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Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite

The American Oligarchy only needs “team players”– shameless, cynical hacks who can be counted on to churn out whatever rank propaganda ordered up by the DNC

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: in 2016 Presidential elections workers abandoned them in droves

Clinton family grip on the Dems, the neoliberal grip,  might weaken

News National Security State Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Neocons induced constitutional c
Anti-globalization movement Donald Trump The Deep State Trump vs. Deep State Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections  Predator state New American Militarism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Non-Interventionism Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Corporatism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Who Rules America Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism Neoliberalism
Bernie Sanders Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention   US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

   

Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

"A credibility trap is when the managerial functions of a society have been sufficiently compromised by corruption so that the leadership cannot reform, or even honestly address, the problems of that system without implicating a broad swath of the powerful, including themselves.

The moneyed interests and their aspirants tolerate the corruption because they have profited from it, and would like to continue to do so. Discipline is maintained by various forms of soft financial rewards and social coercion."

Jesse's Café Américain

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point that is called the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And the rejection of  mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall.

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Thirty six year of neoliberalism slow motion train wreck finally produced the revolt of lower 90% of population ("shmucks" in neoliberal jargon) in the USA. The elite of the USA like the nomenklatura of the USSR in 1970th suddenly realized that the ordinary people,  most of the population hate them and that ideological brainwashing (Marxism in the USSR, free market fundamentalism in the USA) no longer can serve as effective  "opium for the masses".  People became restless. For the USSR elite the solution was simple: they changed sides and joined neoliberal crowd (while being lavishly bribed by the USA for this accomplishment, while common people starved on the streets).  For the USA elite the situation is more complex.  Trump just served as a crystallization point for already preexistent anti-globalization political forces. The neoliberalism is starting to drown in its own filth, along with neoliberal ideology which successfully protected the elite looting of common people for 35 years or so.

And Hillary does represents "kick the can down the road" neoliberal pro-globalization camp. Actually her candidacy says a lot about the neoliberal rationality and the society that the USA became. And for any non-biased observer voting for a war criminal ("we came, we saw, he died" and thousands Libyan people died and continue to die due to destabilization of the country) is not  the lesser even that voting for a loose cannon. The level of hostility toward Hillary among activist-minded progressives reflect rejection of pro-globalization and neocons camps that dominate official Washington. Many people figuratively will be happy to throu a hand grenade at official Washington by voting for Trump. That means the war-style anti-Trump propaganda campaign unleashed by neoliberal MSM might not have a desired effect. This level of hate toward neoliberal establishment did not existed toward the shady figure Barack Obama in 2008, who during election campaign pretended to be a progressive candidate, but then quickly betrayed his voters.  And even in 2012 when everybody already understood that he is a corrupt "bait and switch" neoliberal (and neocon in foreign policy)  luring Democratic sheep for shearing.

Democratic party  which was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street based on the idea that blue collar voters have nowhere to go so let's f*ck them ( that what nickname DemoRats implies) is deeply split and Demexit is a real trend, although it is unclear how significant it is.  Dominant, neoliberal wing of party (Clinton wing) prevailed and managed to put their candidate, but the real question is: will the rank-and-file voters support Hillary?

That's why neoliberal MSM went into overdrive claiming the Trump is dangerous. self-absorbed maniac, the second incarnation of Adolph Hitler. This war-style demonization of Trump (as well as attempts of "red-baiting" -- to present him as friendly with already demonized Vladimir Putin)  reflects the level of fear of neoliberal establishment in the results of November elections. In other words the elite started to lose the control of the population and was forced to resort to dirty tricks like was revealed in recent DNC emails leak scandal, which further endanger Hillary credibility, but failed to derail her candidacy because Sanders deflated and betrayed his base.  

In reality Trump might be viewed as the last attempt to answer the challenge of the crash of neoliberal ideology (after which the crash of the US neoliberal empire is just a matter of time, like was the case with the USSR). The challenge that Hillary in incapable and unwilling to answer, preferring "kick the can down the road" approach. Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

In this sense the November elections will be not about candidates, but more of the referendum on neoliberal globalization, much like Brexit was.  In this referendum Hillary means "Yes" (or more correctly "kick the can down the road"  with minor tweaks ) , and Trump "No" (or "let's try something else") to neoliberal globalization.   In this sense Trump has a chance, as Hillary represents the status quo, now hated by most of US electorate.  Hated after  years of outsourcing, offshoring, Wall Street financial machinations (which led to two crisis in 2000 and 2008 with the last almost taking the financial system down due to recklessness of major players), sliding wages and shrinking pool of salaried workers (with dramatic rise of contractor labor) people became sick-and-tired with.  Neoliberal arguments that people in the USA should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes (slightly exaggerated, but pretty precise depiction of neoliberal approach, see Over 50 and unemployed) now is ripe for a strong backlash.  People do not like to live in occupied country, unable to challenge the occupiers. That makes Hillary vulnerable and that why neoliberal press attacks Trump like a pack of rabid dogs.  Nothing personal, only business.

Good job disappeared, so people now understand that they were taken for ride, and the promise of neoliberalism that rampant, criminal enrichment of the top 0.1% will lift standard of living of everybody (trickle down economics)  much like communists promise of  "worker paradise" (but instead enriched nomenklatura and keep both blue and a large part of white collar worker of semi-starvation diet) is a fools gold.  In both case the elite lost legitimacy (trust in congress is in all time low) and became despised by population myth. A discredited ideology can no longer serve as "opium for the people", not it can keep the global neoliberal US-dominated empire intact.   Neoliberals are still very strong and they can still win this particular battle and crown Hillary,  but they are losing the war. Indeed, a Donald Trump loss is likely to fan the flames of population anger further.

Moreover,  while "bait and switch" tactics worked with Obama (neocons who pretend to be progressive during election campaign), it is unclear whether it will work with Hillary Clinton. Of course she will promise anything to be elected and then betray his voters. But are voters gulling enough to believe this spectacle after the same spectacle played (two times by Obama) and before him by Bill Clinton (who politically benefitted from  temporary bump up in economic growth from 1991 to 2000 caused by opening and devouring (buying asset for pennies on dollar) the xUSSR markets).

She is definitely trying to be the next Obama  (using Sanders as herder), but walkout of Sanders supported after Hillary nomination suggest that it would be difficult and success in luring of Sanders supporters "back in fold" (by rampant MSM propaganda campaign claiming that the "huge danger" of Trump, as if Hillary is less dangerous, or less reckless candidate) is not given.  While few people in the USA understand that Hillary is a war criminal and a more dangerous warmonger then Trump, they understand that she is lying and will betray her election promises. And that might be enough. In other words the fact that she represents "kick the can down road" pro-globalization candidates can't be hidden by MSM propaganda campaign. Also her  record such as Iraq war vote, destruction of Libya, Syria, (indirectly via her protégé Nuland) Ukraine,  and instrumental role (with Obama) in creation of ISIS speak for itself.

Neoliberalism is now a failed and discredited ideology. Masqueraded under posh phases about democracy and "free markets" (why not "fair markets?" neoliberalism promoted the "law of jungle" and destruction of the New Deal in order to enrich few, to redistribute the wealth up. And was very successful in this part.  Essentially it is about new methods of enslavements of people and creating a new type of aristocracy (the top 0.1%). The essence is methodical and quasi-scientific subjugation of people to the needs of transnational corporations.  And after 35 years of its dominance the fact the neoliberalism does not deliver, much like previously happened with communist ideology,  is no longer possible to hide.

It is impossible to hide from population the fact that Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street's dream candidate, a typical neoliberal crusader like Clinton, Bush II and Obama were, who will sell interests (and lives) of American people to Wall Street the say she entered White House. In this sense her election speeches mean absolutely nothing. This is just a smoke screen to deceive the people. She will definitely continues the policies of unlimited immigration and outsourcing of everything to enrich corporate brass in transnational corporations and Wall Steer financial oligarchy. But while those policies run unopposed for 35 years this situation can't last forever, because like a colony of bacteria of squirrel carcass, neoliberalism sooner or later  will run out of food.  And it is the US society that is this squirrel carcass in this case.

In this elections  I was initially impressed with Sanders. Actually I like the fact that in his youth, Sanders had lived in the kibbutz. He has real chances to get rid of delusion that complete equality is a solution to economic problems :-). But he, probably deliberately,  avoided punching Hillary too hard (remember how he tried to sweep "bathroom email server" scandal under the carpet) and then led to his defeat and then pretty despicable folding and betrayal of his supporters  (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

In a sense this was another classic  "bait and switch" maneuver, similar to so skillfully executed by "Change we can believe in" fake progressive Obama. See Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist  for more.  In this sense Trump is more trustworthy candidate. Does not hide his intentions under posh and false phases. While he also probably will be assimilated GOP and forced to abandon some of most threatening to neoliberal order proposals, he at least represent some real threat to the neoliberal establishment and Washington neocons mafia that dominated the USA foreign policy for the last 35 years. That's why neoliberal MSM launches such a hysteric anti-Trump propaganda campaign, raising the pitch to the level of war propaganda with its simple rules (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war. (Hillary is a candidate of peace; which accentually was instrumental in destruction of two countries (Libya and Syria and wrecking of another two :-)
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war (Trump is a war monger, that will unleash nuclear war if elected; while in reality the opposite is true)
3. The enemy is the face of the devil (attempt to red bait US electorate linking Trump and Putin)
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest (exaggerating facts like Trump University, but swiping under the carpet Clinton cash scandal and other scandal; linking Trump busness past to his opposition on globalization as hypocrisy Donald Trump’s Business Past at Odds With Rhetoric on Trade )
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. (see Anti Trump Hysteria)
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons (Trump is proposing "collective punishment" on immigration. Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention )
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous (manipulation of polls, Trump meltdown cover and article in Times despite persistant rumors (supported by vedeos and photos)  of Hillary deteriorating health and onset of Alzheimer)
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause (Elisabeth Warren, a long line of stooges like Steven Colbert)
9. Our cause is sacred.  American exceptionalism as in "God bless America' is played by Hillary camp once again to the fullest extent possible."TIME
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors (Hillary is the lesser evil and election of Trump will lead to destruction of the USA)

In this sense the "Politburo-style" candidate in the current race is  Hillary Clinton, supported by full firepower of neoliberal MSMs and Washington establishment.  Especially her foreign policy agenda which can't be distinguished from Dick Cheney agenda even under very close examination.  This lady, who proved to be a staunch neoliberal crusader.  will definitely start a new war, if she come to power. Her record (voting for Iraq war, organizing 2012 failed color revolution in Russia, playing in instrumental role in destroying Ukraine, Libya and Syria) in this respect is pretty impressive indeed. She essentially made State Department a branch of CIA and Pentagon.  Her record in this position is a record of a real, undeniable neocon warmonger.  God forbid if it the next her target is Iran, with its 80 million population (which, in general, will play into the hands of Israel and, especially, Netanyahu). In any case, she is a real, certified neoconservative, not a Democrat. And you can expect jingoistic  "governance" is the best style of George W. Bush -- shoot first and think later (which, however, secured his re-election for the second term; as was planned in advance). First send the troops and play patriotism card to stay in power. Then try to sort out the resulting mess and estimate the resulting blowback and costs to the Treasury.

Outcome of the November elections by-and-large depends on how many people will realize that she will throw them under the bus of neoliberal globalization, and that the first thing she will do after gaining power is to forget about all her election promised (much like Obama did twice with his classic "bait and switch" maneuver from fake progressive to staunch neoliberal).  I hope the American voters this time will remember what Bush II uttered (TIME)

On Sept. 17, 2002, President Bush took the podium in Nashville to speak before a group of schoolchildren, parents and teachers. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he began.

A series of awkward pauses followed. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!'"

For the record, the correct rendering of the aphorism is: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Or perhaps, as his critics might say, "Elect me once, shame on you. Elect me twice ... shame on you."

Here we can say "elect Clintons twice, shame on me" :-). We already saw how skillfully Slick Willi sold Democractic Party to Wall Street for 20 silver coins (sorry for twinty millions of annul speech fees).

Again, I think most of the US population now understands that  all her election promises will be in the trash the first day after the election. In this sense all her speeches mean nothing to most people. Just unpleasant hypocritical  noise. She, like Obama, Bush II, and Bill Clinton, before her,  is loyal only to Wall Street and transactional corporations, not to the rank-and-file electorate. Like any other neoliberal politician (including Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama).  Neoliberal propaganda tries to demonize Trump and force the election of Hillary. We will see in November is this  unprecedented demonization was effective or not. Actually Obama broke all records (and diplomatic etiquette) when he blackmailed Trump in his speech in Singapore on Aug 2, 2016. This "constitutional scholar" forgot that the US presidential elections is an internal affair of the country and it is not advisable to enlist foreigners to support one or other candidates (Obama Says Trump ‘Unfit’ For Presidency (Video) Truth Uncensored)

According to CNN President Barack Obama strongly rebuked Donald Trump Tuesday, calling the Republican presidential nominee “unfit” for the presidency following his criticism of the family of a slain Muslim US soldier.

“The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said at a White House news conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore. “He keeps on proving it.”

“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said.

Speaking alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the White House East Room, Obama said there are now weekly episodes in which even Republican party leaders distance themselves from Trump.

“There has to be a point at which you say, ‘Enough,’ ” Obama said. >

In reality this DNC trap  on Democratic convention was specifically created to stem his growing popularity among blue color voters, which like sheep voted for Democrats the last 5 or six presidential election because as Bill Clinton put it "they have nowhere to go".

Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaign against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).

The November election will be a referendum on the US neoliberal establishment as much as the Brexit vote was for the EU. The Brexit vote showed that people are so fed up that they are no longer  listening to establishment fear-mongering and blackmail of alternative candidates.

Neocon Hillary vs. Paleoconservative Trump

Although neoliberal presstitutes are afraid to discuss real issues and are engaged mainly in demonization of Trump, there are two cardinal questions in which two candidates differ:

Some observers think that Trump may represent the last chance (unclear, if realistic or not) to avoid crash landing of the US neoliberal empire (crookedtimber.org)

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

In any case after successfully deceiving the US population for 36 years, neoliberals (and neocons) have a problem: "The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics"; people want jobs back, and they do not want more wars for the expansion of the US-dominated global neoliberal empire, wars that benefit only global corporations and corrupt politicians who serve them (such as Clinton and Obama clans), but impoverish regular US citizens.

Vote for Hillary vs. Trump is essentially vote for/against neoliberal globalization (similar to Brexit vote in UK).  Or more correctly vote for Paleoconservatism (Trump) vs. Neoconservatism (Hillary). Personalities are much less relevant despite thick smoke screen produced by MSM, tremendous efforts to brainwash the public for another round of "bait and switch".

The second decisive question is whether Americans want more wars for the US-dominated neoliberal empire expansion.  Hillary and the Clinton clan history suggest that their political interests are the same as interests of the rat pack of neocon warmongers from Bush administration, who was instrumental in destroying several Middle East countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. They also organized and financed a coup in Ukraine. 

Anybody who claim that Hillary is less dangerous option then Trump is iether on drugs or is well paid by neoliberal establishment. With her unhinged militarism, she really represent a danger of unleashing a new war, possible with Russia (nationalinterest.org, August 18, 2016). Readers discussion of the article by Ted Galen Carpenter  Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia in pretty informative in this respect and I would recommend to read it in full. Here is a couple of interesting and informative posts:

deadindenver a day ago

Those necon #@%*'s running those Trump is dangerous ad's, the same folks who brought us the endless middle eastern war are the same folks pushing Hillary. Really, who's more dangerous? I have far greater fear Hillary will confront a country that can actually fight back then the Donald.

Robert Willis • 18 hours ago

Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.

alan  -> JPH • a day ago

That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war.

That means that she can't be, by definition, lesser evil. She is an absolute evil much like absolute zero on Kelvin scale:  you can't go lower then that. In other words she is a war criminal, the most low and despicable type of politicians.  And in normal legal circumstances she might face something like Nierenberg tribunal, because all her deeds are not that different from deeds of the Third Reich brass.  Or for a change the leadership of former Yugoslavia (actually dismembered with active support of her husband -- Bill Clinton -- who managed to start serious of aggressive wars for neoliberal domination -- by bombing Serbia). Attempt of MSM to demonize Trump are connected with the simple fact that media is controlled by the same forces which push the USA into expensive and unnecessary oversees wars for opening markets to transnational corporations.  In this sense any Democrat voting for Hillary essentially became an accomplice of her war crimes.

But hopefully this neoliberal brainwashing gradually loses its effectiveness. MSM face now resistance because people are fed up with neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism), which destroys their wellbeing here at home. Jobs are moves oversees, wages drop, permanent jobs became rarity, factories are closed. Professionals over 50 are written off as useless, just because their salary is too high.   Many fine buildings stand empty. Many malls have entry storefronts (not the amount of vacant storefronts is reliable indicator of the health of the economy). What remains is financial speculation in stocks (looks at S&P500 behaviour since 2008), bonds and, the real love of Wall street,  derivatives. But how many day traders this country needs?   This contempt felt by elites for ordinary US people ("let them eat cakes") will eventually produce blowback, if not a revolutionary situation.  And it might well be that we are already in the first stage of this blowback. This is phenomenon known from the history of the USSR and is easy to understand. The US MSM and the elite live in a bubble of myths, delutions,  projections up to and including total loss of contact with reality. In other words in artificial reality. Blowing a kind of   "exceptionalism bubble" somewhat similar to financial bubble is typical for most empires ( political entities with vast, rarely challengeable power). In this sense  absolute power really corrupts absolutely.

Trump at least in some of  his position  looks like an adherent of Paleoconservatism so by definition he has more sound foreign policy and promote Noninterventionalism. That's why he are so hated by the US neocons -- they are afraid of losing their lucrative positions in Washington, DC and are good for nothing else.  Some like Kagan already switch party allegiance to Democrats. And Hillary is died in the wool neoliberal and neoconservative (actually neoconservative is just neoliberal with the gun). She prefer to act as in variation of Al Capone famous  maxim -- you can open more markets with the gun and kind word that with just kind word alone.  Who like Senator McCain never had wars she did no like. Actually her voting for Iraq war alone should already disqualify her holding any public office. But she has Libya, Syria and Ukraine, each county with thousands people, woman, children dead. And she wants new interventions. Voting for Hillary is voting for continuation of wars of neoliberal conquest of smaller countries, without nuclear weapons. At the same time her proven recklessness does not guarantee that she will not accidentally slide into nuclear war with Russia or China.

Of course nothing is given and power of neocons in Washington is such that they still can move Trump from his initial positions, but his initial position are definitely anti-neocon. That's why prominent neocons plan to vote for Hillary.

There is also question of Bill Clinton. Should the US electorate indirectly reward a shady, corrupt figure who sold Democratic party to Wall Street and abolished one of the most important New Deal legislation, directed on keeping financial oligarchy in check.  And that's only the beginning of the long list of his misdeeds.

On a more humorous  end (but not to female objects of Bill Clinton sexual drive), just imagine the result of wondering around White House Bill Clinton with too much free time in his hands  on new female white house interns and female office personnel. I think despite his age is still capable to entertain us with  new sexapades.

We reached the point when the neoliberal elite can't govern "as usual"  and 99% do not want to live "as usual"

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point and rejecting on mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Backlash against neoliberal globalization and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of jobs

The social unrest caused by lowering of standard of living of the majority of the population (due to the redistribution of wealth up)  demonstrated itself in backlash against two tenets of neoliberalism: neoliberal globalization (and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of everything, destroying domestic job market in the USA) and unrestricted immigration, designed to put a cap on wages of domestic workers.  It is clear that things have gone  wrong in the global economy. What is at play is a reaction to the failure of over-centralization that is inherent in neoliberal globalization. Over-centralization is too expensive: this one of the reasons of the USSR decline and collapse.  What is less clear is what can be done to fix it and how to get rid of excesses of neoliberal globalization.

It is important to understand that it is not sufficient for lower and middle class realize that they are robbed by neoliberal elite. It is also necessary that  the neoliberal elite experience a crisis of governance, the dramatic loss of legitimacy (which is the case in the USA with Congress approval in single digits). Despite its ideological dominance neoliberalism did not enjoyed broad support and relied on the ability of the elite to turn elections in its favor using the iron law of oligarchy. It mostly co-opted professional classes and upper management. For a while it managed to suppress the demand of lower 80% for higher level of equality, for a larger piece of national pie.  As a result those demand entered political discourse via violent protests, and the rise of nationalism. Civil disobedience movements like "Occupy Wall  Street" were crushed, but to crush nationalism is a much more difficult task. Here the elite failed. It lost control. In other words the elite faces a real "crisis of confidence" in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children under the neoliberalism. Before that neoliberals relied on "verge issues" and votes of excluded groups to beef up their voting block. There why the same sex marriage spectacle was staged in the USA.

This is the time when a considerable increase in the political activity of the loser 90% usually sedated and poisoned with consumerism and neoliberal ideology. Opium of neoliberal ideology no longer words, or at least does not work as efficiently as before.  As neoliberal ideology entered a deep crisis in 2008 (much like Bolsheviks ideology in 1970th), it has been challenged by nationalism. That' the lesson Brexit that might repeat in the USA in the form of Trump winning the November election. The context of the British referendum was the choice between two evils: between the nationalism and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU.  Brexit was supported almost everywhere outside London, a city more dependent than any other in the world on the global financial system. Brexit vote and by the rise of Donald Trump in the United States are two sides of the same coin. Nationalism provides a clear and wrong answer to the problems of neoliberal globalization. While the key problem is how to cut the power of financial oligarchy and reverse neoliberal globalization (or at least put it under more state control), it resorted to the rage against immigrants and racial minorities who benefit from neoliberal "open borders" policies designed to suppress wages for everybody. The natural response is to stop or restrict migration and, if possible, to force recent migrants, and particularly illegal migrants, to leave. While it can stem the wages decline, this does not provide a solution to the economic decline against which most of population is protesting. .In other words, while all popular modern nationalist movements -- Trump, Leave, Golden Dawn, etc -- are anti-neoliberal, instead of hitting the financial elite as the responsible party for their sufferings, they lashed out against immigration. 

The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

... ... ...

The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far Right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the Twenty-first Century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority.

In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the European Union profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.

Neoliberal ideology which emerged from the economic crisis of the 1970s,  destroyed an earlier New Deal, which was based on Keynesian macroeconomic management and a social-democratic welfare state. It also buried the USSR, by co-opting (and directly bribing)  its elite.  The essence of neoliberal program was redistribution of wealth up and the dismantling of the welfare state and the associated mixed government/private social-democratic economy. This  trend was exemplified by the Clinton administration in the United States and the Blair government in the UK. Two political party were co-opted (in case of Democratic Party sold to Wall Street by Bill Clinton -- bribed)  into two somewhat different versions of neoliberalism: soft neoliberalism of democratic party vs. hard neoliberalism of Republican Party. Both parties adopted Neoconservatism as their foreign policy platform.  Later Bill Clinton betrayal of sola-democratic values was repeated by Tony Blair’s New Labor, which explicitly abandoned the traditional positions of the Labor Party and embraced neoliberal globalization and the financial oligarchy dominance -- the key tenets of neoliberalism. 

It is clear the Hillary is a quintessential neoliberal stooge, who will never voluntarily adopt any progressive, pro-middle class policy.  She is the same neoliberal sellout as her husband. Bill Clinton, who managed to switch Democratic Party platform (and ideology) from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism (to neoliberal ideology), focusing on how to make more money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy. Essentially he sold Democratic Party to Wall Street (and due to "Triumphal March of neoliberalism" after dissolution of the USSR he was followed by several other politicians in other countries doing exactly the same thing, like Tony Blair in Great Britain).

While rise of Neoliberalism since the 1970s was partially a consequence of the deep, even "revolutionary" (Internet and global communications) changes in the world economy, it required stooges to dismantle New Deal mechanisms designed to protect workers and middle class from predation of financial oligarchy.  Bill Clinton was one of such stooges, probably the most highly placed one.   Neo-liberal counterrevolution lasted till 2008. At which point it proved to be a fiasco -- deregulated market failed to behave as a self-regulating organism. Even the most hard nose-neoliberals, such as managers of big banks as well as representatives of the Bush-administration were urgently infusing billions of taxpayers money to save neoliberals from themselves, from their reckless self-enriching via games with risky financial instruments such as derivatives. It is not accidental that the second popular name for neoliberalism is casino capitalism.   But Hillary, like many other neoliberals behave like  in famous Talleyrand quote about the restored Bourbon dynasty  "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing". She remains a staunch neoliberal and, worse, a stanch neocon ready to put the US people lives and treasure at the service of transnational corporation, which attempts to "open" foreign markets and get access to natural resources of other countries.  Which is not surprising as her own wealth and "pay for play" deals via Clinton Foundation are closely connected and depend upon the success of neoliberal globalization.

In other words Hillary Clinton is the candidate the Republicans wished they had been able to field. A Kissinger protégé, a chickenhawk with very bad, disastrous instincts on the foreign policy front, who has no clue what is the security of diplomatic communications means to the country and ready to endanger people so that her petty financial enrichment schemes  where hidden from FIOA requests.  A woman who can’t wait to start a new war, who wants her sexually obsessed husband to continue to neoliberalize the US economy, who is more open to compromises with the Republican right then Obama. Despite the fact that Obama never put any fight and always preferred his classic  "bait and switch" approach, so it's really challenging to compromise with far right Republicans more then him.

Hillary is the candidate who called the TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. As such she is a dream candidate for Wall Street.  And she’s counting on the support of Republican refugees rejecting Trump to help her win in November. Which now became more difficult  as she might be stripped from security clearance and persecuted for perjury, but still possible. In any case she is now shaken by two major scandals, one of which theoretically should end in indictment (but never will under Obama administration, unless perjury changes will be presented to Congress before November elections):

By the way, 9/11 somewhat returned to the news. And not only because Hillary voted for the invasion in Iraq. The press corps recently reminded us about "dancing Israelis", the Palestinians, Saudi role in 9/11. Iran was charged by some NY judge with financial responsibility for 9/11 events. Several news agencies raised again question about "strange"  fate of building 4 which spontaneously collapsed without being hit. And somehow managed to collapse so neatly in its footprint (which is clearly visible from YouTube videos), falling almost at the speed of gravity.   Well, looks like we are close to the second phase of the debriefing  of those events :-). Trump promised to release secret pages from 9/11 commission report. Perspective, which, of course, did not excite Washington neoconservatives, especially those with dual citizenship.  See how Krauthammer screamed about that. Compare with the following  quote:

...recently Trump has decided to venture into the controversial territory of questioning the official story of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Trump briefly flirted with 9/11 Truth in the past with his comments claiming he witnessed Muslims celebrating the attack but I personally saw that situation as more of a smokescreen. As many readers may know, it was not Muslims who were actually seen dancing and celebrating on camera but a group of dancing Israelis. Trump had many opportunities to clarify his comments and to call out the Israeli agents but instead chose to keep fanning the flames of Islamophobia.

Now Trump is making waves by discussing the “secret papers” and references to the Saudi government’s possible role in funding the 9/11 attacks. At a recent campaign event in South Carolina Trump called out former president George W. Bush for the Iraq war and referenced “very secret” papers about the Saudi government and 9/11.

... ... ...

The “secret pages” Trump is referencing is more than likely the classified 28-pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (not the 9/11 Commission Report).  Although the final report amounts to over 800 pages, the 28 pages were classified by former President George W. Bush shortly after the report was released in 2002. The 28 pages make up the bulk of a section titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.”

Sanders and Trump as a candidates raised to political Olymp by resentment against the current neoliberal elite

Obama and the political forces behind him (essentially the same as behind Hillary Clinton) probably was the last candidate who successfully applied "switch and bait" politics. This time this did not work all too well and Hillary despite all the power of the controlled by Bill Clinton political machine of the Democratic Party  barely overcome a challenge from poorly financed not well know senator from Vermont. 

Sanders seems to understand that people are tired of maintaining huge neoliberal empire and the Wall Street can't milk them any longer without the danger of some kind of revolt. Which is dangerous for the US elite despite full militarization of police and tremendous growth of repressive apparatus of the state after 9/11.

I think Trump represents a somewhat similar phenomenon within the Republican Party and also has some level of intuitive understanding of the danger of neoliberal globalization.  He obliterated 16 rivals, some of them rising Republican stars, on the way to winning 37 states and building a coalition broad enough to include secular moderates in Massachusetts as well as evangelicals in Mississippi. The fact is that he managed to defeat Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the hero of a disastrous for  GOP government shutdown of 2013.  That became possible only because the Tea Party in Washington no longer represents  an anti-neoliberalism insurgency of Republicans rank-and-file members from below.  It became just a realignment within the neoliberal Republican establishment  -- a shift to the right and commitment of the party leadership to a position of non-compromising position on most issues. "My way or highway" mentality.  (How Bush-Appointed Ivy Leaguer Ted Cruz Became A Tea Party Darling)

To understand Cruz’s role in 2016, one must recognize that the Tea Party in Washington today is a not an insurgency from below. It is a realignment within the Republican establishment that has committed the party to a position of extreme non-compromise. As Megyn Kelly pointed out yesterday, Ted Cruz has put himself at the vanguard of that strategy. The willingness to naysay, more than any policy position or connection to the conservative grassroots, is what distinguishes him from other Republican presidential hopefuls. 

Let’s remember: The Tea Party, more than an organization or even a movement, was a political moment. In early 2009, the person and the policy proposals of President Barack Obama galvanized grassroots conservatives. But, after the exceptionally unpopular President Bush left office, the Republican brand was toxic and the party leadership was in disarray. Encouraged by conservative media, rank-and-file Republicans built ad hoc local “Tea Party” groups to oppose the new president’s agenda. There was plenty of room at the top for any Republican who could seize the “Tea Party” momentum.

Trump like Sanders also represent probably a small, tiny part of the of the US elite which understand grave danger of kicking the can of neoliberalism down the road. And that it a time to purge the Washington elite from the "neocon warmongers" left over from the Bush administration. Otherwise the risks are twofold: one is that that the situation can spiral out of control and the other that the elite will try another "small victorious war" like the  war with Iraq was, to unite the population and quell the discontent (and therefore support Hillary).

Consider Mr. Trump’s remarks in Scotland following the Brexit vote. He has been ridiculed, as usual, for his slip-ups, but he also grasped the underlying symbolism of the referendum: its prideful call for national sovereignty and identity, heightened by the pressures of the global economy. “People want to see borders,” Mr. Trump said. “They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”

In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. The pillars of the Peronism ideal, known as the "three flags", are social justice, economic independence, and political sovereignty.

This make Sanders and Trump the only two viable candidates. In a sense of lesser evil voting.  Neither of them are perfect and chances of Sanders to get Democratic Party nomination are almost non-existent unless Hillary steps down from the Presidential race. That left Trump as the only potential challenger of  status quoi of neoliberal globalization.

Actually Sanders performance against Hillary was a big surprise to the Democratic (read neoliberal, as Bill Clinton sold the party to Wall Street) establishment this electoral season.  So the fact that Democratic Party was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street now start to backfire. They still hope that they will manage to fool the population like in 2008 with Obama ""bait and switch" trick, and by demonizing Trump. But with emailgate scandal and possible loss of security clearance, Hillary is a bad candidate for such a trick because the only way she can win is to get votes of moderate Republicans and independents. Which now is less likely. Also it is difficult to teach old neocon dog new tricks.  So we will see, if they can succeed this time.

It's no question that politically neoliberal forces  in the USA are still very powerful and that they will try their best to install their candidate. It says a lot about pro-Hillary Clinton political forces that even NYT columnist Maureen Dowd stated that "she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she’s not getting indicted. "(NYT,

In a mere 11 days, arrogant, selfish actions by the Clintons contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington — Barack Obama, James Comey and Loretta Lynch — and jeopardized the futures of Hillary’s most loyal aides.

Comey, who was then yanked up to Capitol Hill for a hearing on Thursday, revealed that instead of no emails with classified information, as Hillary had insisted, there were 110, of those turned over to the State Department. Instead of Clinton’s assurances that the server in the basement in Chappaqua had never been breached, Comey said it was possible that hostile actors had hacked Clinton’s email account. Among the emails not given to State, he said at least three contained classified information.

Hillary had already compromised the president, who feels he needs her to cement his legacy. Obama angered FBI. agents when he was interviewed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last fall and undermined the bureau’s investigation by exonerating Hillary before the FBI. was done with its work, saying pre-emptively, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Hillary willfully put herself above the rules — again — and a president, campaign and party are all left twisting themselves into pretzels defending her.

But what should disturb Obama, who bypassed his own vice president to lay out the red carpet for Hillary, is that the email transgression is not a one off. It’s part of a long pattern of ethical slipping and sliding, obsessive secrecy and paranoia, and collateral damage.

Comey’s verdict that Hillary was “negligent” was met with sighs rather than shock. We know who Hillary and Bill are now. We’ve been held hostage to their predilections and braided intrigues for a long time. (On the Hill, Comey refused to confirm or deny that he’s investigating the Clinton Foundation, with its unseemly tangle of donors and people doing business with State.)

We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others. They’re always offering a Faustian deal.  

Support of Hillary candidacy by major neoliberal MSM no longer work, but tricks with election polls still do

  Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence.

 

Neoliberal MSM don't care if Hillary is mentally ill, dying, criminal or anything. Because it isn't about her, it is about The Neoliberal Agenda.

