up very well in an article last year:

His stubborn brand of plutocratic centrism, as well as his overzealous use of stop-and-frisk tactics, would likely be a nonstarter for progressives, as well as the blue-collar workers who flipped to Trump in 2016.

It would be difficult to think of a worse mismatch between a candidate and a party than Bloomberg and the Democrats. Bloomberg is a multi-billionaire seeking the nomination of a party whose voters tend to view billionaires with a mix of distrust and loathing. Where Sanders and Warren speak to Democratic voters and activists' concerns about inequality and the concentration of wealth and power, Bloomberg is the walking embodiment of those concerns and he is entering the race in no small part because he rejects the other candidates' policy ideas.

As for Bloomberg's foreign policy views, his record will hardly endear him to Democratic voters, either. This is the same man who disgracefully linked the Iraq war with 9/11 in 2004 back when he was still a Republican. He said, "Don't forget that the war started not very many blocks from here." Of course, the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, except that the Bush administration cynically exploited the fear produced by the attacks to sell an unjust war based on lies. Bloomberg's past support for the Iraq war and his willingness to promote Bush administration propaganda at the time will probably come back to haunt him as a candidate.

Finally, Bloomberg's campaign "strategy" is eerily reminiscent of Rudy Giuliani's hilarious, failed attempt in 2008. John Cassidy explains :

Did you hear the one about Michael Bloomberg's plan to win the Democratic Presidential nomination? He's going to skip the first four primaries and caucuses -- in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina -- then come storming through on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, when fourteen more states will go to the polls, including three biggies: California, Texas, and North Carolina. A week later, the billionaire former New York City mayor will steamroll his way through more states, including Michigan, Missouri, and Washington, giving him unstoppable momentum as he heads for a general-election battle with Donald Trump.

Actually, it isn't a joke -- or not an intentional one.

This "strategy" is just dripping with entitlement. The idea that any candidate, no matter how wealthy or well-known, can simply "skip" the early contests and expect to be taken seriously as a candidate later on is so arrogant that it is practically begging for voters to repudiate it at the polls. All indications are that most Democratic voters have no interest in what Bloomberg is selling. Cassidy continues:

Just last week, pollsters from Fox News asked a sample of people intending to vote in the Democratic primary how they would react if Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Bloomberg entered the race. Half said they would definitely vote for Obama, twenty-seven per cent said they would definitely vote for Clinton, and six per cent said they would definitely vote for Bloomberg. Actually, six per cent may overstate Bloomberg's potential pool of supporters. Nathaniel Rakich, of FiveThirtyEight, notes that Bloomberg "was generally registering around 2 or 3 percent in national primary polls before first taking his name out of consideration in March."

Bloomberg is undoubtedly a successful businessman, and unlike Trump his success is real, but he is also wildly out of touch with what most Democratic voters believe and want.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter .

[Nov 10, 2019] Liz Warren's Trans Train Whistlestop

At least Warren offers me something positive along with usual neoliberal "identity wedge" idiocy ;-).
Nov 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor ! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don't take this endorsement lightly. I'm committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs. https://t.co/KqWsVoRYMb

-- Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019

Well, that's clarifying. "Backbone of our democracy." That's about what you would expect a Harvard faculty member to say.

JoeMerl 2 days ago • edited

People need to remember that we literally didn't even have democracy until the trans movement started and finally brought us to The Right Side of History.

[Nov 09, 2019] Let's invade Mexico! by Fred Reed

Nov 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

If AMLO were to invite the Americans into Mexico, he would be lynched. Few Americans are aware of how much the United States is hated in Latin America, and for that matter in most of the world. They don't know of the long series of military interventions, brutal dictators imposed and supported, and economic rapine. Somoza, Pinochet, the Mexican-American War, detachment of Panama from Colombia, bombardment of Veracruz, Patton's incursion–the list could go on for pages. The Mexican public would look upon American troops not as saviors but as invaders. Which they would be.

The incursion would not defeat the cartels, for several reasons that trump would do well to ponder. To begin with, America starts its wars by overestimating its own powers, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the kind of war on which it is embarking. The is exactly what Trump seems to be doing.

He probably thinks of Mexicans as just gardeners and rapists and we have all these beautiful advanced weapons and beautiful drones and things with blinking lights. A pack of rapists armed with garden trowels couldn't possibly be difficult to defeat by the US. I mean, get serious: Dope dealers against the Marines? A cakewalk.

You know, like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. That sort of cakewalk. Let's think what an expedition against the narcos would entail, what it would face.

To begin with, Mexico is a huge country of 127 million souls with the narcos spread unevenly across it. You can't police a nation that size with a small force, or even with a large force. A (preposterous) million soldiers would be well under one percent of the population. Success would be impossible even if that population helped you. Which it wouldn't.

Other problems exist. Many, many of them.

Let's consider terrain. Terrain is what militaries fight in. Start with the Sierra Madre, which I suspect Trump doesn't know from Madre Teresa. This is the brutally inhospitable mountain range in the northwest of Mexico, from which a great many of the narcos come.(Sinaloa is next door.) Forestation is dense, slopes steep, communication only by narrow trails that the natives know as well as you know how to find your bathroom. Nobody else knows them. American infantry would be helpless here. The Narcos would be found only when they chose to be found, which would not be at opportune moments.

The Sierra Madre Occidental, home of many of the drug traffickers. I have walked in these mountains, or tried to. It is impossible for infantry, worse for armor, and airplanes can't see through the trees.

The Tarahumara Indians live in the Sierra Madre. They frequent the trails, sometimes in groups, and carry things not identifiable from the air. In frustration American forces would do what they always do: start bombing, or launching Hellfires from drones, at what they think are, or think may be, or hope might be, narcos. Frequently they would kill innocents having nothing to do with drugs. This wouldn't bother the military, certainly not remote drone operators in Colorado or somewhere. They get paid anyway. The Indians who just had their families turned into science projects couldn't do anything about it.

Well, nothing but join the narcos, who might call this a "force multiplier."

Some other northern Mexican terrain. The Duarte Bridge between Sinaloa and Durango. A company commander, looking at it, would would have PTSD in advance, just to get a start on things.

Of the rest of Mexico, much consists of jungle, presenting the same problems as the Sierra Madre, and of cities and villages. Here we encounter the problem that has proved disastrous for US forces in war after war: there is no way to tell who is a narco and who isn't.

In cities and towns, narcos are indistinguishable from the general population. How–precisely how, I want to know–would American troops, kitted out in body armor and goggles and looking like idiots, fight the narcos in villages with which they were unfamiliar? The narcos, well armed, would pick off GIs from windows, whereupon the Americans would respond by firing at random, calling in air strikes, and otherwise killing locals. These would now hate Americans. The narcos know this. They would use it.

Culiacan, Sinaloa, Chapo's home city. It has a high concentration of narcos. Suppose that you are an infantry officer, sent to "fight the cartels." You have, say, twenty troops with you, all with hi-tech equipment and things dangling. How do you propose to fight the cartels here? Which of the people in the photo, if any, are narcos? You could ask them. That would work.

Don't expect help from the locals. Most would much rather see you killed than the narcos. And if they collaborated they and their families would be killed. This would discourage them. Bright ideas?

Now a point that Schwarzehairdye in the White House has likely not grasped. The narcos are Mexicans. So is the population. You know, brown, speak Spanish, that kind of thing. The invaders would not be Mexicans. This matters. Villagers usually do not hate the narcos. These provide jobs, buy their marijuana crops, often do Robin Hood things to help the locals. Pablo Escobar did this, Al Capone, Chapo Guzman. There is a whole genre of popular music, narcocorridos, celebrating the doings of the drug trade. (Corridos Prohibidos , by Los Tigres del Norte, for example). Amazon has the CD.

Which means that they would side with the narcos instead of the already-hated soldiers, putos gringos cabrones, que se chinguen sus putas madres.

Further, much of Mexico doesn't much like its government.

And of course the narcos will have the option of fading into the population and waiting for the gringos to go home. This means that the invasion would become an occupation. The invading forces would thus need bases, which would become permanent. Bases where? All over the country, which is where the narcos are?

Getting the American military into one's country is much easier than getting it out. The world knows this. Mexicans assuredly do. They know that America has wrecked country after country in the Mideast, always to do something good about democracy and human rights. They know that America is squeezing Venezuela to get control of its oil, squeezing Iran for the same reason, attacked Iraq for the same reason, has troops in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for the same reason, and has just confiscated Syria's oil . Mexico has oil. So when Trump wants to send the military to "help" fight drugs, what do you suppose the Mexicans suspect?

Another point: Roughly a million American expats live happily in Mexico. These would be hostages, and they–we–are soft targets. The drones kill five narcos, and the narcos kill five expats. Or ten, or fifty. What does Washington do now?

Finally, consider what happens when you bomb a country, make life dangerous, kill its children, destroy the economy and impoverish its people? Answer: They go somewhere else. With Mexico being made unlivable, Mexicans would have two choices of somewhere else, Guatemala and .See whether you can fill in the blank. Maybe four or five million of them.

Nuff said. May God protect Mexico from Yanquis who would do it good, from advisers, and then adviser creep, and then occupation, and then from badly led militaries who have no idea where they are.

[Nov 09, 2019] Dems emptied the clown car just to fill back up

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

There's only one way to read this news coupled with Bloomberg: the establishment knows Biden is all over but the crying and Pete has no path to the nomination, probably because he has zero black support and it's too late to build those relationships.

Warren and Bernie rising. https://t.co/P7A1ETN92Q

-- Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) November 7, 2019

[Nov 09, 2019] This should put the kobosh in Warren saying she is a progressive

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:25pm

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

Elizabeth Warren wants Patrick in her administration. @EmmaVigeland @atrios @NomikiKonst @_michaelbrooks @BernieBroStar

-- Eric J - #Bernie2020 (@EricJafMN) November 8, 2019

Deval Patrick served on the board at subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest. Melody Barnes is on the board at bigwig defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Textbook cases of the revolving door corruption Warren frequently attacks. https://t.co/KU3Ct3j9eC

-- Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 8, 2019

If she really cared about the policies she is running on she would have endorsed Bernie. Period. It was during the primary that Hillary said, "single payer will never ever happen here."

Bernie was running on it and yet Warren did not endorse him for it. If she actually wants to help us she would drop out and tell people to vote for Bernie. Sure everyone has the right to run for president, but we know or believe that she is only running to keep Bernie from becoming president.

She is lying to us about not taking money from rich people and corporations because she took their money for her senate campaign and transferred it to her presidential campaign. If she isn't up front about this then how can we trust her on anything else?

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

Elites eliting about elites while elitseplaining to working Americans about how they are going to vote for some elites and beat the Republicans elite. https://t.co/l0W8QPUT0E

-- Nomiki Konst(@NomikiKonst) November 8, 2019

"Who is to the left of Bloomberg on guns and climate change?" Hmm let me think...of course it's not Biden. Nor Harris...Kilobits.... Buttigieg or even Warren. Doh!

[Nov 09, 2019] Warren called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Warren did that(what Alex Thompson tweeted about) at her town hall here. Called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf. Do people really fall for this stuff? The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick. I was sitting there thinking "Come on, lady-you've been a professor at the highest profile law school in the country for how long now?"

Lambert Strether Post author , November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

Lime green Jello with marshmallows. That's the sort of thing I think of. Food I'd avoid at a church basement supper if at all possible.

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Yep.
It's funny-I spent 10 years at Harvard, and I lived near The Yard and the law school. I knew a lot of faculty at H, and was privy to a lot of the politics that went on. My bs detector was honed there. At the town hall, I could see right through her. It was all so familiar. Don't underestimate the cunning and doublespeak. What is that quote-"When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Why didn't she proclaim her great groundbreaking achievement of being Harvard's "first woman of color" professorial appointment? Isn't she proud of that any more?

Dog, that woman seems to be in a race to seem the least authentic. Can't her staff tell her to act natural?

After I post this comment, I'm gonna get me a beer.

Phillip Allen , November 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"Can't her staff tell her to act natural?"

Why assume that what we see isn't her natural self, such as it is? Or, rather, that there's anything more genuinely human underneath the pandering, opportunistic surface? As Petal cited above, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

[Nov 09, 2019] Are You Calling Me Stupid Gabbard Rips Joy Behar's 'Useful Idiot' Smear On The View

Notable quotes:
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald summarized the testy exchange as Gabbard "responding with righteous rage but also great dignity to the disgusting smears of Democrats about her patriotism and loyalty." ..."
"... What a woman! Get Trump out and give the POTUS to Tulsi. Wonderful. I will definitely contribute to her campaign. ..."
"... What's funny about the whole thing is that the 'regular viewers' of the view are some of the most programmable 'useless' idiots that this (excuse for a country) has ever seen.... ..."
"... The View -- owned by Disney. Openly misandrist show -- in the shows more than 2 decades, having gone through dozens of hosts, the show has never had a male host. How's that for "inclusivity"? ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard faced the increasingly nasty smears branding her a Russian asset and "traitor" head on during The View on Wednesday, following the recent spat with Hillary Clinton who suggested the Kremlin was "grooming" Gabbard to be a third-party candidate .

"Some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse, or a useful idiot I think was the term that you used," Gabbard told the panel, after in prior episodes Joy Behar especially had agreed with and aggressively amplified Hillary's baseless claims. The panel had also previously called her a Trojan horse. Gabbard came out swinging in her remarks: "It's offensive to me as a soldier, as an American, as a member of Congress, as a veteran, and frankly as a woman, to be so demeaned in such a way."

"Well, useful," Behar said, referencing her previously labeling the Iraq war veteran Moscow's 'useful idiot'. "But that's a Russian term, they use that," she added. "Are You Calling Me Stupid?" Gabbard at one point angrily shoots back. And demonstrating just how low and idiotic, and without substantive argument the "controversy" around Gabbard has become, Behar at one point even offers as 'evidence' of the presidential candidate's supposed Russian ties that she's appeared on FOX's Tucker Carlson Tonight on multiple occasions.

"I am a strong and intelligent woman of color, who has dedicated almost all of my adult life to protecting the safety, security & liberty of Americans," Gabbard fired back.

She also schooled the panel on her distinguished military career and slammed Behar's likening her to Putin's "useful idiot" -- explaining also that she joined the Army after the 9/11 attacks but that her country lied to her in invading Iraq.

"You are implying that I am too stupid, and too naive, and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing," she further counter-attacked Behar with.

The full segment from Wednesday's The View appearance is below, with the fight over Behar's "useful idiot" remarks beginning at the 1-min mark:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-Y8ayIpjPvY

One astounding moment came when Gabbard reiterated her position that Hillary Clinton is a "warmonger," at which point Behar actually asked, "What's your evidence of that?"

A perplexed Gabbard immediately shot back, "Are you serious?"

Journalist Glenn Greenwald summarized the testy exchange as Gabbard "responding with righteous rage but also great dignity to the disgusting smears of Democrats about her patriotism and loyalty."


haruspicio , 45 minutes ago link

What a woman! Get Trump out and give the POTUS to Tulsi. Wonderful. I will definitely contribute to her campaign.

BTW who is that ******* harridan to her left, the ugly one cutting her off all the time? What a ******* bitch.

Bubba Rum Das , 2 hours ago link

What's funny about the whole thing is that the 'regular viewers' of the view are some of the most programmable 'useless' idiots that this (excuse for a country) has ever seen....

wakeupscreaming , 2 hours ago link

The View -- owned by Disney. Openly misandrist show -- in the shows more than 2 decades, having gone through dozens of hosts, the show has never had a male host. How's that for "inclusivity"?

Next time you take the kids to the movies or to a themepark, think twice about patronizing Disney.

keep the bastards honest , 1 hour ago link

Stay away, they are perverts, keep your kids away from their media and products.

Petkattash , 4 hours ago link

She was clear and confident in her remarks. Still don't care for many of her policies but she is was better that the rest of the D bunch.

iSage , 7 hours ago link

I am fearful the Republic for which We Stand, is falling, right before our eyes. I guess we disengaged at some point, sad. We are all Americans, what happened to the common ground? It is disappearing...

Bobzilla. Do not piss him off , 7 hours ago link

Joy Behar is a so fugly. She's a loudmouth ******, who is even uglier than the fat negress with the stupid looking blonde dregs. ****, what a hideous show. Anyone who watches that POS show is a ******* low IQ moron .

