Bait and Switch maneuver as the cornerstone of modern US politics: deceiving  voters as the art

 

While Obama was the Prince of Bait-and-Switch, Trump is close

News Neoliberalism war on labor Recommended Links Divide and conquer strategy Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Deception as an art form Demexit: Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism
Lesser evil trick The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Elite Theory Leo Strauss and the Neocons MIGA stage of Trump political career: the art of betrayal of his election promises (April 2017 -- March 2019) Israel lobby
Obama: a yet another Neocon Machiavellism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Official Culture in America "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place American Exceptionalism Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats as another Iraq WDM story Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Color revolutions   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 John Dilulio letter Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Politically Incorrect Humor   Etc
According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

While used by all presidential candidate, Obama can be called Prince of Bait and Switch fraud. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher level of betrayal of the electorate delivered then Obama with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it", while serving as a stooge of military-industrial complex and Wall-Street.

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is a brand, a puppet created by advertizing. Advertising is the rule of the game. And during presidential elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides stability. Talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to advertizing trick.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state". Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England. Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama is simply Bush III, a stanch neocon, who is never tied of imperial adventures and bombing brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”


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[Dec 04, 2019] Perfect Storm Trump Admin To Cut 750,000 From Food Stamps Ahead Of Recession

First they cut unemployment benefits. Now they are cutting food stamps. Great...
Dec 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a bid to end the massive welfare state, the Trump administration is expected to announce new measures Wednesday that would end food stamp benefits for nearly 750,000 low-income folks. The new rules will make it difficult for "states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or participate in a vocational training program," according to Bloomberg sources.

Republicans have long attempted to abolish the welfare state, claiming that the redistribution of wealth for poor people keeps them in a state of perpetual poverty. They also claim the welfare state is a system of command and control and has been used by Democrats for decades as a political weapon against conservatives, hence why most inner cities vote Democrat.

House Republicans tried to cut parts of the federal food assistance program last year, but it was quickly rejected in the Senate.

The new requirements by the Trump administration would only target "able-bodied" recipients who aren't caring for children under six.

Sources said the measure would be one of three enacted by the Trump administration to wind down the massive federal food assistance program.

The measures are expected to boot nearly 3.7 million recipients from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Though it comes at a time when employment is in a downturn, manufacturing has stumbled into a recession , and the US economy could be entering a mild recession in the year ahead. As to why President Trump wants hundreds of thousands of low-income folks off SNAP ahead of an election year while the economy is rapidly decelerating could be an administrative error that may lead to social instabilities in specific regions that will be affected the hardest. Then again, no turmoil could come out of it, and it's hailed as a success during the election year.

The Department of Agriculture estimates that the new measures could save the agency $1.1 billion in year one, and $7.9 billion by year five.

Nearly 36.4 million Americans in the "greatest economy ever" are on food stamps. At least half of all Americans have low-wage jobs, barely enough to cover living expenses, nevertheless, service their credit cards with record-high interest rates . The economy as a whole is undergoing profound structural changes with automation and artificial intelligence. Tens of millions of jobs will be lost by 2030. It's likely the collision of these forces means the welfare state is going nowhere and will only grow in size when the next recession strikes.

Cutting food stamps for low-income folks is the right move into creating a more leaner government, but there are severe social implications that could be triggered if the new measures are passed.

And while President Trump wants to slash the welfare state for poor people, his supply-side policies and bailouts of corporate America have been record-setting in some respects.

Actions by the administration clearly show that corporate welfare for Wall Street elites is more important than welfare for low-income folks. Perfect Storm: Trump Admin To Cut 750,000 From Food Stamps Ahead Of Recession


naps8906 , 23 seconds ago link

this is one of the most shameful acts for any president, especially a billionaire. If he wants to save a billion/year, cut it from military. Or increase staff at SNAP to check for fraud, but this is really shameful. I think it would've been better to raise tariff on China and use that money to increase SNAP not decrease it

cheka , 1 minute ago link

i have a better way. over BMI = no taxpayer funded food handouts

taking money from the working class, at the point of a gun....to give free food to fat *****.....clown world

Wild Bill Steamcock , 4 minutes ago link

What's the need in cutting foodstamps? You can take every able-bodied recipient and have them work a reasonable number of hours per week in a fair exchange. Plenty of work to be had and you could do it WPA style where those of certain skills could apply them.

And if you want to cut welfare, START WITH CORPORATE WELFARE

Dr Anon , 4 minutes ago link

This is a positive development in terms of the nuclear family. Women can't just abscond with the kids and her husband's alimony if she knows she will have to actually get a job to pay for her own food. I'm sick of paying taxes to support whore women and their bastard children.

Zeusky Babarusky , 6 minutes ago link

"The Department of Agriculture estimates that the new measures could save the agency $1.1 billion in year one, and $7.9 billion by year five."

Today's Repo operation by the Fed is $70.1 Billion. The $1.1 Billion in annual savings due to this cut is about 1.5% of what the Fed pumped into the Repo market just today. I'm all for cutting out the fraud. If you can work, then you should work. Don't work? Don't eat! But our economy is a Service Sector for the most part now, and the wages suck for a big part in the Service Sector. Wages overall have been nearly flat for about 30 years. How about we cut the welfare **** to the banks, Wall Street? That would save trillions not just billions. Typical DC. Fix problems while ******* over the little people, and continuing corporate welfare all the while. This **** so needs to burn up!

same2u , 7 minutes ago link

In the meantime, the Fed keeps on giving to the billionaires and banksters...

Stock market is the food stamp program for the super rich...

Omega_Man , 6 minutes ago link

great... outsource manufacturing, sign new trade deals to off shore more jobs, ramp up the stock market for the rich, waste trillions on destabilizing other nations, give israel all they want, print money to infinity, ask for zero interest rate.. and a billion per year to feed poor people is too much.. Trump is in touch with the little guy

Trump will lose 2020... give the 750,000 guns and ammo and some food and water... and a map to DC... Soros can provide the buses...

Rusticus2.0 , 7 minutes ago link

In a bid to end the massive welfare state, the Trump administration is expected to announce new measures Wednesday that would end food stamp benefits for nearly 750,000 low-income folks

and yet Trump is crying for negative interest rates so the 0.1% can continue getting the welfare they deserve ?

Just Take It All , 7 minutes ago link

Do lampposts dream of central bankers?

Fishthatlived , 10 minutes ago link

A Bloomberg story? Isn't that guy running for President? What a coincidence.

NoDebt , 4 minutes ago link

The new rules will make it difficult for "states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or participate in a vocational training program," according to Bloomberg sources.

And... those are actually the OLD rules, which are still on the books, but which Obama waived by EO. I'm glad 750,00 are being cut from the roles.

NoDebt , 1 minute ago link

Trump Admin To Cut 750,000 From Food Stamps Ahead Of Recession

OK, so I have to ask: What recession? Well, the coming one, obviously! So let's logic this out. You wouldn't cut food stamps IN a recession (political suicide), so what's your alternative? You're either in a recession or you're on your way to the next one which will happen eventually, right? So, when would you be able to cut food stamps? I guess never by that logic.

RiskyBidness , 7 minutes ago link

If you like your foodstamps .You can't keep your foodstamps

[Dec 04, 2019] There Has Been No Retrenchment Under Trump

Notable quotes:
"... A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters. ..."
"... The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

aul MacDonald and Joseph Parent explain in detail that Trump hasn't reduced U.S. military commitments overseas:

But after nearly three years in office, Trump's promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn't meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited -- promises to the contrary be damned.

MacDonald and Parent's article complements my earlier post about U.S. "global commitments" very nicely. When we look at the specifics of Trump's record, we see that he isn't ending U.S. military involvement anywhere. He isn't bringing anyone home. On the contrary, he has been sending even more American troops to the Middle East just this year alone. While he is being excoriated for withdrawals that never happen, he is maintaining or steadily increasing the U.S. military presence in foreign countries. Many Trump detractors and supporters are so invested in the narrative that Trump is presiding over "withdrawal" that they are ignoring what the president has actually done. Trump's approach to U.S. military involvement might be described as "loudly declaring withdrawal while maintaining or increasing troop levels." Almost everyone pays attention only to his rhetoric about leaving this or that country and treats it as if it is really happening. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel deployed overseas never goes down.

The authors offer a possible explanation for why Trump has been able to get away with this:

A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters.

Trump is further insulated from scrutiny and criticism because he is frequently described as presiding over a "retreat" from the world. Most news reports and commentary pieces reinforce this false impression that Trump seeks to get the U.S. out of foreign entanglements. There are relatively few people pointing out the truth that MacDonald and Parent spell out in their article. The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them.

[Dec 03, 2019] Ukrainegate hysteria in neoliberal MSM repeats in minute details the neoliberal MSM hysteria about Trump meeting with Putin

In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, inpulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans. "The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said. When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

[Dec 03, 2019] In foreign policy Trump is not that different from Obama: both are militarists and profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" , both betrayed their election promises and got away with it

While Obama organized 2014 coup data that smashed contitutional oder in Ukraine and installed far-right nationalists in power (Nulandgate) Obamam did not suppled arms toUkrains; Trump did
In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, impulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans. "The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said. When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

[Nov 27, 2019] Did Pelosi went along with impeachment to block nomination of Bernie Sanders?

Notable quotes:
"... and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump. ..."
"... This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014. ..."
"... Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits. ..."
"... A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs. ..."
"... Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment. ..."
"... That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats. ..."
"... I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect. ..."
"... If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets. ..."
"... The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously. ..."
"... The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose. ..."
"... the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass. ..."
"... the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here. ..."
"... "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy." ..."
"... Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class ..."
"... The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment. ..."
"... He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it. ..."
"... To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 9

"An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.
I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen."

The real reason in my opinion that Pelosi went along with impeachment was that she saw Bernies message getting through, and even though the DNC pushed all the conserva-dem candidates they could into the race, Bernie is still doing well and gaining. An impeachment trial would require Bernie to attend the hearings rather that campaigning. Also Wall Streets best friend Obama has just stated that Bernie is not a Democrat and that would require Obama to get on the speaking circuit to campaign against him - you know for the sake of the corporations - and those 500k speaking thank you gigs. They would rather elect Trump than Bernie - that is why I think Pelosi would go along with an impeachment trial in the Senate - Bernie is the greater threat.


Likklemore , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 10

The idea to censure Trump and move on has been aired since mid 2017. The latest was Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Guess I will have to unpack some popcorn. At this phase in the process an impeachable offence remains undefined!??
House Judiciary Committee Sets Date For Impeachment Hearing, Invites Trump To Testify

With interest (even among Democrats) in the impeachment process sliding, the House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing.

As The Hill reports, behind Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee will hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.

The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, will focus on the definition of an impeachable offense and the formal application of the impeachment process. The panel will invite White House lawyers to attend and participate.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler wrote to Trump requesting his participation - or that of White House counsel - as part of ensuring "a fair and informative process."[.]

Trump will take a page from the other president who campaigned on the "do nothing congress"

pretzelattack , Nov 26 2019 21:16 utc | 11
and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump.
Wind Hippo , Nov 26 2019 21:21 utc | 12
b, there seems to be a critical flaw in your analysis--you seem to base it on a premise that the goal of the Democratic establishment is to win elections/gain power/govern. It's not, it's to ensure the continuing enrichment of themselves and their oligarch peers, financial industry, military, pharma, etc.

The question people like Pelosi (worth $100 million or so btw along with her husband whose business she enriches via her position) are pondering isn't "Will doing x, y, z help Trump win?" It's "Will doing x, y, z ensure Bernie Sanders doesn't win?"

vk , Nov 26 2019 21:23 utc | 13
Maybe this is useful to understand the DNC's situation:

Obama 'Privately' Vowed to 'Speak Up to Stop' Bernie Sanders if He Secured Presidential Nomination - Report

This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014.

jared , Nov 26 2019 21:25 utc | 14
No group of adults is that stupid. They are doing and will do as they are required to do by their owners.
Jen , Nov 26 2019 21:31 utc | 15
Of all the things that the Democrats could impeach President Trump over, the one thing they seized upon was the issue that had the most potential to blow back on them and destroy Joe Biden's chances of reaching the White House. Whoever had that brilliant idea and put it as the long straw in a cylindrical prawn-chip can along with all the other straws for pulling out, sure didn't think of all the consequences that could have arisen. That speaks for the depth (or lack thereof) of the thinking among senior Democrats and their worker bee analysts, along with a narrow-minded outlook, sheer hatred of a political outsider and a fanatical zeal to match that hatred and outlook.

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.

William Gruff , Nov 26 2019 21:37 utc | 16
Impeachment takes Sanders out of the campaign and that opens things up for the CIA/establishment's "Identity Politics Candidate #3" , Mayor Butt-gig.

That said, since "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable misogynist!" didn't work as expected, I wonder what makes them think "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable homophobe!" will work any better?

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17
Lots of agreement here with the overall situation becoming clearer with Bloomberg's entrance and the outing of Obama's plans. I just finished writing my response to Putin's speech before the annual United Russia Party Congress on the Open Thread and suggest barflies take 10 minutes to read it and compare what he espouses a political party's deeds & goals ought to be versus those of the West and its vassals.

Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits.

James Speaks , Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 21
A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs.

Obviously, a sufficient number of secure Republican representatives are needed to vote in favor of impeachment to allow this circus to continue to its bizarrely entertaining, Democratic Party destroying end.

librul , Nov 26 2019 22:59 utc | 22
The MSM will declare Trump guilty - that is, he has earned impeachment for Ukrainegate.

There are Democrats still under the illusion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Dems tell us that Trump *obstructed* the Mueller investigation thus Trump could not be nailed, nonetheless Trump is guilty of collusion until proven innocent.

Back to Ukrainegate. Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment.

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 25
Tulsi Gabbard Tweet not specifically about impeachment but begs numerous questions:

"My personal commitment is to always treat you and all Americans with respect. Working side-by-side, we can defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, and usher in a 21st century of peace, human dignity, & true equality. Working side by side, we can make Dr. King's dream our reality ." [My Emphasis]

Questions: Is Trump divisive, or is it the D-Party and Current Oligarchy that make him so; and which is more important to defeat? Which party "usher[ed] in the 21st century" with several wars and abetted the next two? How did Obama, Slick Willie or his wife advance "human dignity & true equality"? How does her last sentence differ from "Hope you can believe in"? Hasn't her D-Party worked tirelessly for decades to circumvent the goals she espouses? Wouldn't Gabbard have a better chance running as an Enlightened Republican than as a Renegade Democrat if her goal's to defeat Trump?

snake , Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26
American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into. by: AK74 @ 4 <= binary divide <=conducted by the USA, is not about America, Americans or making America great again, its about the welfare of [the few<= which most Americans would not call fellow Americans].

Sasha.@ 23 I don't understand where you are coming from.. thank Korlof1 @18 for posting that Putin talk alert. excerpts from the talk.. => The priority [of United Russia has been] the protection of the people's interests, the interests of [the] Motherland, and ..responsible [approach] to ..country, its security, stability and people's lives in the long-term perspective.

The party.. offered a unifying agenda based on freedom and well being, patriotism, ..traditional values, a strong civil society and a strong state. The key issue in the party's work .being together with the people, Karlof1@18 <=this talk suggest change in Russian leadership that are not congruent with your [Sasha] comment @23. I hope you will make more clear what you spent sometime writing ( and for that effort I thank you) but it is not yet clear what you mean.. .

ptb , Nov 26 2019 23:42 utc | 27
Re: Brenda Lawrence talking about censure rather than impeachment:

That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats.

Yet another other option is to continue the investigation indefinitely. I'm going to say it is their default move actually. In that case, the House Judiciary Committee would spend a few weeks putting on their own show, then say they would like more evidence to be really sure, returning matters to the House Intelligence Committee, and we repeat the cycle.

psychohistorian , Nov 27 2019 0:14 utc | 31
I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect.

It is sad to see us all talking about which of the lesser of horrible evils will continue the leadership of American faced empire.....I hope it crashes soon and takes the global elite down with it.....how many barflies are ready to stand up and say NO to the owners of the Super-Priority derivatives that will say they own the world because of their casino (no skin in the game) bets that are currently "legal" in America when the crash comes?

AK74 , Nov 27 2019 0:51 utc | 34
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to -- if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get. That should tell you all you need to know about Americans.

Guest , Nov 27 2019 1:27 utc | 36
If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets.

The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously.

Dave , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 37
Re: #3 Allen – well said. The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose.
Yeah, Right , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 38
The problem with this prediction is that the MSM has been breathlessly pronouncing that THIS IS EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE!!!! pretty much every day and after every witness testimony.

So if you are a member of the public who gets their "information" from the MSM (and, be honest, that is most of the people in the USA) then you have been force-fed is that Trumps defense against these allegations has already been shredded, and that his guilt has already been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

How can those opinion-makers then turn around and say "Nah, it'll be fine" and settle for a mere censure?

Wouldn't the Sheeple respond with a fully-justified "Hey, hang on! What gives?"

The Democrats has leapt on a Tiger. Nobody made them do it, but now they are there I don't think they are going to be able to leap off.

Some of the first-term nobodies, maybe, but not the Schiffs and the Pelopis and the Nadlers.

Hang on for dear life and hope for a miracle is probably their only option now.

And, who knows, that trio may be so incompetent that they actually think they are going to win.

Josh , Nov 27 2019 1:49 utc | 39
Via, perhaps, One who has established Truth, Standing, and Right, Declaring so.... Lawfully.
pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 1:56 utc | 40
james, the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass.
Duncan Idaho , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 43
The US is a one party State-- Pepsi _Pepsi Lite. Both parties are capitalist. It is rather humorous the attention paid to a Dim vs Repug argument. Small thinking for small minds---
Rob , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 44
As I posted at the beginning of the impeachment process, the Dems would be foolish to hang it all on the arcane shenanigans in Ukraine but rather should impeach Trump on the numerous more serious breaches and crimes that he has committed. I also worried that the Democratic Party leaders would blow the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump and the Republican Party are rotten to the core and harmful to the country. And so they have blown it. What an inept pack of asses.
juliania , Nov 27 2019 2:26 utc | 46
I would think that even censure is still going to be a hot potato for the Democrats. Looking at the procedure as far as wikipedia describes it, it hasn't done anything of significance when it comes to being used against a president, especially as the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here.

That means they would be censuring on the same shaky grounds that they would have impeached him, which only prolongs attention upon the dubious claims of the indictment. It seems to me Trump will, rather than be shamed by the process, only be saying 'Make my day', and hopefully have his Attorney General come forward with exonerating revelations on that issue in the judicial proceeding that it was my contention the impeachment effort had been a last ditch one to forestall such.

Wishful thinking on that, I know - but at least that probe has merit.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 2:29 utc | 47
Grieved @42--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for linking the Keen video! Made a comment on that thread.

As I wrote when the possibility of Trump's impeachment arose almost as soon as he was inaugurated, the entire charade reminds me of Slick Willie's impeachment, trial and exoneration--the Articles of Impeachment utilized were such that he'd avoid conviction just as they will be for Trump.

ben , Nov 27 2019 2:52 utc | 48
Allen @ 3 said; "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

With very few exceptions, you nailed it..Your description of the Dem. party is sad, but true.....

Trisha , Nov 27 2019 3:07 utc | 49
Oh dear, sadly this was so easy to predict.

Maybe the Dims will creep past the yawning Trump trap and get around to minor policy issues, like crafting and passing a real Green New Deal bill.

Again, sadly, so easy to predict nothing of the sort happening.

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50
Not having much time to watch the show trial it appears to me the Democrats still have a set of very weak candidates. Anyone who knows Biden knows he in not now and never will be able to handle a campaign against Trump.

Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class in the same fashion that the rank and file Republicans were tired of the political establishment which caused then to turn to Trump.

Is the Democrat political establishment smart enough to take a few steps back and push forward some outsiders? I doubt that but they would not lose much if they did. Any new leaders would have the same stable of bureaucrats to pick from which will still be there long after they are gone.

MT_bill , Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it.

AntiSpin , Nov 27 2019 4:42 utc | 55
j @ dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

"The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi."

Mayor Pete -- are you serious? I urge you to take a look at these two articles before making any other public endorsements.

All About Pete
by Nathan J. Robinson
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Is Pete Buttigieg A Shill For The Donor Class?
by Miles Mogulescu | November 23, 2019
https://ourfuture.org/20191122/is-pete-buttigieg-a-shill-for-the-donor-class

librul , Nov 27 2019 5:56 utc | 56
The...***The***...core takeaway, the battle at the heart of Russiagate/Ukrainegate, is that it does not matter who the People elect as President and what platform he was elected on the Deep State will decide foreign policy.
A User , Nov 27 2019 9:12 utc | 61
RE: Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 61

democrats republicans makes no difference both teams are managed by self serving scum who refuse to allow "what the people want" to distract them from the big one. "what can I steal?".

People meed to appreciate two things about both the dems and the rethugs. The first is they supply a much-needed insight into: "How low can I go as a worthless hang off the wagon by me fingernails, careerist. The second? That every hack must understand that eventually every talking head is seen for the ugly sellout which they are.

There is no 'honourable way through this mess', one either quietly resigns pulling the pin on the worst of us all, or one accepts the previously unacceptable, that we are most likely both musically n functionally illiterate but it never matters what-u-say, what really counts is what you do.

TJ , Nov 27 2019 10:48 utc | 63
Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I would disagree here. If the Democrats continue they will destroy themselves hopefully leading to Mutually Assured Destruction as they would need to do something very drastic to destroy the Republicans in return e.g. expose 9/11, Iraq etc, let the swamp / Deep State go M.A.D. and from the political ashes parties and politicians can rise who are actually working for the betterment of the USA and its people.

vk , Nov 27 2019 11:54 utc | 64

To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either.

Bernie Sanders is different from all other independent presidential candidates in American History because he was the first to really want to win. That's why he penetrated the Democratic machine, even though he became senator many times as an independent. He read the conjuncture correctly and, you have to agree, he's been more influential over American political-ideological landscape than all the other independents put together (not considering Eugene Debs as an independent).

snake , Nov 27 2019 13:05 utc | 65
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans. by: AK74 @ 34

<= No not yet do I agree with you.. The American young people are forced into the military in order to afford to be educated, and in order to have access to health care and good-level workforce entry jobs especially the military is default for children of struggling parents that cannot fund a college education or for the kids who are not yet ready to become serious students.

The USA has not always discounted America or denied Americans. When I grew up, a college education was very affordable, health care was available to even the most needy at whatever they could afford, most of us could work our way through the education and find decent entry level jobs if we were willing to dedicate ourselves to make the opportunity of a job into a success (education, degrees, licenses were not needed, just performance was enough). Unfortunately third party private mind control propaganda was used to extend into fake space, the belief that the USA provides a valuable service to American interest. As time went on, the USA had to hid its activities in top secret closets, it then had to learn to spy on everyone, and it had to prosecute those (whistle blowers) who raised a question. Hence the predicament of the awaken American dealing with friends that still believe the USA is good for America.. Others hope the good times will return but the USA tolerance for descent is dissipating. After the 16th amendment and the federal reserve act in 1913 the USA began to edge America out in favor of international globalization.

Most of the really important parts of what made the USA great for Americans has been sold off [privatized] and the protections and umpiring and refereeing that the USA used to provide to keep the American economic space highly competitive and freely accessible to all competitors has not only ceased, but now operates as a monopoly factory, churning out laws, rules and establishing agencies that make the wealthy and their corporate empires wealthier, richer and more monopolistic at the expense of everyday Americans.

The USA began to drop America from its sights after WWII. The USA moved its efforts and activities from American domestic concerns to global concerns in 1948, neglected its advance and protect American ideology; it imposed the continental shelf act in 1954 and the EPA act in 1972, in order to force American industry out of America (the oil business to Saudi Arabia and OPEC); by 1985-95 most businesses operating in America were either forced to close or forced to move to a cheap third world labor force places.. .<=the purpose is now clear, it was to separate Americans from their industrial and manufacturing know-how and to block American access to evolving technology . At first most Americans did not notice.

Many Americans are only now waking to the possibility that things topside have changed and some are realizing just how vulnerable the US constitution has made the USA to outside influence. .. thanks to the USA very little of good ole America remains. but the humanity first instinct most Americans are born with remains mostly unchanged, even though the globalist have decimated religious organizations, most Americans still believe their maker will not look favorably on those who deny justice, democracy or who abuse mankind. The USA has moved on, it has become a global empire, operating in a global space unknown to most Americans. The USA has created a world of its own, it no longer needs domestic America, it can use the people and resources of anyone anywhere in the world for its conquest.

The last two political campaigns for President were "Change=Obama" and "Make America Great Again=Trump"; neither of these two would have succeeded if Americans did not feel the problem.

[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 06, 2019] no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

Notable quotes:
"... First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights. ..."
"... One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion. ..."
"... And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

Thanks bin @ 23 for article

it noted =>America's representative appointed by the electoral college into the position of CEO of the USA interpreted the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force==> <=to mean=> executive privilege includes the right to assassinate US Citizens ?

WOW! Does that means person of wealth, corporation or foreign government can pay to get the USA to assassinate whom ever?

The article says: The democratic institutions, including the press, ..have been neutered. It notes that the Wealth and power once attributable to Americans is now consoliated inside and located behind the access controlled walls of privately owned corporate enterprise; where the dark hole of board room policy establishes how the corporation wealth and power will rape its next million or so victims...? the article discusses how America's wealth is eqally divided between 99% (wealth of 350,000,000 Americans) = and 1% (wealth of 35,000 in control of America) .

But I do not subscribe to the idea that it is deep state that is the problem. I think the problem lay in the construction of the constitution of the United States.. the deep state is just using the highly skewed distribution of power [between the governed and the governors placed in the constitution) to accommodate their for profit purposes. The constitution was never intended to protect governed Americans from exploitation by those who govern; its purpose was to protect those with the wealth and power from the Americans its federalism was designed to govern. Its pure propaganda that the constitution is to be interpreted as a democratic win for the governed.

First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights.

Secondly, it was not until the 17th amendment(1913) that Americans were empowered to vote for who would fill any of the 100 highly paid, very powerful, US Senate jobs, even today, no American can vote for but 2 senators each. <=to date Americans have no say by vote as to who shall be paid to be the President or VP of the USA [<=the electoral colleges determines the President and the states each appoint whomever they wish to the electoral college]. America is a democracy; the USA is a Republic, the states are trickle down versions of the USA.

Thirdly, ratification was invented and placed in the constitution to avoid offering all Americans the chance to decide for themselves if Americans wanted federalism or states rights, or if the excluded persons (Indians and 3/5 of other persons) wanted to be excluded or governed by federalism (federalism destroys states rights); had a popular vote been taken, I believe federalism w\h\b soundly defeated). Ratification (Article VII)<=regime changed [1788] the Articles of Confederation Government (AOCG: Hanson first President of the USA in Congress) [it was the AOCG that defeated the British Armies in America [1777] and that contributed the 1776 Declaration of Independence to the world, not the USA]. After regime change; USA, old British wealth and corporate cronies were back in charge of governing America. Today they might be called the deep state.

Fourthly, We, the American public, are spectators. An audience by Jackrabbit @ 36..

Fifthly, no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

I think the governed must look to the constitution to see how the governors have made this happen.

My take is that civil liberties never existed in America.. the only civil liberties that Americans have ever enjoyed were those expressed in contractual promises (offered in the first 10 <=amendments of the COUS) and that courts were obliged to affirm because it would defeat the propaganda that such rights actually exist. How enforceable do you think a promise in a contract are that governors will not infringe the human rights promises made therein?

Over 200 years, during war time, the governors have suspended such rights and during normal times the only way to prevent infringement has often been to engage lawyers and costly expensive courts.. to remind the governors that it is important for propaganda purposes to honor the promises made in the amendments to the constitution? Its a joke to assume that a clause in an amended contract would be honored when it is inconvenient to the promissors; ie. Julian Assange?

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? by: Robert Snefjella @ 42 <= the mind control weapons that fire bullets made of propaganda are extremely powerful..

Robert Snefjella , Nov 6 2019 11:37 utc | 53
Re posted by: snake | Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion.

Its 'supreme' status renders thoughts of ongoing improvement disabled. And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag.

This is helped along by a frequent stirring rendition of the national anthem, which has bombs exploding for the land of the "brave and the free".

(As an aside note of some curiosity and immeasurable impact, in Canada there is much swearing of allegiance to the very aged titular head of the dysfunctional 'Royal Family' of the UK.) Sigh.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)

> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries

I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.

politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8

> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning

You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).

Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).

Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.

"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9

> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.

Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.

And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.

Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.

The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.

[Oct 28, 2019] New York Times Confirms It's Trump Versus the Deep State by Robert W. Merry

Oct 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This is too idealizing Trump coverage. Whel thestrggle with the Deep state is real, Trump like Obama before him proved to be "betrayer of his election promises in chief" rather then the fighter. Also the oligarchs who financed his election such as Adelson were most argent Zionists, which exclude any real change from day one.

It is incorrect to say that Trump wanted to fulfill his election promises such as withdeaval from Afganistan and Syria. He was co-opted by the Deep State as ealry as in April 2017 when his ordered strikes on Syria based on clearly false flag operation about Douma poinosning ( BBC producer admits Douma attack was false flag that nearly sparked Russia - U.S. hot war (Video)

The New York Times on Thursday published a remarkable piece that essentially acknowledged the existence of an American "deep state" and its implacable hostility to Donald Trump. The Times writers (fully five on the byline: Peter Baker, Lara Jakes, Julian E. Barnes, Sharon LaFraniere, and Edward Wong) certainly don't decry the existence of this deep state, as so many conservatives and Trump supporters do. Nor do they refrain from the kinds of value-charged digs and asides against Trump that have illuminated the paper's consistent bias against the president from the beginning.

But they do portray the current impeachment drama as the likely denouement of a struggle between the outsider Trump and the insider administrative forces of government. In so doing, they implicitly give support to those who have argued that American foreign policy has become the almost exclusive domain of unelected bureaucrats impervious to the views of elected officials -- even presidents -- who may harbor outlooks different from their own.

This is a big deal because, even in today's highly charged political environment, with a sitting president under constant guerrilla attack, few have been willing to acknowledge any such deep state phenomenon. When in the spring of 2018, The National Interest asked 12 presumed experts -- historians, writers, former government officials, and think tank mavens -- to weigh in on whether there was in fact such a thing as a deep state, eight said no, two waffled with a "sort of" response, and only two said yes. Former Colorado senator Gary Hart made fun of the whole concept, warning of "sly devils meeting in the furnace room after hours, passing out assignments for subverting the current administration."

But now the Times ' Baker et al weigh in with an analysis saying that, yes, Trump has been battling something that some see as a deep state, and the deep state is winning. The headline: "Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him." There's an explanatory subhed that reads: "The impeachment inquiry is in some ways the culmination of a battle between the president and the government institutions he distrusted and disparaged."

As the Times reporters put it in the story text, "The House impeachment inquiry into Mr.Trump's efforts to force Ukraine to investigate Democrats is the climax of a 33-month scorched-earth struggle between a president with no record of public service and the government he inherited but never trusted." Leaving aside the requisite rapier thrust at the president ("with no record of public service"), this is a pretty good summation of the Trump presidency -- the story of entrenched government bureaucrats and a president who sought to curb their power. Or, put another way, the story of a president who sought to rein in the deep state and a deep state that sought to destroy his presidency.

Baker and his colleagues clearly think the president is on the ropes. They quote Virginia's Democratic Representative Gerald Connolly as saying the nation is headed toward a kind of "karmic justice," with the House impeachment inquiry now giving opportunity to once-anonymous officials to "speak out, speak up, testify about and against."

Connolly and the Times reporters are probably right. The House seems headed inexorably toward impeachment. The president's struggle against the deep state appears now to be a lost cause. To prevail, he needed to marshal far more public support for his agenda -- including curtailment of the deep state -- than he proved capable of doing. He is a beleaguered president and is likely to remain so throughout the remainder of his term.

The reporters note that Trump sought from the beginning to minimize the role of career officials. He gave more ambassadorships to political appointees -- "the highest rate in history," say the reporters (without noting that Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan weren't far behind). The result, they write, has been "an exodus from public service." They quote a "nonpartisan organization" saying the Trump administration lost nearly 1,200 senior career service employees in its first 18 months -- roughly 40 percent more than during President Barack Obama's first year and a half in office.

Finding a Vaccine for the Impeachment Derangement Virus No, Trump Isn't Too Stupid to Be Impeached

The reporters reveal a letter from 36 former foreign service officers to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo complaining that he had "failed to protect civil servants from political retaliation" and citing the removal of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Another letter signed by more than 270 former employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development expressed anger at the treatment of public servants and the president's "cavalier (and quite possibly corrupt) approach to making foreign policy."

The tone of the Times piece seems to suggest these expressions and actions constitute a kind of indictment of Trump. But a more objective appraisal would be that it is merely the outward manifestation of that "33-month scorched-earth struggle" the Times was talking about. Does a president have a right to fire an ambassador? How serious an offense is it when he appoints political figures to ambassadorships at a rate slightly higher than some previous presidents? If foreign policy careerists decide to leave the government because they don't like the president's effort to rein in foreign policy careerists, is that a black mark on the president -- or merely the natural result of a fundamental intragovernmental struggle?

But the Times reporters give the game away more explicitly in cataloguing a list of instances where those careerists sought to undermine the president because they found his policy decisions contemptible. "While many career employees have left," writes the Times , " some of those who stayed have resisted some of Mr. Trump's initiatives." When the president canceled large war games with South Korea, the military held them anyway -- only on a smaller scale and without fanfare. Diplomats negotiated an agreement before a NATO summit to foreclose any Trump action based on a different outlook. When the White House ordered foreign aid frozen this year, agency officials quietly worked with Congress to get it restored. State Department officials enlisted congressional allies to hinder Trump's efforts to initiate weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and other nations.

Further, as the Times writes, "When transcripts of [Trump's] telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked, it convinced him that he could not trust the career staff and so records of subsequent call were stashed away in a classified database." And that was very early in his presidency, about the time Trump also learned there was a nasty dossier out there that was designed to provide grist for anyone interested in undermining or destroying his presidency.

And of course, now governmental officials are lining up before the House impeachment panel to slam the president over his effort to get Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and Biden's son, Hunter, and his apparently related decision to hold up $391 million in security aid to Ukraine. As I have written in this space previously, this outlandish action by Trump constituted a profound lapse in judgment that was a kind of dare for opposition Democrats to fire off the impeachment cannon. And fire it off they have. "Now," writes the Times , "[Trump] faces the counteroffensive."

But that doesn't take away from the central point of the Times story -- that Trump and the deep state have been in mortal combat since the beginning of his administration. And the stakes are huge.

Trump wanted to restore at least somewhat cordial relations with Russia, whereas the deep state considered that the height of folly. Trump wanted to get out of Afghanistan, whereas the deep state totally opposed such a move. Trump viewed America's role in Syria as focused on defeating ISIS, whereas the deep state wanted to continue favoring the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump was wary of letting events in Ukraine draw America into a direct confrontation with Russia, whereas the deep state wants to wrest Ukraine out of Russia's sphere of influence even if it means opening tensions with the Bear. Trump wanted to bring China to account for its widespread abuse of normal trading practices, whereas the deep state clung to "free trade'' even in the face of such abuse.

These are big issues facing America. And the question hovering over the country as the impeachment drama proceeds is: are these matters open to debate in America? Or will the deep state suppress any such debate? And can a president -- any president -- pursue the Trump policy options without being subjected to the powerful yet subtle machinations of a wily bureaucracy bent on preserving its status and outlook?

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .

Trump=Obama 3 hours ago

Trump has been the boss for 33 months. He promised to "lock up corrupt Hillary and drain the swamp". All he has done is play the victim as though he is a powerless outsider. That is what Democrats do. Maybe, Trump is really a Democrat ?

[Oct 27, 2019] What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"!

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Oct 27 2019 2:44 utc | 56

@41 Jackrabbit

If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge

Trump at first threw down the gauntlet to the spies and proclaimed his autocratic prerogative when God held off the rain for his inauguration (!) but now he would gladly get on his knees between Gina Haspel's legs if the CIA would only help him stay in power.

