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Two Party System as Polyarchy and anti-Democratic mechanisms of "first past the post" elections

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

The USA is a single party state -- it is governed by the Neoliberal party with two factions "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals" (Republican Party). Existence of  "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" parties in the USA is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Demexit Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Anti Trump Hysteria Steele dossier
US Presidential Elections of 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections) fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Donald Trump Brennan elections machinations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Bait and Switch
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Populism The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Strzok-gate Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing neoliberal politicians in US elections Myth about intelligent voter November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization1 American Polyarchy is not Democracy Mechanisms of rigging elections Blowback against neoliberal globalization      
Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking US anti war movement Libertarian Philosophy Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash"  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
  Electoral College US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

“The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”

Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens  

 

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible if three letter agencies like CIA exist?  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule.

Presedent Truman probably did not suspect that by sighing  the National Security Act of 1947  he signed a death sentence tothe form of democracy that the USA was having up to 1950th.

As part of the U.S. Cold War strategy, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and reorganized military forces by merging the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) and creating the U.S. Air Force. The act also created the CIA and the National Security Council.[135] In 1952, Truman secretly consolidated and empowered the cryptologic elements of the United States by creating the National Security Agency (NSA).

Since JFK assassination we can talk about "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form on government which  become entrenched on on federal level (the related term if the "deep state"), while remnants of democracy are delegated to state and local levels.  Growth of power of intelligence agencies inevitably makes them political players. Nowhere it was more clear then in 2016 Presendential electio, when by derailing Sanders FBI essenatially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other againces (and first of all CIA Brennan) lauched a color regoluation againast Trump trying to deposer him vi Special Procecutor mechnism.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule along with enforcing two party system on the population also is instrumental with establishing slightly camouflaged one party state with two "Pepsi" vs. "Coca Cola"  parties which serve as a spoilers for those to the left or the right of the center, subverting and emasculating new social movements into their (currently neoliberal) stagnant and elite oriented framework. The effect is so profound that it created the impression that "first after the post" can't be used in any country pretending to be a democracy? 

There are also addition questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned changeling covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative. Is role of money in elections forces senators to serve effectively as representatives of corporations which reside in the states, not the states themselves  ? 
  3. Is official lobbing including lobbying by organization which are clearly supported by foright  state such as AIPAC ?
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime?

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washinton put it:

 "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796

Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting to the lesser  evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  In latest Presidential election it was intelligence agencies who were kingmakers, derailing Sanders. But it still exists on local level below the level of state, although even there financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level it is bankers who control the politics as they are interested in loans for public projects.

In other word decomicatinc elements in the neoliberal political system are just facade for the  dictatorship of financial oligarchy. And pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):

But first, full disclosure: I don’t have much faith in the so-called “democratic process”. Just look at the EU and tell me: do you really believe that the people in power represent the will and interests of the people who, supposedly, elected them? There are exceptions, of course, Switzerland is probably one of the comparatively most democratic countries out there, but mostly what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent. As for the US, for decades now every time the people voted for “A” they always got “non-A” as a result. It is almost comical.

So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power. Putting it differently, the “democratic process” is the device by which the real and hidden rulers of the world (or “worldwide behind the scenes powers“, to use the expression of Ivan Il’in), legitimize their power and prevent their overthrow. This is the same technique followed by used car dealerships when they place tens, sometimes, hundreds of US flags on their lots before a car sale: it’s just a basic trick to induce the ‘correct’, patriotic, state of mind.

This is also the reason why there are elections every 4 years in the US: the more illegitimate and despotic any putatively “democratic” regime is, the more often it will organize elections to, so to speak, “increase the dose” of patriotically-induced stupor in its people and give them the illusion that the regime is legitimate, their opinion matters and all is well.

Finally, when needed, slogans such as “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” are used to put to sleep those who might have doubts. In terms of real people power “democracies” are probably the least truly democratic regimes imaginable simply because they are by far the most capable of hiding who really runs the country and where their real centers of power are. Do I really need to add that the worst kind of “democracy” is the capitalist one? You disagree? Then why do you think that Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly declared “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!“? Nowhere is the concentration of capital easier to achieve than in a society which makes it possible for the real ruling class to hide its power behind a screen of electoral farces.