Hillary is supported by all major US MSMs (with the exclusion of Fox). Look how AP predeclared Hillary a winner, although none of the "super delegates" (apparatchiks, representing the Party Establishment and controlling the Party much like was the case with CPSU) voted yet. Such dirty tricks are typical when the elite start to worry about the outcome of election and their own stability at the top of the food chain.  In any case, I think that many realize that those elections have one interesting similarity with year 2000 elections: the economy in the second half 2016 and 2017 might decline. And decline of the economy in the second half of 2016 might undermine Democrat chances much like it undermined them in 2000.  But it is difficult to repeat with Hillary "bait and switch" trick that was so skillfully and successfully was performed with Obama.  Like unforgettable George W Bush quipped: "

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The real issue is not Clinton, or Sanders, or Trump. The real issue is the fight with neoliberalism (or Reaganomics) that destroyed the country. And already destroyed employment opportunities for millions of Americans pushing them into poverty, by encouraging unlimited emigration, including immigration of professionals and unlimited stream of China-produced goods.  In in such desperate battle all means are OK. Even Trump with his multiple warts. Later Twitter hashtags such as

  1. #CrookedHillary
  2. #NotFitToServe
  3. #LyingHillary
  4. #LiedUnderOath,
  5. #EMailScandal
  6. #DeceitfulHillary

became important integrators of "anti-Hillary" news, effectively providing counterweight to fawning MSM presstitutes.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives.  The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.  

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and  royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is a real issue, and it not about personalities involved.  It is about different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing.

I doubt that democratic leadership (which are democrats only in name, being regular bought neocons at the service of Wall Street)  shared the voters opinion that we need slightly compress financial oligarchy in order to give people some breathing space :-). For a very simple reason: they all were bought by financial oligarchy during Bill Clinton term and as Mark Twain noted "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

It is possible that "bait and switch" which so wonderfully worked with Obama will work again with Hillary (if people are foolish enough to believe her pre-election promises) although reading all sorts of "alternative press " forums (which are of course not fully reflect public opinion ). But I think now changes for this trick to succeed are much lower than the current neoliberal MSM honchos estimate. And after "emailgate" that Trump really has chances against her. I have an impression is that this time Republicans might "got" her like they got Bill with Monica. And disbar and strip her of security clearance at least.   And I am sure they will try their best now to remove her security clearance, which will be the major embarrassment.  If timing is right in election cycle that will be knockdown.

IMHO if the Democratic Party did not wake up to this danger and did not try to push Sanders -- they might well be done in November.   For Trump, who has no history in politics, Hillary now  is a perfect target for a negative "national security in danger" charged campaign in which he is a grandmaster to be envied by Karl Rove. He will wipe with her the floor, that's for sure. And from this point she can't even mention her stance as the Secretary of State without evoking contemptuous laugh.  specially if he picks up a retired general Pick Flynn,  the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his VP

That why we now see such a brazen, classic Soviet style dirty propaganda campaign against Trump in major MSM. 

To some extent, the fact that Sanders and Trump "floated to the top" against the will of the establishment can be called a symptom of "pre-revolutionary situation" reminding the situation before WWI like depicted in famous 1905 song Warszawianka:

Whirlwinds of danger are racing around us
O'erwhelming forces of darkness prevail
Still in the fight see advancing before us
Bright flag of liberty that yet shall prevail!

In a way the internal situation in the USA have the level of complexity and level of hate of neoliberal globalist elite (represented by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs -- the vampire squid as Tabbi called it) remind my situation in pre-revolutionary Russia or Balkans.  And some reasons the whole world got into the situation somewhat resembling the one that existed before WWI.  Take Mid East. Is not this a new Balkans of 1914 ?

Also like before WWI there is at least one country which now have economic might that somewhat challenges the status of the  sole superpower.  Here we are taking about China. And another country which believes that the US has cut off too large a piece of the pie and want global redistribution of spheres of influence and does not want to march on the tune of Washington drummers. Here we are talking about Russia. While the elite in the USA are still adhere to the delusional idea of the total world domination, whose two countries present some obstacles, which might grow during the next decade. Moreover the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR,  MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.  The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game  is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the  (presumptive) winner.

MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for  elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote.  But anger might brings them out.  John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, )

Dismissing ‘These People’

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The “these people” are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war. The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses.
“Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain,” said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood — just as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,” wrote Kettle, adding: “the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.”

The kind of ruthlessness for which Kettle longs is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum against more austerity and the result was ignored. Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and political treachery of post-modernism.

The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government seek “better terms” with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

Sophistication of the current MSM allows conditioning in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9  

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it’s also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don’t include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent’s bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Hillary Clinton creating what is called  "anybody but Hillary" voting block. Essentially they are voting not for, but against. 

I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their globalist neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01% (note the intensity the campaign against Trump and the result of this complains).  And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of American people wants change back to "New Deal" policies (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in")  but they don’t have a place at the negotiating table…

Gaius Publius  provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who’s running, on both sides, is an insider playing within — and supporting — the “insider game,” the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the “trade” agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a “liberal,” and from mainstream Republicans, supposed “conservatives.” They may differ on “rights” policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game — after all, it’s been happening in front of us for decades— and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She’ll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that’s why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they’re ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There’s been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders’ 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders’s 33 percent.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders’ momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

I don’t want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can’t). So I encourage you to read it. There’s much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

A vote against Hillary is not a vote for Trump any more than a vote
against the Iraq War was a vote for Saddam Hussein.

The Guardian

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She (with her boss Obama) was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this but neoliberal MSM try to fool the voters claiming the opposite (The Guardian)

MrWangincanada , 2016-08-02 11:34:46

Anyone but Clinton, I beg you, American voters.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama is one of the greatest war criminals in recent history, Clinton will only be worse.

Vote for Jill or Trump, never Clinton.

FTPFTP , 2016-08-02 11:30:03

There simply isn't any logic to this OMG Trump will be the worst thing ever. So one must then assume that the argument is created and perpetuated simply to manipulate and mislead.

Trump, a detestable person, would get very little of his extreme views passed. Clinton, a detestable person, would get very much of her extreme views passed.

Because Clinton is to the right of Obama (accurate provided you aren't a rabid partisan) she is far more likely to get every awful military action she wants. Since she's apparently the "pragmatic" one, how quickly do any of these policy proposals get watered down or gutted entirely in the name of compromise and political realities and "politics being the art of the possible"?

And of course, the useless, vapid, Democrat partisans will, for the most part, say nothing. See: 8-years of Obama as Bush 2.0.

ID7004073  -> bluelines , 2016-08-02 11:54:07
Get your facts straight. Those have been labeled FALSE!

However the corruption and neoLiberal war supporter that is hung on Clinton has been proven by her actions with "regime change" in Libya and coup support in Honduras. And then there is the corruption of weapons for charitable contributions for the Clinton Foundation! ...

FTPFTP  -> jamesmit , 2016-08-02 12:10:31
You are correct that Obama was different from Bush, you're just wrong about the direction.
  1. Drones/Illegal Wars: Expanded
  2. Wall St/Corporate Corruption: Went unpunished & expanded
  3. Domestic Spying: Expanded
  4. Constitutional Violations: Expanded
  5. War or Whistleblowers: Created

He has done nothing but act like climate change is important. He has not done anything meaningful except offer more hopeful rhetoric, the only thing the Democratic candidates seem to be good at lately.

This is what lesser evilism gets you.

The US President does have huge influence on in foreign policy and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare hell out off an average US voter (in this particular area she is a real devil as Trump rightly said :-) 

But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Also MSM brainwashing is very strong and most voters just do not have all the facts in thier disposal, only those who read foreign press can have them. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Probably not. But they definitly were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed.

Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to sustain six months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Can they play the irony that Hillary camp is attacking Trump for his fear mongering, while Hillary is a real, certified warmonger and war criminal. Will they will be able to creating countervailing agenda for MSM fear mongering about what a monster Trump would be as the President. It's all about playing voters fear even when MSM pretend it's not, and that is sickening. They try to swipe the problem with neoliberal globalization under the rug.   Is Trump and his team smart enough  to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth"  based on her certified warmonger status war criminal record? As well as the fact that she in the pocket of Wall Street, and will remain in this comfortable (for her) position for the rest of the political life ("Goldwater girl" is a quintessential neoliberal, and always was). Those are very interesting questions. The problem is the very few ask them  (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016). 

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

Trump campaign is making some right moves: (theguardian.com, Aug 2, 2016)

Roger Stone, a long time confidante of Trump, amplified these concerns in an interview with a far right wing radio show.

Stone said: “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.”

Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.

... ... ...

The statement came after Trump reiterated a frequent allegation of his on the campaign trail in recent days, that in endorsing the former secretary of state, Bernie Sanders made a deal with the devil. He went further this time, explicitly saying: “She’s the devil.”

But Hillary campaign has skillful propagandists and full support of neoliberal MSM (which all are neoliberal). They can create much ado about nothing (Melania plagiarism issue ;-). Looks how skillfully they played the propagated by Democratic strategist attack on Trump by the father of a fallen Muslim Army captain. Just look at NYT propaganda games around this sensitive subject:

They managed to inflate it into a major scandal effectively swiping under the rag Hillary Clinton war crimes and presenting Trump as insensitive to sacrifices make by US army (which includes tiny number of Muslims) in fight terrorism. This is a master play that should go into all propaganda books as the whole issue is completely artificial was create out of thin air by Clinton campaign propagandists. That also allowed them to raise questions about how Trump managed to avoid draft:

Another example odd skillfully amplifying not always politically correct (but in this particular case pretty reasonable) Trump remarks is anti-Russian hysteria around his words that Russians should give FBI those 30K deleted emails, if they have them. Now they start blaming him for wanting warmer relations with Putin, the person who stands against expansion of US neoliberal empire and was demonized for a decade (see Demonization of Putin). This is another master class in propaganda.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=politics&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&pgtype=article

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls and do not buy neoliberal propaganda.  They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense.  They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three  administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them --  the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions.  Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-). 

 If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger  (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point:  Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Anti Trump propaganda resembles war propaganda

To understand the coverage of Trump in neoliberal MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

Essentially the task is to compare two candidates (and Trump platform hs many strong points which attacks large swats of voters) but to demonize him by whatever means possible. Often using prepared attacks (political gambits) to discredit him. Neoliberal MSM do not want to discuss real issues such as Hillary record as war party candidate, but try to disrult voter with so called "verge" issues. The classic example of verge issue is LGBT and "gay marriage".  Attacks like "Melania plagiarism", "Muslim solger father attack",  "Trump as Putin lover", anti-Russian hysteria belong to the same category. 

Deflection of an important issue is also successfully used. See for example attempt to drawn the proven corruption of Democratic Party primaries in the sea of anti-Russian hysteria.

To expect NYT, WaPo, CNN, and other neoliberal MSM to discuss dangers of neoliberal globalization and destruction of of US jobs during this election campaign, or, God forbid, ask related questions to candidate Hillary,  is like to expect that Mississippi reverses its flow.

The only hope is the neoliberal MSM are no longer trusted and the bite of neoliberal propaganda became weaker this time.

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Slurs that Trump is closet anti-Semite are also successfully used to lure into Hillary camp the specific category of voters, which might decide the Florida election results (Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering):

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.” 

Rise of Deep State

My point is that in many ways, the current system  creates this false illusion that there are some politicians out there looking out for the interest of people, that the checks and balances from 18th century that were built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not.  And this no longer can be squared by propaganda in MSM, much like Soviet propaganda machine lost its effectiveness in 1970th. Which contributed to the collapse of the state in 1990th. Actually internal stability of the USA is a complex issue. For one plausible source of this additional stability some researchers see in the rise of The Deep State which actually come to power in 1963:

In a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and that gives us some hope. 

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

Many people now are starting to distinguish between blue pill and red pill views on the US society and political establishment. They start to understand that neoliberalism legitimizes far-reaching political inequality, because one’s economic capital is translated directly into one’s ‘political capital’. As  in one dollar one vote. The net result is that lower 80%  are disenfranchised, turned into apathetic, passive consumer-citizens, and made increasingly powerless to respond in any meaningful way to dictate of the of transnational corporations (effectively turned into debt slaves).

While it is the multinational corporations which became the primary political actors in what left of politics by deep state. So on one hand neoliberals recasting the persons as "mini-enterprise" a market player that need to compete for survival on the marketplace, but  simultaneously makes a "person" such entities as international corporations. In other words Neoliberal democracy as exists in the USA is a rule not by the people but by the largest corporation (democracy for S&P500, or as some call it "Democracy Inc").

What I am  seeing is a complete breakdown of traditional institutions including the Congress, the Supreme Court, the central government and the institution of general elections. Switch to unelected government called The Deep State is in my view complete on all levels. It happened objectively due to tremendous growth of the size of government bureaucracy (which is irreversible), ability to intercept communications (which gave a rise to NSA), growth  of the population of the country, tremendous growth of multinationals, and some other factors.

And functioning of the US state  really changed dramatically since the days when constitution was written. At this time State Department consisted of less then a dozen people including the Secretary of State -- And how many people State Department employs now. Thousands. That's a real army. And here size matters. That means that they can chew any Secretary of State that deviates from their established policies in no time. Which provides amazing continuity of the USA foreign policy despite changes of the government. And the presence and leading role of Cheney appointee Victoria Nuland in State Department of Obama administration is far from accidental. That's just a sign that Obama does not control the State Department or at least does not want to control it because his foreign policies are continue of Bush policies.  Another sign of the same situation when the tail wags the dog exists with Samantha Power who like McCain wants to bomb each second country on Earth to install democracy and protect women.

The Deep State won because it proved to be more efficient institution of governance then traditional state and it replaced it from within (via "quite coup").  In a way very similar to Bolsheviks take over. The means that traditional institution including general elections stop serving their primary role and became just instrument of legitimization of the rule of top .1%. Please Google "myth of intelligent voter" and "polyarchy" for additional information about those developments.  This slide to unelected imperial structures of governance started in early 60th. Now it is complete. In a way this is similar transformation that happened with the USSR where "nomenklatura" became the ruling class and later successfully privatized the state changing camps from communist to neoliberal (with gentle support of CIA and other branches of US government including generous cash infusions for key people in KGB and other key ministries).  BTW the USSR also has elections on all levels, Two Chamber Parliament, Supreme Court, etc.  In other words we now have the rule of unelected "nomenclature" in the USA too. And outside this narrow circle,  people simply do not have voice, nor any influence on governance, Sanders or no Sanders. Every traditional institution including general elections became just a facade for deep state (http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/). 

And that means that independently of the results you'll see the next government that continue to have policies that cater to the interests of the top one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else and will definitely continue Bush-Obama policies because this is the policy .1% wants and need. Sanders or no Sanders.   As simple as that. Sanders is definitely better Presidential candidate for majority of American people then Killary but one robin does not make spring.  He has no staying power, being essentially a one man show. There is no party, not strong organization behind him and that's fatal. The fact is that "Dog and pony show" called general election can't challenge the power of deep state.  And that unfortunately means that he like Obama before him, at the end of the day he "does not matter".  He will forces to perform the will of the deep state. Obama might have some noble intentions are the beginning, but looking into his actual record he can well be called George Bush III.  And most people are now mocking enthusiasm of the country on the day of election and Obama famous slogan "change we can believe in" which should be translated into English as "business as usual after election "bait and switch" ".   Obama proved to be a turncoat who after the elections turned into Bush III with a slightly different color of skin.

That's the way the deep state works.  It will chew any politician. This is a the key lesson of 8 year governance of this week puppet with  "change we can believe it" slogan.  Who is most famous for his  democratizing drone strikes. I wonder how many people he manage to democratize this way ?

Still the  election of Sanders would  be a nice kick in a chin of the ruling elite. Just a kick.  It will not be  a knockout or even knockdown. But still it worth fight for. That will make some things for them slightly more difficult.

But at the end POTUS now became more of ceremonial figure and less a real policymaker. Also any POTUS after JFK is afraid of CIA and NSA. According to retired CIA analysts Obama is.  Look at the O'Bomber State Department populated with Cheney people. Those people, not O'Bomber defined the USA foreign policy. It under the next president it will remain the same consistently highly militaristic and jingoistic policy like under O'Bomber.   Do you think Sanders will be able to change that ? And that's true about all three recent presidents, not just Obama, who were just especially helpless to challenge the power of deep state. As Jon Stewart pointedly asked him "Please baby one more chance". Although traditional institution do not give up easily and sometime stage back fights which now demonstrates in secessionist movement in states, such as Texas, Alaska, Wisconsin, etc.

See also

How the psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite in 1980th

The psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite which managed to poison the political discourse with their ideas and first of all the idea of establishment of the world neoliberal order (the New World Order) with the USA in the center. This was later got a name Quite coup. That means that the secret war against the American people launched in 1970th in not some bizarre "conspiracy theory" (CIA term for anything that threatens the deep state)  but a very real scientifically verifiable development of the US society. And rise of neoliberal think tanks like Heritage Foundation was not accidental. It was very similar with the mechanisms using which Bolsheviks created their party of "professional revolutionaries".  Then neoliberal infiltrated universities and first of all economic departments, which became the centers of spread of neoliberalism in the country. Bribes proved to be working extremely well in economic professors community :-). And this happened not only in the USA and GB. Much like series of communist revolution in 1920-1950th this repeated in many other countries. GB and Germany comes to mind first. In other words neoliberal revolutions were a worldwide phenomenon, although the center of it was and still is in the USA. See such books as

Bush II era is continuing under Obama

In all crucial respects the Bush II era did not end Jan. 20, 2009 and unless Trump wins will continue after 2016. Obama presidency was just Bush III presidency in all major aspects of the US foreign policy. Deep state controlled a community organizer pretty tightly. According to Bacevich the key contributions of Bush II presidency can be summarized as following (What Bush hath wrought):

And that's fit both Hillary political program as well as Jeb political program.  So independently "Jeb or Hillary",  the USA will get Bush IV. And appearance of clowns like Donald Trump of the arena only makes this analogy with "dog and pony show" stronger. 

Another factor that might affect this election is voter suppression. It remain to be seen how effective this disenfranchisement is for minorities and woman. Low turnover favor Republicans. But low turnover is a key feature of neoliberalism that cultivates voter apathy. The mechanism is well described in the book Stealing Democracy The New Politics of Voter Suppression by professor Spencer Overton.

Disastrous choice of female neocon warmonger as the Presidential candidate from the  Democratic Party

After thoiwing Sanders under the bus, DNC tried to push Hillary We came, we saw, he died Clinton --  a female warmonger, neocon chickenhawk with murky past (about her links into the Us presidency ( see  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton ). They failed.

Her major political achievement was and is the Libyan disaster. She demonstrated psychopathic qualities by gleeful reaction to brutal killing of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_x04Gn3-2g

A true psychopath if ever there was one...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Being a female, Hillary like Obama before is king of identity play by the US elite, because the elite are keen on making sure all criticism and political activism is either marginalized or written off as hatred and thus not only dismissible, but worthy of a violent response by government. That was a neat trick they were able to play with the community organizer. Criticism of Hillary will be deemed sexist the same way serious criticism of Obama is now considered racist.

In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as WolfowitzRobert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon.  Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who was among the signers of PNAC key document. So in a way Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

For those who remember the Iraq War, Clinton was always a “warmonger” :

"Bottom line: You can always count on Hillary to say the most politically resonant thing of the moment," said Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer turned antiwar protester who was arrested in 2011 (and he claims beaten) for protesting during a Clinton speech. "It's bad enough to have that kind of person as secretary of State; do we really want her to be the president of the United States? I don't think so. She's a menace."

As secretary of State, Clinton represented the most hawkish wing of President Obama's Cabinet (and Barack "Kill them with drones" Obama is not a peacenik by any stretch of imagination). He made blue sky 'Completely Fucking Terrifying',

Clinton supported not only Iraq war, but also air strikes in Libya and arms deliveries to rebels in Syria. Robert Kagan, the husband of Victoria Nuland and the veteran sage of interventionist foreign policy, recently gave a thumbs up to Clinton's foreign policy, telling The New York Times that it's "something that might have been called neocon."

But in MSM you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary.  She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality features will carefully hidden. And her confrontational and psychopathic personality will be described as an admirable attribute indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of masters of statecraft (the word itself under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations and bailing out transnational banks).

As everything we see on television, and increasingly on the internet, “often surpasses expectations of media subservience to government propaganda,” as Edward S. Herman noted nearly two decades ago.

But Internet still gives us a chance with some effort to cut through the dense smoke of MSM propaganda.

The "Great Betrayal" of Democratic Party of working people finally backfired

Trump was essentially run as independent using Republican Party as a host. And then Republican Party tried to capture him after the victory. Trump wasn’t wrong to point out that the Clintons and their allies in DNC rigged the game against Bernie. But even he can't predict that elimination of Sanders would be such a  disaster for Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Neoliberal MSM so far were very kind to Obama and the Wall Street Democrats. What else we can expect. Clinton Democratic Party was all about throwing the people under the bus in the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. It was betrayal of working Americans,  nothing could be more clear. Thomas Franks was especially clear about this in this speech  watch-v=pmCibWptzZQ

This was the Clinton Legacy, and that's why "serial betrayer" Obama, who also belongs to Clinton DemoRats camp, and the rest of the Democratic Establishment went along for the ride— and hit the electoral brick wall.  Their great idea of betrayal: the working people have nowhere to go and body slamming the people who get you elected finally backfired.

For the professional class of politicians and the wealthy this was not about civil rights, this was not about decency and justice, and it certainly was not about compassion and kindness even if they were very careful to keep mouthing the words and giving lip service to the pretenses of social but not economic equality.

It was all about money and power. Theirs. Narrowly focused greed that was willfully blind to all that was happening around it. Washington and New York and London and Berlin are thick with it.

And now that their mighty god has betrayed them and bestowed its power on its other, more faithfully vicious children, they are running around without a mission or a purpose other than themselves, not knowing what to do next.

Michael Moore in his facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

As neoliberal elite definitely prefers Trump to Sanders, so the DNC rigging of primaries was consistent with the neoliberal  Democratic Party elite’s (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) longstanding vicious hatred of left-leaning progressives and anti-plutocratic populists in the ranks of their party (The Guardian)

...Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition. To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her.

... ... ...

...the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

What has happened on November 8, 2016 can be described as a repudiation of the neoliberal globalization and the US neoliberal elite. If is even more significant if you understand that Trump essentially run as an independent: Unlike Hillary he was shunned by the Republican elite. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

The elite that controls the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; all major MSM; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; as well as bunch of super wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10%, the party of bankers and white collar professionals. Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of neoliberals, the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time  corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as pupppets of financial oligarchy and got in return the ability to control the media, which was owned by the same corporations.

When the media have to choose between their paymasters and honesty, their paymasters win every time.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign not only enjoied unconditional support of major MSM, but also almost twice  outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, as well on get-out-the-vote  efforts.  The net result is the Democratic party lost working class voters and have no chanced to attack them on foreseeable future, unless it rejects its neoliberal ideology and current leaders, especially Clinton and Obama families. 

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon which is devoted to defeat of Sanders, not Trump victory on November 8, 2016, despite all "sure" prediction of Hillary win. 
10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by Sophia A. McClennen

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics

 


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Old News ;-)

[Sep 19, 2018] 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.

Notable quotes:
"... 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." ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [340] Disclaimer says: September 16, 2018 at 7:34 am GMT

None of this should have come as a surprise.

"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, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah.

peterAUS , says: September 19, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@Diversity Heretic I applied through the GreatAgain website and never received the courtesy of a reply despite having conributed to the Trump campaign before Iowa, nine years working on Capitol Hill (for Republicans) and seven years in a regulatory commission (working for a Republicaén commissioner), a JD and an MBA. So I'm not surprised to hear that applications through the website were not even considered and jobs filled with Washington insiders. (The first inclination that I had that something was seriously wrong in the staffing area was when Calista Gingrich was named as ambassador to the Vatican.) Trump has the classic problem of the outsider: no institutional mechanism to staff an administration. (Jesse Ventura had a similar problem when he was elected as governor of Minnesota as an independent). He compounds that problem by making poor choices that involve his personal judgment and consideration (e.g., John Bolton and Nikki Haley?!).

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Pretty much.
"Rough ride" in particular.

Biff , says: September 19, 2018 at 7:57 am GMT
@Haxo Angmark before June 2015,

when he put on a populist mask to run for Prez

and fool the White people in flyover country, Trump

was a life-long (((NY))) lib democrat

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

all the rest is dog-and-pony show.

suckers

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

If you go over to the comment section at USAToday, they call him an anti-Semite.

Proud_Srbin , says: September 19, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
It is astonishing that after all the fraudsters and con masters masquerading as politicians there are huge numbers who claim to believe in the system where humans have voluntarily given away their freedoms.
Hope and Change, replaced by MAGA.
Do you honestly believe that your Founding Fathers would rebel against King's Tyranny if it were possible to change it by peaceful means?
DanFromCT , says: September 19, 2018 at 11:54 am GMT
@anonymous None of this should have come as a surprise.

"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, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah. Voting in our national elections has become another example of evil paraded before us as a moral duty. It ironically results in disenfranchisement by perpetually legitimizing a federal government as much at war with its own citizens as with every other people who oppose the new American Proposition -- the antithesis of a fulfilling human culture wherever it's found, and which today amounts to claiming that freedom and democracy equate to owning stuff and vicariously participating in unbridled avarice, sexual depravity, war, torture, and mass murder. Either party and all that horror is a constant.

So, instead of girding middle America mentally, spiritually, and physically to fight to the death for what's worth living for, and while there's still some chance to save ourselves and our nation, we get the Republican leadership, Fox News, and Conservatism Inc blowing smoke in our eyes, temporizing on behalf of the Deep State by pretending these veiled and overt calls for white genocide are just in bad taste or that curtesy and cowardice are an effective policy toward a wildly homicidal left.

[Sep 16, 2018] Polling the Left Agenda -- Finally

Notable quotes:
"... there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy. ..."
"... His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition. ..."
"... Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc. ..."
"... if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs. ..."
"... Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt. ..."
"... In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA. ..."
"... The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems. ..."
"... People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite. ..."
"... We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

As should already be clear from existing polls ( click and search for "fair" ), there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy.

At Data For Progress, they chose to emphasize the positive -- four proposals with overwhelming support, but I think it is just as striking that opinion is almost equally split on a top marginal income tax rate of 90% (2% more oppose than support) and universal basic income (2% more oppose than support).

In particular, a (very narrow) plurality of whites without a bachelors degree support a universal basic income. One way to summarize the results is that pundits' guesses about public opinion match the opinions of college educated whites (surprise surprise). That is the group least enthusiastic about universal basic income (by far) (OK I admit I am white and have university degrees so I should say "we are" but like hell i'm going to be classed with my fellow White American College educated opponents of UBI).


JimH , August 2, 2018 9:59 am

"The key question for Democrats (and the USA) is why did most of a group of people more of whom support than oppose UBI vote for Trump ? How can there be such a huge gap between bread and butter big dollar issue polling (where the median US adult is to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party) and voting ?"

During the Republican primaries, candidate Trump lost in the polls and won on the ballots. In the run up to the Republican convention, mainstream Republicans were searching for any way to deny the nomination to candidate Trump. (Without ruining the party.)

So candidate Trump was not a traditional mainstream Republican presidential candidate. Candidate Trump espoused most of the mainstream Republican party position. But what separated him from the pack were his positions on illegal immigration and free trade treaties. And Republican voters chose him.

His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition.

Candidate Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates.

Unbridled immigration into European countries has caused enough problems for the native born citizens that it has become a huge political issue. Angela Merkel successfully oversaw the uniting of east and west Germany. (A triumph!) But on immigration, her reach exceeded her grasp, she completely misunderstood the magnitude of the problem. And she is splitting the European Union.

Politicians in Europe and the United States speak of populism as if it was some sort of new influence. That voters have never been seen to vote their own interests! European and American voters have allowed their politicians almost a free rein for decades. They seemed to assume that the political class knew best. But that period is coming to an end.

Democrats can beat Republican candidates, but first they have to accept that politics is the art of the possible.

Denis Drew , August 2, 2018 10:22 am

There is a practical, doable way to re-institute American labor unions (to German density level) tomorrow.

Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc.

No doubt about this: if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs.

Easy practical way to do this: amend the NLRA to mandate regularly scheduled cert elections at every private workplace (I would suggest one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules).

Practical because no other way to rebuild American unions. Illegal (effective-penalty free) union busting disease has so permeated our labor market that there is no normal organizing going back. Even if we made union busting a felony, millions of businesspersons across the country could just say: "What are you going to do, put us all in jail?"

Tear a page from the Rebublican's union busting playbook -- skip over organizing -- skip right to elections on a regular basis:

Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?

Andrew Strom -- November 1st, 2017

"Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [Repub amend] that would require a new election in each unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule."

https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule

Wheels within wheels of poetic justice: a Democratic proposed labor market-make-over would corral a lot of blue collar voters (Obama voters, remember?) back into the Democratic win column – so we could pass said amendment in the first place.

Robert Kuttner recently pointed out that Dems can lean left economically as far as they please -- they will only pick up blue collar workers when they lean left economically.
http://prospect.org/article/yes-democrats-need-run-left-on-economics

All said, all you have to realize is that there is no other way back -- do this or do nothing forever.
Stealing a page from Scott Walker's playbook is "the" win-win-win issue.

Karl Kolchak , August 2, 2018 10:35 am

Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt.

EMichael, August 2, 2018 11:11 am

KK,

"To hold President Trump accountable, the Center for American Progress Action Fund's American Worker Project is tracking every action the president takes to weaken job protections for Americans.

Our list includes legislation and orders signed by the president; procedural changes and regulations enacted or proposed by his administration; and official statements of policy, such as the president's proposed budget. The list does not include political nominations and appointments of individuals with records of enacting anti-worker policies, since these actions happened outside their role in the administration."

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/01/26/168366/president-trumps-policies-hurting-american-workers/

There are 36 so far.

urban legend , August 3, 2018 3:47 pm

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic. On just one issue, with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there is no doubt we already would have seen a minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. That's not sufficient, but it's almost 40% better than what the Republicans are happy with. Tell a family with two minimum wage workers that an extra $11,000 in their pockets is worthless!

We also would not have seen a Janus decision, because Gorsuch would not be on the Court.

We probably would have already had a public option added to ACA -- at least for people aged 50-64 without employer-provided insurance having the right to buy into Medicare. Consideration of a broader public option for everyone in the exchanges would be on the table, too, with very strong public support (and, therefore, likely passage).

That's just three issues. This pox-on-both-your houses is truly toxic. It's uninformed. Yes, it's deplorable.

likbez , August 4, 2018 12:30 am

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic

This line of thinking is well known as "What the matter with Kansas" line. It is true that "That's allowed Trump to sneak into office."

But you ignored the fact that Democratic Party entered a profound crisis (aka "demexit" similar to Brexit) from which they still are unable to escape. Clinton ideas that workers do not have alternative and will vote for peanuts Dems are willing to give them stop working.

In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA.

The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems.

People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite.

We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire.

Hillary was a traditional neocon warmonger, defender of the empire in foreign policy and corrupt to the core, greedy politician in domestic policy (in the pocket of Wall Street and special interests).

As somebody noted here:

The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier of political affiliation. To be a real Progressive: one must be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others; and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the smoke screen for increasing inequality.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 15, 2018] The way you decieve the voters is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Adam Roberts 09.13.18 at 5:30 pm ( 35 )

'Hypocrisy', though a tendentious sort of word, is the key, I think. In electoral politics 40% on either side are going to vote the way they vote regardless of how persuasive the electoral campaign of candidate A, or the unfittedness of candidate B; so the game is: persuading those 20% who used to be called 'floating voters'.

And the way you do that is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Trump's campaign persuaded many that he would in no way 'conserve', but would rather tear down the establishment.

Brexit was masterminded by a group of elite hard right wingers who somehow managed to persuade a large tranche of the electorate that it Remain were all metropolitan elites and that they were the true voice of the people.

The real challenge is not finding a definition of conservatism that can bracket a genius like Burke with a moron like Sarah Palin; it's finding a definition that enables a billionaire playboy to define himself as a man of the people; that allows him to promise eg free healthcare for all and kicking Wall Street out of politics on the campaign trail without losing his Conservative bona fides.

[Sep 15, 2018] "Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC.

Sep 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , says: Website September 14, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT

Mostly reflexively, not always consciously, The Powers That Be seek to retain and enlarge their sphere of influence. Nothing, not even the venerated vote, is allowed to alter that "balance."

That's why the 'Deep State' or whatever one wants to call that malignant organism that has taken over DC–and much of the West–needs professional toadies like Woody, who will dutifully report whatever smelly lump of fertilizer the PTB are trying to sell. Bet Woody's the best paid stenographer in the world, doing a good job of confusing Americans, keeping them anxious of the unknown, so the PTB can keep herding us towards the NWO slaughterhouse.

The washed-out journalist then blurted out this in disbelief: "Trump said the 'World Trade Organization is the worst organization in the world.'"

Another bit of propaganda, as those central banks–like the toxic FED–keep the world under their thumb by controlling the money flow, printing currencies out of thin air, then getting paid outrageous sums of interest each year–around 500 Billion in the US–for their counterfeiting scheme.

That kind of power can and does crash stock markets and wreck economies, as the FED has been doing since it was spawned in 1913. They and their buddies then buy homes, businesses, MSM outlets and costly toys for pennies on the dollar, while us 'deplorables' wonder if they're going to be able to keep making their mortgage payments if they lose their job.

To repeat, this was promised on the campaign trail and in Trump position papers. We now know who stole those promises from the American people.

"We know?" Some do, but many don't, as they rally around Tubby the Grifter to protect their savior from those nasty Democrats.

"Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC. RT, a news outlet, got mugged by a sold-out Congress and forced to register as a lobbying outfit, but not AIPAC. No Sir, why that would be anti-Semitic and only foul, Jew hating Neo-Nazis would even think about making AIPAC follow the law.
What AIPAC has and continues to do needs to be kept hidden from the American public, lest they engage in the dangerous behavior of actually wondering if Israel is an ally or a well-disguised enemy.

Trump was bought and paid for a LONG time ago, and 2016 was when the bill came due. He was 'Chosen,' not be We the People, but AIPAC and Israel as the best POTUS to do their bidding, since Hillary carried way too much baggage.

Trump has been the best POTUS for Israel since the traitorous liar LBJ.

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [251] Disclaimer says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT

All Trump has to do to get rid of the Op Ed guy is to fire all those who want to go to war withRussia. That would leave him with no staff.