What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"! It's staring us all in the face.

[Oct 25, 2019] According to the latest news, Trump will send tanks into Syria to help the Kurds secure the oil. It's hard to understand why the Elders of the Deep State want to impeach Trump

Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

Fool's Paradise, says: October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT

And now, according to the latest news, Trump will send tanks into Syria to help the Kurds secure the oil for Israel. It's hard to understand why the Elders of the Deep State want to impeach Trump. He has done everything they wanted, moved the embassy, gave Syria's Golan Heights to Israel, never criticizes the illegal settlements in Palestine. What else do they want from him?

[Oct 23, 2019] When Trump Ignored Bad Advice He Enabled Progress In Syria

Notable quotes:
"... This "man" has never been anything else but a grifter and giant con. Virtually everything he has done, he's done to enrich himself and his family. That is, besides deconstruct the U$ govt. to enrich his class of people, (the malignantly rich) by dialing back regulations that protect everyday Americans from the greed of the mega-corporations. ..."
"... Trump had long announced that the U.S. military will leave Syria. He had made no promises to the Kurds. The State Department official did not do his job but contradicted Trump's policies. ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Commentator ben and others critizised yesterday's post:

b, I've been a participant at this site for 14yrs, and I don't believe I've ever seen your take on any subject more "off base", than your take on DJT.

This "man" has never been anything else but a grifter and giant con. Virtually everything he has done, he's done to enrich himself and his family. That is, besides deconstruct the U$ govt. to enrich his class of people, (the malignantly rich) by dialing back regulations that protect everyday Americans from the greed of the mega-corporations.

He's a sycophant for the corporate monsters who now own the U$A. Anything and everything he's done, isn't because he is such an egalitarian, it's for his personal enrichment, and the monsters he works for.

When they're done with him, they'll throw him under the bus, just like all the rest of us...

I agree with ben's characterization of Trump. I dislike most of his policies. But that does not change the fact that Donald Trump is the elected president of the United States and that he is thereby entitled to direct its foreign policies as he sees fit.

Ben's and my opinion about Trump do not invalidate the point I made. Trump policies, especially in international relations, are getting sabotaged or co-opted by the Borg , the unelected establishment in the various departments and think tanks. This is a dangerous phenomenon that, more or less, hinders every elected president, especially those who want to make peace. It should be resisted.

The people in leading positions of the executive work "at the pleasure of the president". Their task is to execute his policies. When they refrain from doing so or implement their own preferences they create a mess.

Consider two additional examples, both published yesterday, which describe how James Jeffrey, the Special Representative for Syria Engagement, tried to sabotage Trump's decision to leave Syria and, while doing that, misled the Kurds:

A State Department official told a senior Syrian Kurdish leader during a meeting in Washington that the United States would not fully withdraw its forces from northeast Syria and advised her administration not to engage with Bashar al-Assad's government or with Russia.

According to two sources familiar with the Monday, October 22 meeting, a senior member of Washington's diplomatic team is said to have become angry and told Ilham Ahmed, President of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, that the U.S. will not allow the SDC to arrange a deal with the Assad regime or Russia for protection against the Turkey-led attack.
...
SDC officials told The Defense Post that American officials in the past have promised they would not withdraw U.S. forces until a political settlement was in place to secure their future in the Syrian political system.

Trump had long announced that the U.S. military will leave Syria. He had made no promises to the Kurds. The State Department official did not do his job but contradicted Trump's policies.

Another report on an earlier State Department meeting with the Kurds paints a similar picture :

The National Interest has learned from multiple sources about tense meetings between SDC diplomats and State Department officials who oversee the Trump administration's policy on Syria. The State Department repeatedly pushed for the SDC to work with Turkish-backed Islamist rebels while berating Syrian Kurdish officials and refusing to listen to their concerns, according to multiple sources.

One source with firsthand knowledge of the screaming session told the National Interest that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joel Rayburn, who is a special envoy for Syria, yelled at SDC officials and broke a pencil in a translator's face. Two sources with secondhand knowledge confirmed this version of events.

"[Rayburn] loves the Syrian Islamist groups," one of the three sources said. "He thinks they can counter Iran. He is dreaming."

"He is pushing [the SDC] to meet with jihadists," the source added.

To tell the anarcho-marxist YPG/PKK Kurds to unite with Erdogan's Jihadis is an absolutely crazy idea. Neither the Kurds nor Erdogan would ever agree to a partnership. These were impossible policies. They made no sense at all.

Jeffrey and his shop clearly worked against Trump's orders and against U.S. interests. Jeffrey clearly favors Turkey where he once worked as U.S. ambassador and, above all, Israel:

In addition to the uptick in tense verbal exchanges, the three different sources described to the National Interest how State Department officials attempted to condemn the brutal murder of Kurdish-Syrian politician Hevrin Khalaf only to have their efforts waylayed by Ambassador James Jeffrey, who oversees anti-ISIS efforts. Jeffrey blocked the statement, they said.
...
Now, even as U.S. troops are stepping aside to allow Turkey to attack U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces, Jeffrey's team is floating plans to peel off Arab components of the Syrian Democratic Forces to build a counter-Iran force far from the Turkish border.

It is Jeffrey who is pressing for a continued U.S. occupation of Syria's oilfields. These are not Trump's policies, but contradictions to them.

Aymenn Al-Tamimi makes a similar point :

When [Trump in December 2018] told his advisers that he wanted to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, he meant it. The message should have been clear: devise an orderly withdrawal plan.

But that is not what happened. Instead, efforts and attention were geared towards U.S. forces remaining indefinitely in Syria.

One can criticize Trump for not selecting advisors and envoys who follow his directions. But Trump is a New Yorker businessman and not a politician with decades of experience in Washington. He does not know who he can trust. He has to proceed by trial and error until he finds people who are willing to go work with him against those permanent powers that usually drive U.S. foreign policy.

In a congress hearing yesterday James Jeffrey admitted (vid) that Trump did not consult him before his phone call with Erdogan.

By going off-scrip in that phone call and by greenlighting the Turkish invasion Trump achieved - despite the resistance within his own administration - a win-win-win-win situation in Syria :

Erdogan could show that he was fighting against the PKK terrorists and prevented their attempts to become a proto-state. Trump could hold his campaign promise of removing U.S. troops from useless foreign interventions. Syria regained its northeast and the important economic resources of that area. Russia gained global prestige and additional influence in the Middle East.

We will have to wait for Trump's (and Putin's) memoir to learn how much of this has been coordinated behind the scenes.

I for one count this as a major foreign policy achievement for Trump and I am happy with this outcome .

[Sep 14, 2019] What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up

Notable quotes:
"... As in every election we're now being bombarded with propaganda about how "your vote makes a difference" and associated nonsense. According to the official version ordinary citizens control the state by voting for candidates in elections. The President and other politicians are supposedly servants of "the people" and the government an instrument of the general populace. This version is a myth. ..."
"... It does not matter who is elected because the way the system is set up all elected representatives must do what big business and the state bureaucracy want, not what "the people" want. Elected representatives are figureheads. ..."
"... Politicians' rhetoric may change depending on who is elected, but they all have to implement the same policies given the same situation. Elections are a scam whose function is to create the illusion that "the people" control the government, not the elite, and to neutralize resistance movements. All voting does is strengthen the state & ruling class, it is not an effective means to change government policy. ..."
"... What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up. Bush the second said he wouldn't engage in "nation-building" (taking other countries over) during the 2000 election campaign but has done it several times. He also claimed to support a balanced budget, but obviously abandoned that. Clinton advocated universal health care during the 1992 election campaign but there were more people without health insurance when he left office than when he took office. Bush the first said, "read my lips – no new taxes!" while running for office but raised taxes anyway. Reagan promised to shrink government but he drastically expanded the military-industrial complex and ran up huge deficits. Rather than shrinking government, he reoriented it to make it more favorable to the rich. ..."
"... Carter promised to make human rights the "soul of our foreign policy" but funded genocide in East Timor and backed brutal dictators in Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia and elsewhere. During the 1964 elections leftists were encouraged by Democrats to vote for Johnson because Goldwater, his Republican opponent, was a fanatical warmonger who would escalate US involvement in Vietnam. ..."
"... Johnson won, and immediately proceeded to escalate US involvement in Vietnam. FDR promised to maintain a balanced budget and restrain government spending but did the exact opposite. Wilson won reelection in 1916 on the slogan "he kept us out of war" but then lied us into World War One. Hoover pledged to abolish poverty in 1928 but instead saw it skyrocket. ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Johnny Walker Read says: September 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm GMT 2

I have no Idea when this article was printed, but it matters not. This holds true for every election ever held in America.

If voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it.


As in every election we're now being bombarded with propaganda about how "your vote makes a difference" and associated nonsense. According to the official version ordinary citizens control the state by voting for candidates in elections. The President and other politicians are supposedly servants of "the people" and the government an instrument of the general populace. This version is a myth.

It does not matter who is elected because the way the system is set up all elected representatives must do what big business and the state bureaucracy want, not what "the people" want. Elected representatives are figureheads.

Politicians' rhetoric may change depending on who is elected, but they all have to implement the same policies given the same situation. Elections are a scam whose function is to create the illusion that "the people" control the government, not the elite, and to neutralize resistance movements. All voting does is strengthen the state & ruling class, it is not an effective means to change government policy.

https://www.bigeye.com/elections.htm

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT

From the same article, a list of campaign promises never kept (needs to be updated with Obama/Trump).

What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up. Bush the second said he wouldn't engage in "nation-building" (taking other countries over) during the 2000 election campaign but has done it several times. He also claimed to support a balanced budget, but obviously abandoned that. Clinton advocated universal health care during the 1992 election campaign but there were more people without health insurance when he left office than when he took office. Bush the first said, "read my lips – no new taxes!" while running for office but raised taxes anyway. Reagan promised to shrink government but he drastically expanded the military-industrial complex and ran up huge deficits. Rather than shrinking government, he reoriented it to make it more favorable to the rich.

Carter promised to make human rights the "soul of our foreign policy" but funded genocide in East Timor and backed brutal dictators in Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia and elsewhere. During the 1964 elections leftists were encouraged by Democrats to vote for Johnson because Goldwater, his Republican opponent, was a fanatical warmonger who would escalate US involvement in Vietnam.

Johnson won, and immediately proceeded to escalate US involvement in Vietnam. FDR promised to maintain a balanced budget and restrain government spending but did the exact opposite. Wilson won reelection in 1916 on the slogan "he kept us out of war" but then lied us into World War One. Hoover pledged to abolish poverty in 1928 but instead saw it skyrocket.
https://www.bigeye.com/elections.htm

[Sep 02, 2019] The Imperial Presidency of Donald Trump A Threat to American Democracy and an Agent of Chaos in the World - Global ResearchGl

Sep 02, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Imperial Presidency of Donald Trump: A Threat to American Democracy and an Agent of Chaos in the World? By Prof Rodrigue Tremblay Global Research, August 25, 2019 Region: USA Theme: Global Economy , Police State & Civil Rights , US NATO War Agenda

With awareness and foresight, this incisive article on the US empire and the concurrent demise of democracy in America was published on February 15, 2017 shortly after Trump's presidential inauguration.

In the words of Julius Caesar , "you cannot build an Empire with a Republic."

" In order to obtain and hold power a man must love it. Thus the effort to get it is not likely to be coupled with goodness, but with the opposite qualities of pride, craft and cruelty. Without exalting self and abasing others, without hypocrisy, lying, prisons, fortresses, penalties, killing, no power can arise or hold its own." Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), (in 'The Kingdom of God is Within You' 1894.)

"The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), (in The Conquest of Happiness, ch. 1, 1930.)

" Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. " Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States, 1861-65; (N. B.: Originally found and attributed to Lincoln in a biography entitled " Abraham Lincoln, the Backwoods Boy " by Horatio Alger Jr., pub. in 1883.)

"Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad." James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the US Constitution, 4th American President, (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798.)

" When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), (It Can't Happen Here, 1935, a novel about the election of a fascist to the American presidency.)

When 46.1% of Americans who voted , in November 2016, to elect a real estate magnate in the person of Donald Trump as U.S. President, they did not know precisely what they were buying, because, as the quote above says, we really know how a politician will behave only once he or she assumes power. Americans surely did not expect that the promised "change" the Republican presidential candidate envisioned and promised was going to be, in fact, "chaos" and "turmoil" in the U.S. government.

President Donald Trump (1946- ) has surrounded himself with three politically inexperienced Rasputin-like advisers, i.e. his young pro-Israel Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner (1981- ), advising on foreign policy and acting as a speech writer, and his far right media executive and chief political strategist Steve Bannon (1953- ) with an apocalyptic worldview, who is, moreover, a voting permanent member of the National Security Council ( NSC ). Stephen Miller (1985- ), 31, also a young inexperienced senior White House adviser, completes the trio. He is working with Jared Kushner for domestic affairs and is also a Trump speechwriter.

Stephen Miller (1985- ) Jared Kushner (1981- )

Three weeks after his inauguration, President Trump has turned out to be a much more erratic politician than could have been expected, even after all the inanities he uttered during the U.S. Presidential campaign.

I, for one, thought that once elected president and installed in the White House, he would abandon his tweeting eccentricities. -- I was wrong .

Stephen Bannon (1953- )

In fact, for a few weeks after inauguration day, on January 20, 2017, before the nominated secretaries of various government departments were confirmed by the Senate, and anxious to " get the show going ", the Trump White House behaved like an imperial junta, issuing a string of executive orders and memos . The objective, seemingly, was to force the hands of the responsible departments and of the elected Congress, and to bend the entire U.S. bureaucracy to its agenda. It may have gone too far.

Indeed, when the heads of important departments like the Department of Defense ( James Mattis, right) and the State Department ( Rex Tillerson ) were confirmed and assumed their functions, President Trump changed his mind on many policies about Israel , China , the Iran Deal etc.

U.S. courts have also thrown a monkey wrench in the blanket executive order closing the U.S. borders without recourse to the citizens of seven Muslim countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen), for spurious " security reasons ".

Let us recall how the inexperienced Trump White House has created chaos during the first weeks following inauguration day.

President Donald Trump has shown a propensity to govern by decree with a minimum input from government departments and from the elected Congress

A dangerous and potentially disastrous approach to government, in a democracy, occurs when a leader adopts the practice of governing by decree , without constitutional constraints, thus forcing the hands of responsible departments, of the elected Congress and submitting the entire U.S. bureaucracy to his will by governing as an autocrat. If it were to continue on that road, the Trump administration could turn out to be more like a would-be imperial presidency than a responsible democratic government.

This term was first coined by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in his 1973 book The Imperial Presidency , in response to President Richard Nixon's attempt to extend the power of the U.S. president, declaring " when the president does it, that means it is not illegal ". In my own 2003 book The New American Empire , I dealt with the issue of American presidents having usurped over time the power to adopt a policy of global intervention, and the power to launch wars of aggression at will, with a minimum input from Congress.

President Trump seems to want to outdo President Nixon in considering the White House as the primary center of political power within the American government, contrary to what the U.S. Constitution says about the separation of powers.

The American Military Empire: Is Trump Its Would-be Emperor?

To be sure, other American presidents have issued executive orders and presidential memos early in their administration, but this was mainly to re-establish procedures that a previous administration had abandoned. They usually did not deal with fundamental and complex policies without debate, although many did .

In the case of President Trump, his executive orders and presidential memos have not only been multiple, they also have dealt with fundamental policies, without consulting and requesting the professional input of the Secretary and of the department responsible, be it on healthcare, abortion, international trade, immigration, oil exploration, justice, etc., and without producing policy papers to explain the rationale behind the policy changes and without outlining the objectives being pursued.

When such a development of governing by decree has occurred in other countries, democracy was the loser, and the consequences for the leader and his country turned out to be disastrous.

President Donald Trump seems to be anxious to find pretexts to pick fights with other countries: For him, it seems to be the U.S. against the world

In a March 2007 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the future presidential candidate Donald Trump said that President George W. Bush had been a disaster in foreign relations and that he was " the worst American president in the history of the United States ", adding that he " should have been impeached " because he lied his way into a war of aggression against Iraq and sent thousands of people to their death. This is an assessment that he has repeated on numerous occasions.

However, ironically, President Donald Trump seems to be on the same track as George W. Bush regarding the country of Iran, using lies and false claims to pick a fight with that country, and in so doing, echoing the hysterical rhetoric of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . He has also recklessly insulted the heads of a half dozen countries , even going so far as to threaten the President of Mexico to invade his country. As to his criticism of President George W. Bush, it seems that really, " it takes one to know one "!

President Trump should be reminded of what he promised as a presidential candidate. In a foreign policy speech delivered on Wednesday April 27, 2016, he declared "Unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength. Although not in government service, I was totally against the war in Iraq, very proudly, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East."

President Donald Trump has been less than candid regarding the influence of the Wall Street lobby on politicians, including himself

During the 2016 Presidential political campaign, candidate Donald Trump was very critical of politicians who do the heavy lifting for Wall Street firms in Washington D.C. On many occasions, Mr. Trump said that Wall Street is a symbol of a corrupt establishment that has been robbing America's working class and enriching the elite. He also tweeted point blank, on July 28, 2016, that Secretary Hillary Clinton was " owned by Wall Street " and that Wall Street banks had " total, total control " over his rivals Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, implying that they were unfit for the Office of the President. On October 19, 2016, Mr. Trump tweeted that " crooked Hillary is nothing more than a Wall Street Puppet ", thus presenting himself as the populist defender of the working class against the financial elite.

But guess what? One of Mr. Trump's first moves as President was to order the undoing of the banking regulations known as the Dodd-Frank legislation , which was adopted in 2010, after the 2008 subprime financial crisis. President Trump thus quickly answered the main request made by the very Wall Street mega banks that he had accused previously of corrupting Washington politicians. He went even further when he named a former Goldman Sachs banker, Steven Mnuchin ,(right) as his Treasury Secretary.

Also, Mr. Trump has reached to the mega-bank Goldman Sachs for help and support. He name Mr. Gary Cohn (1960- ), president of Goldman Sachs , head of the President's National Economic Council, thus making sure that Wall Street bankers will have a big say in his administration's economic and financial policies.

Was his lambasting of his opponents as Wall Street banks' puppets simply campaign rhetoric without substance? That is certainly a question worth asking.

President Donald Trump's continuous attacks against the free press and against independent judges who rule against his policies is an authoritarian approach to government and is a violation of the separation of powers

On Monday February 6, President Trump launched a barrage of off-the-cuff intimidating insults at the American news media, accusing them of " refusing to report on terrorist attack s", without providing any evidence to back up such serious accusations. He has also attempted to intimidate judges who have to rule on the constitutionality of some of his decrees and threatened their judiciary independence .

Such behavior is a violation of, and contempt for the separation of powers clause in the U.S. Constitution and is a frontal attack against the free press .

This is not a trivial matter, because when an authoritarian regime wants to establish itself and avoid accountability, it usually attacks the legislative and the judiciary branches of government to pressure them to toe the line of the executive branch, and it tries to silence the very institutions that can put the false statements of politicians to the test.

President Donald Trump has a mercantilist view of international trade, which is rejected by nearly all economists

President Donald Trump seems to think that his country should have trade surpluses on goods and services vis-à-vis other countries, the latter being saddled with trade deficits, whatever the overall balance of payments of the United States, especially its capital account, and whatever the domestic and foreign economic circumstances. This is economically false. That is not the way adjustments in the balance of payments of a country work, in a multilateral world.

When Donald Trump places all the emphasis on only one part of the balance of payments, the trade balance, he misses the point. For example, if a country lives beyond its means and borrows money from abroad, such foreign borrowing appears as an inflow of foreign capital in the country. Such an inflow of foreign capital causes an excess of domestic spending over its production, and that helps finance an excess of imports over exports of goods and services with the rest of the world. The capital account of the country shows a surplus, while the trade balance (more precisely the current account) indicates a deficit, thus balancing more or less each other.

The main reason why the United States is registering trade deficits is because it borrows too much from abroad.

This is partly due to the fact that the U.S. government runs huge fiscal deficits , spending more than its tax revenues, and borrowing money both from the private sector and from foreigners, thus increasing the public debt. Such deficits often are the result of tax reductions and of increased military expenditures. The fact that the world economy uses the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency represents an interest-free loan that the rest of the world makes to the United States, which allows the USA to have a chronic trade deficit. Mr. Trump and his advisers would be wise to understand these truths of international finance.

If his administration wants to reduce the annual U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world, the U.S. government should balance its books and reduce its foreign borrowings. Trade wars will not improve the U.S. trade balance if the country keeps over-spending and keeps borrowing from abroad. They would only make matters worse.

For many decades now, the U.S. government has piled up debt upon debt while running continuous fiscal deficits , mainly due to the fact that it has been waging costly wars abroad, while financing such interventions with foreign money. This is a problem that American politicians must understand if they don't want their country to go bankrupt. This has happened in the past to other overextended empires , and there is no reason why it should not happen today when a country continuously spends more than it produces. And wars do not produce anything, except death and destruction.

Hopes of putting an end to the Middle East chaos have greatly diminished

One of the positive results of the Trump election was the promise to end the deadly chaos in the Middle East. During the presidential campaign and once in power, Mr. Trump threw some cold water on that promise.

Firstly, in his March 21, 2016 speech to AIPAC , he flattered his rich Zionist donors by announcing his intention to break with the half-century policy of most western nations that considers the city of Jerusalem a United Nations protected zone and an international city occupied by Arabs, Christians and Jews. He declared " we will move the American embassy [from Tel Aviv] to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem ."

Secondly, on Thursday December 15, 2016, to make sure that everybody understands that he is one-sided in the more than half a century old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President-elect Trump announced his choice of a hardliner pro-Israeli settlements on privately-owned Palestinian lands for U.S. ambassador to Israel (in fact, David Friedman , his former bankruptcy lawyer). The new ambassador didn't waste any time in professing that he was looking forward to doing his job " from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem ."

And, thirdly, seemingly forgetting that he had criticized Secretary Clinton for proposing a similar dangerously reckless policy, President Trump announced, on January 25, that he " will absolutely do safe zones in Syria ", seemingly without considering if it was legal to do so without the consent of the Syrian government, and without consulting with the three principal countries (Russia, Turkey and Iran), which had just concluded a peace plan for Syria. He opted instead to talk to leaders of Saudi Arabia and of the United Arab Emirates -- two countries known to be sponsoring terrorism in Syria.

The world is afraid of President Donald Trump: Doomsday Clock scientists have concluded that humanity is just two-and-a-half minutes from the apocalypse

Late in January, the scientists in charge of the Doomsday Clock set the clock at just two-and-a-half minutes from the apocalypse, allegedly because of Donald Trump. They said that the businessman turned politician, with his disturbing and ill-considered pronouncements and policies, has the potential to drive the Planet to oblivion.

This means that they consider that the Earth is now closer to oblivion than it has ever been since 1953, at the height of the nuclear confrontation between the USA and the Soviet Union.

The existential threats facing the Earth now come from the loose talk about using nuclear weapons and the proliferation of such weapons, as well as the observed acceleration of climate change.

Conclusion

All considered, the turn of events since the election of Donald Trump has raised a number of fears that a lot of things could go wrong in the coming years. Many of the policies advanced by the Trump administration are the wrong remedies for the problems facing the United States and the world. In fact, many of these ill-conceived policies are more likely to make matters worse, possibly much worse, than to improve them.

Things seem to have begun to change somewhat with the arrival of newly confirmed secretaries in the decision-making process and new advisers. Let us hope that cooler heads will bring experience, knowledge and competence to a Trump administration that cruelly needs it.

*

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Economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book "The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of " The New American Empire " .

[Sep 02, 2019] Opinion Useful Idiots and Trumpist Billionaires by Paul Krugman

It is true that hate of financial oligarchy fuels anti-Semitism but here Trump is just one small step since 1980 to make this situation happen. The neoliberal elite achieves some success by trying to substitute anti-Semitism with Russophobia, but the essence of Russophobia, as displayed anti-Semitism is the same -- this is an attempt to deflect critique of neoliberal elite and patch the cracks in the neoliberal facade of the US society.
The problem is not Trump but neoliberalism. Krugman who is neoliberal stooge would never admit that. In essence he is a useful idiot for financial oligarchy in in Lenin's terminology. And always was.
The real situation is that Wall Street banks and financial oligarchs despite overrepresentation of a particular nationality in them are interested in imposing the neo-fascist regime on the country and will finance the leader and the party which strive to do that because they are afraid to lose the power and money as the result of the collapse of neoliberalism. So this 1920 in the new colorful, gadget filled packaging. Few US citizens would name US business moguls who help the rise of Hitler. They include some well known families.
Notable quotes:
"... It's true that Trump (breaking all his campaign promises) has indeed cut taxes on the wealthy, and will surely cut them further if re-elected. By contrast, whoever the Democrats nominate is likely to raise those taxes if she or he wins the general election, perhaps substantially. ..."
"... People who've studied the extremely rich argue that money, for them, is largely not about being able to buy things but is instead a way of keeping score; their satisfaction comes not from more consumption but from overtaking their perceived peers. ..."
"... And tax cuts don't help on that dimension, since your peers get the same tax breaks you do. ..."
Sep 02, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

It's true that Trump (breaking all his campaign promises) has indeed cut taxes on the wealthy, and will surely cut them further if re-elected. By contrast, whoever the Democrats nominate is likely to raise those taxes if she or he wins the general election, perhaps substantially.

But let's get real. If you're a billionaire, you don't need the extra money. At that level, purchasing power has nothing to do with the quality of life; having a 45,000-square-foot house instead of just 40,000, or flying to one of your multiple other residences in a bigger private jet, won't make you significantly happier.

People who've studied the extremely rich argue that money, for them, is largely not about being able to buy things but is instead a way of keeping score; their satisfaction comes not from more consumption but from overtaking their perceived peers.

And tax cuts don't help on that dimension, since your peers get the same tax breaks you do.

More to the point, Trumpism is about much more than tax cuts: It's an attempt to end the rule of law and impose an authoritarian, white nationalist regime. And even billionaires should be terrified about what their lives will be like if that attempt succeeds.

...Ross is Jewish -- and anyone Jewish has to be completely ignorant of history not to know that when bigotry runs free, we're always next in line for persecution.

In fact, the ingredients for an American pogrom are already in place. The El Paso shooting suspect, like many right-wing terrorists, is a believer in " replacement theory " -- the claim that immigration is part of a vast conspiracy to replace whites with people of color. And who's behind that conspiracy? You know who: "Jews will not replace us," declared the torch-carrying marchers in Charlottesville.

Is Trump a replacement theory guy? The replacement theorists think so.

... ... ...

By the way, the greed part is obvious. But it has also been clear since the Obama years that a fair number of the superrich aren't satisfied with being immensely wealthy; they also want adulation. They expect to be praised as heroic job creators and are enraged at any suggestion that some of their number may have behaved badly, let alone that they may have benefited from a rigged system.

Hence the hatred for even reasonable, pro-market progressives like, say, Elizabeth Warren. It's not just that these progressives might make billionaires a bit poorer, but that they make them feel small.


Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ Aug. 12

There is abundant academic research demonstrating that the rich are not nice people. People driving luxury cars are more likely to cut off other cars and pedestrians instead of waiting their turn at an intersection or crosswalk. The wealthiest 20% of Americans give significantly less to charity as a fraction of income (1.4%) than the poorest 20 % do (3.5%), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Researchers have found that wealthier people are more likely to believe that selfishness is a virtue. They are more likely to agree with statements that say that being greedy is justified, even beneficial. The rich have a people problem; they don't like people. Greed is a disease, but there is one good way to treat it: with fair taxation. America's income tax, payroll tax and sales tax codes are giant Christmas buffets for the rich that allow them to systematically dodge taxes while feigning persecution. And the truly perverted part is that the 2017 Trump-GOP 0.1% Welfare Tax Cut Act not only gave the 0.1% untold billions in gravy, but the 0.1% then proceeded to 're-invest' part of that 0.1% welfare right back into the Trump-GOP corrupt campaign coffers, creating a sickening loop of 0.1% Republican corruption of the tax code and campaign finance corruption. In short, you can support the Grand Oligarch Party or you can support a decent American civilization, but you can't do both. It's well past time to evict the Greed Over People party from the American politiscape. 25 Replies
hen3ry Westchester, NY Aug. 13 Times Pick
One of the most interesting things about the modern British Royal Family is how often its members have served in the military. Another notable thing is how much they do for charity. They needn't do anything but it seems that they take their responsibilities as the Royal Family to heart. They do, for the most part, try to set an example to the nation they lead. (Yes, it's a constitutional monarchy and most of the power resides in Parliament but the family doesn't have to set any examples at all if it doesn't want to.) Here in America a great many of our richest families do not serve the country in any way, shape or form except one: they form PACS with innocuous names like Americans For Prosperity or Citizens for a Sound Economy and use them to push an agenda that hurts 99% of us. We had a vice president, Dick Cheney, who was quite happy to have a war in Iraq even though he avoided the draft during the Vietnam War. In other words, he liked the sound of war but had no idea about what was involved in running a war or anything else associated with a war. In America we confuse riches with intelligence, being virtuous, and wisdom. In truth all being very rich does is to insulate a person from the worst hardships of life. There is no reason to offer the rich generous tax breaks. They do not spend the money; they invest it and it's not invested in us. If they are true patriots they will pay their taxes. 8/12/2019 10:29pm
GLO NYC Aug. 13 Times Pick
This "so called democracy" here in the U.S. has long ago been superseded by a monetized democracy. Those making large monetary contributions to elected officials rule the day. Look at the NRA, Big Pharma, Big Ag, etc. Stephen Ross is doing what many of the moneyed class in the U.S.A does today in order to be heard. Time for a big change, bring back the voice of the voting public.
Mike Tucson Aug. 12
"People who've studied the extremely rich argue that money, for them, is largely not about being able to buy things but is instead a way of keeping score; their satisfaction comes not from more consumption but from overtaking their perceived peers." Veblen would find that to be an interesting observation. If the scoring can't be seen (like having one's tenth Citation) does it generate the same impact on one's dopamine "wealth" receptors. The truth is that extreme wealth turns just about everyone into somewhat of a sociopath, unable to have any empathy for "the lower orders". Oh sure, they give a lot to charity but that too is simply a variant of conspicuous consumption. When I was an executive in a health insurance company back in the 90's, the compensation consultants would come in and say that if the executive team did not get more money, they would all leave to go to higher paying companies. While this was really not true by any objective measure, the board bought it an our salaries and bonuses exploded even though we really didn't work all that much harder. It was just free money. So the marginal utility of that added money did not result in actually harder work. Now think of the poor person who IS working so much harder, often multiple jobs. They actually deserve more money. But no, it goes to the enabled wealthy. What would Marx say? Oh, and what would Jesus say?
Jim Preston Santa Clara, CA Aug. 12
Rich industrialists financed the Nazis for sure and I think the other fascist governments in Italy and Spain as I recall. They are drawn to fascism like flies. Money does not equal brains except in tech.
Plennie Wingo Weinfelden, Switzerland Aug. 13
Story yesterday on Marketwatch that the Walton family's wealth increases by $100 million per day. Meanwhile many of their workers have to apply for public assistance to stay alive. A charming time, ours.

[Sep 01, 2019] The Trump NLRB's Anti-Labor Day Capital Main

Sep 01, 2019 | capitalandmain.com

Employee rights advocates say this Labor Day's family barbecues and union solidarity picnics will take place in the shadow of a Trump administration that has quietly stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-labor members. The federal agency is far less well-known than the IRS or EPA, but its five presidential appointees issue rulings with often far-reaching consequences for America's working men and women. The NLRB was created in 1935 to oversee collective bargaining and protect labor standards; the majority of its current board have worked for years with pro-employer firms or on behalf of industry.

Under the Trump administration, says Henry Willis , a veteran employment rights attorney at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers, "They are rolling back rights as fast as they can."

Even before Trump was elected president, labor advocates had long lamented an NLRB process weighted towards employers who have the power of the paycheck and an array of tactics to shut down union organizing drives. A 2009 study , published by the liberal Economic Policy Institute think tank, found that during 57 percent of union election processes, employers threatened to shut down their workplaces; and during 34 percent of those organizing drives, employers fired workers and used one-on-one meetings with employees to threaten them.

Study author Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says those numbers have remained steady since 2009.

Moreover, Bronfenbrenner adds, when an administration changes it's not uncommon for boards to reverse some preceding labor decisions, but that "there's a different tone to this board in that it is reversing long-held law. Not just changing rules but reversing decisions that had been agreed upon for a long time."

In other words, the NLRB under Trump represents a tectonic shift in the way the agency has traditionally operated.

Bronfenbrenner cites a recent decision that allows employers to stop bargaining and call for a new union election each time a contract approaches expiration -- in effect, inviting company employees to decertify their union. "[Employers] can just say, 'I no longer believe the union has support, and then there will be an election," she says. "Employers can do that every single time a contract expires."

Willis, who litigates on the front lines, ticks off a list illustrating a piece-by-piece dismantling of employee rights.

"The current board has been attacking Obama board decisions on issues such as [establishing] who's an independent contractor and who's an employee," he says, referring to a January 2019 revision of the standard used to determine whether independent contractors are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which, the NLRB proclaims on its website , was passed by Congress in 1935 "to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, and which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy."

The January decision makes it less likely that the contractors will be given the same rights as employees.

"That's a big issue," Willis says. "Especially with the gig economy."

Another 2017 NLRB decision upended the definition of bargaining units . An employer no longer has to recognize or bargain with smaller units within a single work location, forcing a union to do large-scale organizing.

Organizing a shoe department, Willis notes, is less daunting than organizing an entire department store.

The Obama NLRB strove to proactively extend protections to unorganized shops -- where workers are less likely to know their rights. "The Trump board is taking a reactionary approach -- pulling back wherever possible," Willis says.

* * *

Currently operating with a vacant seat , the five-member board consists of three Republicans and Obama appointee Lauren McFerran, and it's set to term out in December. Conservative interests have urged President Trump to wait until McFerran leaves and then to fill the two empty seats to lock in a unanimous pro-employer majority.

Also in the works is a restructuring of the NLRB that would centralize decision-making in Washington and bring decisions now investigated and adjudicated at the regional level under scrutiny there.

Trump general counsel appointee Peter Robb issued a 2017 memo directing NLRB regional offices to submit to his Division of Advice for review cases involving "significant legal issues . " In 2018 Robb announced an intention to reorganize the agency's 26 regional offices into a smaller number of districts that report directly to Robb -- who could then present the issues to the NLRB in a way to give cover to the board to reverse local decisions and create precedent.

"The current general counsel has been trying to shift decision-making power from the regions to D.C. and creating a new layer of administration to give him more control over how the regions handle unfair labor practice charges," says Willis. "It hasn't been carried out, but the general counsel certainly has a big foot and brings it down much more frequently these days."

It's not all bleak news for labor, however. Unions are now organizing and representing contract workers, including hundreds of thousands of janitors, whether or not the NLRB designates them as employees, says Bronfenbrenner.

She sees the most vibrant aspects today's labor movement in industries where the majority are women and men and women of color -- and notes that those constituencies were largely shunned by organized labor when it was at the height of its strength.

"Organized labor only started getting a move on when their density had gone down below down to 12 percent and that's a little late. If they had done it when their density was 50 percent or 45 percent, they could have used their bargaining power."