[Nov 09, 2019] Possible republican counter gambit -- sacrifice Trump and win elections

Notable quotes:
"... "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried" ..."
"... If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that. ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FreeMarketApologist , November 8, 2019 at 3:29 pm

"John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried"

Way back when, it was taken as mostly-gospel that Trump was surprised as anybody that he won, and that he didn't really want the job. While it appears that he's having lots of fun being #1, maybe he's not so worried about an impeachment, because it will get him out of the White House, and back to making money. Impeachment could be Donald and the Repub's wet dream: they get rid of an odious figurehead (but one who has given them everything they have wanted), they get Mike Pence to finish off the term and run in 2020, and he can claim he was unjustly removed from office, all the while raking in the $$ from speaking engagements, new TV shows, merch sales, and additional influence peddling.

urblintz , November 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm

I've always felt that Trump's best move would be to not run again. It would be perfectly in character for him to say "been there done that" and exit with his middle finger extended. He's done it his whole life and his "brand" for those who ever bought it to begin with would be even stronger. Successful impeachment might slow him up a bit but does anyone really think he's just gonna go away with his tail between his legs after he leaves the White House? He's shameless and unless he goes to jail he will be with us forever which, loved or hated, is the only thing that matters to him

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 5:24 pm

This of course is the true hope of the impeachers–that he will just quit–since they know he won't really be impeached. They look fondly to the Nixon precedent.

HotFlash , November 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

He won't do it if he thinks they want it.

The Rev Kev , November 8, 2019 at 6:25 pm

If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that.

[Nov 09, 2019] Biden's ode to Centrism

This is not an ode that's a requiem...
Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

XXYY , November 8, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Biden's ode to Centrism is great.

But at another level these kinds of attacks are a serious problem. They reflect an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics. If someone doesn't agree with you -- it's not just that you disagree -- that person must be a coward or corrupt or a small thinker.

It's representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share: "We know best; you know nothing". "If you were only as smart as I am you would agree with me."

This is no way to get anything done. This is no way to bring the country together. This is no way for this party to beat Donald Trump.

This is from the party that has spent the last three years vilifying both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in every possible mean, vicious way? Evidently Joe is only in favor of "bringing the country together" if leads to the victory of his particular faction, not as, you know, and actual thing.

chuckster , November 8, 2019 at 5:04 pm

He also believes that the Republicans in Congress will work with him when he wins next year. Apparently he intends to give away more than Obama did to get their cooperation .

Grand Bargain Part 2

[Nov 09, 2019] They're gettin' the old gang back together

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

lotlizard on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 1:12am

@on the cusp
Debbie Wasserman Schultz could come roaring back as House Appropriations Committee chair.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article236811358.html

[Nov 09, 2019] In this climate of Russia Russia Russia Russia I'm waiting for Hillary to say that Bloomberg is a Russian asset.

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:55pm

Heh...

Says it all I should think! pic.twitter.com/3XcajxWn6R

-- Simon Sankoff (@SankoffSimon) November 8, 2019

Not that there was anything wrong with that meeting, but in this climate of Russia Russia Russia Russia I'm waiting for Hillary to say that Bloomberg is a Russian asset. This time she will have proof.

[Nov 08, 2019] Bloomberg looks like someone Beijing could work with.

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 8, 2019 at 5:22 pm

UPDATE Bloomberg (D)(3): "China to lift ban on state-owned firms buying Bloomberg terminals, source says" [South China Morning Post]. "China never explained the ban but it came shortly after the agency published a story on June 29, 2012, about the finances of the extended family of Xi Jinping – then the vice-president. After the ban, the company withheld an investigative report about Wang Jianlin, the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group and the one of the wealthiest tycoons well connected with Chinese leaders, in 2013, according to a report by The New York Times. Michael Forsythe, the key author of the investigative reports, left the company shortly afterwards. Bloomberg has never admitted the practice of self-censorship." • Hmm.

-- -

Sounds like someone Beijing coud work with.

[Nov 08, 2019] Perhaps Bloomberg can one up Trump by not only showing up at the Iowa fair in his helicopter but hopping out in a flight suit. Worked for Dubya.

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Counterpunch' St Clair quotes his late friend Alex Cockburn that anyone rich enough to own a helicopter should be smart enough not to fly in one. Bloomberg pilots his own helicopter.

Perhaps Bloomberg can one up Trump by not only showing up at the Iowa fair in his helicopter but hopping out in a flight suit. Worked for Dubya.

NotTimothyGeithner , November 8, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Chris Matthews talked himself off on air during that stunt.

https://www.mediamatters.org/laura-ingraham/mission-accomplished-look-back-medias-fawning-coverage-bushs-premature-declaration

Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?

He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him -- I mean, he seems like -- he didn't fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits. We don't want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

Yep, this is just hard hitting analysis from MSNBC! Trump didn't break these people. He's simply a louder version of them, and they are all jealous they didn't go full in on an anti-immigrant, anti Jeb Bush platform in the GOP primary.

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Yes, envy is a terrible thing.

If Trump would just slap them on the back and give them nicknames they'd love him.

NotTimothyGeithner , November 8, 2019 at 6:14 pm

LIDDY: Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

MATTHEWS: You know, it's funny. I shouldn't talk about ratings. I don't always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time [U.S. Rep.] Henry Waxman [D-CA] was on -- and I do respect him on legislative issues -- he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody's tuning in to see these pictures again.

The early 00's were completely insane. Yes, that is G. Gordon Liddy appearing on MSNBC! and discussing George W. Bush's costume.

The Rev Kev , November 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

Chris Matthews is really kinda getting brown there. Was the same for Obama when he said-

"I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."

Kurt Sperry , November 8, 2019 at 7:27 pm

The only way to make the Monday NWT crossword a decent challenge is to solve it using only either the down or across clues.

[Nov 08, 2019] If Bloomberg is an antidote to Trump then what was the poison ? Is this homeopathic treatment for neoliberalism ?

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DonCoyote , November 8, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Didn't see any Bloomberg links separate post?

If so, let's get it started:

CNN: Michael Bloomberg is the antidote to Donald Trump

"Bloomberg is the antidote to President Trump; while Trump always finds new ways to lower the bar, we are confident that Bloomberg will bring a sense of élan and grace to the most powerful office in the world. "

Bloomberg 2020: élan and grace. I'm sure Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin will go for that.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm

What is the name of the physical therapy where you use the same to treat the same?

Or even psychological therapy. For example, if you fear broccoli, the treatment, under that philosophy, is for you eat much, much more of it, to get over the fear.

Then, hopefully, you're cured.

Arizona Slim , November 8, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Homeopathy.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Thanks. That was it.

[Nov 08, 2019] Me-Too might ambush Bloomberg

Nov 08, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

"'I'd Do Her': Mike Bloomberg and the Underbelly of #MeToo" [ The Atlantic ]. From 2018, still germane: "From 1996 to 1997, four women filed sexual-harassment or discrimination suits against Bloomberg the company. One of the suits included the following allegation: When Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a sales representative at the company, told Mike Bloomberg she was pregnant, he replied , 'Kill it!' (Bloomberg went on, she alleged, to mutter, 'Great, No. 16' -- a reference, her complaint said, to the 16 women at the company who were then pregnant.) To these allegations, Garrison added another one: Even prior to her pregnancy, she claimed, Bloomberg had antagonized her by making disparaging comments about her appearance and sexual desirability. 'What, is the guy dumb and blind?' he is alleged to have said upon seeing her wearing an engagement ring. 'What the hell is he marrying you for?' Bloomberg denied having made those comments, claiming that he passed a lie-detector test validating the denial but declining to release the results. (He also reportedly left Garrison a voicemail upon hearing that she'd been upset by the comments about her pregnancy: 'I didn't say it, but if I said it, I didn't mean it.') What Bloomberg reportedly did concede is that he had said of Garrison and other women, " I'd do her. " In making the concession, however, he insisted that he had believed that to 'do' someone meant merely 'to have a personal relationship' with them." • I imagine we'll be cancelling Bloomberg shortly? This is a heck of a lot more than liberal Democrats had with Kavanaugh.

[Nov 08, 2019] China to lift ban on state-owned firms buying Bloomberg terminals

Nov 08, 2019 | www.scmp.com

"China to lift ban on state-owned firms buying Bloomberg terminals, source says" [ South China Morn ing Post ]. "China never explained the ban but it came shortly after the agency published a story on June 29, 2012, about the finances of the extended family of Xi Jinping – then the vice-president. After the ban, the company withheld an investigative report about Wang Jianlin, the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group and the one of the wealthiest tycoons well connected with Chinese leaders, in 2013, according to a report by The New York Times. Michael Forsythe, the key author of the investigative reports, left the company shortly afterwards. Bloomberg has never admitted the practice of self-censorship." • Hmm.

[Nov 08, 2019] Jewish billionaires for Bloomberg

This is kind on knife in Trump's back ;-)
Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bloomberg (D)(1): "Leon Cooperman, who has been battling Elizabeth Warren, says he will support fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg for president" [ CNBC ]. "Cooperman is one of several Wall Street executives who are already preparing to help Bloomberg in anyway they can if he runs for president. A private equity executive, who declined to be named in order to speak frankly about the situation, said he would likely support Bloomberg's campaign as well." • Say no more! Say no more!

[Nov 08, 2019] Bloomberg officially entered the race on November 8, 2019 by filing to insert his name on the Alabama Democratic Primary ballot

Nov 08, 2019 | m.wikipedia.org

There was widespread speculation that he would run as a third party candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election , though he chose not to run, later endorsing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president. In October 2018, Bloomberg announced that he had changed his political party affiliation to Democratic, which he had previously been registered as prior to 2001. [6] Bloomberg announced on November 7, 2019 that he was taking steps to enter the 2020 presidential race , [7] despite previously saying in March 2019 that he would not pursue the presidency, [8]

Bloomberg officially entered the race on November 8, 2019 by filing to insert his name on the Alabama Democratic Primary ballot and announced that he will make a decision about a formal campaign launch on November 11 at earliest. [9] [10]

[Nov 08, 2019] Thank you Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the war machine

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hal Duell , Nov 8 2019 19:20 utc | 22

@bevin | Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12
Exactly, and thanks.
Question: Could Bloomberg change the equation, the equation being that neither Sanders nor Warren not Biden have what it takes to defeat Trump?
And thank you Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the war machine and the penal gulag.
Nemesiscalling , Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 23
With all the vitriol being leveled against Tulsi to paint her as a Russian plant or useful idiot or whatever, whether from Hillary or the worthless females on the view, a daytime television show aimed at influencing the political opinion of stay-at-home middlebrow moms and retirees (Including low energy males), I think my earlier thought that without the Djt phenomenon, there would be no Tulsi, is proven more and more correct with each passing day.

And for those suffering from such a quickening case of tds, unable to point out that before the current potus, the tpp was a thing, fake news was as of yet unexposed, Syria was a powderkeg with the potential of a Russophobic true believer ready to command and chief, and where immigration as a national question had not been brought to bear on a people that had been for decades suffering the effect of the evil of cheap, exploitative labor, your case against the man is extremely misguided and, dare I say, you are the useful idiot here.

karlof1 , Nov 8 2019 23:14 utc | 37
Perhaps one reason Gabbard's political career will continue to be successful:

"I go on Tucker Carlson, I go on Bret Baier, I go on Sean Hannity, I go on MSNBC, I go on CNN -- I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me."

IIRC, Sanders is the only other candidate who consistently says we need to do this (Change America) together. IMO, there's only one way Gabbard and Sanders will be nominated next year in Milwaukee: That's because We the People hijack the Convention, driving out the Clintonistas, DNC pukes, and their Super Delegates and nominate them via proclamation. All that's lacking to attain such an outcome is the effort, the will, the realization that nothing good's going to happen for We the People unless We do it Ourselves.

[Nov 08, 2019] Warren correctly said the Biden is running in the wrong primary

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"I Have Fought for the Democratic Party My Whole Career" [Joe Biden, Medium ].

"The other day I was accused by one of my opponents [Warren] of running in the wrong primary. Pretty amazing. On one level, it is kind of funny. I have fought for the Democratic party my whole career . It's representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share: 'We know best; you know nothing'. ' If you were only as smart as I am you would agree with me .' This is no way to get anything done. This is no way to bring the country together. This is no way for this party to beat Donald Trump." • Front-row, back-row.

[Nov 08, 2019] Clinton Democrats, Inc

Clinton Democrats, Inc is the parasitic network of nonprofits, think tanks, media outlets, phony activist organizations, and outright scam operations masquerading as a movement
Nov 08, 2019 | en.wikipedia.org

Noam Chomsky , in a 2017 BBC interview, contended that "the Democrats gave up on the working class forty years ago." [32]

[Nov 08, 2019] One simple question about the USA foreign policy for Trump accusers

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Drake , November 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

"Trump is guilty of Bribery and Extortion."

I guess what I'm having trouble with is -- is there any foreign policy involving financial or military leverage that isn't bribery and/or extortion? The Marshall Plan? Alliance for Progress? Sanctions of any kind? Aid to Israel and Egypt?

What isn't bribery and extortion?

If it doesn't involve quid pro quo, then it's charity.

I just can't see what Trump is supposed to be guilty of except making this transparent.

[Nov 08, 2019] Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8

Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Tea Party foot soldiers?

Repeal and replace Obamacare on day one
Nope. Quietly dropped coverage for prior conditions.

Build a Wall - and Mexico's gonna pay for it!

Not really. Building sections of a wall that USA will pay for.

Drain the swamp

Nope - unless by "swamp" Trump means the Democratic Party.

"Lock her up!"

Nope. He says they're good people who have been thru a lot. Aww . . .
America?
End the "threat" from NK "Rocket man"
Nope. No follow-thru on the (sham) Summit.

End the new Cold War

Nope. Increased military spending; ended treaties; militarized space.

End "forever wars", bring the troops home

Nope.

Bring jobs home

Uncertain: trade War with China doesn't necessarily mean jobs coming back US.

= = = = = = = =

Republican Party?

Cut taxes
YES!

Cut regulations on business

YES!

Israel?

Move Embassy to Jerusalem
YES!

Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel

YES!

End aid to Palestinians

YES!

Don't give up on Syrian regime-change

YES!

US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?

End US participation in the JCPOA
YES!

McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

"locked and loaded"
!!

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Tim Canova with supporters, April 2016. (CanovaForCongress, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Trump Jr. Outs CIA Whistleblower Over Twitter

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The article , written by Breitbart senior investigative reporter New York Times bestselling author and Aaron Klein, details how Ciaramella was central to the Obama administration's Ukraine policy - including the eventual signing of a $1 billion US loan guarantee after former VP Joe Biden pressured them into firing the guy investigating an energy company paying his son to sit on their board , Burisma Holdings.

In response to Trump Jr. tweeting Ciaramella's name, journalist Yashar Ali (who worked for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign) contacted Don Jr., who told him " The outrage on this is BS. And those pretending that I would coordinate with The White House to send out a Breitbart link haven't been watching my feed for a long time ."

Don Jr. then tweeted "The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn't been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID'd him."

Trump Jr.'s 'outing' of Ciaramella comes one day after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he was considering releasing the whistleblower's name, and claimed that he may be involved in Ukraine corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/99cj1NJEQGE

LEEPERMAX , 5 minutes ago link

Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

ThomasEdmonds , 7 minutes ago link

As long as we're at it, did Victoria Nuland cash in on Ukraine?

Collectivism Killz , 4 minutes ago link

She’s a *** and her husband a super ***. So yes, they made money on the backs of Slavic dead, same as ever.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 06, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mike Sylwester , Nov 5 2019 22:49 utc | 18

I offer my interpretation of the timeline.

General-Prosecutor Victor Shokin was being pressured -- mostly by the USA -- to prosecute corruption more effectively.

In response to such pressure, Shokin initiated an investigation of Mykola Zlochevsky on October 17, 2015. It seems that Britain had established an investigation of Zlochevsky in 2014, had suspended that investigation on January 21, 2015, but then resumed that investigation in October 2015. Shokin joined that British investigation on October 17, 2015.

It seems further that the USA eventually took unknown actions to prevent that joint British-Ukrainian investigation of Zlochevsky.

On December 7-8, 2015, Vice President Biden indicated that a large US grant of aid money would be conditional. However, the conditions seem to be secret.

In this situation, before the end of December 2015, General-Prosecutor Shokin transfered the Zlochevsky investigation to the so-called National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which essentially was a creature of the US Government.

The situation seemed to remain quiet through the month of January 2016. On February 2, however, Shokin seized some of Zlochevsky's property, even though the NABU was supposed to be managing the Zlochevsky case.

Sholin's seizure of Zlochevsky's property on February 2 sparked a US-Ukraine crisis. The US (i.e. the Bidens) felt it had been double-crossed by Shokin.

Although the property seizure occurred on February 2, it was not announced publicly until February 4. On that same day, Hunter Biden began following the Twitter account of US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who managed Ukrainian affairs. (I wonder if Blinken communicated in code to Hunter Biden by means of Twitter.)