But Trump is not fooling me. You do not make a campaign promise to cooperate with Russia, and then hire all these people who want to go to war with Russia.
It tells me that Trump was lying during his campaign.

He told us Iraq was the wrong decision, and now he has bombed Syria twice and is ready to bomb them again; he told us that he wants out of the mid-east; he told us he wanted to cooperate with Russia.

So I voted for him, but he was lying. I already found out he is a brazen liar. He took those Clinton women to his debate to humiliate Hillary and Bill Clinton, when all the while he was doing the same thing with women. That is what I call a brazen liar.

He is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less. They probably told him to hire Bolton and all the other war-mongers around him. He's not surrounded by the enemy. He is surrounded by his friends.

Admiral Assbar , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials.

Tom Welsh , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Admiral Assbar The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials. "The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them "

It seems fairly clear that, whenever a new President is sworn in, he immediately receives a "pep talk" in which he is informed what he will and will not say and do, and what will happen to him, his family, their pets, and everyone they have ever spoken to if he disobeys. Probably this "offer that he can't refuse" is concluded by words along the lines of: " and if you want to get what the Kennedys got, just try stepping out of line".

J. Edgar Hoover used to do something of the kind when he was head of the FBI, but that was relatively benign – just a threat of blackmail accompanied by kindly advice never to fight the FBI.

ChuckOrloski , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@AlbionRevisited I was referring to the campaign, of course we're in a different situation now. It's amazing the way in which they were able to co-oped his administration. AlbionRevisted wrote: "It's amazing the way in which they (Neoconservatives) were able to co-oped his (Trump)
administration."
Greetings AlbionRevisited!
Many were disappointed with Trump and that might even include a percentage of the voting bloc known as "Deplorables."
Nonetheless, after honing into candidate Donald Trump's awful 2017 homage to AIPAC, it becomes dramatically less amazing how Neoconservatives crept into the White House.
Recall how rabid leftist Neoconservatives wanted Hillary, and how suddenly the naysayer, Extra-Octane Neoconservative, John Bolton, stuck with the phoney populist, "America First-After-Israeli-Interests," talkin' Donald J. Trump?
The essence of American presidential campaigns/elections boil down to powerful international Jewry needs & timing, and disemboweled citizens must take-it or leave-it. Uh, support the immoral wars and pay the bill!
Thanks, AlbionRevisted.

Herald says: September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am GMT • 100 Words

@Tom Welsh

I am not convinced that Trump started out with good intentions but quickly bowed to threats. Trump was never a principled person and it seems much more likely that he was always a stooge for the Israel lobby and the MIC.

I used to think that things would have been worse under Hillary but these days I'm even beginning to have doubts on that score.

jacques sheete, September 12, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT • 100 Words

@Admiral Assbar

The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them

No mystery at all. It was all campaign rhetoric like the Shrub's promises of "a humble foreign policy" and "compassionate conservatism," O-bomba-'s "hope and change"and Woody 'n Frankies promises to keep the US out of war.

KenH, September 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT

Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Sep 10, 2018] We can't say if Trump survive the Deep State color revolution against him, but we can tell that he already betrayed his voters and abandoned his election promises

Notable quotes:
"... I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster? ..."
"... IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself? ..."
"... I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history. ..."
"... Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure. ..."
"... Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ken Zaretzke September 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm

"But a savvy Donald Trump saw the conspiracy right away. And he realized immediately that in order to carry his campaign agenda to Make America Great Again he must of necessity first preserve his presidency from the conspiracy of the Deep State, the mainstream media, and the establishment elites of both political parties"

I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster?

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation

IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself?

flood plain , says: September 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm
I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history.

Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure.

The smell coming from Washington, Wall Street, the MSM, and Silicon Valley is overpowering.

Patricus , says: September 9, 2018 at 6:33 am
Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars.

Trump had the sense to encourage development and transport of natural resources. He slashed mindless regulations and reduced taxes. The economy is growing after the long Obama depression. His was the worst economy in my lifetime. In the Carter years of stagflation companies would not hire young grads. In the Obama years that was also the case but many middle aged workers were let go as well. We might now be seeing real wage increases across the board. If Trump is a clown, as so many describe, perhaps we should recruit future presidents from clown schools.

[Sep 10, 2018] I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man

The negligence with which he selected his cabinet is pretty telling
Notable quotes:
"... I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man. ..."
"... Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'. ..."
"... Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Sep 9, 2018 4:21:51 PM | 21

Pat Lang starts to wake up:

At some point even the most ardent Trump acolyte will have to admit this [Syria] is now Trump's policy. It is not something done by the neocons, the deep state, the anonymous resister or the ghost of John McCain without Trump's acquiescence. [And] He is not ... clueless, oblivious ...
Pat is half right.

I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man.

Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'.

There are two other fallacies that keep cropping up to confuse things:

1) Triumph of Democracy. While some may recognize that USA is no longer a democracy, others continue to insist that "Trump won" and are incline to suspect Russian interference (even while acknowledging the flaws in that theory). Few care to delve much deeper (i.e. engage brain cells).

2) President's Constitutional power. You see this mistake made as Pat Lang declares that Trump 'owns' the Syrian mess now. The President has great power in the US Constitutional system and (sadly) that is why it is so important to the establishment that it be controlled. Trump was SELECTED, not ELECTED.

Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy.

[Sep 08, 2018] Trump was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

Notable quotes:
"... "Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast. ..."
"... It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior). ..."
"... With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!" ..."
"... There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Si1ver1ock , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT

We gave Trump the presidency, what he does with it is his responsibility. He was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

We are left to wonder how much of this "reality" TV?

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/09/06/we-are-being-played/

see , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT
Quoth Diana:

"Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast.

It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior).

With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!"

There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious.

Not to worry, Trump has a condo just for you .

[Sep 07, 2018] Left, Right, and Dead Center by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day. ..."
"... The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled. ..."
"... It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July. ..."
"... In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role. ..."
"... s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent. ..."
"... Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center. ..."
"... That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days! ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day.

Thus it is mainly in situations in which the regime itself is undergoing fundamental transformations that the center is depleted of its former occupants. In time, though, a new mainstream is constituted, and its center again becomes the point on the left/right continuum where the majority of positions and policies in play at the time cluster.

***

To everyone living through it, it feels as if the Trump presidency has turned the political scene topsy-turvy. This is what happens when there is an imbecilic president whose governing style is a low-grade imitation of a mob boss's.

The fact is, though, that the Trump presidency, destructive as it has been, has changed a good deal less than meets the eye. The foundations of the regime remain the same as before; fundamental neoliberal economic structures remain intact, and the perpetual war regime that went into overdrive after 9/11 continues to flourish.

The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled.

What is disturbingly clear is that for all but the filthy rich, and especially for anyone not white as the driven snow, life in Trump's America has taken a turn for the worse.

Trump has been a godsend for "white nationalists," the current euphemism for nativists and racists. He has legitimated them and their views to an extent that no one would have imagined just a few years ago.

Also, to the detriment of the health and well being of the vast majority of Americans, Trump and his minions have done serious harm to America's feeble welfare state institutions.

And even this is not the main reason why there will be hell to pay when the next economic downturn happens, as it inevitably will, more likely sooner than later. By giving Wall Street free rein again, and by cutting taxes for the rich, depleting the treasury of financial resources that could be put to use in a crisis, Trump has all but guaranteed that most Americans will soon find themselves in straits as bad or worse than ten years ago.

Worst of all, by watering down or setting aside the weak but nevertheless indispensible environmental regulations in place before their arrival on the scene, Trump has hastened the day when the world will be hit with, and perhaps be undone by, grave, possibly irreparable, ecological catastrophes.

There are many other lesser harms for which, directly or indirectly, Trump is responsible. This is all serious stuff, but while they make life worse for many people and shift the political spectrum to the right, they do not shake the foundations of the regime in a way that puts the center in jeopardy -- at least not yet.

In short, what we are living through is not a Trumpian "revolution," not even in the "Reagan Revolution" sense, but a degeneration of much of what is worth preserving in the old regime. Trump didn't start the process, but he has come to dominate it, and his mindless and mean spirited antics accelerate it.

***

If "left," "right," and "center" are understood in relational terms, American politics plainly does have a left, right, and center. These designations overlay the deeply entrenched, semi-established duopoly party system that structures the American political scene.

It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July.

Understood notionally, where "left," "right," and "center" designate positions on an historically evolving, widely understood, ideal political spectrum, the situation is much the same, but with a major difference: there is hardly any left at all.

There have always been plenty of (notional) leftists in the United States, but there has never been much of an intersection between the left of the political spectrum, understood relationally, and anything resembling a notional Left.

In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role.

This unfortunate state of affairs has become worse in recent decades under the aegis of (notionally) center-right Democrats like the Clintons and their co-thinkers. Thanks to them, the Democratic Party today is a (notionally) centrist party through and through.

They succeeded as well as they did partly because our party system stifles progressive politics more effectively than it is stifled in other ways in other liberal democracies.

The duopoly is still going strong, but, even so, times change. Largely thanks to Trump, there are now inklings of a notional Left in formation that stands a chance of avoiding marginalization.

Thus Democrats all along the (relational) spectrum now consider themselves embattled, challenged from the Left by anti-Trump militants. Many of the challengers come from under-represented, Democratic-leaning constituencies – the young, women, and "persons of color" – with traditionally low levels of political participation. In view of the abundant, well meaning but generally toothless "diversity" blather for which Democrats are notorious, this is delightfully ironic.

The challengers include African Americans, of course, but also people drawn from sectors of the population that Trump has targeted and demeaned with particular malice -- Hispanics and Muslims especially.

The Democratic Party has been actively courting – and colonizing – African American and other subaltern constituencies for a long time. A s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent.

But because race and ethnicity intersect with age and gender – and because, in the final analysis, "it's the politics, stupid" -- many of the African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and others now being drawn into the electoral fold will likely not be as amenable to being coopted by Democratic Party grandees as persons who "look like them" have been in the past. The danger of cooptation remains formidable, but it is almost certainly surmountable if the will to resist the pressure is strong.

Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center.

In this context, "red," of course, doesn't mean red; it means almost the opposite, Republican. Only in America!

... ... ...

What passes for a "resistance" in liberal or "democratic socialist" circles nowadays is a pale approximation of the genuine article. This is not just because the spirit of rebellion has been bred out of us or because of any failure of imagination; it is because in the circumstances that currently obtain, resistance, like "revolution," even in the anodyne "Our Revolution" sense, just isn't on the agenda.

But there is something now that can and should be resisted by any and all appropriate means – the illusion that the way to defeat Trump and Trumpism and, more generally, to advance progressive causes, is to tack to the relational center.

That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days!

How pathetic! The whole country's, not just the Democratic Party's, left, right, and center – minus Donald Trump, of course -- heaping praise on a Navy pilot who, heeding McCain family traditions and the call of Lyndon Johnson, killed a lot of Vietnamese peasants for no defensible reason, before becoming a "hero" after the Vietnamese shot his plane down, and who, after repatriation, embarked on a legislative career in which, despite a few "maverick" exceptions, he promoted every retrograde Republican cause that arose, war mongered vociferously at every opportunity, and did all he could, even before Hillary Clinton took a notion, to get the Cold War revved up again.

They were all there, every rotten one of them -- from Barack Obama and Joe Biden and, their brother-in-arms, George W. Bush, the man who, but for Trump, could now boast of being the worst president in modern times, all the way to the decrepit Henry Kissinger, the never to be indicted war criminal whom liberals have learned to stop loathing and to call upon for advice instead.

Even that malevolent airhead couple Jarvanka showed up, invited, it seems, by Senator Lindsey Graham, McCain's hapless sidekick. This was no popular front. It was a festival of the dead Center, a blight on the political landscape, and, with Trump sucking up all the air, a harbinger of things to come.

Resist that!

[Sep 07, 2018] You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex

Sep 07, 2018 | politics.slashdot.org

Anonymous Coward , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:07AM ( #57269142 )

only after clinton stole from Bernie ( Score: 1 )

Either way its THE SYSTEM that's at fault. EITHER ONE WAS DESTINED TO BE THE WORST PRESIDENT OF THE USA.

You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex.

Russia is unimportant to the outcome of the election. Mountains of collusion with Cambridge Analytics, Israel, Oligarchs in the USA like Robert Mercer. Facebook is subservient to the US military industrial complex now anyway, a few meme's here and there don't swing an election its utter bulls**t.

Then that empirically pales in comparison to a president (Obama) that did nothing for the middle class except destroy it with junk economics after the GFC in 2008. Lethargic voters who voted obama 2 times and got nothing didnt bother to turn up on election day there's the empirical cause effect of trump winning.

DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269180 ) Homepage
Hillary wanted a no-fly zone over Syria ( Score: 2 )

Remember the debates? Hillary was firm in wanting a no-fly zone in Syria. This would have led to direct conflict between USAF and Russian AF. It could have easily broken out into a big shooting war. Heck, I get the idea that a lot of people in DC (the unelected government, so-called deep state) would have greatly desired that. World War II hero and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) once observed, in a different context: "There exists a shadowy government with ... its own fundraising mechanism." [danielkino...titute.org]

Also remember, just before the inauguration, that US armored brigade landed and the jokes wrote themselves? Obama just sent tanks into Poland, that sort of thing. They then traveled to the Russian border? That was Hillary's big stick. Plant a bunch of troops near them and then start shit in Syria. But she wasn't elected, and they just did some training and then left. Peace broke out instead.

TimMD909 ( 260285 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269184 ) Homepage
2 years later... ( Score: 3 , Insightful)

... And there's still a ridiculous amount of derangement. Hilldog was a bad candidate who few outside the neocons liked. She was caught meddling in her own party's process to boot Bernie. She tried pretending that destroying evidence on her personal email server was an innocent mistake. Worst of all, she pretended to be a saint when she is definitely not. That wolf in sheeps clothing never sat well with me. Look up Hitchens thoughts on her for more things to be unsettled about. Now 2 years later, uncountable hours have gone into trying to shift the blame. When will the Dems admit it was a mistake to have her as the candidate?

grasshoppa ( 657393 ) writes: < {skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org} > on Friday September 07, 2018 @12:38PM ( #57269866 ) Homepage
What weakened Clinton? ( Score: 1 )

Was anything released incorrect? Were the emails false, for instance? Was her insulting a sizable portion of the country Russia's doing? Was Russia behind her corrupting the DNC primary process?

Is Russia's biggest crime, in fact, that it did the job the media might have done in past generations? Today's media was all about helping Clinton to the presidency by almost any means necessary, and let me tell you; ironically that hurt Clinton more than it helped.

Trump just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the right attitude to get the job ( loud, amoral and full of shit ).

[Sep 01, 2018] ZERO CHOICE OFFERED TO VOTERS DURING US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Notable quotes:
"... "The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign ..."
"... "The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats." ..."
Sep 01, 2018 | chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

"The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign

"The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats."

No question, the woman fits the description "evil," but that sure doesn't make Trump a saint by comparison.

America's tragedy – one shared by the entire world – is that this is the kind of choice American voters get, a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump.

No matter who wins or loses each American presidential election, the people in general lose and the establishment wins.

And right now, the American establishment likes and embraces the Clinton nonsense about Russia. It serves its current purposes. Actually, it wasn't truly Clinton's own nonsense. She was definitely feeding off a pre-existing set of attitudes in her Washington set.

So, it is more threatening than just a residual from an election campaign.

[Aug 31, 2018] As with Obama new Dems candidates pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly

Notable quotes:
"... there is no way out of this mess through a ballot ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

LXV , Aug 31, 2018 2:26:01 AM | 81

Another sign that the political divisions are 'pretend' is that the 'Dems', the ostensive losers re. Trump, have not behaved like a political party who loses. These generally disband, retire, fold, or make efforts at reform, re-orientation etc. Renewal may be tough but they often try. (As did the Repubs after Obama's election, though the effort was incredibly weak.)

Nothing like that is going on, because the fight is not political. It is based on tribal desperate angst at the 'surprise' election of an outsider who holds cards in his hands nobody can speak about.

re Ort @ 24 who wrote:

To 'True Believers', if [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism or expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

Ocasio-Cortez is merely a willing actress poster-babe (she will earn a LOT). The role is not different from prancing about in lovely swish skirts on some MSM-TV series. She was selected for her looks / background (not the best re. the background, but there aren't many candidates, which is very hopeful imho), her naiveté, ignorance, and submissive stance. Some 'fake' younger figures -only women and male gays, girls are more acceptable to the general public- have to be pictured as up-n-coming Dems, in a kind of sketchy and unconvincing parade of 'diversity' and so on.

Posted by b on August 30, 2018 at 01:07 PM | Permalink

JR is spot on; The Orange Buffoon and the "witchhunt" against him (just like the "Qanon" Hollywood-style drama-thriller) are smoke and mirrors to keep the peasants occupied with bullcrap, while the cleptofascists are done robbing you blind...

The simple truth is that all "western" societies and democracies are hijacked by (((Transformer Borgs))) and, contrary to what (((snake-oil salesmen))) in $5 000 suits tell you, there is no way out of this mess through a ballot.

[Aug 27, 2018] Superficial differences between Dems and Republicans begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham

Aug 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: June 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm GMT

Sorry Mike, what do you mean by saying the goal is to "create a center-right" Democratic Party? The Clinton's accomplished this in the 1990s -- what we have here is a full scale enfoldment of the Dems into the National Security State

Not that it matters much -- both Republicans and Democrats have been on the same page for a few decades now (since the 1940s IMHO). Inter-party politics don't matter much, except insofar as the voting public can be conned into supporting one or the other, because no matter which party holds the Congress or Presidency the same Deep State agenda is their top priority.

Why? It's simple really -- money. Big campaign donors expect "value" in return for their "political contributions". And if value isn't had for their money, the Deep State's intelligence community can usually dig up something "useful" in the offender's background to "persuade" him or her to support the current bipartisan agenda

If it's really true that to find out who has power, just take note of whom is above criticism, perhaps we ought to consider that Rockefeller and JPMorgan money founded the CFR in 1921 and it took root and bloomed in government "service" during and after WWII.

If you doubt the CFR's power as the Deep State personified, I suggest reading historian Quigley's Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time and sociologist Tom Dye's Who Is Running America series.

Paraphrasing Quigley, writing when Bill Clinton was his student at Georgetown, the two parties should be as alike as two sides of a coin so that voters can "throw the rascals out" in any election without significantly changing governmental priorities and policies because the policies the US is and ought be pursuing are not subject to significant dispute (or at the least not by the voting public).

Which begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham. The US is, in this view, just another Banana Republic which Tom Dye ably documents from Watergate to Shrub's administration.

exiled off mainstreet , says: June 9, 2018 at 4:36 am GMT

The two party "uniparty" is alive and well. In fact, while the party's supporters still may include self- described "leftists" the party itself has gone further right than the traditionally rightwing GOP. The dual party structure relies on the "Democrats" to gut "entitlements", that is Social Security or Medicare.

It was the "Democrats" who put in Obamacare, which mandated people to spend an arm and a leg on crappy medical insurance the cost of which was massively inflated which they could only use when they had spent way more than average on medical bills. Meanwhile it was the democrats' harpy candidate who proposed a no-fly zone in Syria on behalf of raghead mercenaries hired by the yankee imperium.

While Trump has largely caved in to the deep state, in part perhaps because of the pressure applied by the phony deep state witch hunt taking over the "justice" department of the yankee regime, we know what the democrats, exponents of the fraudulent "Russia-gate" stories, now espouse: a new cold war far more dangerous than the old one.

Meanwhile, the commercial media in the US and satellite countries, has degenerated into a Goebbels-like propaganda apparat. Trump's clumsiness actually may have the accidental salutary effect of enabling the satellite countries to slip the yankee leash, at least to some extent.

The situation brought about by this unprecedented two faction version of fascism is profoundly depressing, in addition to being seriously dangerous.

Harbinger , says: June 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT

Why is this article entitled: "Dems Put Finishing Touches on One-Party 'Surveillance Superstate'"
This website seems to have articles that show their authors are awake and yet, this article shows quite the opposite. Who today, with the slightest modicum of common sense, who has made the effort in understanding how the system works, still plays the left-right paradigm, Hegelian Dialectic, political game nonsense?
I mean, let's get real here; the Democrats and the Republicans, like their UK counterparts of Labour and Conservative are merely wings on the same bird, ultimately flying to a destination. Both parties are taking the USA towards a one-party, surveillance, super state. You do not enter American politics unless you bow to Zionism and International Jewry. Unless you show 100% support to Israel then forget a career in politics.

Incidentally, to many who may have heard of her; the new luvey of the conservatives is none other than black, Candace Owens, who is better known as Red Pill Black. She has been this new voice who has entered into the 'alternative right', itself nothing more than controlled opposition, speaking out against feminism, white privilege, rape culture, transgender culture etc etc and has gained a large following. Other than being a complete fraud, as information has appeared that she tried to launch a 'doxing' website, targeting youngsters, she has appeared at the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2018/05/14/candace-owens-not-a-single-elected-democrat-is-here-to-celebrate-this-historic-event-in-jerusalem-634472

Why on earth, would some nobody, who has had an incredibly fast rise on YouTube (most certainly her subscriber base and video view has been doctored) and more so a black conservative, be invited to attend the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem? Bottom line? She's being groomed for a career in politics and I wouldn't be surprised if they wheel her out, some time in the future, as a presidential hopeful to capture the black vote in the USA.
Again, this is controlled opposition.

You never vote in a new party in politics. You vote out the old one. 326 million is the population of the USA and there are only two political parties? Are you serious? It's bad enough, here in the UK with three (liberal party along with Labour and Conservative), with a 66 million population but only two in the USA?

Both parties are heavily controlled.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been putting presidents into power now for over a hundred years. The CFR is the sister organization of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, which has been doing the same, here in the UK for the same time. All politicians are groomed from an early age, taught how to avoid answering any question directly, how to lie and of course who their masters are. By implementing their wishes, politicians are then granted a seat on some board, within some multi conglomerate, a six figure salary, a fat pension on top of their political one and of course umpteen houses spread across wherever. Blair and Obama epitomize this.

Both political parties are left wing, hiding under the right wing and classic liberal monikers.

[Aug 27, 2018] Jimmy Dore rightly states they are CIA funded campaigns of Dems candidates

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats are proceeding down a dark path: identity politics brings only conflict, civil war. ..."
"... Anybody who trusts the Democrats to save us from the evil machinations of the Neocons is as hopelessly stupid as anyone who trusts the Neocons to save us from the evil machinations of the Democrats. ..."
"... These new Democrats will never vote for less spending. There previous career was based on having abundant and in some cases unlimited Federal funds at their fingertips. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website June 8, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

Jimmy Dore covered this topic a few weeks ago. He rightly states they are CIA funded campaigns.

Eagle Eye , says: June 8, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT

Would it have killed you to link to the WSWS.org pieces you quote from at some length?

Patrick Martin's piece is here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/07/prim-j07.html

Ron Unz has linked to WSWS.org several times in the past as WSWS was targeted by the Deep State/Google etc. cabal to make it disappear into the "memory hole."

Mishra , says: June 8, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@SunBakedSuburb

The only activism I've seen from progressives in the past two years has nothing to do with economic concerns; their energy is entirely focused on race, gender, and sexuality. The cultural-Marxist troika.

Just one of many good point you make. The only thing I'd add is in relation to:

Democrats are proceeding down a dark path: identity politics brings only conflict, civil war.

As Reg mentions: conflict among the masses is very much the plan. Divide et impera.

Biff , says: June 8, 2018 at 7:21 am GMT

And my stupid [neo]liberal friends still think the democrats are going to save them, and then on to super – duper – special stupid, they think their vote for a democrat is going to have an impact. On to ludicrous stupid – it's all the republicans fault. Identity politics at its finest.

Unfixable, and circling the drain.

The Alarmist, June 8, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT • 100 Words

"Center-right" and "business oriented?"

Try Oligarch-centric.

There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, from the fall of Constantinople: Sultan Mehmed II rounded up the surviving oligarchs of the Empire and asked them why they had withheld their riches and resources from supporting the Empire's final defense against his conquest, to which the oligarchs replied that they were saving their riches for his most excellent majesty. He had them brutally executed.

Jake, June 8, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT

Anybody who trusts the Democrats to save us from the evil machinations of the Neocons is as hopelessly stupid as anyone who trusts the Neocons to save us from the evil machinations of the Democrats.

DESERT FOX, June 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT

At the upper levels there is no difference between the Demonrats and the Republicons as all are controlled by the Zionists and congress would by more accurately called the lower house of the Knesset..

prusmc, June 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT • 100 Words

@anon

These new Democrats will never vote for less spending. There previous career was based on having abundant and in some cases unlimited Federal funds at their fingertips.

It is a mistake to think they will be any different than Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jerold Nadler or Luis Guitirez. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is about a unconventional as we can expect the new congressional majority members to be.

jacques sheete, June 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Anon
The ultra rich use the poor to attack the middle so they can distract everyone else from uniting

That, in fact, is the practical aim of government in general. Parties, schmarties it's all one huge extortion racket.

[Aug 27, 2018] American and European Populists Are Talking Past Each Other

Aug 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kai Weiss offered up some food for thought last week when he attempted to explain why any plan for a transatlantic union of populists is doomed. And he's largely correct: the integration of right-wing populist governments and parties in Europe into their own umbrella organizations give them a specifically European orientation, which seems to defeat the purpose of nationalism.

Further, the continued economic relations of populist governments in Italy, Hungary, and Poland with other EU countries would render their shift towards a new political configuration based on shared ideological proclivities with American populists highly unlikely. These assumptions are certainly well-founded, and Kai is correct that we shouldn't interpret any change in the European populist Right as aligning with their American counterpart.

But there's another, perhaps deeper, reason that American and European populists are unlikely to cooperate: they show only superficial similarities. Both are obviously concerned with the globalist threat to their national economies and cultivate a rhetorical style that appeals to the plain folk while ostentatiously bypassing the "uppers." All so-called populists invoke national symbols and colors (thus Trump tells us that all Americans, no matter their race, "bleed red, white, and blue"). All ridicule multinational corporations and their usually socially leftist advocates as rootless. All have antagonistic relationships with left-wing media and devote considerable energy to contending with them.

And of course, both oppose mass immigration. But in Europe more than in the U.S., this opposition stems from widespread concern about a growing Muslim presence and the violent crime and cultural dislocation it's brought about.

That said, the differences between European and American populism may be more critical than the overlaps. Put simply: European populism looks real, while its American counterpart seems contrived. Vehicles of American populism with nationwide followings -- for example, the American Greatness website, Steve Hilton's Sunday night defenses of American populism on Fox News, and the West Coast-Straussian Claremont Review -- identify the American nation with an "idea." This "idea" is found explicitly in the passage of the Declaration of Independence that tells us that "all men are created equal." Lincoln's victory over the slave-holding South and America's military crusades for democracy in two world wars are often viewed as efforts to advance this founding ideal of equality.

While other, presumably inferior, nations are based on ethnic membership, shared religious traditions, and histories going back millennia, the U.S. is supposedly morally superior because of our universal founding principles. Those who argue this are entitled to their beliefs, but out of such abstract universals it is hard to fashion a specifically populist movement. That is because populism, for better or worse (I'm not being judgmental here), depends on very different unifying factors, like all the stuff that our would-be populists keep throwing on the junk heap. Hungarian, Polish, French, and Italian populists happily invoke everything that our populists are not supposed to believe.

One could hardly imagine an American populist saying what Viktor Orban repeatedly stated before the Hungarian national election that he won overwhelmingly in the spring. Orban vowed to " keep Hungary safe and Christian ," and called for the country -- and Europe more widely -- to embrace "a modernized version of Christian democracy" in the decades ahead. "Christian democracy protects us from migration, defends the borders, supports the traditional family model of one man, one woman, and considers the protection of our Christian culture as a natural thing," he said.

In some ways, European populists are more generous than their American imitation. They don't engage in trade wars with their fellow Europeans and generally work toward unity with others on the continent as members of a shared culture and history. European populists reserve their bile for those whom they see as Muslim interlopers and the Cultural Marxist Left. From reading the European right-wing press and knowing leaders of the Swedish Democrats, the National Front, and Alternative for Germany, I am hardly struck by the European Right's affinity for the American ruling class, including self-described American nationalists.

Steve Bannon Tilts at Windmills in Europe Trump's Working-Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment

It seems that, as soon as one moves beyond the Atlanticist crowd, European populists, like other Europeans, believe that American political elites are bullying the Old World. Loose talk about American exceptionalism, regime change aimed at conservative European governments, and the raising of tariffs on European products arouse concern among European populists over unwanted American hegemony. In a tour of the United States in February, the former head of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, praised Trump's defiance of the left-wing media but then criticized his increasingly confrontational relations with Russia.

Clearly she was concerned with American dominance over Europe, a problem that European populists can't imagine will go away even if self-styled populists come to power in the U.S. Confirming this impression was the reluctance of Italian president Sergio Mattarella to name as Italian premier Matteo Salvini, the populist leader of the Lega Nord, after Salvini's stunning electoral victory in a national election in early March. It was the Trump administration that put pressure on Mattarella not to authorize a coalition led by someone who might not be obedient to the American government on foreign affairs. It was only after this American "veto" was removed and proper assurances were offered that Salvini in May was allowed to form a government. If this is what American populist leadership looks like, it may not be the case that Steve Bannon's alliance is just around the corner.

By the way: the American populist website American Greatness quotes approvingly passages taken from National Review that justify American meddling in foreign elections and foreign regimes. Our government "has done so to promote democracy and political liberty and human rights." No doubt Signor Salvini will appreciate this explanation.

Paul Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years. He is a Guggenheim recipient and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents .

[Aug 27, 2018] Neocon/neolib block hysterically embraces any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

Notable quotes:
"... The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump. ..."
"... Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes. ..."
"... As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ort , Aug 26, 2018 8:06:17 PM | 24

The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

I frequent prog-lib sites in the US, where I live, principally to read and post in the comments threads. The prog-lib moderates are not really of the "left", a term which has become a semantic placeholder for anyone or anything that doesn't explicitly identify as right-wing or politically conservative.

But before they were traumatized by, in their view, the abominable Trump usurping the imperial Oval Office Throne, they used to be reliably antiwar, anti-imperialist, anti-military, anti-police state, etc.

Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes.

@ karlof1 | 15

The self-proclaimed Social-Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's words praising the late War Criminal John McCain prove she's not what she declares.
_____________________________

So many bees have accumulated in my bonnet that by now I should be drenched in a perpetually-flowing coating of honey. One of the bees is what I call Progressive-Liberal Electoral Politics 101.

This refers to the tendency of "lesser-evil" moderates to rebut and reject doubts and criticisms of politicians with supposedly knowing, savvy "inside politics" rationales that explain away the criticisms.

It really hit home during Obama's 2008 campaign, when an intelligent but moderate "progressive" relative, "Joe", became infatuated with Bonnie Prince Barry; he vainly hoped I'd become enthralled too. Just a couple of examples:

I was outraged (but not surprised) when Obama reneged on his repeated "vows" to oppose draconian FISA legislation that gave carte blanche to government/corporate surveillance, and immunized corporations who'd illegally and illicitly assisted in conducting such surveillance. Joe responded to my outrage by superciliously explaining, "Oh, he had to do that! He can't just say and do things to keep progressives happy-- he has to reassure a fearful and desperate public that he's 'tough' on national security issues!"

Joe also whipped out this "Oh, he had to do that!" justification at the drop of a hat every time Obama did or didn't do something that seemed to conflict with his progressive "Third Way" image; when nominee and president-elect Obama packed his transition team and cabinet with reactionary Clintonista retreads and Goldman-Sachs banksters, Joe praised this as a shrewd "pragmatic" gambit to "consolidate his support within the party". There was always some pat prog-lib catechism blurb explaining why "he had to do that", case closed.

I've seen exactly this logic applied to AOC. To True Believers, if she seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism-- or, as here, expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

[Aug 26, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Bait and Switch by TAC staff

Trump definitely is hell-bent of destroying the dollar system. He created four powerful allied: China, Russia, Iran and Turkey that will work to weaken dollar hegemony and create alternative systems. It is unclear why.
Smartphones present a viable alternative to credit cards and it is just a matter of time that credit cards became obsolete.
Despite his promises of restraint, America has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue likely to lead to war.
Notable quotes:
"... Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of ..."
"... So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support." ..."
"... The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran ..."
"... So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result. ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of The American Conservative.

We must confess that we never read Donald Trump's famous book, The Art of the Deal . And we don't know if there is a chapter called "Bait and Switch." But that's precisely what Trump perpetrated upon the American people when he crafted a campaign decrying America's destructive and costly military Middle East involvement -- and then, as president, set in motion events seemingly calculated to get us into another war there.

The president also promised to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear deal. However foolish, it was at least an honest representation of what his intention. And ultimately he did it. Thus it was possible to conclude that Trump was sincere on both his resolve to avoid further Mideast wars and his intention to exit the Iranian deal. Voters could draw their own conclusions about whether the two campaign promises were mutually exclusive or not.

But voters had no reason to conclude during the campaign that he would deal with Iran so aggressively as to force a dangerous showdown. Two significant developments suggest Trump's intentions far surpass his campaign rhetoric. One is the recent ultimatum delivered to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He listed 12 demands on what Iran must do to avoid "unprecedented" economic pressure designed to crush Iran's ability to play a major role in its home region. The other is a remarkable New Yorker story by Adam Entous detailing how the Trump administration has joined hands with Iran's regional enemies -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- to strip Iran of its regional influence.

As Pompeo put it, "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." Of course Iran has not dominated the region in any serious way for centuries, but it does have significant influence there by dint of its size, population, economy, and military. And its geopolitical influence expanded exponentially when America destroyed Iraq's Sunni regime and removed a major impediment to Iran's freedom of action.

So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support."

Indeed, they are reminiscent of Austria's 1914 demands of Serbia after the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand and the aggressive ultimatum delivered to Japan by U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull on November 26, 1941. Both were were designed to induce war.