[Aug 26, 2019] From Voodoo Economics to Evil-Eye Economics

Notable quotes:
"... Almost four decades ago then-candidate George H.W. Bush used the phrase "voodoo economic policy" to describe Ronald Reagan's claim that cutting taxes for the rich would pay for itself. He was more prescient than he could have imagined. ..."
"... For voodoo economics isn't just a doctrine based on magical thinking. It's the ultimate policy zombie, a belief that seemingly can't be killed by evidence. It has failed every time its proponents have tried to put it into practice, but it just keeps shambling along. In fact, at this point it has eaten the brains of every significant figure in the Republican Party. Even Susan Collins, the least right-wing G.O.P. senator (although that isn't saying much), insisted that the 2017 tax cut would actually reduce the deficit. ..."
"... During the 2016 campaign Donald Trump pretended to be different, claiming that he would actually raise taxes on the rich. Once in office, however, he immediately went full voodoo. In fact, he has taken magical thinking to a new level. ..."
"... My favorite until now came from Art Laffer, the original voodoo economist and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Why did George W. Bush's tax-cutting presidency end not with a boom, but with the worst economic slump since the Great Depression? ..."
"... But Trump has gone one better. As it has become increasingly clear that the results of his tax cut were disappointing -- recent data revisions have marked down estimates of both G.D.P. and employment growth, to the point where it's hard to see more than a brief sugar high from $2 trillion in borrowing ..."
"... Officials have floated, then retracted, the idea of a cut in payroll taxes -- that is, a tax break for ordinary workers, rather than the corporations and wealthy individuals who mainly benefited from the 2017 tax cut. But such action seems unlikely, among other things because top administration officials denounced this policy idea when Obama proposed it. ..."
"... The truth is that Trump doesn't have a Plan B, and probably can't come up with one. On the other hand, he might not have to. Who needs competent policy when you're the chosen one and the king of Israel? ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 23, 2019 at 12:30 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/opinion/trump-payroll-tax-cut.html

August 22, 2019

From Voodoo Economics to Evil-Eye Economics
Are Democrats hexing the Trump boom with bad thoughts?
By Paul Krugman

Almost four decades ago then-candidate George H.W. Bush used the phrase "voodoo economic policy" to describe Ronald Reagan's claim that cutting taxes for the rich would pay for itself. He was more prescient than he could have imagined.

For voodoo economics isn't just a doctrine based on magical thinking. It's the ultimate policy zombie, a belief that seemingly can't be killed by evidence. It has failed every time its proponents have tried to put it into practice, but it just keeps shambling along. In fact, at this point it has eaten the brains of every significant figure in the Republican Party. Even Susan Collins, the least right-wing G.O.P. senator (although that isn't saying much), insisted that the 2017 tax cut would actually reduce the deficit.

During the 2016 campaign Donald Trump pretended to be different, claiming that he would actually raise taxes on the rich. Once in office, however, he immediately went full voodoo. In fact, he has taken magical thinking to a new level.

True, whenever tax cuts fail to produce the predicted miracle, their defenders come up with bizarre explanations for their failure.

My favorite until now came from Art Laffer, the original voodoo economist and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Why did George W. Bush's tax-cutting presidency end not with a boom, but with the worst economic slump since the Great Depression? According to Laffer, blame rests with Barack Obama, even though the recession began more than a year before Obama took office. You see, according to Laffer, everyone lost confidence upon realizing that Obama might win the 2008 election.

But Trump has gone one better. As it has become increasingly clear that the results of his tax cut were disappointing -- recent data revisions have marked down estimates of both G.D.P. and employment growth, to the point where it's hard to see more than a brief sugar high from $2 trillion in borrowing -- Trump has invented ever more creative ways to blame other people. In particular, he's now claiming that the promised boom hasn't arrived because his opponents are hexing the economy with bad thoughts: "The Democrats are trying to 'will' the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election."

Can opposition politicians really cause a recession with negative thinking? This goes beyond voodoo economics; maybe we should call it evil-eye economics.

To be fair, the claim that Democrats are hexing his boom is a secondary theme in Trump's ranting. Mostly he has been blaming the Federal Reserve for its "crazy" interest rate hikes. And the truth is that last year's rate increases pretty clearly were a mistake.

But blaming the Fed for the tax cut's fizzle won't wash. For one thing, the Fed has actually raised rates less than in previous economic recoveries. Even more to the point, the Trump economic team was expecting Fed rate hikes when it made its extravagantly optimistic forecasts. Administration projections from a year ago envisioned 2019 interest rates substantially higher than what we're actually seeing.

Put it this way: The Trump tax cut was supposed to create a boom so powerful that it would not only withstand modest Fed rate hikes, but actually require such hikes to prevent inflationary overheating. You don't get to turn around and claim betrayal when the Fed does exactly what you expected it to do.

Aside from blaming everyone but himself, however, how will Trump deal with the failure of his economic promises? He has taken to demanding that the Fed roll the printing presses, slashing interest rates and buying bonds -- the actions it normally takes in the face of a serious recession -- even as he claims that the economy remains strong, and unemployment is in fact near a historic low.

As many people have noted, these are exactly the actions Republicans, including Trump, denounced as "currency debasement" when unemployment was far higher than it is today and the economy desperately needed a boost.

Since the Fed is unlikely to oblige, what else might Trump do? Officials have floated, then retracted, the idea of a cut in payroll taxes -- that is, a tax break for ordinary workers, rather than the corporations and wealthy individuals who mainly benefited from the 2017 tax cut. But such action seems unlikely, among other things because top administration officials denounced this policy idea when Obama proposed it.

Trump has also suggested using executive authority to reduce taxes on capital gains (which are overwhelmingly paid by the wealthy). This move would have the distinction of being both ineffectual and illegal.

What about calling off the trade war that has been depressing business investment? This seems unlikely, because protectionism is right up there with racism as a core Trump value. And merely postponing tariffs might not help, since it wouldn't resolve the uncertainty that may be the trade war's biggest cost.

The truth is that Trump doesn't have a Plan B, and probably can't come up with one. On the other hand, he might not have to. Who needs competent policy when you're the chosen one and the king of Israel?

Christopher H. -> anne... , August 23, 2019 at 12:46 PM
"But blaming the Fed for the tax cut's fizzle won't wash. For one thing, the Fed has actually raised rates less than in previous economic recoveries. Even more to the point, the Trump economic team was expecting Fed rate hikes when it made its extravagantly optimistic forecasts. "

Yes the Trump economic team is insane and clueless. But the Fed has been tightening since 2013 when Bernanke began tapering QE.

So now all good liberals are crying recession (which would hurt Trump in the election) but the Fed is blameless?

Monetary policy is ineffective. Then why don't we get rid of the Fed's vaunted independence? Then why does it matter if Trump tweets at Powell?

This isn't directed at Anne but at the general comment reader and Krugman admirer.

Plp -> Christopher H.... , August 24, 2019 at 05:45 AM
LARRY S
IS WAY AHEAD OF KRUGMAN

The paradigm that has governed macro policy since 1980 is dead. No more interest rate forex rate guided macro demand management

The FED is at best a servo mechanism to facilitate fiscal macro activism

[Aug 25, 2019] Is it true that "Trump is doing nothing evil" ?

Aug 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

WTFUD , 1 hour ago link

Done nothing EVIL bar fire 100 cruise missiles into Syria and attempting to starve millions in Venezuela & Iran, while sucking on Bibi's ****, emboldening him to continue on a genocidal path in the ME among other twisted fuckery.

Other than the above, man done good.

TheRapture , 41 minutes ago link

Trump is an oathbreaker: he broke both the WTO agreement and the bilateral agreement with China.

On non-trade issues,

  1. Trump promised to investigate 9/11. How is that coming along?
  2. The Las Vegas / Paddock false flag happened on Trump's watch. He covered it up.
  3. Trump is doing his best to start a war with Iran.
  4. Truck seems to love Israel more than he loves America.
  5. Epstein was assassinated on Trump's watch. Trump could have protected Epstein, but didn't
  6. Trump is in Saudi Arabia's pocket.
  7. Trump is helping wage Saudi Arabia's genocidal war in Yemen.
  8. Trump promised to unify the country. He's doing the opposite.
  9. Trump has increased surveillance, police state powers instead of calling for repeal of Patriot Act, NDAA, etc.
  10. Trump has not taken any concrete steps to curtail internet censorship, or protect an Open Internet.
  11. Trump promised to pull out of Syria, yet he still has U.S. troops there, and colludes with Israeli attacks on Syria.
  12. Trump promised he would cut taxes for the middle class and not cut for the rich. He did the opposite.
  13. Trump is crashing the global economy, and like Humpty Dumpty, it can't be put together again.
  14. American farmers may have lost their single biggest export market. US taxpayers will pay farmers welfare forever.

There's more, if you'd like more.

[Aug 24, 2019] Possible troubles for Trump in 2020: Trump administration might face defeats on major fronts they have opened

Aug 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

James , Aug 22 2019 18:22 utc | 7

I think Trump administration will face several defeats on may fronts they have opened very soon. Their major issue is that they have tried to tackle many things at once, which has created a cohesive opposition: China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and many other countries that don't like his unilateral decisions and moves. The major blow would be from dedollaraization down in the road. If he had problem with China, he should have dealt with it at a different time in a different manner. Pushing Iran at the same time was a major error. One wonders what is he thinking. On the issue of Iran; if they would have got along with Iran, they would have made major gains. Picking wrong partners always is the issue for these in the power.

[Aug 23, 2019] Since Day 1, this administration has been seeking out opportunity after opportunity to benefit the powerful and the privileged -- the very wealthiest Americans and big corporations

Aug 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ash (London) , Aug 22 2019 23:50 utc | 53

psychohistorian , Aug 23 2019 0:05 utc | 54

I just got this email which I think appropriate to share with fellow MoA barflies

"
Since Day 1, this administration has been seeking out opportunity after opportunity to benefit the powerful and the privileged -- the very wealthiest Americans and big corporations. From the $1.7 trillion tax break for giant corporations and their wealthy executives, to allowing more pollution by oil and gas companies, to allowing insurance companies to once again discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, the giveaways to billion dollar corporations have been endless, while working families pay the price.

This week, the Trump administration added another critical item to the list of attacks on working families: Gutting the Volcker Rule firewall, a critical safeguard that protects Americans from the consequences of high-risk Wall Street gambling.

Make no mistake. This move is a brazen attempt by big banks and their Trump-appointed allies to reopen the Wall Street casino that led us into the Great Recession, no matter the cost to working Americans who will lose their homes, jobs and savings when the casino goes belly-up. That's not just unethical, it's dangerous.

Working Americans should not have to foot the bill for the big banks' casino games. That's why I co-authored the Volcker Rule and fought to include it in the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which Congress passed to prevent Wall Street from repeating the causes of the Great Recession. The reality is, if we let big banks go back to the days of making huge bets on things like future stock values, foreign exchange rates, or interest rates, working families will ultimately be the ones to pay the price.

I believe that our economy is only as strong as the bottom lines of our working families, and that big banks shouldn't be calling the shots. Please know that I'm going to keep fighting for an economy that works for all of us -- not just the powerful and the privileged.

All my best,
Jeff (Merkley - Oregon Senator)
"
Our government is now controlled by the elite but not entirely silenced.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump Promised Massive Infrastructure Projects -- Instead We ve Gotten Nothing>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure. ..."
"... Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me." ..."
"... Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration. ..."
"... He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that." ..."
"... In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation." ..."
"... That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money. ..."
"... This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money. ..."
"... Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend. ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases. ..."
"... I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat. ..."
"... Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him. ..."
"... Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.

No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!

So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.

The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."

The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."

Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.

He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."

In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.

That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.

That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.

Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.

It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.

That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.

Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.

Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.

Promise not kept again.

Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.

In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.

He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am

Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.

I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.

Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am

One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.

It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.

$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.

Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?

cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am

Tom, grow up.

Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.

Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.

Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.

WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?

Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?

Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.

The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."

It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.

With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.

The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.

[Aug 18, 2019] Trump's Nationalist Report Card A Solid C

Aug 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Donald Trump will win reelection, or not, based primarily on his performance in office. The voters will ask, in their collective judgment, such questions as: has he scored at least one major accomplishment in domestic policy? Has he maintained strong economic growth? Has he avoided major foreign policy failures? Has he presided over a major foreign policy victory? Is he scarred by scandal? Are Americans better off than they were before his inauguration? Is the country better positioned in the world?

Looking at the Trump presidency through the prism of such questions, it is possible to produce a kind of preliminary report card. Recognizing that the voters won't render their own grades for more than a year, we can still compile a general overview of the president's likely standing when the votes are counted. This overview suggests that he resides upon a knife's edge of political fate. Events between now and November of next year could easily push him into defeat, though he could also squeak through to victory. But defeat is more likely.

Before we get to the report card, two general points need to be made. First, irrespective of Trump's fate next year, he is and will remain a significant figure in American political history. He transformed the national debate by exposing the chasm in political sensibilities between the elites of the coasts and angry Americans in the heartland. In spite of his crude and often distasteful ways (and sometimes because of them), he created a tight knot of political sentiment that stands antagonistic toward the elite vision of globalism, diversity, open borders, overseas dominance, and free trade -- most of it enforced with the cudgel of political correctness.

The heartland ethos, by contrast, includes an end to illegal immigration, a more restrictionist legal immigration system to foster the absorption of those already here, a trade system attuned to industrial America, realism and restraint in foreign policy, respect for the country's cultural heritage, and a hostility to the insidious impact of identity politics.

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This is a huge chasm, yet when the 2016 campaign began, hardly a politician on the scene perceived it or understood its ramifications. Trump did, and that got him (barely) elected. The result now is that we all now know about the chasm, and it will be America's defining political pivot for years to come.

But if this political sagacity got Trump elected, it won't help him much in 2020. Challengers can win on talk if it resonates sufficiently with the electorate; incumbents can only win on performance.

The second point is that, while the president enjoys the solid support of a highly loyal and unwavering contingent of Americans, he has proven incapable of building a governing coalition. Throughout his presidency, his approval rating, based on the aggregate numbers pulled together by the political web site FiveThirtyEight, has hovered between 39 percent and 43 percent. This doesn't mean he can't get up to the 50 percent or so needed for reelection. Ronald Reagan's rating was just 45 percent at this point in his presidency, and he went on to a landslide reelection win. But Trump's level of approval has been so consistent that it is difficult to see how he might rise above it during his final months in office.

Further, state-by-state poll numbers indicate that the president has lost considerable ground in key states needed for reelection. According to surveys conducted by the online polling firm Civiqs, his approval rating is in negative numbers in 10 states he carried in 2016, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas. None of the states carried by Hillary Clinton seem poised to flip to the president.

This reflects Trump's general standing with the American people, and it means that he doesn't have sufficient political juice to dominate the national debate on major issues and get Congress to take action. Trump supporters no doubt will blame the Democrats, as presidential loyalists always do when their man can't get the job done. But in our presidential system, chief executives don't get a pass by pointing fingers at the opposition.

Richard Nixon, a 43 percent victor in 1968, had to contend with a hostile Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, and still amassed a record that buoyed him to a massive reelection victory in 1972. Reagan had a hostile House Democratic majority and yet managed to galvanize the American people to such an extent that the House leadership lost control of its own chamber, as frightened Democrats crossed over to Reagan's positions on major issues, particularly fiscal ones.

How do presidents manage to overcome a hostile opposition? By shrewdly selecting issues to be pursued; by presenting brilliant and coherent narrations on what those issues mean; and by deftly negotiating at the end to bring along just enough of the opposition to carry the day. After his Democratic Party lost both houses of Congress in 1994, Bill Clinton embarked on his brilliant "triangulation" strategy. Trump hasn't demonstrated any such capacity.

Which brings us to the report card:

Health care: Trump failed all three of the tests for political success on this issue. He chose it before it was ripe for serious legislative action (GOP lawmakers wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare but didn't have anything approaching a viable replacement); he didn't explain it well because it wasn't well joined and because he didn't seem to understand it; and he didn't seek any compromise with opposition members. Grade: D.

Immigration: A massive Trump failure. He was the first president in decades who had enough credibility with restrictionists to fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles). He might have also taken serious action on other illegals in the country, on stemming the inward flow through every means possible, and on overhauling current immigration policies, including ending family-based migration and the lottery, instituting a merit-based system, and curbing the inflow enough to get the percentage of foreign-born people in America returned to more historical levels.

Was this even remotely possible? Perhaps not. But Trump campaigned as a man who would address the country's festering immigration problem. That required that the issue be presented with sensitivity and clarity as to the harm that decades of neglect have done to America. Nobody wants the United States to be a heartless country, but polls also indicate that Democrats have come too close to open borders for the comfort of most. Therein was the opportunity.

But Trump didn't even talk to the American people about the issue; he communicated only to his base, thus ensuring that the immigration chasm would continue with no end in sight. Grade: D.

Economic growth: We can't issue a final grade here until the end of the semester, but prospects are good for solid marks, even if an A doesn't appear likely. If growth continues through the third quarter of next year, Trump will merit a solid B; if it slows, perhaps a B-; if it picks up, a B+. But an A would require the kind of growth seen in Reagan's last six years in office (including annual percentages of 7.9, 5.6, 4.2, 4.5, and 3.8) or Clinton's second term (4.4, 4.5, 4.9, 4.8). That isn't likely. Further, if the economy slips into recession, all bets are off. This is a wait-and-see category. Grade: B, based on midterms, though the final exam will determine the outcome.

Trade: Trump has taken a riverboat gamble on his trade dispute with China, which has been a commerce thug for years -- stealing intellectual property, forcing U.S. companies in China to transfer technology, dumping goods into U.S. markets, subsidizing state-owned companies, and manipulating its currency. White House aide Peter Navarro says these "deadly sins" have destroyed some 70,000 factories in America and five million manufacturing jobs. China has been bilking the United States in part to cadge vast sums of money to finance its geopolitical ambitions in Asia. There's a strong argument that something had to be done, and only Trump among recent presidents had the fortitude to join the issue.

In doing so, Trump has emphasized a central reality of American geopolitics, which his critics refuse to accept -- namely that China, and not Russia, represents America's greatest long-term threat. But will the American people and Congress accept the sacrifices that will likely be necessary to force China to change its ways? That may be difficult for the president to pull off, given his less-than-robust standing with the American people. He's doing the right thing in demanding reciprocal trade behavior from the Chinese, but his inability to forge a national consensus may retard his prospects for success. Grade: Incomplete.

Foreign Policy: Trump has not presided over any serious foreign policy failures, such as George W. Bush's Iraq fiasco or Barack Obama's Libyan misadventure. Indeed, he has not led the country into any serious foreign wars at all, which may be a significant accomplishment in comparison to his three predecessors. At the same time, he has kept U.S. troops in Syria and Afghanistan beyond any worthwhile rationale. And he has not scored any significant foreign policy successes -- nothing approaching Nixon's outreach to China or Jimmy Carter's Camp David Accords or Reagan's Cold War breakthrough. The problem has been that he doesn't seem to possess any kind of coherent view of the world in our time. He seems to have an instinctive understanding that the old global order is crumbling. But he doesn't have any idea of what could or should replace this fading status quo or how America should operate in a changing world.

And Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement and seek to bring Iran to its knees economically through "maximum pressure" could destabilize the entire Middle East even beyond George W. Bush's mindless Iraq invasion. If so, the combustion likely won't occur until after Trump's current term, under whomever is president at the time. But the burden of responsibility for any untoward developments emanating from that questionable policy will rest firmly upon Trump. Grade: C-.

Scandal: Any serious scandal that attaches to the upper reaches of an administration becomes a net negative in the next election. It's difficult to assess the full political impact of the Russian scandal that has roiled the nation since even before Trump was sworn in. On the one hand, the allegation of electoral "collusion" has been exposed as a fraud. On the other, opponents have continued assaulting Trump for supposedly seeking to obstruct the investigation. Their arguments are largely specious, but politics unfolds on the margin, and the marginal impact of all this is likely to redound to Trump's detriment at reelection time. Besides, Trump doesn't seem to care much about how he is perceived or about the old-style niceties of political discourse. That provides an opening for opposition arguments about his loose ethics. Grade: C+.

General national welfare: On those questions regarding whether Americans are better off today than they were four years ago and whether America stands taller in the world, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The economic statistics (growth, unemployment, job market participation, productivity, inflation, the stock market) are solid, stemming largely from Trump's tax and regulatory policies. If they continue, the president will get general kudos from the electorate on this crucial area of performance.

The voters' view of America's global standing is more difficult to assess. No doubt Trump's base is comfortable with his performance on the world stage, but has he conducted himself in a way that will capture those swing voters who will be crucial to his reelection prospects? It doesn't seem likely.

And that's reflective of the overall Trump presidency. This utterly unconventional politician who got elected in utterly unconventional ways had an opportunity to fashion an unconventional brand of conservative politics -- wary of big business and the nexus between government and big finance; hostile to coastal elites; protective of working class Americans who have been abandoned and slandered by the Democratic Party; concerned about economic inequality; suspicious of vehement libertarianism; opposed to promiscuous foreign policy adventurism; anti-globalist; nationalist; and enthusiastic about the looming epic task of forging a new political order at home and a new geopolitical order in the world.

Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality. The result: an overall grade of C. It would be a gentleman's C if Trump were a gentleman. The question is whether the voters will grade on a curve.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century . We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide .


JeffK from PA 3 days ago
"Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never
seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to
forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality."

That pretty much sums it up.

Sid Finster JeffK from PA 2 days ago
I don't think any national politician today, not Trump, not Bernie, not anyone, really grasps just how seething with rage the public is right now.

Wanna know why we have mass shootings? Think of those people that snap as a sort of warning sign of the public mood. Expect to see a lot more of them, no matter who is in office.

For that matter, the election of Trump is a similar indicator. Think of Trump as the " Roll the dice, we've got nothing to lose! " candidate, compared to the establishment darling HRC.

Of course, long after Trump is gone from office, the forces that gave rise to Trump will still be there. That said, the establishment will tar every populist for years to come with Trump's weakness, stupidity, recklessness and incompetence. " Remember what happened the last time you didn't vote as instructed? "

Already, Trump has proven the best campaign ad the European establishment could ask for. He prevented the election of Le Pen in France, and prevented the German establishment parties from complete meltdown. The campaign slogan goes something like this: " Vote for us, unless you want a buffoon like *him* in office! "

JeffK from PA Sid Finster 7 hours ago
I agree. For the first time in my life I am seriously concerned about the future of this country. We are one serious financial or foreign policy calamity away from serious social breakdown.
EdMan Sid Finster 6 hours ago
That's a point Ross Douthat made recently - Trump losing re-election means Trumpism will eventually return.
Bankotsu 3 days ago • edited
Wow, even Robert Merry is playing the sinophobic China card now.

Patrick Buchanan is a long time China hater, so I can understand his sinophobia, but now even Robert Merry!

Times are really changing in U.S. politics.

A new yellow peril is upon America! lol.

Hispanophobia, sinophobia, islamophobia, russophobia, all of them are coming out with full force to America.

Sid Finster Bankotsu 2 days ago
Signs of an empire in serious decline.
jijjkl Bankotsu 2 days ago
More like Anglophobia.
Bankotsu jijjkl 2 days ago • edited
Can't be, I support Trump. Loads of chinese support Trump.
nah-uh-uh Bankotsu a day ago
Eventually, people like Pamela Geller and/or Steven Bannon will become the principal UN figures
Yay!
Thomas Sharpe 3 days ago
Play Hide
Rick Steven D. 2 days ago
Robert: Thank you this very sober, very reasonable assessment. I hate Trump's stinking rotten guts with the white hot fury of a thousand suns, and I disagree strongly with some of the points you are making here, but this is a terrific piece.
EdMan Rick Steven D. 6 hours ago
Well thank goodness for gentlemen like Robert Merry, then!
jijjkl 2 days ago
He gets a "C" in foreign policy, but everything domestic is so bad that he may as well not even call himself right wing at all. The illegal and legal immigration problems have exacerbated under Trump (look up the numbers). Of course he has deported very few and now advocates for increased legal immigration.That is not what anyone voted for. He incessantly proclaims how much he has done for demographics that will never vote for him, while even openly making fun of the struggles that working class white men (his base) face in society. He has now come out in support of red flag laws as well because of one event presumably. He even gave us a "criminal justice reform bill" to let out criminals to be even more of a plague on society. Why?

"fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles)." --> This is not acceptable. This is not reform, but merely a concession of the inability of our country to have laws or moral legitimacy.

Sid Finster 2 days ago
A solid F. Trump's weakness has failed to lead to any major policy successes, even when he had majorities in both houses of Congress. Trump's incompetence has given the establishment loads of ammunition and recruits that they didn't have a few years ago.

Hell, Trump has made even doofus Uncle Joe Biden look like a viable alternative. Sad!

CharlesL 2 days ago
One major problem with the author's analysis of the Trump Administration's scandals is that it is limited entirely to the Russia scandal. Ignored are a host of acts of corruption that have marked the Administration of the man who constantly bragged that he would appoint "only the best people." So let's examine just a few of them. His National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was convicted of felonies and sent to prison. His Secretary of HHS Tom Price resigned in the wake of insider trading investigations. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke left the Trump administration amid mounting federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was facing more than a dozen investigations into his taxpayer-funded travel, questionable spending decisions, use of aides to conduct personal errands and other matters when he resigned. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his scandalous granting of a sweetheart plea deal to Jeffrey Epstein. I could go on to the other members of Trump's inner circle who are in prison or who have been forced to resign under a cloud of scandal. I could point to New York State shutting down the Trump Foundation as a fraudulent charity that scammed people out of their denotations. I could note the Trump University scam whose victims received a $25 Million dollar payment from Trump after he was elected. The author gives Trump a grade of C+ on scandals? An F would be more accurate.
JeffK from PA CharlesL 7 hours ago
Even grading on the curve, a C+ is a gift.
IanDakar 2 days ago
Healthcare: I actually don't blame Trump on this one. All he really did was trust his party when they said they had plans and just needed the power to do them. It would've been great if HE had a plan himself but in the end that's Congress' job more than anything. So he gave them that power, said "DO IT!" and they failed him. He should've struck at immigration first but as far as healthcare itself.

So I give him a B for effort. Republicans get an F.

Immigration: "A massive Trump failure. He was the first president in decades who had enough credibility with restrictionists to fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles). He might have also taken serious action on other illegals in the country, on stemming the inward flow through every means possible, and on overhauling current immigration policies, including ending family-based migration and the lottery, instituting a merit-based system, and curbing the inflow enough to get the percentage of foreign-born people in America returned to more historical levels."

Remotely not possible? Legal Status for Dreamers, push for more efficient deportations, merit based systems, and curbing the visa system?

That is VERY much possible to get all of most of that. The first is what the opposition is wanting and most of his side wouldn't scream against. He didn't even provide it as a bargaining chip (at best a "we'll revisit it later" delay).

Higher deportations would bring it to Obama levels. It just becomes hard to do when you open the debate with blasting all latinos as criminals sparking off the PC bee hive. Though that's moot since he could've, instead of a symbolic wall he could've asked for more funding for more centers and more judges to speed up the deportation trials (since isn't the point to actually DEPORT them, not lock them up for months under the pay of taxpayers). he used up his capital to maintain a marketing gimmick. By the time we got serious, he had moderates so pissed they tune the whole thing out and the left so angry they'll contemplate decriminalizing the whole thing just to snub him.

A merit based system WOULD'VE been a decent sell before all that mess or simply done when republicans had Congress. It also requires snubbing the "merit=europe" peanut gallery. Now no one is even listening.

The visa issue would've been an easy sell to both sides. It brings in a mass of non-citizens specifically to fill up job slots and then leaves them to be abused by their employers under threat of deportation if they don't comply. I can throw that exact line up in almost any forum and get a mob of support from the radical left to the far right.

There's insanely difficult topics about immigration. Most of your wish list was low hanging fruit in 2015. Trump turned it into the third rail. He didn't spark debate or open anything up. He got everyone so angry they aren't even discussing it properly anymore.

Lastly, if he wanted a wall that badly, he should've tried it in the first two years of his election. Trying it RIGHT AFTER it became impossible reeks of wanting to LOOK like he wanted it, sort of like if I waited until someone filled a box with cement then tried to lift it and said "I'll try HARD to make this happen."

Pure F.

I agree with you on Economics. On Trade I'm not as "China BAD" as you but overall I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, though I'm not a farmer.

Foreign Policy, There's no really any further places to GO to spark a war other than Iran itself. And as you said he's not doing well there. That said it's probably close to what you said, though I'd put him a D+ as we're not in war with Iran just yet (sadly that is an accomplishment) but I can't see any way to really fix what we ruined at this point. At BEST they'll go the way of North Korea.

Scandal: If this is on how he's handled scandal I'd give him a B-. He know how to handle angry people and keep them barking with no bite. It would've been a B+ but I think the current racial ones was a big overreach especially since it's causing his party to throw their feet into their mouths 2008 style and further souring immigration issues.

Overall: Trump's big advantage is that he touched on an area that Americans desperately needed but everyone wanted to ignore. Republicans wanted to go back to Bush. Democrats forgot that they won on "Change" not on "more of the same".

His disadvantage is that he doesn't have much to actually offer to fix it. He touched on immigration but sparks the fears of racism from the left and focuses on a symbolic, but less effective, wall. He touches on poor workers but taxes rarely affect them and the corporate elite is still tightening their grip just as effectively. He spoke of wars but his biggest accomplishment is that we've run out of places to invade-except Iran which we're 1 misfire from entering.

All he has is an economy that was rising before he joined in and is slowing down 1-2 years after his main policies have taken effect. Thankfully that's the most important. Not thankfully, presidents have the least amount of control over it.

Which means he's mostly banking on a car that was built without a steering wheel and hoping it doesn't slam into a tree.

Meanwhile I glance at the whiplash the size of a tornado that's to my left and wonder just how insane things get when they grab the reigns again.

JeffK from PA IanDakar 2 days ago
Very, very good analysis. I am a former Republican that now votes Democrat since the lunatics are running the Republican asylum. I was the only one, of all my progressive friends, that said maybe Trump can actually get something done. He owed the Republicans nothing. Nada. Zip. He beat them all, without the help of the Republican machine.

Trump could have formed a center right coalition. Starting with infrastructure that wasn't a wall. Then he could have gone after Big Pharma and the Medical Industrial Complex.

But no..... He immediately jumped as far right as possible. He went after every right wing wet dream he could. He was like a drunken 4 year old that was thrilled to break every toy of his sandbox rival (Obama). Now everything that he says that might be somewhat reasonable is drowned out and eclipsed by his insanity, narcissism, and general idiocy.

The Republicans are going to really, really hate 2020. Can't say it happened to a more deserving bunch of folk though. Bless their little hearts.

marqueemoons JeffK from PA a day ago
This is a good point; the only Republican who could have actually broken the consensus within the Republican Party and suggested that a) healthcare should be improved for everyone b) the rich could be taxed more, and the poor less and c) foreign wars of aggression are a bad thing got in to office and cut taxes massively for the rich, tried to simply repeal the only step forward in healthcare for decades, and antagonised everyone abroad (Israel and Saudi excepted)
muzan-e IanDakar a day ago
"The first [Dreamers] is what the opposition is wanting and most of his side wouldn't scream against."

I cannot echo this loudly enough. I live right in the middle of what has become red-meat hard-right Republican land -- but you can still find support for the Dreamers here. They're not desperate for those kids (illegal spouses of immigrants currently in military service dominate that conversation), but they're absolutely willing to keep them -- at least as legal, lifelong residents. And particularly if their families receive no similar benefit.

If you can swing that here, from people who're beginning to lean somewhat xenophobic and feel strongly that illegal immigration is hurting them -- then man, you have a powerful foundation from which to build.

NelsonLaw 2 days ago
Immigration is a massive Trump failure? Where was the GOP when he got elected? They have said for years if they got the House, Senate, and White House they would build the wall and fix immigration. They did nothing. Zero.
NelsonLaw 2 days ago
Obama/Hillary "misadventure" in Libya? Wow....talk about putting a sugar coating on a disaster. They put 1 million plus "refugees" into Europe and created a thriving slave market in Libya. Way to go!
NelsonLaw 2 days ago
No foreign policy success? How about calling out various NATO members for being dead beats? Especially Germany. How about getting out of that fraud "Paris Accord?". Out of the Iran Nuke Deal? Getting NK to Singapore? Taking on the failed NAFTA "deal?" Dumping TPP? ...And the big one...defeating ISIS!!!....Something the "glory boy", Obama could not accomplish.
Josep NelsonLaw 16 hours ago
How about calling out various NATO members for being dead beats? Especially Germany.

A NATO that has been obsolete for 28 years? That one?

JeffK from PA NelsonLaw 7 hours ago
He broke all the toys in the sandbox. Great job.
NelsonLaw 2 days ago
Russian scandal? No, Coup attempt by members of Deep State, i.e. Justice Dept., Intelligence agencies and the MSM. Trump failed in not having midnight SWAT team raids on hundreds of coup plotters.
NelsonLaw 2 days ago
Trump is not a "unconvential politcan". He is a civilian. He is exactly what we should have seen being elected into the White House for decades.
Dixie_Pixie 19 hours ago
As far as I know, President Trump is the first person elected to the Presidency with little to no support in any national political Party or organization.
Nor any experience in any form of government at all.
The only President that comes close is General Eisenhower.

Frankly, When I voted for him in 2016.
I did not expect him to last this long. Two years max was my guess.
As Hillary Clinton was far, far worst than any alternative.
So I am surprised he is far better that what I was lead to believe.

I will be voting for President Trump in 2020.
Because he has no support in any of the current major political parties.
But has been relatively successful despite that political situation.

As both major political parties have proven themselves not to be working in the interests of the American People. And have longstanding histories of working against the American Middle-Class. And exploiting their political positions for their political and monetary gain. At the public's expense.

Its Donald Trump or the Asteroid Strike as old the joke goes.
President Trump will do if I can not get two Asteroids striking Washington DC and New York City simultaneously.

EdMan 6 hours ago
Trump's presidency is a failure and you don't have to be a Democrat to see that. In many ways, Trump was a man ahead of his time, but a major part of his failures is his inability to personally invest any of his time into the issues. Take Afghanistan - he keeps saying he wanted out from the moment he took office, yet here we are, over two years later, with still no end in sight. The fact is, Trump's an empty vessel. I've never gotten the sense he's a true believer and, even if he were, he's become more worried about re-election, which means he's become just another politician.

I'd never vote for a Democrat, with the possible exception of Andrew Yang, in 2020. But it's time to face the music - Trump's going to lose re-election. And maybe that's a good thing, for it's not the establishment that needs to be broken up yet, it's the American right. We need to replace the Mitch McConnells and Lindsay Grahams with the Matt Gaetz and Josh Hawleys. The greatest thing Trump will ever have done is kickstart this nationalist moment, but he won't be able to sustain it. That's up to the people willing and able to do the work we expected him to do as president.

[Aug 17, 2019] Since Trump has been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on

Trump proved to be Hillary in disguses "very much a hawk." I would say reckless hawk. Stephen Cohen characterization of Hillary is fully applicable to him now if you substitute Russia for China "Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of ant i-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. "
Notable quotes:
"... Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

PAUL JAY: Well, my question is, I think when you are saying positive things about Trump diminishing tensions with Russia, which I think is correct, but I think you need to add this guy does not have peaceful intentions, he's very dangerous.

STEPHEN COHEN: I live in a social realm–to the extent that I have any social life at all anymore– where people get very angry if I say, or anybody says, anything positive about Donald Trump. When Trump was campaigning in 2016, he said, "I think it would be great to cooperate with Russia." All of my adult life, my advocacy in American foreign policy–I've known presidents, the first George Bush invited me to Camp David to consult with him before he went to the Malta Summit. I've known presidential candidates, Senators and the rest, and I've always said the same thing. American national security runs through Moscow, period. Nothing's changed.

In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons–Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they're real–that can elude any missile defense. We spent trillions on missile defense to acquire a first strike capability against Russia. We said it was against or Iran, but nobody believed it. Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, "It's time to negotiate an end to this new arms race," and he's 100 percent right. So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced–and I spell this out in my new book, War with Russia?–that we were in a new cold war, but a new cold war more dangerous than the preceding one for reasons I gave in the book, one of them being these new nuclear weapons.

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia. And as I told you before, Paul, all my life I've been a detente guy. Detente means cooperate with Russia. I saw in Trump the one candidate who said this is necessary, in his own funny language. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. To say somebody has no soul and then go on to equate him with Hitler, I found that so irresponsible. I didn't vote for Trump, but I did begin to write and broadcast that this was of vital importance that we have this discussion, that we needed a new detente because of the new and more dangerous Cold War.

Since he's been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on. So they've now demonized Russia, they've crippled Trump. Anything he does diplomatically with Putin is called collusion. No matter what Mueller says, it's collusion. This is anti-democracy, and detente is pursued through democracy. So whatever he really wants to do–it's hard to say–he's been thwarted. I think it's also one of the reasons why he put anti-detente people around him.