On February 12, Vice President Joe Biden talked with Ukrainian President Poroshenko by telephone and ordered the firing of Shokin. The firing essentially happened later that same day.

Joe Biden's story about waiting for an airplane due to take off in six hours might be false or might refer to an airplane taking off in some country other than Ukraine.

evilempire , Nov 5 2019 22:54 utc | 21

Are vlochevsky, kolomoisky, and pinchbuk partners in crime?

$1.8 billion in imf loans "disappeared" in koilomoiski's privat bank. After that privat bank was nationalized and kolomoiski fled to the us. Was this how vlochevsky's asets doubled? Coincidentally the chinese firm investment in rosemont seneca was over $1 billion.

Some have speculated that the Bidens could have become billionaires from this. Was the Chinese firm a pass through for the embezzled $1.8 billion IMF loan?

[Nov 06, 2019] It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

Obama Bin Biden and the crooked clan need to get back in the game somehow so they can rip off another 3 billion in US tax payer loans. What were they up to 44 Billion in fraudulent loans to Ukraine?

Interesting how they want to Impeach Trump over Ukraine, don't you think?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?

Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.

It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

[Nov 06, 2019] Nancy Pelosi's Party Billionaires and Drag Queens

Nov 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Bloomberg News headline on November 2 was stark: "Nancy Pelosi Is Worried 2020 Candidates Are on Wrong Track." Wrong track as in, the Democrats are on their way to losing the upcoming presidential election. As reporter Sahil Kapur put it, "Speaker Nancy Pelosi is issuing a pointed message to Democrats running for president in 2020: Those liberal ideas that fire up the party's base are a big loser when it comes to beating President Donald Trump."

Among the losing ideas Pelosi cited was Medicare for All. And in fact, the plans of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders -- each struggling to get to the left of the other in the Democratic primary -- are becoming the stuff of both consternation and comedy. Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live mocked Warren's $52 trillion health plan: "We're talking trillions! When the numbers are this big, they're just pretend!"

We can observe: being the butt of jokes about fiscal recklessness is not how one wins a presidential election. Or as Pelosi observed, "Remember November. You must win the Electoral College."

Invoking her own ideological credentials, Pelosi tossed a sharp query at insurgent Democrats as a whole: "As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: what are you thinking?" As the Bloomberg piece explained, Pelosi was aiming, yet again, at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive "Squad." Pelosi and the Democratic establishment worry that democratic socialists and Third World-minded radicals will take the party into George-McGovern-in-1972 territory (as this author here at TAC suggested might well happen last year).

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Pelosi would certainly seem to know a lot about left-wing liberalism; her most recent rating from Americans for Democratic Action was an A+ 95 percent. Indeed, while she's old enough to remember poor McGovern, she also remembers, more recently, Walter Mondale. In 1984, the Democrats held their national convention in Pelosi's hometown, giving Mondale their presidential nomination. Whereupon Republicans gleefully tagged him as a "San Francisco Democrat." Mondale was from Minnesota, but no matter -- he lost 49 states.

Mindful of that baleful history, Pelosi offered a fascinating lesson in political non-transitivity, between her hometown and another Great Lakes state: "What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan. What works in Michigan works in San Francisco -- talking about workers' rights and sharing prosperity."

In other words, while one can sell Midwestern mutualism in San Francisco, one can't sell San Francisco liberalism in Michigan -- which is hardly a Republican bastion.

Yet if we look closer at Pelosi's liberalism, we note something interesting. On strictly economic issues, as distinct from sociocultural issues, she's not that left-wing. Yes, she describes herself as a "left-wing San Francisco liberal," but most of her leftism is focused on lifestyle. Her economic style is, in fact, distinctly Clintonian neoliberal. Here's more from the Bloomberg story: "Pelosi said Democrats must stick with pay-as-you-go rules to avoid adding to the debt, a point of contention with left-leaning figures who want to permit more deficit spending for ambitious liberal priorities. 'We cannot just keep increasing the debt,' she said."

We can note that "pay-go" is about as orthodox an economic nostrum as one can find these days; it's typically associated with deficit-minded "budget hawks," of the type funded by the late Pete Peterson, a big-time Republican who crusaded for cuts to earned entitlements.

Indeed, Peterson, who made a small fortune at Lehman Brothers and a big fortune at the Blackstone Group, would have been pleased to read more of what Pelosi had to say. According to Bloomberg, she "stopped short of endorsing a tax on wealth, an idea that Warren and Sanders have embraced as a means to reduce income inequality and expand the safety net."

One might presume that the 18 billionaires who live in San Francisco were duly pleased by their representative's restraint. They might be generous donors to the Democratic Party and to other good causes, and thus have proven their commitment to social justice. Thus they need to conserve their capital, to continue their good works -- that's Pelosi's fat cat-friendly position.

Moreover, it's not just billionaires that Pelosi is looking out for; in addition, she's protective of mere millionaires . Per Bloomberg: "She also steered clear of backing a cap on pay for chief executive officers."

Yes, in that same interview, Pelosi called Donald Trump's 2017 tax-cut bill "dumb" -- and that will check the box for Democratic partisans and inattentive ideologues.

But then she added something curiously centrist. She said she wanted any changes in the tax bill to be aimed at lowering the debt and to be "bipartisan." To those paying close attention, these are signal code words, suggesting, yet again, that Pelosi sees any possible tax increase as a deficit reduction tool, as opposed to added fiscal support for a spending spree. Moreover, in saying that she wants any revision of the tax bill to be bipartisan, she's making Republicans integral to the process -- and that can't be pleasing to AOC-type tax-raisers.

Nobody's accusing Pelosi of being a conservative. Yet her legendary leftism does seem to be curiously concentrated in the lifestyle area -- especially the San Francisco area. For instance, there's the Equality Act, which Pelosi identifies as a top legislative priority, even as Republicans have so far blocked it. In the words of the Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson , the bill would

force employers to cover abortion, and medical professionals to perform or assist in performing abortions force employers to pay for sex "reassignment" procedures in their health insurance plans, and require medical professionals to perform them. . . . force all schools and businesses to open their women's bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and sports teams to boys who "identify as" girls and to men who "identify as" women.

That's a tall order of social liberalism, or, as some might prefer to describe it, left-wing hegemonism.

Indeed, bills such as the Equality Act are so egregious and extreme that one might begin to suspect that they serve a purpose beyond advancing the goals of Planned Parenthood and Drag Queen Story Hour. And what purpose might that be? Perhaps Pelosi seeks to cloak her neoliberal economic agenda in the bright raiment of avant-garde sexual progressivism. That would be sort of a neat trick, right? That is, Pelosi has carpentered a platform that includes planks favorable to both tycoons and transgenders -- and yet the pro-trans plank is what generates the most headlines, pro and con. To put it another way: the LGBTQ-friendly plank obscures the billionaire-friendly plank.

Pelosi is a smart woman. She's been around politics all her life; both her father and brother were mayors of Baltimore. So if she's found a new kind of high-low political formula -- combining the rich and the risqué -- it's surely not an accident. And it's certainly working for her: she was re-elected last year to her 17th term by a 73 percent margin . She has, in fact, engineered a new kind of Democratic political machine, one that's also working in other big cities.

There's just one thing: as Pelosi herself says, the San Francisco model can't sell in Michigan and, by extension, in probably 35 other states. So in 2020, if the Democrats continue to lurch left, on both economic and cultural issues, they could well find themselves McGovern-ized, or Mondale-ized.

For her part, Pelosi will say that she tried to warn them: think Michigan Wolverines, she said, not San Francisco drag queens. Yet even if the Democrats lose the presidential election next year, Pelosi will survive, continuing to be a best friend to both billionaires and drag queens. Of course, Pelosi, 79, can't be their best friend forever , yet it's a safe bet that her successor will try to follow the same model.

As we have seen, it's questionable whether the Pelosi Model helps the Democratic Party as a whole. But for those financing it, and flaunting it, it's working just fine.

James P. Pinkerton is an author and contributing editor at . He served as a White House policy aide to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

[Nov 06, 2019] Something about Trump coherence

Nov 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Barba_Papa 21 hours ago

The US openly occupies parts of Syria, boasts of taking it resources and supported the attempts of the Kurds to set up their own little state, until the Turks blew a hissy fit. And yet it has the gall to call out what Russia does in the Ukraine as a breach of international law.

[Nov 05, 2019] Both Latinos and young voters going disproportionately for Sanders.

Nov 05, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"The 7 big bets that will decide who wins the White House in 2020" [ Politico ].

"Sanders' big bet is that this movement has the capacity to grow and to appeal to voters who have not previously participated in Democratic contests. If true, this could give him staying power in the race even if he has yet to score big victories by spring. From early on, Sanders has demonstrated strength with younger voters, with Hispanics and with working-class voters.

[Politico Repoter Holly] Otterbein notes the obvious risk: Lots of candidates historically have pledged to expand the electorate and not many have been successful. 'On the other hand,' she observes, 'there was evidence in 2018 that some of these groups actually did see a real big boost in turnout.

Latinos -- their voter turnout increased more than any other ethnic group. And the younger generations outvoted the boomers and older generations.'" • Both Latinos and young voters going disproportionately for Sanders.

[Nov 05, 2019] The point was Clinton DemoRats took pleasure in being Third Way style neoliberals who were often hawkish on foreign policy and eager to question liberal Democratic pieties, to the point it became a clich that Republicans would cite them

Nov 05, 2019 | jacobinmag.com

Donald 11.03.19 at 9:01 pm

Here is a good piece --

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/11/neoliberalism-term-meaning-democratic-party-jonathan-chait

For those of us who can actually remember political arguments made by Democrats in the 80's and 90's, it's ridiculous to say that neoliberalism in the US never existed except as a term of abuse.

People bragged about being a new type of sophisticated market loving Democrat in sharp contrast to old liberal dinosaurs like Tip O'Neill. Cranky Observer mentioned Charles Peters and the Washington Monthly.

There was also The New Republic -- remember the joke " even the liberal New Republic" supports conservative policy X? The point was they took pleasure in being Third Way style neoliberals who were often hawkish on foreign policy and eager to question liberal Democratic pieties, to the point it became a cliche that Republicans would cite them.

The New Republic and The Washington Monthly were neoliberal the way Commentary was neoconservative. ( There was also a period where you weren't supposed to believe there were such people as neocons. It was supposed to be an antisemitic code word.)

I think the idea that neoliberalism never existed in the US except as a term of abuse from leftists first popped up in the 2016 Democratic primaries. I don't have a cite -- it's just my recollection.

[Nov 05, 2019] The Empire, Trump and Intra-Ruling Class Conflict Dissident Voice

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world." ..."
"... This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy. ..."
"... Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons. ..."
"... One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous. ..."
"... For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Over the past few months President Trump has unilaterally by Tweet and telephone begun to dismantle the U.S. military's involvement in the Middle East. The irony is amazing, because in a general overarching narrative sense, this is what the marginalized antiwar movement has been trying to do for decades. 1

Prof. Harry Targ, in his important piece "United States foreign policy: yesterday, today, and tomorrow," (MR online, October 23, 2919), reminds us of the factional dispute among U.S. foreign policy elites over how to maintain the U.S. empire. On the one hand are the neoliberal global capitalists who favor military intervention, covert operations, regime change, strengthening NATO, thrusting China into the enemy vacuum and re-igniting the Cold War with Russia. All of this is concealed behind lofty rhetoric about humanitarianism, protecting human rights, promoting democracy, fighting terrorism and American exceptionalism. Their mantra is Madeleine Albright's description of the United States as the world's "one indispensable nation."

On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world."

I would add that Trump is also an "American exceptionalist" but ascribes a very different provincial meaning to the term, something closer to a crabbed provincialism, an insular "Shining City on a Hill," surrounded by a moat.

This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy.

Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons.

One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous.

For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post , NSA, Zionist neocons, the DNC, establishment Democrats, some hawkish Republican senators, many lifestyle liberals still harboring a sentimental faith in American goodness and even EU and NATO elites who've benefited from being faithful lackeys to Washington's global imperialism.

In a recent interview, Major Danny Sjursen, retired army officer and West Point instructor with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, notes that "The last bipartisan issue in American politics today is warfare, forever warfare." In terms of the military, that means " even the hint of getting out of the establishment interventionist status quo is terrifying to these generals, terrifying to these former intelligence officers from the Obama administration who seem to live on MSNBC now." Sjursen adds that many of these generals (like Mattis) have already found lucrative work with the military industrial complex. 2

In response to Trump's announcement about removing some U.S. troops from the region, we find an op-ed in The New York Times by Admiral William McRaven where he states that Trump "should be out of office sooner than later. It's time for a new person in the Oval Office, Republican, Democrat or Independent. The fate of the nation depends on it." The unmistakeable whiff of support for a soft coup is chilling. If Trump can't be contained, he must be deposed one way or another.

And this is all entirely consistent with the fact that the national security state was totally caught off guard by Trump's victory in 2016. For them, Trump was a loose cannon, erratic and ultra-confrontational, someone they couldn't control. Their favored candidate was the ever reliable, Wall Street-friendly, war-mongering Hillary Clinton or even Jeb Bush. Today, barring a totally chastised Trump, the favorites include a fading Biden, Pence, a reprise of Clinton or someone in her mold but without the baggage.

For Trump's establishment enemies, another closely related failing is his habit of blurting out inconvenient truths. I'm not the first person to say that Trump is the most honest president in my lifetime. Yes, he lies most of the time but as left analyst Paul Street puts it, "Trump is too clumsily and childishly brazen in laying bare the moral nothingness and selfishness of the real material-historical bourgeois society that lives beneath the veils of 'Western civilization' and 'American democracy.'" 3

All his predecessors took pains or were coached to conceal their imperialist actions behind declarations of humanitarian interventionism but Trump has pulled the curtains back to reveal the ugly truths about U.S. foreign policy. As such, the carefully calibrated propaganda fed to the public in endless reiterations over a lifetime is jeopardized whenever Trump utters a transparent truth. This is intolerable.

Here are a few examples culled from speeches, interviews and press reports:

As noted earlier, the endgame is not in sight. Trump seems without a clear strategy for moving forward and from all reports he can't depend on his current coterie of White House advisors to produce one. Further, he may lack the necessary political in-fight skills or tenacity to see it through. When some of his Republican "allies" savaged his announcement to withdraw troops from Syria, he backtracked and made some, at least cosmetic concessions. However, the fact that Trump's position remains popular with his voter base and especially with veterans of these wars will give pause to Republicans. If some finally join the Democrats in voting for impeachment over Ukraine-gate they may minimize re-election risks by hiding their real motives behind pious claims -- as will most Democrats -- about "protecting the constitution and the rule of law".

Now, lest I be misunderstood, nothing I've written here should be construed as support for Donald Trump or that I believe he's antiwar. Trump is aberration only in that his brand of Western imperialism means that the victims remain foreigners while U.S. soldiers remain out of harm's way. He knows that boots on the ground can quickly descend into bodies in the ground and unlike his opponents, coffins returning to Dover Air Base are not worth risking his personal ambitions. This is clearly something to build upon. We don't know if Trump views drones, cyber warfare and proxies as substitutes but his intra-elite opponents remain extremely dubious. In any event, that's another dimension to expose and challenge.

Finally, we know the ruling class in a capitalist democracy -- an oxymoron -- expends enormous time and resources to obtain a faux "consent of the governed" through misinformation conveyed via massive, lifelong ideological indoctrination. For them, citizen's policing themselves is more efficient than coercion and precludes raising questions that might delegitimize the system. Obviously force and fear are hardly unknown -- witness the mass incarceration and police murder of black citizens -- but one only has to look around to see how successful this method of control has been.

Nevertheless, as social historian Margaret Jacoby wisely reminds us, "No institution is safe if people simply stop believing the assumptions that justify its existence." 4 Put another way, the system simply can't accommodate certain "dangerous ideas."

Today, we see promising political fissures developing, especially within the rising generation, and it's our responsibility to help deepen and widen these openings through whatever means at our disposal.

[Nov 04, 2019] Neoliberalism Never Heard of It

Nov 04, 2019 | jacobinmag.com

Neoliberalism? Never Heard of It

By
Luke Savage

The latest liberal parlor game is pretending there's no such thing as neoliberalism. The game's very popularity highlights neoliberalism's enduring hegemony.

For the first time in decades, it has become possible to envision real alternatives to the prevailing political and economic order of the past forty years. In both Europe and the Americas, the neoliberal consensus is facing a crisis of moral, intellectual, and popular legitimacy: proving unable to deliver either the growth or the broad prosperity its ideologues once promised and facing robust electoral challenges from both the socialist left and the nationalist right.