As Sheldon  Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance  instead of democracy.  The neoliberal elite firmly guar the levers of power and  try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor  threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what  happened to Trump.

Democracy for whom?

Another important question is "democracy for whom?". There is always a large part of society (say bottom 80% or even 90%)  living under the dictatorship (for lower 50% this is even worse -- neo-slavery as  "debt slaves" or "wage slaves"), struggling to meet ends and thus excluded from the democratic process. Moreover,  most of the US population spend their life under authoritarian rule: those who are parts of the military, who work in large corporation, or government. How they can behave in a democratic way if they are conditioned and adapted to the strict authoritarian rule at work ?  

Another large question: can  a typical American understand whom he/she is voting for in the environment of pretty sophisticated propaganda and systematic betrayal of election promises (in this repect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Add to this completely brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and  for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example,  despicable warmonger, war criminal(with destruction of Libya and  Syria under  the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton was so detached from reality that it hurts. Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans trust Congress)  all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.

Also there is no rules that the candidate can not betray all his election time promises. Any level of betrayal is OK, as parties in reality do not control the  behaviour of their leaders as long as they remain on neoliberal platform,  and they and stay in office. Recent example of Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump are clear demonstration of the gap between election platform and actual governance.

In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience  who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician, while he clearly is not -- he is a marionette of MIC (much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations  between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against  Trump

What is the level of interest  of average middle class American in real information about Washington  political machinery and neoliberal social system

Poor people are automatically excluded from politics. most of their energy needs to be  spend on task related to mere survival and desperate attempt to spread their meager paycheck to the next without falling into the laps of loan sharks.

Middle class can afford attempts to analyze the political situation and personal efforts to understand the political system in which they live. And because of that can  have informed political opinion. Theoretically. In reality there also many obstacles here.  One  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  The second, related, is the existence of the deep state.

First of all let me ask a simple question: What is the level of interest  in governance of an average middle class American (lower class with McJobs most of the time is too preoccupied with survival to be able to particulate in political activity), if they are brainwashed 24 x 7 by neoliberal propaganda  which tries to distract them from discussing and understanding any serious issue facing the USA. 

Also  the middle class in not uniform. There is substantial caste of Americans deeply connected with the imperial state (servants of the empire so to speak) and they also represent  a political force with interests different form the average middle class American. There are roughly three contractors (28,626) for every U.S. army member (9,800) in Afghanistan. On April 5, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, declared during a Senate hearing that contractors made up 25 percent of his workforce (Foreign Policy). They have their own opinion and interest in such issues as permanent war for permanent peace.  And without draft this issue does not touch too deeply ordinary middle class American, who do not need to fight and die for the empire.

The second  factor is constant brainwashing be neoliberal MSM. Unless a person make a conscious effort to exclude them and rely of alternative media he/she can't form any informed political opinion.  You will almost never even her the  term "neoliberalism" in neoliberal MSM like NYT or WaPo or CNN or MSNBC. This is a taboo.  But you will hear a lot about "evil Russians" or "evil Chinese" which is a perfect distraction, a smoke screen, designed to hide the real problems facing the US society after 40 years of dominance of neoliberalism as a social system.

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system. In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR even more efficiently that so called "one party" system. Which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population.  

The "first after the post" system "by design" provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force.  Emerging parties are cooped iether under Democratic or Republic umbrella and then emasculated.  This mechanism is no less effective the Soviet one party rule, but more subtle, requires less violence and suppression of dissidents, and more acceptable to the population. Which is all what is needed to continuation of the rule of the oligarchy.  The same is true for the parties themselves. Iron law of oligarchy was actually discovered by observing the evolution of the political party leadership.