[Aug 17, 2019] An Anti-Trump Landslide is quite possible by Rod Dreher

Notable quotes:
"... The real concern is the US Senate. Currently, the GOP holds a six-seat majority (if you count the two Independent senators, who caucus with Democrats, as Democrats). Thirty-four seats are up in 2020. According to this analysis , at this point, 18 of them are in play, and four of those 18 are toss-ups ..."
"... An anti-Trump landslide at the top of the ticket could wash the GOP Senate majority away. We would then have a Democratic president and Congress -- and they would be in a score-settling mood. ..."
"... a recession, which is growing more likely by the day, would be something extremely hard for Trump to overcome. The new Fox poll has Trump at 56 percent unfavorable, with only 42 percent favorable -- and this is in good economic times. ..."
"... UPDATE: Douthat speculates today on what a recession would mean for the country , starting with the presidency: ..."
"... First, the easy part: Donald Trump loses re-election . It will be ugly and flailing and desperate and -- depending on recession-era geopolitics -- potentially quite dangerous, but there is no way a president so widely disliked survives the evaporation of his boom. ..."
"... But, as Douthat points out, getting rid of Trump doesn't do much to address the factors that led to his rise in the first place. ..."
"... The real truth is that the Republicans have a problem their rich globalist donors have abandoned them for Democrats blue Dog Dems as they are called, while their base will support them if they lead. Leading means angering their mega donors. ..."
"... Normally Republican Funder Hedge fund billionaire Seth Klarman said Democrats need to regain control of Congress "for the good of the country". His money has had found its way to 56 Democrats running for House seats and 22 Democrats running for the U.S. Senate. This is millions. His reason was a tax cut he neither needed nor wanted, Huh? ..."
"... if it is business as usual they will lose the Senate and not gain the house. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

( PBS News Hour screenshot ) Anything could happen between now and November 2020, but this new Fox News poll is not good news for the president. If the vote were held today, Joe Biden would clobber him, which is no surprise. But also, a geriatric New England socialist would beat the stuffing out of Trump. So would a preachy Harvard professor and a militantly progressive black woman from the San Francisco Bay Area:

Again, anything could happen, but you know what's probably going to happen between now and Election Day? A recession. That's hard for any incumbent president to overcome, but this one will already be starting out in a deep hole, and I think most of us can agree that in the event of an economic downturn, is unlikely to dazzle with his scintillating competence. New from the AP:

The financial markets signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession this week, sending a jolt of anxiety to investors, companies and consumers. That's on top of concerns over Trump's plans to impose punishing tariffs on goods from China and word from the United Kingdom and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

Though a pre-election recession here is far from certain, a downturn would be a devastating blow to the president, who has made a strong economy his central argument for a second term. Trump advisers fear a weakened economy would hurt him with moderate Republican and independent voters who have been willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric. And White House economic advisers see few options for reversing course should the economy start to slip.

Trump has taken to blaming others for the recession fears, mostly the Federal Reserve, which he is pushing for further interest rate cuts. Yet much of the uncertainty in the markets stems from his own escalation of a trade war with China, as well as weakened economies in key countries around the world.

If the economy goes into recession, what's the compelling argument for voting Trump? I know what the argument is for social and religious conservatives: judges. But only a minority of American voters care so strongly about judges.

The real concern is the US Senate. Currently, the GOP holds a six-seat majority (if you count the two Independent senators, who caucus with Democrats, as Democrats). Thirty-four seats are up in 2020. According to this analysis , at this point, 18 of them are in play, and four of those 18 are toss-ups. Only one of those four toss-ups -- Doug Jones in Alabama -- is a Democrat. Jones will probably lose no matter what -- Alabama went for Trump by 30 points, and Jones only won because his GOP opponent was creepy Roy Moore.

An anti-Trump landslide at the top of the ticket could wash the GOP Senate majority away. We would then have a Democratic president and Congress -- and they would be in a score-settling mood.

One more time: anything could happen between now and Election Day 2020. But a recession, which is growing more likely by the day, would be something extremely hard for Trump to overcome. The new Fox poll has Trump at 56 percent unfavorable, with only 42 percent favorable -- and this is in good economic times.

UPDATE: Douthat speculates today on what a recession would mean for the country , starting with the presidency:

First, the easy part: Donald Trump loses re-election . It will be ugly and flailing and desperate and -- depending on recession-era geopolitics -- potentially quite dangerous, but there is no way a president so widely disliked survives the evaporation of his boom. The rules of politics have changed, but they haven't been suspended. Polarization will keep Trump from being defeated in a landslide, but not from being beaten handily, and in a recession the Democrats can nominate any of their candidates and expect to evict the president with ease.

Read the whole thing to see why he concludes:

Having guaranteed Trump's removal from office, in other words, the recession would also set the stage for Trumpism's eventual return.

I see a number of pro-Trump commenters below are pointing out that the pundits didn't see Trump coming, so their forecasts of Trump's defeat in 2020 shouldn't be taken seriously. Sure, that's true -- but Trump in 2016 was elected in a booming economy. Had the economy not been in good shape, Trump might have been elected anyway, riding high on economic anxiety. Neither of these factors will be present should Trump have to run for re-election in a recessionary economy. And, Trump was running against a candidate representing the incumbent White House party. Now, he is a member of the incumbent White House party.

But, as Douthat points out, getting rid of Trump doesn't do much to address the factors that led to his rise in the first place.

Let me point out for the hundred-eleventieth time: anything can happen between now and November 2020. Polls aren't worth much now. But they do remind us that Trump is extremely unpopular, and will have trouble getting re-elected even if the economy is in good shape next year. If it's not, what, exactly, will he run on?


Jefferson Smith 18 hours ago • edited

Trump has had historically awful numbers since about a month after he was inaugurated. The Fox News poll is coming as a wake-up call because for a long time, the liberal media were too busy hanging out in Rust Belt diners interviewing Trump voters -- the alleged "Real Americans" -- to pay much mind to the fact that much of the actual country detests the guy. Not saying he can't win in '20, but recessions aside, one thing he won't have going for him this time is the element of surprise: Everyone will know that it's obviously possible for him to win, and that if your main goal is to prevent that then you simply have to vote for the Democrat -- no staying home, no Jill Stein or Evan McMullin-type nonsense, at least not if you're in a state whose outcome is remotely in doubt. Eight years of Obama had made too many voters complacent, and Trump has helpfully focused people's minds.
Delta Jefferson Smith 10 hours ago
I will gladly vote for the Democratic nominee, regardless of who it is. (Unless he/she is worse than Trump, which is probably impossible, since Genghis Khan is not available.) I would vote for the toad in my back garden if he/she gets the nomination. Everyone reading this knows why. Some people are able to overlook the obvious, but I find that I can't.

Unhappily I am in California, so it really doesn't matter who I vote for.

Greg Delta 6 hours ago
I live in Oregon now (from CA originally), but yes, our vote really doesn't matter!
Hector_St_Clare Jefferson Smith 7 hours ago
Yea, I think part of the reason Trump won in 2016 was because he took everyone by surprise. Few people thought he could win (except Nate Silver and the LA Times, I guess, and a few of the commenters here): even he didn't think he was going to win until the Michigan results started coming in.
Richard Parker 18 hours ago
Polls this far out are meaningless. What happened to Bush Seniors second term?
BWreSlippySlope 17 hours ago
Another weak story board based on polls that already in question. Fox is not above the fold to skew polls to keep stories going. The left and the media has made a pseudo state of fear of even wearing a MAGA hat in public. This pseudo state has armed low information and low IQ Americans willing to attack Senators while they are mowing their lawn, or enabling professors swinging bike locks at rallies against Trump supporters.

The Senate and the House will loose not on the coattails of Trump, but based on their own silence and failures, and business as usual. Again and Again these articles throw up the importance of saving the Republican party, but before Trump the party was over. The party knew that as they went after rigging of the polls rather than winning the votes through addressing problems.

The real truth is that the Republicans have a problem their rich globalist donors have abandoned them for Democrats blue Dog Dems as they are called, while their base will support them if they lead. Leading means angering their mega donors. Trump has 65 percent individual donors, far above any of the Dems, even combined. Tom Steyer is paying millions to get thousands that are from individual donors.

Normally Republican Funder Hedge fund billionaire Seth Klarman said Democrats need to regain control of Congress "for the good of the country". His money has had found its way to 56 Democrats running for House seats and 22 Democrats running for the U.S. Senate. This is millions. His reason was a tax cut he neither needed nor wanted, Huh?

Uihlein gave $2.5 million to Ives in a single week this past January -- essentially bankrolling her campaign to defeat Rauner in a Republican primary on Tuesday.

Koch Brothers also followed the same suit. I could go naming more and more that switch sides, but also tried to finance Trump Inauguration where things were more laxed and flooded in, and tried to line up on his door step. Instead he closed the door.

Trump showed that Campaign funds don't really matter if you have heart and the desire to win, having a bad candidate to run against doesn't hurt either, but the Dems have tons of bad candidates.

With Harvesting Vote laws California is lost, but the rest of the country is in play. If they lead and lead for the people they will win, if it is business as usual they will lose the Senate and not gain the house.

[Aug 16, 2019] Trump's Great Gamble by Pat Buchanan

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

KenH , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT

At this point who cares? Tweets aside Trump has turned into the corporate/donor class Republican he ran against in 2016 and in some cases even worse with his recent about face on the second amendment which I've been predicting since he banned bump stocks. He's now bought the lie that as long as the U.S. enjoys sustained economic growth the multiracial madhouse that is contemporary murica won't ever derail.

Trump the candidate promised:
* A strong economy which he's partially delivered on
* A wall on our Southern border
* A drastic reduction in H1B and other work visas that allow American elites to displace Americans from the work force
* Decreases in legal immigration
* Unwavering support for the 2nd amendment
* Law and order

Trump the president has given us:
* More moral, material and financial support to Israel than ever
* Moved the embassy to Jerusalem
* Forcing foreign nations to decriminalize homosexual sodomy
* Letting Antifa and other assorted left wing crazies run wild and attack people in the streets while prosecuting his right of center supporters for fighting back
* Early prison release for violent black and other felons
* Potentially the largest influx of legal immigrants and illegal aliens in U.S. history coupled with the lowest number of deportations
* No wall (yet)
* Formally condemned white nationalism and so called white supremacy but not black and brown supremacy or left wing terrorism
* Potentially infringing upon the 2nd amendment even more than Bill Clinton and far more than Barack Obama

At this rate Trump will probably give us the green new deal, black slave reparations, a white privilege tax and deny "anti-semites" first and second amendment rights should he win a second term. History has shown that the radical left makes some of its greatest political gains under Republican presidents and Trump has done nothing to buck that trend.

JasonT , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:50 am GMT
America was and is looted by wealthy Americans looking for a quick buck. Globalization and offshoring in the 19080's was all about greedy wealthy Westerners, especially Americans, wanting to make more money. To blame the looting in others just demonstrates Buchanan's stupidity.
anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
@Hanrahan Notice the continued exclusion of Representative Gabbard and her criticism of the destructive Empire -- despite focusing on Beltway politics, he hasn't typed her name since June 28. He wants the "Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders-AOC Democrats" to go even kookier because this website's "Mr. Paleoconservative" has become a Beltway fixture, cheerleading for Team Red in the next Most Important Election Ever.
swamped , says: August 16, 2019 at 8:20 am GMT
"the Great Arsenal of Democracy was looted by" the military-industrial complex Arsenal & it's unending wars & nothing short of nuclear annihilation is going to change that. There is no Democrat who is willing to bet their chance at the presidency on pulling it down. And the American public, by and large, is put to sleep by lengthy discussions of the intricacies of trade policy. The election will be waged, like the primaries, around race-baiting. Biden will be the first victim. The other white candidates are running scared & becoming more shrill in their denunciations of whites in general by the hour. There's no telling where it all may lead but it's becoming clearer day by day that the hostility will outlast the primaries & the general election will be a very ugly affair. There's no turning back to the soothing center now, it will be an us-vs.-them type election & hopefully, Pat Buchanan, still America's shrewdest pundit, will keep us fully apprised.
animalogic , says: August 16, 2019 at 10:58 am GMT
@Charles Pewitt Basically I agree with Erebus's comment.
What you don't seem to get is that the China situation is of the US's own making. US Co's in the 90's & naughtier literally salivated at getting there production into China (or Mexico) Then -- they were happy to accept Chinese conditions, as was the US government.
So, your ridiculous, punitive tariffs are going to HURT the thousands of US companies who happily moved production to China. Nor will US Co's move home (unless the government acts aggressively) -- they'll move to Vietnam or where ever.
Of course such punitive tarrifs will justify the Chinese into further devaluing their currency.
Would be interesting to see the affects on US inflation were your program followed.
Implied in your comment is the apparent fact that you do not understand this US/China issue.(which is OK, because Trump & CO certainly don't understand the imperatives here)
You seem to think it's about trade. Actually it about China's sovereignty. The US position is that China NOT become a leading economy such as the US, Japan & Germany are. The US demands China cease it's drive to lead in high tech'. The Chinese simply can not give-in. US demands amount to China becoming a second rate power, essentially a US vassal.
How could any country, let alone China with its humiliating history of being a victim of western imperialism, do anything else but fight?
Anonymous [141] Disclaimer , says: August 16, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT

President Donald Trump's reelection hopes hinge on two things: the state of the economy in 2020 and the identity of the Democratic nominee.

That's the first sentence and that's where I should have stopped reading. This is the kind of out of touch political insider horse trading irradiated bullshittery that no one should waste their time on anymore.

Trump's is finished if he doesn't fulfil his US immigration promises from 2016. He's also finished if he doesn't stop channelling his Jewish handlers with embarrassingly stupid anti-white rhetoric. That's it. That's where "reelection hopes" should focus on.

[Aug 15, 2019] Trump's most obvious failed promise is not putting the deep state under constitutional control, after the Obama/Clinton escapades.

Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> kurt... , August 14, 2019 at 10:15 AM

Trump's most obvious failed promise is not putting the deep state under constitutional control, after the Obama/Clinton escapades.

"Justice, FBI and ICE are turning into partisan organizations."

Wrong! The deep state is in the DNC's pocket. Barr is fixing the extent Obama attempted to coup the 2016 election using the DNC' deep state.

BTW your Leninist DNC armed appendage aka antifa is now responsible for 4 attacks on IC offices. The latest a gun shot through a window of an ICE office in San Antonio, Tx.

That the deep state has not closed them is deep state obeisance to the DNC.

[Aug 07, 2019] Initially Trump has rational ideas about the origin of 9/11, But like other rational ideas they quickly disappeared.

Aug 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

Pietro , says: August 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT

President Donald Trump saw the same day that bombs must have been used on the WTC towers on 9/11/2001.

From his experience building steel sky scrapers, he knew they were built to be strong, even against a jet. He stated to the reporter that bombs must also have been involved.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Rt-ldMj9y9w?feature=oembed

Note: This was an audio-only interview by reporters at Channel 9.
Rolland Smith, Alan Marcus

The photo in the thumb nail is actually from another interview by a German reporter on 9/11/2001, who looks similar to Alan.

Original same day news interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI1yX&#8230 ;
http://bcove.me/iq0pk0nz

c matt , says: August 5, 2019 at 8:24 pm GMT
What I have yet to see satisfactorily explained is how a huge (or even yuuuge) skyscraper can fall – within its footprint – when subjected to asymmetrical forces.

Put aside whether the jets had enough fuel, burned hot or long enough, etc. Taking the footage at face value, the buildings were SLAMMED from one direction. There is no way that could have caused symmetrical damage. Any structural component closer to impact received orders of magnitude of force more than those on the opposite side, resulting in unequal weakening. Yet what everyone saw was a symmetrical collapse within footprint, as though all structural components were equally and simultaneously weakened.

Who you gonna believe, the gubmint, or your own lying eyes?

[Aug 03, 2019] Obama s election and betrayal was probably the last successful bait and switch maneuver by Clinton wing of Democratic Party before it disintegrated in 2016

Notable quotes:
"... The establishment's "Democracy Works!" propaganda seeks to stifle such Movements, directing attention to establishment candidates voice those concerns. But those candidates invariably prove to be ineffective because they can never get enough support to win and their efforts largely end with the election. ..."
Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Aug 3 2019 15:24 utc | 99

oglalla @85

Yes!

Bemildred @87:

Well you don't trust any of them, but you vote for the ones pushing policy you want to see happen, and you vote for the ones that try to make that happen, and you abandon them immediately if they renege.

Obama's election and betrayal proved that this strategy doesn't work.

Tulsi is not anti-war', she's anti- dumb wars . Just as Colin Powell was ('Powell Doctrine' LOL). Just as Obama was ("don't do stupid stuff"). Just as Trump is (amid howls of "isolationist!" LOL).

The fact is, every candidate will salute the flag as soon as the requisite false flag outrage occurs.

Furthermore, even if you ardently support Tulsi because she voices something that appears to be anti-war, you have to contend with passionate supporters of other candidates: those who want a candidate of color, those who want an older more experienced candidate, those who want a women candidate; those who want a socialist candidate, etc. In this way the electorate is played against each other and in the end the establishment's favored candidate emerges naturally as the "democratic choice" (with the help of establishment money and media support) .

Relying on voting for change is not enough . There has to be independent Movements for each fundamental change: Democracy, Anti-war; Economic fairness. Like the Yellow Vest Movement.

The establishment's "Democracy Works!" propaganda seeks to stifle such Movements, directing attention to establishment candidates voice those concerns. But those candidates invariably prove to be ineffective because they can never get enough support to win and their efforts largely end with the election.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

[Aug 02, 2019] Trump Pretends to Like Union Members -- But He Really Likes the Fat Cats

Aug 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald Trump: billionaire of the people. When he ran for office, he said , "The American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them."

And how's that working out for the American worker? Not very well, actually, not very well. When it comes down to picking sides -- standing up for workers' rights or lining the pockets of CEOs and shareholders -- Trump aligned himself and his policies with the fat cats. This cost workers money and safety. The truth is that American corporations got a president who protected them and fought for them

[Aug 02, 2019] In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class

Aug 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: July 30, 2019 at 1:16 pm GMT

@Miro23 No, some saw this well in advance:

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, "Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President," @ The Unz Review (June 12, 2016).

anonymous [239] Disclaimer , says: July 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
Note how the 'free press' of the US has been not only complicit in all this every step of the way but is coordinated with it, staying silent about things in front of its nose and launching propaganda campaigns on cue. Obviously the media is in close cooperation with elements of the political establishment. Oh, but we have the freest media in the world. I know so because I read it in the newspaper.

[Aug 02, 2019] Trump Pretends to Like Union Members -- But He Really Likes the Fat Cats by Tom Conway

Notable quotes:
"... This isn't a glitch. It's a pattern. Although Trump is fond of surrounding himself with union members and asserting that they love him, he doesn't really like unions, especially ones that challenge him or dare to question his lies. Remember how he personally attacked Steelworker Chuck Jones who exposed Trump and Pence for claiming to save 1,100 jobs at Carrier when they really preserved only about half that many -- and then only after a grant of $7 million from the taxpayers of Indiana? ..."
"... A president who supported organized labor would oppose freeriders who won't pay their fair share but still want all the benefits of union membership. A president who supported unions would not issue executive orders crippling unions representing federal workers. A president who supported unions would not delay or eliminate health and safety regulations designed to protect workers from sickness and death. ..."
"... That's not Donald Trump. He supported Mark Janus, an Illinois government employee who wanted everything for nothing. Janus was fine with collecting the higher wages that the labor union representing him secured for workers, but Janus didn't want to contribute one red cent for that representation. ..."
"... So with right-wing corporate billionaires picking up the tab for him, Janus took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered unions to provide workers like Janus with essentially a free lunch. That is, the court said unions must represent freeloaders like him, but those workers don't have to pay anything for all they get -- no dues, no fees, nothing. ..."
"... And then there are his labor secretary choices. First he wanted Andy Puzder, CEO of the restaurant corporation that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr., an opponent of raising the minimum wage who said he preferred machines to humans. Puzder withdrew, and Alexander Acosta took over until he was forced to resign last month as a result of the unconscionable plea deal he gave an accused molester a decade ago when Acosta was a federal prosecutor. ..."
"... Now the interim secretary is Patrick Pizzella, who lobbied for years to prevent Congress from extending minimum wage requirements to the Northern Mariana Islands , a commonwealth of the United States, where workers were paid as little as $1 an hour but the corporate bosses got to mark the merchandise produced there as Made in America. I guess that's how you Make America Great Again, huh? ..."
"... Now, Trump has picked Scalia, son of the late, anti-worker Supreme Court justice. This is the guy who killed a proposed ergonomics rule to protect workers against injuries from repetitive motions, denigrating the research as "junk science" and "quackery." ..."
"... This is the guy who stopped the fiduciary rule that would have required brokers to act in clients' best interest rather than brokers' personal financial benefit by forbidding brokers from recommending investments that paid brokers big commissions but provided clients with low returns. This corrupt practice costs workers and retirees about $17 billion a year . ..."
"... Scalia is a corporate shill. And he'd be reporting to Trump, whose slavish support of corporate bosses over working Americans has revealed he's nothing more than a poser in a red MAGA baseball cap. ..."
"... The decline of the unions has been 50 years in the making under Democrats and Republicans. Blaming Trump is a convenient scapegoat and pinata for the left, but just the icing on the cake for decades of bad DC policies. Trump didn't create the Rust Belt or sign NAFTA. ..."
"... The strange thing is that with the Trump administration attacking all of the American friends/allies, no one is willing to step in and help America with curtailing Chinese trade abuses. ..."
"... I think the point they're making is by no means that this started with Trump, or that the Democrats have been all that great. Merely that he's been significantly worse (and many of the examples are egregiously anti-labor actions that would not have been done under a Clinton ((or a Bush or Romney for that matter)) and that the preposterousness of his thin pretence at being a friend of labor is an order of magnitude greater even than Biden's. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Donald Trump: billionaire of the people. When he ran for office, he said , "The American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them."

And how's that working out for the American worker? Not very well, actually, not very well. When it comes down to picking sides -- standing up for workers' rights or lining the pockets of CEOs and shareholders -- Trump aligned himself and his policies with the fat cats. This cost workers money and safety. The truth is that American corporations got a president who protected them and fought for them.

The proof is in Trump'slegislation, regulation and secretary selections. The most recent example is Trump's Twitter appointment of Eugene Scalia as Secretary of Labor. This is the department specifically designated to "foster, promote, and develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees." Scalia, though, has made his fortune over decades by fighting to ensure that the big guys -- corporations -- don't, in fact, have to abide by regulations intended to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the little guys -- wage earners, job seekers, and retirees.

That is who Trump chose to protect wage earners -- a corporatist so egregious that when former President George W. Bush wanted Scalia as Labor Department solicitor, Bush had to give him a recess appointment because Republicans in the Senate balked at approving him.

This isn't a glitch. It's a pattern. Although Trump is fond of surrounding himself with union members and asserting that they love him, he doesn't really like unions, especially ones that challenge him or dare to question his lies. Remember how he personally attacked Steelworker Chuck Jones who exposed Trump and Pence for claiming to save 1,100 jobs at Carrier when they really preserved only about half that many -- and then only after a grant of $7 million from the taxpayers of Indiana?

A president who supported organized labor would oppose freeriders who won't pay their fair share but still want all the benefits of union membership. A president who supported unions would not issue executive orders crippling unions representing federal workers. A president who supported unions would not delay or eliminate health and safety regulations designed to protect workers from sickness and death.

That's not Donald Trump. He supported Mark Janus, an Illinois government employee who wanted everything for nothing. Janus was fine with collecting the higher wages that the labor union representing him secured for workers, but Janus didn't want to contribute one red cent for that representation.

So with right-wing corporate billionaires picking up the tab for him, Janus took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered unions to provide workers like Janus with essentially a free lunch. That is, the court said unions must represent freeloaders like him, but those workers don't have to pay anything for all they get -- no dues, no fees, nothing.

Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The whole point of Janus' and the billionaires' court crusade was to bankrupt and try to kill unions. And Trump was on their side.

If Trump really were the billionaire of the people, he'd have stood with the union. That's who Trump promised that he would protect, the organization of average people trying to earn an honest living and standing up to big government and big corporations.

But he didn't.

That was in June of last year. Just last week , Trump went to court seeking enforcement of his executive orders restricting unions representing federal workers and enabling him to quickly fire workers. The unions contend Trump does not have this authority. This is not settled in court yet, but Trump is asking a judge to let him impose the orders before it is.

That sounds like a president using all of the power of big government to step on the tens of thousands of little guys who do the grueling work, day after day, to ensure the federal government serves the American people reasonably well.

There's even more. So much more.

Trump slow-walked implementation of silica and beryllium exposure safeguards intended to save workers' lives and delayed a rule requiring mine operators to identify potential hazards before workers begin their shifts. He helped thwart an attempt to extend overtime pay to 4 million workers . Trump blocked a rule that would have made it harder for corporations that violate labor laws to get federal contracts. Trump lifted not one finger to help those crushed by a starvation $7.25 minimum wage not raised in a decade .

And then there are his labor secretary choices. First he wanted Andy Puzder, CEO of the restaurant corporation that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr., an opponent of raising the minimum wage who said he preferred machines to humans. Puzder withdrew, and Alexander Acosta took over until he was forced to resign last month as a result of the unconscionable plea deal he gave an accused molester a decade ago when Acosta was a federal prosecutor.

Now the interim secretary is Patrick Pizzella, who lobbied for years to prevent Congress from extending minimum wage requirements to the Northern Mariana Islands , a commonwealth of the United States, where workers were paid as little as $1 an hour but the corporate bosses got to mark the merchandise produced there as Made in America. I guess that's how you Make America Great Again, huh?

Now, Trump has picked Scalia, son of the late, anti-worker Supreme Court justice. This is the guy who killed a proposed ergonomics rule to protect workers against injuries from repetitive motions, denigrating the research as "junk science" and "quackery."

This is the guy who argued that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the Labor Department, had no authority to regulate worker safety at SeaWorld after a 12,300-poundorca that had killed twice before attacked and drowned a trainer in front of hundreds of horrified children.

This is the guy who stopped the fiduciary rule that would have required brokers to act in clients' best interest rather than brokers' personal financial benefit by forbidding brokers from recommending investments that paid brokers big commissions but provided clients with low returns. This corrupt practice costs workers and retirees about $17 billion a year .

This is the guy who persuaded an appeals court to force card dealers in Las Vegas to split the tips they earn with their supervisors.

This guy is among the lawyers representing a petroleum producers' trade association that is suing to overturn a California regulation calling for worker participation to improve refinery safety. The state passed the legislation after a refinery fire in Richmond, California, sent 15,000 nearby residents to hospitals and doctor's offices for treatment, mostly for breathing problems. The lawsuit was filed in July, just days before an explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Texas that injured 37 people.

Scalia is a corporate shill. And he'd be reporting to Trump, whose slavish support of corporate bosses over working Americans has revealed he's nothing more than a poser in a red MAGA baseball cap.



Partyless Poster , , August 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm

So this is whats exasperating, if the Democrats actually hammered on these issues the would have so much support, instead its Russia Russia Russia all the time. "Inauthentic opposition" its like they don't want to win.

John Beech , , August 2, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Come on, nobody likes dealing with unions, not even Bernie. I suspect he's been hoist by his own petard because he's now on the horns of the pay dilemma of private enterprise due to his campaign workers unionizing and making pay demands.

Dealing with a labor union presents me with a conundrum. While I agree with the philosophy of a labor union, and for them having a voice because they 'should', I break with them in favor of management's view of union labor. Why? It's because the union members aren't good team players.

Sadly – and proving my pay grade doesn't extend high enough to have all the answers – I also break with one of management practices. This because I feel management are also poor team players because they pay themselves so darned much it seems unfair.

Basically I feel like one for all and all for one works for Musketeers and teams, the spirit falls apart with private capital. And that Marx business of, "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" is a proven loser.

I theorize each time it's because labor and management aren't really working for one team. How is Southwest's vaunted employee owned doing? Everybody happy? I doubt it. I almost wish there were privately held companies where there's an owner and employees, and employee-owned only. And publicly held must be accountable to government oversight to prevent abuses.

Why? I suspect if 'all' shares of Southwest were owned by the employees 'only' then the collectively 'they' would be rich in fact because only they owned the means of production (moving people and cargo via air for lucre).

Anyway, the key part everybody forgets about Marx is he prefaced the above in part with . . ."after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want."

This is an important point being overlooked because it presupposes people 'want' to go to work. Don't know about you but I don't really know many who want to work. Most would rather sip margaritas on the beach instead of going into work. Thus, as long as this is the case, the Marxist dream is just that, a pipe dream because most folks are 'lazy' – or put another way – don't want to exist only to work. Don't really blame them.

Anyway, if we recognize the truth of this (that many don't especially want to work), then it follows we also receive less productive work from some vs. others, then paying everybody the same is inherently unfair. And by extension, setting a minimum pay means everybody at that level is worth the same, and we know this isn't true!

So if you here are are forced to accept the validity of some of this, e.g. some who will show up and be a warm body – but – won't be a team player and give their heart to doing the best job, and others won't show up for a paycheck at all if not forced by want, then everybody isn't worth the same wage! In fact, is it unreasonable to presuppose some simply aren't worth a minimum amount of pay? Further to the point, forcing a minimum pay becomes in some terms, almost immoral and the antithesis of freedom because we don't receive some fair bit of labor in exchange from some.

Could this be why so many, especially amongst the working poor, are simply against Socialism/Communism/Marxism even if they can't put the 'why they're against it' into words? Yes, I know they're not the same but they'll be tarred with the same brush by Capitalist forces so the answers needs must.

Anyway, circling back, I am delighted with Bernie's newfound union involvement from management's perspective. Why? It's because I very much look forward to see how his views evolve.

skippy , , August 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm

I think the American neoliberal matrix has shifted social perspectives during its decadal tenure E.g. there is only the Market where one can become a Kardashian, Entertainment, IT, YouTube Vloger, et al and Brand Name Commodity for sale . individual needs and wants expressed in a manner Marx never envisioned.

The financial elites are already on Mars for all intents and purposes .

YankeeFrank , , August 2, 2019 at 7:32 pm

Oh please, all this team player talk and some people don't deserve a minimum wage do you have any idea how massively the US employee is exploited and trashed by the "team players" in management?

Everyone, even those who don't want to work, deserve to live. You have apparently imbibed the capitalist mantra that work defines moral value so fully that anyone who can't or won't work should starve.

The fact is our society produces so much surplus value it could (and does) afford to support a substantial number who don't work for various reasons (mainly disability due to working physically demanding jobs for decades that ruin their bodies). Work doesn't equal morality. Try to dig yourself out of the neoliberal mindset, its inhumane and morally hollow.

jrs , , August 2, 2019 at 7:51 pm

+1000 even those who don't want to work, deserve to live.

Besides the fact that I suspect there are actually VERY FEW who don't want to do any work. The beef isn't actually with this tiny minority but that they don't work to some capitalists definition of optimum (explotation). When a medieval peasant spent less time working than we do. So maybe they are working like medieval peasants which should actually be MORE THAN possible, if technology has done anything, but oddly since all the wealth funneled to the top, it's not.

Left in Wisconsin , , August 2, 2019 at 7:36 pm

Anyway, if we recognize the truth of this (that many don't especially want to work), then it follows we also receive less productive work from some vs. others, then paying everybody the same is inherently unfair. And by extension, setting a minimum pay means everybody at that level is worth the same, and we know this isn't true!

No doubt some workers do more and/or better work than others but, for almost all jobs, it is a myth that there is an economically fair way to pay workers based on their productivity. Because outside of a few truly solo occupations, all output is collective output – there is no way to distinguish each individual worker's contribution to that output. So pay is always a socio-economic outcome, based as much on social convention and bargaining power as any putative economic contribution. At one time, this was well and truly understood. But economists have massively obfuscated this common-sense point.

The fairest pay for production workers (regardless of what industry they work in or what goods or services they produce) is the pay that those workers, via their union, determine to be most fair. The reason why unions always push for equal pay for the same job is because they view favoritism as a more serious offense against fairness than someone not as talented getting the same pay as someone more talented.

Darthbobber , , August 2, 2019 at 7:58 pm

I recommend William Morris's excellent essay, "Useful Work versus Useless Toil." Conveys very well the problems with most employment.

Morris was quite good, BTW, at presenting his understanding of Marc's central points in an empirical English fashion.

Andy Raushner , , August 2, 2019 at 4:53 pm

Considering a producer led recession is starting, Trump has problems.

John Beech , , August 2, 2019 at 6:32 pm

Well, defacto, President Trump doesn't actually have a problem with such a recession because he's on Mars with the rest of the elites. It's 'we the people' who have the problem because we're the ones who actually suffer in a recession.

Louis Fyne , , August 2, 2019 at 5:23 pm

" Not very well, actually, not very well. When it comes down to picking sides -- standing up for workers' rights or lining the pockets of CEOs and shareholders -- Trump aligned himself and his policies with the fat cats . "

Oh, if only Democrats were in complete control of the White House, Senate and House at some point within the past 10 years!

The decline of the unions has been 50 years in the making under Democrats and Republicans. Blaming Trump is a convenient scapegoat and pinata for the left, but just the icing on the cake for decades of bad DC policies. Trump didn't create the Rust Belt or sign NAFTA.

just saying.

The Rage , , August 2, 2019 at 5:51 pm

NAFTA is a big nothing. It helped boost capital flows which capital needs for production. US growth is running above shrinking supply, which rejects your point.

The post-war era is the only time in is history, workers made such gains. Pretty clear why.

Just Saying ..

Noel Nospamington , , August 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm

The USA has had trade surpluses with Canada under NAFTA:

The United States has a $12.5 billion trade surplus with Canada in 2016. Canada has historically held a trade deficit with the United States in every year since 1985 in net trade of goods, excluding services. The trade relationship between the two countries crosses all industries and is vitally important to both nations' success as each country is one of the largest trade partners of the other.

And yet Trump blackmailed Canada into the USMCA which is far worse than NAFTA for both countries, and provides more benefits to large multi-national corporations.

Lets hope that the American congress kills USMCA, and leaves NAFTA in place.

The strange thing is that with the Trump administration attacking all of the American friends/allies, no one is willing to step in and help America with curtailing Chinese trade abuses.

Darthbobber , , August 2, 2019 at 8:04 pm

I think the point they're making is by no means that this started with Trump, or that the Democrats have been all that great. Merely that he's been significantly worse (and many of the examples are egregiously anti-labor actions that would not have been done under a Clinton ((or a Bush or Romney for that matter)) and that the preposterousness of his thin pretence at being a friend of labor is an order of magnitude greater even than Biden's.

[Jul 06, 2019] This election will spawn losers all over the place; the most tragic losers will be those that voted a supposed maverick into the high office in order to fight the 'liberal' or whatever establishment hoping to bring jobs back to the people.

Notable quotes:
"... you cannot fight the establishment with the establishment and Trump -who is a billionaire FFS- is another one who represents that. If he didn't he would not have been allowed to run. ..."
"... It is strange and telling that the discourse within the American public over the last 40 years or so allowed themselves to discuss and tackle to various levels of success issues like sexism, racism, institutional racism, misogyny, xenophobia, even sexuality and yes, even gun laws but one thing that is an absolute no-no in discourse is the economical and subsequentially political system. ..."
"... As long as people believe the American Dream is within reach to them, just like they believe it was for individuals like Trump, the economic system will remain its status quo and that is: riches for a few, struggles for many. ..."
"... You correctly state that you cannot fight the establishment with Trump. But I suggest he is the best choice. You assume a choice has been made to get that single person to help them. I suggest a choice has been made to plant a suicide bomber in the establishment. ..."
"... With Trump in that position, the entire credibility of the establishment has been destroyed. Trump is a clown. An idiot. Every time he spouting something misogynistic or racist he became a better weapon for the public to use to against the establishments structures. No better place for him than to have him as the Icon of the establishment. The (now) unacceptable face. ..."
"... As you say, the power is with the people. But they first must be angry and disgusted at the establishment. Clinton was not distasteful enough to rally the lefts anger. Trump is perfect. ..."
"... Trump will not stop the wars. All anyone had to do was look at the voting records of the republicans in office( that were reelected) that voted for more war equipment. They also wanted TTIP. Until the public realizes we have to change our state representatives nothing will change. ..."
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

CaptainSpaulding, 10 Nov 2016 10:42

This election will spawn losers all over the place; the most tragic losers will be those that voted a supposed maverick into the high office in order to fight the 'liberal' or whatever establishment hoping to bring jobs back to the people.