The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran. The headline: "How the President, Israel, and the Gulf states plan to fight Iran -- and leave the Palestinians and the Obama years behind." One Trump friend said Netanyahu, mastermind of the anti-Iranian alliance, encountered at the White House a "blank canvas" for his bold brush strokes. This person added: "Israel just had their way with us."

So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result.

[Aug 25, 2018] Democrats Strip Superdelegates of Voting Power

Aug 25, 2018 | therealnews.com

The Democrats' progressive wing claimed victory on Saturday after 'Superdelegates' lost the ability to vote on the first ballot of the party's nomination process

[Aug 23, 2018] What The Party 'Strategists' Say Is Not What The Voters Want

Degeneration os social democratic parties into soft neoliberals is a world wide tendency. That spell troubles for them as they lost their key constituency. The level of corruption within the party elite is staggering (exemplified by Clintons and Obama). The "Democratic" Party is completely captured by FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate)
If this assessment has some connection to reality Dems will be unable to improve their position during the US mid-term elections.
At the same time idea that "proletariat" is capable organizing resistance and winning th election enforcing favorable for them changes proved to be wrong. Most positive changes of the New Deal/fair Deal were forced concessions in face of the possibility of open armed revolt. Now with the dissolution of the USSR this possibility is discounted by the ruling neoliberal elite.
Also we face the end of "cheap oil" and that means that standard of living of working class will continue to deteriorate.
The future is really grim...
Notable quotes:
"... Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have. The party establishments angle for the ever elusive 'liberal' center. ..."
"... This phenomenon is the micro version of a much larger trend. [neo]Liberal globalization, as promoted by the party 'elites', promises but does not deliver what the real people need and want. [neo]Liberal globalization turned out to be a class war in which only the rich can win. A revolt, locally on the level of voters, and globally on the level of nations, is underway to regain a different view. ..."
"... Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute. ..."
"... Neither LGBTXYZ identity policies nor other aloof 'liberal values' will increase the income of the poor. To win back the necessary masses the Democrats and social-democrats in Europe will have to shun, or at least de-emphasize such parts of their program. It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight. ..."
"... your last sentence is right on target. It's been a class war for many decades. Most of the Dems have been playing "good cop, bad cop" for many years now. They talk progressive, but in the end they opt for the rich man's money. ..."
"... At present, the oligarchs own everything in the U$A. Giant corporate interests own the Govt., the Media, & the voting systems. No matter the good intentions of a few, if the people don't hear it or see it, it never happened. ..."
"... "The progressive Democrats...." Uh-oh! No such thing. "Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump." God...German working people also understand this and voted for Hitler or, rather for the Nazis. ..."
"... I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" ..."
"... The western fiat faction requires perpetually increasing inputs of capital, commodities and labor - labor population must increase or the debt ponzi falls. Thus, as long as we have declining birthrates in the West, immigration will continue regardless of what the peasants want... ..."
"... I agree that it is a class war, but it is one we have already lost. We are at the end of the oil era, yet our financial economic system requires perpetual growth, how do you think this will work out? (It won't) ..."
"... The "Democratic" party is completely captured by its FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) funders on Wall Street and the corporate class. The DNC crowd will stick to their losing guns election after election while not offering any benefits to working people ..."
"... Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago. ..."
"... Remember: the donors don't care if the Republicans or Democrats win, as long as their agenda prevails. And most Democrats and most Republican politicians don't care about their party either, as long as they can retire and get put on the boards of big corporations and cash in etc. ..."
"... Big Money and the Political Machines it built within the USA became prominent soon after its Civil War. Those plus the oligarchical controls built into the USA's governmental organization ensured that Commonfolk would have a very difficult time trying to govern themselves and promote their own interests. ..."
"... By WW2's end, the foundation for Keynesian Militarism and its in-built [monies get redistributed upward, not downward, automatically] Class War was laid along with the basis for Big Money's recapture of government. ..."
"... Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system. ..."
"... until we get beyond predatory finance, we are all essentially screwed.. ..."
"... US Health care, despised by everyone in the U.S: doctors, nurses, patients and pharmacists, is not the only thing that needs reform. How we select and elect those who allegedly represent us is unacceptable. Private money is more important than humanity and no one can guarantee that those elected actually won. ..."
"... What's happening now in the USA is no longer democracy or capitalism at all. It's military plutocracy. The elections and voting process are a sham and certainly have been since G.W. Bush "won" the election vs Al Gore. Strangely, last year's showdown between Killary and Trump was probably the first live election in a while where the establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Killary seemed to scare a few powerful people - she'd spent too much time in Washington, was too ruthless and had too many of her own people in institutions or available as ANTIFA brownshirts. She failed a few final interviews and some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Trump a last minute real shot at the ring. ..."
"... Only by setting us at each other's throats can the establishment maintain its place for another decade or two. It seems they are prepared to take this risk ..."
"... Marx and then the Soviet Union scared the capitalists at the start of the twentieth century. National Socialism scared them even more. The Western Establishment have built a system and a plan to put off the revolution. How long can they hold us under? This is the fascinating question which The Hunger Games set out to answer. ..."
"... the Democrats, and similar "liberal" movements in Europe, Canada, etc, know exactly what they're doing, which is simply what the donors want. It's not about the strategists, and it's not about winning elections either--at least not in the first place. ..."
"... In case anybody didn't hear it Warren Buffet some time back came out with: "There is a class war and we have won it." ..."
"... Psychohistorian's stress on the importance of private finance is of course correct but it is just part of an imperial equation where finance + military = empire or vice versa. ..."
"... For a century and a half, the primary purpose of the Democratic Party has been to crush leftist/socialist movements. Eugene Debs knew this a century ago. The SDS knew this 1/2 century ago. Bernie Sanders knew this until 2016. ..."
"... Hudson's first magnum opus was SuperImperialism , but please get the updated version as the first is somewhat dated. ..."
"... Clearly, the US military is used by this "loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires" to enforce their will on those who foolishly believe their governments should serve their own citizens. But it is not the US, or even primarily the 0.01% of the US who are calling the shots. The PTSB have no allegiance to any nation-state (with one glaring exception). But they use nationalism to divide the 99% of the world into bite-sized, easily edible pieces. ..."
"... Yes exactly, a class war. Basically elites vs the rest of us. Maybe 10% of non elites go along for the ride and puck up some crumbs. Another 20% do alright for a time until they get replaced by cheaper and younger and struggle to survive to reach social security without losing their home due to medical bankruptcy. ..."
"... So long as both parties go along with the neoliberal imperialistic agenda there will be rewards, even for the minority party. Best to be a minority party with plenty of funding than one without funding ..."
"... Real median incomes are much lower than the early 70's when adjusted with the pre-1980 CPI. CPI post 1980 has been adjusted to mask the impact of neoliberalism and enhance it by lowering COLA's and keeping money cheap to fuel asset inflation which does not impact the new CPI as much ..."
Aug 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
What The Party 'Strategists' Say Is Not What The Voters Want

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.

Here is what the strategists currently say:

Staying out of the single-payer debate, party strategists say, could help Democrats in the general election, when they'll have to appeal to moderates skeptical of government-run health care. Earlier this year, the DCCC warned candidates about embracing single payer, hoping to avoid Republican attacks on "socialized" medicine.

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want :


Reuters/Ipsos poll - June/July 2018 - bigger

The 'strategists' say the voters can not have the nice stuff they want. Their arguments lost the elections. If the Democrats want to win again their must tell their voters to demand more nice stuff. Some people get that :

Progressive insurgents believe Clinton's defeat, on top of losing control of Congress and most state governments, proved them right. They aspire to overthrow conventional wisdom that Democrats must stay safely in the middle to compete.

" Democrats have been fixated for 20 years on this elusive, independent, mythical middle of the road voter that did not exist ," said Crystal Rhoades, head of the Democratic Party in Nebraska's Douglas County, where a progressive candidate, Kara Eastman, is trying to wrest a competitive congressional district from a Republican.

"We're going to try bold ideas."

Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have. The party establishments angle for the ever elusive 'liberal' center. They move the parties further to the right and lose their natural constituencies, the working class. This gives rise to (sometimes fascist) 'populists' (see Trump) and to an ever growing share of people who reject the established system and do not vote at all.

This phenomenon is the micro version of a much larger trend. [neo]Liberal globalization, as promoted by the party 'elites', promises but does not deliver what the real people need and want. [neo]Liberal globalization turned out to be a class war in which only the rich can win. A revolt, locally on the level of voters, and globally on the level of nations, is underway to regain a different view.

Alastair Crooke recently outlined the larger trend within a global, 'metaphysical' perspective.

The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration. Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute.

Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump. Neither LGBTXYZ identity policies nor other aloof 'liberal values' will increase the income of the poor. To win back the necessary masses the Democrats and social-democrats in Europe will have to shun, or at least de-emphasize such parts of their program. It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight.


fastfreddy , Aug 23, 2018 2:54:27 PM | 1

Corporations and their lobbyists pay big money to influence both parties to ignore the will of the proletariat in favor of the one percent. If the candidate does not deliver the goods to his rich benefactors, he will lose his funding.

Therefore, a candidate can talk a populist game, but if he tries to implement anything of value to the proles, he will be ousted as quickly as possible.

In this way, For the money, the Democratic Party that championed the working man (to a degree) helped the Republicans to sabotage Labor Unions.

Now the D party is a champion of LGTBQ.

Could be difficult to win back the blue collar working man.

ben , Aug 23, 2018 3:01:06 PM | 2
Thanks b, your last sentence is right on target. It's been a class war for many decades. Most of the Dems have been playing "good cop, bad cop" for many years now. They talk progressive, but in the end they opt for the rich man's money.

At present, the oligarchs own everything in the U$A. Giant corporate interests own the Govt., the Media, & the voting systems. No matter the good intentions of a few, if the people don't hear it or see it, it never happened.

It'll take torches and pitchforks to make a change, and, I just don't see that happening until we hit rock bottom.

partizan , Aug 23, 2018 3:15:20 PM | 4
"The progressive Democrats...." Uh-oh! No such thing. "Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump." God...German working people also understand this and voted for Hitler or, rather for the Nazis.

Without a true labor party all the narrative that you mentioned is taking place within capitalist's class, i.e. State Ideological Apparatus.

I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"

ben , Aug 23, 2018 3:19:54 PM | 6
P.S.--Even with massive voter turn-out this Nov., we have no way of knowing what the real vote is, since our voting systems have never been vetted. The machines are privately owned by corporations, and they refuse vetting on grounds that their systems are proprietary information. No problem huh? Except for this..

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142428-hacking-a-us-electronic-voting-booth-takes-less-than-90-minutes/

Paper ballots, counted by hand in full view of the public, might change things. Works for Canada.

partizan , Aug 23, 2018 3:22:43 PM | 7
"Immigration increases the available work force."

It does also increase "race to the bottom" wages, i.e. reserve army of labour force - Precariat.'

rico , Aug 23, 2018 3:27:31 PM | 8

The western fiat faction requires perpetually increasing inputs of capital, commodities and labor - labor population must increase or the debt ponzi falls. Thus, as long as we have declining birthrates in the West, immigration will continue regardless of what the peasants want...

I agree that it is a class war, but it is one we have already lost. We are at the end of the oil era, yet our financial economic system requires perpetual growth, how do you think this will work out? (It won't)

People should be thinking of how they are going to keep their children from starving in a couple of years, the rest is just noise...

worldblee , Aug 23, 2018 4:01:40 PM | 9
The "Democratic" party is completely captured by its FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) funders on Wall Street and the corporate class. The DNC crowd will stick to their losing guns election after election while not offering any benefits to working people.

Further, they would rather continue to lose elections than adapting to the will of the people -- hence their ridiculous focus on Russiagate and other phantoms rather than offering real programs of substance that would attract voters.

Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago.

RayB , Aug 23, 2018 4:14:06 PM | 10
@ rico...

The capitalist migration policy intentions are not just to have.. "Immigration increase the available work force", but rather to saturate the labour market. That way they keep the cost of labour down by having more people compete for the jobs than there are available thus bringing the labour costs down. This leads to the kinds of ethnic ghetto's wherein rampant unemployment for the vast majority is a way of life, which in turn fosters non integration into the country's larger society and hence we get what you are referring to as some."living off of freebies in their own 'no-go' Shari law enclaves"

Solution? STOP bombing other countries back into the stone age, creating millions of destitute refugees and after that, simply regulate immigration according to the available jobs and workforce a country can reasonably accommodate and thereby successfully integrate any newcomers from other lands.

TG , Aug 23, 2018 4:37:55 PM | 11
Well said! A few minor points:

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their DONORS, not to their voters.

Remember: the donors don't care if the Republicans or Democrats win, as long as their agenda prevails. And most Democrats and most Republican politicians don't care about their party either, as long as they can retire and get put on the boards of big corporations and cash in etc.

"The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration." Kudos to you for pointing out the obvious. Be careful though, this kind of talk can easily get you labelled as a racist, a fascist, as "literally Hitler" and Vladimir Putin's homosexual lover.

Bottom line: the Democrats give lip service to supporting higher wages, but in reality they support low wages, hence their opposition to moderating the rate of immigration.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 4:41:54 PM | 12
My last reply on the previous thread serves well as a beginning comment here:

"IMO, too many assets that elevate/enhance one's life experiences need to be made into publicly owned utilities, social media communication platforms being one as I explained above. If the Outlaw US Empire's people can finally get universal healthcare for all enacted, then other realms of the for-profit arena can be targeted as a tsunami-sized political wave is building that will make such changes possible provided the insurrection's sustained for decades to forestall the forces of Reaction. It's really the only political direction capable of making America great for the first time in its history--Being a Great Nation contains a moral aspect the USA has never attained and is nowhere near close to attaining anytime soon."

The Class War's been raging for centuries--millennia actually. But as Michael Hudson notes at the end of his autobiographical interview, something deliberate was done to alter the course of political-economy:

"[Marx] showed that capitalism itself is revolutionary, capitalism itself is driving forward, and of course he expected it to lead toward socialism, as indeed it seemed to be doing in the nineteenth century.

But it's not working out that way. Everything changed in World War One."

( I highly suggest reading the rest of that passage .)

Elsewhere Hudson has shown Marx expected the contradictions within Capitalism to spawn its antithesis--Socialism--in a natural, evolutionary manner; but, clearly, the forces of Reaction stepped in to arrest that path as Kolko illustrated in his Triumph of Conservatism .

However, popular ideas within societies forwarding the evolution to socialism needed to be constrained and harnessed -- the populism of the late 19th Century couldn't be allowed to resurface as it was the #1 threat to elite control. And so began The Great Reaction as soon as WW1 ended.

Unfortunately, Capitalism's contradictions arose to temporarily derail the Counter-Revolution as the Great Depression ushered in a return of dynamic Populism within Europe and especially the USA. WW2 provided a golden opportunity to finally crush dynamic Populism once and for all as the forces of Reaction emerged from their closets within FDR's administration and tools were forged to enable societal control, which included the newly emerging forms of mass communication and indoctrination.

Big Money and the Political Machines it built within the USA became prominent soon after its Civil War. Those plus the oligarchical controls built into the USA's governmental organization ensured that Commonfolk would have a very difficult time trying to govern themselves and promote their own interests.

The changes made to the system after the very nearly won success of the Progressive Populists greatly aided the forces of Reaction as did the imposition of Prohibition and the Red Scare--Populist successes were a mixed bag during the 1930s as very reactionary laws were also introduced--The House Un-American Activities Committee in 1938 and The Smith Act in 1940.

By WW2's end, the foundation for Keynesian Militarism and its in-built [monies get redistributed upward, not downward, automatically] Class War was laid along with the basis for Big Money's recapture of government.

Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system.

It's been ongoing since 1938--80 years--and must be excised from the body politic if the Outlaw US Empire is ever to go straight and become a law abiding global citizen amongst the community of nations.

mdroy , Aug 23, 2018 4:45:53 PM | 13
Part of a world wide Trend. Populism is too simplistic, there are better analyses.

In Europe Somewhere vs Anywhere is a great way to show what is happening, and I'm pretty sure it is the same in US. Good book too.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCM_Y4H2wEd1tjl3mLg2_xKNrzPiI2eO9c02O11-pzwfpqABUX

There should be plenty of summaries all over the internet but briefly.

Somewhere:

  • Think local, not global
  • Economic liberal (high taxes, generous health views)
  • Socially conservative (not very pro LBGTX, anti immigration)
  • Less likely to be University educated
  • Have done poorly in last 35 years of growth but widening inequality
  • Anti-establishment
  • Are roughly 60% of population - and the biggest voting block

Anywhere:

  • Think global,
  • Economic conservative (low taxes, anti-redistribution)
  • Socially liberal (pro LBGTX, believe "our values" means something)
  • Probably University educated
  • Have done very well in last 35 years of growth and think they deserved it all
  • Pro-establishment
  • Are roughly 25% of population - and completely dominate the media

A lot have worked out that this new segmentation has overtaken traditional politics. But David Goodhart explains it all so well in his book.

Ed in Kanata , Aug 23, 2018 5:01:26 PM | 14
All the countries with single payer health systems have a small military. I live in Canada and when military spending is broached the people always want the money to be spent on health care. I personally doubt that the NATO countries will actually drastically increase there defense budgets against the voters wishes. No western country outside the USA feels threatened so why spend more on defense?

It is up to the American people to make similar choices when they vote.

james , Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15
thanks b.. the whole political system as it presently stands in the west is not working.. it is one step up from the system in places like Saudi Arabia and etc... i go back to psychohistorians main view that until we get beyond predatory finance, we are all essentially screwed..

folks talk immigration but in the forest industry here on the westcoast of canada, machines have replaced workers.. This is just one example.. robots and etc. etc. are working towards the same end.. a corp that can get a robot or machine to do something will go that way based on long term costs. None of the political parties i know of are addressing the impact of technology on job opportunities.. In fact they are all cheer leaders for technology while talking of growing the economy and etc. etc...

So we just keep ''growing the population'' while skipping over addressing the private finances elephant in the room.. at some point the world is going to have to change or not survive.. the political class here in Canada is abysmal.. it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it..

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 5:14:25 PM | 16
I read this article then discovered b had written a similar one based on the same polling results. But is the long-denied desire within the Outlaw US Empire for universal healthcare an actual revolt against what b describes as "liberal globalization"?

What I see is a global revolt against the Outlaw US Empire's gross illegalities and immoral hegemony which also contains an ideological battle with nations embracing Win-Winism while rejecting Zerosumism, which can also be interpreted as rejection of the Millenia-long Class War.

Globalization continues on, actually increasing its velocity through the twin Eurasian projects--BRI & EAEU. IMO, the Eurasian projects have the potential to force Capitalism to finally evolve into Socialism, which is what Winwinism embodies.

CDWaller , Aug 23, 2018 5:26:31 PM | 17
Today's middle is yesterday's right. Party strategists are reflecting the views of their pay masters. Both parties dial for the same dollars. Those dollars come from billionaires who what to protect their wealth and power. Both parties parties parties reflect this sad reality.

US Health care, despised by everyone in the U.S: doctors, nurses, patients and pharmacists, is not the only thing that needs reform. How we select and elect those who allegedly represent us is unacceptable. Private money is more important than humanity and no one can guarantee that those elected actually won.

Spike , Aug 23, 2018 5:30:25 PM | 18
The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. Unemployment is low, and relatively good paying jobs in less popular geographical areas are not getting filled.

Wages are low because the forces of regulation making them higher have been weakened, and unionization has declined. It has to be questioned whether the individual worker has ever had bargaining power over wages.

It's been the collective power of governmental action and union action that has worked for the benefit of higher wages.

Uncoy , Aug 23, 2018 5:40:26 PM | 20
Thank you for your comment, Karlof. Deep comments like your and those of Paveway and a few others are what make the comment section an occasional joy to read.

What's happening now in the USA is no longer democracy or capitalism at all. It's military plutocracy. The elections and voting process are a sham and certainly have been since G.W. Bush "won" the election vs Al Gore. Strangely, last year's showdown between Killary and Trump was probably the first live election in a while where the establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Killary seemed to scare a few powerful people - she'd spent too much time in Washington, was too ruthless and had too many of her own people in institutions or available as ANTIFA brownshirts. She failed a few final interviews and some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Trump a last minute real shot at the ring.

People all over the Western world have woken up to diminishing incomes, higher bills (education/medicine/utilities - all of which you can't avoid if you have children) and much worse employment opportunities even for the very motivated but only modestly capable (if you have 110 IQ or lower and didn't grow up inside a business household, your chances going into business for yourself are very low and you are likely to just dig yourself or your family a deeper hole). This is not what the people were promised during the last five elections (whether in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or France). The game is up.

Only by setting us at each other's throats can the establishment maintain its place for another decade or two. It seems they are prepared to take this risk. The Hunger Games were a surprise huge world wide hit (the films are rather boring and not particularly well made, despite a good performance in the lead role).

The close similarity between that dystopia and what we live now with NFL football (literally knocks the brains out of your skull, may cause sane people to commit suicide or murder their wife and children ) or even Premier League Football or Tour de France where the contestants even now are mad roiders, compromising both personal integrity and long term health in pursuit of yellow vest.

Marx and then the Soviet Union scared the capitalists at the start of the twentieth century. National Socialism scared them even more. The Western Establishment have built a system and a plan to put off the revolution. How long can they hold us under? This is the fascinating question which The Hunger Games set out to answer.

... ... ...

peter , Aug 23, 2018 5:58:09 PM | 21
Hey, I worked In Canada For CN on the running trades for 37 years. I'm 65 plus so CCP and Old Age pension both kick in on top of my CN pension which leaves me able to indulge in all my bad habits.

I lease a new car every four years and my Buick Regal turbo goes back this January. I live in an upscale apartment with all the amenities I've been sick lately but have been receiving excellent healthcare. You don't get bills. Nada.

I'm a senior and my meds have been costing $4.11 per prescription. So you'll have to excuse me if up I'm not up for a revolution right now.

How 'bout you james? You ready to take to the streets?

Fidelios Automata , Aug 23, 2018 6:04:26 PM | 22
Even as one who opposes single-payer health care (all monopolies cause problems, be they private or public) I have to agree with b in principle. The rich are doing to us now what they did to Russia in the 1990's. We of the working class don't deserve to have our interests protected because we're "deplorables."
Tannenhouser , Aug 23, 2018 6:04:45 PM | 23
Ben@6. You must not have voted in Canada lately. Last two votes at provincial and federal levels had votes counted by machines. In Ontario any ways.
Ma Laoshi , Aug 23, 2018 6:12:19 PM | 24
Oh please; we've had EIGHT years of earnest-sounding, well-intentioned advice to Obama to do the right, progressive thing. As if he ever needed it; the Democrats, and similar "liberal" movements in Europe, Canada, etc, know exactly what they're doing, which is simply what the donors want. It's not about the strategists, and it's not about winning elections either--at least not in the first place.

Continuing to pay attention to this zombie party only supports it; when it's burned to the ground, that's when you may be having an impact.

james , Aug 23, 2018 6:16:11 PM | 25
@12 karlof1... thanks for the link to the autobiography on Michael Hudson. i really enjoyed reading about him and didn't realize all that he has done over the course of his life. it motivates me to read one of his books.. thanks.

@13 mdroy... that also looks like a good book.. thanks..

@21 peter.. i think the question is this: when's it all going to come crashing down? i think uncoy is right.. it is coming down sometime within mine or the younger generations lifetime.. young folks view things very differently then you... the fall will force many to alter their present day view and drop with the smug attitude that seems so pervasive with those who think they have it all..

Lochearn , Aug 23, 2018 6:47:49 PM | 26
A fascinating topic tonight and so much to ponder on with so many thoughtful comments. In case anybody didn't hear it Warren Buffet some time back came out with: "There is a class war and we have won it."

b. references Crooke's article. The poor folks over at zerohedge were hopelessly lost when the article was put up there; some of them got very angry when concepts such as the enlightenment celestially orbited way beyond their limited spheres. Maybe it stank of culture or gay paintings or something. Who knows. But maybe they had a point.

Rather than the enlightenment I see the creation of empires as the starting point - at which the English excelled. What the English did was to literally sacrifice their pawns (pawns = peons = peasants) for the greater game when they kicked their peasantry off the land in the enclosure movement (they always think up a nice word for a disgusting deed). Scientific methods began to be employed on the new larger farms sufficient to feed a burgeoning industrial proletariat. But it was this one revolutionary act that kickstarted the British-US empire that has ruled us for so long.

Psychohistorian's stress on the importance of private finance is of course correct but it is just part of an imperial equation where finance + military = empire or vice versa.

Jen , Aug 23, 2018 6:55:03 PM | 27
I am inclined to agree with Spike @ 18 that immigration by itself does not keep wages low. In Australia (where I live), unemployment is low in comparison with other countries.

There are sectors where more workers are needed: more nurses are needed and more primary and secondary school teachers are needed. English-speaking countries in particular are short of medical and nursing staff to the extent that they are drawing (poaching?) such people away from Asian and African countries that need these people.

At the same time young people who might consider careers in nursing and medicine are dissuaded by the cost of pursuing degrees as universities increasingly rely more on charging on students for university education as government funding dries up.

Yet registered nurses earn an average annual pay of about A$65,000. Lower level nurses earn less. Average annual income in Australia (as of 2nd quarter of 2018) is about $82,000.

In Australia, wages growth has not kept pace with the cost of living since the 1980s when the unions struck an accord with the then Labor government under Bob Hawke. The result is that households have turned to credit cards to finance spending. Most households as a result carry large amounts of debt and have very little savings. At the same time, we have had steady if not very large levels of immigration.

Daniel , Aug 23, 2018 7:08:20 PM | 29
For a century and a half, the primary purpose of the Democratic Party has been to crush leftist/socialist movements. Eugene Debs knew this a century ago. The SDS knew this 1/2 century ago. Bernie Sanders knew this until 2016.

Faux Newz's "Fox and Friends" did a survey after the Koch Brothers funded "study" of Bernie's Medicare For All plan. Going on the misleading figure, they asked "Is Medicare For All worth the $32 Trillion it will cost?"

73% said YES!

All up and down, policies which we'd label "progressive" or even "socialist" are widely popular with USAmericans. From ending these wars to cutting military spending to increasing taxes on the rich and corporations to tuition free public education through college or trade schools, and on and on.

Right now, Sanders is still the most popular politician in the US by a country mile. Were he, Tulsi Gabbard, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nina Turner, and other well-respected politicians with records of electoral success to join together and create a new party, it would instantly be the most popular party in the country.

Then, all we'd have to do is establish legitimate election systems.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 7:11:22 PM | 30
james @25--

Hudson's first magnum opus was SuperImperialism , but please get the updated version as the first is somewhat dated.

What I think is his crowning achievement--he seems to think so too--is his newest, and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption -- From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , the culmination of almost 40 years of research. Funny how its only been reviewed by Brits .

When you read the entire autobiographical interview, you'll see there're several other joint books he's produced prior to debts I'd consider getting via a university library--it's 5 volumes @$150 each new--although he says he's going to rewrite them with debts being the first volume in the series. That I don't have any of those volumes or even knew about them is rather embarrassing given my fields of study. Here's Hudson's introducing the series via a lecture:

"The five colloquia volumes that we've published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding."

Earlier in the thread, you mentioned immigration, population growth and automation. Are you aware that China scrapped its family planning policy despite their goal of instituting a high degree of robotics into their manufacturing system? CCP leaders seem to believe their system can provide resilient support for 1.3-1.5 Billion people, whereas we see the USA growing increasingly dysfunctional trying to keep 330 million content.

james , Aug 23, 2018 7:22:53 PM | 31
@28 chas... war movie here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma9lGs_-OH0

@30 karlof1.. yes - he talks of those books in the autobio interview, but i don't see them listed on amazon for example.. nor is his latest book - and forgive them their debts' listed either.. i suppose the reason for the last title is it is yet to be released.. release date is in nov 2018.. http://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/and-forgive-them-their-debts/

i was unaware of that change in policy in china.. i wonder how they envision everything - greater population and continued work opportunities, in the face of automation? for me - people need greater resources in order to continue to survive.. as i understand it - eating meat is making a much bigger carbon footprint then not.. the chinese with their new wealth are very much into eating pork and meat... i can't see how it all works out for the planet, while i do think china would have thought this thru... i suppose it will remain a mystery to me how they envision the intersection of these diverse interests and developments.. thanks again for your comments..

Daniel , Aug 23, 2018 7:30:11 PM | 32
Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15

"it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it.."

Exactly! And it is the very same supra-national banking cabal, trans-national corporations and Zionist racial supremacists in each of these "democracies" that are calling the shots. They are the loci of power, not the political facades of nation-states.

Clearly, the US military is used by this "loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires" to enforce their will on those who foolishly believe their governments should serve their own citizens. But it is not the US, or even primarily the 0.01% of the US who are calling the shots. The PTSB have no allegiance to any nation-state (with one glaring exception). But they use nationalism to divide the 99% of the world into bite-sized, easily edible pieces.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 7:44:03 PM | 34
I provided this link in my above comment to james, but I had yet to read the entire lecture. It's very important and quite germane to this discussion as this excerpt shows:

"It's very funny: If you go into Congress – I was the economic advisor to Dennis Kucinich – you go into Congress and there's a big mural with Moses in the center and Hammurabi on his right. Well, you know what Moses did? He gave the law. Leviticus, right in the center of Mosaic law, canceled the debt. What did Hammurabi do? Debt cancellation as well. You're not going to see Congress canceling the debts like that. If you look at the Liberty Bell, it is inscribed with a quotation from Leviticus 25: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land." Well now we have translation problems again. The word really isn't liberty: The real word means Clean Slate. It means freeing society from debt, letting everybody have their own basic housing and means of self-support. And by striking coincidence, what does the Statue of Liberty do? She's holding aloft a flame. And in the Babylonian historical records, when Hammurabi would cancel the debts they would say: "The ruler raised the sacred torch." So here you have a wonderful parallelism. It's been written out of history today, It's not what you're taught in Bible school, or in ancient studies, or in economic history. So you have this almost revolution that's been occurring in Assyriology, in Biblical studies and Hebrew studies, and it's all kept up among us specialists. It hasn't become popular at all, because almost everything about the Bronze Age and about the origins of Christianity is abhorrent to the vested interests today."

My reaction: Wow! I'm figuratively kicking myself for not diligently reading all of Hudson's essays--this was from January 2017. Just imagine what might occur if the global public decided to demand the genuine Old Time Religion!

Pft , Aug 23, 2018 8:25:15 PM | 35
Yes exactly, a class war. Basically elites vs the rest of us. Maybe 10% of non elites go along for the ride and puck up some crumbs. Another 20% do alright for a time until they get replaced by cheaper and younger and struggle to survive to reach social security without losing their home due to medical bankruptcy.

The rest its basically a struggle to survive from day 1 with these people living from paycheck to paycheck or just checking into one of the Prison Industrial Complex Apartments

Anyways, with the Democratic Party behind even Trump in the latest popularity polls (31% vs 38%) they stay the course and maintain their pro elitist policies. Both parties are puppets of the elites, differing on only on social issues that divide and distract from the major issues of importance to the elite class

So long as both parties go along with the neoliberal imperialistic agenda there will be rewards, even for the minority party. Best to be a minority party with plenty of funding than one without funding

Meanwhile life expectancy has been stagnating and now declining in US since 2010 (actually declined in 2015 and 2016 and most likely 2017) while most developed countries except UK are rising. Health care costs still the source of most individual bankruptcies although bankruptcy laws have been changed to ensure most lose their home in going that route (unlike owners of corporations like Trump)

Real median incomes are much lower than the early 70's when adjusted with the pre-1980 CPI. CPI post 1980 has been adjusted to mask the impact of neoliberalism and enhance it by lowering COLA's and keeping money cheap to fuel asset inflation which does not impact the new CPI as much

Its not just in the US, this is going on globally, some places faster than others

T , Aug 23, 2018 8:32:16 PM | 36
Spike 18

"The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. "

There are plenty of countries that do not rely on large scale immigration and yet "someone" is doing those jobs there.

Loz , Aug 23, 2018 8:32:48 PM | 37
@worldblee 9

"Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago."

This is the essence of the problem. Whose problem to solve is it? The average American citizen.

Anyone can use social media and crowdfunding to start a huge popular campaign for a specific objective.

True representative democracy. What's not to love about that?

All the nonsense about 'revolution' blah blah then becomes redundant. Once there are multiple parties representing multiple interests, deals have to be done. Government becomes far more careful and conservative.

Problems don't disappear, but at least there is an intelligent airing of the issues. Fiscal prudence becomes front and centre. Individual welfare is also elevated to a central concern. Everyone then recognises that tax money requires healthy businesses that pay their fair share.

Try it! In spite of the initial barrage of fear, uncertainty, doubt, you will come to a much more engaged and civil society.

Jackrabbit , Aug 23, 2018 8:55:53 PM | 38
The psyops against the American people have been nothing short of astounding.

"Trickle down!"

"Multi-culturalism"

"Globalism"

"Efficient Markets"

"War on Drugs! War on Terror! Russian interference!"

Each of these may have been reasonable in moderation but were pushed to the extreme via the oligarch-fed elite of BOTH political Parties. Starting with Bill Clinton, the Democrats sold out the people they used to represent. They have done MORE than simply block change, they have poisoned the well via divisive identity politics.

Obama is the poster child for the Democrats "Third Way" disaster. He proved to be a tool of neolibs and neocons alike, masking their evil agendas with a big smile, slick slogans ("YES WE CAN!") and clever quips ("If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear") . No bankers went to jail for the 2008 GFC, a trillion dollar fraud estimated to total a YEAR of global GNP , instead his administration "foamed the runway" for Bank home foreclosures (mostly of lower income people that couldn't fight back) .

Obama promised to include a public option as part of his 'signature' healthcare initiative ("Obamacare") but instead produced a boondoogle for insurance companies which has proven to be the epic failure that progressive critics said it would be.