Predictably enough, this turn of events has elicited a defensive response from neoliberalism's greatest partisans and those otherwise invested in its political and cultural hegemony. "Reminder: Liberalism Is Working, and Marxism Has Always Failed," asserts an anguished Jonathan Chait. "It's Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses," bellows an indignant James Traub. "Not left, not right, but forward," meanwhile, has once again become the median posture among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president -- with most candidates channeling the spirit of Tony Blair's famous 1998 call to neoliberal technocracy and making familiar appeals to moderation and tepid meliorism.

But the past several years have also given birth to another, more curious phenomenon: namely the repeated insistence of many prominent liberals and centrists that neoliberalism is either a phantom created by leftists or, alternatively, a term so ethereal it defies definition and therefore serves no useful purpose. In Britain and America especially (arguably neoliberalism's most significant ideological beachheads in the 1980s and '90s), some commentators can't seem to help resist this strange line of argument, even as the contours of the neoliberal order become ever-more visible as its political prospects weaken and its economic fortunes decline.

The argument comes in several variations.

The first, and most plainly superficial, caustically insists that neoliberalism doesn't exist or at any rate ceased to have a meaningful existence long ago. "Nobody has spotted a neoliberal in the wild since Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign," writes Politico 's Bill Scher, in his stunningly humorless review of The Chapo Guide to Revolution . Or, to take the petulant words of former Clinton sycophant Tom Watson: "There are no neoliberals in the US Congress -- not one. Not one in any statehouses in the nation, either. Yet it's constantly bandied about by the white academic left as a functioning and present ideology."

A second, related version holds that the word primarily exists as a term of abuse: an epithet reductively deployed by leftist trolls looking to slander everyone in sight. This variation's greatest scribe is undoubtedly the ever-aggrieved Chait who, in a July 2017 piece titled "How 'Neoliberalism' Became the Left's Favorite Insult of Liberals," insists that liberalism has remained largely consistent and unchanging (thus making "neo" an unnecessary and pejorative addendum). This argument hinges on the astoundingly ahistorical claim that liberal politicians had no hand in the generalized rightward shift that followed the 1970s and, furthermore, have not wavered in their basic commitments, particularly when it comes to economic policy, since the New Deal:

The Democratic Party has evolved over the last half-century, as any party does over a long period of time. But the basic ideological cast of its economic policy has not changed dramatically since the New Deal . . . Progressives are correct in their belief that something has changed for the worse in American politics. Larger forces in American life have stalled the seemingly unstoppable progressive momentum of the postwar period . . . All this forced Democrats more frequently into a defensive posture . . . Barack Obama's far more sweeping reforms still could not win any support from a radicalized opposition. It is seductive to attribute these frustrations to the tactical mistakes or devious betrayals of party leaders. But it is the political climate that has grown more hostile to Democratic Party economic liberalism. The party's ideological orientation has barely changed.

In this telling, liberal writers like Chait and Democratic politicians like Clinton and Obama have remained consistent with the liberalism of the midcentury. The "neoliberalism" charge is therefore an abusive tactic invented by socialists and designed primarily to "bracket," as he puts it, "the center-left together with the right as 'neoliberal' and then force progressives to choose between that and socialism."

This calls to mind a third, perhaps more emblematic variation on the form, which holds that the wide application of "neoliberal" renders the term too vague or imprecise for it to retain real value. In an editorial for the Independent , Ben Chu takes aim at the regular charge made by some on Labour's Corbynite left that the EU is a neoliberal institution: a reflex he believes to be incoherent, conspiratorial, and even mildly sinister. Partly echoing Chait, Ed Conway (economics editor for Britain's Sky News) asks : "What is neoliberalism and why is it an insult?" While socialists and others on the Left are fond of branding everything they dislike "neoliberal," he writes, no one can actually agree on the word's meaning:

You could pick any one of [Jeremy Corbyn's] speeches over the past few years for . . . examples. The Grenfell Tower was a tragedy of neoliberalism . . . Austerity was a product of neoliberalism. The City is neoliberal, the government is neoliberal, the press is neoliberal . . . Despite the fact that neoliberalism is frequently referred to as an ideology, it is oddly difficult to pin down. For one thing, it is a word that tends to be used almost exclusively by those who are criticizing it -- not by its advocates, such as they are (in stark contrast to almost every other ideology, nearly no one self-describes as a neoliberal). In other words, it is not an ideology but an insult.

A somewhat more earnest and coherent version of this argument is found in a recent essay by Vox 's Ezra Klein , which does at least grant the term neoliberalism some tangible meaning. "In its simplest form," Klein writes, "neoliberalism refers to a general preference for market mechanisms over state interventions." This, however, is where the problems begin for him:

Since almost everyone sometimes prefers market mechanisms to state interventions, and sometimes prefer state interventions to market mechanisms, the conversation quickly gets confusing. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were neoliberals . Bill Clinton is often seen as a neoliberal. Barack Obama is sometimes considered a neoliberal. Elizabeth Warren is occasionally called a neoliberal.

As such, Klein concludes, the label is often over-applied to the point of incoherence. "A label that can describe everyone," he argues, "doesn't usefully describe anyone." To his credit, Klein doesn't want us to abandon the term entirely. Nor does he pretend, as others do, that the phenomenon it describes is so nebulous it might as well not exist (to his earlier definition, he even adds: "Neoliberalism describes what happens when capitalism mutates from an economic system to a governing and even moral philosophy").

His essay's primary purpose, however, is to argue that the Obama presidency fell short of progressive expectations because of an intransigent Congress rather than an attachment to neoliberalism. This is where Klein, his more nuanced and inquisitive posture notwithstanding, begins to sound a bit like Chait:

In recent years, neoliberal has reemerged as political slander, meaning something like "corporatist sellout Democrat" . . . I've become more frustrated with the lazy ways the term is tossed around -- and, particularly, how it becomes an all-purpose explanation for any political outcome someone doesn't like.

While exhibiting variations and coming in numerous shades of good and bad faith, all of these arguments -- and others in the same vein -- share some common features.

The first is poor, or at any rate incomplete, history.

Far from being abstract or immaterial, neoliberalism was the consciously pursued project of an initially small group of intelligentsia who, thanks to decades of well-funded organizing and adept political maneuvering -- particularly during the economic crises that afflicted Keynesian social democracy in the 1970s -- gradually succeeded in taking their ideology to the heights of institutional and cultural power. First capturing the old right (in Britain's Tory Party, the disappointments of the Heath era gave way to the more dynamic and confrontational ethos of Thatcherism, just as in America Nixon and Ford were succeeded by Reaganism), the neoliberal ascendency eventually secured a foothold in the center-left thanks to the agency of figures like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

The new generation of ideologues who came to dominate Western liberalism in the 1990s were hardly dragged kicking and screaming into the embrace of its more market-zealous incarnation. On the contrary, New Labour acolytes and Atari Democrats were some of neoliberalism's most enthusiastic converts and set out to realign their parties with the consensus already set in motion by the new right. Here's how the Democratic Party's shift away from postwar liberalism was described in 2013 by none other than Chait himself :

[Various] magazines once critiqued Democrats from the right, advocating a policy loosely called "neoliberalism," and now stand in general ideological concord. Why? I'd say it's because the neoliberal project succeeded in weaning the Democrats of the wrong turn they took during the 1960s and 1970s. The Democrats under Bill Clinton -- and Obama, whose domestic policy is crafted almost entirely by Clinton veterans -- has internalized the neoliberal critique.

Given these observable shifts, it is simply ahistorical to argue that liberalism has been ideologically stagnant, or that its transformation into neoliberalism during the 1990s did not occur; equally so to suggest that liberal politicians like Clinton or Obama were simply the casualties of a generalized rightward drift, akin to an intense weather event, rather than the conscious practitioners of an ideology. If neoliberalism is sometimes invoked as a pejorative term for today's liberal politicians, it's because the Left opposes the consensus they seek to perpetuate and holds that a more humane alternative is both possible and desirable.

Setting aside the historical details, what about the second major component of the arguments at hand -- that the moniker "neoliberalism" is either too widely applicable or too contested to be of any use?

This is the fulcrum of the reasoning offered in varying degrees by Klein, Conway, and Chu, and like many erroneous arguments, it contains a degree of truth. For one thing, there is indeed some ambiguity surrounding the term -- but that's only because what it refers to is so multifaceted. Taken at face value, neoliberalism describes a mixture of classical liberal philosophy and neoclassical economics amounting (on paper at least) to an ethic of governance that sees individual freedom as best actualized under a regime of limited state activity, favors private enterprise over public ownership, and is skeptical of state regulation.

But neoliberalism also variously describes: an existing set of interconnected economic and political institutions; a conscious ideological offensive that transformed global politics in the 1980s and '90s and the frontiers of acceptable public policy since; a range of principles that guide elected leaders of both the Right and the liberal center whether they are conscious adherents to neoliberal philosophy or not; and the near-totalizing reality of life under the pressures and logics of late capitalism.

For some, this is reason enough to abandon, dismiss, or severely limit the application of the term -- in some cases to the point that it ceases to be a recognized feature of contemporary life. If a set of political ideas can be applied too widely, so this thinking runs, then continuing to identify or isolate them as a causal force becomes basically pointless. How, after all, can a label applicable to politicians as distinct as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama be of any real use?

But we might just as easily draw the opposite conclusion. The ubiquity of a particular phenomenon does not make discrete analysis of it useless; if anything, such omnipresence makes identifying it a more urgent and critical task. A phenomenon so diffuse that it seems manifest throughout politics, economics, and culture is hardly a chimera, and the apparent reticence of many commentators to recognize or even acknowledge its valence as a term can only be viewed as a symptom of neoliberalism's continued stranglehold on our political, cultural, and intellectual life.

The longer something is a part of your reality, the more it tends to fade from your field of focus. Put another way: the more pervasive a particular object or phenomenon, the easier it can be to take its presence for granted. After its initially disruptive incursion in the 1980s, neoliberalism fast became a feature of our collective existence, so indelible many now seem unable to recall a time before it existed, let alone conceive a future that goes beyond it. An ideology secures hegemony at precisely the point it ceases to be considered an ideology: its claims transform into axioms; its theories harden into dogma; its abstruse vernacular becomes the lingua franca; its assumptions are subsumed under "common sense."

That neoliberalism remains so poorly understood in the very political mainstream whose frontiers it now circumscribes is a testament to both the breathtaking scope of its counterrevolution, and the daunting task facing those of us who desire its overthrow. It is everywhere and therefore nowhere: at once so diaphanous it seems invisible; so internalized it appears inescapable. Then again, there may be something altogether more hopeful to be drawn from this strange and often narcotic diffusion. As the late Mark Fisher reminds us:

The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.

[Nov 04, 2019] BREAKING Burisma Holdings Paid Joe Biden $900,000 For Lobbying Activities Ukrainian MP

Nov 04, 2019 | www.thegatewaypundit.com

BREAKING: Burisma Holdings Paid Joe Biden $900,000 For Lobbying Activities: Ukrainian MP Cristina Laila by Cristina Laila October 9, 2019 1164 Comments

Former Vice President Joe Biden was personally paid $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Holdings, according to Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach.

Derkach publicized the documents at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency Wednesday as he said the records, "describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr."

"This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services," Derkach said.

He also publicized sums that were transferred to Burisma Group representatives, in particular Hunter Biden, a son of the former U.S. vice president.

"According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]," Derkach said.

"Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group," he said.

"Biden's fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin 'son of a bitch who was fired'," Derkach said.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/10519515222215526?pubid=ld-6912-4347&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=820

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Via Interfax :

At a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday, he made public the documents received from investigative journalists, including correspondence between NABU officers and representatives of diplomatic missions of foreign states in the framework of criminal proceedings opened under Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (High Treason). In particular, the documents that the deputy possesses indicate that Uglava, through his assistant Polina Chyzh, gave information to the U.S. Embassy, which, he said, is an important part of the "puzzle" of interference in U.S. elections and international corruption.

Joe Biden's drug addict son Hunter was sitting on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company and being paid by some accounts over $200,000 a month even though he had zero experience in the field.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden, who was tasked to oversee US dealings with Ukraine, threatened to withhold over $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine unless they fired Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma and Hunter.

***Get Trump 2020 buttons @ TrumpButtons.com – Click Here***

Biden bragged about shaking down Ukraine and getting Mr. Shokin fired during a 2018 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.

New documents unearthed by award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon destroyed the Democrat narrative that Trump strong-armed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The new documents show that Ukraine was reopening the investigation into Burisma and the crooked Bidens back in February -- before Zelensky was elected president.

[Nov 04, 2019] Biden was a key supporter of sending US arms to the militants fighting against Damascus and was involved in the CIA Classified weapons supply and training programme, known as Timber Sycamore

Nov 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Nov 3 2019 17:04 utc | 16

Forgetful Biden gave an interview with the WSJ. He speaks for Israel. The same Israel's plan of some 45 years ago: break up the surrounding countries into warring statelets and we can live and steal in peace; piece by piece.

Biden Compares Trump's Syrian Oil Theft Policy to 'Giant 300-Foot Daesh Recruiting Poster

[.] Leaving troops behind like [Trump's] doing now – he says that what he wants to do is we're going to occupy the oil fields and we're going to take 'em. That's like a giant 300-foot recruiting poster for ISIS," Biden said, speaking to the Wall Street Journal.[.]

"Russia's position in the region has just been strengthened. [Syrian President Bashar] Assad's position has been strengthened. Iran now has a pathway all the way to Syria and even to Lebanon. If I'm the Israelis I'm not going to be very happy about that. So the whole thing has been turned upside down and we're in there alone now, basically," the former vice president said.[.]

Timber Sycamore

During his tenure as Barack Obama's vice president, Biden was a key supporter of sending US arms to the militants fighting against Damascus. He was involved in the Central Intelligence Agency's classified weapons supply and training programme, known as Timber Sycamore, which equipped and trained thousands of fighters between 2012 and 2017, when it was closed down by the Trump administration.

Those lapel flag pins with the stars and stripes should be replaced by the blue and white star of David flag pins because it is what it is.

Donnie , Nov 3 2019 18:34 utc | 28

Likklemore @16

Joe "I am a Zionist" Biden has never made any bones about who and what he is. And all of his adult children are married into the Tribe.

[Nov 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay

Nov 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 01, 2019 at 07:34 AM

Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay
for 'Medicare for All' https://nyti.ms/2N9lI4F
NYT - Thomas Kaplan, Abby Goodnough
and Margot Sanger-Katz - November 1

WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20.5 trillion in new spending through huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans to pay for "Medicare for all," laying out details for a landmark government expansion that will pose political risks for her presidential candidacy while also allowing her to say she is not raising taxes on the middle class to pay for her health care plan.

Ms. Warren, who has risen steadily in the polls with strong support from liberals excited about her ambitious policy plans, has been under pressure from top rivals like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to release details about paying for her biggest plan, "Medicare for all." Her new proposal marks a turning point for her campaign, in which she will have to sell voters on a tax-and-spending plan that rivals the ambitions of the New Deal and the Great Society while also defending it against both Democratic and Republican criticism.

Under Ms. Warren's plan, employer-sponsored health insurance -- which more than half of Americans now receive -- would be eliminated and replaced by free government health coverage for all Americans, a fundamental shift from a market-driven system that has defined health care in the United States for decades but produced vast inequities in quality, service and cost.

Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade, including by requiring employers to pay trillions of dollars to the government, replacing much of what they currently spend to provide health coverage to workers. She would create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households and ramp up her signature wealth tax proposal to be steeper on billionaires. She also wants to cut $800 billion in military spending.

Ms. Warren's estimate for the cost of Medicare for all relies on an aggressive set of assumptions about how to lower national health care costs while providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she would essentially eliminate medical costs for individuals, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Critically, her new plan would not raise taxes on middle-class Americans, a question she has been asked over and over but has not answered directly until now. When confronted on the campaign trail and debate stage, she emphasized instead that her plan would result in higher overall costs for wealthy people and big corporations but lower costs for middle-class families. ...

"A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs -- and how to pay for it," Ms. Warren wrote in her plan. To do that, she added, "We don't need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny."

The issue of health care helped Democrats win control of the House in last year's midterm elections, after unsuccessful attempts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has been a central issue again this year as Ms. Warren and other Democrats have competed for their party's presidential nomination, highlighting a divide on policy between the party's moderates and its liberal wing that favors transformative change. ...

Ms. Warren's proposal shows just how large a reorganization of spending Medicare for all represents. By eliminating private health insurance and bringing every American into a federal system, trillions of dollars of spending by households, employers and state governments would be transferred into the federal budget over the course of a decade.

Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban's estimate of $34 trillion over the same period.

Ms. Warren attempts to minimize fiscal disruption by asking the big payers in the current system to keep paying for health care through new taxes. She would create a new "employer Medicare contribution" that would effectively redirect what employers are already paying to health insurers, totaling $8.8 trillion over a decade. Small businesses would be exempt if they are not currently paying for their employees' health care.

Ms. Warren has also proposed that states pay the federal government much of what they currently spend to cover state workers and low-income residents under the Medicaid program.

But she also describes new revenue streams to replace the other big chunk of health spending: the money spent by households on premiums, deductibles and direct payments for services like dental care that are not always covered by insurance.

Ms. Warren would raise $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax the richest Americans. She has previously said that her wealth tax proposal, another signature of her campaign, would impose a 3 percent annual tax on net worth over $1 billion; she would now raise that to 6 percent. She would also change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households.

In addition to imposing a tax on financial transactions, she would also make changes to corporate taxation. She is counting on stronger tax enforcement to bring in $2.3 trillion in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. And she is banking on passing an overhaul of immigration laws -- which itself would be a huge political feat -- and gaining revenue from taxes paid by newly legal residents.

Ms. Warren's plan would put substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent. Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors' pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care. ...

Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care
Costs on American Families by @ewarren
https://link.medium.com/8Jx43ukfg1

Elizabeth Warren releases Medicare for All
plan, promising no middle class tax increase
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/elizabeth-warren-released-detailed-plan-raise-trillon-pay-for-medicare-for-all-promising-middle-class-taxes-won-increase-one-penny/yWXQ1gsnfxwZ7T2UAqzr6I/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

point -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
This seems almost uniformly great. I only have two quibbles.

One is that a 6% wealth tax is actually too high, confiscatory even. The reason is that if expected ROI is about 6%, the tax takes all the expected return. In perpetuity that is equivalent to taking the entire net worth. Property tax is a pretty good guide here, 1-1.5% works, perhaps a bit more.

Two is that the slant shows up immediately with this reporter. One example: "Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade..." Note the use of "new spending". This may make sense if the subject is limited to government spending, but we all know the game is to distract from the good lowered-aggregate spending and emphasize the component spent by the evil government. We may see much more of this misdirection including by primary opponents.

She is basically proposing to municipalize the entire payment flows for healthcare, much as proposals now exist for California to municipalize PG&E, both excellent ideas.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM
This is a nice threat
But a universal public option is all we need here immediately
That and a Medicaid increase
funded by a wealth tax

Beyond that we need health cost cap and trade
Something not on the agenda of pols

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM
Five takeaways from Elizabeth
Warren's Medicare for All plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/five-takeaways-from-elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-plan/0xQAuKT7f3p8gCggtCkZ3O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - November 1

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released her proposal to pay for Medicare for All, a plan to move every American to government-run health insurance that would reshape the US health care system.

Warren's plan, outlined in a 9,275-word Medium post, included complex ideas for paying for health care costs after private insurance is ended . It's a lot to digest, so here are five takeaways.

Much of it is based on the Medicare for All Act
The plan released by Warren on Friday is primarily aimed at answering the question of how to pay for single-payer health care. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of how her health care plan would work, Warren points to the existing Medicare for All Act, that "damn bill" Senator Bernie Sanders colorfully reminded debate viewers that he wrote.

Under the Medicare for All Act, introduced by Sanders in April and cosponsored by Warren, all US residents would be automatically enrolled in a national health care plan administered by the federal government. In addition to traditional medical coverage, the Medicare for All Act includes vision and dental, plus long-term care services.

It relies on a lot of assumptions

At the outset, Warren acknowledges that it's difficult to predict what health care costs will be in the future, and she notes that current projections about how much Medicare for All would cost vary widely. Because the Medicare for All Act leaves open questions about how the single-payer system would work, including major ones like the amount that health care providers would be compensated, Warren fills in the gaps to arrive at a total cost estimate. Outside analysts, including two local experts, cited by Warren estimate her plan would result in overall US health care costs that are slightly lower than what the nation currently spends.

Arriving at a specific cost allows Warren to figure out how she will pay for it, and there are some assumptions here, too.

To fund the plan without increasing taxes on the middle class, Warren relies on enacting seemingly unrelated legislation, including immigration reform. The pathway to citizenship for millions of people in her immigration proposal would add to the tax base. Warren also wants to cut defense spending.

There aren't new middle class taxes, but there are hikes for businesses and the wealthy

Warren announced her Medicare for All plan with a major promise not to increase taxes on the middle class, but that doesn't mean some taxes won't go up. After accounting for existing federal spending and health care spending by employers that would be redirected to the government, there's still a big hole. Warren fills it by levying new taxes and closing loopholes in ways that target financial firms and large corporations. She also increases her previously proposed wealth tax.

Some businesses would be hit harder than others. As Vox points out, if Warren asks businesses to send their existing employee health insurance payments to the government, businesses that currently provide inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all, fare much better than those that provide good insurance coverage. That sets up a kind of penalty for businesses that offer health coverage: They're helping pick up the tab for Medicare for All, but they no longer have an advantage in attracting top talent with generous benefits.

Under Warren's plan, that situation is temporary as businesses would eventually pay into the system at the same rate. And Warren says employers ultimately will be better off because they won't get hit with unpredictable changes in health care costs.

It would be difficult to implement

Moving every single American to a new health care plan is a massive endeavor, so much so that Warren says she'll release an entirely separate plan that deals with how to handle the transition.

The transition has become a sticking point in the Democratic primary, with moderates like former vice president Joe Biden using the lengthy time period (Sanders' plan says it would take four years) as a reason to oppose it altogether.

And then there's the problem of passing such legislation: During the debate around the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a proposed public option to allow people to buy into a government-run health care plan nearly sunk the entire bill, and was stripped out of the landmark legislation. The episode underscored the difficulty of implementing a government-run health care program, even one popular with voters.

Warren has a plan for that, though. She wants to get rid of the filibuster, meaning the Senate would need a simple majority to pass legislation, rather than the 60 votes currently required to stop debate.

Warren has been reluctant to go on the offensive, but that may be changing

As she rose in the polls, Warren resisted leveling direct attacks against her primary opponents. Warren's style has been to rail against the concept of big money fueling a campaign, rather than directly criticizing individual candidates who have taken cash from high-dollar fund-raisers.

But there are hints that this could be changing. Warren's lengthy Medicare for All plan includes rebuttals to the criticism she's gotten from the moderate wing of the primary field, calling on candidates who oppose her plan to explain how they would cover everyone.

"Make no mistake -- any candidate who opposes my long-term goal of Medicare for All and refuses to answer these questions directly should concede that they have no real strategy for helping the American people address the crushing costs of health care in this country. We need plans, not slogans," she wrote.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 05:55 AM
Declaring war on corporate America

The corporate health sub system
Intimately involves
the entire corporate system
We are on course toward
20 % of our economic output
Flowing thru our domestic
health services and products sectors

Where is the cost control mechanism

Simply in part
Progressively resourcing
And rechanneling the inflow of funds
Addresses a result not a cause

We have to address costs

We need a cap and trade market system

With a cap sector to GDP ratio that
Slowly squeezes down
the relative costs of the health sector

Enter stage left

a colander Lerner mark up market system

Paine -> Paine... , November 02, 2019 at 06:05 AM
Public option is the transition
That empowers
people themselves
To spontaneous determine
the timing and pattern of
Their own transitioning

Anything else is political folly


Liz has set a bold end state vision
Bravely out laying where we must go eventually
And drawing in
the major shift in the share of
The total social cost burden
to the wealthy classes


But that's an end a destination
not a path

Urge choice not mandates
as the better path

The present corporate cost
burden share
is a mess
That should self dissolve over time

Now we need an optional public system
And
A means to capture the
Present corporate pay ins
Piecemeal over time as employees opt out of corporate plans into publicnplans one by one

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 02:15 PM
Liz Warren would double her proposed billionaire
wealth tax to help fund 'Medicare for All' https://cnb.cx/332evbX

... Warren's wealth tax proposal would also impose a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion. She has previously said that it would be used to fund her ambitious climate agenda, a slate of investments in child care and reductions in student loan debt.

But Warren is refusing to tax the middle class. She released an analysis produced by several respected economists on Friday that suggests she will not have to.

( https://assets.ctfassets.net/4ubxbgy9463z/27ao9rfB6MbQgGmaXK4eGc/d06d5a224665324432c6155199afe0bf/Medicare_for_All_Revenue_Letter___Appendix.pdf )

Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, former Labor Department Chief Economist Betsey Stevenson, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, wrote that Warren could pay for her program "without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families."

The economists cite a number of possible revenue and spending options that they found could generate $20.5 trillion in additional funding. Much of that funding is expected to come from reallocating employer spending on health care and taxing the increased take-home pay that employees are expected to receive under her system.

But taxes on the wealthy form a substantial portion. Doubling the billionaire wealth tax will raise $1 trillion over 10 years, the economists found. They note in their analysis that the calculation assumes a 15% rate of tax avoidance. ...

[Nov 03, 2019] Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.antiwar.com

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

The 'they are manipulating Trump' angle is valid I'm sure but it tends to diminish those other aspects of Trump's 'intuition'. It is stated in the article though. Trump is antiwar in the sense that he is against useless wars. Give him a clear goal and he doesn't mind war at all. Looting and pillage is fine. Attacking defenseless enemies is fine. Convince him that endless wars are actually good business and he'll support those as well. He doesn't require manipulating for that. The antiwar elements in his thinking are easily used to paper over his other characteristics as 'being manipulated'.

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

Another subject is that of Trump's dishonesty. In fact it is more about out of sync dishonesty: 'normal people' (policy level) use shared schemas for when to lie and when not to lie. Trump uses a different one. He will lie when others consider it a bad idea and will speak the truth when others consider it a bad idea.

Luchorpan 3 days ago ,

Tulsi Gabbard just won 4% in latest national poll. Maybe Trump is taking the oil in order to make her the Dem nominee.

Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

[Nov 03, 2019] The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias | Nov 1 2019 21:28 utc | 41

The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them. Only explanation I can think of is that they realize she has a good chance of winning the Iowa caucuses and don't want to be caught flatfooted by continuing their noncoverage of her campaign.


David G , Nov 1 2019 23:20 utc | 58

lysias @40:

The explanation is more likely the opposite, I'm afraid. The Iowa caucuses are now close enough, and Gabbard polling low enough, that the WashPost feel they can tidy up their record by publishing something about her, even something favorable. If she were really threatening the front-runners, minimal and/or hostile coverage would be de rigueur.

karlof1 , Nov 1 2019 23:31 utc | 60
wendy davis @48--

Thanks for your reply! IMO, Gabbard was correct to vote Yea for the inquiry as it doesn't specify the crime(s). On her Twitter , Gabbard called out Trump for his continuing criminal actions in Syria which constitute a High Crime and impeachable offense. Furthermore, the orders given were all illegal orders as they're against international and US Law and should've been refused by every soldier issued them as it's their duty to do so . Unfortunately, Gabbard didn't make that very important point.

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2019 23:33 utc | 61
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake.

Right on b, a MAJOR blunder. But they stampeded themselves into that blunder because of their hysteria over Trump gunning for Biden and all the other carpetbaggers in Ukraine. This Demoncrat gang of shysters have as much wisdom as a flat rock. They have now lost Biden, must choose frootloop Warren as they can never have Sanders.

That looks a lot like keeping USA safe for Trump to me.

It is so pathetically obvious and these Demoncrats can't even assemble a package of legislation with their majority to benefit USA citizens even one small bit. The Demoncrats 'leadership' are owned in their entirety by the oligarchs of MIC, big pharma and big insurance. The Greens are incapable of breaking through their glass ceiling. What a total shambles in just about every USA allied country.

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 0:00 utc | 65
David G @57--

I just posted poll results two days ago from New Hampshire showing Gabbard at 5% while Harris had dropped to 3%. And given the size of the field, 5% is respectable and was clearly a boost provided by Clinton's outburst. Gabbard was just given space for an op/ed in The Wall Street Journal which prompted the WaPost item. Can't read the WSJ item since it's behind a paywall, but The Washington Times ran its own piece about her op/ed that provides some insight as to its content, but that site won't allow copy/paste so I can't provide MoA with the blurb it published. Here's a WaPost item about Gabbard's Iowa campaign, which as I discovered when using google is one of many by the WaPost. Despite all the ads, I liked it, but it won't get me to subscribe.

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 0:10 utc | 66
Just got another fundraiser email from Tulsi's campaign. It ends with:
Tulsi is taking this fight directly to the people -- with a packed schedule of townhalls and meet and greets, with big ad spends in the early states, with signs and boots on the ground. The best thing you can do right now to help Tulsi rise above the smear campaigns is to help her keep speaking truth to power. . . .
pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 0:11 utc | 67
democrats don't care if they shoot themselves in the foot as long as sanders or gabbard doesn't win. that's the real threat to their machine.
Ghost Ship , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 89
Really?? @ 74
From what I read at ZeroHedge, it sounds like it will be "Make my day" time in the Senate, with GOP senators able to subpoena anyone they want.

Yes, but if the GOP senators stick with their usual grandstanding posing then they can subpoena whoever they like and it'll be pointless. Actually, it'll be a complete and utter waste of fucking time because GOP senators have little or no experience of forensic cross-examination and will spend their time dicking around and asking stupid questions in a vain vain attempt to look good.. If they really want to stick it to the Democrats they need a Senate impeachment resolution that allows them to use really experienced outside criminal lawyers to plan and carry out the questioning. Since most experienced U.S. criminal lawyers are experts at making deals with prosecutors for their clients rather than going to trial, I would suggest they should bring in a couple of top-flight British QCs (barristers)with their teams of juniors.

John Merryman , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 90
With Russia and now Ukrainegate, I'm reminded on the Fed dropping interest rates every time the market has a down week. Yet eventually this shot of adrenaline will not work and the market falls through the floor.

So now that Ukrainegate has a huge hole in its chest, do the dems have a plan c, or is this the Big One?

I make this point because there are very many never Trumpers out there, clinging to this spiel, but eventually even they will wake up and where do they go? Do they finally accept the whole system really is rigged?

Eventually the ground under the powers that be will turn to quicksand and this really is a notable earthquake.

Petri Krohn , Nov 2 2019 1:29 utc | 91
THANK GOD FOR THE DEEP STATE

An interesting story and video via Fox News .

Ex-acting CIA boss expresses gratitude for 'deep state' involvement in impeachment inquiry

"Well, you know, thank God for the 'deep state'," McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

The former intelligence official was speaking at an event hosted by George Mason University, joined by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA Director John Brennan -- both of whom have been critical of the president.

"With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," McLaughlin said.

He went on to praise the intelligence community. "This is the institution within the U.S. government -- that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth," he said.

"It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby."

As b stated in a previous post, it is the Borg who should dictate US foreign policy. It certainly is not one of the three branches of government (the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary) of the trias politica model. The Intelligence Community if the Fourth Estate (Vierte Gewalt) that rules supreme over the three other branches of government.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:44 utc | 97
US Secretary of State. "We lied, we cheated, we stole." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05ac
lysias , Nov 2 2019 1:56 utc | 99
Since the UN Charter has the same legal status as Acts of Congress under U.S. law, the AUMF can certainly violate the UN Charter, under U.S. law. The AUMF may violate international law, but that is another matter.

A friend of mine attended a government meeting under President G.H.W. Bush. I believe the subject was the kidnapping of General Noriega from Panama. In any case, I was told that at the meeting William Barr said, "F!!! international law!" And it is well known that (according to Richard Clark) George W. Bush said in the White House the evening of 9/11, "I don't care what the international lawyers say, we're going to kick some ass!"

We are a lawless nation.

Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:13 utc | 102
lysias 98 US when it comes to international law has been lawless since 1986.

"The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America (1986) ICJ 1 is a public international law case decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. also blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any compensation.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua_v._United_States

In the last decades, US has used things like R2P and coalitions and so forth, but under Trump, US is dropping most pretenses.

Pompeo at times is as honest as Trump when it comes to US and what it is.

I linked a video in an earlier comment to Pompeo, but then I realised there was a bit more to "We lied, we cheated, we stole." The piece that was cut off in the earlier video I linked " It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE9zczFARuM

lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104
The Bushes were a CIA family. William Barr's first jobs after college were with the CIA, and his father was OSS. This has been the CIA's attitude towards law from the start. They've largely been running the country since the JFK assassination, and now they're out in the open trying to topple an elected president.
lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104 Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:33 utc | 105
The non Trump section of the swamp is not going down without a fight..