However, you cannot fight the establishment with the establishment and Trump -who is a billionaire FFS- is another one who represents that. If he didn't he would not have been allowed to run.

Just for the same reason that Bernie was squeezed out, not that I think he is a real socialist but one who would have come too close to do some real change. To quote Rosa Luxemburg: If an election would mean real change it would have been abolished

It is strange and telling that the discourse within the American public over the last 40 years or so allowed themselves to discuss and tackle to various levels of success issues like sexism, racism, institutional racism, misogyny, xenophobia, even sexuality and yes, even gun laws but one thing that is an absolute no-no in discourse is the economical and subsequentially political system.

As long as people believe the American Dream is within reach to them, just like they believe it was for individuals like Trump, the economic system will remain its status quo and that is: riches for a few, struggles for many.

The establishment will see for that and always find ways to maintain. One thing that has always worked perfectly fine is to find scapegoats like foreigners, immigrants, people on welfare, coloured people , minorities and so on. Can't even say this is typically American, it has worked most recently in the UK within the brexit discussion and in Germany and other places.

The power is with people, I remain optimistic; an election, though, will not change anything

SocTrap -> CaptainSpaulding 0 1

You correctly state that you cannot fight the establishment with Trump. But I suggest he is the best choice. You assume a choice has been made to get that single person to help them. I suggest a choice has been made to plant a suicide bomber in the establishment.

The problem has been that Obama has put an empathetic, intelligent and articulate face on the front of a deeply corrupted system. To attack the system one appears to be attacking him and that can be awkward.

With Trump in that position, the entire credibility of the establishment has been destroyed. Trump is a clown. An idiot. Every time he spouting something misogynistic or racist he became a better weapon for the public to use to against the establishments structures. No better place for him than to have him as the Icon of the establishment. The (now) unacceptable face.

As you say, the power is with the people. But they first must be angry and disgusted at the establishment. Clinton was not distasteful enough to rally the lefts anger. Trump is perfect.

BizaaroLand , 10 Nov 2016 10:42

One thing particular about Killery: I believe she was meant to deliver more war for her Davos employers. I've had enough of 'Mericuh's wars for profit, and to protect the Bankers fortunes. At this point I'm ready to vote for Idi Amin, if it stops the banker wars being waged for them by their proxy the United States.

boilingriver -> BizaaroLand 0 1

Trump will not stop the wars. All anyone had to do was look at the voting records of the republicans in office( that were reelected) that voted for more war equipment. They also wanted TTIP. Until the public realizes we have to change our state representatives nothing will change.

[Jul 06, 2019] Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.

Notable quotes:
"... Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.

There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest.

Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

... ... ...

[Jul 05, 2019] They bet on you do nothing and dependent on the fake elections.

Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez says: July 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm GMT 200 Words @gsjackson

You guys don't need a peace candidate you need a War Consigliere like the Godfather had! You people are being attacked from all angles and you are evaluating which Dem or Rep is going to fix the problems you face. Remember Bush Senior, (Iraq, Granada, Panama and CIA drug trafficking), Clinton, (Oklahoma City, Waco, Yugoslavia, Mena, AR Drug Money Laundering), Bush Junior, (9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan), Obama (Syria, Libya and Fast & Furious), Trump (Yet to be seen).

What does that tell you people? They are all the same! ...

They tell you what they are going to do, (conspiracy theories, movies and fake news). They bet on you do nothing and dependent on the fake elections.

AnonFromTN , says: July 2, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT

Tulsi was the only participant who said something sensible. Which means that she won't be a presidential candidate from any of the two main parties. Deep State won't let it happen.

Harold Smith , says: July 2, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
@J. Gutierrez

"They are all the same!"

Was LBJ the same as JFK? Was Nixon the same as Carter? Was Bush II the same as Reagan? Was Bush I the same as Gerald Ford?

No.

Why did Obama go through all the trouble of the JCPOA with Iran only to have orange clown trash it?
Why didn't Obama deliver Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine? Why didn't the Jerusalem Boys Choir sing praises to Obama?

I'll tell you why: Because they're NOT all the same. And as we get closer and closer to planetary extinction, those differences become very significant.

[Jul 02, 2019] A lot of wanderers in the US political desert recognize that all the two party duopoly can offer is a choice of mirages

Jan 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.co

--

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages.

Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.

-- lotlizard

[Jun 27, 2019] Consistency in the US Presidents betrayal of their voters is simply remarable

Trump is the same "betrayer in chief" as Obama was. They both are variations of Bush II
Jun 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Josh , Jun 26, 2019 1:54:18 PM | 19
This dude (Trump) has spent more than two years, and a ton of money, trying to pull the undercurrent of dissent in the American population into his camp and under his wing.

In all of his 'fighting with the establishment' he has managed to change exactly nothing and bring exactly nobody to justice. He has gathered the entirety of the Bush/Rumsfeld faction directly into his tent, while miraculously failing to so much as arrest a single member of the Clinton faction. And to top it off he just ordered an armed attack on an independent nation (which failed in spectacular fashion as thr first targeting drone was vaporized while he was watching the livestream). Come on dude.

[Jun 23, 2019] Is Democratic system theoretically sustainable?

Notable quotes:
"... "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy" - Alexis de Toqueville ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

bonefisher -> Livemike , 6 Mar 2012 06:52

Great post

The problem is that as De Toqueville realises (his quote below) most of the people commenting here are simply living a parasitic existence benefiting from state largesse - sucking the teat of a bloated and overburdened state caring not whether their sustenance is remotely sustainable and just voting for ever more

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy" - Alexis de Toqueville

[May 20, 2019] "Us" Versus "Them"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth. ..."
"... There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase. ..."
"... Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus. ..."
"... When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed. ..."
"... I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. ..."
"... If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. ..."
"... These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president. ..."
"... The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"" – Bill Hicks

Anyone who frequents Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, economic blogs, or fake-news mainstream media channels knows our world is driven by the "Us versus Them" narrative. It's almost as if "they" are forcing us to choose sides and believe the other side is evil. Bill Hicks died in 1994, but his above quote is truer today then it was then. As the American Empire continues its long-term decline, the proles are manipulated through Bernaysian propaganda techniques, honed over the course of decades by the ruling oligarchs, to root for their assigned puppets.

Most people can't discern they are being manipulated and duped by the Deep State controllers. The most terrifying outcome for these Deep State controllers would be for the masses to realize it is us versus them. But they don't believe there is a chance in hell of this happening. Their arrogance is palatable.

Their hubris has reached astronomical levels as they blew up the world economy in 2008 and successfully managed to have the innocent victims bail them out to the tune of $700 billion, pillaged the wealth of the nation through their capture of the Federal Reserve (QE, ZIRP), rigged the financial markets in their favor through collusion, used the hundreds of billions in corporate tax cuts to buy back their stock and further pump the stock market, all while their corporate media mouthpieces mislead and misinform the proles.

There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase.

Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus.

When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed.

I've never been big on joining a group. I tend to believe Groucho Marx and his cynical line, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member". The "Us vs. Them" narrative doesn't connect with my view of the world. As a realistic libertarian I know libertarian ideals will never proliferate in a society of government dependency, willful ignorance of the masses, thousands of laws, and a weak-kneed populace afraid of freedom and liberty. The only true libertarian politician, Ron Paul, was only able to connect with about 5% of the voting public. There is no chance a candidate with a libertarian platform will ever win a national election. This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Bill Hicks somewhat foreshadowed the last election by referencing another famous cynic.

"I ascribe to Mark Twain's theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House." ― Bill Hicks

Hillary Clinton wanted to be president so badly, she colluded with Barack Obama, Jim Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch and numerous other Deep State sycophants to ensure her victory, by attempting to entrap Donald Trump in a concocted Russian collusion plot and subsequent post-election coup to cover for their traitorous plot. I wouldn't say Donald Trump was dragged kicking and screaming into the White House, but when he ascended on the escalator at Trump Tower in June of 2015, I'm not convinced he believed he could win the presidency.

As the greatest self-promoter of our time, I think he believed a presidential run would be good for his brand, more revenue for his properties and more interest in his reality TV ventures. He was despised by the establishment within the Republican and Democrat parties. The vested interests controlling the media and levers of power in society scorned and ridiculed this brash uncouth outsider. In an upset for the ages, Trump tapped into a vein of rage and disgruntlement in flyover country and pockets within swing states, to win the presidency over Crooked Hillary and her Deep State backers.

I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. I hadn't voted for a Republican since 2000, casting protest votes for Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidates along the way. I despise the establishment, so their hatred of Trump made me vote for him. His campaign stances against foreign wars and Federal Reserve reckless bubble blowing appealed to me. I don't worship at the altar of the cult of personality. I judge men by their actions and not their words.

Trump's first two years have been endlessly entertaining as he waged war against fake news CNN, establishment Republicans, the Deep State coup attempt, and Obama loving globalists. The Twitter in Chief has bypassed the fake news media and tweets relentlessly to his followers. He provokes outrage in his enemies and enthralls his worshipers. With millions in each camp it is difficult to find an unbiased assessment of narrative versus real accomplishments.

I'm happy he has been able to stop the relentless leftward progression of our Federal judiciary. Cutting regulations and rolling back environmental mandates has been a positive. Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement and TPP, forcing NATO members to pay their fair share, and renegotiating NAFTA were all needed. Ending the war on coal and approving pipelines will keep energy costs lower. His attempts to vet Muslims entering the country have been the right thing to do. Building a wall on our southern border is the right thing to do, but he should have gotten it done when he controlled both houses.

The use of tariffs to force China to renegotiate one sided trade deals as a negotiating tactic is a high-risk, high reward gamble. If his game of chicken is successful and he gets better terms from the Chicoms, while reversing the tariffs, it would be a huge win. If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. Who has the upper hand? Xi is essentially a dictator for life and doesn't have to worry about elections or popularity polls. Dissent is crushed. A global recession and stock market crash would make Trump's re-election in 2020 problematic.

I'm a big supporter of lower taxes. The Trump tax cuts were sold as beneficial to the middle class. That is a false narrative. The vast majority of the tax cut benefits went to mega-corporations and rich people. Middle class home owning families with children received little or no tax relief, as exemptions were eliminated and tax deductions capped. In many cases, taxes rose for working class Americans.

With corporate profits at all time highs, massive tax cuts put billions more into their coffers. They didn't repatriate their overseas profits to a great extent. They didn't go on a massive hiring spree. They didn't invest in new facilities. They did buy back their own stock to help drive the stock market to stratospheric heights. So corporate executives gave themselves billions in bonuses, which were taxed at a much lower rate. This is considered winning in present day America.

The "Us vs. Them" issue rears its ugly head whenever Trump is held accountable for promises unkept, blatant failures, and his own version of fake news. Holding Trump to the same standards as Obama is considered traitorous by those who only root for their home team. Their standard response is that you are a Hillary sycophant or a turncoat to the home team. If you agree with a particular viewpoint or position of a liberal then you are a bad person and accused of being a lefty by Trump fanboys. Facts don't matter to cheerleaders. Competing narratives rule the day. Truthfulness not required.

The refusal to distinguish between positive actions and negative actions when assessing the performance of what passes for our political leadership by the masses is why cynicism has become my standard response to everything I see, hear or he read. The incessant level of lies permeating our society and its acceptance as the norm has led to moral decay and rampant criminality from the White House, to the halls of Congress, to corporate boardrooms, to corporate newsrooms, to government run classrooms, to the Vatican, and to households across the land. It's interesting that one of our founding fathers reflected upon this detestable human trait over two hundred years ago.

"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine's description of how moral mischief can ruin a society was written when less than 3 million people inhabited America. Consider his accurate assessment of humanity when over 300 million occupy these lands. The staggering number of corrupt prostituted sociopaths occupying positions of power within the government, corporations, media, military, churches, and academia has created a morally bankrupt empire of debt.

These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president.

The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them. The answer to that question will strongly impact the direction and intensity of the climactic years of this Fourth Turning. What I've noticed is the shunning of those who don't take an all or nothing position regarding Trump. If you disagree with a decision, policy, or hiring decision by the man, you are accused by the pro-Trump team of being one of them (aka liberals, lefties, Hillary lovers).

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers. I don't want to be Us or Them. I just want to be me. I will judge everyone by their actions and their results. I can agree with Trump on many issues, while also agreeing with Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul, Glenn Greenwald or Matt Taibbi on other issues. I don't prescribe to the cult of personality school of thought. I didn't believe the false narratives during the Bush or Obama years, and I won't worship at the altar of the Trump narrative now.

In Part II of this article I'll assess Trump's progress thus far and try to determine whether he can defeat the Deep State.


TerryThomas , 32 minutes ago link

"The scientific and industrial revolution of modern times represents the next giant step in the mastery over nature; and here, too, an enormous increase in man's power over nature is followed by an apocalyptic drive to subjugate man and reduce human nature to the status of nature. Even where enslavement is employed in a mighty effort to tame nature, one has the feeling that the effort is but a tactic to legitimize total subjugation. Thus, despite its spectacular achievements in science and technology, the twentieth century will probably be seen in retrospect as a century mainly preoccupied with the mastery and manipulation of men. Nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism, and militarism, cartelization and unionization, propaganda and advertising are all aspects of a general relentless drive to manipulate men and neutralize the unpredictability of human nature. Here, too, the atmosphere is heavy-laden with coercion and magic." --Eric Hoffer

666D Chess , 11 minutes ago link

Divide and conquer, not a very novel idea... but very effective.

Kafir Goyim , 32 minutes ago link

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers

That's not true. When Trump kisses Israeli ***, most "Trumpeteers" are outraged. That does not mean they're going to vote for Joe "I'm a Zionist" Biden, or Honest Hillary because of it, but they're still pissed.

Rich Monk , 33 minutes ago link

These predators (((them))) need to fear the Victims, us! That is what the 2ND Amendment is for. It's coming, slowly for now, but eventually it speeds up.

yellowsub , 42 minutes ago link

Ya'll a dumb fool if you think gov't as your best interests first.

legalize , 46 minutes ago link

Citation needed.

Any piece like this better be littered with footnotes and cited sources before I'm swallowing it.

I'll say it again: this is the internet, people. There's no "shortage of column space" to include links back to primary sources for your assertions. Otherwise, how am I supposed to distinguish you from another "psy op" or "paid opposition hit piece"?

bshirley1968 , 51 minutes ago link

"The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them."

If you still ponder this question, then you are pretty frickin' thick. It is obvious at this point, that he betrayed everything he campaigned on. You don't do that and call yourself one of "us".......damn sure aren't one of "me".

If I couldn't keep my word and wouldn't do what it takes to do what is right.....then I would resign. But I would not go on playing politics in a world that needs some real leadership and not another political hack.

The real battle is between Truth and Lie. No matter the name of your "team" or the "side" you support. Truth is truth and lies are lies. We don't stand for political parties, we stand for truth. We don't stand for national pride, we take pride in a nation that is truthful and trustworthy. The minute a "side" or "team" starts lying.....and justifying it.....that is the minute they become them and not one of us.

Any thinking person in this country today knows we are being lied to by the entire complex. Until someone starts telling the truth.....we are on our own. But I be damned before I am going to support any of these lying sons of bitches......and that includes Trump.

Fish Gone Bad , 37 minutes ago link

Dark comedy. All the elections have been **** choices until the last one. Take a look at Arkancide.com and start counting the bodies.

Anyone remember the news telling us how North Korea promised to turn the US into a sea of fire?? Trump absolutely went to bat for every single American to de-escalate that situation.

bshirley1968 , 31 minutes ago link

Don't tell me about Arkancide or the Clintons. I grew up in Arkansas with that sack of **** as my governor for 12 years.

NK was never a real threat to anyone. Trump didn't do ****. NK is back to building and shooting off missiles and will be teaming up with the Russians and Chinese. You are a duped bafoon.

Kafir Goyim , 28 minutes ago link

I don't think anybody thought NK was an existential threat to the US. It has still been nice making progress on bringing them back into the world and making them less of a threat to Japan and S. Korea. Trump did that.

Giant Meteor , 9 minutes ago link

Dennis Rodman did that, or that is to say, Trump an extension thereof ..

Great theater..

Look, i thought it was great that Trump went Kim Unning. I mean after all, i had talked with a few elderly folks that get their news directly from the mainstream of mainstream, vanilla news reportage. Propaganda central casting. I remember them being extremely concerned, outright petrified about that evil menace, kim gonna launch nukes any minute now. If the news would have been announced a major troop mobilization, bombing campaigns, to begin immediately they would have been completely onboard, waving the flag.

Frankly, it is only a matter of time, and folks can speculate on the country of interest, but it is coming soon to a theater near you. So many being in the crosshairs. Iran i suspect .. that's the big prize, that makes these sociopaths cream in their panties.

Probably. In the second term .. and so far, if ones honestly evaluates the "brain trust" / current crop of dimwit opposition, and in light of their past 2 plus years of moronic posturing with their hair on fire, trump will get his second term ..

666D Chess , 15 minutes ago link

Until the last one? You are retarded, the last election was a masterpiece of Rothschilds Productions. The Illuminati was watching you at their private cinema when you were voting for Trump and they were laughing their asses off.

HoodRatKing , 55 minutes ago link

The author does not realize that everyone in America, except Native American Indians, were immigrants drawn towards the false promise of hope that is the American Dream, turned nightmare..

Owning your own home, car, & raising a family in this country is so damn expensive & risky, that you'd have be on drugs or an idiot to even fall for the lies.

I don't see an us vs them, I see the #FakeMoney printers monetized every facet of life, own everything, & it truly is RENT-A-LIFE USSA, complete with bills galore, taxes galore, laws galore, jails & prisons galore, & the worst fkn country anyone would want to live in poverty & homelessness in.

At least in many 3rd world nations there is land to live off of & joblessness does not = a financial death sentence.

bshirley1968 , 39 minutes ago link

Sure. Lets all go back to living in huts.....off the land....no cars.....no electricity.....no running water......no roads....

There is a price to pay for things and it is not always in the form of money. We have given up some of our freedom for the ease and conveniences we want.

The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke.

There is a balance. Don't take the other extreme or we never find balance.

911bodysnatchers322 , 56 minutes ago link

This article is moronic. One can easily prove that Trump is not like all the others in the poster. Has this author been living under a rock for the last 2.5 yrs? The past 5 presidents represent a group that has been literally trying to assassinate Trump, ruin his family, his reputation, his buisness and his future, for the audacity to be an ousider to the power network and steal (win) the presidency from under their noses. He's kept us OUT of war. He's dissolved the treachery that was keeping us in the middle east through gaslighitng and a proxy fake war that is ISIS, the globalists' / nato / fiveys / uk's fake mercenary army

Giant Meteor , 25 minutes ago link

And yet, I'll never forget all the smiling faces at the gala wedding affair.

Happier times ..

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/us/politics/ex-ally-donald-trump-now-heaps-scorn-on-bill-clinton.html

And yes, thanks in advance for noting the link is from New York slime, but i believe the picture in this case anyway, was not photo shopped.

She is, (hillary) after all, good people, a real fighter ..

**** .. mission accomplished ..

ExPat2018 , 1 hour ago link

The greatest threat to the USA is its own dumbed down drugged up citizens who cannot compete with anyone. America is a big military powerhouse but that doens't make successful countries

You must have intelligent people

America doesn't have that anymore.

JuliaS , 1 hour ago link

Notice how modern narrative is getting manipulated. What is being reported and referenced is completely different from how things are. And knowing that we can assume that the entire history is a fabricated lie, written by the ruling class to support its status in the minds of obedient citizens.

911bodysnatchers322 , 54 minutes ago link

This article is garbage propaganda that proves that they think we aren't keeping score or paying attention. The gaslighting won't work when it relies on so much counterthink, willful ignorance, counterfacts and weaponized omissions

istt , 1 hour ago link

The reality is the de-escalation of wars, the stability of our currency and our economy, and the moral re-grounding of our culture does not occur until we do what over 100 countries have done over the centuries, beginning in Carthage in 250AD.

fersur , 1 hour ago link

There's an old saying; "Congress does 2 things well Nothing and Protest" said by Pence Live-Streamed 4 hours ago at USMCA America First speech !

Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good is President Trump works extreme daily hours trying his best !

The Bad is Haters miss every bit of whatever their President Trump does that is good !

The Ugly is Hater Reporters ignoring World events, scared of possibly shining President Trump fairly !

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

You really are making it a bit too obvious, bro.

911bodysnatchers322 , 52 minutes ago link

The congress are statusquotarians. If they solved the problems they say they would,they'd be out of a job. and that job is sitting there acting like a naddler or toxic post turtle leprechaun with a charisma and skill level of zero. Their staff do all the work, half of them barely read, though they probably can

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

I still think 1st and 2nd ammedment is predicated on which party rules the house. If a Dem gets into the WH, we're fucked. Kiss those Iast two dying amendments goodbye for good.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

If we rely on any party to preserve the 1st or 2nd Amendments, we are already fucked. What should preserve the 1st and 2nd Amendments is the absolute fear of anyone in government even mentioning suppressing or removing them. When the very thought of doing anything to lessen the rights advocated in these two amendments, causes a politician to piss in their pants, liberty will be preserved. As it is now citizens fear the government, and as a result tyranny continues to grow and fester as a cancer.

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

In other words, those amendments are already lost... we're just waiting for the final dictate to come down.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

You may very well be right. I still hold out hope, but upon seeing what our society is quickly morphing into, that hope seems to fade more each and every day.

SHsparx , 49 minutes ago link

@ Zeusky Babarusky

I couldn't agree with you more.

Unfortunately, it is what it is, which is why I used the word "dying."

Those two amendments are on their deathbed, and if a Dem gets in the house, that'll be the nail in the coffin.

bshirley1968 , 1 hour ago link

If you think the 1st and 2nd amendments are reliant on who is in office, then you are already done. Why don't you try growing a pair and being an American for once in your life.

I will always have a 1st and 2nd "amendment" for as long as I live. Life is meaningless without them.....as far as I am concerned. Good thing the founders didn't wait for king George to give them what they "felt" was theirs.....by the laws of Nature and Nature's God.

I hope the democrats get the power......and I hope they come for the guns......maybe then pussies like you will finally have to **** or get off the pot......for once in your life. There are worse things than dying.

Nephilim , 1 hour ago link

THEHAZELFLOCKOFCRANES

BRINDLED FOOT,

AUSTRALIAN.

caveofgoldcaveofold

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

"Why do we have wars?"

"Because life is war: fighting for survival, resources, and what is best in the world."

"Why do people say war is bad?"

"Because they are useful idiots who have been tricked by religion and/or weak degenerates who are too weary to participate."

delta0ne , 1 hour ago link

This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Unless we get rid of *** influencing from abroad and domestically. Getting rid of English King few hundred years ago was a joke! this would be a challenge because dual-citizens masquerading as locals.

blind_understanding , 1 hour ago link

Last revolution (1776) we targeted the WRONG ENEMY.

We targeted King George III instead of the private bankers who owned of the Bank of England and the issued of the British-pound currency.

George III was himself up to his ears in debt to them by 1776, when the bankers installed George Washington to replace George III as their middleman in the American colonies, by way of the phony revolution.

Phony because ownership of the central bank and currency (Federal-Reserve Banks, Federal-Reserve notes) we use, remains in the same banking families' hands to this day. The same parasite remains within our government.

djrichard , 1 hour ago link

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/05/16/the-gervais-principle-vi-children-of-an-absent-god/

It is this strangely incomplete calculus that creates the shifting Loser world of rifts and alliances. By operating with a more complete calculus, Sociopaths are able to manipulate this world through the divide-and-conquer mechanisms. The result is that the Losers end up blaming each other for their losses, seek collective emotional resolution, and fail to adequately address the balance sheet of material rewards and losses.

To succeed, this strategy requires that Losers not look too closely at the non-emotional books. This is why, as we saw last time, divide-and-conquer is the most effective means for dealing with them, since it naturally creates emotional drama that keeps them busy while they are being manipulated.

[May 07, 2019] The Neoliberal Record Of Kamala Harris, The Democrat's Rising Star by Roqayah Chamseddine

Highly recommended!
Aug 16, 2017 | www.mintpressnews.com

... ... ...

In 2014, lawyers for Kamala Harris argued in court that if minimum-custody inmates were released early, the state of California would "lose an important labor pool." These inmates included firefighters, who are paid $1 an hour to confront some of the deadliest blazes in California history. Harris later argued that she was unaware her own office argued in favor of keeping parolees in jail so they could serve as the state's on-call cheap labor.

A breakthrough profile in the New York Times referred to Harris as a "top cop" prosecutor who, according to critics, "failed to take on prosecutorial misconduct." The profile noted in 2015 her office was called out for "defending convictions obtained by local prosecutors who inserted a false confession into the transcript of a police interrogation, lied under oath, and withheld crucial evidence from the defense."

Police crimes were largely ignored by Harris. Oakland police officer Miguel Masso shot and killed Alan Blueford in 2012. Multiple witnesses said Blueford had no weapon, did not pose a threat to the officer, and was running away from the officer.

The Justice For Alan Blueford Coalition wrote a letter to Harris and demanded she do her job by bringing charges against Masso. Supporters engaged in civil disobedience in 2014, after she refused to meet with them. They were arrested (and police even swept up their legal observer in the arrests).

Harris' book "Smart On Crime," published in 2009, was a testament to a deeply capitalist, dystopian political ideology shared by even the most "progressive" Democrats.

The public is often referred to as "consumers" (examples: "consumers of safety," "consumer education"). They are urged to support a crime policy which relentlessly focuses on violent crime, "and the prosecution of violent criminals."

"The opportunity before us encourages transformation and empowerment of communities: rather than people feeling like helpless victims of crimes, they can become educated consumers of safety."

Harris characterizes policing as a "service" and suggests:

[W]e can find and are finding more effective ways to reduce the sheer volume of nonviolent crime and recidivism, so that those nonviolent offenders don't escalate their behavior and become so enmeshed in the crime cycle that we end up having to pay attention to them -- and frankly pay for them -- for the rest of their lives. The money we save can be used to put more police officers on the street, solve more crimes, attack more high-tech and identity-theft crimes with better technology, and provide services to victims. [emphasis added]

In 2010, Harris pushed a heavy-handed truancy initiative that went into effect in 2011. This anti-truancy bill -- SB 1317 -- made it so that parents of truant children who miss more than 10 percent of their classes can be charged with a misdemeanor and given a $2,000 fine or a year in prison "if, after being offered state support and counseling, their kids still fail to improve their attendance."

This wasn't Harris' first dance with anti-truancy measures, by any means. In 2009, Harris wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle that she had already prosecuted 20 parents for truancy, thereby introducing, or reintroducing, children and their families to a criminal justice system that is already stacked against them.

During her 2010 campaign, Harris touted a record of what she described as tough, affirmative crime prevention. Her official campaign page bragged that her felony conviction rate surpassed the years before -- "from 52 percent in 2003 to 67 percent in 2006, the highest in a decade."

Harris played a role in the wider United States drug war, increasing convictions for drug dealers from 56 percent to 74 percent in just three years.

Despite forming the first Mortgage and Investment Fraud Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, Harris refused to go after "foreclosure king" Steven Mnuchin, a decision she defended as recently as January. Mnuchin, who oversaw some 36,000 foreclosures between 2009 to 2015, violated numerous state foreclosure laws, and yet Harris refused to concede that his record should keep him from serving as President Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary.

Harris' record with police departments and the California prison industry is not simply a result of her job as attorney general. She played a key role in expanding the horizon of state violence.

Now, rather than diversifying the ranks of state actors responsible for oppression, it is critical to force Senator Kamala Harris to reckon with her neoliberal record, regardless of how her "K-Hive" may respond to such efforts.

Published in partnership with Shadowproof .

[May 06, 2019] Trump is a Symptom of 40 years of NeoLiberalism and the Corporate Capture of the US government.

Notable quotes:
"... Railing against Trump only sets up the next smooth-talking stooge who will start a fresh new con. ..."
"... Dore traces the problem primarily to Democratic Party's turning to identity politics instead of representing the working class. They sold us out. Clinton and Obama are just "Republican light" aka "Centrist" "Third Way" Democrats. "Centrist" = establishment-serving con artists. ..."
"... "Managed democracy" or "guided democracy" : is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto autocracy. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals. ..."
May 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 5, 2019 4:00:01 PM | 1 2 ">link

< james @6>

Jimmy Dore has a short video that describes the problem: Trump Is A Symptom Of A Larger Problem .

Dore makes the same point I have: "Trump is a Symptom of 40 years of NeoLiberalism and the Corporate Capture of the U.S. government." Railing against Trump only sets up the next smooth-talking stooge who will start a fresh new con.

Dore traces the problem primarily to Democratic Party's turning to identity politics instead of representing the working class. They sold us out. Clinton and Obama are just "Republican light" aka "Centrist" "Third Way" Democrats. "Centrist" = establishment-serving con artists.

"Managed democracy" or "guided democracy" : is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto autocracy. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals.

In other words, the government controls elections so that the people can exercise all their rights without truly changing public policy. While they follow basic democratic principles, there can be major deviations towards authoritarianism. Under managed democracy, the state's continuous use of propaganda techniques prevents the electorate from having a significant impact on policy.

The concept of a "guided democracy" was developed in the 20th century by Walter Lippmann in his seminal work Public Opinion (1922) and by Edward Bernays in his work Crystallizing Public Opinion.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

RT has a good video on Yellow Vest protestors (on rt.com homepage). It's kind long for the info that it provides. I suggest skipping some parts.

[Apr 26, 2019] More on Trump betrayal if his foreign policy campaign promises and his alliance with Israel

Notable quotes:
"... To be perfectly honest with you PL, when Trump was elected I thought to myself, WoW! for the first time since JFK or LBJ ..."
"... I thought he was going to be the first non-neoconservative president, possibly a crude 2016 resurgence of paleoconservatism, hence his intense focus on immigration, culture wars and identity politics mixed with authentic economic nationalism and non-interventionism (hence his lively attacks on the very ideology of neoconservatism) but obviously his admin is significantly more hawkish than the old Vulcans(!) back in the Bush days. ..."
"... One could even argue that from 2006 to 2008, Bush somewhat learned the ropes and distanced itself from the crazy Vulcans and more toward Realism, hence Condi Rice's handling of the 33-day war between Israel and Lebanon, as well dismissing the like of Perle, Wolfowitz, and others later on. But with Trump, given his knack for indifference to what is right and wrong and his method of shilling for whoever is willing to chip in the most, any progression toward common sense inside Donald Trump is highly unlikely to happen. ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

E Publius said in reply to turcopolier ... , 25 April 2019 at 04:33 PM

To be perfectly honest with you PL, when Trump was elected I thought to myself, WoW! for the first time since JFK or LBJ (possibly as far back as Truman) someone "new" has become president of the U.S. who does not come from the Washington elite circle/Borg/Blob. I remember watching the debates and the way he politically neutralized the likes of Bush, Rubio, and Ted Cruz and on top of that, Hilary Clinton.

I thought he was going to be the first non-neoconservative president, possibly a crude 2016 resurgence of paleoconservatism, hence his intense focus on immigration, culture wars and identity politics mixed with authentic economic nationalism and non-interventionism (hence his lively attacks on the very ideology of neoconservatism) but obviously his admin is significantly more hawkish than the old Vulcans(!) back in the Bush days.

One could even argue that from 2006 to 2008, Bush somewhat learned the ropes and distanced itself from the crazy Vulcans and more toward Realism, hence Condi Rice's handling of the 33-day war between Israel and Lebanon, as well dismissing the like of Perle, Wolfowitz, and others later on. But with Trump, given his knack for indifference to what is right and wrong and his method of shilling for whoever is willing to chip in the most, any progression toward common sense inside Donald Trump is highly unlikely to happen.

In terms of the admin's policy in the ME, I think the immediate focus of the U.S-Israel policy in the region is "Lebanon" and Trump's ME policies among other things is deeply attached to Lebanon and that specific patch of land. Even Hassan Nasrallah has sounded the alarm and in his recent TV speech during which he warned the Lebanese people of a possible incoming war in the Summer with Israel that would be devastating to the people in the region.

Regarding Russia, in the past 1+ years it has become clear that Russia is going to play a stronger role in the ME, possibly even replacing the U.S. there, especially given the warm relations between Putin and Netanyahu where the former has not raised any objection against the latter's constant illegal bombings in Syria and Iraq among other things.

The false impression was that Putin is going to stand up to Netanyahu and form some sort of diplomatic and even military resistance to its aggression in the ME, but that is clearly not the case. Andrew Korybko of Eurasiafuture has written extensively on this interesting and unfolding new dynamic between the two. All in all I hope a shred of common sense prevails inside the head of these Hard Neocons and Trump himself and stop its belligerence against Iran and other ME countries. Nobody wants war and nobody needs war

P.S. I am an avid reader of your valuable analyses and I would like to offer my deepest thanks to you for this great website.

[Apr 24, 2019] The new narrative is they got him, Watergate 2.0

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm GMT

@MarkU

The new narrative is that of an embattled president trying against the odds to do the right thing

the new narrative is they got him, Watergate 2.0

*if* that is correct the changes to expect are
– media going easier on him
– corporate dems going easier on him (while smirking a lot)
– more war
– more corporate donors as they might prefer a controlled Trump to a Sanders
– they might throw him a symbolic bone on immigration to help him win in 2020

Realist , says: April 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm GMT
@notanon

– more corporate donors as they might prefer a controlled Trump to a Sanders
– they might throw him a symbolic bone on immigration to help him win in 2020

The Deep State will never allow an uncontrolled candidate to win.

[Apr 24, 2019] The analysis of possible reasons of Trump betrayal

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Adrian E. , says: April 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm GMT

I see that there are mainly two opposing explanations:

a) Donald Trump really wanted to break with the neocons, but he is under such enormous pressure that he had to give in to them (at least temporarily, maybe, according to that interpretation, there is still hope)

b) Donald Trump wanted to behave this way from the start, and if there is a conspiracy, he is a part of it. He just said some things about not involving the US in conflicts that are not in its interest because that was popular in order to get elected, but he never had any intentions of going through with it.

I think there are problems with both explanations.

The main problem with a):
Even if Trump had to make concessions because he was under such enormous pressure, it is hardly plausible that there really was a need to surround himself with neocons to such a degree and go much further with neoconservative policies in some areas than many mainstream Republicans would probably have gone.

The main problem with b):
If Trump really belongs to the inner circle, it does not seem very plausible that intelligence services and establishment politicians would go to such lengths constructing a conspiracy theory (setting up meetings of Papadopoulos with Mifsud and Downer, the Steele dossier, campaign surveillance), which is not only a lot of effort, but also lays bare some elements of the "deep state" they would normally prefer to keep hidden.

How one might attempt to save a):
While the neocons are generally very influential in the US, they normally operate in the background. They don't have full control over lawmakers. However, some members of Congress are very close to neocons, and many of them (in both parties) were among the strictest anti-Trumpers. The most concrete danger of impeachment for Trump was that some Republicans closely connected with neocons would unite with Democrats against him. Appointing lots of neocons and increasing their influence might have been the best option of placating these neoconservative Republican anti-Trumpers (or even to make these Republican neocons stop being anti-Trumpers).

How one might attempt to save b):
While the whole Russiagate conspiracy theory is somewhat risky for the (overt and deep) establishment, it is also a great distraction. Furthermore, I think Russiagate was not primarily directed against Trump, but more against Russia and in favor of increasing military spending from which many in the establishment profit. Generally, Democrats used to be somewhat less hawkish than Republicans, and since they already hate Trump fervently (but mostly didn't care much about Russia), Russiagate was a great opportunity for making Democrats even more ardent supporters of the new cold war, the intelligence services, and the security state. One could hardly invent such an efficient means for making Democrats hate Russia and support the surveillance state except by associating their boogeyman with Russia. Many Republicans would go along with the new cold war, anyway, winning over Democrats for the CIA, anti-Russian hatred and military spending was particularly valuable.

So, I think both a) and b) are probably partially true.