Mis-allocated resources of an oligarch-centered public policy has created a supreme clusterf*ck, the magnitude of which has grown with every new can-kicking initiative.

IMO USA probably loses 30% of GDP to such things as:

- overpriced healthcare;

- a bloated military which is largely useless (who are we going to invade? who is going to invade us?);

- a police state that imprisons more people than any other Western democracy largely due to misguided social policies (why not regulate drugs and prostitution illegal? why not provide good training/jobs and workplace childcare?) ;

- terribly inefficient transportation system where everyone strives for "the American dream" of commuting dozens of miles from their suburban home via a big SUV;

- education costs that have skyrocketed due to failed govt educational policies;

- a pampered executive and "investor class" that siphons billions - inequality is at record levels and CEOs make dozens of times more pay then the average worker;

- while the US govt recognizes that climate change is real, they have decided to address it gradually and accept the cost of 'mitigation' (defensive measures like sea walls, when necessary) .

No one trust the government to fix anything. And fixes that are contemplated or in the works will take decades to effect any meaningful change.

Jackrabbit , Aug 23, 2018 9:13:01 PM | 39
The saddest part may be that most people can't see that they've been played.

Americans used to be free thinkers. Now most of them are in an unhealthy relationship with one of the two parties. Like the jealous, emotionally abusive partner they are, each party plays on the fears of their 'base'.

Societal Stockholm Syndrome. Is that a thing? It is now.

vk , Aug 23, 2018 9:13:21 PM | 40
Immigration, in the grand scheme of things, don't bring wages down mainly for two reasons:

1) it doesn't actually change the total number of human beings in the face of the Earth, it just reallocates them to one or another specific corner of it. Since modern capitalism is already global, even Steven.

2) in capitalism, labor power moves according to a reverse osmosis pattern: it goes from the corner of the Earth with less capital (in money form, therefore money-capital) to the corner of the Earth with more money-capital. So, for example, if 1,000,000 Mexicans immigrate -- legally or illegally, it doesn't matter to capitalism -- to the USA in one year, it is already presupposed the USA already has a wealth differential vis-à-vis Mexico that can accomodate 1,000,000 more people than it in one year. This movement is also known as "job hunt": people go where jobs are.

The only case mass immigration really distorts wages is when movement of labor force is not induced by capitalism, but by a black swan, natural, catastrophic event, e.g. if the hotspot in Yellowstone burst tommorow, and the American population somewhat manages to evacuate to, let's say, Mexico, then Mexico receives, in a matter of months, 400 million people thanks to a process the capitalist society didn't forsee. Then we have a so-called "humanitarian crisis", i.e. a crisis not induced from capitalism's inner metabolism.

As for the German case, it was a miscalculation by Merkel. She had just arrived from a huge victory in Greece (her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, had just put the socialist government of Syriza on its knees), and she was cocky. She decided to move fast and, enjoying the favorable wind from the Aegean, called for 1 million Syrians to come to Germany.

At that time, there was a rumor stating most of the Syrians that were fleeing the war were middle class, affluent Syrians who could afford the trip to Europe -- those were doctors, engineers, businessmen, etc. etc. It is a known fact the German bourgeoisie uses mass immigration from the Middle East as a leverage against the German powerful unions since the Turks offered themselves. So, if Merkel acted impulsively in the execution, the plan was old and had their approval with good antecedence.

Problem was Merkel appeared to be badly advised by the BND (or the CIA?).First, immigrants can only force wages down if they are willing to work. Those "affluent Syrians", if they existed, either were intercepted and coopted by Turkey and Saudi Arabia (where they had to stop first, before going to Europe via Greece or Italy), or were a very tiny minority. Most of the refugees were either already indigents, bandits, housewives with little children or even some terrorists. They were not capable, nor willing, to "assimilate", i.e. to work for German capitalists under German Law. So, it backfired.

Godot , Aug 23, 2018 9:23:06 PM | 41
Is this a joke??
Has anybody read the article from this Crooke that B is referring to in his post? This is really the worst crap. So enlightenments is just a " totalitarian " ideology made to help the Europeans rule the world? And Russia is just an old regime nation promoting blood based brotherhood fighting them ? In a word the eating-babies communists versus the Teutonic aryan Knights??
And then, I find an approving reference to the old stinking theory of " workers vs immigrants " to explain low wages ? Btw, where have you seen democrats elites being " against restrictions on immigrations " ? Didn't know that US under Obama was open door...
I don't recognize this website anymore! Let's hope the CIA is just fooling with me !
quot;Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have."
It is plain wrong to mention social-democratic parties in connection with the u.s. Dems. They are a Wall street party very much at the right of even the most rightist, neoliberal social democrats in Europa.
And no. Immigration is definitely not the cause for the work place competition. Not in the usa at least. Most of the Latinos coming from the south do jobs u.s. citizen do not want, especially in agriculture. And; the immigrants are not only workers, they are consumers too and as such they raise the GDP and indirectly create additional work places. The capitalist system works best if the population is on a steady, not too pronounced rise. (It is different with inner-EU immigration though.)

Posted by: Pnyx , Aug 23, 2018 9:24:46 PM | 42

"Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have."
It is plain wrong to mention social-democratic parties in connection with the u.s. Dems. They are a Wall street party very much at the right of even the most rightist, neoliberal social democrats in Europa.
And no. Immigration is definitely not the cause for the work place competition. Not in the usa at least. Most of the Latinos coming from the south do jobs u.s. citizen do not want, especially in agriculture. And; the immigrants are not only workers, they are consumers too and as such they raise the GDP and indirectly create additional work places. The capitalist system works best if the population is on a steady, not too pronounced rise. (It is different with inner-EU immigration though.)

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 23, 2018 9:24:46 PM | 42 /div

Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:30:42 PM | 43
On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety. The main reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/unxerempoyment rates
Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:31:33 PM | 44
Accidentally posted before completion, sorry
Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:48:32 PM | 45
On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety.

One reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/underemployment rates, far greater than official figures.

Then you have the destruction of unions in the private sector. The few remaining unions are coopted from within by union leadership

A principal cause of the above reasons may be globalization which has led to the outsourcing of jobs to countries with lower wages

And of course you have minimum wages which are much lower in real dollars than they were 40 years go as both parties became corrupted by the neoliberal elite.

As for immigration. Illegal immigrants
tend to work in jobs not very appealing and are low paying but may suppress technical innovation to make up for a low labor supply in this area at the cost of some higher paying jobs

Legal immigration tends bring in professional labor who are willing to work at lower wages in the hope of getting a shot at the American dream (or European Dream).


I feel both forms of immigration are minor impacts. The main purpose for the elite is to create divisions within the society. Divide and rule. Which is why neither party has sought to stamp it out entirely. Its simple really, jail time for anyone hiring an undocumented worker and enforcement. Go after the corporations who hire them and not the worker.

jdmckay , Aug 23, 2018 10:06:29 PM | 46
A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.

...

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want:

B: I haven't agreed with a whole lot of your posts lately, but this one I think you nailed. Wish you would say a little more about Green Energy and AGW.

Tannenhouser , Aug 23, 2018 10:11:43 PM | 47
@spudski, who says "No idea why anyone thinks that's a good idea "one things for sure those that do are definitely 'anywhere's' from mdroy's #13.
juliania , Aug 23, 2018 10:24:28 PM | 48
I actually think that Obama's first election was for young people in this country at that time the equivalent of the assassination of President Kennedy in my younger years. A blow from which there shall have to be allowed the loss of an entire generation - in my time, that was accomplished by the Vietnam War. And indeed the generation of so-called millenials in the US has been living through an ongoing psychological nightmare of similar proportions.

All the comments do apply, in spades. Thank you, fellow Americans.

The equivalence of which I speak is the shocking about face Obama presented after his inauguration. He could have been a new Kennedy inspiring the young - he chose not to be. For many, that was an assassination of an ideal - some clung on desperately refusing to believe, but most finally knew they had been betrayed.

All I can hope is that there is some decent, anonymous Putin-like figure out there ready to grab hold of power and throw it back to the people where it belongs. It happened there; maybe it will happen here, sometime.

NemesisCalling , Aug 23, 2018 10:40:24 PM | 49
Other than calling the Trump-phenom quasi or crypto fascist in your post and in the same breath at the end provide justification for the Trump-vote regarding the effect of an illegal work force, you are right, b. There are many things that hurt the left in the global scene.

Do they not notice this or are they willfully biding their time to reemerge in the same putrid swamp so us dumbasses can fawn over her like the Lady of the Lake?

I think the libs in this country, at least, are the real cheerleaders of globalism and a stupifying urbanism that is preaching a false future of free stuff and you don't even have to work for it!

Why would I Joe-taxpayer want to fund a student- loan debt relief program where morons the country over are relieved of any responsibility of their idiotic line of thinking where they believed that an overpriced degree equated to instant playboy lifestyle and on demand oral sex?

NemesisCalling , Aug 23, 2018 11:04:29 PM | 50
Lower forms of employment to be occupied by natural citizens is absolutely vital to a country's economic culture.

People have said that these are jobs that only Mexicans will take. That is BS. The market would natutally adjust to an actual shortage in labor and pay citizens appropriately for their menial labor. Having an abundance of black market labor prohibits this natural function of a healthy economy.

General Lee knew that slavery was anaethma and a tragedy to America. A correlation could be made about alien labor.

[Aug 17, 2018] Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party s Three-Headed Monster

Notable quotes:
"... The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness). ..."
"... The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. ..."
"... This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." ..."
"... The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. ..."
"... "We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. " ..."
"... And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify. ..."
"... The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide... ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party's "Three-Headed Monster"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:35 132 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence.

Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed:

The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" -- especially the leadership of the FBI -- to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness).

The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. They are apparently in deep confab with the first head and its Russia collusion storyline. Note all the current talk about Russia already meddling in the 2018 midterm election, a full-fledged pathogenic hallucination.

This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. The sane center never would have stood for this arrant recklessness. The world community is not fooled, though. More and more, they recognize the USA as a national borderline personality, capable of any monstrous act.

The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. Those differences must be abolished, and replaced with chimeras that enable a childish game of pretend, men pretending to be women and vice-versa in one way or another: LBGTQetc. Anything BUT the dreaded "cis-hetero" purgatory of men and women acting like men and women. The horror .

Its companion is the race hustle and its multicultural operating system. The objective has become transparent over the past year, with rising calls to punish white people for the supposed "privilege" of being Caucasian and pay "reparations" in one way or another to underprivileged "people of color." This comes partly from the infantile refusal to understand that life is difficult for everybody, and that the woes and sorrows of being in this world require fortitude and intelligence to get through -- with the final reward being absolutely the same for everybody.


Creative_Destruct -> Got The Wrong No Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. "

And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify.

Chad Thunderfist -> venturen Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:56 Permalink

...[MSM] owners:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contributors?id=N00000019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Sussman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Pritzker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harris_Simons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Moskovitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Rosenstein
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Daniel_Abraham

STP -> edotabin Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

I was talking to someone, who knows a lot about the 'inner workings' and we were discussing, not only the US, but Europe's situation as well.

The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide...

[Aug 14, 2018] The demise of another Bernie Sanders fraud - World Socialist Web Site

By Patrick Martin 9 August 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again. ..."
"... First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system. ..."
"... In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics. ..."
"... The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do. ..."
"... In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them. ..."
"... In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities. ..."
"... Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year. ..."
"... Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed went down to a double-digit defeat Tuesday in the Democratic primary, overwhelmed by the near-unanimous support of the Democratic Party establishment for former state senator Gretchen Whitmer. The daughter of former Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Richard Whitmer won every county in the state and will go on to face Republican State Attorney General Bill Schuette in the November general election.

In a tweet to his supporters, El-Sayed declared: "The victory was not ours today, but the work continues. Congratulations to @gretchenwhitmer on her primary win. Tomorrow we continue the path toward justice, equity and sustainability."

When tomorrow came, however, that "path" led to a unity luncheon at which El-Sayed and the third candidate in the race, self-funding millionaire Shri Thanedar, pledged their full support to Whitmer. "Today we all retool and figure out how we make sure that Bill Schuette does not become governor. I'm super committed to that," El-Sayed said. "Never has it been more important to have a Democrat lead state government."

Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again.

First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

In 2016, this involved appealing to his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The Clinton campaign refused to make the slightest appeal to the working class in order to preserve its support within corporate America and, in the process, drove millions of desperate workers to stay home on Election Day or vote for Trump, allowing the billionaire demagogue to eke out an Electoral College victory.

In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics.

The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do.

Their platforms usually include such demands as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, implementing "Medicare for all," interpreted in various fashions, establishing free public college education for families earning less than $150,000 a year, and enacting universal pre-K education. They usually promise not to accept corporate money and to support campaign finance reform.

These Sanders-backed candidates, like Sanders himself in 2016, have very little to say about foreign policy and make no appeal whatsoever to the deep anti-war sentiment among American youth and workers. There is no discussion of Trump's threats of nuclear war. As for trade war, most, like Sanders himself, embrace the economic nationalism that is the foundation of Trump's trade policy.

In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them.

In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities.

Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year.

The real attitude of Sanders and El-Sayed to genuine socialism was made clear when they sought to ban supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and SEP candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth from distributing leaflets and holding discussions outside campaign rallies for El-Sayed.

This year, Sanders has been campaigning with a sidekick, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who won the Democratic congressional nomination in the 12th District of New York, defeating incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for El-Sayed in Michigan and also for several congressional candidates, including Brent Welder in Kansas and Cori Bush in Missouri, who also went down to defeat on August 7. Like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the Democratic Party can be transformed into a genuinely progressive "party of the people" that will implement social reforms.

But at age 28, Ocasio-Cortez has less practice in performing the song-and-dance of pretending to be independent of the Democratic Party establishment while working to give it a left cover and prop it up. She was clumsier in her execution, attracting notice as she walked back a campaign demand to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sought to downplay her previous criticism of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

After her campaign swing through the Midwest, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, an annual assemblage of the left flank of the Democratic Party. She told her adoring audience that her policies were not radical at all, but firmly in the Democratic mainstream. "It's time for us to remember that universal college education, trade school, a federal jobs guarantee, a universal basic income were not all proposed in 2016," she said. "They were proposed in 1940, by the Democratic president of the United States."

The reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt was inadvertently revealing. Roosevelt adopted reform policies, including many of those suggested by the social democrats of his day such as Norman Thomas. He was no socialist, but rather a clever and conscious bourgeois politician who enacted limited reforms in a deliberate effort to save the capitalist system.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez likewise seek to save the capitalist system, but under conditions where no such reforms are possible. The American ruling class no longer dominates the world economy, but is beset by powerful rivals in both Europe and Asia. It is pouring resources into the military to prepare for world war. And at home, even the most modest measures run up against the intransigent opposition of the super-rich, who control both parties and demand even greater wealth for themselves at the expense of working people.

Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth.

Thus, at Netroots Nation, the assembled "left" Democrats gave a loud ovation to Ocasio-Cortez, but also to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, also young, nonwhite and female. Ortiz Jones has another characteristic, however. She is a career Air Force intelligence officer who was deployed to Iraq, South Sudan and Libya -- all the scenes of US-instigated bloodbaths.

Ortiz Jones is one of nearly three dozen such candidates chosen to represent the Democratic Party in contested congressional districts around the country. Another such candidate is Elissa Slotkin, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin served three tours with the CIA in Baghdad before being promoted to high-level positions in the Pentagon and the Obama-era National Security Council.

The fake leftism of Bernie Sanders in alliance with the CIA: That is the formula for the Democratic Party in 2018.

[Aug 14, 2018] Did Trump openly rejected some postulates of neoliberalism, at least during the election compaign ? Was Hillary somehow a bigger crook than Trump?

Some people are still fighting already lost battle.
Notable quotes:
"... That's a good critique of the electoral disaster that the Democrats brought upon themselves by adopting neoliberal economic policies at the dawn of the DLC. But it's delusional to think that Trump's restoration of gilded age economic policies will help working people, white or otherwise. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 08.11.18 at 7:52 pm (no link)

Still, to the extent that Trumpism has any economic policy content it's the idea that a package of immigration restrictions and corporate tax cuts[1] will make workers better off by reducing competition from migrants and increasing labor demand from corporations.

The emergence of Trumpism signifies deepening of the ideological crisis for the neoliberalism. Neoclassical economics fell like a house of cards.

IMHO Trumpism can be viewed as a kind of "national neoliberalism" which presuppose rejection of three dogmas of "classic neoliberalism":

1. Rejection of neoliberal globalization including, but not limited to, free movement of labor. Attempt to protect domestic industries via tariff barriers.

2. Rejection of excessive financialization and primacy of financial oligarchy Restoration of the status of manufacturing, and "traditional capitalists" status in comparison with financial oligarchy.

3. Rejection of austerity. An attempt to fight "secular stagnation" via Military Keysianism.

Trumpism sent "Chicago school" line of thinking to the dustbin of history. It exposed neoliberal economists as agents of financial oligarchy and the "Enemy of the American People" (a famous Trump phase about neoliberal MSM).

See, for example, a good summary by Sanjay Reddy ( Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research) at https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/trumpism-has-dealt-a-mortal-blow-to-orthodox-economics-and-social-science.html

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements.

Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.

Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.

Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.

MisterMr 08.11.18 at 8:21 pm ( 12 )
I'll try to explain my previous comment from another angle:

I'll take the wage share on total income as the main index of worker's bargaining power.
The wage share depends on two factors:
1) there is a cyclical factor, when the economy is booming unemployment falls and the wage share rises, when the economy is depressed the opposite;
2) there are structural factors that depend on how redistributive is taxation, the power of unions etc.; these structural factors depend on law and policy, not on technology.

A big part of the "neoliberal" policy is the concept of trickle down, that can be summarized in (1) hope that the economy will go very well and will be in permanent boom by (2) lowering the wage share structural components, by making workers more flexible etc..
In this kind of policy (that was followed also by center left parties) the fall in the strucural component of the wage share is supposed to be compensated by the increase of the cyclical component, so that, in theory, workers should not be worse off.

But in reality, trickle down doesn't really work (we can argue why), so that the overall wage share fell.
Workers (and voters in general) then expect the economy to be in a situation of permanent boom, a boom so big that it surpasses the fall in the structural component of the wage share; but this never happens, and probably cannot happen for a sustained period.

So voters assume that someone is stealing their lunch, and they blame someone. Immigrants are supposed to lower worker's wage share, but influencing the cyclical component, not the structural one; instead we have an assumption that immigrants are lowering the structural component of the wage share, that is a nonsense, because voters have to blame someone.

Contemporaneously, we have policies that try to create a sort of permanent boom by trickle down, such as lowering the tax rate on high incomes. These policies resemble keynesian policy but in reality are strongly pro-cyclical, so in some sense are the opposite of the traditional keynesian policy.
This happens because these policies appease both workers (with the promise of a boom and thus an increase of the cyclical component of their wage share) and capitalists (because the government is pumping money in their pockets).
But these policies are also very pro-bubble.

From this point of view, Trump's policy (but also for example many policies of the current Italian government) are just a beefed up version of the neoliberal policy.

The hate for immigrants, as other nasty developments of international policy, are the effect of the fact that in reality trickle down cannot really create booms as big as to justify the weakening of the structural component of the wage share, so someone has to be blamed somehow; also trickle down is linked, culturally, to the concept of job creators, and the idea that workers only have an income because of the awesomeness of said job creators, which leads tho the idea that immigrants are also so to speak eating from the same dish, and thus robbing workers from their income.

CDT 08.13.18 at 2:41 am (no link)
@likbez --

That's a good critique of the electoral disaster that the Democrats brought upon themselves by adopting neoliberal economic policies at the dawn of the DLC. But it's delusional to think that Trump's restoration of gilded age economic policies will help working people, white or otherwise.

likbez 08.13.18 at 9:37 pm ( 34 )

It's why likbez is so sure that Clinton is somehow a bigger crook than Trump. That is just crazy.

He was just not the neoliberal establishment supported crook, or pretended to be such;-) That was enough for many people who are fed up with the system to vote for him. Just to show middle finger to neoliberal establishment personalized by Hillary Clinton.

On a more serious note, while I do assume that voting for Trump was a form of social protest against the current version of neoliberalism in the USA, I do not automatically assume that the social system that will eventually replace the current US flavor of neoliberalism will be an improvement for bottom 90% of population.

[Aug 14, 2018] Technocrats Rule Democracy Is 'OK' As Long As The People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike.

We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class's leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership.

As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash.

This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.

The occasional incumbent who is voted out of office made one of two mistakes:

1. He/she showed a very troubling bit of independence from the technocrat status quo, so a more orthodox candidate is selected to eliminate him/her.

2. The incumbent forgot to put on a charade of "listening to my constituency" etc.

If restive voters can't be bamboozled into passively supporting the technocrat status quo with the usual propaganda, divide and conquer is the preferred strategy. Only voting for the technocrat class (of any party, it doesn't really matter) will save us from the evil Other : Deplorables, socialists, commies, fascists, etc.

In extreme cases where the masses confound the status quo by voting against the technocrat class (i.e. against globalization, financialization, Empire), then the elites/technocrats will punish them with austerity or a managed recession. The technocrat's core ideology boils down to this:

1. The masses are dangerously incapable of making wise decisions about anything, so we have to persuade them to do our bidding. Any dissent will be punished, marginalized, censored or shut down under some pretext of "protecting the public" or violation of some open-ended statute.

2. To insure this happy outcome, we must use all the powers of propaganda, up to and including rigged statistics, bogus "facts" (official fake news can't be fake news, etc.), divide and conquer, fear-mongering, misdirection and so on.

3. We must relentlessly centralize all power, wealth and authority so the masses have no escape or independence left to threaten us. We must control everything, for their own good of course.

4. Globalization must be presented not as a gargantuan fraud that has stripmined the planet and its inhabitants, but as the sole wellspring of endless, permanent prosperity.

5. If the masses refuse to rubberstamp our leadership, they will be punished and told the source of their punishment is their rejection of globalization, financialization and Empire.

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. My two favorite charts of the outcome of technocrats running things to suit their elite masters are:

The state-cartel-crony-capitalist version: the top .1% skim the vast majority of the gains in income and wealth. Globalization, financialization and Empire sure do rack up impressive gains. Too bad they're concentrated in the top 1.%.

The state-crony-socialist version: the currency is destroyed, impoverishing everyone but the top .1% who transferred their wealth to Miami, London and Zurich long ago. Hmm, do you discern a pattern here in the elite-technocrat regime?

Ideology is just a cover you slip over the machine to mask what's really going on.

* * *

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[Aug 08, 2018] Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled?)

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

[Aug 08, 2018] In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them.

Notable quotes:
"... In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them. ..."
"... the energy of the political left is not with the Democrats ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

The by product of small minds and limited options. The collapse of the Democratic Party also represented a failure to create a bench. AOC is a person who should have been identified and pushed to run for local or even state government by a healthy political party.

In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them.

Donna Brazille knocked the Clinton Headquarters staff for not having sex, but the pictures of the Clinton staffers looked like a particularly boring group of College Republicans. Wow, the President listens to Jay-Z. He's really popular with kids from the suburbs!

This morning I was reminded that Sam Power apologized for calling Hillary a monster in 2013 probably because it seemed inevitable HRC would be President, but now I see it as a lack of creative thinking where these boring people (they are boring) couldn't envision an alternative.

As far as the options, the energy of the political left is not with the Democrats hence why they have to pimp Biden every few months.

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

HRC use to pay DavidHow much went to MSNBC to be in ads for the choir? What good was an HRC ad during a network dedicated to "Her"?

As far as her staff, she use to pay Mark Penn. Its reasonable to expect the Clinton campaign would simply light money on fire, but I was always puzzled by the ads on MSNBC. What good were they beyond preaching Hillary was running for President?

We know from the DNC emails Podesta said he needed to talk to HRC about promising the VP to everyone after she had picked Kaine long before the announcement. I'm wondering what kinds of ad buys she promised. When Obama got to the end, he just randomly ran an infomercial and gave the field staff a fairly decent bonus. With all her money in a slam dunk election, I think the story is more than a campaign of would be Mark Penns.

DonCoyote , August 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Joan Didion's Insider Baseball , written 30 years ago, is still probably my favorite political piece of writing.

Thank you, Lambert, for going beyond the facile "horserace" and "blue wave" tropes and assembling enough data for us non-insiders to be able to gain some understanding of the game the insiders are playing.

These are people who speak of the process as an end in itself, connected only nominally, and vestigially, to the electorate and its possible concerns "Anything that brings the process closer to the people is all to the good," George Bush declared in his 1987 autobiography, Looking Forward, accepting as given this relatively recent notion that the people and the process need not automatically be on convergent tracks.

When we talk about the process, then, we are talking, increasingly, not about "the democratic process," or the general mechanism affording the citizens of a state a voice in its affairs, but the reverse: a mechanism seen as so specialized that access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give the off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life.

Tony of CA , August 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm

I have a simple question: Why vote? Both parties are largely control by the same donors. It strikes me as a waste of energy. When someone such a Sanders comes around who actually slightly challenges the status quo, the powers to be actively collude to disenfranchise the movement.

flora , August 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

"I have a simple question: Why vote?"

Simple answer: It's the only thing we have that scares them. Why else would they spend so much effort trying to suppress the vote, or not fighting voter suppression? And who knows, some candidates you vote for might win.

Tony of CA , August 7, 2018 at 11:20 pm

I don't think it actually scares them. It's more important for them to keep the showing going. By voting, we are actively buying into the political theatre. It's a sham. Really democracy simply can't coexist in a Capitalistic system.

Altandmain , August 7, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Hard question, but how much is an Obama or Clinton endorsement really worth?

They are not going to be very appealing to swing voters, independents, etc. They have limited to appeal to getting young people and supporters of Bernie Sanders to vote.

Seems like they are most useful for just motivating Establishment Democratic voters.

Second, the Democrat Party really is split. As you can see, Obama, Clinton, and the DCCC's endorsements overlap in only a single case (again, CA-50) with "insurgent" backers like Justice Democrats (JD) and Our Revolution (OR). Negative confirmation: Obama did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez ("Party Unity is for Rubes"). Her district is a safe Democrat seat (unless Crowley, running as a straw on the Working Families line, somehow takes it away from her), so perhaps that doesn't matter: Positive confirmation: Obama and Clinton didn't endorse Bryce in WI-01, although -- because? -- Sanders did, even though the DCCC did, and the seat used to be Paul Ryan's![1]

It has been split between those who got rich by neoliberalism (the 10%er base) and the rest of us.

That's the really brutal reality.

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Probably none.

My sense is the importance of the Oprah endorsement of Obama wasn't the endorsement as much as the spectacle and crowds. 10,000 people at a campaign event in New Hampshire is huge. At that point, Obama didn't have to face the usual primary audience much like HRC where candidates do get fairly difficult questions in comparison to the msm garbage questions cookie recipes.

Yellow dog types who might vote for AOC over say Crowley on their own might be swayed, but I suspect "DNC" letter head would have the same effect.

Lambert Strether Post author , August 7, 2018 at 11:34 pm

> how much is an Obama or Clinton endorsement really worth?

It's a signal about where to send money.

[Aug 07, 2018] Once the Democratic Party has burned the people who fall under the marketing term "Millennials" enough times, they'll move on to the new "hope" of Gen Z who won't have multiple memories of lie after lie

Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Once the Democratic Party has burned the people who fall under the marketing term "Millennials" enough times, they'll move on to the new "hope" of Gen Z who won't have multiple memories of lie after lie.

Wash.Rinse.Repeat.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Something about being young and having never been fooled too many times (yet).

And Sanders' wait, he's an exception. Though I'd still like free organic foods for all all ages before, or at the same time as free college.

(One can't march one's neuron soldiers on an empty stomach).

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

Still, let's not let that be an excuse to starve anyone of any age.

JBird , August 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

After the initial pangs go away, and one can think clearly, one is incentivized to really find solutions, but thinking as in learning? They have different brains then me, let's just say.

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Marketing and advertising thrive on the same concept.
Exalting youth to exploit it.
When that doesn't work, use fear (of not being wealthy enough, attractive enough, etc,). That base emotion gets played on throughout people's lives.

That is why those marketing terms found a comfy fit with political narratives and polling (which is done to fit a narrative).

[Aug 06, 2018] LeBron Shows Trump What Winning Really Looks Like

Notable quotes:
"... If, on average, just seven Republicans are moderates, and Democrats need 15 additional votes, Democrats will obviously fall short. Where else then could and should Democrats look? The more promising pools of people are actually Democratic voters -- many of whom face greater economic obstacles in finding the time and transportation to get to the polls. ..."
"... In the quest for those necessary 15 votes, the number-one place Democrats should look is among the 19 percent of Democrats who voted in 2016, but are unlikely to cast ballots this year. ..."
"... In fact, the largest pool of people Democrats should be trying to tap is actually nonvoters -- the 200,000 people per district who were eligible but didn't cast ballots in 2016. It is in these sectors of society where Democrats will find the source of success and the path to winning back the House and taking back our country and winning elections for years to come. ..."
Aug 06, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths, for example, to encourage military veterans to run for Congress this year. Veterans can be great progressive leaders (my father and uncle served in the military, and I was born on a military base), but if the strategic objective is to appeal to swing voters drawn to Trump's posture and positions, the math doesn't add up. The painful truth is that there just aren't that many swing voters.

Doing a deep data dive on the districts reveals that the number of swing voters is far smaller than many people realize, especially when you factor in the drop-off in voter turnout in midterm elections. In the most competitive Republican-held congressional districts, Clinton won by an average of 17,000 votes, but the incumbent GOP congressperson beat his or her Democratic foe by an average of 34,000 votes.

This reality is particularly problematic when you factor in the smaller electorate during midterms, when fewer turn out to vote than in a presidential year. This diagram shows the total voter pool in an average competitive district, how many people voted, and how many voted for Clinton, Trump, and the Republican member of the House. For illustration purposes, if 100 people voted in one of these Clinton-Republican representative-won districts in 2016, the incumbent House Republican received 54 votes, and his or her Democratic opponent received 43 votes. Of those 54 people who voted for the incumbent Republican, seven (out of 100 votes) voted for Clinton. That's seven moderate Republicans out of 100 voters. Historically, in midterm elections, Republicans are more likely to come back out and vote than are Democrats, and as a result, that 54-43 Republican advantage from the higher-turnout presidential year will be about 39-25 this midterm year (based on historical turnout data). This means Democrats need to find 15 votes in every 100 in order to flip those 23 seats. Looking at the possible sources of an additional 15 percent highlights how few moderate Republicans there are.

If, on average, just seven Republicans are moderates, and Democrats need 15 additional votes, Democrats will obviously fall short. Where else then could and should Democrats look? The more promising pools of people are actually Democratic voters -- many of whom face greater economic obstacles in finding the time and transportation to get to the polls.

In the quest for those necessary 15 votes, the number-one place Democrats should look is among the 19 percent of Democrats who voted in 2016, but are unlikely to cast ballots this year.

In races that may well be decided by a few thousand votes (for example, Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb won his special US House election earlier this year by a mere 627 votes ), it makes sense to also target the 20,000 young people in each congressional district who were not old enough to vote in 2016, but are now eligible.

In fact, the largest pool of people Democrats should be trying to tap is actually nonvoters -- the 200,000 people per district who were eligible but didn't cast ballots in 2016. It is in these sectors of society where Democrats will find the source of success and the path to winning back the House and taking back our country and winning elections for years to come.

It is hard work to get all of these voters out, but that is the work that will determine success or failure this fall.

[Aug 05, 2018] How identity politics makes the Left lose its collective identity by Tomasz Pierscionek

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. ..."
"... Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best. ..."
"... Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping ..."
"... It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. ..."
"... There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept. ..."
"... 'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics. ..."
"... The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it. ..."
"... Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
"... Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.rt.com
The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. A core principle of socialism is the idea of an overarching supra-national solidarity that unites the international working class and overrides any factor that might divide it, such as nation, race, or gender. Workers of all nations are partners, having equal worth and responsibility in a struggle against those who profit from their brain and muscle.

Capitalism, especially in its most evolved, exploitative and heartless form - imperialism - has wronged certain groups of people more than others. Colonial empires tended to reserve their greatest brutality for subjugated peoples whilst the working class of these imperialist nations fared better in comparison, being closer to the crumbs that fell from the table of empire. The international class struggle aims to liberate all people everywhere from the drudgery of capitalism regardless of their past or present degree of oppression. The phrase 'an injury to one is an injury to all' encapsulates this mindset and conflicts with the idea of prioritising the interests of one faction of the working class over the entire collective.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, a liberally-inspired tendency has taken root amongst the Left (in the West at least) that encourages departure from a single identity based on class in favour of multiple identities based upon one's gender, sexuality, race or any other dividing factor. Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best.

At the time of writing there are apparently over 70 different gender options in the West, not to mention numerous sexualities - the traditional LGBT acronym has thus far grown to LGBTQQIP2SAA . Adding race to the mix results in an even greater number of possible permutations or identities. Each subgroup has its own ideology. Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping " lesbians'.

The ideology of identity politics asserts that the straight white male is at the apex of the privilege pyramid, responsible for the oppression of all other groups. His original sin condemns him to everlasting shame. While it is true that straight white men (as a group) have faced less obstacles than females, non-straight men or ethnic minorities, the majority of straight white men, past and present, also struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck and are not personally involved in the oppression of any other group. While most of the world's wealthiest individuals are Caucasian males, millions of white men exist who are both poor and powerless. The idea of 'whiteness' is itself an ambiguous concept involving racial profiling. For example, the Irish, Slavs and Ashkenazi Jews may look white yet have suffered more than their fair share of famines, occupations and genocides throughout the centuries. The idea of tying an individual's privilege to their appearance is itself a form of racism dreamed up by woolly minded, liberal (some might say privileged) 'intellectuals' who would be superfluous in any socialist society.