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-giuliani/giuliani-associate-charged-in-ukraine-linked-case-denied-release-from-house-arrest-idUSKBN1XB3XQ?il=0
"Federal prosecutors have accused Fruman and Parnas of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to the pro-Trump committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That effort was carried out at the request of at least one Ukrainian official, prosecutors said. Trump ordered the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, removed in May."

ben , Nov 2 2019 2:54 utc | 106
b said;" The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake."

Exactly b, and most Dems know it. That's the whole point, find a way to pretend they want
DJT gone, when in reality, they love what this Admin. is doing. Devolving the Gov. so their corporate masters can rake in more $ thru deregulation.

Big $ has finally achieved it's goal of of complete and total hegemony in the U$A.

Pelosi & Schumer are sycophants for the uber-wealthy, along with the majority of both parties.

Let the theater continue..

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 107
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.
Piotr Berman , Nov 2 2019 4:40 utc | 111
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 106

Since the activity is secret, so are the benefits! Actually, as a place for work, "agencies" offer a number of benefits, especially post-employment opportunities.

james , Nov 2 2019 5:38 utc | 113
smoothie wrote a good overview of this 'whistleblower' and etc... some folks here would enjoy reading it..

Whistle While You Work...

[Nov 03, 2019] On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her

Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

ph 10.19.19 at 6:04 am (no link)

On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her. Somebody takes Morris's thesis seriously. The world will be better off with the US the permanent military leader of the world.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/10/18/hillary_clinton_calls_jill_stein_a_russian_asset_implies_gabbard_is_being_groomed_by_russians.html

This is blowing up all over Twitter, with Gabbard slapping back, and the HRC loyalists calling Gabbard an Assad apologist and worse.

According to HRC logic, American third party candidates are necessarily Russian stooges placed to help the Kremlin's candidate win. The logic is "inescapable" according to HRC. BUT OF COURSE!!!! Now it ALL MAKES SENSE! 1992 Perot-Clinton, 2000 Nader-Bush, 2016 Jill Stein-Trump, and, 2020 Gabbard-Trump!!!!

It's all so clear now! The KGB wanted to keep HW Bush out of office as the former Soviet Union collapsed! That's how she and Bill entered the WH in 1992! Perot was a KGB stooge, and Bill and Hillary have been lifelong assets of the KGB. Of course!!! That's why Hillary sold all that uranium to the Russians! Lest, anyone believe the charge of dual-loyalty leveled against Gabbard is a fiction, check for yourselves.

The above is an actual argument just made by the 2016 candidate for POTUS. Russia controls US elections by promoting third-party candidates. The best part is that HRC, beneficiary of "obvious" Russian interference may yet end up running in 2020. Something to look forward to! Imagine if HRC had won in 2016. Conspiracy theories out the wazoo!

Kind of puts the Morris "scholarship" in perspective, doesn't it? my mother and sister have. Dipper, probably not)

ph 10.19.19 at 6:46 am ( 65 )
Hi John, do whatever you want with this interview with Tulsi. It looks like it's on – big time. Clinton versus Gabbard for the nomination and the chance to run against orange man bad. On the basis of what I've seen I'd say Tulsi is the only Dem with a message to take Donald down, and she's not scared to reach out to everyone for support.

She scares the crap out of all the right people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgCC5cZP5Q

I wonder about the Morris book, really. Histories aimed at the popular market are rarely written in a vacuum. As you know, post-9/11 we saw a bumper crop of mostly crap histories of the class of civilizations variety. I won't be buying or reading Morris, simply because I find wide, encompassing arguments generally useless and dull. Anyway, from the sounds of it, I do think Morris has a constituency among the FP elites.

[Nov 03, 2019] The non Trump section of the swamp is not going down without a fight..

Notable quotes:
"... If American society ever radically alters to achieve some degree of sanity in the future it is most likely that Trump will be in the history books as a heroic figure bucking the tide of bat-shit crazy that gripped the nation as its empire died. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:33 utc | 105

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-giuliani/giuliani-associate-charged-in-ukraine-linked-case-denied-release-from-house-arrest-idUSKBN1XB3XQ?il=0
"Federal prosecutors have accused Fruman and Parnas of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to the pro-Trump committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That effort was carried out at the request of at least one Ukrainian official, prosecutors said. Trump ordered the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, removed in May."


ben , Nov 2 2019 2:54 utc | 106

b said;" The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake."

Exactly b, and most Dems know it. That's the whole point, find a way to pretend they want
DJT gone, when in reality, they love what this Admin. is doing. Devolving the Gov. so their corporate masters can rake in more $ thru deregulation.

Big $ has finally achieved it's goal of of complete and total hegemony in the U$A.

Pelosi & Schumer are sycophants for the uber-wealthy, along with the majority of both parties.

Let the theater continue..

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 107
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies. Results? No known benefits. Unknown cost: The damage they do.
Piotr Berman , Nov 2 2019 4:40 utc | 111
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 106

Since the activity is secret, so are the benefits! Actually, as a place for work, "agencies" offer a number of benefits, especially post-employment opportunities.

james , Nov 2 2019 5:38 utc | 113
smoothie wrote a good overview of this 'whistleblower' and etc... some folks here would enjoy reading it..

Whistle While You Work...

Westcoast , Nov 2 2019 6:43 utc | 114
The Republicans will be OK with Mike Pence too. But I don't think they want to face the wrath of Trump supporters at election time. It will be interesting to see what happens. And if Pelosi's face further cracks. :) This is going to be a race to the finish for Trump & Pelosi.
BM , Nov 2 2019 7:23 utc | 117
That Schiff, Pelosi and Ciaramella should be able to get away with such openly fraudulent and treasonous conduct in a direct attempt to remove the elected President is incomprehensible. Can't they be indicted for treason, fraud, perjury and contempt of Congress? (The contempt of Congress at least would most likely entail a vote of Congress, unlikely to pass until after the next election). Is there something equivalent to an independent "Inspector General" responsible for dealing with misconduct of members of the House?

From the Federalist article:

ADAM SCHIFF: Director, do I have your assurance that once you work out the security clearances for the whistleblower's counsel, that that whistleblower will be able to relate the full facts within his knowledge that concern wrongdoing by the president or anyone else, that he or she will not be inhibited in what they can tell our committee, that there will not be some minder from the White House or elsewhere sitting next to them telling them what they can answer or not answer?

Oh, erm, what was it I was reading the Republican committee members asked Ciaramella, whereupon Schiff immediately ordered Ciaramella not to answer? [Oops! I think that was probably Vindman, I can't see the reference for the moment.)

This man Schiff is a disgrace (always was, but now most obscenely so). He urgently needs to be removed from his positions as he is bringing such contempt to the Congress. If this man could be thoroughly and honestly investigated, and all his papers examined, there would be such a stench of rotting worms the whole of Congress would need to be evacuated.

Circe , Nov 2 2019 7:57 utc | 119
Trump can be beaten by good policies. Instead of offering any the Democrats try to defeat him with theater. But Trump is a much better showman than Schiff or any other Democrat. It nearly looks as if they want Trump to win.

It's not just that Trump is a good showman. It's that the American mass is enthralled with the craven image of itself reflected back by Trump. He's the ugly American inside them that they've been crying out to release. Trump is deliverering them from self-restraint, and inhibition. He's telling them it's okay to embrace hypocrisy, greed, selfish global domination, material infatuation, ignorance, deception and racist hubris.

Trump is a full-throttle Zionist that appeals to the rapture-longing Evangelicals and the supremacy-covetous Zionist order and ironically many of you here.

The problem with Democrats is that in many ways they offer no different, especially in regards to Zionism, and eat their own kind who rebel against Zionism and the neoliberalism that protects it. They have all the same flaws as the Trump-enamoured mass except that they cover themselves with a veneer of pseudo-intellectual elitism, political correctness and hypocritical humanitarianism.

Authentic rebel liberals and libertarians don't stand a chance in Zionist America and you're contributing to that reality by endorsing Trump while you waste your energy putting down Democrats 100 different ways without lifting up the few that offer an authentic difference. Blech. 🙁

CircusLover , Nov 2 2019 8:25 utc | 121
Impeachment Theater

What kind of theater is this? If only, perhaps, the theater of the absurd. But everything that has been happening lately is more and more reminiscent of a circus, in the arena of which clowns perform.

Russ , Nov 2 2019 9:27 utc | 124
circe 119 "I've stated repeatedly that I'm for Sanders."

circe 122 "Oh, and one more thing to nitwits who think it's better Trump should go down at the ballot box. Wrong! Wrong! And Wrong again. Americans are too stupid to vote this goon out of office. They proved it when they voted for Bush AND Obama TWICE. He needs to go down ASAP. If Trump's dirt is too well-concealed to take him down, INVENT IT. This is one time when I'd forego ethics and side with the end justifies the MEANS."

That seems like a contradiction. The Democrats already would prefer to lose to Trump than win with Sanders. And if somehow Trump were ousted in favor of Pence, that might encourage the Democrats to think they could actually win with one of their straight-up corporate candidates. That would further reduce the already negligible chances of Sanders getting the nomination. Seems to me a Sanders partisan ought to prefer that Trump be running.

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 10:37 utc | 125
all that would happen if trump actually got impeached and booted out is pence would be president. oh and the intel community would have even more control. why this would be desirable to somebody who wants to change the system is unclear.
lizard , Nov 2 2019 11:29 utc | 127
Circe,

our host is providing a critical service, so I would appreciate if you would stop coming in and taking a crap on the rug. I take b at his word when he says he is opposed to many things Trump is doing.

this portion of your comment is incredibly dangerous:

He needs to go down ASAP. If Trump's dirt is too well-concealed to take him down, INVENT IT. This is one time when I'd forego ethics and side with the end justifies the MEANS."

your Trump Derangement Syndrome appears to metastasizing to your brain. Trump's dirt isn't too well-concealed to take him down, nope, the real nasty stuff that could take him down could delegitimize our entire political system. Think Epstein hanging out on his island while ALL his accomplices walk free.

if you didn't suffer from TDS you would understand how dangerous this Ukrainegate farce actually is. the ends DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.

the ONLY way Trump's removal doesn't end up in some new form of civil war is if Brennan, Clapper, Comey and the Clintons are also hauled away to the clink.

I for one appreciate how the Trump phenomenon has unmasked the unelected permanent power structure supposedly aligned against him. if I was forced to choose sides right now in an impending civil war, it wouldn't be the treasonous DNC/intelligence nexus I would choose to fight for.

why don't you take a break and go do something more productive, like read a book. if you read something like John Potash's Drugs As Weapons Against Us you might actually learn something about the side you are defending in this charade. I for one would certainly appreciate less hyperventilating from TDS victim. thanks.

William Gruff , Nov 2 2019 11:32 utc | 128
Addendum to my previous post:

If American society ever radically alters to achieve some degree of sanity in the future it is most likely that Trump will be in the history books as a heroic figure bucking the tide of bat-shit crazy that gripped the nation as its empire died.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 11:40 utc | 129
james @113: Thanks for the smoothie, that's good stuff.
If you think that a person who does such research as this "Structural ambiguity in the Georgian verbal noun" is a serious analyst, I have a bridge to sell. Knowing language is just a first step in knowing cultures and nations. The idea that some barely 30 years old kid can have a profound understanding of factors forming geopolitical balance by merely studying language or working in the Wold Bank is preposterous. It is not even the issue of IQ-driven so called intelligence metric. I met many people with IQ through the roof and some of them were one of the most impressive dumbfvcks I ever encountered in my life. The issue here is deeper--you literally have brainwashed political operatives, most of them not even book-smart, who are excreted every year from the American "humanities" programs who have "credentials" but have zero actual serious skills which are imperative for a serious statesmanship. They simply do not teach this in the US, nor can it be changed because the whole machine of the US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative with latter being as false as the former one. Few common sense and objective views which exist in between are pure coincidence which are there despite a totally corrupt educational system in the US when dealing with humanities. If you think that a person who does such research as this "Structural ambiguity in the Georgian verbal noun" is a serious analyst, I have a bridge to sell. Knowing language is just a first step in knowing cultures and nations. The idea that some barely 30 years old kid can have a profound understanding of factors forming geopolitical balance by merely studying language or working in the Wold Bank is preposterous. It is not even the issue of IQ-driven so called intelligence metric. I met many people with IQ through the roof and some of them were one of the most impressive dumbfvcks I ever encountered in my life. The issue here is deeper--you literally have brainwashed political operatives, most of them not even book-smart, who are excreted every year from the American "humanities" programs who have "credentials" but have zero actual serious skills which are imperative for a serious statesmanship. They simply do not teach this in the US, nor can it be changed because the whole machine of the US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative with latter being as false as the former one. Few common sense and objective views which exist in between are pure coincidence which are there despite a totally corrupt educational system in the US when dealing with humanities.
ADKC , Nov 2 2019 11:53 utc | 130
Impeachment is not a "major mistake" by the Democrats. If we assume that Trump is 4real then it is the only thing they can do, otherwise the Biden/Ukrainegate thing ( IF it is really pursued) will see the whole upper tier (and more) of the Democratic and Republican political bandits in prison (because they have all been carpetbagging in Ukraine). For the same reason (if this is 4real) then, after the Democratic Congress have impeached Trump, the Republican Senate will follow suit.

Chomsky's often stated opinion that the Republican Party is "utterly craven" is utterly meaningless and a point of no meaningful distinction with the Democratic Party.

At this moment in time the US/Western financial system is at it's weakest since the 2008 crash and is far weaker than the circumstances than the period and circumstances that led up to that crash. If the crash happens during the forthcoming period of the impeachment/Biden/Ukrainegate interregnum (which it is highly likely to do) then everything and everyone will forget immediately about impeachment/Biden/Ukrainegate and will be much more concerned about what happened to their job, pensions, money, etc. while everything they own becomes worthless and everything they need becomes unaffordable. Americans will need to be more together then they have ever been; instead they are divided and at eachother's throats

The US political system is fiddling while it's financial system and institutions are preparing to collapse.

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 12:01 utc | 131
if the cia were running the country since jfk assassination, there wouldn't have been a church committee, and they wouldn't have needed an October surprise to take down carter. they wouldn't need a wurlitzer campaign to take down trump, and they would have whacked george bush jr when he took down one of their agents. they are trying to run the country, but they don't yet. the fact is most presidents are on board with their bullshit, and it doesn't take a threatened assassination to make that happen.
Jayne , Nov 2 2019 12:12 utc | 132
Peter AU1 @ 100

Once a Deep State 'Spook' who has been vetted/trained/conditioned/approved by those 'powers that be' = always a Spook. Unless, he has shown some type of leveling and de-programming that by some miracle has occurred.

jadan , Nov 2 2019 12:13 utc | 133
You're parroting the Trump party-line and I cannot respect your views any longer, b. You have forfeit your claim to objectivity in the face of Trump's blatant authoritarian and unconstitutional behavior. You cannot invoke the doddering old gatekeeper Chomsky to signal your leftiness. Ciao.
Jayne , Nov 2 2019 12:22 utc | 134
Jadan @ 133

No, he's not? This blog doesn't have to conform to some pathetic right vs. left Sunday morning political show contrasted as an American football game, it's a lot more sophisticated than that with many layers of players, ideologies, whacky faction religions and the yes the Borg -- LOL. Trump is just the showman.

Ghost Ship , Nov 2 2019 12:30 utc | 135
BM @ 117
This man Schiff is a disgrace (always was, but now most obscenely so).
Too true.
He urgently needs to be removed from his positions ..
Nah, he should be left in place to fuck up the impeachment and bring disgrace and contempt on the Democratic Party. That might be the only way to bring about real change in the Democratic Party.
.. he is bringing such contempt to the Congress.
Nah, Congress already deserves a shitload of contempt.
William Gruff , Nov 2 2019 12:40 utc | 138
From smoothie as quoted by Bemildred @129 and linked by james @113: "...US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative..."

It is important to realize that these two extremes run in parallel in the fragmented minds of the supposedly "educated" in America. Is it any wonder then that such "educated" layers of the society believe reality to be sufficiently malleable that fantasy identities can be made real through sufficient wishing and active suppression of disbelief? "If Trump hasn't done the evil that we want to believe he has done, then it is OK to just make it up!" is seen as perfectly reasonable to these people with permanent fugues in their heads.

And those are humanities grads! We are not even talking here about business majors whose training (like a circus animal) is to be able to generate reams of grammatically comprehensible yet semantically empty text. This last portion of what passes for America's intelligentsia don't even have fugues in their heads, only fragments of previous chunks of TV media they've consumed running in loops.