I don't think Trump was really a part of an inner circle. As someone from the outside, some of the bipartisan neoconservative dogmas were probably alien to him. There are some leaks (e.g. in the book by Bob Woodward) that show that Trump questioned the large number of expensive military bases around the world. He probably looked at it from a business perspective, and it seems hard to justify such enormous expenses. Furthermore, he had some ideas about the rivalry with China, and the idea of alienating and antagonizing Russia, China, and some medium-sized countries (and to some degree even Western Europe, though it mostly still follows the US) all at once, which pushes them into closer collaboration probably seems odd to someone from the outside who has not been surrounded by people from neoconservative think tanks for most of his life. On the other hand, I don't think there were any deep convictions behind the things Trump said in his campaign. He just said things that a) seemed to be popular and b) he probably mostly agreed with himself, but when it became clear to him that it was more convenient for him to do something very different from what he had said during the campaign, he hardly hesitated.

I think that for the (both overt and deep) establishment someone "naïve" from the outside was seen as a threat. On the other hand, they probably also understood that Trump hardly has strong convictions and therefore would give in relatively easily under pressure. So, the Russiagate conspiracy theory was probably a good idea from the perspective of the (overt and deep) establishment for bringing Trump into line.

Then, I would also distinguish some things. Trump probably was very pro-Israeli from the start. But being pro-Israeli does not have to mean being anti-Russian, after all the Israeli and Russian government have relatively good relations, even though their interests diverge in many areas.

Harold Smith , says: April 23, 2019 at 3:52 pm GMT
@Bragadocious

"Your analysis fails to account for the fact that Trump essentially ran as a third party candidate."

Deep state sleeper agent Trump ran as an "outsider" opposed to everything that deep state agent Hillary Clinton stood for. His candidacy was a carefully calculated bait and switch fraud which leveraged his non-career-politician status.

"His original agenda of sealing up the border and ending Bush-Obama regime change ran counter to both parties."

Since his campaign strategy was to present himself as an outsider, of course he had to pretend to take positions that ran counter to both parties. It's now painfully obvious that his "original agenda" was nothing but disingenuous BS.

"There's been no one more hostile to Trump since Jan. 2017 than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, both Republicans."

Talk is cheap.

"As Darren Beattie said, McConnell's tactic with Trump all along has been to block him on everything except for federal judges. And McConnell's winning."

Everything, or just the things that Trump pretends to want but doesn't really want? Funny that nobody's been able to deter him from his war crimes and his provocations and his apparent drive to start WW3.

"Now you'll probably say, it's all theater, they're all in on it together, wake up & smell the coffee."

How will smelling coffee change the fact that it is all political theater?

"I don't believe it."

LOL! You think Trump is honest? Seriously?

"Trump could have run as a Jeb Bush Republican and done just fine, but he didn't."

Or so you barely assert; and so you barely assert without explaining how Jeb Bush lost the primary to Trump.

"He took a huge risk saying the stuff he did, and won."

He won because agent Obama, agent Clinton and their deep state handlers helped him win. Or do you think it was just a coincidence that Obama attacked the Syrian army at Deir Ezzor in Sept. 2016, for example, which greatly escalated tensions with Russia just as the election was coming into the home stretch?

[Apr 24, 2019] Is Trump a part of the Deep State?

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: April 22, 2019 at 11:28 pm GMT

The Deep State plot to undermine the president

The President is part of the Deep State.

To understand what the Deep State will and will not tolerate answer these questions.

What do both parties agree on? If they appear to disagree, look to see if anything changes when one party has the power to cause change or does the party in power make excuses to avoid change? Those things that the populus is against but never change or get worse are what the Deep State wants

The Deep State wants a constant state of tension with 'hostile' countries (Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China, Syria and others). This scares the crap out of ignorant Americans and allows unjustifiable spending on war matériel.

The Deep State wants a steady supply of cheap foreign labor to provide wealth to the supporters of the Deep State.

The Deep State wants our financial institutions to never fail (FED 2009) even at the expense of 90% of Americans. The Deep State wants financial institutions to provide financial products to the wealthy which cripples the vast majority of Americans.

The silly internecine squabbles within the Deep State are a ruse to misdirect the public from important issues like constant war, legal and illegal immigrants taking jobs from Americans and the increased transfer of wealth for the 90% to the supper weathy.

There will never be a wall and illegal immigration will continue to be a problem.

All the investigations into Trump, the DNC, Hillary and all the rest will never come to justice.

The wealth transfer will not stop

Until Americans realize these diversions for what they are and put an end to it through what ever means necessary

renfro , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:28 am GMT

it was successful as Trump was likely forced to turn his back on his better angels and subsequently hired Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.

Oh plezzze .you sound like you've been drugged.
Trump never had any better angels as any reporter and journalist whoever interviewed or investigated him would tell you.

And come on! .You know damn well Adelson sent Bolton and you should also know damn well why the Orange Boy staffed his adm with Zio Jews. .no one in NY except Jews would associate with Trump.

.

notanon , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:35 am GMT
i think some of the conspiracy was about controlling Trump's foreign policy going forward but i also think some of it was people like Brennan worried CIA collusion with Saudi funded jihadist groups since 9/11 (and possibly before) might come out.
Hiram of Tyre , says: April 23, 2019 at 4:41 am GMT
Right.

A plot to undermine another POTUS who does exactly what the previous ones did: bend over to Israel, continues wars, etc.

Trump is only controlled opposition.

notanon , says: Next New Comment April 23, 2019 at 4:52 am GMT
@renfro if that was true why did they invent the Russia hoax so they could bug him?
renfro , says: Next New Comment April 23, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT
Trump biggest regret is going to be that he ever ran for President. Impeached or not impeached all his dirty laundry is going to be exposed. Even if he secured a second term there is no statute of limitations on what he could be prosecuted for .so the minute he steps down from the WH he's going to have to spend everything he's got on lawyers fighting the charges the SDNY is going to bring against him.

David Cay Johnston: What Is Trump Hiding in His Tax Returns?

The Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter explains what's likely in Trump's returns.

By Jon WienerTwitter

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter who previously worked at The New York Times. He's the founder and editor of DCReport.org.

Jon Wiener: The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee formally requested six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns earlier this month. Trump, of course, refused to comply, and said the law is "100 percent" on his side. Does the IRS have to hand over Trump's tax returns to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee?

David Cay Johnston: If they follow the law, they absolutely have to hand them over. Under a 1924 anti-corruption law that was passed because of Teapot Dome, a Harding-administration scandal, Congress can look at anybody's tax return at any time. In the 85-year history of this law, the IRS has always responded appropriately to the request and turned over everything that was requested.

[Hide MORE]
JW: What are the exceptions to this law?

DCJ: There aren't any. It says, "Congress shall provide upon written request." That's it. Well, they have a written request, it's a specific request, and therefore they shall provide. The statement by Donald Trump that the law is 100 percent on his side is just classic Trumpian lying: Take something that is true, and state the exact opposite.

JW: Does the IRS commissioner have any alternative to handing over Trump's tax returns? What happens if he doesn't comply?

DCJ: There's another section of the tax code which says that any federal employee dealing with any aspects of the tax code who either does not comply, or who fails to act -- covering both sins of omission and commission -- "shall be removed from office, and is subject to prosecution and upon conviction, five years in prison and a $10,000 fine."

JW: Who enforces this law? It's not just up to Attorney General William Barr -- is that right?

DCJ: That's correct. First of all, a US Attorney's office could enforce the action, although that seems unlikely in this administration. But the next administration, if it chooses, could go back, and even if the IRS commissioner has left, prosecute him for failure to turn over the documents. Of course, Congress can hold the commissioner in contempt, and Congress can also go to federal court to enforce its orders. It can. And has in the distant past even tried people itself.

JW: The IRS commissioner is a man named Charles Rettig, and he's a Trump appointee. Tell us a little about Charles Rettig.

DCJ: At DCReport we call him "Donald Trump's man at the IRS." Almost every IRS commissioner has been a tax lawyer, but Charles Rettig is not like most of those other tax lawyers. He isn't in the business of tax planning. He's in the business of representing tax cheats who get caught, and his specialty is keeping them from being indicted. As we put it, "He's one of the foxes who is not just in charge of the hen house. He's in a position to redesign the hen house."

JW: Trump's personal lawyer last week urged the Treasury Department not to hand over Trump's tax returns. He said that to comply with their request would turn the IRS into a political weapon of the radical Democrats. Is that a good legal argument?

DCJ: No. It may be a good political argument with Trump's base, but as a legal matter, if my students at Syracuse Law were to bring that up, I would have to work hard not to laugh at them -- because it's a ridiculous argument. There is no limit in Section 6103 that says you can only ask for a tax return if you're a Republican, or if you hew to certain political views. It simply says, "Upon written request, the return shall be provided." It could not be more clear.

JW: The boss of the IRS commissioner is the treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin. He said sort of the opposite of what Trump's personal lawyer said. He said, "Our intent is to follow the law." How do you explain the difference between the legal positions of Trump's personal lawyer and Trump's treasury secretary?

DCJ: This is exactly what got me onto this story. I noticed that Trump, his lawyers, and the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, were making these wild, reckless, lawless statements. But Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Rettig, the IRS commissioner, both made nuanced statements, and carefully avoided refusing to comply, and instead said, "We're trying to understand how to comply with law. It is our intent to comply with the law, but we need more time to learn what the law says." It should take you literally about 10 seconds to learn what the law says. That's when I thought, "What's going on here?" It's what got me on to the section of the tax code that says, in effect, that any federal employee who interferes, obstructs, or fails to act, is subject to removal, prosecution, and fine. I think what Mnuchin is trying to do here is thread a needle. He wants to continue to show his loyalty to Trump. Not to our Constitution, as his oath of office requires, but to Trump. He's trying to evade the law that says there must be compliance with the request, without going to jail.

JW: The New York Times news story on this reported that "The fight over Mr. Trump's tax returns is expected to turn into a protracted legal battle that will likely make its way to the Supreme Court." Do you think that's right, and does the Republican majority on the court have a way to rule in Trump's favor?

DCJ: It may lead to a protracted fight. It's also possible that this will get fast-tracked and get right to our Supreme Court. As someone who reads Supreme Court decisions, I don't particularly care for the jurisprudence of John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States, but nothing in his opinions suggests that he would sell the soul and the integrity of the court to favor Donald Trump. Every indication is that he would uphold the law. I would not be surprised if you got a 7-2 or 9-0 decision from the Supreme Court that the IRS has to turn over the documents.

JW: The really interesting question is, what do you think is in Trump's tax returns? Why do you think he's trying so hard to keep them secret?

DCJ: There are at least three reasons here. Number one, Trump's tax returns will show that he is not anywhere near as wealthy as he claimed. Remember during the campaign he kept saying he was worth more than $10 billion. But after he became president, he signed under oath his financial disclosure statement, and 90 percent of his wealth vanished. Even that statement, which I've analyzed, overstates his wealth. There's never been a scintilla of verifiable evidence that Trump is a billionaire. And I'm the guy who revealed, back in 1990 when he said he was worth $3 billion, that he wasn't a billionaire. We eventually found that he had negative net worth of about $295 million -- minus $295 million.

Secondly, Donald Trump is a tax cheat. He had two civil trials for income tax fraud, one by the State of New York and the other by the City of New York. In both cases he lost. In one of those trials, his own long-time tax attorney and accountant, Jack Mitnick, testified against him. Mitnick was shown the filed tax return, which was a photocopy, and testified, "That's my signature on the return, but neither I nor my firm prepared that tax return." That's as good a badge of fraud as you're ever going to find. It indicates that Donald Trump took the tax return that was prepared, changed it, and then with a photocopy machine put the signature of Jack Mitnick on it. Donald Trump is also a confessed sales tax cheat. Mayor Ed Koch of New York said he should have served 15 days in jail for his crime. Trump has a long history of hiding records from auditors, cheating governments, using two sets of numbers. So his tax returns are highly likely to show tax cheating.

Finally, the returns may well establish how much money he has been getting from Russians, Saudis, people from the Emirates, and elsewhere. They may show whether he has been engaged in money laundering for these people through real estate transactions and other actions that make no business sense, but, when closely examined, show exactly what we see when there's money laundering. I think the record is pretty clear that he has been doing that.

JW: A technical question: Where do you report payments from Russian oligarchs on your tax return?

DCJ: Trump has over 500 business entities, and the tax return is the beginning point for an audit. You then would examine the books and records that are behind it. Now, Trump has a long history of destroying or claiming he destroyed business records to thwart auditors. This happened particularly with the City of New York when he tried to cheat the city out of about $2.9 million. But there may actually be transactions reported right in the tax return that would tell you where money came from–because it may list entities to which he is obligated, or is in partnership with, or received money from, or shared profits with. The request by Chairman Neal of the House Ways and Means Committee was very targeted. It cited six specific Trump businesses -- out of over 500 businesses. That suggests to me that they know what they were looking for .

JW: What do you think the political effect would be if voters learned from Trump's tax return that he has been a tax cheat? As I recall, this was a huge issue in the final downfall of Richard Nixon.

DCJ: That's right. This was a big scandal in 1974. Nixon was pardoned, so nothing happened to him, but his tax lawyer went to prison. By the way, the very law that exposed Nixon as a tax cheat is the same law that the Trump people are now trying to resist. I frankly think that among people who are strong Trump supporters, this will have little impact. The impact that would matter is on people on the margin. People who have been with Trump but are uneasy with him because of all of his other behavior. And if he has committed federal tax crimes, then he has committed New York State tax crimes, because New York State tax law hews very closely to federal law. ".

[Apr 24, 2019] Germanicus

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

says: April 23, 2019 at 10:24 am GMT 100 Words

how do you explain his hiring so many Deep State denizens Bolton, Pompeo et al.?

I would suggest, they have "great guy" Epstein dirt on Trump. Seems so obvious to me, the entire swamp is either bought or blackmailed with this kind of dirt.

If the masses would find out about this kind of dirt, there was probably a violent purge taking place, a lynching of the entire swamp.
Btw, you are right, Us political circus works like WWE.

TomSchmidt , says: April 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Germanicus That's a good theory. Trump may not have urinated on beds in Russia, but there have to be some things on film somewhere.

[Apr 24, 2019] Trump has been giving the finger to his "base" from the outset, and his ego-driven government shutdown was probably the last straw. There are always going to be a few knuckleheads who will love him forever, and my estimate of that group would be on the order of 25%. Unless the Democrats put up a candidate who is even worse, the man is a goner in political terms.

Apr 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 24, 2019 4:22:20 PM | link

"...Will Hurt Trump's Voter Support

It's just an opinion, but mine is that boat has already sailed. Trump has been giving the finger to his "base" from the outset, and his ego-driven government shutdown was probably the last straw. There are always going to be a few knuckleheads who will love him forever, and my estimate of that group would be on the order of 25%. Unless the Democrats put up a candidate who is even worse, the man is a goner in political terms.

This means Pompeo has to move quickly. If the fat slug picked up anything at West Point, he understands that to mobilize the US requires the other side to shoot first. In the case of his nominal boss, you can put that in neon lights. Trump is a gullible old man, and Pompeo needs to be able to point to something 'drastic' so as to galvanize Trump into action.

The CIA torture woman found faked pictures of dead ducks (!) and sick children worked.

Pompeo would find a sizable number of US military men or women in body bags extremely useful in his desperate efforts to suck up to the pissant apartheid state and hopefully pull the ripcord of The Second Coming.

On the other side of this, Iran needs to avoid starting the shooting, no matter what! The Confederates attacked a US fort to start the Civil War. It was about the most stupid thing possible for them to have done. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor - again the dumbest thing imaginable. I'd expect Iran has been consulting with India and China about its options. China probably has every storage tank in the country topped off, and will be immune to an "oil shock" for a long time.

In any event, it can afford to outbid everybody else is things came to that. Just off the top of my head, Iran mining the Strait of Hormuz, then making a public announcement about it looks like a workable plan. The US mine-sweeping capability is beyond-belief awful - and why that is I don't understand. Any mines there which are found and destroyed can be easily and quickly be replaced by small boats, submarines, or aircraft dropping them.

[Apr 24, 2019] Obama bait and switch maneuver

Apr 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

arcseconds 04.23.19 at 6:49 am 77

@Faustusnotes #68:

For anyone of a social democratic (or lefter) persuasion, and/or see war as something that should only be used as an absolute last resort (due to it invariably being a moral horror), then the Democrats have indeed been the lesser of two evils, and Republican-lite.

Take Obama for instance. He ran a cleverly ambiguous campaign where he sounded to many as being progessive and left, a breath of fresh air, something finally that would put a stop to limitless capitalism and unwind the Bush era. But in fact he's a 'centrist', which really means thoroughly neoliberal. He's prepared to file some of the sharp edges off capitalism, but he neither promised nor offered a genuine alternative to a lightly regulated free market.

I mean, look at his most famous legacy: the health care reforms. This is a thoroughly market-based solution that leaves the marketplace largely as it was. Nationalization was nowhere in sight. And the policy was based on one his elecotoral opponent enacted when he was governing Massachusetts! It is literally the case that voting in Democrats at the national level gets you the policy of Republican presidential candidates.

Also, he's quite happy to unilaterally blow up stuff, including innocent people, in other countries, in order to crush his enemies and to look good domestically. We have no problems in calling this 'evil' when our enemies do anything like this.

Brian 04.21.19 at 2:43 pm (no link)

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

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

All the evidence since shows the DNC leadership didn't learn anything. They are just as contemptuous of voters, just as manipulative with their window dressing as ever. The Democratic party is the party of endless war even more than the Republicans. It's a party that stopped every effort by Trump to wind down or end war posture with Russia and North Korea. There's now 2 parties in Netanyahu's pocket implementing Likuds insane middle east ideas.

Put some solar energy and LGBTQ butter on it with a side of women's rights bullshit and it's "Democrat". But the politicians are just as venal. The legislature just as wildly right wing war mongering.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Apr 21, 2019] Even if we got a candidate against the War Party the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump betayal his voters, surrounded himself with neocons, continues to do Bibi's bidding, and ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

Highly recommended!
Here we need to look at the candidate political history, their actions before the election. "Trump scam" like "Obama scam" was based on the fact that they do not have political history, they were what Romans called "Tabula rasa". A "clean state" politician into which voters can project their wishes about domestic and foreign policy. That was a dirty. but very effective trick.
But the most important factor in Trump win was the he was competing against despicable warmonger Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate who wanted to kick the neoliberal globalization can down the road. So the "lesser evilism" card was also in play consciously or unconscionably as well. So with Hillary as the opposition candidate it was a kind of implementation of the USSR style elections on a new level. but with the same with zero choice. Effectively the US electorate was disenfranchised when FBI has thrown Sander under the bus by exonerating Hillary. In a way FBI was the kingmaker in 2016 elections.
And please note that the Deep State launched a color revolution against Trump to keep him in check. Only later it became evident that he from the very beginning was a pro-Israel neoconservative, probably fully controlled by pro-Israel forces. That Trump electorate bought MIGA instead of MAGA from the day one.
Notable quotes:
"... The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down? ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock -> turcopolier ... , 21 April 2019 at 12:36 PM

Col. Lang,

In a recent call from Trump requesting his opinion on China, Jimmy Carter noted that China has not spent a dime on war since 1979, whereas we've spent trillions & continue to spend even more.

China invested trillions in their infrastructure while ours crumbles. They've invested in building the world's manufacturing capacity while we dismantled ours. We spend twice per capita on healthcare compared to any other western country, yet chronic diseases like diabetes keeps growing. We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined yet how superior is our weaponry compared to the Russians who spend one-tenth of what we spend? We've financialized our economy and socialized speculative losses of Wall St mavens but when some politicians talk about spending on the commons then socialism is labeled bad.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/this-is-water/

The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

[Apr 20, 2019] As Trump is just a marionette of neocons and Israel lobby: Russia has only expect harsher and harsher sanctions

Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

...Haven't these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won't be happy until we're at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
Stationed troops in Poland
Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 20, 2019] Trump has certainly made the world safer

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yet another delusional remark at odds with reality. Haven't these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won't be happy until we're at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

  1. Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
  2. Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
  3. Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
  4. Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
  5. Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
  6. Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
  7. Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
  8. Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
  9. Stationed troops in Poland
  10. Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 19, 2019] You need to judge only by his actions and not his words

Apr 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Interrogator , 3 hours ago link

TALK is cheap. Trump could have and should have fired Rosenstein & Mueller and put in a constitutional attorney a long time ago. But he didn't.

He could be using the military to build the wall, as they build plenty of bases overseas with their unlimited budgets! But he hasn't and won't.

You need to judge only by his actions and not his words.

[Apr 19, 2019] Trump and General Flynn

Apr 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , 19 April 2019 at 01:57 PM

I don't know about others on SST but while he may not have been a good DIA man or the best NSA, Gen. Flynn was thrown under the bus by Trump and Pence and railroaded by Mueller. Shameful!

https://twitter.com/JosephJFlynn1/status/1119199323823198208

[Apr 19, 2019] Behind the Omar Outrage Suppressed History of 9-11: Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes

Trump previously also voiced doubts about official narrative of 9/11. Now he emerged as an avid supporter of the official narrative. Nice metamorphose.
No matter where you personally stand on 9/11 events Trump is double dealer.
Notable quotes:
"... Today, some of their names – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush – are prominently engraved on airports, federal offices, and library halls around the country. Others became the subject of rowdy bestsellers such as "Charlie Wilson's War," or saw their exploits dramatized in Cold War kitsch productions like "Rambo III." And then there were those who waged America's dirty wars from the shadows, and whose names will scarcely ever be known. ..."
"... Today, as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard – the lone foreign policy dissenter within the Democratic presidential field – pointed out , they are doing it all over again through their protection of the world's largest Al Qaeda franchise in Syria's Idlib province, which came into being thanks in large part to U.S. intervention in the country. ..."
"... These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters. ..."
"... These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress. ..."
"... "Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

A s Donald Trump sharpens his re-election messaging, he has sought to make a foil out of freshman Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, homing in on her identity as a black Muslim immigrant and her brazen defiance of what was once a bipartisan pro-Israel consensus. Trump's most recent attack was the most inflammatory to date, implying through a characteristically dishonest Twitter video that Omar had played some role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Trump was referencing comments Omar made this month during a banquet of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR): "CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties," Omar said during a 20-minute-long denunciation of public bullying and violent attacks against Muslims living in the West. (CAIR was founded in 1994, contrary to Omar's claim).

As innocuous as Omar's comments might have seemed, they were easily spun by a right-wing bigot-sphere seeking to portray her as not merely insensitive to the deep wound Americans suffered on 9/11, but as a possible terror-sympathizer. As Bernard Kerik, the disgraced former NYPD commissioner and convicted felon , said of Omar on Fox News, "she's infatuated with Al Qaeda, with Hamas, with Hezbollah."

For Trump, the manufactured outrage offered yet another opportunity to advance his rebranded version of the Southern Strategy, painting Omar as the face of a Democratic Party overrun by socialists, Muslims, MS13 and trans radicals – as a clear and present danger to the reactionary white exurbanites commonly referred to in mainstream media as "swing voters."

Amid an onslaught of menacing condemnations and online death threats triggered by Trump's tweet, prominent Democrats mobilized to defend Omar. However, many were too timid to mention her by name, apparently fearing that doing so would play into Trump's cynical strategy. Some refused to defend her at all. And among those willing to speak up, most felt compelled to lead their defense by reinforcing the quasi-theological understanding of 9/11 that leaves anti-Muslim narratives unchallenged. "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence," insisted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In Washington, 9/11 is understood as an act of inexplicable evil that materialized out of a clear blue sky. "They hate us because we're free," Americans are still told in a semi-official drone, conveniently excising the attacks that took place on 9/11 from their historical context. This ruthlessly enforced interpretation has had the effect of displacing blame from those who bear direct or indirect responsibility for the attacks onto much more convenient scapegoats like the Islamic faith and its diverse mass of adherents.

In my new book, " The Management of Savagery ," I explain which people did what things to lay the groundwork for the worst terror attack on U.S. soil. Not all of those people were Muslim, and few have faced the kind of scrutiny Omar has for her seemingly benign comment about 9/11. As I illustrate, many of them maintained lustrous reputations well after the ash was cleared from Ground Zero. Today, some of their names – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush – are prominently engraved on airports, federal offices, and library halls around the country. Others became the subject of rowdy bestsellers such as "Charlie Wilson's War," or saw their exploits dramatized in Cold War kitsch productions like "Rambo III." And then there were those who waged America's dirty wars from the shadows, and whose names will scarcely ever be known.

While these figures lay claim to the mantle of "national security," their true legacy was the callous abandonment of that concept in order to advance imperial objectives. During the Cold War, they forged partnerships with theocratic monarchies and armed Islamist militants, even distributing jihadist textbooks to children in the name of defeating the Soviet scourge. Today, as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard – the lone foreign policy dissenter within the Democratic presidential field – pointed out , they are doing it all over again through their protection of the world's largest Al Qaeda franchise in Syria's Idlib province, which came into being thanks in large part to U.S. intervention in the country.

To effectively puncture Trump's demagogic ploys, the discussion of 9/11 must move beyond a superficial defense of Omar and into an exploration of a critical history that has been suppressed. This history begins at least 20 years before the attacks occurred, when "some people did something." Many of those people served at the highest levels of U.S. government, and the things they did led to the establishment of Al Qaeda as an international network – and ultimately, to 9/11 itself.

Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly. They put heavy weapons in the hands of Islamist warlords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, dispatched Salafi clerics such as "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman to the battlefield, and printed millions of dollars worth of textbooks for Afghan children that contained math equations encouraging them to commit acts of violent martyrdom against Soviet soldiers. They did anything they could to wreak havoc on the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters.

These people even channeled funding to bin Laden so he could build training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the so-called freedom fighters of the mujahideen. And they kept watch over a ratline that shepherded young Muslim men from the West to the front lines of the Afghan proxy war, using them as cannon fodder for a cold-blooded, imperial operation marketed by the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia as a holy obligation.

These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

When they finally got what they wanted, dislodging a secular government that had provided Afghan women with unprecedented access to education, their proxies plunged Afghanistan into a war of the warlords that saw half of Kabul turned to rubble, paving the way for the rise of the Taliban. And these people remained totally unrepentant about the monster they had created.

"Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant."

... ... ...

[Apr 19, 2019] Behind the Omar Outrage is the suppressed history of 9-11: Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes

Trump previously also voiced doubts about official narrative of 9/11. Now he emerged as an avid supporter of the official narrative. Nice metamorphose.
No matter where you personally stand on 9/11 events Trump is double dealer.
Notable quotes:
"... Today, some of their names – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush – are prominently engraved on airports, federal offices, and library halls around the country. Others became the subject of rowdy bestsellers such as "Charlie Wilson's War," or saw their exploits dramatized in Cold War kitsch productions like "Rambo III." And then there were those who waged America's dirty wars from the shadows, and whose names will scarcely ever be known. ..."
"... Today, as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard – the lone foreign policy dissenter within the Democratic presidential field – pointed out , they are doing it all over again through their protection of the world's largest Al Qaeda franchise in Syria's Idlib province, which came into being thanks in large part to U.S. intervention in the country. ..."
"... These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters. ..."
"... These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress. ..."
"... "Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

A s Donald Trump sharpens his re-election messaging, he has sought to make a foil out of freshman Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, homing in on her identity as a black Muslim immigrant and her brazen defiance of what was once a bipartisan pro-Israel consensus. Trump's most recent attack was the most inflammatory to date, implying through a characteristically dishonest Twitter video that Omar had played some role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Trump was referencing comments Omar made this month during a banquet of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR): "CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties," Omar said during a 20-minute-long denunciation of public bullying and violent attacks against Muslims living in the West. (CAIR was founded in 1994, contrary to Omar's claim).

As innocuous as Omar's comments might have seemed, they were easily spun by a right-wing bigot-sphere seeking to portray her as not merely insensitive to the deep wound Americans suffered on 9/11, but as a possible terror-sympathizer. As Bernard Kerik, the disgraced former NYPD commissioner and convicted felon , said of Omar on Fox News, "she's infatuated with Al Qaeda, with Hamas, with Hezbollah."

For Trump, the manufactured outrage offered yet another opportunity to advance his rebranded version of the Southern Strategy, painting Omar as the face of a Democratic Party overrun by socialists, Muslims, MS13 and trans radicals – as a clear and present danger to the reactionary white exurbanites commonly referred to in mainstream media as "swing voters."

Amid an onslaught of menacing condemnations and online death threats triggered by Trump's tweet, prominent Democrats mobilized to defend Omar. However, many were too timid to mention her by name, apparently fearing that doing so would play into Trump's cynical strategy. Some refused to defend her at all. And among those willing to speak up, most felt compelled to lead their defense by reinforcing the quasi-theological understanding of 9/11 that leaves anti-Muslim narratives unchallenged. "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence," insisted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In Washington, 9/11 is understood as an act of inexplicable evil that materialized out of a clear blue sky. "They hate us because we're free," Americans are still told in a semi-official drone, conveniently excising the attacks that took place on 9/11 from their historical context. This ruthlessly enforced interpretation has had the effect of displacing blame from those who bear direct or indirect responsibility for the attacks onto much more convenient scapegoats like the Islamic faith and its diverse mass of adherents.

In my new book, " The Management of Savagery ," I explain which people did what things to lay the groundwork for the worst terror attack on U.S. soil. Not all of those people were Muslim, and few have faced the kind of scrutiny Omar has for her seemingly benign comment about 9/11. As I illustrate, many of them maintained lustrous reputations well after the ash was cleared from Ground Zero. Today, some of their names – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush – are prominently engraved on airports, federal offices, and library halls around the country. Others became the subject of rowdy bestsellers such as "Charlie Wilson's War," or saw their exploits dramatized in Cold War kitsch productions like "Rambo III." And then there were those who waged America's dirty wars from the shadows, and whose names will scarcely ever be known.

While these figures lay claim to the mantle of "national security," their true legacy was the callous abandonment of that concept in order to advance imperial objectives. During the Cold War, they forged partnerships with theocratic monarchies and armed Islamist militants, even distributing jihadist textbooks to children in the name of defeating the Soviet scourge. Today, as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard – the lone foreign policy dissenter within the Democratic presidential field – pointed out , they are doing it all over again through their protection of the world's largest Al Qaeda franchise in Syria's Idlib province, which came into being thanks in large part to U.S. intervention in the country.

To effectively puncture Trump's demagogic ploys, the discussion of 9/11 must move beyond a superficial defense of Omar and into an exploration of a critical history that has been suppressed. This history begins at least 20 years before the attacks occurred, when "some people did something." Many of those people served at the highest levels of U.S. government, and the things they did led to the establishment of Al Qaeda as an international network – and ultimately, to 9/11 itself.

Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly. They put heavy weapons in the hands of Islamist warlords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, dispatched Salafi clerics such as "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman to the battlefield, and printed millions of dollars worth of textbooks for Afghan children that contained math equations encouraging them to commit acts of violent martyrdom against Soviet soldiers. They did anything they could to wreak havoc on the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters.

These people even channeled funding to bin Laden so he could build training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the so-called freedom fighters of the mujahideen. And they kept watch over a ratline that shepherded young Muslim men from the West to the front lines of the Afghan proxy war, using them as cannon fodder for a cold-blooded, imperial operation marketed by the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia as a holy obligation.

These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

When they finally got what they wanted, dislodging a secular government that had provided Afghan women with unprecedented access to education, their proxies plunged Afghanistan into a war of the warlords that saw half of Kabul turned to rubble, paving the way for the rise of the Taliban. And these people remained totally unrepentant about the monster they had created.

"Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant."

... ... ...

[Apr 19, 2019] Donald Trump, the Impulsive Demagogue in the White House by John Cassidy

Trump essentially rules as Bush III with Bush II coterie of neocons in his administrations and an unusual level of pandering to Isreal. All he election promises were fake.
Jan 20, 2017 | www.newyorker.com

People in other countries, meanwhile, will be looking on with awe and anxiety. For seventy years, the United States has led a global order based on mutual interest, enhanced trade, and, ultimately, America's role as the global hegemon (co-hegemon until 1989). Rhetorically, at least, Trump's accession to power marks a break with this order. Describing himself as an America Firster, he has talked scathingly about many of the institutions that have girded the Pax Americana, including NATO , the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. He has criticized American military interventions -- sometimes, it must be said, with good cause. And he has pledged to renegotiate trade deals, and, if he deems it necessary, to slap heavy tariffs on goods from Mexico, China, and other countries

Surveying Trump's victory and the rise of xenophobic populism in many other Western countries, Martin Wolf, the Financial Times' senior economics commentator, recently pronounced , "We are, in short, at the end of both an economic period -- that of western-led globalisation -- and a geopolitical one -- the post-cold war 'unipolar moment' of a US-led global order."

That judgment could still turn out to be premature. The world economy is so closely integrated these days that it would take huge shocks, or policy changes, to turn the clock back. American multinational companies, like Apple and Facebook and General Motors, are some of globalization's biggest beneficiaries and supporters. To his Cabinet, Trump has appointed both Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, and Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, the world's leading investment bank. Trump himself claims to favor trade, but what he terms "fair trade."

In his Inaugural Address, however, Trump made clear that he will at least try to tilt globalization in favor of American manufacturing workers. Reverting to the populist rhetoric that had propelled his campaign, he said, "The wealth of the middle class has been ripped from their homes and redistributed across the world," adding, "From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first. Every decision will be made to protect American workers and American families."

On the geopolitical front, it is far less clear what Trump will do, and that's the greatest concern for many people, here and around the world. Despite his claims that America's armed services have been run down, the United States remains by far the world's biggest military power, the only country able to project its will anywhere on the globe. But how will Trump live up to this responsibility? In his speech, he pledged to "reinforce old alliances and form new ones" and to "eradicate" Islamic terrorism "completely from the face of the earth." But he also sounded some of the neo-isolationist themes that he put forward during the campaign, saying that America had "subsidized the armies of other countries" and "defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own." His language and tone suggested that the days when America viewed itself as the benevolent global leader, willing to make sacrifices to the mutual benefit of all countries, were coming to an end.

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

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

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

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

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

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

Quote from her replies

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

And just to drive home this point, quote:

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

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

Mark Dierking , April 18, 2019 at 15:53

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

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

[Apr 18, 2019] Note of those who believe that Trump betrayal of voters and allies is some kind of four dimensional chess

Apr 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

VanWinkle , 8 hours ago link

you ever hear of playing the long game?

e.g. Be strategic, don't blow your waad at once.

Betrayed , 5 hours ago link

I didn't realize Hopium was so addicting.

How long is the long game. When he's one and done?

[Apr 18, 2019] Trump

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Apr 18, 2019 3:00:45 PM | link

IRT B's request not to waste effort on challenges likely not to make a difference. I observe no Trumpy program yet, promises to improve America nor reverse the ever declining quality of life Americans are experiencing (As wages double, costs triple as federal grants increase, the corporations are getting wealthier). Make the USA Oligarchs Wealthier programs all expose Americans to more risk and greater loss of wealth. Fracking, 5g energies, wars, better internal surveillance tailored to capture the most minute behaviors of every American, and foreign management of Americans via the USA as a conduct.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/12/g-is-about-get-big-boost-trump-fcc/?utm_term=.c9e453858d1a&noredirect=on

and this https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-17-at-8.43.10-PM.png

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump reveals himself as a typical neocon -- a lobbyist for MIC and Isreal

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump Issues His Second Veto, Blocking Congressional Resolution To End US Support For Saudi-Led War In Yemen

In a statement to the Senate released by the White House, Trump called the joint resolution "unnecessary", warned it represents a "dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities" and argued it would negatively affect U.S. foreign policy. What he really meant is that the US military-industrial complex stood to lose billions in potential revenue from the biggest US weapons client. As a result countless innocent civilians will continue to die for an unknown period of time but at least the stock price of Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon will not be put in jeopardy.

... ... ...

As a reminder, last month the Senate voted 54-46 to pass a resolution requiring the president to withdraw any troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda. The House passed the measure earlier this month with a 248-177 vote. Neither was enough to override Trump's veto.


Boing_Snap , 1 minute ago link

Hey a veto to block an end to a war?

I guess peace is bad for business.