Is the middle-class ethnic minority lesbian living in Western Europe more oppressed than the whitish looking Syrian residing under ISIS occupation? Is the British white working class male really more privileged than a middle class woman from the same society? Stereotyping based on race, gender or any other factor only leads to alienation and animosity. How can there be unity amongst the Left if we are only loyal to ourselves and those most like us? Some 'white' men who feel the Left has nothing to offer them have decided to play the identity politics game in their search of salvation and have drifted towards supporting Trump (a billionaire with whom they have nothing in common) or far-right movements, resulting in further alienation, animosity and powerlessness which in turn only strengthens the position of the top 1%. People around the world are more divided by class than any other factor.

It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. Fighting oppression through identity politics is at best a lazy, perverse and fetishistic form of the class struggle led by mostly liberal, middle class and tertiary-educated activists who understand little of left-wing political theory. At worst it is yet another tool used by the top 1% to divide the other 99% into 99 or 999 different competing groups who are too preoccupied with fighting their own little corner to challenge the status quo. It is ironic that one of the major donors to the faux-left identity politics movement is the privileged white cisgender male billionaire George Soros , whose NGOs helped orchestrate the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine that gave way to the emergence of far right and neo-nazi movements: the kind of people who believe in racial superiority and do not look kindly on diversity.

There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept.

'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics.

The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it.

Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. In the West you are free to choose any gender or sexuality, transition between these at whim, or perhaps create your own, but you are not allowed to question the foundations of capitalism or liberalism. Identity politics is the new opiate of the masses and prevents organised resistance against the system. Segments of the Western Left even believe such aforementioned 'freedoms' are a bellwether of progress and an indicator of its cultural superiority, one that warrants export abroad be it softly via NGOs or more bluntly through colour revolutions and regime change.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra.

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

Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? UK Labour cruising towards split over Israel-Palestine

[Aug 03, 2018] Donald Trump might be a symptom that neoliberal system is about to collapse

Amazing interview.
We are in the point when capitalist system (which presented itself as asocial system that created a large middle class) converted into it opposite: it is social system that could not deliver that it promised and now want to distract people from this sad fact.
The Trump adopted tax code is a huge excess: we have 40 year when corporation paid less taxes. This is last moment when they need another gift. To give them tax is crazy excess that reminding Louis XV of France. Those gains are going in buying of socks. And real growth is happening elsewhere in the world.
After WW2 there were a couple of decades of "golden age" of US capitalism when in the USA middle class increased considerably. That was result of pressure of working class devastated by Great Depression. Roosevelt decided that risk is too great and he introduced social security net. But capitalist class was so enraged that they started fighting it almost immediately after the New Deal was introduced. Business class was enrages with the level of taxes and counterattacked. Tarp act and McCarthyism were two successful counterattacks. McCarthyism converting communists and socialists into agents of foreign power.
The quality of jobs are going down. That's why Trump was elected... Which is sad. Giving your finger to the neoliberal elite does not solve their problem
Notable quotes:
"... Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction. ..."
"... When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. ..."
"... Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade. ..."
"... The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:

Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.

So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.

When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.

Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.

The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.

In France, it was said 'Après moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/60FrsWm9OAc

[Aug 03, 2018] Trumpism and the Politics of Distrust

Aug 03, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We have lost some of our democratic habits -- indeed, in many ways we are losing our very cohesion as a society. But I frame the question very differently.

I know a bunch of Trump supporters. Some of them are intellectuals who write for places like TAC . But most are not. Neither are any of them raving bigots or knuckle-dragging neanderthals, and all of them read the news, though with vastly less obsessiveness than people who work in the business.

None of them "like" things like "unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure" or collusion with foreign governments. Some of them minimize some of these things at least some of the time -- and I myself have been known to derive a kind of pleasure from the absurdity of a figure like Mooch. But this isn't what the people who I know who voted Trump voted for , nor is it why they continue to be happy with their vote -- which, however unhappy they are with how the administration is conducting itself, most of them still are.

Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election.


SDS August 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

"They are, however, people who have lost trust in the individuals and institutions who are most alarmed about Trump: the political establishment, the press, etc. And so, on a relative basis, they'd rather continue to put their trust in Trump."

That last line does not follow .We have lost trust in all of the others; so would rather see what Trump does; not that we have any trust in him to do the right thing

THAT would be ridiculous; especially after the last six months.

Will Harrington , says: August 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Hmmm. Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing. As for the American people taking a turn to authoritarianism. This is possible, after all, our Federal government has spent most of the last century increasing their control over many of the aspects of our lives and stretching the limits of the Constitution beyond any recognition. We have been prepared to accept authoritarianism. Increasingly we have had an authoritarian presidency that surveils its own people and has usurped regulatory and warmaking authority from the Congress. The Federal government has created, out of whole cloth, a role for itself in public education. Do not blame the populace for being what the elite has spent a century shaping them to be.
I am convinced that the saber rattling and fear-mongering concerning Korea, Iran, and Russia are not happening because we have any reason to be particularly concerned about these countries or because they threaten our interests. No, this is the way a corrupt and ineffective regime distracts its citizens from its own failings. Lets be clear, this would be happening even if She-who-shall-not-be-named had one the Presidency.
JonF , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Whatever happened to "trust but verify"?
OK, a bunch of people did the political equivalent of a Hail Mary play in voting for Trump. But now that the ball has not only fallen short but gone way out of bounds and beaned some spectators in the stands shouldn't they be revoking that trust and casting around for someone else to represent them? Why stick with a sinking ship?
JessicaR , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/11/why-veterans-voted-donald-trump-swing-states/21603486/

There is strong evidence to suggest that one factor in Trump's victory was distrust of US foreign policy. The link above is to an article about exit polls showing Trump won the veteran's vote 2:1 over Hillary Clinton.

Not long ago, a study by two academicians found that Trump carried counties with high casualties in the Iraq war: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2989040

People don't regret their votes for Trump because if they had voted for Clinton, they or their loved ones would be coming home in body bags–or minus body parts.

As bad as Trump is, his foreign policy instincts are less hawkish than Clinton's–witness his decision to end the CIA funding of Syrian insurgents.

Trump's behavior is certainly "unpresidential" and chaotic. It is also less horrible than war by many orders of magnitude.

Kevin , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm
"The politically relevant, and profoundly disturbing, fact is precisely the opposite of the conventional wisdom: After six months of unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure, and credible evidence of a desire to collude with a hostile foreign government to subvert an American election, President Trump's approval rating is astonishingly high -- with something between one-third and two-fifths of the American people apparently liking what they see and hear from the White House"

But George W Bush at his nadir averaged 26% approval, and that's seven years in, during an epic economic collapse, a catastrophic war, and a host of other disasters. Trump is not THAT far away from that average.

There is simply a line beyond which a president can't decline unless he murders and eats a puppy in public, and I see no reason to presume that we can judge that Trump hit his bottom six months in, when the economy is decent and no non-self inflicted crisis looming.

I'd also add that while all your friends have different reasons to stay aboard the Trump train, all of them sound like high information, fairly ideological voters. This is probably not the profile of Trump voters set to vote for The Rock in 2020

c matt , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm
Well, when a building is rotten to the core, the only thing you can do is raze it to the ground to start rebuilding. Our government has long passed its sell-by date. Really, expecting a political solution to arise from a government controlled system such as ours does not border on insanity – it completely crosses that border in leaves it miles in the dust. Witness our insane Congress voting by a 98% margin to inflict sanctions based upon absolute crock. But then the US has never let reality get in the way of statesmenshowmanship. We get what we deserve, good and hard.
polistra , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm
You're OK until the last line. "And populism by its very nature cannot build institutions, cannot govern "

You're still using the Deepstate definition of populism. In fact populists want only one thing: We think the government of THIS country should serve the interests of the people of THIS country.

It's perfectly possible to govern by this rule. FDR did it magnificently.

Why did it work for FDR? Because he was determined to BREAK the monopolies and forces that acted contrary to the interests of the people, and because governments BELOW the Federal level were still strong. When he closed the banks for several months, cities and Chambers of Commerce jumped in immediately to develop scrip systems.

Thanks to an unbroken series of evil judges and presidents after WW2, local governments and institutions are dead or dying. Even if a competent and determined populist tried to close down banks or Amazon or the "health" insurance system, there would be no organized way to replace them.

Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:59 pm
What exactly did these people think a Clinton administration would do? What nightmarish dystopia did they see coming around the bend? And what do you think -- were their perceptions of America's future under a Clinton administration accurate, or at least close to the mark? And if so, why?
Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Also, I get that people have lost trust in mainstream institutions. What makes them think that Trump is trustworthy in comparison? Why do they have more trust in Trump than in the institutions? And does that seem reasonable?
Heyseed , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm
I didn't vote for Trump: His rhetorical style turns me cold; I don't like his position on many issues, or his general governing philosophy, to the extent he can be said to have one. But, BUT, I sure as Hell did not vote for Hilary Clinton(I voted for Johnson and Weld, who were obvious non-starters from the word Go. I might possibly have voted for Trump if it had looked like the election might be close in Illinois, but since the Chicago Machine had already stolen it for HRC, I could salve my conscience and vote for Johnson.

Clinton was the status quo candidate, and since I did not desire "more of the same", governmentally, Trump and his circus are preferable to Clinton and whatever cabal she would have assembled to run the country.

You claim that the elite "inevitably" run the machinery of government, but it's worth noting that once upon a time in America, most of the people in government were political appointees who could be sent packing(along with their bosses) by the voters. Nowadays, the 'elite' which runs government is dug in pretty much permanently, and the same people will be, in practice, running the government no matter who wins the next election, or the one after that

Hilary Clinton was forthrightly the candidate of the permanent, un-elected bureaucracy, and Trump, well, didn't seem to be. The choice was between Trump, whose actual position on the size of government was not clear, and Hilary Clinton who was actually promising to make government bigger, more centralized, more expensive and less responsive. I'm not sorry Trump won however distasteful he and his henchmen are to me.

Michael R Honohan , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm
I too had a friend who was a huge Ron Paul supporter who not only backed Trump, but became a major apologist for him ever since. The man ran two back to back campaigns in Georgia for US Senate, the Ron Paul mold. Now, no on his original team will give him the time of day. Those who tried to get some sense into him, have been closed off.

As a libertarian, I am no more afraid of the left or the right. In fact, listening to the right rant about the left yields a lot of ignorance, disinformation and paranoia: stock in trade for right wing propaganda. But I am disturbed when people spend years fighting for liberty suddenly joined Cult 45 that has no sense of liberty Ron Paul or his followers would recognize.

But Trump fit the bankrupt GOP. Lest we forget, those 49 GOP Senators who voted for "skinny repeal" (even the name is joke!) never gave a moment's consideration to the bill written by Rand Paul that covers the conservative attributes of free markets and self-determination. Lest we also forget that Rand is not only one of the few legit conservatives, but a doctor and the son of doctor or former Congressman. Those credentials alone would have been enough if GOP was actually interested being conservative. Apparently, Trumpism is what the GOP is about and 49 of them proved it.

ojc , says: August 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm
I think that you have identified a problem that transcends Trump and his opponents. Vitriolic partisanship is one thing. At various points in our history, we have had some nasty spells of polarization. The deeper problem that the institutions of public life are now losing their very legitimacy.

Legitimacy is something deeper than mere approval. It relies upon the unspoken acceptance of political and institutional norms.

We are clearly in the process of publicly reevaluating and even rejecting these norms. The birthers questioning Obama's background and "not my president" folks do not view their oppponents as legitimate, if mistaken. In the case of Trump and the radical left, they contest the legitimacy of the other side even participating in the process, a process by the way to which they owe no fealty.

Whine Merchant , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm
"We had to destroy the village to save it."

Where have we heard that line before??

Cash , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm
Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory, and two, by having top two vote getters in primary face each other in the general.

We'd have a moderate politics with elected officials clustering slightly right and left of the center.

cka2nd , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm
Speaking as a Commie Pinko Red, I still prefer Trump as President over Clinton, precisely because he is doing so much to undermine America's "leadership" in world affairs. He's still a murderous imperialist, maybe even just as much as she would have been, but there's just so much more damage that she could have done making bi-partisan deals with the GOP for the benefit of Wall Street and the insurance industry.

The movement against GOPcare – Trumpcare wasn't really a fair name for the wet dreams of Paul Ryan and Conservative, Inc. – probably couldn't have been so effective or flew under the radar of the establishment tools running the Democratic Party and its media mouthpieces if a Democrat was in the White House and the various beltway "movement" honchos had had their precious seat at the table where they could have rolled over for the Democratic president of the moment.

bt , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm
The biggest problem is what comes after Trump for the GOP?

He's kicked off a process for the GOP that will be very difficult to manage going forward. He showed that outright racism, sexism, continuous lying, even treasonous collusion with Russia to subvert our election is just fine with the Republican Party. How does the GOP sell family values to their 'base' after they all lined up with Donald j Trump, serial wife-cheater and money-launderer?

It will be hard for anyone to forget that any of this happened.

Consider this: 8 years of W Bush yielded the first black President – It really could not have happened if W hadn't burned the house down. What comes after Trump?

FiveString , says: August 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm
I'm a very middle-class worker in the IT sector where most of my coworkers have been sensible, but my weekend hobby of playing music has put me in contact (largely via Facebook) with many Trump supporters who do happen to be knuckle-dragging neanderthals. They generally don't read; their "news" comes from partisan demagogues on the radio or TV. If I give one the benefit of the doubt and share an article from, say, The American Conservative -- "The Madness of King Donald" was a favorite -- it's been all too common to receive a childish/hate-filled meme in response. Bigots are legion: I've unfriended the raving variety, and unfollowed the milder dog-whistlers. These deplorables have in fact been emboldened by the current POTUS.

But I get your point. I abhor the current duopoly, but it could be fixed if thinking citizens wanted to put in some effort. So, it's depressing in a different kind of way that so many thoughtful and well-read Americans are so cynical about state of US politics that they are fine with Trump wrecking it.

Barry , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm
"Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election."

They are people who were full of it beforehand, and as the evidence rolls in, they just sink deeper into lies.

MarkW , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm
Linker's quote "a desire to collude" you reference later as "collusion". The first instance is an attempt to broaden the charge from collusion, the second instance is a (sloppy?) change in language.
Mdet , says: August 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm
@Will Harrington, "Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing."

I read that statement as "Once you are governing, once you are the one(s) in a position of power, then by definition you have become 'the elite' and are no longer 'a plebeian'". Populists, by definition, are the people who call for the tearing down of institutions that make up the status-quo, and elites, by definition, are the people who build and maintain status-quo institutions. At least in my eyes, "being a populist" and "governing institutions" are mutually exclusive.

Frank Lettucebee , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:46 am
Since the conservative party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower was invaded by the right wingers and became the party of Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth, the goal has been to tarnish all concept of a functioning a democracy and a government is built to work for the people, of the people, and by the people. The right wing main tactic is lies and just get people riled up so that they don't realize and oblivious to the fact that America has slipped from capitalism to corporatism; from a capitalist democracy to a caste based plutocracy run for the sole benefit of the oligarchs who bought this country.

Don Trump is the embodiment and distillation of the right winger and their economic and social cultural policies. He is not an alternative or antidote to the Republicans or Democrats.

Cal , says: August 2, 2017 at 2:04 am
" Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government is in chaos and that Trump is not bringing the change he hoped for. But he doesn't regret his vote, and he prefers the chaos of Trump to business-as-usual under either the Democrats or the Republicans. And if Trump winds up discrediting the Federal government generally, that's fine with him."

I didn't vote this election because I didn't like either candidate. I had been promoting 'America First' as a rallying cry for a candidate for years but Trump wasnt exactly the kind of leader I had in mind for it.
But I'm with the guy above -- if chaos will bust up the musical chair dual monarchies of the dems and repubs and the corrupt status quo government bring it on.

Pear Conference , says: August 2, 2017 at 6:23 am
I think the Democratic nominee in 2020 should be O.J. Simpson.

The reason is that I have lost trust in the media and the elites that are most alarmed about O.J. Simpson.

Kurt Gayle , says: August 2, 2017 at 8:37 am
A somewhat related question, Noah: If you had been a young man living in China on August 1, 1927, do you think you would have joined the People's Liberation Army?
connecticut farmer , says: August 2, 2017 at 9:50 am
Originally I wanted to sit out this past election but gave in to peer pressure. And I regret this. Trump? Clinton? Johnson? Stein? All were mediocre. Clinton/Trump were the two worst candidates that the "major" parties have ever produced in my lifetime. It was with fear and trepidation that I voted for Trump, notwithstanding that I fundamentally agreed with him on the issues of immigration and the need for a reduced American role in global affairs. In the end, I rationalized this (wasted) vote based upon the notion that not only had his opponent committed a felony (detouring government emails) but also because (as others have pointed out) she was the candidate of the status quo, the "permanent bureaucracy", Big Finance etc. etc. The fact that Trump actually won surprised me, but only moderately, because as terrible a candidate as he was, his opponent was even worse.

What has transpired since his election comes as no surprise. Had Clinton been elected conditions would have only been mirror imaged, such being the state of things in this once-great republic. I continue to maintain that the two-party system is archaic and has to go. Whether a multi-party system would be better, I don't know. Perhaps we have reached a point where the country is simply ungovernable. Perhaps more responsibility should be returned to state and local government (Jefferson would have approved). Again, I don't know.

What I do know is that the current system is dysfunctional.

And that, my friends, is why we have a real estate/TV personality as President.

wallysdaughter , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm
i am neither an establishment voter, or a member of the media/press. i am deeply worried where the man (trump) is taking this nation. the gop is complicit in this chaos as they see trump as a rubber stamp for their plutocratic agenda. i don't know what it will take to right the ship of state
EliteCommInc. , says: August 3, 2017 at 7:49 am
I don't regret my vote. And I ave had issues with my choice before and after the election. The sky is not even close to falling as predicted. And the democracy you claim is at threat may very well be, but it's from the current executive. And nothing thus far suggests that it will.

I m not going to dismiss the caterwauling liberals have been making since the campaign or the election as major distraction to governance.

And by the way there remain not a twiddle's evidence that the WH prior to the election colluded to undermine the US in any manner. It's time to cease throwing that out as sauce for the goose.

I think I agree with all four of your "freinds". I am very fond of the establishment, they have their place. What they provide in cohesion, stability and continuity is valuable to the state. But they appear to be want for any level of substance, depth thereof or moral consistency (if any at all). The double standards they hold themselves, their donors and connections on issues and accountability is unsustainable in a democracy as I think you understand it.

When I was laid out in the ER, I found myself wrestling with my own position on healthcare. The temptations are great to bend the guide as to my own conditions -- but I don't think I could so with a clear conscience. I am nor sot sure that what we haven't lost is a sense of conscience -- that sense that truth overrides immediate gain. I don't think the US can survive as the US if the leadership is bent on holding themselves to a standard not available to the country's citizens.

"Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government . . ."

And the discredited notions that

1. the rich know how to run an economy effectively and

2. that a rise in the market is a sign of economic health.

Brendan Sexton , says: August 3, 2017 at 10:48 am
Pear Conference captures perfectly the 'thinking' i have heard from more than one Trump voter. This is 'reasoning'?
If there is one system in America that needs blowing up to start over it might be our education system. I am generally supportive of public ed, and i am impressed by some of the commitment and inventiveness i see among the proposers of various alternatives to public ed. So, some folks are trying, even sometimes succeeding, but we have managed to arrive at a point in our culture where we have elected a President whose election success depended more than anything else on a public who have lost the ability to think critically. (if they ever had it, of course)
Yes I know the other one got more votes, by a lot. And i know that this other candidate was oddly not at all an attractive alternative. I know all that, but still, a huge fraction of the voting population–a fraction large enough to make themselves now THE base the government is playing to–is a group who could not/would not see this con-job coming? There was every opportunity to use actual logic and facts to reach a voting decision, but these millions of voters chose instead to go with various variations on the theme of 'they all stink, so i'm using my vote to poke a stick in their eyes." Or, as Pear satirized, "I hate/mistrust the elites and they like almost anybody else other than my guy, so I'm gonna turn my country over to the most vulgar non-elite pig the system can come up with."
There is talk now about the damage he can do to American politics and sense of community, but I think he may be more symptom than cause. We don't value the things we thought were a standard part of the American process: truthfulness, kindness, authenticity, devotion to the common good. We value, it turns out, showmanship, machismo, crass shows of wealth and power, and ..I can't go on.
I'm not sure how we got here, but I know the institutions held in high regard on this site, such as church, and some factors we all put our faith in such as increasing levels of education, turn out not to matter so much as we had thought. It is going to take some hard work and more than a little time to recover from this sickness in the country's soul.
Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:43 am
"Trump supporters are just like people who are outraged by something and show it by rioting and burning down their own neighborhoods." – Greg in PDX

The antifas rioting and destroying in Portland also got very violent when some old folks held a peaceful rally for Trump there.

Oh, sorry. I forgot that when "progressives" disagree with someone, they consider that merely disagreeing with them constitutes "violence" against their "safe space" and they are compelled to go out and punch or shoot people.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:47 am
"Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory"

Right, and by making public disclosure of who you voted for mandatory as well!

Just don't be the first to stop clapping.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:50 am
Those calling for a soft coup to reinstate elite status quo leaders against the election results are the ones who are profoundly anti-democratic.
Grumpy Old Man , says: September 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm
No reason why populism couldn't govern. Huey Long was a damn effective governor of Louisiana. Send the whole Acela Corridor élite to Saddam's woodchipper and the country would noodle along just fine. I'm not for state violence, and yet the fantasy gives me a frisson. Forgive me, a sinner.

[Aug 03, 2018] The elites "have no credibility left by David North and Chris Hedges

Notable quotes:
"... War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class ..."
"... Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt ..."
"... Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt ..."
"... Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.unz.com

On Monday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North interviewed Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, lecturer and former New York Times correspondent. Among Hedges' best-known books are War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class , Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt , which he co-wrote with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, and Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt .

In an article published in Truthdig September 17 , titled "The Silencing of Dissent," Hedges referenced the WSWS coverage of Google's censorship of left-wing sites and warned about the growth of "blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of 'fake news.'"

Hedges wrote that "the Department of Justice called on RT America and its 'associates' -- which may mean people like me -- to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. No doubt, the corporate state knows that most of us will not register as foreign agents, meaning we will be banished from the airwaves. This, I expect, is the intent."

North's interview with Hedges began with a discussion of the significance of the anti-Russia campaign in the media.

David North: How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

I have no doubt that the Russians invested time, energy and money into attempting to influence events in the United States in ways that would serve their interests, in the same way that we have done and do in Russia and all sorts of other countries throughout the world. So I'm not saying there was no influence, or an attempt to influence events.

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

DN: Chris, you worked for the New York Times . When was that, exactly?

CH: From 1990 to 2005.

DN: Since you have some experience with that institution, what changes do you see? We've stressed that it has cultivated a constituency among the affluent upper-middle class.

CH: The New York Times consciously targets 30 million upper-middle class and affluent Americans. It is a national newspaper; only about 11 percent of its readership is in New York. It is very easy to see who the Times seeks to reach by looking at its special sections on Home, Style, Business or Travel. Here, articles explain the difficulty of maintaining, for example, a second house in the Hamptons. It can do good investigative work, although not often. It covers foreign affairs. But it reflects the thinking of the elites. I read the Times every day, maybe to balance it out with your web site.

DN: Well, I hope more than balance it.

CH: Yes, more than balance it. The Times was always an elitist publication, but it wholly embraced the ideology of neo-conservatism and neoliberalism at a time of financial distress, when Abe Rosenthal was editor. He was the one who instituted the special sections that catered to the elite. And he imposed a de facto censorship to shut out critics of unfettered capitalism and imperialism, such as Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. He hounded out reporters like Sydney Schanberg, who challenged the real estate developers in New York, or Raymond Bonner, who reported the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador.

He had lunch every week, along with his publisher, with William F. Buckley. This pivot into the arms of the most retrograde forces of corporate capitalism and proponents of American imperialism, for a time, made the paper very profitable. Eventually, of course, the rise of the internet, the loss of classified ads, which accounted for about 40 percent of all newspaper revenue, crippled the Times as it has crippled all newspapers. Newsprint has lost the monopoly that once connected sellers with buyers. Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth. But like all Byzantine courts, the Times will go down clinging to its holy grail.

The intellectual gravitas of the paper -- in particular the Book Review and the Week in Review -- was obliterated by Bill Keller, himself a neocon, who, as a columnist, had been a cheerleader for the war in Iraq. He brought in figures like Sam Tanenhaus. At that point the paper embraced, without any dissent, the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and the primacy of corporate power as an inevitable form of human progress. The Times , along with business schools, economics departments at universities, and the pundits promoted by the corporate state, propagated the absurd idea that we would all be better off if we prostrated every sector of society before the dictates of the marketplace. It takes a unique kind of stupidity to believe this. You had students at Harvard Business School doing case studies of Enron and its brilliant business model, that is, until Enron collapsed and was exposed as a gigantic scam. This was never, really, in the end, about ideas. It was about unadulterated greed. It was pushed by the supposedly best educated among us, like Larry Summers, which exposes the lie that somehow our decline is due to deficient levels of education. It was due to a bankrupt and amoral elite, and the criminal financial institutions that make them rich.

Critical thinking on the op-ed page, the Week in Review or the Book Review, never very strong to begin with, evaporated under Keller. Globalization was beyond questioning. Since the Times , like all elite institutions, is a hermetically sealed echo chamber, they do not realize how irrelevant they are becoming, or how ridiculous they look. Thomas Friedman and David Brooks might as well write for the Onion .

I worked overseas. I wasn't in the newsroom very much, but the paper is a very anxiety-ridden place. The rules aren't written on the walls, but everyone knows, even if they do not articulate it, the paper's unofficial motto: Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! You can push against them some of the time. But if you are a serious reporter, like Charlie Leduff, or Sydney Schanberg, who wants to give a voice to people who don't have a voice, to address issues of race, class, capitalist exploitation or the crimes of empire, you very swiftly become a management problem and get pushed out. Those who rise in the organization and hold power are consummate careerists. Their loyalty is to their advancement and the stature and profitability of the institution, which is why the hierarchy of the paper is filled with such mediocrities. Careerism is the paper's biggest Achilles heel. It does not lack for talent. But it does lack for intellectual independence and moral courage. It reminds me of Harvard.

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

DN: What about the impact that you've seen of identity politics in America?

CH: Well, identity politics defines the immaturity of the left. The corporate state embraced identity politics. We saw where identity politics got us with Barack Obama, which is worse than nowhere. He was, as Cornel West said, a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

My favorite kind of anecdotal story about identity politics: Cornel West and I, along with others, led a march of homeless people on the Democratic National Convention session in Philadelphia. There was an event that night. It was packed with hundreds of people, mostly angry Bernie Sanders supporters. I had been asked to come speak. And in the back room, there was a group of younger activists, one who said, "We're not letting the white guy go first." Then he got up and gave a speech about how everybody now had to vote for Hillary Clinton. That's kind of where identity politics gets you. There is a big difference between shills for corporate capitalism and imperialism, like Corey Booker and Van Jones, and true radicals like Glen Ford and Ajamu Baraka. The corporate state carefully selects and promotes women, or people of color, to be masks for its cruelty and exploitation.

It is extremely important, obviously, that those voices are heard, but not those voices that have sold out to the power elite. The feminist movement is a perfect example of this. The old feminism, which I admire, the Andrea Dworkin kind of feminism, was about empowering oppressed women. This form of feminism did not try to justify prostitution as sex work. It knew that it is just as wrong to abuse a woman in a sweatshop as it is in the sex trade. The new form of feminism is an example of the poison of neoliberalism. It is about having a woman CEO or woman president, who will, like Hillary Clinton, serve the systems of oppression. It posits that prostitution is about choice. What woman, given a stable income and security, would choose to be raped for a living? Identity politics is anti-politics.

DN: I believe you spoke at a Socialist Convergence conference where you criticized Obama and Sanders, and you were shouted down.

CH: Yes, I don't even remember. I've been shouted down criticizing Obama in many places, including Berkeley. I have had to endure this for a long time as a supporter and speech writer for Ralph Nader. People don't want the illusion of their manufactured personalities, their political saviors, shattered; personalities created by public relations industries. They don't want to do the hard work of truly understanding how power works and organizing to bring it down.

DN: You mentioned that you have been reading the World Socialist Web Site for some time. You know we are quite outside of that framework.

CH: I'm not a Marxist. I'm not a Trotskyist. But I like the site. You report on important issues seriously and in a way a lot of other sites don't. You care about things that are important to me -- mass incarceration, the rights and struggles of the working class and the crimes of empire. I have read the site for a long time.

DN: Much of what claims to be left -- that is, the pseudo-left -- reflects the interests of the affluent middle class.

CH: Precisely. When everybody was, you know, pushing for multiculturalism in lead institutions, it really meant filtering a few people of color or women into university departments or newsrooms, while carrying out this savage economic assault against the working poor and, in particular, poor people of color in deindustrialized pockets of the United States. Very few of these multiculturalists even noticed. I am all for diversity, but not when it is devoid of economic justice. Cornel West has been one of the great champions, not only of the black prophetic tradition, the most important intellectual tradition in our history, but the clarion call for justice in all its forms. There is no racial justice without economic justice. And while these elite institutions sprinkled a few token faces into their hierarchy, they savaged the working class and the poor, especially poor people of color.

Much of the left was fooled by the identity politics trick. It was a boutique activism. It kept the corporate system, the one we must destroy, intact. It gave it a friendly face.

DN: The World Socialist Web Site has made the issue of inequality a central focus of its coverage.

CH: That's why I read it and like it.

DN: Returning to the Russia issue, where do you see this going? How seriously do you see this assault on democratic rights? We call this the new McCarthyism. Is that, in your view, a legitimate analogy?

CH: Yes, of course it's the new McCarthyism. But let's acknowledge how almost irrelevant our voices are.

DN: I don't agree with you on that.

CH: Well, irrelevant in the sense that we're not heard within the mainstream. When I go to Canada I am on the CBC on prime time. The same is true in France. That never happens here. PBS and NPR are never going to do that. Nor are they going to do that for any other serious critic of capitalism or imperialism.

If there is a debate about attacking Syria, for example, it comes down to bombing Syria or bombing Syria and sending in troops, as if these are the only two options. Same with health care. Do we have Obamacare, a creation of the Heritage Foundation and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, or no care? Universal health care for all is not discussed. So we are on the margins. But that does not mean we are not dangerous. Neoliberalism and globalization are zombie ideologies. They have no credibility left. The scam has been found out. The global oligarchs are hated and reviled. The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence.

DN: I think it can be a big mistake to be focused on the sense of isolation or marginalization. I'll make a prediction. You will have, probably sooner than you think, more requests for interviews and television time. We are in a period of colossal political breakdown. We are going to see, more and more, the emergence of the working class as a powerful political force.

CH: That's why we are a target. With the bankruptcy of the ruling ideology, and the bankruptcy of the American liberal class and the American left, those who hold fast to intellectual depth and an examination of systems of power, including economics, culture and politics, have to be silenced. (Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)


JackOH , October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

I'm a moderate admirer of Chris Hedges, but he is really cooking in this interview. Too much to praise here, but his thinking that corporations, the mainstream media, and the academy can and do successfully "game" dissent by suppression, divide and conquer, co-optation, and so on, is spot on.
Albertde , October 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
Good but not great interview with Chris Hodges: he manages to talk about an amorphous elite without identifying any of them and not a word about Israel. So pseudo-good roally
alexander , October 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT
I think this was an excellent discussion, and I would like to thank you both for having it, and sharing it.

Among the crises effecting the United States, the one effecting us most profoundly is the absence of any accountability for the crimes committed by our oligarchic class.

Addressing this issue is ground zero for any meaningful change.

If there is no accountability for their crimes , there will be no change.

Certainly the greatest among these crimes was(is) defrauding the nation into " a war of aggression". which, being the supreme international crime, should be met with harsh prison sentences for all who promoted it.

It is important for everyone to recognize just how much damage these policies have done to the country, not just in terms of our collective morale or our constitutional mandates,not just in terms of our international standing on universal principles of legality and justice, but our long term economic solvency as a nation.

The "exceptionalism" of our "war of aggression" elites has completely devastated our nation's balance sheet.

Since 9-11, our national debt has grown by a mind numbing "fourteen and a half trillion dollars".. nearly quadrupling since 1999.

This unconscionable level of "overspending" is unprecedented in human history.

Not one lawmaker, not one primetime pundit, nor one editorialist (of any major newspaper), has a CLUE how to deal with it.

Aside from the root atrocity in visiting mass murder on millions of innocents who never attacked us (and never intended to) which is a horrible crime in and of itself,

There is the profound crisis , in situ , of potentially demanding that 320 million Americans PAY FOR THE WARS OUR ELITES LIED US INTO .

This is where the rubber meets the road for our "war of aggression-ists ", gentlemen.

This is the "unanimous space" of our entire country's population on the issue of "no taxation without representation".

WHOSE assets should be made forfeit to pay for these wars .The DECEIVERS or the DECEIVED ?

Ask "The People" ..and you will find your answer .very fast.

No wonder our "elites" are terrified to discuss this .

Absolutely terrified.

exiled off mainstreet , October 10, 2017 at 1:27 am GMT
I agree with the general tenor of this article and would further state that in addition to the Iraq thing which was a war crime and eliminated any shreds of legitimacy retained by the yankee regime that the Libya overthrow and destruction, a war crime of historic proportions, and the use of that overthrow to provide major support to the barbaric element in Syria expose the yankee regime as an enemy of civilization with all that entails, including questions of whether, absent any legitimacy, the regime's continued existence itself does not constitute a major threat.
The elements in the article discussing and exposing the New York Times and its role as an integral part of the power structure should be read and remembered by all.
Grandpa Charlie , October 10, 2017 at 6:10 am GMT

How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

With all due respect for Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, I would suggest that what is also and most ridiculous is the thought that it is only agents of Israel that have suborned the neocon faction within USA's government and 'Deep State' (controllers of MSM). Or is this OT? I don't think so, because if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?