Now take these properly trained "professionals" out of storage from their cubicles in Langley and away from their cookie-cutter McMansions in suburban northern Virginia and drop them in "enemy territory" in the CIA's fortress-like embassy in Havana. Away from the artificial worlds of manicured lawns and fake-smile neighbors with the insecticide trucks puffing down the street every week, for the first time in their lives they hear a real cicada, or the squeaky belt drive of an old fashioned air conditioner. Combine this with the additional dislocation of regular old culture shock and is it any wonder they they become convinced that their already atomized minds are under attack by secret Soviet brain rays?

Given that Americans, both faux-left and fake-right, sneer at rigorous hard sciences, these are what passes for America's "best and brightest" these days. And so American diplomats are clueless of the cultures they are trying to subvert for their empire, American "journalists" believe the false narratives that they themselves spun just the day before, and America's airliners designed to requirements mandated by America's top business leaders fly themselves into the ground.

This is how empire dies: in delusion and denial of reality.

Sorghum , Nov 2 2019 12:50 utc | 139
@ circe 119

I completely agree with your assessment. I don't see a viable solution for the very reasons you state. The problem isn't Trump, it is the true mentality and morals of the American culture.

Walter , Nov 2 2019 13:48 utc | 143
Y'allz discussion of legality of orders minded me that officers and enlisted take different oaths, if memory serves. Look them up and read them...then read the USC and the UN Charter et al... and a reading of the corpus of the UCMJ will fill in the rest.

And about responsibilities...see "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder".

There Mr B makes specific arguments in Law, which generally apply down the chain of command right now.

Every killing in this foreign adventure is a consequence of a felony, eg felony murder at a minimum...and how many? Millions and working toward more.

In my own ROTC days (a very long time ago) my CO and I privately discussed the M16 rounds then being developed...and that WW2 (and Korea) wounded vet (twice wounded in combat) said that the .223 round was illegal under the laws of war. That's true...every wound from M16 is a crime in and of itself.

Seems to me that the US said that the wooden bullets sometimes used by Japan were criminal...back in th' day...

migueljose , Nov 2 2019 13:53 utc | 144
Karlof1,petri, lysias and others,(@40s) thank you for your details and focus on the U.S. government's crimes and actions in Ukraine, especially pointing to Obama. His name is left out of most blogs and discussions and I think is key to a critical need for us to redirect our future conversations and actions: we need to identify the neoliberal/neocon trojan horses early and often. I voted for Obama in 08 and was shocked as he immediately began filling his cabinet with neoliberal/neocons-- Geitner, Hillary, Gates, Summers, etc.

Obama's life and actions are a texbook explanation of how humans develop on the sociopathic spectrum. Not all sociopaths are evil-looking monsters. Obama, Biden, Buttigieg, Kamala, W... but their actions always expose them. We, as fellow humans and sentient beings, must develop filters that trigger deeper probes into their actions over time and their sociopathic-- even psychopatic actions will emerge.

vk , Nov 2 2019 13:56 utc | 145
From Michael Roberts' blog facebook:
The US stock market reaches yet new highs as investors hope for a trade deal between China and the US and the Federal Reserve Bank cuts interest rates again. But US corporate profits are falling significantly.

Patrick Hill, Editor of The Progressive Ensign, explains this contradiction from data on corporate profits, rising corporate debt, increased share buybacks and dividends, and falling international sales.


The Market Soars... As Corporate Profits Slump!

Cash is the lifeblood of a company, but a company can't borrow money forever without being a viable profitable entity able to pay back debt.

"Non-financial corporations have taken on record debt at 47% to GDP. The last time corporations approached this level of debt was during the Great Recession."

"The profit margin squeeze has been happening over the past 4 ½ years, well before the trade war started. Profits were flat for the past nine years, supported by a huge corporate tax cut from the Tax Cut Bill of 2018. The contraction in profit margins has been the longest one on record since WWII. Note how recessions usually follow steep declines in profit margins at 1 to 4 years."

"profit margins are declining due to declining international sales. It is difficult to maintain healthy margins when sales are falling due to base spending for sales, support, and transportation to reach a certain sales threshold of profitability. Major corporations face increasing trade headwinds."

"The SPX soaring to new heights tells us that stock market complacency is at record levels in appraising stock valuations versus actual corporate profits. The chart below shows how wide the gap has become which is about twice the gap size just before the Dotcom decline into 2002 from a peak in 2000."

For more on this, see my post.

The problem is not only that the Dems elite cannot give a viable alternative, but that the Trumpist elite's strategy is also not working.

Honestly, I can't see a solution for the structural crisis the USA is going through now except a revolution. But the American people has clearly signalled to the rest of the world they won't do a revolution. We must prepare for WWIII.

ADKC , Nov 2 2019 14:18 utc | 146
vk @145

Everywhere you look in the US/West financial system there is unmanageable and increasing debt and insurmountable, unsolvable and increasing problems; the forthcoming collapse will be horrendous (worst than 1929; with no resources or strategies of mitigation except war).

Gary Weglarz , Nov 2 2019 14:34 utc | 148
"Trump can be beaten by good policies. " - well, that's the problem in a nutshell. The DNC absolutely refuses to consider "good policies" as an election strategy - preferring continued neoliberal Wall Street loyal war-mongering mayhem.
Walter , Nov 2 2019 14:51 utc | 149
Well, some may see this as a bit odd, but... see "They Live, We Sleep: Beware the Growing Evil in Our Midst" in whatever...an essay by J W Whitehead. I am fairly confidant it's right on topic...and with Crosstalk's bit with brother Ray (up now) as a buttress...

"For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it's not only expedient but necessary."

Huummmdair... It's sorts film review, and about theater itself.

The essay's on several sites, but the informationclearinghouse site has brother Lenard's "Everybody Knows as a lagniappe fe y'allz' enjoyment (it's fairgud)

Jayne , Nov 2 2019 14:55 utc | 150
Bemildred @ 142

Thank you for linking to Johnstone's article.

Human consciousness is of great interest to the 'powers that be', therefore it doesn't take a flying leap to say they would like control over that said consciousness programming. In fact, they've always been interested e.g. Edward Bernays, and our State controlled Media - having its 'purge' at the moment -- so our brains don't have to think so hard.

I believe it goes beyond the obvious that we should take note of those 'heavily' promoted and marketed in the Coach/Spiritual Guru field (and "the where the hell do they get their $$$ to promote this kinda stuff?"), Through personal experience I have found that those in the Shift/Waking Consciousness movement should be viewed just as much with a discerning 'eye' -- as those who are our politicians.

We came out of the "Industrial Age!" decades ago. Plus, with the "mechanisms of truth?", we should look more closely at what those current 'mechanisms' are in play that are apparently making the transition/mutation "less traumatic" for us. Any coach, or spiritual guru that doesn't provide an honest depiction of what the 'digital age' is capable of in the forms of AI and 'especially' Google's AI consciousness agenda (aligned with the 'powers that be') that can twist said human consciousness should be taken with a massive bag of salt.

Richard , Nov 2 2019 15:00 utc | 152
'Impeachment theatre' is an excellent way to describe it! In a system where all parties are bought and paid for by the oligarchs, there are no true policy differences between them so the only way to 'campaign' for elections is to make up nonsense like the current impeachment drama (or the 'the Russians did it' nonsense). The whole 'left'/'right' political divide is now nonsense...the only divide now is 'us' versus 'them'...

https://richardhennerley.com/2018/10/30/its-not-left-vs-right-its-us-vs-them/

Sasha , Nov 2 2019 15:36 utc | 155
Now take these properly trained "professionals" out of storage from their cubicles in Langley and away from their cookie-cutter McMansions in suburban northern Virginia and drop them in "enemy territory" in the CIA's fortress-like embassy in Havana. Away from the artificial worlds of manicured lawns and fake-smile neighbors with the insecticide trucks puffing down the street every week, for the first time in their lives they hear a real cicada, or the squeaky belt drive of an old fashioned air conditioner. Combine this with the additional dislocation of regular old culture shock and is it any wonder they they become convinced that their already atomized minds are under attack by secret Soviet brain rays?

To all those inconvenients in Havana, you must add the unsurmontable humid hot weather which unables you to remain out in the streets for more than two hours under the sun without needing to oo into some airconditioned environment/place and take some cold drink to recover yourself a bit...and conspiracy theories about intents on finishing you is the least you will start imagining while you, along your brain, well, directly melts...

Then, if US Embassy in Havana would be even a fortress...like El Morro , with its beautiful views...but, is it more like an ugly iron building like a bunker, in the middle of a part of long Malecón which does not impress by its urbanization precisely, and which has in front an explanade now full of empty flag mats that look like spears.... called Tribuna Antiimperialista ...

Nightmares are to be expected....

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 15:59 utc | 156
Jayne @150: Well, you made me go read it more closely.

It's something I'm conscious of all the time, the "falling away of patterns", I think of it as decadence most of the time, but one can theorize about spooks conditioning us too, and I don't doubt some of them try with some sort of "success", but by the very fact that they are trying to do that I think they are too dumb to carry it off very well. Of course conspiracy theories run rampant in such decadent times too. Another falling away.

Trump is very emblematic of that, and he's an agent of change for sure. I get a little uncomfortable with Ms Johnstone's theorizing about hidden forces, but I am well aware that that talky part of my mind is not all that is going on, so what she says there agrees with my own experience. And I give her a lot of credit for undertaking and writing about such investigations. Brave stuff.

Lord knows we are surrounded with attempts to "condition" us these days, you just cannot escape from the yapping when out in public for example, and everything is covered with ads. A very un-natural environment, you have to admit.

The USA has always been the land of hucksters and grifters, modern media just hyped that to the max. I quite agree if you want to be saved, you're better off to do it without paid help.

As for the people who are working at this very moment to turn us all into obedient suit-droids, it seems clear on the one hand they can do a lot of damage with their follies, but on the other hand I think they are going to have much bigger problems before long. The utopian technocratic future they dream of looks very infeasible to me.

Rob , Nov 2 2019 16:09 utc | 157
The impeachment process may redound to Trump's favor, but only if the charges against him are limited to Ukrainegate. The list of more serious impeachment-worthy offenses is a long one, and the inquiry could be dragged out well into the election season. Under such a scenario, Trump would come out badly damaged, even if he is not removed from office, which most Americans would see as a politically partisan result. Of course, his hard-core base will never desert him, but other Republicans and Independents will, and Democratic voters will come out in force.

Are the Democrats and Adam Schiff up to the task of running a proper impeachment inquiry and gaining as much political capital as they might? My hopes are not high. Nancy Pelosi does not have her heart in it, and Schiff is a mad dog grandstander and never-say-die Russiagater. I cannot trust their judgement on this or almost any other matter.

james , Nov 2 2019 16:22 utc | 159
@126 william gruff.. you might find this article alters the equation some..

CIA's Afghan Militias Are 'Death Squads,' Rights Group Says

and it was going on under obama as well..article from 2010 America's Secret Afghan Prisons .. so maybe trump isn't all that different in maintaining the murder rate of the us military..

@129 bemildred... you're welcome! smoothie writes good articles generally.. i enjoy his writing either way!

@130 adkc quote: "The US political system is fiddling while it's financial system and institutions are preparing to collapse." it looks that way to me as well..

@138 william gruff quote:"This is how empire dies: in delusion and denial of reality." so true...

ignore the broken records folks.. there are a few of them regularly appearing in the sound booth!

c1ue , Nov 2 2019 17:04 utc | 162
@pretzelattack #131
Sadly, your knowledge of the Church committee is wrong. Read the Angelo Codevilla interview on Tablet magazine. He specifically notes that the Church committee was an internally sponsored affair - not an external one. In particular, that it was convened to enable the FBI to stop getting sued for eavesdropping activities. And he would know - he was working in Congress for the US Senator that chaired the Intelligence committee at that time.
Noirette , Nov 2 2019 17:07 utc | 163
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake. ( .) The process will create a lot of collateral damage. - b

Agree, and I can trust that the Dems. are monumentally stupid (having read the Podesta e-mails.. a painful exercise to be recommended.) This reasoning is only relevant under the assumption that the Dems. want to win the Prez. election and are doing 'anything' to boot Trump out of the arena, solidify their base, and gather new adherents. Perhaps Dems are on the ropes, and know it, failing badly, and are appealing to or making up any old rubbish to at least keep their base on board. Or the desperate accusations and mucking about are the outcome of the prediction of being shown up, accused, indicted, pursued (see ADKC 130, yes.)

They might prefer to lose to Trump, or consider it inevitable, likely, whatever. If we see all this as a fight between factions that control the US (deep state, corporations, heavy-hitting backers, lobbyists, MIC, etc.) which don't correspond to a Dem / Rep divide (e.g. McCain and Killary were sorta bro-sis clones) or only partly so, the fight is between Mafia-like, influential, groups, that use all kinds of moves behind the scenes -- what the public sees, and is sollicited to participate in, is Theatre, see b's title.

One might also argue, on a loftier level, that these are the death throes of a political system (Federation with 'representative' 'democracy', successfully managed by powerful low-vis groups) that is edging towards implosion.

Seer , Nov 2 2019 17:12 utc | 164
My 2 cents...

While all this certainly has the ability to turn into one big distractive sh*t show, it is possible that it flushes the toilet. I know that some don't believe/trust Gabbard, but her vote for impeachment was most likely based in forcing the Clinton (via Biden) wing into a trap (of their own setting), forcing them to call their own bluff.

We'll see what kind of counter info (info forcing Biden's activities) gets into the open via the House process. IF it moves to the Senate THEN it'll be open season, and I'll be rooting for Trump and the GOP to outing Biden et al. Why? Because THEN we'll start the process of purging corruption. First it'll be the Dems: Pelosi, Schiff, Biden and the folks behind the curtain (Clintons and their big dollar supporters). Figure this to play out like HRC's stupid attack on Gabbard: TOTAL backfire! News flash: don't mess with Gabbard. One would hope that the process will show that the GOP best cleanse itself lest it get run through the same.

I have little doubt that these are thrashings of the neoliberal Dem party going down. I see Buttigeig as the last great hope for the Corporate/Clinton Dems. The more exposure people have to him the less they'll be impressed (he's a 100% white Obama): little different than Harris, though with less of a condescending smug smirk (and with a milder chuckle). Biden will continue to drop.

Not sure if the Corporate/Clinton Dems are willing to risk a head-to-head between Warren and Sanders. Sanders' insurance policy is Gabbard. Her mission has been to ensure that the Corporate/Clinton Dems don't get the nomination. She's been picking off such candidates one by one and now she is set to pick off the ones in the "top tier" (after having proven capable by picking off the self-described "top tier" candidate Kamala Harris). People need to help get her into the next debates. Buttigeig will be her target. Biden can be left hanging in the wind as he'll eventually dry up (shoot himself out of the race).

What Trump mouthed when he ran will be EXECUTED by Sanders/Gabbard. The difference is that there is an actual movement behind Sanders, policies and a plan. Trump's support was never capable of driving the bus: there was never a plan on how to get "there" (in which case the usual beneficiaries were able to control things).

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 17:37 utc | 165
nope c1ue. the church committee hampered the cia, but they started working to rectify that immediately, and by the time they helped install Reagan their comeback was complete.
Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 18:41 utc | 166
re: Church Committee 165
I'm afraid that as soon as the Trump era ends, with its severing of military alliances and lack of war, however it ends, this bull in the China shop (pun intended), including unfavorable visibility on spook behavior, we will see a comeback to the old ways.
lizard , Nov 2 2019 19:01 utc | 168
Circe,

you advocate for inventing dirt if it means getting rid of Trump and I think that is bonkers. the volume of your comments is tedious and obnoxious. MoA is one of the few places left that hasn't collectively succumbed to TDS, so when you talk shit on the host of this space for being some mindless Trump supporter it pisses me off. I've followed b's analysis for over a decade and I have much more respect for his perspective than yours.

I'm not looking for some long back and forth, so consider this my last comment to you. adios.

NemesisCalling , Nov 2 2019 19:04 utc | 170
Re: Gabbard

Remember people, there is great russophobia sweeping the nation still. Most of potus' actions as well as Gabbard's vote to impeach has to walk the tight rope between seeming and being. If the impeachment matters not, as it surely won't, except to torpedo retard dems, then what is the harm for Gabbard to vote yes?

The angle is is that she distances herself from the charge that she is a russian agent by looking tough on potus. People, it ain't that complicated.

And re: jackrabbit's insinuation that appointing Mueller helped the deep state narrative...it is the same logic...POTUS needs to look tough and so why not throw in a beauracrat that makes them look bad. Larry Johnson at SST has traced Mueller back to his associations with Trump campaign plants looking for dirt.