When the hell is candidate Trump going to appear?

Noktirnal , 59 seconds ago link

That ended early 2017.

FBaggins , 5 minutes ago link

He is absolutley an oil company and Zionist shill.

SickDollar , 4 minutes ago link

well said and a baby killer

frank further , 5 minutes ago link

It's difficult to imagine the size of the disaster that is D.C.

If Chump wins a second term, that means nearly 6 more years of non-government, except for buttressing the MIC. If the Dims win, it's much worse.

WTF? What's the matter with everyone? Including ZH,of course.

Noktirnal , 2 minutes ago link

Divide and conquer, baby.

frank further , 1 minute ago link

What will be left to conquer after all that?

DivisionBell , 7 minutes ago link

What is the legal basis for the use of United States Armed Forces in any capacity in Saudi Arabia or Yemen?

Haboob , 5 minutes ago link

War on terror.

frank further , 3 minutes ago link

U forgot /s

Haboob , 1 minute ago link

Haha everyone should on the inside joke by now.

SickDollar , 3 minutes ago link

Oil and MIC And Israel

SickDollar , 7 minutes ago link

Here we go the man is officially the bitch of The MIC and Israel

he does not work for us and he now has officially blood on his hands

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump as a useful idiot of the Deep State

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Anunnaki , 11 hours ago link

If Trump pardoned Assange, I would consider that draining the swamp. But Orange Jewlius is a Deep State **** socket, so the swamp has grown to a lagoon

Anunnaki , 11 hours ago link

Jimmy Dore and Tucker Carlson nail it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SnwC_1Pf9VQ

rtb61 , 12 hours ago link

Clearly the US government has zero respect for Australia, Australian Law or Australian citizens. The case is shite, else they would allow Assange to be deported to Australia and the extradition hearing to be heard there. They refuse because they know their case is shite and they would have to prove it in Australia before they could get extradition.

The USA is not an ally of Australia because it does not respect Australian law, not in the least. Prove US respect of Australians by deporting Assange to Australia and holding the extradition hearings there, else look as guilty as shite and never ever to be trusted by Australians.

OZZIDOWNUNDER , 9 hours ago link

The US Govt respects NOBODY but its own Interests. It's the Australian Govt that's complicit in this travesty of Nil justice. The Gutless Australian Govt has NO interest in helping Julian Assange because they were persuaded NOT to by their American masters. It hurts that your own Govt are total A$$holes & follow USA into Crimes with out question. The Australian Govt has a History of lip service only when assistance Overseas is required. **** them !

NYC80 , 13 hours ago link

Assange probably is a narcissist. So what? All the people criticizing him are, too. At least he's an honest narcissist. In everything he's published, not a single item has even been allegedly false. Can any of these other so-called "journalists" demonstrate that level of accuracy?

Ms No , 14 hours ago link

Here is a good article on Assange. Explains the cat. Things were okay for him under the real elected president of Ecuador, except no sunlight thanks to US spooks.

https://www.sott.net/article/411173-My-friend-Julian-Assange-Alicia-Castro-former-ambassador-for-Argentina

[Apr 16, 2019] No One Can Trust Trump

That's from ZeroHedge, the bastion of Trumpism ;-)
Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

No One Can Trust Trump erratic and dysfunctional, absurd and incongruous, fantastic and ludicrous - he rules from an immoral crevasse:

he sustains massive corporate profits and upper caste power.

Fantasy Free Economics , 1 hour ago link

It is normal that others see weakness in the U.S. before we do. The notion in the United States is that what we want to be true is true. Fantasy is a comforting mechanism but it sure is painful when everything falls apart. Our reality gap has not slammed shut but it will.

http://quillian.net/blog/victims-of-fascism/

Cosmicserpent , 10 minutes ago link

It's official. Trump is a cum guzzling **** for Israel's Bentoveryahoo, and the US MIC. He wishes he was Putin's bitch.

†FreeThought† , 11 minutes ago link

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

Empire's Frontiers , 18 minutes ago link

An exceptionally good goy, this Trump guy.

Shalom! And get back to work.

Dr. Acula , 7 minutes ago link

It's X-dimensional chess, where the value of X increases each day.

SHsparx , 30 minutes ago link

I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe Trump won't run again? And so now he feels he doesn't even have to pretend anymore.

R19 , 29 minutes ago link

Which President has been the best weapons salesman? I vote:

Trump

Obama

ThomasEdmonds , 28 minutes ago link

Like a guided missile: sure of its target.

KekistanisUnite , 28 minutes ago link

Disappointing but not surprising. I do hope at some point his mind will be changed. Give full credit to the 16 Republicans in the House and 7 Republican Senators for supporting this resolution.

warsev , 37 minutes ago link

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

evoila , 30 minutes ago link

Better buy your call options on Tulsi Gabbard. She is going to surprise da **** out of these idiots same way Trump surprised in 2016.

jimfcarroll , 28 minutes ago link

Never voted for a democrat in my life. She might be the first. I wont vote for Trump again after this.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump suddenly dropping any love for Wikileaks after enthusiastically stating his approval of them over 100 times during the last election is going to cause a lot of damage to his chances of being reelected

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

akka , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:52 am GMT

It is possible, now that Assange has been arrested, that the American charge against him is relatively minor only in order to encourage the UK to extradite him. Once he is in American custody those charges may well change.

btw Trump suddenly dropping any love for Wikileaks after enthusiastically stating his approval of them over 100 times during the last election is going to cause a lot of damage to his chances of being reelected.

Wikileaks is probably already putting him under the microscope, and there are all the Wikileaks fans to contend with as well.

Bad move Donald, you just sacrificed a bishop to no advantage and placed yourself in danger of checkmate. More people are starting to see your 'veracity' as the facade it is.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump excessive love of children: 400 children killed since January 2019 in Yemen and 85,000 have died from malnutrition in the past 3 and a half years and Trump vetoes resolution to end U.S. involvement.

Notable quotes:
"... Is the NYT promoting Gina Haspel as someone who deserves a more influential position than the nation's top torturer? She wouldn't be the first such criminal being subtly encouraged to try for DJT's job in the future. ..."
"... And there was a video of him bringing her to the microphone on the subject of 5G which amazed me: Trump Invites Ivanka To Talk About 5G Deployment In The U.S. I think Trump truly believes Ivanka is presidential material! ..."
"... Tinfoil-hat opinion time: if you have a credible threat against Ivanka, you control Trump. If you want to gain a different kind of leverage - like to talk him into quitting in 2020 - promise him you'll work hard to put her in the White House. ..."
"... Still tin-foiling, but I think a version of this happened in 1992. Iran Contra was closing in, and the Democrats had the goods on Bush Senior. I buy into the conspiracy notion Bush Sr. was offered a deal where the matter would be dropped if he left office, and with a "sweetener" that one of his boys would be advanced to the White House. This didn't hurt the Powers That Be, for the chosen democrat was a rare Pro-Choice Republican posing as a democrat. ..."
"... Bill Clinton was a warmongering neocon nut who governed domestically as a Republican. ..."
"... The problem lies with people in generation after generation being fooled by the same or similar ruses used before, which is why The Who exhorted people to not let themselves "get fooled again." ..."
"... The UK & EU both face crises caused by their adherence to Neoliberal economics, but Neoliberal governments hold sway in almost every EU nation and UK despite the damage they've caused. ..."
"... Here's a link for anyone who still doesn't believe Trump is on the dark side: Trump vetoes resolution ending U.S. involvement in Yemen ..."
"... Looks like Trump is only a compassionate humanitarian on behalf of Syrian kids. With 14 school children killed in Yemen a week ago, not so much. ..."
"... Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. ..."
"... The Brits were lying, Haspel was lying, and either Trump believed her or pretended to. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Apr 16, 2019 8:13:24 PM | link

Karlof1 @ 36:

By "meaningful intellectual activity", Craig Murray is referring to critical thinking skills, having an open mind and being able to consider all options and possibilities. We can agree that Theresa May and the people who make up her Cabinet and government, and a sizeable proportion of the Tories, may well be deficient in these activities.

I have read something of how David Cameron worked his way up to leadership of the British Conservatives years ago. Coming from a wealthy family (his father was a stockbroker who enjoyed posthumous notoriety when his name surfaced in the Panama Papers), Cameron went to the "right" schools (which count Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as former students, btw), Eton College and then Oxford University where he enrolled in the politics / economics course that prepares students for careers in politics - it's popularly called "PPE". After university he went to work for the Conservative Party.

You could say Cameron's path had already been mapped out for him and the decision was not his to deviate from it. Probably the same can be said of some other people in Theresa May's Cabinet.

And what can be said of a UK Defence Secretary of whom the love of his life is a pet Mexican tarantula?

Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 8:14:28 PM | link

@ lysias 49

You are being sarcastic, tongue in cheek, correct? I also wonder who could have done such a thing?

But seriously, the value of Solzhenitsyn is not in the quality of his prose, which is very difficult to read, then in the relevance of his topics. He did document how power over others and ultimately totalitarianism manifest themselves in the fallible human nature. Humans cannot rule themselves properly, but usually psychopaths must rule (use & abuse) others. A whole system can be created on top of psychopathy of a few individuals (does this ring a bell?). Of course, the claim that Solzhenitsyn was a critic of Communism is equivalent to the claim that Animal Farm is a description of Communism. Both are good social critique turned into yet another political/brainwashing tool. It is art because it describes human nature across artificial boundaries, especially the ideological one: left versus right.

On another matter, I have started skipping comments where Trump is being bashed. In addition to being leftist TDS, this is a perfect indication that the commenter has got no clue what is really going on, so how could he/she explain anything to others?

Zachary Smith , Apr 16, 2019 8:34:23 PM | link
@ Jen #59
Is the NYT promoting Gina Haspel as someone who deserves a more influential position than the nation's top torturer? She wouldn't be the first such criminal being subtly encouraged to try for DJT's job in the future.

If an idea like that ever gets into Trump's head, Haspel is a goner. Have you noticed how he said he considered Ivanka for the World bank?

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

And there was a video of him bringing her to the microphone on the subject of 5G which amazed me: Trump Invites Ivanka To Talk About 5G Deployment In The U.S. I think Trump truly believes Ivanka is presidential material!

Tinfoil-hat opinion time: if you have a credible threat against Ivanka, you control Trump. If you want to gain a different kind of leverage - like to talk him into quitting in 2020 - promise him you'll work hard to put her in the White House.

Still tin-foiling, but I think a version of this happened in 1992. Iran Contra was closing in, and the Democrats had the goods on Bush Senior. I buy into the conspiracy notion Bush Sr. was offered a deal where the matter would be dropped if he left office, and with a "sweetener" that one of his boys would be advanced to the White House. This didn't hurt the Powers That Be, for the chosen democrat was a rare Pro-Choice Republican posing as a democrat.

Bill Clinton was a warmongering neocon nut who governed domestically as a Republican.

As it turns out, the "smart one" (Jeb) lost his first step by not immediately getting to be Governor of Florida. That left the Codpiece Commander, and all his sins were airbrushed away, the Supreme Court intervened, and he entered the White House. Good deal for Pappy Bush, BTW. Him and Reagan got to keep their gold shine, and President Dumbya did all which was expected of him.

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 8:59:37 PM | link
Thanks Jen & Piotr for your comments regarding my take on Murray's missive.

The problem lies with people in generation after generation being fooled by the same or similar ruses used before, which is why The Who exhorted people to not let themselves "get fooled again."

The UK & EU both face crises caused by their adherence to Neoliberal economics, but Neoliberal governments hold sway in almost every EU nation and UK despite the damage they've caused.

It's certainly a muddle. Trump vetoing the legislation to cease supporting Saudi in Yemen will further help the turn to the East. And tomorrow will bring something else.

Circe , Apr 16, 2019 9:13:41 PM | link
@66 karlof1

Here's a link for anyone who still doesn't believe Trump is on the dark side: Trump vetoes resolution ending U.S. involvement in Yemen

donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:37 PM | link
Newsflash: Trump vetoes Congressional resolution to end military support for the war in Yemen.

Any of the Trump Dick Suckers care to comment? Babble-on @14? Your take please. Never enough dissembling wrt Trump.

Circe , Apr 16, 2019 9:48:08 PM | link
@61Jackrabbit

Looks like Trump is only a compassionate humanitarian on behalf of Syrian kids. With 14 school children killed in Yemen a week ago, not so much.

https://twitter.com/UNICEF_Yemen/status/1115531708063940608

400 children killed since January 2019 in Yemen and 85,000 have died from malnutrition in the past 3 and a half years and Trump vetoes resolution to end U.S. involvement.

Trump whitewashers have a lot of work to do.

S , Apr 16, 2019 11:17:30 PM | link
@Mataman #9:
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals.

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

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:26:59 PM | link
Now Haspel can boast that she grabbed him by the duckie .
Zachary Smith , Apr 16, 2019 11:40:11 PM | link
@ Bart Hansen #69

So far as I understand your question, the Neocon York Times link from above had this about the kids and the ducks:

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The Brits were lying, Haspel was lying, and either Trump believed her or pretended to.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump was transparently chosen to be the fake "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before

Notable quotes:
"... Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap. ..."
"... It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 5:33:36 PM | link

Trump is like a voodoo doll into which every sh**bag sticks pins. Firstly, it is irrelevant whether he was a swamp creature before election or was coopted into it after.

Secondly, Trump was transparently chosen to be the "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before.

Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap.

This is where we are now, Assange was the most prominent member of the real opposition to the regime, where they try to confuse with plenty of faux opposition. Therefore, the Assange's head had to be chopped off publicly and his slowly rotting corpse will now be on display through "courts of justice" for the next couple of years as a warning to the consumers of alternative media. Go back to reading the approved "journalism" or ... To understand better one just needs to read/re-read Solzhenitsyn.

The other major ongoing life-extension activity, overlapping with repression, is the confiscation of guns from the last remaining armed Western population (lots of leftist oxen pulling that cart). Having too many guns amongst the population is bad for resolving personal conflicts peacefully, but it is even worse for the abusive, exploitative regime. Thus, taking the guns away is doing the right thing for a totally wrong reason.

It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new.

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline?

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump doesn't strike me as someone with principles or opinions of his own. He will say and do whatever his base of "deplorables" likes to hear and whatever helps him get what he wants.

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Escher , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Trump doesn't strike me as someone with principles or opinions of his own. He will say and do whatever his base of "deplorables" likes to hear and whatever helps him get what he wants.

[Apr 15, 2019] A letter to the> President Trump from former voter

Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Dude-dude , 20 minutes ago link

Dear President Trump:

Tears came to my eyes - happy tears - when you were elected! A seemingly impossible feat was accomplished that day in November.

I understood when you faced tremendous resistance in your first 200 days from Demorats. It seemed you were unphased and determined - all was good.

Good night, and good luck.

Good night, and good luck.

[Apr 15, 2019] Do you need to be stupid to support Trump in 2020, even if you voted for him as lesser evil in 2016

Highly recommended!
Please note that unz.com used be forum of stalwart Trump supporters. Times change.
Notable quotes:
"... This will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world. ..."
"... One doesn't have to be stupid to support Trump but it helps. The same can be said for his prominent enemies though. To unconditionally and faithfully support Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, one would have to be stupid or totally controlled by one's emotions. ..."
"... You and I are voting right now just by publicly engaging in politics. Voting on election day is worth it in the same way posting comments online is worth it. ..."
"... Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option? ..."
"... Yes. But during the election, Trump was the least bad option who sometimes seemed like a good option. That's still true today. ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

neutral , says: April 11, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT

This will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world.

On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him.

Colin Wright , says: Website April 13, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@neutral 'On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him '

We'll be 'conned' the same way as always; what's the alternative?

Liberty Mike , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
@Colin Wright For one, its not reposing any confidence, faith, and trust in DJT. He is a charlatan who appeals to low IQ whites.

Why do so many intelligent people delude themselves into rationalizing their support and vote for Trump upon the basis of the lesser of two evils loser mindset?

Cagey Beast , says: April 13, 2019 at 2:17 pm GMT
@Liberty Mike

One doesn't have to be stupid to support Trump but it helps. The same can be said for his prominent enemies though. To unconditionally and faithfully support Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, one would have to be stupid or totally controlled by one's emotions.

That being said, a smart person could still support Trump. A smart person could recognize Trump finishing his term as the least bad option. In 2020, this same smart person might recognize that, amazingly, a Trump second term had become the least bad option. People can scream and throw around insults or they can present an alternative to Trump.

Liberty Mike , says: April 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that Stalin's maxim, "its not who votes that counts, its who counts the votes" controls?

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?

Cagey Beast , says: April 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT

@Liberty Mike Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?

You and I are voting right now just by publicly engaging in politics. Voting on election day is worth it in the same way posting comments online is worth it.

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?

Yes. But during the election, Trump was the least bad option who sometimes seemed like a good option. That's still true today.

[Apr 13, 2019] Trump and Assange

Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

neutral , says: April 11, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT

This will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world. On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him.
John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan , says: April 11, 2019 at 12:45 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

This is why Anglo-Saxon propaganda is so very effective. They have freedom of speech, see? Though of course saying politically incorrect things might socially kill you, so it's understood you won't do that. You will say PC (including anti-Russian, etc.) platitudes always. So people will not even notice PC propaganda, like fish don't notice they're wet. And when trying to convince a normie, you have to break a very long, almost infinite chain of assumptions, which you won't know how to do.

Take a look at the career of Charles Austin Beard, for example.

He was one of the single most highly-regarded historians in America; his contributions to the field were well-known and massively important. But even he could not break through the pillars of propaganda when he published his book about the folly of Franklin Roosevelt's foreign policy. The "court historians" like Samuel Eliot Morison and Schlesinger, et al, blackballed his work and dismissed it with the most flippant arrogance and lack of care for detail. The major newspapers and periodicals followed suit. Overnight he became all but a pariah. Only a few regional newspapers were willing to treat his work with serious care. To his credit, Beard had anticipated this reaction, but published his works anyway.

After World War 1, revisionism became par for the course in America – the vast majority of historians, journalists, together with the public as a whole, came to agree that America's entry into that conflict had been a selfish mistake. But during and after World War Two, what you call "Anglo-Saxon propaganda" tightened up to a remarkably successful degree, and to this day the pro-interventionist myth of the "great crusade" is all but unimpeachable among the masses. In fact, the anti-revisionists, the "court historians," even managed to defeat the old inter-war consensus about World War One, so that even it is now regarded as an idealistic crusade for democracy! Very remarkable stuff, though sad!

Anonymous [151] Disclaimer , says: April 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm GMT
I would probably do the same thing in Putin's situation. At a very basic level you simply cannot trust people like Assange. Giving refuge to a spy is one thing; you're not going to let him near any state secrets so it's not like he could betray you even if he wanted to (and it's easy to keep an eye on him). For somebody like Assange there's the constant threat that he could turn against you: acquire damaging information and use it as leverage, or simply release it for the sake of his own ego or murky ideals. Too much potential for embarrassment. Snowden was closer in spirit to a spy imo; Assange is more like bin Laden or a mafia boss, the head of a shadowy international organization with significant reach and resources.

It's sort of like the French Foreign Legion: they take a dim view of British and American recruits and generally won't let them join unless they speak French or have prior military experience. The reason is psychological unsuitability: no sensible British or American person interested in a military career would volunteer to be a mercenary for a foreign country over serving in his own country's well-funded armed forces. Romantics and escapists are inherently flaky and unreliable people. That's also why Brazilians are regarded as the best Legion soldiers: they just do it to get EU citizenship

Dmitry , says: April 11, 2019 at 4:04 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

that country's national interest.

Ecuador rented a house opposite their main offices in Knightsbridge, and had three agents in the house to permanently monitor Assange on cameras (for a cost of $1 million a year).

So they might be more intelligent than we think?

At the same time, Ecuador's politicians had problems justifying the costs of this to their media.

Perhaps it seems more like this was perceived by Ecuador, as an intelligence operation, to monitor Assange, and get intelligence information they could would use as leverage with the Americans.

Today, the Ecuadorian interior minister is suddenly boasting about how they monitored and have knowledge about two hackers who worked with Assange.

The Alarmist , says: April 11, 2019 at 4:24 pm GMT
@reiner Tor But Trump did say "I love WikiLeaks" during the campaign.
The Alarmist , says: April 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Scotland yard tried to play down their own costs of hanging outside the Ecuadorian embassy, which in 2015 was already estimated to be well over £10m over the prior three years, by saying that a lot of that cost was money they would have spent on policing anyway: Tell that to the rapidly increasing numbers of families of murder victims in the Capital. Oops, careful about saying that in the UK, as the police there will pick you up for a thought-crime.
Cagey Beast , says: April 11, 2019 at 5:29 pm GMT
Trump is scum:
Endgame Napoleon , says: April 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm GMT
Elites around the globe protect each other more than they protect the interests of non-elites in their own nations and any who side with non-elites in any non-trivial way, so it makes sense that Latin American elites side with US elites who favor the mass immigration that has driven down wages for 40 years and the mass exportation of US jobs to Latin American since it 1) boosts the profits of American elites and 2) relieves pressure on Latin American elites.
Matra , says: April 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm GMT
Ecuador seemed to get fed up with Assange – cutting him off from the world, badmouthing him in MSM, etc – early 2018 when he was mostly tweeting about Catalonia. Spain is supposedly Ecuador's closest partner in Europe. The timing could've been coincidental but probably not.
neutral , says: April 11, 2019 at 6:18 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast Trump was always scum, I am endlessly amazed how it took so long for some people to see what he was.
Cagey Beast , says: April 11, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@neutral He was always scum but he was still the better choice than Hillary Clinton. He may still be better than his opponent in 2020. That's how bad things are at the centre of the American empire.

Trump had the potential to be better than he is now but Washington has pushed his back against the wall and his shitty character has thus shown itself in full. He could have been a better President under different circumstances; even with these same character flaws.

Cagey Beast , says: April 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm GMT
@neutral Trump was and still is the chaos candidate. When a better option than sabotage presents itself, then Trump will become the second best choice.

Many, if not most, people knew he was the sabotage candidate when they supported him. Hillary was understood to be worse because she'd maintain and even strengthen a bad system while Trump would bugger it up.

reiner Tor , says: April 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson The Deep State might already be beyond repair. So perhaps, come the Revolution, new, revolutionary state organs will need to be set up in a clean break with the obscurantist blank slatist regime. The state secrets of these new, revolutionary organs should be protected by any means necessary. But then we'll have free countries for ourselves.

Until then, we don't need to protect the secrets of the oppressive obscurantist regime.

g2k , says: April 11, 2019 at 7:24 pm GMT
Re:Cagey Beast

Disagree here, he's energised the left to a degree that wouldn't have happened had he not been elected and his policies are now no different to what Clinton's would have been. In American politics, what you say appears to matter much more than what you do, so we've now got the perfect storm of someone who talks like a right wing populist, and the resulting backlash, but nothing to show for it. I remember ak mentioning that the only saving grace of his administration being that it had alienated allies, but even that hasnt materialised. The guy is a conman and a sellout, but he's very clearly noticed the fact that European governments will unquestionably obey the US, so it's pointless to treat them with any respect whatsoever: THATs the one and only positive thing I can say about him. Still not looking forward to his successor.

Dmitry , says: April 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm GMT
@The Alarmist Trump said he liked Wikileaks at that time, because they released some embarrassing emails about Hilary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential election.

If they released embarrassing emails about Trump, he would have said the opposite.

Trump will not have any specific principles that would make him support asylum for leakers, or generalized protection for dissidents, unless it might specifically be explained that it would help him in some way (and unless there are emails to leak about his opponent in 2020, how will it help him?).

... ... ...

Anon [137] Disclaimer , says: April 11, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT
@reiner Tor But Trump would say anything that would get him elected, and he would do many of these things. But, as plutocrat surrounded by plutocrats, he'll never open the market for housing (allow easier re-zoning), or transportation (dismantle the dealership racket), or hospitals / doctors. Yeah, apparently he lacks the levers to reduce housing costs, but he can always fix, or promise to fix, something about Assange, or about Christian-Obamacare conflicts – despite them being equally remote from his mandate. Watch the idiotic boomers drooling all over unz.com about Trump's "efforts" to fix immigration.

These being the highest expenses of an American, I can see who is the idiot here.

Philip Owen , says: April 11, 2019 at 10:25 pm GMT
Hours after Assange was detained, the IMF approved a loan of $4.2 Bn for Ecuador.
Anatoly Karlin , says: Website April 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm GMT
@Philip Owen I seem to have LOL'd prematurely.

It seems to have happened exactly one month ago: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2019/03/11/ecuador-pr1972-imf-executive-board-approves-eff-for-ecuador

Cagey Beast , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT
@Cagey Beast Edit: She called Trump a coward but then deleted it:

Trump today: "I know nothing about Wikileaks." Trump three years ago: "Boy, I love reading these WikiLeaks." Liar, traitor, and coward.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website April 12, 2019 at 12:57 am GMT
@Cagey Beast Lame. (Trump. And Alessandra deleting her Tweet).
Kratoklastes , says: April 12, 2019 at 3:12 am GMT
@simple_pseudonymic_handle The most obvious parallel was the UK's refusal to extradite Gary McKinnon to the US.

McKinnon gained access to 97 US military and NASA networks between early 2001 and 2002. he was also very very shit at covering his tracks.

The US sought extradition; McKinnon's lawyers challenged it on a bunch of grounds; McKinnon won.

Part of the range of stuff that got him off was the refusal of the US to make guarantees that he would not be housed in a SuperMax and that he would not be placed in solitary confinement, That, plus McKinnon's "Asperger's" (diagnosed after he was arrested), was enough for the system to tell the US government to pound sand.

Kratoklastes , says: April 12, 2019 at 3:36 am GMT
I as among the people who warned JA not to go to the UK when he was leaving Sweden. (I've known the guy as a nodding acquaintance since the 1980s and WANK; I'm in he & Suelette's book, under a different pseudonym).

He was warned against one of the classic blunders.

The first two classic blunders are known to all –
never start a land war in Asia , and
never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line .

The third is less well-known:

③ when you've been honeypotted, DO NOT SEEK REFUGE ON A FUCKING ISLAND .

When he ignored us, he was dropped from several DMSes.

For a very smart bloke, his judgement was always suspect: he allowed a fucking nappy like Dumb Shitberg (Domscheit-Berg) inside his circle of confidants.

Baxter , says: April 12, 2019 at 4:17 am GMT
This whole damn country is a pile of lies. I don't know how you guys keep your sanity.
I think America may crack in the next ten years.
I live in a "minority-majority" area. It is all bullshit.
Hey, let's take all the worlds nations, races, ethnicities, religions, cultures, lifestyles, sexual orientations, etc and stick them in one place!
On top of this we have a government that doesn't listen, ruled by special interest group.
My god, how long America?
I can't stand this place anymore.
It's going to be very interesting to see the next 10 years. The country is cracking up.
For my part, I'm learning a foreign language right now, it will come in handy when I have enough money to bail.
Gentleman, there is nothing here worth left of preserving, only rot.
Realist , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT
@Cagey Beast Trump said he loved Wikileaks but Trumped is such a lying, corrupt asshole how can you believe him?
Quintus Sertorius , says: April 12, 2019 at 9:24 am GMT
@Grahamsno(G64) the USA is the new USSR.
Germanicus , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:03 am GMT
I miss a consideration, that wikileaks could be a Mossad/Unit8200 operation.
If I look at the wikileak's site, menu "partners", all is clear to me, "Der Spiegel" and truth are mutually exclusive.
Wikileaks "revealed" an EU plan to use military against the poor human traffickers and Israeli NGOs who bring in these Africans and "refugees". Fascinating, they have once in their evil life a good plan in Brussels, and wikileaks shoots against it.

I think the question for Russian asylum is the same question why Russia did not spell the beans on 911.

Realist , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:10 am GMT
Assange is a hero. He exposed the corrupt, lying government we have so this is another dark episode in American history.
Felix Keverich , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@neutral Only low-IQ people still support Trump at this point. Those wouldn't even know who Assange is.
annamaria , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Meimou The leader of progressives, the dual-loyalty opportunist and CIA stooge Schumer:

Chuck Schumer
@SenSchumer
Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.

Schumer is on for Amelec. Happy Pesach!

nsa , says: April 12, 2019 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Hyperborean Trumpstein and his sleazy family keep delivering for the vile jooies and the JudenPresse, JudenTV, and JudenNet will make sure he gets reelected especially if he attacks Iran. Where is Titus now that we need him?

[Apr 12, 2019] By all means, do not vote for Trump ever again

Notable quotes:
"... Trump has reneged on all these promises and in many cases done the exact opposite. I suspect that part of this was deliberate lying on Trump's part but a lot of it is due to his sheer, mind-boggling incompetence, coupled with modest intelligence, and some rather severe personality disorders that have manifested themselves more clearly over time. ..."
"... In his own words, Donald Trump reveals his hypocrisy about Iraq, immigration, health care, abortion, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and more. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jus' Sayin'... , says: April 10, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT

@WorkingClass Alex Graham is right. I voted for Trump because he promised:

(1) to end the wars the US is fighting as a sock puppet of Israel and her domestic agents, the so-called neocons and the traitorous Zionist fifth column in this country, exemplified by Adelson, Saban, Kushner, et al.;

(2) to restore the rule of law regarding illegal aliens in this country by removing these criminals post haste;

(3) to restore order at the border and end the massive stream of illegals and contraband entering our country every day;

(4) to establish reasonable laws and policies regulating immigration and naturalization so that new immigrants and citizens improve rather than diminish the quality of life for current citizens; and

(5) to eliminate and/or restructure trade agreements so they are bilateral and not destructive of the USA's industrial and economic base.

Trump has reneged on all these promises and in many cases done the exact opposite. I suspect that part of this was deliberate lying on Trump's part but a lot of it is due to his sheer, mind-boggling incompetence, coupled with modest intelligence, and some rather severe personality disorders that have manifested themselves more clearly over time.

By all means, do not vote for Trump ever again. I don't intend to. But please don't consider voting for a Democrat. They will just more efficiently screw us than Trump is doing now.

Agent76 , says: April 10, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
Jul 23, 2016 Trump Exposes Trump

In his own words, Donald Trump reveals his hypocrisy about Iraq, immigration, health care, abortion, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and more.

[Apr 12, 2019] The real meaning of MAGA for Trump administration

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 9:44:47 PM | link

MAGA:

- illegally occupy territory (Syria and Afghanistan);

- support genocidal war (Yemen);

- thumb nose at UN resolutions;

- terminate treaties and embargo trade (Iran, North Korea);

- stoke tensions with adversaries (Russia, China, Iran, etc.);

- support idiotic Obama retread in Venezuela;

- shake down your allies;

- militarize space.

Winning:

- excuse killing of journalists (Khashoggi);

- torture whistle-blowers (Manning) and arrest journalists (Assange);

- cut humanitarian aid (Palestinians) to support Apartheid (Isreal);

- take hostages (Meng);

- bomb first, ask questions later (Syria);

- label anyone you don't like a "terrorist", "terrorist organization", or "terrorist state" - then invoke AUMF (Iran);

- expand the swamp (tax cuts, military spending increases, cut regulations, Jared's sweetheart deal, etc.).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Not meant to be an exhaustive list.

[Apr 12, 2019] The 'deep state' IS the state! TRump serves the purpose of 'opening doors' for the rest of the gangsters, much the same way as successive Labour govts, here in the UK, opened the door for even more reactionary Tory govts.

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Barovsky , Apr 11, 2019 10:28:06 AM | link

Posted by: Zanon | Apr 11, 2019 10:11:05 AM | 58

Of course it's a Trump thing as well. The 'deep state' IS the state! TRump serves the purpose of 'opening doors' for the rest of the gangsters, much the same way as successive Labour govts, here in the UK, opened the door for even more reactionary Tory govts.

It's an issue of style versus substance. Ignore Trump's 'style', not that he has much, and concentrate on events. They're seamless. The process continues as it has done for decades.

[Apr 12, 2019] Trump s Betrayal of White America by Alex Graham

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's failure here is his alone. Closing the border could be accomplished with a simple executive order. It has happened before: Reagan ordered the closing of the border when DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was murdered on assignment in Mexico in 1985, for instance. ..."
"... Trump's empty threats over the past two years have had real-world consequences, prompting waves of migrants trying to sneak into the country while they still have the chance. His recent move to cut all foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is another empty gesture that will probably have similar consequences. The funds directed to those countries were used for programs that provided citizens with incentives not to migrate elsewhere. (The situation was not ideal from an isolationist point of view, but a wiser man would have built the wall before cutting off the aid.) ..."
"... Trump's betrayal of American workers is perhaps best encapsulated by the fact that one of the members of the advisory board of his National Council for the American Worker (which claims to "enhance employment opportunities for Americans of all ages") is the CEO of IBM, a company that has expressed a preference for F-1 and H-1B visa holders in its job postings. ..."
"... There are more former Goldman Sachs employees in the Trump White House than in the Obama and Bush administrations combined. ..."
"... It is hard to escape the conclusion that Trump is not actually interested in curbing immigration and reversing America's demographic decline. He is a con artist and a coward who is willing to betray millions of white Americans so that he can remain in the good graces of establishment neoconservatives ..."
"... As Ann Coulter has put it, "He's like a waiter who compliments us for ordering the hamburger, but keeps bringing us fish. The hamburger is our signature dish, juicy and grilled to perfection, you've made a brilliant choice . . . now here's your salmon. " ..."
"... Third, he put an end to American funding for Palestinians. This coincided with the passing of a bill that codified a $38 billion, ten-year foreign aid package for Israel. Trump also authorized an act allocating an additional $550 million toward US-Israel missile and tunnel defense cooperation. ..."
"... Trump's track record on Israel shows that he is capable of exercising agency and getting things done. But he has failed to address the most pressing issue that America currently faces: mass immigration and the displacement of white Americans. The most credible explanation for his incompetence is that he has no intention of delivering on his promises. There is no "Plan," no 4-D chess game. The sooner white Americans realize this, the better. ..."
"... We elected America's first Jewish president, nothing more" ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
"Unlike other presidents, I keep my promises," Trump boasted in a speech delivered on Saturday to the Republican Jewish Congress at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas. Many in the audience wore red yarmulkes emblazoned with his name. In his speech, Trump condemned Democrats for allowing "the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party" and emphasized his loyalty to Israel.

Trump has kept some of his promises. So far, he has kept every promise that he made to the Jewish community. Yet he has reneged on his promises to white America – the promises that got him elected in the first place. It is a betrayal of the highest order: millions of white Americans placed their hopes in Trump and wholeheartedly believed that he would be the one to make America great again. They were willing to endure social ostracism and imperil their livelihoods by supporting him. In return, Trump has turned his back on them and rendered his promises void.

The most recent example of this is Trump's failure to keep his promise to close the border. On March 29, Trump threatened to close the border if Mexico did not stop all illegal immigration into the US. This would likely have been a highly effective measure given Mexico's dependence on cross-border trade. Five days later, he suddenly retracted this threat and said that he would give Mexico a " one-year warning " before taking drastic action. He further claimed that closing the border would not be necessary and that he planned to establish a twenty-five percent tariff on cars entering the US instead.

Trump's failure here is his alone. Closing the border could be accomplished with a simple executive order. It has happened before: Reagan ordered the closing of the border when DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was murdered on assignment in Mexico in 1985, for instance.

Trump's empty threats over the past two years have had real-world consequences, prompting waves of migrants trying to sneak into the country while they still have the chance. His recent move to cut all foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is another empty gesture that will probably have similar consequences. The funds directed to those countries were used for programs that provided citizens with incentives not to migrate elsewhere. (The situation was not ideal from an isolationist point of view, but a wiser man would have built the wall before cutting off the aid.)

The past two years have seen a surge in illegal immigration without precedent in the past decade. Since late December, the Department of Homeland Security has released 125,565 illegal aliens into the country. In the past two weeks alone, 6,000 have been admitted. According to current projections, 2019 will witness around 500,000 to 775,000 border crossings. Additionally, about 630,000 illegal aliens will be added to the population after having overstayed their visas. By the end of the year, more than one million illegal aliens will have been added to the population:

These projections put the number of illegal aliens added to the U.S. population at around one to 1.5 million, on top of the 11 to 22 million illegal aliens who are already living across the country. This finding does not factor in the illegal aliens who will be deported, die over the next year, or leave the U.S. of their own will. As DHS data has revealed, once border crossers and illegal aliens are released into the country, the overwhelming majority are never deported.