Who or what interest is served by anti-Russia propaganda other than, or in addition to, just the usual MIC suspects, profiteering corporations who want to keep a supposed need for nuclear weapons front and center in the minds of Congress? Cui bono?

To be clear: I suggest that neocon office-holders within USA's government or within the Deep State (controllers of MSM) are foreign agents for at least three nations: the People's Republic of China,the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel.

(I would compare USA now with Imperial China in its declining years when it was being sold piecemeal to all the great powers of Europe.)

Who benefits from this situation and how do they benefit? All three of these countries are deeply involved in suborning members of Congress and others within the government of the USA, yet none of the three is mentioned in such a connection by the MSM or by officials of the Executive. Thus, it is beneficial to them to have suspicion thrown onto Russia and thus investigative attention deflected from themselves. A few public figures (e.g., Philip Giraldi) have made such allegations respecting Israel, more public figures have made such suggestions respecting Saudi Arabia, but very few have made the allegations in the case of the PRC.

Let's think about this in the context of history, beginning with the Vietnam War. When USA got involved in Vietnam -- which involvement began during the days of Eisenhower/Dulles -- probably the primary interest groups that swayed USA global/foreign policy were the Vatican and the China Lobby. The interests of these two lobbies converged in Vietnam. From the RC side, consider an historical event that is unknown practically to any Americans under the age of 60 or 70, namely, Operation Passage to Freedom, 1954-55.

"The period was marked by a CIA-backed propaganda campaign on behalf of South Vietnam's Roman Catholic Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. The campaign exhorted Catholics to flee impending religious persecution under communism, and around 60% of the north's 1 million Catholics obliged." (Wikipedia: Operation Passage to Freedom )

From the side of the China Lobby – avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – what we saw in the early years of USA's involvement, 1965-1969, was a period in which the China Lobby could push an agenda that included widening the Vietnam campaign into southern China, particularly to include the tungsten mining operations supposedly owned by K.C. Wu. Tungsten at that time was considered as having tremendous strategic value, centering on, but not limited to, its essential use in the filaments of incandescent light-bulbs. It became clear after the Tet Offensive that the entire strategy of reopening the Chinese civil war, capturing the tungsten, etc, could make sense only if Chang Kai Shek's KMT would commit its troops in huge numbers, virtually all of its troops, on the ground in Vietnam (which would have brought in huge numbers of PRC troops on the other side) -- it became, to borrow one of Nixon's favorite phrases, "perfectly clear" that expansion into southern China and capture of the tungsten operations there were not in the cards. When Kissinger talked up his 'realpolitik', what he really meant was the politics of surrendering to Beijing. So, Nixon in July 1969, recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by the loss of life and expenditure of every form of capital, ordered first of many troop withdrawals from Vietnam. It was all a done deal as of Kissinger taking over as National Security Adviser, January 1969 -- everything but the tears.

Now, patience, dear reader, this is all leading up to a certain crucial event that took place in 1971 -- namely, Kissinger's secret trip to Beijing in July (1971) to arrange for everything regarding what amounted to a surrender to the PRC, except the end of the Vietnam War. The documents are still unavailable as classified Top Secret or whatever, but clearly, China had no interest in seeing an end to the Vietnam War, because both parties – Vietnam and USA – were adversaries of China. (Let them knock each other out!) Most likely, Zhou talked Henry into doing what he could to prolong USA's involvement in the Vietnam War, not to shorten it. See, including between the lines, National Security Archives:

http://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB66/

As noted, this stuff is mostly unavailable to us, the public, but it is clear that USA's 'leaders' (Nixon and Kissinger) wanted to make kissy-kissy with Zhou Enlai, and it was all arranged including George H. W. Bush's appointment as USA's first 'Ambassador' (in all but name) to Beijing, and including giving China's permanent seat on the UNSC to Beijing and otherwise selling out the old China Lobby. I call it the 'old China Lobby' because part of what was arranged was that the old China Lobby would be taken over by the New China lobby, complete with all the payola channels into Congress and the Deep State.

Now, I think, we arrive at today, 2017, and the failure of Trump to act on his campaign promises to oppose China in any way. Maybe he thought about it for a minute, but he was surrounded by neocons, who were already on the payroll of the PRC -- if not taking direct orders from the Standing Committee of the CCP, then at least promised to avoid offending the interests of the PRC -- on pain of losing regular paychecks from Beijing into their secret Grand Cayman accounts.

What I would like to say to Hedges. and others like him, is just this:

THEY say that you are foreign agents for Russia? Time to use a little judo on them: time for YOU to speak truth that THEY are foreign agents for the People's Republic of China.

And don't forget this potent phrase: YET NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON!

AB_Anonymous , October 11, 2017 at 5:24 am GMT

"The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence."

Precisely! What makes it even worse, they will be pushing this new pretexts for control sloppy (as in Vegas) and in a hurry. Which will make them look even more ridiculous and due to the lack of time will force to act even more stupid, resulting in an exponential curve of censorship, oppression and insanity. And that's there the maniacal dreams of certain forces to start a really big war in the Middle East (with or without attacking North Korea first) may come true.

Anonymous Disclaimer , October 11, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – "

Now that's a lie. This part is a lie. Or it is carefully crafted ex post hoc mythology a la Camelot, the Kennedy Mystique.

FACT: JFK was a Cold War Hawk and during his administration increased nuclear arms higher than Ike and until Reagan.

JFK during his administration increased the number of "advisers" to a higher number than Ike.

William F. Buckley pointedly asked Senator Robert Kennedy in the mid. '60′s "So, was there any thought of the White House pulling out [of Vietnam]?

RFK: No. There never was.

If anything, had he lived to see a second term, most likely US involvement in Vietnam would have escalated as much as under LBJ, perhaps with the same disastrous results, perhaps not. But JFK was no peacenik dove.

Mr. Hedges comes across as a total whackjob, and makes Bill Moyers appear to be a gentle moderate in comparison. That he thinks so highly of race man BLM supporter Cornell West speaks volumes of naivety to the nth degree. A total cuck without even knowing it, nay, totally appreciative of being a cuck and it appears to be his hope that one day his cardinal sin of being white will be purged by peoples of color, who are his true moral and intellectual betters in every step of the way.

OilcanFloyd , October 11, 2017 at 10:45 am GMT
I agree that the Russia fixation is garbage, but explaining the populist revolt without touching on the major issue of forced demographic and cultural change through legal and illegal immigration is dishonest. Almost everyone who isn't an immigrant or the descendant or relative of a post-65 immigrant is pissed off beyond words about this! How did you miss the popular response to Trump's promises to "deport them all," end birthright citizenship and chain migration, build a wall etc.? Without those promises, he wouldn't have made it to the debates.

I'm also not sure how welfare has been stripped. What programs aren't available?

I'm not sure how to lower black incarceration rates. Having taught in inner-city schools and worked in the same environment in other jobs, I know that crime and dysfunction are through the roof. I can only imagine what those communities would be like if the predators and crooks that are incarcerated were allowed to roam free.

Greg Bacon , Website October 11, 2017 at 11:13 am GMT

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

Is this the same Chris Hedges that wrote those articles in November 2001 that Saddam and al Qaeda were in cahoots, which led to the illegal 2003 invasion?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/part1/wmd.html

Tell me Chris, did you know about the CIA pollution then or just find out lately? And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you also write NYT articles in the Fall of 2002 saying that Saddam had WMD's?

Again, getting your tips from the CIA? Ever hear of 'Operation Mockingbird?"

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT

It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy.

That's cringe-worthy.

Transformation into an oligarchy? Transformation ??? I like Hedges' work, but such fundamental errors really taint what he sez.

The country was never transformed into an oligarchy; it began as one.

In fact, it was organized and functioned as a pluto-oligarchy right out of the box. In case anyone has the dimness to argue with me about it, all that shows is that you don't know JS about how the cornstitution was foisted on the rest of us by the plutoligarchs.

"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for "

-Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782 . ME 2:163

The Elites "Have No Credibility Left"

Guess what, boys and girls Why did they have any to begin with?

Where do people get their faith? WakeTF up, already!! (Yes, I'm losing it. Because even a duumbshit goy like myself can see it. Where are all you bright bulb know-it-alls with all the flippin answers???)

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT

Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth.

It's amazing that here we are, self-anointed geniuses and dumbos alike, puttering around in the 21st century, and someone feels the necessity to point that out. And he's right; it needs to be pointed out. Drummed into our skulls in fact.

Arrrgggghhhh!!! Jefferson again.:

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.

Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs29.html

More deja vu all over again and again. Note the date.:

"This is a story of a powerful and wealthy newspaper having enormous influence And never a day out of more than ten thousand days that this newspaper has not subtly and cunningly distort the news of the world in the interest of special privilege. "

Upton Sinclair, "The crimes of the "Times" : a test of newspaper decency," pamphlet, 1921

https://archive.org/stream/crimesofthetimes00sincrich/crimesofthetimes00sincrich_djvu.txt

Stephen Paul Foster , Website October 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm GMT
"The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace."

Look what they did to Henry Wallace -- Are you kidding me? Wallace was a Stalinist stooge, too treasonous even for his boss, FDR, although the bird brain Eleanor loved him. The guy was so out of touch with reality that after the Potemkin tour of the Gulag that Stalin gave him during WWII he came back raving about how swell it was for the lunch-bucket gang in Siberia. He also encouraged FDR to sell out the Poles to Stalin

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
I find it most fascinating that none of what Hedges says is news, but even UR readers probably think it is. Here's an antidote to that idea.

The following quote is from Eugene Kelly who's excoriating government press releases but the criticism applies as well to the resulting press reports. I found the whole article striking.:

Any boob can deduce, a priori, what type of "news" is contained in this rubbish.

-Eugene A. Kelly, Distorting the News, The American Mercury, March 1935 , pp. 307-318

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury/

I'd like good evidence that the situation has improved since then. Good luck.

polistra , Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT
Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Aug 02, 2018] MAGA was a bait and switch trick: The Trump election campaign rallying cry was to make America great again, but Trump actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

Aug 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Iskiab -> SILVERGEDDON Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:47 Permalink

One thing I don't understand about MAGA. The rallying cry is to make America great again, but the actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

The height of American civilization was the 50s or 60s, but all the actions are to bring the state back to how it was in pre-WW1 or the 1920s. It was the stronger labour controls and high taxes of the 50s that coincided with American dominance. The kind that if someone tried to introduce them today they'd be called socialist.

chippers -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

never mind the 1920s, are you sure he is not actually aiming for 1900 that is , before the trust busting times

inhibi -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

I agree.

" Indeed, socialism sounds good but, when practiced, leads to disaster"

Im sure the author is thinking of Venezuela. But Venezuela, like all of South America, is a cartel infested, militaristic, corrupt country run by a megalomaniac. It's more oligarch than socialist.

He should ask the question: if socialism in a stable society, like say Sweden, means free health care & education, why do people say the US has a low tax rate? Just add that cost right to your taxes, and bim bam boom the US tax rate is probably more than a 100%, because, lets be honest, the average $55k/year for a family of 4 will NEVER EVER cover the $1 million it would take to send your kids to college debt free.

. . . _ _ _ . . . Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

Pretty subtle anti-Trump article.

[Jul 31, 2018] GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?" ..."
"... It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics. ..."
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
"... I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends. ..."
Jul 26, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Hammering on Russia is a losing strategy for progressives as most Americans care about economic issues and it is the Republicans and corporate Democrats who stand to gain, argues Norman Solomon.

Progressives should figure it out. Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more. Echoing the racket of blaming Russia for the USA's severe shortages of democracy plays into the hands of Republicans and corporate Democrats eager to block progressive momentum.

When riding on the "Russiagate" bandwagon, progressives unwittingly aid political forces that are eager to sideline progressive messages. And with the midterm elections now scarcely 100 days away, the torrents of hyperbolic and hypocritical claims about Russia keep diverting attention from why it's so important to defeat Republicans.

As a practical matter, devoting massive amounts of time and resources to focusing on Russia has reduced capacities to effectively challenge the domestic forces that are assaulting democratic possibilities at home -- with such tactics as state voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, and numerous barriers to suppress turnout by people of color.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, some of the Democratic base has been watching and trusting media outlets like MSNBC. An extreme Russia obsession at the network has left precious little airtime to expose and challenge the vast quantity of terrible domestic-policy measures being advanced by the Trump administration every day.

Likewise with the U.S. government's militarism. While some Democrats and Republicans in Congress have put forward legislation to end the active U.S. role in Saudi Arabia's mass-murderous war on Yemen, those efforts face a steeper uphill climb because of MSNBC.

This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?"

Maddow: Most Americans don't care for her obsession.

The FAIR report says: "What seems most likely is MSNBC has found that attacking Russia from the right on matters of foreign policy is the most elegant way to preserve its 'progressive' image while still serving traditional centers of power -- namely, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate sponsors, and their own revolving door of ex-spook and military contractor-funded talking heads."

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

Corporate media have been exerting enormous pressure on Democratic officeholders and candidates to follow a thin blue party line on Russia. Yet polling shows that few Americans see Russia as a threat to their well-being; they're far more concerned about such matters as healthcare, education, housing and overall economic security.

The gap between most Americans and media elites is clear in a nationwide poll taken after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, which was fiercely condemned by the punditocracy. As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States."

Yet most Democratic Party leaders have very different priorities. After investing so much political capital in portraying Putin's government as an implacable enemy of the United States, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are hardly inclined to help thaw relations between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home.

National polling underscores just how out of whack and out of touch the party's top dogs are. Last month, the Gallup organization asked: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" The results were telling. "Situation with Russia" came in at below one-half of 1 percent.

The day after the Helsinki summit, The Washington Post reported: "Citing polls and focus groups that have put Trump and Russia far down the list of voter priorities, Democratic strategists have counseled candidates and party leaders for months to discuss 'kitchen table' issues. Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Prominent corporate Democrats who want to beat back the current progressive groundswell inside their party are leading the charge. Jim Kessler, a senior vice president at the "centrist" Third Way organization, was quick to proclaim after the summit: "It got simple real fast. I've talked to a lot of Democrats that are running in purple and red states and districts who have said that Russia rarely comes up back home, and I think that has now changed."

The Democratic National Committee and other official arms of the party keep sending out Russia-bashing emails to millions of people on a nearly daily basis. At times the goals seem to involve generating and exploiting manic panic.

At the end of last week, as soon as the White House announced plans (later postponed) for Vladimir Putin to meet with President Trump in Washington this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a mass email -- from "RUSSIA ALERT (via DCCC)" -- declaring that the Russian president "must NOT be allowed to set foot in our country." The email strained to conflate a summit with Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We cannot overstate how dangerous this is," the DCCC gravely warned. And: "We need to stop him at all costs."

For Democrats who move in elite circles, running against Putin might seem like a smart election move. But for voters worried about economic insecurity and many other social ills, a political party obsessed with Russia is likely to seem aloof and irrelevant to their lives.

Norman Solomon is the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

"Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics.

Bill Goldman , July 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

If the Democrats don't turn primaries into housecleaning out establishment Dems, they will gain no seats in the midterm election and Trump will retain his Republican majority in both chambers. Putin is an heroic figure to the global electorates. They admire and respect him and even wish he were running on their tickets. Most Americans want nothing to do with mainstream media be it the NYT, WSJ, Fox, Financial Times, Guardian, MSNBC, or CNN. They are mostly viewed as extreme liars and propagandists of the Goebbels variety. The real action is in the alternative media who realize capitalist wars are military-industrial rackets. The play is at RT, Sputnik International, Consortium, The Saker, New Eastern Outlook, and Greenville Post, among others.

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

Not sure where this link would fit but here it is:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/putin-wanted-to-interrogate-me-trump-called-it-an-incredible-offer-why/2018/07/26/7bb11552-90d2-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8100ef8e8fd

Article is strong on self-pity and whine-evidently this neocon had a serious case of the vapors when putin made an "offer" to interview him.

It remains to be seen as to the extent of Mcfaul's cooperation with Browder, who he describes simply as a british businessman.

Skip Scott , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/anti-russia-hysteria-putin-proposed-interrogating-u-s-officials-interfering-in-russian-affairs/5648966

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

It was ok when Hillary said we need a "strong" Russia:
"We want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is , we think, in the interests of the world," Clinton said as Obama's secretary of state in her 2010 interview with the partially Russian government-owned First Channel Television.

Russia is not the USSR, although PMSNBC wants the ignorant to "stay ignorant, my friend.."
Thedems are their own worst enemy.

Lois Gagnon , July 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Rachel Maddow is unfortunately a cult hero in my neck of the Western Mass woods as she makes her permanent home here. It's impossible to penetrate the total brainwashing she has managed to accomplish among the pink hat wearing crowd. It's very dispiriting.

This is a great interview with Russian scholar Prof. Stephen Cohen on the Real News. Maybe it will at least cause a few second thoughts among the not completely zombified.
https://therealnews.com/stories/debunking-the-putin-panic-with-stephen-f-cohen

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is part one of the Cohen interview: https://therealnews.com/stories/the-russia-national-security-crisis-is-a-u-s-creation

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

It's sad when someone like Rachel Maddow uses their social gifts to advance tribalism. In this case, one could say the Russia bashing amounts to racism.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I have a foolproof method for proving which journalists are controlled by the C.I.A. The agency always advocates for war and always claims that JFK was killed by a "lone nut." Rachel Maddow always goes along with war propaganda and supports the Warren Commission every November 22. Therefore, she is a tool for the C.I.A. and cannot be trusted.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 10:24 pm

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/rachel-maddow-jfk-and-easy-money

Reference for above statement. Jim DiEugenio is a real source for the truth of the JFK assassination, not Phil Shenon.

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

JFK is their most blatant "tell". Some can't even say his name without spitting it out.

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Hell hath no fury like a Clinton scorned. The Goldwater Girl just can't over her loss to El Chumpo. It had to be the Russians, not the thoroughly disgusted American people who voted with their feet by not going to the polls at all.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

Yes, but the great Putin Scare is not just the tactic of a political interest group or party

It feeds off of something more fundamental and much more pervasive and dangerous.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/john-chuckman-comment-trump-is-out-maneuvering-his-enemies-on-russia-official-u-s-russophobia-is-epidemic-it-serves-real-interests-trump-does-not-have-leverage-he-cant-even-build-his-silly/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/john-chuckman-comment-putin-orders-air-force-to-prepare-for-a-time-of-war-he-is-wise-to-do-so-america-and-russia-today-a-completely-unnecessary-conflict-thanks-to-obama/

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Thanks to Norman for reminding us of the continued waste of time and effort on the 'russiagate' stories based on allegations and indictments, NOT evidence or possible reasons for such behavior. The USA is fully capable of unfair election practices, helped by the undemocratic system of electoral college, partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, lack of response to voter desires .plus of course Israel being the very large external factor.
Trump's influence on workers, environment, USA's reputation are negative, but blaming Russia when this is in nobody's real interest is hardly the way forward for the Democratic Party.

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Incredible as it seems, the re-election of Donald Trump (assuming he is not deposed or killed before then) is not essential to preserve our democracy. If they bring him down (whatever you may think of him), then we might just as well have a 'Star Chamber' of the Military/Industrial/Intelligence complex choose the President, not that it would matter who that might be.

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

It really is peculiar what's happened to these dimwit Dems. I used to listen to Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow when they were on Air America, and their main political positions were for working people. Now, all they do is partisan politics which they don't seem to understand benefits only the Deep State war party.

Incidentally, State of the Nation website, http://www.sott.net , has an article by Alex Krainer, who wrote the book about Bill Browder's crooked dealings in Russia. His book, which was suppressed by Browder first, i think is "Grand Deception", now available from Red Pill Press for $25 (and must be selling well because it's being reprinted). I wrote this hastily but you'll see it on sott.net. Russia's resurgence under Putin is nothing short of astounding.

Also, there is a video on Youtube, "The Rise of Putin and the Fall of the Russian Jewish Oligarchs", 2 parts. I only saw the beginning showing how the Russian people were given state vouchers that led to the oligarchs buying them up for their own profit and plunging Russians into shock therapy disaster instigated by IMF and other US led monetary agencies including Harvard. This is why it is so incredible how Americans receive political "perception control" when the truth is exactly opposite of what they are being told. At least more people are realizing the lies being told about Russia and Putin.

Drew Hunkins , July 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Maddow, Corn and the rest of them are playing a dangerous game. This weekend there's a guy over at Counterpunch ("The curious case of pro-Trump leftism") who's essentially saying that any progressives or liberal minded folks who concede that Trump's on the righteous path in pursuing a detente of sorts with the Kremlin is a naive fool and isn't to be taken seriously (Thom Hartmann also had a recent piece saying similar things). He sets up a Manichean world in which you either see Trump as the sole embodiment of evil or you're a dupe playing into rightwing hands. I for one, and most others at CN, have been highly critical of 90% of Trump's platform and policies but we're also not dunderheaded dolts, we know when to give the man a modicum of credit for going against the military industrial media complex on at least this one particular issue.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

[Jul 31, 2018] The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility.

Notable quotes:
"... The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. ..."
"... Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). ..."
"... My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. ..."
"... I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the Soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet. ..."
"... Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us. ..."
"... I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that. ..."
"... tealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point. ..."
"... I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats. ..."
"... I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create. ..."
"... The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. ..."
"... As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. ..."
"... And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week. He really should know better. ..."
"... Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." ..."
"... Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China. ..."
"... Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness. ..."
"... It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. ..."
"... "One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates." ..."
"... We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

mike k , July 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. We need a new way of thinking and acting that clearly and directly sees our problems and deals with them. Politics as now understood is a dead end.

Heather S. , July 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). Even the fact that we no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, according to objective studies and noted commentators, including former president Carter, is never commented upon by the miscreant pundits posing as reporters (Hayes, Maddow, Anderson, Cuomo, et al).

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. Under that I will write "Stop the warmongering and phony Russia-bashing. Stop the obstructionism just to damage Trump and exonerate Hillary for losing a poorly-run campaign. I cannot vote for my party this November, and never again until you stop trying to run to the right of the Republicans." Maybe someone reading the ballot will pass the message on to the party leadership and adjustments will at least be considered.

If not, eff 'em. We will be better off sweeping corrupt corporatist cronies of Hillary, like Wasserman-Schultz, out of congress. Then there will be no doubt that the GOP needs to go too, after they use their mandate to totally wreck all before them, and maybe, after a few election cycles, some third party representing the interests of the people rather than Wall Street and the MIC can emerge. Maybe the Greens and the Libertarians can become at least equal players with the corporatist Dems and GOPers.

Somebody new is going to have to preside over the coming economic and societal collapse, and do we want that to be the military, the police and the spooks? That is who will seize power (not just covertly but overtly) if the usually mercenary politicians cannot effect some workable changes.

Broompilot , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Like the Eastern Roman Empire, we could wax and wane for 1000 years with the power we possess. Or, like the Soviet Union, we could suffer an economic collapse over a decade throwing a large percentage of us into poverty.

I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the Soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

"I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured that out yet."

Because we prefer to blow off science and empirically-supported concepts like the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred or changed in form.

We choose to believe that we can endlessly create money, which is a token representing access to available stored energy, out of nothing by issuing debt. Even if the tokens are infinite, on a finite planet the available energy is certainly not.

Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us.

Ma Laoshi , July 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

We are long past the point that this extreme Russophobia has revealed itself to be plain old race hatred. These bouts of hysteria have always been part of the American DNA, and it has been most instructive how fast and seamless the switch has been from Muslims to Russians as the hated. Other. Progressives have solemnly declared themselves to be the good guys without much introspection, so one would expect them to be more susceptible to this bigotry, not less; a more astute observer might have asked "When will the machine turn on me next?", as is of course already happening to Sanders and others.

Yes RussiaGating is a losing strategy, but most of the evidence is that progressives ARE losers. So there's no surprise that they're falling for it, and little to indicate that they deserve any better.

Mike , July 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Never voted for Republican congressmen in the past. Never. This time I will. Democrats are the party of open borders and war. Now they want conflict with Russia over this ginned up fake investigation. They don't represent working people any more. I don't even think they put AMERICANS over illegal immigrants. Why is it wrong that people should be forced to obey immigration law? The laws for citizens are enforced. Never thought I'd vote Republican.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

I can't think of any reason to vote for 99.9% of the Democrats. The more everyone including the media lies about Russia, the more I empathize with them.

I'd guess the business owners that rely on illegals vote for Republicans because they're business owners. We need to eat and they need to make more money than they deserve so neither party is going to stand in the way of it as long as they bribe their politicians and anybody else that feels entitled to free stuff. Democrats won't get rid of ICE soon, if ever.

Nearly all people coming from the South are escaping conditions we've created and are granted asylum when allowed to make their case in court.

I think treating defenseless people terribly to show how mean we can be is wrong.

Freedomlover , July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

Mike,

I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that.

glitch , July 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

If you can't vote third party write in none of the above on a paper ballot. If those aren't options spoil your ballot but turn it in. Not voting doesn't register your disdain, it's easier for them to ignore as apathy. And non votes can be spoofed (stolen). S tealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point.

Diana Lee , July 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats.

Jessika , July 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create.

Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government with leadership of Vladimir Putin has increased the Russians' standard of living, much as was done for Americans under FDR and the New Deal. (Never a word about the 80+ governments the USA/CIA has destabilized or directly overthrown, including Russia's -- oh no! We're exceptional, didn't you know?)

William , July 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Yea, I don't get it. Who the hell do you consider to be the progressives!?! Most people I know who consider themselves to be progressives aren't all wrapped up in the Russian narrative. The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. Clinton herself pretty much backed away from that stamp during the election cycle. Pelosi has quite obviously made it clear she can't even see that side of the fence. Or will she allow it the light of day. In case you missed it, there's a war on progressives going on. And we aren't allowed in that club over there. I follow a hand full of Green Party sites on face hack, and they aren't having the Russia did it by any means. Only those loyal to the liberal democrats have the ignorance to bellow out the talking points and support for Sanders. Yea, those people that wouldn't give him the light of day during that same election cycle when we thought he was a progressive. Easy Bob! Just a hic cup. I hope! Rest peacefully!

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:46 am

As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. They are a sham party. Enough "blue dogs" and GOP-light types always win as Democrats to ensure that no progressive legislation will ever be enacted even when "the party" has 60% majorities in both houses -- as they did in Obama's first term. This is by design. Even the putative Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama functioned as center-right Republicans. Obama said as much. Clinton didn't have to as his policies were all reactionary and brought us to the impending economic collapse.

Zim , July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Looks like the Inauthentic Opposition Party is gearing up for another ass whooping at the polls. The hypocrisy, the cluelessness is astounding.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

From this excellent Norman Solomon's article:

"As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.""

This is very important.

Poll: Most Americans back Trump's call for follow-up summit with Putin | TheHill
http://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/398370-majority-of-americans-support-follow-up-summit-with-putin-poll

Jay , July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week. He really should know better.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

He's been co-opted. He's been told that the blame will be his when the Democratic Party collapses unless he works like hell to keep his sheep in the fold. He's following orders from the DNC which believes that the party's last best hope for a comeback, indeed to stave off annihilation, is to keep bashing Putin and Trump because they have no policies, no credibility and no candidates that the people eagerly want to get behind. They think that lies and war are the winning combination. How did that work out for LBJ, Bushdaddy, and Dubya's organisation?

mrtmbrnmn , July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ever since the Bonnie & Clyde Clinton years, the sclerotic Establishment Dementedcrats have essentially despised their base. They only speak AT them. Never FOR them. Or else they SCOLD them or simply IGNORE them. I hope now they are beginning to FEAR them.

jose , July 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Personally speaking, I am yet to see any serious evidence against allege Russia meddling in US elections. And I am not alone in this regard; For instance, according to counterpunch news, " The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff." According to Mike Whitney, "So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency."

Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." I reckon that any rational person should believe any Russian interference in US electoral system only when presented with real iron-clad prove. Otherwise, it would be foolhardy to accept at face value speculations and innuendo of a foreign interference that purportedly put Trump in the White House.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Well, a couple of issues here. Liberals have not been about economic justice, but about protecting the advantages of the middle class (with an occasional pat on the head to min. wage workers). They've forgotten that we're over 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. Not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US began shipping out jobs in the '80s, ended actual welfare aid in the '90s -- lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What is" justice" for today's jobless poor?

Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

"Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China."

So very right. Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness.

Skip Scott , July 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. If they haven't learned anything from the 2016 election, they are doomed. The DNC has a stranglehold on the Progressive movement, and sheep dog Bernie will once again herd them over to the corporate sponsored candidate in the end. For the midterms, this is what the Democrats have planned:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html

"One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates."

The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point. They just need the right standard bearers to break through the MSM censorship. If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates, the American people would finally see that they really do have a choice for a better future.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo.

It's true that the Green Party platform does include legitimatrely addressing poverty, but perhaps understandably, this fact was swept under the carpet during their 2016 campaign.

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"We haven't seen any progressives in years" Apparently you don't get out much.

hetro , July 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Skip, let's hope we don't have the "hold your nose and vote Democrat" arguments again, with Greens as a vote for Trump (or Putin?). Interestingly, the following poll from FOX news indicates the strum und feces hysteria of the current Democratic machine may not be working out all that well, as 7 in 10 respondents here indicate the political atmosphere in the US at this time is "overheated."

Well, a good deal of that overheat is coming from the "them Russians them Russians" meme continually pushed -- and way over the top for most American people trying to "have a great day!" This poll does indicate Dems are ahead at this point, and in the past several election cycles there has been a regular switch every two years in congressional domination.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/12/fox-news-poll-democrats-ahead-in-election-enthusiasm-interest-and-vote.html

Miranda Keefe , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

"The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point."

The Green Party is a Capitalist party, just the kindest and gentlest Capitalism of any of the Capitalist parties with the most stringent leash on the mad killer dog that is Capitalism and the best safety net for those chased off the cliff by that mad killer dog.

For those of us who see that Capitalism is the problem, that makes voting Green actually a lesser evil choice. If we're going to vote lesser evil, we might as well vote for the most progressive Democrats, or even centrist ones when they're running against fire breathing Randian Republicans who combine that with a Fundamentalist Christian Theocratic agenda (a combination that makes no sense, but who said the GOP makes sense?)

There are few viable Socialist parties in the US anymore. The biggest jettisoned Socialism nearly 50 years ago when it also jettisoned actually being a political party and decided to just be a lobby group within the Democratic Party. The only political heir of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party USA, is now a fringe group whose national conventions are more like a picnic gathering of a few friends. The other organizations that seem more viable are actually Trotskyite groups, and Trotsky was not non-violent at all, which I am.

I am really at a lost what to do as far as the less important task of voting (which is less important than ongoing activism.) I just did my primary ballot. We've got this terrible top two primary, a system that basically kills movement building.

I could have voted for Gigi Ferguson, the independent, who was endorsed by the Green Party, running for senate against NeoLiberal phony environmentalist Maria Cantwell and not the poser, who said he was Green, (parties have no say in candidates' statements of which party they prefer,) but is for privatizing Social Security. But I instead voted for Steve Hoffman, the only avowed Socialist on the ballot in any race, even though his Freedom Socialist Party is Troskyite.

I voted for Stoney Bird, a real Green, running against TPP loving and indefinite detention loving and NeoLiberal anti-Single Payer Rick Larsen for Congress.

My state legislation had two positions. In one I voted for Alex Ramel, an ecological activist, over the preferred establishment choice of Identity Politics candidate (tribal,) Debra Lekanoff. In the other the incumbent, Jeff Morris, another establishment Democrat, ran unopposed. I wrote in "None." (Morris having the same family name as my mother's maiden name didn't affect me at all.)

But it was all an exercise in futility, voting for my conscience as much as possible. I have little doubt that none of my choices, except maybe Ramel, will make it to the top two. Cantwell and Larsen are shoo-ins and they'll surely face the establishment GOP candidate. Thus cutting out all other options in the Fall.

I'll have to write in my choices then. Oh well.

maryam , July 27, 2018 at 4:54 am

Over here in Europe (not UK) and faced with the similar problem of inapt candidates, we sometimes need to vote creatively: so we vote, of course, but choose to make the ballot sheet invalid. this way our voice is noted and we show that we care about the electoral process, while it also makes clear that we do not care much about the cabdidate(s). "we" will vote, but "they" are not very trustworthy.

MBeaver , July 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

Yep. We in Germany had that lesson already. The Green party was one of the most corrupt one when they finally got elected into the government. They also harmed the social systems massively and supported the first offensive war with German support since WW2. Even as opposition they show all the time how much they lie about their true intentions.
They are not an option, because they are hypocrites.

ronnie mitchell , July 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting comment with some good information that I appreciate.\ I live in Bellingham and have filled out my vote for Stony Bird over Rick Larsen whom I truly despise. In fact in previous election cycles I voted for Mike Lapointe instead but he quit running more than a few years ago so the last time I just left it blank and the same goes for the general election vote for Congress.
With the TPP issue Rick Larsen had a townhall meeting at City hall building which was packed and he starts off by saying he hasn't read any of the text of the TPP yet so he was free from answering most questions however he would be checking it out BUT no there would be no further meeting before the voting. In other words he was giving us NOTHING.
I had been part of the protesters outside his fundraising gathering (private and by invitation only) and have been to his local office many times (it's two blocks from where I live) and when myself and a small group were in opposition to building the largest coal terminal in north America at Cherry Point. He would never say he was against it or for it but his fundraisers were backers of the terminal and as each of our group stepped forward to give a statement to his office workers on the issue (Rick was in DC,aka District of Corruption at the time) they just politely listened but neither recorded nor wrote down ANYTHING we said.
The list is long regarding issues on which he is on the opposite side of his constituents wishes and at one gathering was smugly dismissive of requests to represent the votes of the people and not use his super delegate status(not Democratic) to endorse Hillary Clinton because votes in Caucuses were overwhelmingly for Sen. Sanders.
I could go on but it would be too long of a comment but you've given me some good ideas for other choices on the ballot which I needed in particular with Maria Cantwell whom (like fellow neoliberal Patty Murray) I have refused to support in the last two elections.For one of many examples of why, one big one was their stand against importing cheaper medicines from Canada which was word for word straight out of the Big PHarma handbook of talking points, but they DID get quite a lot of flak for it.