Trump knows they got nothing. But the Russophobia was and is strong in this country and that was their dumb angle. POTUS gives enough rope to hang themselves and meanwhile the downright nasty Russian-agent angle doesn't pack the punch because it looks like he is not adverse to allowing the investigation.

Trump is playing 3d chess. It appears Gabbard is too. Which leads to my thesis that without Trump there would be no Gabbard and so another thank you to the Don.

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 19:09 utc | 171
A commentator up thread asked "what kind of theatre," which I thought an interesting question. My initial thought was something along the lines of Cabaret , with some Chicago , Twilight Zone , and Night Gallery added for additional spices and seasoning. Also popping into my mind was the destruction of a broken William Jennings Bryan by Clarence Darrow in what's known as the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925--popular superstition made road kill by facts. An epilog to it all occurs in 2009 when Obama stabbed millions of homeowners in the back, refused to do his job as Chief Magistrate, committed treason by perverting the law and gave the guilty bankers and Wall Street speculators billions instead of prosecuting them, and yet he was reelected in 2012. When it comes to treasonous presidents, IMO Obama tops the list; Trump pales in comparison. Gee, does that qualify as a self-righteous rant?
bevin , Nov 2 2019 19:37 utc | 172
1 "Remember people, there is great russophobia sweeping the nation still..." NemesisCalling@170

Is there, though? It seems to me that this is a disease to which only members of the liberal intelligentsia are generally prone. Most Americans, in my limited experience of them, are pre-occupied by more practical matters. As to the narrative that Russia was responsible for Hillary's defeat it is one likely to diminish suspicion of Russia, among ordinary voters and, the more numerous, nonvoters.

2/"does that qualify as a self-righteous rant?" karlof1@171
Don't trouble yourself: your posts, right or wrong, are of a consistently high quality, which is remarkable, given that they are so frequent.

nietzsche1510 , Nov 2 2019 20:03 utc | 174
jam the political space, distract the society so to keep the curious citizenry from digging what the Judeo-Zionist crowd, aka.; the Collective Entity is performing since the hit of 9/11.
jared , Nov 2 2019 20:23 utc | 176
It seems to me that even the charge against Trump is lacking in merit for impeachment - like impeaching him for Jay-walking. Biden exposed himself to such consideration. I am relieved to learn that Trump is asking such questions. I hope he will continue. It is somewhat entertaining to watch the reactions. The cast of witnesses are being exposed as shady and corrupt themselves - the agenda of the permanent government is being revealed.

Re. Ms Gabbards vote in support of investigation: I can see why it would be necessary to support investigation politically, why not. So far it has proven Trump to be nearly a saint.

Well I thank the dems. I know which way I will vote if Gabbard does not win the nomination.

Jackrabbit , Nov 2 2019 21:49 utc | 179
uncle tungsten @178

The talking point that Trump has not started any wars is bullshit .

Trump is essentially at war with:

Venezuela
USA and its allies have stolen billions of dollars in Venezuelan State assets and backed a coup.

Syria
USA has been occupying parts of Syria long past what is reasonable under UN Resolution 2257. And now USA has seized the oil fields.

Yemen
AFAIK USA provides or provided battlefield "targeting" and is Saudi Arabia's chief source of military supplies.

Iran
How is sanctions against third-parties that trade with Iran not an illegal embargo? And let's not forget US support for MEK and the US-Israeli Stuxnet virus.


Trump supporters should explain why these simmering conflicts and others will not turn into shooting wars after Trump gets a second term.

!!

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 21:51 utc | 180
Jen @175--

Thanks for your reply! I like that combo, but Sweeny Todd the opera or movie? Other, literary, works also came to mind, like the theatre dream scene from Hesse's Steppenwolf and the craziness of Kafka's The Trial . But overall it seems proper for Rod Serling--in black and white--to preside over the entire affair and deliver the moral of the story.

bevin @172--

Thanks for your observation. Also related to the theatre aspect are how these events remind one of two different Star Trek episodes from the 1960s--the world run by Mafia-like gangsters and the world run by Nazis, both created by violations of the Prime Directive, IIRC.

jared , Nov 2 2019 21:59 utc | 181
@ uncle tungsten | 178

I agree in being disappointed in what Trump has accomplished at this point; however, I think the disruption he brings has revealed the extent and nature of the corruption in our government - a great improvement over the "go along to get along" type that was Obama.

Also I think that even in his somewhat random agenda it makes apparent the powerful forces of entrenched, self serving, paid for influences that he (or any president) struggles to overcome. His tweeting is ridiculous yet has a degree of frankness and honesting that is never seen from the establishment.

He calls out the press as servants of corrupt and entrenched interests.

As I think Peter AU has pointed out, Trump has started 0 wars, which compares favorably with his predessesors. He's more bark than bite. Even in some of the military actions he has authorized I think he has pulled his punches.

There are many issues woefully unaddressed, but not every battle is owned by the president - seems the US government is an AirMax on auto-pilot.

I don't like much of what he says. But he is speaking at the level of his audience.

I would choose Gabbard in a heartbeat, but would expect to be similarly disappointed in the results.

Personally, I tend to believe that the only way out of this mess is through the bottom - it will only get better once we fail utterly and completely. I would advise younger people to consider other options - it does not feel good to be feeding the Borg that is enslaving and bombing the world.

jared , Nov 2 2019 22:01 utc | 183
I would not consider Sanders - just another snake oil salesman offering "free" stuff.
Hoarsewhisperer , Nov 2 2019 22:03 utc | 184
The symbolism of this fiasco is amusing. In the sphere of political acumen the Democrats seem addicted to behaving like Donkeys.
jared , Nov 2 2019 22:12 utc | 185
@ Jackrabbit 179

Yes Trump attempted "non-violent" over throw of Maduro but again I believe this was an effort promoted by others that he accepted thinking maybe he would sneak in a quick, low cost "win". He has not done what I am sure he was asked to do and now with Russia taking the oil it seems possible there is a positive outcome. And things are looking up on many fronts in S Amarica.

Trump did not start the wars in Iraq and Syria and seems fairly successful in winding them down against tough odds.

Trump did not create the special relationship with SA. Is that all you've got, sir?

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 22:16 utc | 188
peak number of troops involved in ground combat under last three presidents
Bush-43 -- 130,000 (Iraq)
Obama -- 100,000 (Afghanistan)
Trump -- 0

So Trump is clearly the winner in that category, plus he has withdrawn most troops from Afghanistan, and has regularly spoken against troops in combat overseas. Trump has not been able to do all that he wants to do because the US president is fighting the establishment in shutting down the people who love war -- there's so much money in it. Presidents are not dictators able to do whatever they want. Some things, but not all things, so we have some side-shows going on which get attention but aren't terribly fatal.

Plus Trump has significantly weakened US ties with NATO which is the alliance that has proven to be so wasteful and dangerous (with a US general in charge).

The clearest sign that Trump's policies aggravate the establishment are that the Intel establishment is against him, as well as the Dem warmonger neolibs. Trump has neutered the neocons like Senator Graham, the McCain acolyte.

So plaudits to a president that has accomplished a lot despite his personal shortcomings. The worst part of life on earth is war, which is unhealthy for men, women and children, and there are no current wars of any magnitude. That's great.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 22:18 utc | 189
What kind of theater: Well, obviously, Brazil:
The film centres on Sam Lowry, a man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil's satire of bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four[11][12][13] and has been called Kafkaesque[14] and absurdist.[13]

Sarah Street's British National Cinema (1997) describes the film as a "fantasy/satire on bureaucratic society"; and John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (2005) describes it as a "dystopian satire".

Brazil (at Wikipedia)

What is our computer paradise now but a world of "whimsical machines"?

Trailer Trash , Nov 2 2019 22:28 utc | 190
>I'll be rooting for Trump and the GOP to outing Biden et al.
> Why? Because THEN we'll start the process of purging corruption
> Posted by: Seer | Nov 2 2019 17:12 utc | 164

Politicians are regularly caught with their hands in the cookie jar and go to jail. Trouble is, for every pol that falls there are ten more shoving and pushing to take their place at the feeding trough. I don't see how an honest system of any design can be built in a swamp, even if it's drained first. With so many people ready and willing to participate in corrupt schemes, I think we're gonna need better people to build new institutions with foundations of integrity and competence instead of greed and groupthink.

jared , Nov 2 2019 22:38 utc | 191
@ Bemildred

More like Harrison Bergeron - Kurt V:
https://youtu.be/nL9zg7-rzPc

Or more simply 2+2=5:
https://youtu.be/EHAuGA7gqFU

Jackrabbit , Nov 2 2019 22:53 utc | 192
jared @185: Is that all you've got, sir?

Are you really unaware that USA and it's puppet have essentially taken control of Citco, plus seized Venezuelan gold and real estate? Why has your hero not reversed these actions if he was misled? And why does he continue the sanctions against Venezuela?

The more realistic view is that Trump wasn't misled, he was fully on-board.

!!

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 22:59 utc | 193
On Trump and interfering in a sovereign nation's legitimate activities which is a violation of the peace, international law and the US Constitution. Every sanction levied is a violation. The escalation of the illegal embargo aimed at Cuba is a violation. The massive "invasion" into Venezuela's affairs is a major, ongoing crime. The continuance of the illegal operations within Syria, aggressive missile attacks and illegal sanctions. The illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and imposition of illegal sanctions on Iran. Continuance of Death Squad operations within Afghanistan and smuggling of opium and refined heroin. The personal aggression waged against Julian Assange. The kidnapping in Canada of a Chinese national. Falsified charges and imprisonment of Russian nationals. Illegal theft of Russian diplomatic property. Supplying Daesh and al-Ciada terrorists with arms and munitions. And I'm sure I could come up with more. Oh, forgot to mention sponsorship of Hong Kong terrorists. Then there are numerous transgressions of US law, first and foremost being the continued obstruction of justice related to the crimes committed by Obama, Hillary Clinton and the DNC, along with a host of lesser fry.

As noted above and many places elsewhere, Obama was a treasonous president and prolific lawbreaker. Being marginally better than Obama in no way makes Trump a good man or president; rather, it makes him just a lesser criminal and certainly no patriot. Trump made his choices and ought to live by their consequences. IMO, the overall failure lies in the refusal to impeach and convict Bush/Cheney then Obama/Biden and a host of Congresscritters and Executive staffers, thus meaning the wholesale illegitimacy of the entire federal government (since when is another question). The government pretends to obey the fundamental law of the land while constantly breaking it, thus rendering it illegitimate, an ongoing practice since 1945.

Trailer Trash , Nov 2 2019 23:11 utc | 194
>there are no current wars of any magnitude. That's great.
> Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 22:16 utc | 18

If current global conditions can be described as "peace", I fear to think what "war" would look like.

How many war refugees around the world are currently being herded like cattle and treated like slaves? Millions? Most of them are a direct result of Uncle Sam's endless wars on everyone who doesn't obey. Dropping napalm on people is not the only way to kill them. Cutting off access to the necessities of life is just as effective. Madeleine Albright's barbaric comments about killing Iraqi children come to mind:

On May 12, 1996, Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her, "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it." (from Wikipedia)

Dead is dead whether Uncle Sam uses a bullet or blockades food and medicine.

When Uncle Sam starts shutting down the 600 overseas military bases and stops its military, financial, political, and economic attacks on everyone who won't obey, then we can say that things are improving. Until then, claims of "peace" are just ...

Nemesiscalling , Nov 2 2019 23:11 utc | 195
@173 jr

Trump is a radically different actor than what the duopoly produces. This is why I think your belief that the tyrannical duopoly is some kind of genius mastermind steering us all down THEIR path is untrue and gives them waaaaaayyyyyy too much credit. It all has to do with the teleological end of globalism and America's place in the world as the vanguard international experiment par excellence.

Trump is a harbinger and the duopoly owned by the globalists is accelerating into oblivion. See Don Bacon's post and read the tea leaves of the current geopolitical chessboard.

What does the future hold?

Who knows...but DJT and Putin seemed to be leading us there.

...

On a side note: everyone should please check out Ann Coulter's recent interview on Frontline PBS. It is 50 mins and Coulter's quirks are amplified but she is never one to not speak her mind. There is a ton of insight and truth to it.

It leaves one with the impression that Trump was not a true believer wrt anti-globalization but has forced himself into a role where his words have brought power and confidence and is now guiding his mission. He said simple things but also intensely powerful and hence brutally truthful or at least leading one to extrapolate his off the cuff stuff towards a deep message on globalism and its ill effects in the U.S.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 23:17 utc | 196
jared @191: Well I'm always up for some Vonnegut. I put him right up there with Orwell and Huxley. He is one of the writers who first introduced me to the low class of our upper classes here. That is an old theme in Vonnegut, "God Bless You Mr Rosewater" is a satire on a similar theme. I think he picked up a bad attitude about the rich and powerful from his time there in Dresden. He was more accurate than most, Gore Vidal and Lewis Lapham are two others, both scions of the upper classes themselves, but they didn't give it quite the bite that Vonnegut did.
karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 23:37 utc | 198
188, 194 & 195--

The upshot seems to be as b initially stated impeaching Trump solves nothing -- corrupt is replaced by corrupt at the head of a totally corrupt and rotten to the bone institution unwilling to obey its own law. From a global vantage point, the disappearance of the Outlaw US Empire would be a massive boon to the entire planet as the only reason for the building of most weapon systems is to defend against that Empire's predations. Total focus could then go to climate mitigation and resilient development as humanity is finally purged of the biggest threat to its existence. Nice theatre, huh?

[Nov 03, 2019] After Iowa Biden might be finished

Notable quotes:
"... In particular, Biden is really having a hard time getting young people behind him. At this point, he has the support of "only 2 percent of voters under 45" in Iowa. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

according to the latest poll Biden is now in fourth place in Iowa

Joe Biden slipped into fourth place among presidential candidates in the 2020 Iowa caucuses, behind front-runner Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and a surging South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to a new poll released Friday.

The Massachusetts senator polled at 22 percent, ahead of Vermont Sen. Sanders at 19 percent, Buttigieg at 18 percent and the former vice president at 17 percent, the New York Times/Siena College poll of likely participants in the caucuses showed.

This wasn't supposed to happen.

In particular, Biden is really having a hard time getting young people behind him. At this point, he has the support of "only 2 percent of voters under 45" in Iowa.

That is abysmal.

A fourth place finish in Iowa would not be fatal for Biden as long as he came back strong in New Hampshire.

But the latest poll in New Hampshire has him in third place

In New Hampshire, a University of New Hampshire/CNN poll conducted October 21-27 with a margin of error of 4.1 points found Sanders at 21%, Warren at 18%, and Biden at 15% -- a dramatic drop of 9 percentage points from the July UNH/CNN poll, where Biden was at 24% support.

If Biden does not finish in the top two in either state, history indicates that it will be extremely difficult for him to win the Democratic nomination. The following comes from CNN

Now, it's not as if you must win these early contests. You probably need to come close though. George McGovern won neither in 1972, though he placed second in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Bill Clinton didn't win either in 1992, though Iowa was ceded to home state Sen. Tom Harkin and Clinton came in second behind Paul Tsongas in New Hampshire. Put another way, no one has won a major party nomination since 1972 without coming in the top two in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

... ... ...

As for Biden, his biggest problem is that he just can't help being Joe Biden.

When a young female Democratic activist recently approached him with a hard question, he once again put his foot in his mouth

You might have seen the video doing the rounds this week: Joe Biden, who was asked a tricky question by a young activist, responds about as condescendingly as humanly possible -- "Look at my record, child."

I was that young activist, and my encounter with the man who wants to be president taught me that he is not up to the task.

You can watch video of this exchange right here .

In this cultural environment, it is political suicide for someone running for president to call a young woman that is asking him a tough question a "child".

Almost every time Biden appears in public, he loses more votes.

It probably would have been best if his handlers had just kept him locked away from the public entirely throughout this process, but at this point the race has gotten so close that doing such a thing now is just not possible.

And this is especially true now that Biden has fallen behind in both Iowa and New Hampshire.


Rusty Pipes , 18 minutes ago link

Biden has been in elected office pretty much the whole time America has been in decline. Coincidence?

overmedicatedundersexed , 18 minutes ago link

find someone who is not corrupt or a traitor to USA is not easy in the democrat party..there must be somebody..how about a lying make believe indian?? it's the best they got.

BigCumulusClouds , 28 minutes ago link

First the guy gets caught plagiarizing another man's speech.

Then he gets caught telling a 14 year old Senator's daughter how horny she makes him.

Then he uses his taxpayer funded job to secure millions for his son and to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired who's investigating the crooked relationship.

Yet he still keeps running for President.

Either this guy has no shame or no brains or both.