In February, Trump signed a bill allowing the DHS secretary to add another 69,320 spots to the current H-2B cap of 66,000. On March 29, DHS began this process by announcing that it would issue an additional 30,000 H-2B visas this year. The H-2B visa program allows foreign workers to come to the US and work in non-agricultural occupations. Unlike the H-1B program, a Bachelor's degree is not required; most H-2B workers are employed in construction, maintenance, landscaping, and so on. The demographic most affected by the expansion of the H-2B program will be unemployed working-class Americans. This flies in the face of Trump's promise to protect American workers and stop importing foreigners.

Trump has indicated that he has plans to expand the H-1B visa program as well. "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.," he said in a tweet in January.

Trump's betrayal of American workers is perhaps best encapsulated by the fact that one of the members of the advisory board of his National Council for the American Worker (which claims to "enhance employment opportunities for Americans of all ages") is the CEO of IBM, a company that has expressed a preference for F-1 and H-1B visa holders in its job postings.

Trump has been working on legal immigration with Jared Kushner, who has quietly been crafting a plan to grant citizenship to more "low- and high-skilled workers, as well as permanent and temporary workers" (so, just about everyone). Kushner's plan proves the folly of the typical Republican line that legal immigration is fine and that only illegal immigration should be opposed. Under his plan, thousands of illegal aliens will become "legal" with the stroke of a pen.

There is a paucity of anti-immigration hardliners in Trump's inner circle (though Stephen Miller is a notable exception). Trump has surrounded himself with moderates: the Kushners, Mick Mulvaney, Alex Acosta, and others. There are more former Goldman Sachs employees in the Trump White House than in the Obama and Bush administrations combined.

The new DHS secretary, Kevin McAleenan, who was appointed yesterday following Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation, is a middle-of-the-road law enforcement official who served under Obama and Bush and is responsible for the revival of the " catch-and-release " policy, whereby illegal aliens are released upon being apprehended. It was reported last week that Trump was thinking of appointing either Kris Kobach or Ken Cuccinelli to a position of prominence (as an " immigration czar "), but this appears to have been another lie.

Trump's failure to deliver on his promises cannot be chalked up to congressional obstruction. Congress. As Kobach said in a recent interview , "It's not like we're powerless and it's not like we have to wait for Congress to do something. . . . No, we can actually solve the immediate crisis without Congress acting." Solving the border crisis would simply demand "leadership in the executive branch willing to act decisively." Kobach recently outlined an intelligent three-point plan that Trump could implement:

Publish the final version of the regulation that would supersede the Flores Settlement. The initial regulation was published by the Department of Homeland Security in September 2018. DHS could have published the final regulation in December. Inexplicably, DHS has dragged its feet. Finalizing that regulation would allow the United States to detain entire families together, and it would stop illegal aliens from exploiting children as get-out-of-jail free cards. Set up processing centers at the border to house the migrants and hold the hearings in one place. The Department of Justice should deploy dozens of immigration judges to hear the asylum claims at the border without releasing the migrants into the country. FEMA already owns thousands of travel trailers and mobile homes that it has used to address past hurricane disasters. Instead of selling them (which FEMA is currently doing), FEMA should ship them to the processing centers to provide comfortable housing for the migrants. In addition, a fleet of passenger planes should deployed to the processing centers. Anyone who fails in his or her asylum claim, or who is not seeking asylum and is inadmissible, should be flown home immediately. It would be possible to fly most migrants home within a few weeks of their arrival. Word would get out quickly in their home countries that entry into the United States is not as easy as advertised. The incentive to join future caravans would dissipate quickly. Publish a proposed Treasury regulation that prohibits the sending home of remittances by people who cannot document lawful presence in the United States. This will hit Mexico in the pocketbook: Mexico typically brings in well over $20 billion a year in remittances , raking in more than $26 billion in 2017. Then, tell the government of Mexico that we will finalize the Treasury regulation unless they do two things to help us address the border crisis: (1) Mexico immediately signs a "safe third country agreement" similar to our agreement with Canada. This would require asylum applicants to file their asylum application in the first safe country they set foot in (so applicants in the caravans from Central America would have to seek asylum in Mexico, rather than Canada); and (2) Mexico chips in $5 billion to help us build the wall. The threat of ending remittances from illegal aliens is a far more powerful one than threatening to close the border. Ending such remittances doesn't hurt the U.S. economy; indeed, it helps the economy by making it more likely that such capital will be spent and circulate in our own country. We can follow through easily if Mexico doesn't cooperate.

It would not be all that difficult for Trump to implement these proposals. Kobach still has faith in Trump, but his assessment of him appears increasingly to be too generous. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Trump is not actually interested in curbing immigration and reversing America's demographic decline. He is a con artist and a coward who is willing to betray millions of white Americans so that he can remain in the good graces of establishment neoconservatives . At the same time, he wants to maintain the illusion that he cares about his base.

As Ann Coulter has put it, "He's like a waiter who compliments us for ordering the hamburger, but keeps bringing us fish. The hamburger is our signature dish, juicy and grilled to perfection, you've made a brilliant choice . . . now here's your salmon. "

Nearly everything Trump has done in the name of restricting immigration has turned out to be an empty gesture and mere theatrics: threatening to close the border, offering protections to "Dreamers" in exchange for funding for the ever-elusive wall, threatening to end the "anchor baby" phenomenon with an executive order (which never came to pass), cutting off aid to Central American countries, claiming that he will appoint an "immigration czar" (and then proceeding to appoint McAleenan instead of Kobach as DHS secretary), and on and on.

While Trump has failed to keep the promises that got him elected, he has fulfilled a number of major promises that he made to Israel and the Jewish community.

First, he moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump claimed that the move would only cost $200,000, but in reality it will end up being more than $20 million . The construction of the embassy also led to a series of bloody protests; it is located in East Jerusalem, which is generally acknowledged to be Palestinian territory.

Second, he pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu claimed on Israeli TV that Israel was responsible for convincing him to exit the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. (Both Trump and Netanyahu falsely alleged that Iran lied about the extent of its nuclear program; meanwhile, Israel's large arsenal of chemical and biological weapons has escaped mention.) Third, he put an end to American funding for Palestinians. This coincided with the passing of a bill that codified a $38 billion, ten-year foreign aid package for Israel. Trump also authorized an act allocating an additional $550 million toward US-Israel missile and tunnel defense cooperation.

Fourth, he recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights (in defiance of the rest of the world, which recognizes the Golan Heights as Syrian territory under Israeli occupation). Trump's Golan Heights proclamation was issued on March 21 and was celebrated by Israel. Trump's track record on Israel shows that he is capable of exercising agency and getting things done. But he has failed to address the most pressing issue that America currently faces: mass immigration and the displacement of white Americans. The most credible explanation for his incompetence is that he has no intention of delivering on his promises. There is no "Plan," no 4-D chess game. The sooner white Americans realize this, the better.


aandrews , says: April 10, 2019 at 3:17 am GMT

Kushner, Inc. Book Review Part I: The Rise of The Kushner Crime Family

Kushner, Inc. Book Review Part II: The Fall of The Kushner Crime Family

If you haven't picked up a copy of Vicky Ward's book, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump , you really should.

I haven't read Mr. Graham's essay yet, but I thought those two links would fit in nicely. I stay in a low boil, like it is, and having plodded through both those reviews, I can't stand reading too much on this topic at once.

Something's gotta give. Or are the brainless goy just going to let themselves be led off a cliff?

Oh, yes. There's an interview with Ward on BookTV .

Thinker , says: April 10, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
Yep. Trump's a lying POS pond scum like the rest of the DC swamp that he said he was going to drain, turns out he is one of them all along. We elected America's first Jewish president, nothing more. He needs to change his campaign slogan to MIGA, Make Israel Great Again, that was the plan of his handlers all along.

What I want to know is, who are those idiots who still keep showing up at his rallies? Are they really that dumb?

Even Sanders came out and said we can't have open borders. I've also heard him said back in 2015 that the H1b visa program is a replacement program for American workers. If he grows a pair and reverts back to that stance, teams up with Tulsi Gabbard, I'll vote for them 2020. Fuck Trump! Time for him and his whole treasonous rat family to move to Israel where they belong.

jbwilson24 , says: April 10, 2019 at 4:51 am GMT
@Thinker " We elected America's first Jewish president, nothing more"

Afraid not, there's plenty of reason to believe that the Roosevelt family and Lyndon Johnson were Jewish.

Your major point stands, though. He's basically a shabbesgoy.

peterAUS , says: April 10, 2019 at 5:05 am GMT
@Dr. Robert Morgan

His "implicitly white" supporters would have abandoned him in droves, not wanting to be associated with a racist, thus pointing up the weakness of implicit whiteness as a survival strategy. And is it actually a survival strategy? A closer look at it makes me think it's more of a racial self-extermination strategy. After all, what kind of a survival strategy is it that can't even admit its goals to itself? And it's exactly this refusal of whites to explicitly state that they collectively want to continue to exist as a race that is the greatest impediment to their doing so. It's an interesting problem with no easy solution. How do you restore the will to live to a race that seems to have lost it? And not only lost its will to live, but actually prides itself on doing so? Accordingly, this "betrayal" isn't a betrayal at all. It's what American whites voted for and want. Giving their country away and accepting their own demographic demise is proof of their virtue; proof of their Christian love for all mankind.

You are definitely onto something here.

Still, I feel it's not that deep and complicated. It could be that they simply don't believe that the danger is closing in.

Boils down to wrong judgment. People who haven't had the need to think hard about serious things tend to develop that weakness.
I guess that boils down to "good times make weak men."

Hard times are coming and they'll make hard men. The catch is simple: will be enough of them in time ?

Real Buddy Ray , says: April 10, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@Thomm https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trumps-proposal-for-legal-immigration/499061/
JNDillard , says: April 10, 2019 at 5:20 am GMT
Switching to the Democrats is no solution. The DNC has proven itself to be a criminal organization through sabotaging Sander's campaign and then being instrumental in creating Russophobia, in collusion with Obama, the CIA, the FBI, and the DoJ. The DNC has rules in place stating that super delegates – elitists aligned with the DNC – can vote if one nominee does not win on the first ballot at the National Convention.

Because we have a HUGE number of hats in the Democratic ring, the chances that the nomination will not be decided on a first vote are extremely high, with the result being that the Democratic nominee is not going to be decided by voters in the primaries but by super delegates, i.e., the elitists and plutocrats.

Democracy exists when we vote to support candidates chosen by the elites for the elites; when we stop doing that, the elites turn on democracy. It is a sham; we will have a choice in 2020: between Pepsi and Coke. You are free to choose which one you prefer, because you live in a democracy. For more on the rigging of the democratic primaries for 2020, see

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/09/packed-primary-may-let-superdelegates-screw-progressives-again/

[Apr 12, 2019] Was McCain a fake candidate selected to ensure Obama win and Trump another fake candidate who accidentally won?

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 11, 2019 5:39:02 PM | link

@ Circe @164

Odd thing, but suddenly I remember how John McCain came out of nowhere back in 2008. Polling in single digits, suddenly the man is hyped like hell and becomes the candidate. Perfect foil for Obama, I suppose.

Somehow reminds me of 2016, but then Obama was an unknown, not the most hated politician in the US.

^^^

As for "why now" on the arrest of Assange, it diverts attention from a lot of other topics. Some of those will probably never re-surface.

[Apr 11, 2019] A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.

Notable quotes:
"... He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Republic , says: April 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT

Cicero's quotation:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.

He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

[Apr 10, 2019] A demoralized white working and middle class was willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, hope and change for the OxyContin and Breitbart set

Highly recommended!
Trump betrayed white workers because he knows he can get away with it. For the last thirty years of the 20th century millions of white families were wrenched out of the middle class without a squeak out of any major news outlet or national level politician. Trump himself stiffed his workers in those days and got away with it.
Notable quotes:
"... “In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider. ..."
"... A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.” ..."
"... Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya? ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: April 10, 2019 at 8:55 am GMT

I'm not sure why the author of this article seems to be surprised by the actions of Trump and his administration. The collective image of him as a blood-thirsty racist whose hatred of all peoples queer 'n' colored runs marrow and generations-deep -- think of a cross between a street corner John Galt and Ian Smith, daubed with vague overtones of Archie Bunker mingling with Clint Eastwood -- is purely an invention of the media, the left as well as that of the right.

Why or how he became the impromptu pope of white nationalism escapes me. Anyone with ears to listen and eyes to see could find for themselves that he never so much as intimated even muted sympathy for that movement, not during his campaign and certainly not as head of state, media accusations of "dog whistles" and the like notwithstanding.

But a demoralized white working and middle class were willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, "hope and change" for the OxyContin and Breitbart set. Like his predecessor, Trump never really says anything at all. There are grand pronouncements, bilious screeds targeting perceived enemies, glib generalities, but rarely are any concrete, definitive ideas and policies ever articulated. Trump, like Obama, is merely a cipher, an empty suit upon which the dreams (or nightmares) of the beholder can effortlessly be projected, a polarizing figurehead who wields mostly ceremonial powers while others ostensibly beneath him busy themselves with the actual running of the republic.

To observe this requires no great research or expenditure of effort -- he lays it all out there for anybody to hear or read. Unfortunately, the near totality of this country's populace is effectively illiterate and poorly equipped to think critically and independently, preferring to accept the verdicts of their oleaginous talking heads at face value without ever troubling themselves to examine why. (The dubious products of the glorified diploma mills we call "higher education" are often the most gullible and dim-witted.) Trump is the dark magus of racism and bigotry -- boo! Trump is the man of sorrows who will carry aloft Western Civilization resurgent -- yay!

Just as the hysterical left was quickly shattered by the mediocrity that was Barack Obama, so too does the hysterical right now ululate the sting of Donald Trump's supposed betrayal. As with their ideological antipodes, they got what they deserved. Pity that the rest of us have to be carted along for the ride.

Amerimutt Golem , says: April 10, 2019 at 9:39 am GMT

Trump is just a golem -- a creature made by you know who to destroy their enemies like Iran etc, no different from GW or FDR.
anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:01 am GMT
Politics, at least at the national level, is a puppet show to channel and periodically blow off dissent.

“In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.”

Linh Dinh, “Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President,” published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016.

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT

@Hank

We were “Trumped”. Hard to believe.

What’s so hard to believe? Many of us predicted as much.

PS: It would be more accurate to admit that his supporters have been t Rumped . He stuck it to ya and you enjoyed it. Believe it and remember it.

Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya?

[Apr 10, 2019] "First the poor taxpayers, robbed by the politicians of one great party and then by those of the other, turn to a group of free-lance rogues in the middle ground -- non-partisan candidates, Liberals, reformers, or what not: the name is unimportant.

Notable quotes:
"... Then, flayed and pillaged by these gentry as they never were by the old-time professionals, they go back in despair to the latter, and are flayed and pillaged again." ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete says: April 10, 2019 at 10:50 am GMT

Reed was wrong here. The American voter, for the most part, still doesn't realize any of this.

In June 1922 the Zionist halter was firmly reaffixed
round the neck of American State policy, and though American voter only slowly
realized this, it became immaterial to him which party prevailed at elections.

-Douglas Reed, The Controversy of Zion , p 300-301

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:56 am GMT

@WorkingClass

Today I switch to the Democrats.

Please, no!

"First the poor taxpayers, robbed by the politicians of one great party and then by those of the other, turn to a group of free-lance rogues in the middle ground -- non-partisan candidates, Liberals, reformers, or what not: the name is unimportant.

Then, flayed and pillaged by these gentry as they never were by the old-time professionals, they go back in despair to the latter, and are flayed and pillaged again."

-H.L.Mencken, Editorial , In The American Mercury, April 1924, pp. 408-412

Antonius , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:10 am GMT
Trump is attacked relentlessly by Israel firsters (both left and right) prior to, and after his investiture as POTUS. How does he respond? How has he responded to relentless attacks on his base? The man has no spine, and no sense of gratitude or morality.

'Not worth feeding' my late grandfather would have said. Although he has made a lot of wealthy petulant people (who despise him and laugh behind his back) even wealthier.

What is needed is a billionaire who has genuine sense of noblesse oblige. Hopeless!

Anon918 , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT

Of course Trump was a gamble. I clearly remember him saying he wanted to get out of Syria, put an end to the endless wars, and he declared himself neutral on the Israel/Palestine issue–those were the biggest reasons I voted for him. Turns out he lied big time.

Now what? Looking at the clown car of presidential candidates just induces political nausea. No matter who gets elected it will be a government of, by, and for Jewish/Israeli/Zionist interests.

In the meantime I see no real progress on putting the brakes on illegals flooding the country. I see no economic miracles in spite of all the spin. Actual unemployment in the US was at 21.2% in March, really not much better than it has been since the 2008 crash ( http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts ), and record numbers of people are behind on mortgages and car payments, suicide and drug casualties have been skyrocketing.

Our political system is not going to bring any solutions, it has been far too corrupt for far too long.

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Pity that the rest of us have to be carted along for the ride.

That’s the truth, but we ‘re being carted along not for the ride but for the porking.

[Apr 08, 2019] Republican Health Care Lying Syndrome: Even Trump supporters don't believe the party's promises

Notable quotes:
"... When Trump officials insisted that the 2017 tax cut would lead to a decade of miraculous growth, their claim made no sense in terms of the underlying economics, and it flew in the face of decades of evidence. But it was a prediction, not a statement of fact, and it's conceivable (barely) that Trump's people actually believed it. ..."
"... But when Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, went on TV Sunday to declare that "every single plan" Trump has put forward "covered pre-existing conditions," that was just a lie. ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , April 05, 2019 at 01:51 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/opinion/republicans-health-care.html

April 1, 2019

Republican Health Care Lying Syndrome: Even Trump supporters don't believe the party's promises.
By Paul Krugman

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and Republican claims about health care.

O.K., it's not news that politicians make misleading claims, some more than others. According to a running tally kept by Daniel Dale of The Toronto Star, as of Monday morning, Donald Trump had said 4,682 false things as president.

But G.O.P. health care claims are special, in several ways. First, they're outright, clearly intentional lies -- not dubious assertions or misstatements that could be attributed to ignorance or misunderstanding. Second, they're repetitive: Rather than making a wide variety of false claims, Republicans keep telling the same few lies, over and over. Third, they keep doing this even though the public long ago stopped believing anything they say on the subject.

This syndrome demands an explanation, and I'll get there eventually. Before I do, however, let's document the things that make G.O.P. health care lies unique.

First, as I said, I'm not talking about mere dubious claims. When Trump officials insisted that the 2017 tax cut would lead to a decade of miraculous growth, their claim made no sense in terms of the underlying economics, and it flew in the face of decades of evidence. But it was a prediction, not a statement of fact, and it's conceivable (barely) that Trump's people actually believed it.

But when Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, went on TV Sunday to declare that "every single plan" Trump has put forward "covered pre-existing conditions," that was just a lie.

Here's what the Congressional Budget Office said in its assessment of the Republicans' American Health Care Act, which would have caused 23 million to lose coverage, and would have passed if John McCain hadn't voted "No": "People who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all."

But Mulvaney's pre-existing conditions lie, along with his lie about nobody losing coverage if the lawsuit against Obamacare succeeds, was normal by G.O.P. standards. Which brings me to the second reason this particular form of lying is exceptional: Republicans just keep telling the same lies, over and over. Again and again they have promised to maintain coverage and protect pre-existing conditions -- then offered plans that would cause tens of millions to lose health insurance, with the worst impact on those already suffering from health problems.

The funny thing -- which is my third point -- is that almost nobody seems to believe these lies. On the eve of last year's midterm elections, the public trusted Democrats over Republicans to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions by 58 percent to 26 percent. A margin this big tells us that even Trump supporters knew their man was lying on this issue.

So what's behind the persistence of R.H.L.S. -- Republican health care lying syndrome?

Well, public opinion here is clear: Americans want everyone to have access to health care. There isn't even that much of a partisan divide: An overwhelming majority of Republicans don't believe insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage or charge more to those with pre-existing conditions.

This public near-unanimity is one reason Medicare is so popular. Getting older -- and thus joining a group with much higher average health costs than the rest of the population -- is, after all, the ultimate pre-existing condition.

But there are only two ways to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and both are anathema to conservative ideology.

One is to have taxpayers pay the bills directly, which is what Medicare does.

The other combines regulation and subsidies. Insurance companies must be prohibited from discriminating based on medical history -- a prohibition that must include preventing them from issuing bare-bones policies that will appeal only to those in good health -- but that won't do the job by itself. Healthy people must also be induced to sign up, to provide a good risk pool, which means subsidizing premiums for those with lower incomes and, preferably although not totally necessary, imposing a penalty on those without insurance.

If the second option sounds familiar, it should. It's what countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland do; it's also a description of, you guessed it, Obamacare.

But Republicans cannot admit that the only way to protect pre-existing conditions is to emulate Democratic policies. The party of Eisenhower, or even the party of Nixon, might have been able to do such a thing, but the party of Fox News cannot.

Nor, however, do Republicans dare admit that they have no interest in providing protection that a vast majority of voters demands. So they just keep lying.

You may, by the way, have heard talk about G.O.P. members of Congress opposed to Trump's new health care push. But they share his goals; they're just questioning his timing. The whole party still wants to take away your health care. It just hopes to get through the next election before you find out.

ilsm -> anne... , April 05, 2019 at 03:50 PM
"If the second option sounds familiar, it should. It's what countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland do; it's also a description of, you guessed it, Obamacare."

Not quite:

"Unlike insurers offering the basic coverage plan, private insurers can be for-profit. Often an insurance company in Switzerland will have a non-profit branch offering mandatory public insurance and a for-profit branch offering additional private medical insurance. ... "

"Most hospitals and health insurers in the Netherlands are privately run, non-profit foundations, whereas most healthcare insurers are non-profit companies."

Why do hide the big difference between the US and other countries; that US health insurance and the majority of providers are "for profit", while most other countries that use non government insurers deny them profit?

mulp -> ilsm... , April 06, 2019 at 03:37 AM
Half of providers and INSURERS are not for profit, still.

It used to be more like 90% in the US.

Note, a not for profit must generate a return on capital or else it goes bankrupt.

Hospitals in rural America decay, then close from failing to generate a return on capital.

ilsm -> mulp ... , April 06, 2019 at 07:19 AM
List the US' not for profit insurers and a link to a description of their "business model".

I have worked with a few of DoD's federally funded R&D corps, They have no profits but their loaded rates are half again the customary and reasonable..........

Paine -> ilsm... , April 06, 2019 at 03:03 PM
Non profit is an organizational choice

Exploitation by extraction
of a share of the value created
by an organization's job force
can be conducted by non profits
No profits can be
profit producers
distributing the profits
by other means
Then share holder dividends

[Mar 29, 2019] Trump Splits With Senior Advisor Former CIA Chief Woolsey

Actually it was china that hacked Hillary email server. Russiagate was CIA false flag operation to stage a color revolution against Trump.
Jan 06, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Trouble in paradise? Following his comments earlier in the week that it was not just the Russians (but China and Iran maybe) that hacked US and that Trump "may be playing us ," former CIA Director James Woolsey has parted ways with the president-elect and will no longer be a Senior Advisor .

Woolsey did not appear to be toeing the company-line completely...

Former CIA director James Woolsey: Possibility that more than one country is involved in hacking is there. https://t.co/cxZqeyNvOI

- New Day (@NewDay) January 3, 2017

As we noted previously, The Hill reports , Woolsey, who was a senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump , said: "I don't think people ought to say they know for sure there's only one. I don't think they're likely to be proven correct. It shouldn't be portrayed as one guilty party," "It's much more complicated than that. This is not an organized operation that is hacking into a target. It's more like a bunch of jackals at the carcass of an antelope ."

Woolsey suggested China and Iran could be behind cyber breaches in the U.S. Is it Russian? Probably some," he said. "Is it Chinese and Iranian? Maybe. We may find out more from Mr. Trump coming up today." This follows Trump's comments on Sunday hinting he would reveal new information about alleged Russian hacking during a New Year's Eve celebration at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

"[I know] things that other people don't know," he said. "I just want them to be sure because it's a pretty serious charge. I think it's unfair if they don't know."

To which Woolsey contentiously also commented:

"There's a possibility that he is [playing us] a little bit."

But as is clear, Woolsey's belief that the Russians "were in there" still goes further than what Trump has said about the hacks ... which may be why Woolsey has announced in a formal statement

"Effective immediately, Ambassador Woolsey is no longer a Senior Adviser to President-elect Trump or the transition," Woolsey's spokesman, Jonathan Franks, wrote in a statement that was first reported by CNN's Jeremy Diamond.

"He wishes the President-elect and his Administration great success in their time in office."

Furthermore, The Washington Post's Philip Rucker reports, Woolsey resigned after being cut out of intelligence talks with Trump and his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

nmewn PT Jan 5, 2017 8:51 PM

So yeah, Russian hackers.

Here we go, this is from Buzzfeed so according to the NYT's and Washington Post this source would qualify as "fake news"...lol...but!...

"The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI's Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice's National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney's Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC's computer servers," Eric Walker, the DNC's deputy communications director, told BuzzFeed News in an email."

...but!...just looky here...we've got an actual non-anonymous, real life, people-type person who is not speaking from the shadows in an underground parking garage its, Eric Walker, the DNC's deputy communications director.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/the-fbi-never-asked-for-access-to-h...

Oh my ;-)

847328_3527 xythras Jan 5, 2017 9:42 PM

I still think it is independent patriots assited by patriotic insiders who exposed the DNC's criminal activity.

Anyway, when do we get the criminal investigation into the contents of the leaks? That's where the meat is. Not that someone exposed the crimes; they deserve a medal.

fleur de lis ElTerco Jan 5, 2017 8:44 PM

Shit on Woolsey.

He went out of his way to get that traitorous vermin Jonathan Pollard out of jail.

He accused the whole country of anti-semitism just because Pollard got busted giving secrets away to the Israelis for years.

As if the Israelis don't get enough as it is.

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Former-CIA-director-accuses-...

Why didn't someone on Trump's team ask him about that.

And they had better start doing some real due dilligence on these remora types.

Where there's one Israeli mole there's ten.

Woolsey thinks Pollard's release is overdue.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/James-Woolsey-Jonathan-Pollard-release...

A very, very close look at Woolsey is overdue.

And his associations, bank books, phone calls, etc.

How dare he advise any of us about security after that.

Woolsey is a Mossad crack ho.

He needs a major smackdown.

Paul Kersey localsavage Jan 5, 2017 8:25 PM

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, was a vocal advocate of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq who promoted allegations that Saddam Hussein harbored illegal weapons of mass destruction.

[Mar 29, 2019] Trump Aims To Cut The Neocon Deep State Off At The Knees

No he does not. The claim of Trump desire to cut Neocon Deep State sounds like humor now
But the idea of dual personalities of the US Deep State with "Neocon-Neoliberal Deep State" as the dominant personality -- "We came, we saw, he died" personality is still valid.
Notable quotes:
"... I have long held that America's Deep State --the unelected National Security State often referred to as the Shadow Government-- is not a unified monolith but a deeply divided ecosystem in which the dominant Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy is being challenged by elements which view the Neocon-Neoliberal agenda as a threat to national security and the interests of the United States. ..."
"... I call these anti-Neocon-Neoliberal elements the progressive Deep State ..."
"... If you want a working definition of the Neocon-Neoliberal Deep State, Hillary Clinton's quip-- we came, we saw, he died --is a good summary: a bullying, arrogance-soaked state-within-a-state pursuing an agenda of ceaseless intervention while operating a global Murder, Inc., supremely confident that no one in the elected government can touch them. ..."
Jan 06, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
I have long held that America's Deep State --the unelected National Security State often referred to as the Shadow Government-- is not a unified monolith but a deeply divided ecosystem in which the dominant Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy is being challenged by elements which view the Neocon-Neoliberal agenda as a threat to national security and the interests of the United States.

I call these anti-Neocon-Neoliberal elements the progressive Deep State.

If you want a working definition of the Neocon-Neoliberal Deep State, Hillary Clinton's quip-- we came, we saw, he died --is a good summary: a bullying, arrogance-soaked state-within-a-state pursuing an agenda of ceaseless intervention while operating a global Murder, Inc., supremely confident that no one in the elected government can touch them.

Until Trump unexpectedly wrenched the presidency from the Neocon's candidate. The Neocon Deep State's response was to manufacture a mass-media hysteria that Russia had wrongfully deprived the Neocon's candidate (Hillary Clinton) of what was rightfully hers: the presidency. (The Neocons operate their own version of the divine right of Political Nobility .)

The Neocon-Neoliberals' strategy was to delegitimize Trump's victory by ascribing it to "Russian Hacking," a claim that remains entirely unsubstantiated. Now that this grasping-at-straws Hail Mary coup attempt by a politicized CIA and its corporate media mouthpiece has failed, the Neocon Deep State is about to find out the Progressive Deep State finally has a president who is willing and able to cut the Neocon-Neoliberals off at the knees.

Trump Is Working On A Plan To Restructure, Pare Back The CIA And America's Top Spy Agency .

If you want documented evidence of this split in the Deep State--sorry, it doesn't work that way. Nobody in the higher echelons of the Deep State is going to leak anything about the low-intensity war being waged because the one thing everyone agrees on is the Deep State's dirty laundry must be kept private.

As a result, the split is visible only by carefully reading between the lines, by examining who is being placed in positions of control in the Trump Administration, and reading the tea leaves of who is "retiring" (i.e. being fired) or quitting, which agencies are suddenly being reorganized, and the appearance of dissenting views in journals that serve as public conduits for Deep State narratives.

I have also long held that Wall Street's political dominance is part and parcel of the Neocon-Neoliberal ideology , and the progressive elements in the Deep State also want to (finally) limit the power of the big banks and the rest of the Wall Street crowd.

Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014)

The split in the Deep State is a reflection of the profound political disunity that is occurring in the U.S. In other words, it isn't just disunity in the masses or the political elites--it's a division in all levels of our society.

The cause is not difficult to discern: the concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of the few is generating levels of inequality that threaten democracy, the social order and the vitality of the economy:

As someone who has studied the Deep State for 40 years, I find it ironic that so many self-identified "progressives" do not understand that the U.S. military is now the Progressive element and it's the civilian leadership--the Neocon-Neoliberals-- who are responsible for leading the nation into quagmires and handing the keys to the chicken coop to the wolves of Wall Street.

When military leaders such as Eric Shinseki questioned the Neocon's insane "strategy" in Iraq--essentially a civilian fantasy of magical-thinking--the Neocons quickly cashiered him (Shinseki was a wounded combat veteran of Vietnam who rose through the ranks--the exact opposite of the coddled never-get-my-hands-dirty Elites in the civilian Neocon-Neoliberal leadership.)

To the degree that the U.S. has become a Third World Oligarchy owned and controlled by a financial-political Elite, then the U.S. military is one of the few national institutions that hasn't been corrupted by top-down politicization and worship of Wall Street.

Shinseki et al. did not amass a fortune from Wall Street like Bill and Hillary Clinton. The simple dictum-- follow the money --maps the lay of the land rather neatly.

The Neocon-Neoliberals have run the nation into the ground. They must be fired and put out to pasture before they do any more harm. That includes the Fake-"Progressives" and the fake-"Conservatives" alike who have enriched themselves within the Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy.

If you are surprised that the Democratic Party, the CIA and Wall Street are all hugging each other in the same cozy Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchic embrace, you shouldn't be. Open your eyes.

Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? (August 8, 2016)

stizazz Jan 5, 2017 10:39 PM

W Bush: "Dad, what's a neocon?" HW Bush: "You want names or description?" W: "Description." HW: "Israel."

Chopping down the neocon deep state is to cut down Israel. Trump won't, though he should.

techies-r-us stizazz Jan 5, 2017 10:42 PM

All of America's problems in the MidEast is because of these Israel-first neocons.

Mano-A-Mano bamawatson Jan 5, 2017 10:56 PM

Why is it that no one wants to describe who the neocons are?

Which lends credence to the fact that in the Israeli-occupied West you can't criticize Israel, no matter the evil they inflict on the Middle East.

fleur de lis J S Bach Jan 5, 2017 10:56 PM

The problem is that the deep state owns most if not all the wet workers.

They will do whatever the DS says since their paychecks depend upon it.

Best thing would be to ID the wet workers and give them X amount of time to come in from the cold, then give them the choice of taking a payoff and staying out of trouble or getting their wings clipped for violating parole, or turning state's evidence in exchange for a job or getting their spawn into good schools/jobs.

If they miss the deadline they default into "problems" and get dealt with accordingly.

Rebel yell Jan 5, 2017 10:53 PM

If Trump can cut the neo-fascist deep-state off at the knees, America can be great again!

The Spanish-American Inquisition : Mexican propaganda was the reason that people voted for Hillary Clinton. NYT largest shareholder is Carlos Slim who has lost 40% of his net worth in the last 2 years as a result of the peso. Trump would diminish his own personal empire by further devaluation of the peso and by reducing Mexican manufacturing.

The Mexican propaganda was not merely limited to the NYT. Telemundo also played a large part in this. The infiltration of Mexican spies and propagandists through telemundo owned by Comcast, the country's largest media organization has completely compromised Comcast! All of their companies endorsed Hillary in order to benefit the Mexican economy!

Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in order to spread Cuban propaganda. His adopted father was from Cuba. Since Jeff Bezos purchased WaPo, Obama has restored relations with Cuba. Coincidence?! We think not!!!

CNN is Chilean propaganda -- What lengths will they go to in order to mislead the public as the Chilean president owns Chilevisian which is a Time Warner subsidiary and Time Warner owns CNN?! Trump's plan of rewriting NAFTA would be less favorable to Chile than it is in its current form! CNN is trying to get people to put the needs of the Chilean people above the needs of American people!

Congress has the right to declare war, but the president is the commander in chief. Let congress declare war on Russia and go and fight the Russians themselves. They can declare war, but there will be nobody to fight it, unless they do it themselves!

Paul Kersey Jan 5, 2017 10:53 PM

The Fed and the TBTF banks run Deep State, and according to the latest article in the WSJ, Trump is beyond indebted to the TBTF banks. If true, this is scary and gives Trump a pretty serious reason for putting so many Goldmanites in positions of power in his Administration.

(Wall Street Journal)

"More than 150 financial institutions hold debt from President-elect Donald Trump's businesses or businesses in which he is at least a 30 percent stakeholder, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

That amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential conflicts of interest as Trump prepares to begin his presidency.

When Trump submitted a required financial disclosure form with the Federal Election Commission in May 2015, he listed 16 loans, collectively worth $315 million in debt, that his businesses had received from 10 companies, according to the newspaper.

The Journal's analysis goes beyond those loans and includes debt held by companies in which Trump is at least a 30 percent stakeholder, including, for example, the companies which control 1290 Avenue of the Americas.

That building, owned by a partnership of companies that is 30 percent owned by Trump, received $950 million in loans in 2012 from UBS Group AG, Bank of China, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank, according to the report.

Deutsche Bank, a German institution, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for its equity trading with wealthy Russian clients.

In the case of Goldman Sachs, the bank now counts several its former employees among the highest levels of the incoming Trump administration, including former bank president Gary Cohn, who was appointed director of Trump's National Economic Council."

DirtySanchez Jan 5, 2017 10:56 PM

"The Neocon-Neoliberals have run the nation into the ground. They must be fired and put out to pasture before they do any more harm. That includes the Fake-"Progressives" and the fake-"Conservatives" alike who have enriched themselves within the Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy."

My ass!!!!! Mr Trump is the right man at the right time to send these war criminals to hell where they belong! HW, W, Bozo,Their globalists war cabinets,Their corrupt underlings, #MAGA #Drain the Swamp

cheech_wizard Jan 5, 2017 11:20 PM

Trump needs to distract them quickly. So I have given this a few quick moments of thought and came up with what should be Trump's first executive order. Congress and all Federal employees are now required to use Obamacare as their health plan.

Standard Disclaimer: Aside from watching Congressional critter's heads explode, the disaster known as Obamacare would be either repealed or fixed in a NY minute.