I'll look into some of your other suggestions as well before I turn in this ballot, thanks for your comment.

TS , July 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

> Skip Scott

> If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates,

And what makes you think the people who decide wouldn't simply shift the goalposts?

Skip Scott , July 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I'm sure that would be attempted, but with a strong candidate hopefully there'd be enough of a fuss made to get them to back off. I'd also like to dream that some of the more progressive Democrats in congress would see the writing on the wall, and declare themselves Greens. That'd give us a toehold in two branches of government. I know I'm being overly optimistic, but it keeps me away from the whiskey bottle.

Piotr Berman , July 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

I have some misgivings to "eco politics", I am not sure to what extend they apply to Greens, and I am sorry to say, liberals have a knack to pick the worst parts of any progressive idea.

Any goal has to consider trade-off. If we think that emitting carbon to the atmosphere is a major problem, solutions must follow economic calculus. Instead, there was two much stress on "aesthetic solutions" and sometimes scientifically unsound solutions. For example, aesthetic solution is electric vehicles, but hybrid vehicles offer a much smaller cost per amount of carbon that is saved, only when majority of vehicles already gain from regenerative braking and having engines work only in fuel optimal conditions (battery absorbing surplus or augmenting the engine power when the amount of needed power is outside parameters optimal for the internal combustion engine) you may get better cost from electric engines.

Or excluding nuclear power from the "approved solutions". One of my many objections on "Republicans on energy" that they promised a few times to be "rational" but they never delivered.

Philosophically, there should be a fat carbon tax and social policies and subsidies to avoid poor people to loose.

"Hyperrational" progressive approach would be to make a balance: as a society, where do we waste, and where do we spent too little.

1. Military/foreign policy. In aggregate, spendings are huge and nobody is overly proud from the results. An open question if this category of spending should be decreased by 50% or 75%, if we proceed in stages we can reach satisfactory point. Mind you, the largest ticket items are improving nuclear weapons or conventional weapon systems that are needed against very few most sophisticated adversaries who also waste resources. USA, Russia, China, the rest of NATO etc. could agree to some disarmament, Russia and China actually accelerated weapon development in response to "Let America dominate forever" policies, bad news are they they do it for less money.

2. Medical robbery complex. Private insurance and lack of costs control leads to spending on medical care around 18% of GDP rather than 10%. This waste is actually larger than all spending on defense.

3. Infrastructure (large public role) and other capital investments (small public role but essential fiscal policies and "thoughtful protectionism"), we spent too little, can be covered by a part of 1 and 2.

I could continue with "hyperrational progressive manifesto" but I will give one example. Enforcing labor standards may eliminate 90% of illegal employment without walls, concentration camps for aliens etc. Some industries cannot make it without cheap illegal aliens, if they REALLY cannot, workers should work legally in their home countries and resulting imports should be encouraged. If picking carrots is too expensive in USA, we may get them from other countries in Western Hemisphere. On that note, lately there are enough jobs in USA, but native born citizens do not flock to carrot picking, they would rather have jobs that required large capital investments and there are too few of those.

Hyperrational rhetoric can borrow from libertarians: if our allies do not feel secure when they spend X times more than their regional adversaries (especially if we add our own regional expenditures), that says that money alone cannot cure their "secure feeling" deficit and we and they are already spending too much. We do not need to hate or demean anyone to reach such conclusions.

Skip Scott , July 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Piotr-

I am all in favor of rational solutions to our environmental problems. The problem is the entrenched power of the existing exploitive industries. An incredible amount of progress could be made through on-site power generation and energy efficient building design.

I'm am not in favor of current nuclear power plants, but I am not opposed to research, and I've heard good things about recent designs, especially thorium nukes. I am no engineer, but if we had safe nukes, we could go with hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. There are plenty of other creative ideas as well for things such as localized food production.

If we find common purpose with the Libertarians to stop the war machine, the amount of energy and resources and creative potential to bring humanity forward would be tremendous. First we have to stop the war machine, and then we can argue about the extent of the role of government in a free society.

[Jul 31, 2018] GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?" ..."
"... It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin July 26, 2018 • 79 Comments

Hammering on Russia is a losing strategy for progressives as most Americans care about economic issues and it is the Republicans and corporate Democrats who stand to gain, argues Norman Solomon.

Progressives should figure it out. Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more. Echoing the racket of blaming Russia for the USA's severe shortages of democracy plays into the hands of Republicans and corporate Democrats eager to block progressive momentum.

When riding on the "Russiagate" bandwagon, progressives unwittingly aid political forces that are eager to sideline progressive messages. And with the midterm elections now scarcely 100 days away, the torrents of hyperbolic and hypocritical claims about Russia keep diverting attention from why it's so important to defeat Republicans.

As a practical matter, devoting massive amounts of time and resources to focusing on Russia has reduced capacities to effectively challenge the domestic forces that are assaulting democratic possibilities at home -- with such tactics as state voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, and numerous barriers to suppress turnout by people of color.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, some of the Democratic base has been watching and trusting media outlets like MSNBC. An extreme Russia obsession at the network has left precious little airtime to expose and challenge the vast quantity of terrible domestic-policy measures being advanced by the Trump administration every day.

Likewise with the U.S. government's militarism. While some Democrats and Republicans in Congress have put forward legislation to end the active U.S. role in Saudi Arabia's mass-murderous war on Yemen, those efforts face a steeper uphill climb because of MSNBC.

This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?"

Maddow: Most Americans don't care for her obsession.

The FAIR report says: "What seems most likely is MSNBC has found that attacking Russia from the right on matters of foreign policy is the most elegant way to preserve its 'progressive' image while still serving traditional centers of power -- namely, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate sponsors, and their own revolving door of ex-spook and military contractor-funded talking heads."

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

Corporate media have been exerting enormous pressure on Democratic officeholders and candidates to follow a thin blue party line on Russia. Yet polling shows that few Americans see Russia as a threat to their well-being; they're far more concerned about such matters as healthcare, education, housing and overall economic security.

The gap between most Americans and media elites is clear in a nationwide poll taken after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, which was fiercely condemned by the punditocracy. As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States."

Yet most Democratic Party leaders have very different priorities. After investing so much political capital in portraying Putin's government as an implacable enemy of the United States, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are hardly inclined to help thaw relations between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home.

National polling underscores just how out of whack and out of touch the party's top dogs are. Last month, the Gallup organization asked: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" The results were telling. "Situation with Russia" came in at below one-half of 1 percent.

The day after the Helsinki summit, The Washington Post reported: "Citing polls and focus groups that have put Trump and Russia far down the list of voter priorities, Democratic strategists have counseled candidates and party leaders for months to discuss 'kitchen table' issues. Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Prominent corporate Democrats who want to beat back the current progressive groundswell inside their party are leading the charge. Jim Kessler, a senior vice president at the "centrist" Third Way organization, was quick to proclaim after the summit: "It got simple real fast. I've talked to a lot of Democrats that are running in purple and red states and districts who have said that Russia rarely comes up back home, and I think that has now changed."

The Democratic National Committee and other official arms of the party keep sending out Russia-bashing emails to millions of people on a nearly daily basis. At times the goals seem to involve generating and exploiting manic panic.

At the end of last week, as soon as the White House announced plans (later postponed) for Vladimir Putin to meet with President Trump in Washington this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a mass email -- from "RUSSIA ALERT (via DCCC)" -- declaring that the Russian president "must NOT be allowed to set foot in our country." The email strained to conflate a summit with Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We cannot overstate how dangerous this is," the DCCC gravely warned. And: "We need to stop him at all costs."

For Democrats who move in elite circles, running against Putin might seem like a smart election move. But for voters worried about economic insecurity and many other social ills, a political party obsessed with Russia is likely to seem aloof and irrelevant to their lives.

Norman Solomon is the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

"Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics.

Bill Goldman , July 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

If the Democrats don't turn primaries into housecleaning out establishment Dems, they will gain no seats in the midterm election and Trump will retain his Republican majority in both chambers. Putin is an heroic figure to the global electorates. They admire and respect him and even wish he were running on their tickets. Most Americans want nothing to do with mainstream media be it the NYT, WSJ, Fox, Financial Times, Guardian, MSNBC, or CNN. They are mostly viewed as extreme liars and propagandists of the Goebbels variety. The real action is in the alternative media who realize capitalist wars are military-industrial rackets. The play is at RT, Sputnik International, Consortium, The Saker, New Eastern Outlook, and Greenville Post, among others.

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

Not sure where this link would fit but here it is:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/putin-wanted-to-interrogate-me-trump-called-it-an-incredible-offer-why/2018/07/26/7bb11552-90d2-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8100ef8e8fd

Article is strong on self-pity and whine-evidently this neocon had a serious case of the vapors when putin made an "offer" to interview him.

It remains to be seen as to the extent of Mcfaul's cooperation with Browder, who he describes simply as a british businessman.

Skip Scott , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/anti-russia-hysteria-putin-proposed-interrogating-u-s-officials-interfering-in-russian-affairs/5648966

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

It was ok when Hillary said we need a "strong" Russia:
"We want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is , we think, in the interests of the world," Clinton said as Obama's secretary of state in her 2010 interview with the partially Russian government-owned First Channel Television.

Russia is not the USSR, although PMSNBC wants the ignorant to "stay ignorant, my friend.."
Thedems are their own worst enemy.

Lois Gagnon , July 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Rachel Maddow is unfortunately a cult hero in my neck of the Western Mass woods as she makes her permanent home here. It's impossible to penetrate the total brainwashing she has managed to accomplish among the pink hat wearing crowd. It's very dispiriting.

This is a great interview with Russian scholar Prof. Stephen Cohen on the Real News. Maybe it will at least cause a few second thoughts among the not completely zombified.
https://therealnews.com/stories/debunking-the-putin-panic-with-stephen-f-cohen

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is part one of the Cohen interview:

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-russia-national-security-crisis-is-a-u-s-creation

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

It's sad when someone like Rachel Maddow uses their social gifts to advance tribalism. In this case, one could say the Russia bashing amounts to racism.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I have a foolproof method for proving which journalists are controlled by the C.I.A. The agency always advocates for war and always claims that JFK was killed by a "lone nut." Rachel Maddow always goes along with war propaganda and supports the Warren Commission every November 22. Therefore, she is a tool for the C.I.A. and cannot be trusted.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 10:24 pm

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/rachel-maddow-jfk-and-easy-money

Reference for above statement. Jim DiEugenio is a real source for the truth of the JFK assassination, not Phil Shenon.

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

JFK is their most blatant "tell". Some can't even say his name without spitting it out.

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Hell hath no fury like a Clinton scorned. The Goldwater Girl just can't over her loss to El Chumpo. It had to be the Russians, not the thoroughly disgusted American people who voted with their feet by not going to the polls at all.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

Yes, but the great Putin Scare is not just the tactic of a political interest group or party

It feeds off of something more fundamental and much more pervasive and dangerous.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/john-chuckman-comment-trump-is-out-maneuvering-his-enemies-on-russia-official-u-s-russophobia-is-epidemic-it-serves-real-interests-trump-does-not-have-leverage-he-cant-even-build-his-silly/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/john-chuckman-comment-putin-orders-air-force-to-prepare-for-a-time-of-war-he-is-wise-to-do-so-america-and-russia-today-a-completely-unnecessary-conflict-thanks-to-obama/

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Thanks to Norman for reminding us of the continued waste of time and effort on the 'russiagate' stories based on allegations and indictments, NOT evidence or possible reasons for such behavior. The USA is fully capable of unfair election practices, helped by the undemocratic system of electoral college, partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, lack of response to voter desires .plus of course Israel being the very large external factor.
Trump's influence on workers, environment, USA's reputation are negative, but blaming Russia when this is in nobody's real interest is hardly the way forward for the Democratic Party.

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Incredible as it seems, the re-election of Donald Trump (assuming he is not deposed or killed before then) is not essential to preserve our democracy. If they bring him down (whatever you may think of him), then we might just as well have a 'Star Chamber' of the Military/Industrial/Intelligence complex choose the President, not that it would matter who that might be.

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

now essential sorry. I wish there were a way to edit comments.

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

It really is peculiar what's happened to these dimwit Dems. I used to listen to Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow when they were on Air America, and their main political positions were for working people. Now, all they do is partisan politics which they don't seem to understand benefits only the Deep State war party.

Incidentally, State of the Nation website, http://www.sott.net , has an article by Alex Krainer, who wrote the book about Bill Browder's crooked dealings in Russia. His book, which was suppressed by Browder first, i think is "Grand Deception", now available from Red Pill Press for $25 (and must be selling well because it's being reprinted). I wrote this hastily but you'll see it on sott.net. Russia's resurgence under Putin is nothing short of astounding.

Also, there is a video on Youtube, "The Rise of Putin and the Fall of the Russian Jewish Oligarchs", 2 parts. I only saw the beginning showing how the Russian people were given state vouchers that led to the oligarchs buying them up for their own profit and plunging Russians into shock therapy disaster instigated by IMF and other US led monetary agencies including Harvard. This is why it is so incredible how Americans receive political "perception control" when the truth is exactly opposite of what they are being told. At least more people are realizing the lies being told about Russia and Putin.

Drew Hunkins , July 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Maddow, Corn and the rest of them are playing a dangerous game. This weekend there's a guy over at Counterpunch ("The curious case of pro-Trump leftism") who's essentially saying that any progressives or liberal minded folks who concede that Trump's on the righteous path in pursuing a detente of sorts with the Kremlin is a naive fool and isn't to be taken seriously (Thom Hartmann also had a recent piece saying similar things). He sets up a Manichean world in which you either see Trump as the sole embodiment of evil or you're a dupe playing into rightwing hands. I for one, and most others at CN, have been highly critical of 90% of Trump's platform and policies but we're also not dunderheaded dolts, we know when to give the man a modicum of credit for going against the military industrial media complex on at least this one particular issue.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach–you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

marcyincny , July 29, 2018 at 10:40 am

I have no idea who Hartmann is so I did a search and found him described as: "Thomas Carl Hartmann is an American radio personality, author, former psychotherapist, businessman, and progressive political commentator." That's a of hats! Jack of all trades, master of none?

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Yes, good points Drew. I view Maddow as a liberal Rush Limbaugh, trying to win a Leni Riefenstahl award from the DNC, and having to be satisfied with her purported $9M/yr salary (which definitely DOES buy a LOT of co-opting).

In support of your argument, I would add that ultimately we should be voting for a candidate based on his/her POLICIES, as evidenced by their prior political voting record and whatever political actions they've taken, NOT based on what they SAY they believe -- that's 1st period high school civics as I recall. It's too easy for candidates to say this or that during a campaign. Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction. Even Nixon, whose presidency I disliked greatly, did a good thing by 'going to China' -- I don't recall anybody on the liberal side at that time saying he was Mao's dupe or foolishness like that. Did Nixon do it as a cynical ploy to draw attention away from other political problems, and did he previously help aggravate/perpetuate a lot of the conflict w/China? Sure, but the act of rapprochement w/China was in-and-of-itself desirable and laudable in that it moved the world a major step AWAY from possible nuclear war. And full-scale nuclear war trumps (no pun intended) virtually all other problems, with the possible exception of climate change, so a POTUS should devote extra energy to that task. Ideally, they should be ramping down the militarism and nationalism, but unfortunately those are campaign tactics that are too easy for either major party to set aside (with 1/2 the fault lying in the electorate who too often endorses those 'isms).

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Correction: last sentence, the "set aside" should've been "use".

michael , July 28, 2018 at 11:47 am

Nixon opened the door to China but the Clintons gave China, a communist country, permanent favored nation status, relaxed technology restrictions, and set up the path to offshoring jobs. These things in combination helped build up China's economy to what it is today, a great return on the illegal $366,000 given by Communist China to the DNC, which (after the Election) was paid back. Russiagate is probably modeled on Chinagate, except there were no consequences for the Clintons.
https://spectator.org/chinagate-and-the-clintons/

Eddie , July 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Yes, that's what finally (after being shocked by his Balkans bombings) turned me away from the POTUS Dems was when Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and similar agreements like the one you mentioned, for his short-term political gain. (ie; many middle class consumers could buy cheap goods, which distracted from the shuttering of major industries that couldn't compete with a Chinese wage of $3.57/hr and no pollution laws, etc). Nowadays, for instance,TRY to find a normally-priced shoe or shirt made in the USA (sure, you might find an exotic, botique-made version, but no high-volume/mass-produced versions for the middle-class).

Drew Hunkins , July 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm

"Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction."

Excellent!

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Nixon, by the way, helped bring in many of the important environmental laws Ralph Nader did so much to bring to prominence and Trump is successfully destroying.

Skip Scott , July 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

et tu, Thom Hartmann? God help us.

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

Is not Maddow well compensated for her anti-Russian stance that is so valued by the Military-Industrial Complex? She is a profiteer.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-27/paul-craig-roberts-exposes-all-pervasive-military-security-complex

Dario Zuddu , July 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Nothing new by now about ultra-corrupted MSM serving the interests of the war establishment.
Yet, the article falls back to usual sociological errors while overlooking important subtleties.
True, Russia certainly does not top Americans' priorities – how could it in the current situation? – but these much trumpeted surveys are hardly the compelling evidence of their views on US relations with Moscow (and how Trump plays in it) that the piece, and other equally imprudent media coverage, would have you believe.
Recent history should teach us extreme caution about surveys' reliability, but let the facts speak.
The cited "nationwide poll" actually interviewed a very modest sample of 1,001 citizens, which might not be small by surveys' standards, but, well, that only strengthens the point that surveys must be taken cum grano salis.
Look at American readers' approving, vitriolic comments on much of the same MSM Russo-phobic coverage : they number in the thousands, day by day, and far exceed the sample of the survey. Of course they probably mostly represent the view of Democrats, but you should remember that in terms of registered voters, democrats have frequently outweighed republicans.
In any event, the popular base of the mentioned national poll is way too negligible to draw the very meaningful conclusion of the article.
This is a structural limit of sociological analysis that we must take an effort to regard as definitive.
But the claim that so many Americans would have markedly different view from the establishment on Russia-Trump issues is also very dubious, to say the least, in another respect.
It does not take into account the possibility, quite palpable if you scratch the surface, that many liberal democrats still hope that the so called Russiagate might bring Trump down – through a possible impeachment or compelled resignation.
Now, that is not only unlikely, but it would also be a very wrong way to go for any future viable and stable political success of the Democratic Party. Such an outcome would only reinforce the view of Trump voters that the political establishment in D.C. does not respect the popular will and would do anything to undermine it.
Trump needs to be beaten at the voting polls.
Yet, plenty of liberal democrat voters still seem to think otherwise.

Jeff Harrison , July 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Re-reading this today for some reason really popped a few things up for me. The first one right in my face was: "Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Can someone explain to me what the hell "foreign soil" has to do with the price of tea in China? Trump has given plenty of pressers "on foreign soil" but that phrase nor anything like it is ever mentioned. Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent Talk about a lack of respect and blatant bias. He stood side by side with the democratically elected President of the Russian Federation who, by the way, won his election by a clear majority of the vote unlike Mr. Trump who would have lost the election had it been held in Russia. One wonders what would have happened had WaPo and the NYT said something like Russian President Gorbachev stood side by side with the former head of the KGB I mean CIA without ever saying President Bush?

It's also blindingly obvious how screwed we are. We really only have one political party in the US – the US Corporate Party. There is, indeed, very little reason to vote as a recent survey pointed out Congressional votes correspond to the people's preferences as determined by polling only about 5% of the time.

Gregory Herr , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits.

FAIR is correct to point to the "traditional centers of power" that MSNBC services, but the farcical "coverage" of Russiagate inanity certainly doesn't "preserve" a "progressive image" and is not "elegant" in any way.

The war on Yemen and the weapons contracting with the Saudi terrorist regime was already "steroidal" during Obama's Administration. In October 2016, warplanes bombed a community hall in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, where mourners had gathered for a funeral, killing at least 140 people and wounding hundreds. We should note that the U.S. provided intelligence assistance in identifying targets and mid-air refueling for Saudi aircraft and helped blockade the ports of Yemen during Obama's tenure.

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:13 am

"Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits."
Oh, they do. Look how pro-war and pro-CIA the so-called progressives had become overnight. It is the size of a paycheck that makes the "progressives" so articulate. Maddow is an example numero One.

David H. , July 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

Yes, but author neglects to mention that "Russiagate" is a lie, i.e., it is not true.

Maybe that matters too?

mike k , July 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. We need a new way of thinking and acting that clearly and directly sees our problems and deals with them. Politics as now understood is a dead end.

Heather S. , July 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). Even the fact that we no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, according to objective studies and noted commentators, including former president Carter, is never commented upon by the miscreant pundits posing as reporters (Hayes, Maddow, Anderson, Cuomo, et al).

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. Under that I will write "Stop the warmongering and phony Russia-bashing. Stop the obstructionism just to damage Trump and exonerate Hillary for losing a poorly-run campaign. I cannot vote for my party this November, and never again until you stop trying to run to the right of the Republicans." Maybe someone reading the ballot will pass the message on to the party leadership and adjustments will at least be considered.

If not, eff 'em. We will be better off sweeping corrupt corporatist cronies of Hillary, like Wasserman-Schultz, out of congress. Then there will be no doubt that the GOP needs to go too, after they use their mandate to totally wreck all before them, and maybe, after a few election cycles, some third party representing the interests of the people rather than Wall Street and the MIC can emerge. Maybe the Greens and the Libertarians can become at least equal players with the corporatist Dems and GOPers.

Somebody new is going to have to preside over the coming economic and societal collapse, and do we want that to be the military, the police and the spooks? That is who will seize power (not just covertly but overtly) if the usually mercenary politicians cannot effect some workable changes.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 8:52 am

Right on except "Maybe adjustments will at least be considered."

Not a chance but you might feel better.

If you took it to your local DNC office, told them in person and put out a video of it I'm pretty sure you'd feel a hundred times better. I'd have to get drunk first and it would be a totally different video.

Broompilot , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Like the Eastern Roman Empire, we could wax and wane for 1000 years with the power we possess. Or, like the Soviet Union, we could suffer an economic collapse over a decade throwing a large percentage of us into poverty. I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

"I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured that out yet."

Because we prefer to blow off science and empirically-supported concepts like the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred or changed in form.

We choose to believe that we can endlessly create money, which is a token representing access to available stored energy, out of nothing by issuing debt. Even if the tokens are infinite, on a finite planet the available energy is certainly not.

Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us.

Broompilot , July 28, 2018 at 5:35 am

dayum – I was counting on Zeno. – lol

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html
For several years, a family of foreign nationals (and not only Wassermannn-Schultz) has been surfing the congressional computers while having no security clearance.
Then there was a criminal negligence by H. Clinton who made her emails, filled with the highest-level classified information, available to Chinese (not the Russians). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html
Both Debbie and Hillary should be in federal prison already. Clinton used to be fond of droning Assange for divulging the criminal and illegal activities of the state. What Debbie and Hillary did has been much more dangerous to the US national security.

Ma Laoshi , July 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

We are long past the point that this extreme Russophobia has revealed itself to be plain old race hatred. These bouts of hysteria have always been part of the American DNA, and it has been most instructive how fast and seamless the switch has been from Muslims to Russians as the hated Other. Progressives have solemnly declared themselves to be the good guys without much introspection, so one would expect them to be more susceptible to this bigotry, not less; a more astute observer might have asked "When will the machine turn on me next?", as is of course already happening to Sanders and others.

Yes RussiaGating is a losing strategy, but most of the evidence is that progressives ARE losers. So there's no surprise that they're falling for it, and little to indicate that they deserve any better.

Mike , July 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Never voted for Republican congressmen in the past. Never. This time I will. Democrats are the party of open borders and war. Now they want conflict with Russia over this ginned up fake investigation. They don't represent working people any more. I don't even think they put AMERICANS over illegal immigrants. Why is it wrong that people should be forced to obey immigration law? The laws for citizens are enforced. Never thought I'd vote Republican.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

I can't think of any reason to vote for 99.9% of the Democrats. The more everyone including the media lies about Russia, the more I empathize with them.

I'd guess the business owners that rely on illegals vote for Republicans because they're business owners. We need to eat and they need to make more money than they deserve so neither party is going to stand in the way of it as long as they bribe their politicians and anybody else that feels entitled to free stuff. Democrats won't get rid of ICE soon, if ever.

Nearly all people coming from the South are escaping conditions we've created and are granted asylum when allowed to make their case in court.

I think treating defenseless people terribly to show how mean we can be is wrong.

Freedomlover , July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

Mike,
I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that.

glitch , July 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

If you can't vote third party write in none of the above on a paper ballot. If those aren't options spoil your ballot but turn it in.
Not voting doesn't register your disdain, it's easier for them to ignore as apathy.
And non votes can be spoofed (stolen).
Stealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point.

Diana Lee , July 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats.

Jessika , July 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create. Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government with leadership of Vladimir Putin has increased the Russians' standard of living, much as was done for Americans under FDR and the New Deal. (Never a word about the 80+ governments the USA/CIA has destabilized or directly overthrown, including Russia's -- oh no! We're exceptional, didn't you know?)

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm

32: 17,Putin admits to collusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwxqOoIyWm0&feature=youtu.be&t=32m17s

William , July 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Yea, I don't get it. Who the hell do you consider to be the progressives!?! Most people I know who consider themselves to be progressives aren't all wrapped up in the Russian narrative. The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. Clinton herself pretty much backed away from that stamp during the election cycle. Pelosi has quite obviously made it clear she can't even see that side of the fence. Or will she allow it the light of day. In case you missed it, there's a war on progressives going on. And we aren't allowed in that club over there. I follow a hand full of Green Party sites on face hack, and they aren't having the Russia did it by any means. Only those loyal to the liberal democrats have the ignorance to bellow out the talking points and support for Sanders. Yea, those people that wouldn't give him the light of day during that same election cycle when we thought he was a progressive. Easy Bob! Just a hic cup. I hope! Rest peacefully!

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:46 am

As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. They are a sham party. Enough "blue dogs" and GOP-light types always win as Democrats to ensure that no progressive legislation will ever be enacted even when "the party" has 60% majorities in both houses–as they did in Obama's first term. This is by design. Even the putative Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama functioned as center-right Republicans. Obama said as much. Clinton didn't have to as his policies were all reactionary and brought us to the impending economic collapse.

Zim , July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Looks like the Inauthentic Opposition Party is gearing up for another ass whooping at the polls. The hypocrisy, the cluelessness is astounding.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

From this excellent Norman Solomon's article:

"As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.""

This is very important.

A , July 26, 2018 at 10:59 pm

the survey also concluded 91% of the us population believes in in UFOs

JMG , July 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

This is the poll (nothing about UFOs, of course):

Poll: Most Americans back Trump's call for follow-up summit with Putin | TheHill
http://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/398370-majority-of-americans-support-follow-up-summit-with-putin-poll

Jay , July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week.

He really should know better.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

He's been co-opted. He's been told that the blame will be his when the Democratic Party collapses unless he works like hell to keep his sheep in the fold. He's following orders from the DNC which believes that the party's last best hope for a comeback, indeed to stave off annihilation, is to keep bashing Putin and Trump because they have no policies, no credibility and no candidates that the people eagerly want to get behind. They think that lies and war are the winning combination. How did that work out for LBJ, Bushdaddy, and Dubya's organisation?

mrtmbrnmn , July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ever since the Bonnie & Clyde Clinton years, the sclerotic Establishment Dementedcrats have essentially despised their base. They only speak AT them. Never FOR them. Or else they SCOLD them or simply IGNORE them. I hope now they are beginning to FEAR them.

mike , July 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Putin isn't running

jose , July 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Personally speaking, I am yet to see any serious evidence against allege Russia meddling in US elections. And I am not alone in this regard; For instance, according to counterpunch news, " The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff." According to Mike Whitney, "So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency." Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." I reckon that any rational person should believe any Russian interference in US electoral system only when presented with real iron-clad prove. Otherwise, it would be foolhardy to accept at face value speculations and innuendo of a foreign interference that purportedly put Trump in the White House.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Well, a couple of issues here. Liberals have not been about economic justice, but about protecting the advantages of the middle class (with an occasional pat on the head to min. wage workers).They've forgotten that we're over 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. Not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US began shipping out jobs in the '80s, ended actual welfare aid in the '90s -- lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What is" justice" for today's jobless poor?

Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

"Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China."

So very right. Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness.

Pablo Diablo , July 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm

BE AFRAID. BE REAL AFRAID. THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Boo

A , July 26, 2018 at 11:06 pm

the right wing people are already here. we do not need fear Russians. We have enough of our own home grown people. I do not fear them unless they have their guns in their pockets.

Al Pinto , July 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

For argument sake, let's say they are coming and will arrive soon

Maybe we can finally have government provided health care, housing, eduction for everyone, like they have now in Russia. Maybe we can retire at age 55 (women), or 60 (men) with government pension. Sounds a lot better than the current circumstances in the US

What are you afraid of?

Skip Scott , July 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. If they haven't learned anything from the 2016 election, they are doomed. The DNC has a stranglehold on the Progressive movement, and sheep dog Bernie will once again herd them over to the corporate sponsored candidate in the end.

For the midterms, this is what the Democrats have planned:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html

"One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates."

The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point. They just need the right standard bearers to break through the MSM censorship. If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates, the American people would finally see that they really do have a choice for a better future.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo.

It's true that the Green Party platform does include legitimatrely addressing poverty, but perhaps understandably, this fact was swept under the carpet during their 2016 campaign.

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"We haven't seen any progressives in years" Apparently you don't get out much.

hetro , July 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Skip, let's hope we don't have the "hold your nose and vote Democrat" arguments again, with Greens as a vote for Trump (or Putin?). Interestingly, the following poll from FOX news indicates the strum und feces hysteria of the current Democratic machine may not be working out all that well, as 7 in 10 respondents here indicate the political atmosphere in the US at this time is "overheated."

Well, a good deal of that overheat is coming from the "them Russians them Russians" meme continually pushed–and way over the top for most American people trying to "have a great day!" This poll does indicate Dems are ahead at this point, and in the past several election cycles there has been a regular switch every two years in congressional domination.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/12/fox-news-poll-democrats-ahead-in-election-enthusiasm-interest-and-vote.html

Miranda Keefe , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

"The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point."

The Green Party is a Capitalist party, just the kindest and gentlest Capitalism of any of the Capitalist parties with the most stringent leash on the mad killer dog that is Capitalism and the best safety net for those chased off the cliff by that mad killer dog.

For those of us who see that Capitalism is the problem, that makes voting Green actually a lesser evil choice. If we're going to vote lesser evil, we might as well vote for the most progressive Democrats, or even centrist ones when they're running against fire breathing Randian Republicans who combine that with a Fundamentalist Christian Theocratic agenda (a combination that makes no sense, but who said the GOP makes sense?)

There are few viable Socialist parties in the US anymore. The biggest jettisoned Socialism nearly 50 years ago when it also jettisoned actually being a political party and decided to just be a lobby group within the Democratic Party. The only political heir of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party USA, is now a fringe group whose national conventions are more like a picnic gathering of a few friends. The other organizations that seem more viable are actually Trotskyite groups, and Trotsky was not non-violent at all, which I am.

I am really at a lost what to do as far as the less important task of voting (which is less important than ongoing activism.) I just did my primary ballot. We've got this terrible top two primary, a system that basically kills movement building.

I could have voted for Gigi Ferguson, the independent, who was endorsed by the Green Party, running for senate against NeoLiberal phony environmentalist Maria Cantwell and not the poser, who said he was Green, (parties have no say in candidates' statements of which party they prefer,) but is for privatizing Social Security. But I instead voted for Steve Hoffman, the only avowed Socialist on the ballot in any race, even though his Freedom Socialist Party is Troskyite.

I voted for Stoney Bird, a real Green, running against TPP loving and indefinite detention loving and NeoLiberal anti-Single Payer Rick Larsen for Congress.

My state legislation had two positions. In one I voted for Alex Ramel, an ecological activist, over the preferred establishment choice of Identity Politics candidate (tribal,) Debra Lekanoff. In the other the incumbent, Jeff Morris, another establishment Democrat, ran unopposed. I wrote in "None." (Morris having the same family name as my mother's maiden name didn't affect me at all.)

But it was all an exercise in futility, voting for my conscience as much as possible. I have little doubt that none of my choices, except maybe Ramel, will make it to the top two. Cantwell and Larsen are shoo-ins and they'll surely face the establishment GOP candidate. Thus cutting out all other options in the Fall.

I'll have to write in my choices then. Oh well.

maryam , July 27, 2018 at 4:54 am

Over here in Europe (not UK) and faced with the similar problem of inapt candidates, we sometimes need to vote creatively: so we vote, of course, but choose to make the ballot sheet invalid. this way our voice is noted and we show that we care about the electoral process, while it also makes clear that we do not care much about the cabdidate(s). "we" will vote, but "they" are not very trustworthy.

MBeaver , July 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

Yep. We in Germany had that lesson already. The Green party was one of the most corrupt one when they finally got elected into the government.
They also harmed the social systems massively and supported the first offensive war with German support since WW2.
Even as opposition they show all the time how much they lie about their true intentions.
They are not an option, because they are hypocrites.

ronnie mitchell , July 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting comment with some good information that I appreciate.\ I live in Bellingham and have filled out my vote for Stony Bird over Rick Larsen whom I truly despise. In fact in previous election cycles I voted for Mike Lapointe instead but he quit running more than a few years ago so the last time I just left it blank and the same goes for the general election vote for Congress.
With the TPP issue Rick Larsen had a townhall meeting at City hall building which was packed and he starts off by saying he hasn't read any of the text of the TPP yet so he was free from answering most questions however he would be checking it out BUT no there would be no further meeting before the voting. In other words he was giving us NOTHING.
I had been part of the protest