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation".  In 2008 the protest was squashed by electing "Trojan horse" Obama, who proved to be the king of "bait and switch" maneuver. Some signs of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what  a person who like Obama pretended  essentially to be an independent candidate slightly (at least formally) opposing the most negative effects of neoliberalism on population (anti-globalization stance, accent of creation jobs within the USA, etc) -- Donald Trump.  Who later proved to be Republican version of Obama. Not without help of "deep state" which launched unprotected and well coordinated company of leaks and 24 x 7 negative news to discredit his personality and administration. Going as far as in a very elegant really Machiavellian way  using fake accusations ("Russiagate) appointing a special prosecutor using Obama/Hillary supporters in the Judicial department (effectively coup d'état as special procedure is big burden which effectively paralyses any administration and Clinton presidency had shown). And when it did not work, they tried to accuse him of being racist (using  1 Charlottesville events) or even insane person. Looks like for Trump, even if he has some intention to implement anti-neoliberal measures -- the resistance proved to be way too strong and such intension did not last even half a year.  Bombing Syria army air field with Tomahawks was an early signal of surrender.  Removing Bannon, and adding troops to Afghan war make this turn around and betrayal of Trump voters in best Obama style virtual certainty.

It was clear that there is a widespread feeling among the majority of the US population now that the current neoliberal system of governance, installed by victorious neoliberals after 1980, is wrong and unjust. And when the people do not wouldn't like to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda does not work anymore " a revolutionary situation, a rare moment when "the change we can believe in" becomes possible arise. Not the con that the king of "bait and switch" maneuver Obama sold to the US lemmings in 2008 and then in 2012, but the "real" change; which can be for the good or bad. Stability of the society also has its great value. As Chinese curse state it succinctly "May you live in interesting times".

 In such cases, the ruling elite typically decides to unleash a foreign war and use "rally around the flag" effect  to suppress dissent and to restore the control (that's the real meaning of Samuel Johnson quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"). But in this particular case the USA already is in engaged in several wars (or occupations), so the nostalgia for good time what the USSR existed proved to be irresistible. And the pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016-2017 in neoliberal MSM suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually Hillary made Russophobia a part of her election campaign, effectively unleashing a new neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA).  As John Kenneth Galbraith noted “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” --  John Kenneth Galbraith

In 2016 we saw an attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Throwing  Sanders under the bus represented exactly this maneuver.  The were not stopped even by the fact that they are promoting a deeply criminal and candidate with serious health problems ("We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality") The level of propaganda displayed in 2015-2016 election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the levels achieved by communist propagandists in during best days of the USSR.  And that happened because this time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. (at least partially) "paleoconservative" (or "bustard neoliberal" ;-) who during election campaign rejects the idea of neoliberal globalization and by extension the necessity of fighting constant wars for the expansion of the US led global neoliberal empire.   But later quickly recognized that this heresy is not acceptable in the corridors of Washington deep state and can be harmful for his health ;-). The hissy fit in neoliberal media and the emergence of certain figures from the intelligence agencies on an "avanscena" as the leaders of "color revolution" against Trump (so called "Purple revolution") were to be expected but  caught Trump absolutely unprepared.

There is also an interesting question what kind of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demonstrates. And not only "democracy for whom" -- it is clear that this is the democracy for the top 1% or, at best, top 20% of population. a more interesting observation is that  as Trump election has shown, neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past are ready to go to extreme methods including coup d'état to preserve their power, the democracy be damned.  

Also interesting were the methods of indoctrination of population which were borrowed by the USA neoliberals from the Soviet experience, which  were practiced from 1980th.  They use university course in economics in the same (or more correctly slightly more subtle; using mathematics as smoke screen for indoctrination into neoliberal ideology)  way Soviet universities use the course of philosophy. In the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy were obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin; but there were problem with indoctrination as Soviet society did not correspond to Marx expectations  -- as Marx famously said he was not a Marxist.  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentially a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.  This problem was solved by carefully pre-selecting "classics" works to only a small "legitimate" emasculated subset that was in like with Bolshevism.  Neoclassical economy in the USA plays exactly the same role and is even worse. At least with some effort Soviet  student can get all the  works of Marx and Lenin. Here, in the USA, chances to read Keynes and other "deviant" economists for university students are virtually zero. They are completely distracted from fundamental issues by high doze of mathematics (misused and abused -- called mathiness). Which  is used as smoke  screen which hide the poverty of ideas of neo-classical economy.

But deteriorating economy and stagnation does make neoliberal propaganda less effective.  Like people of the USSR were listening to BBC and Voice of America at night, despite jamming, thinking people in the  USA are resort of alternative sources of news or even, God forbid, visit "naked capitalism", RT, or other "disapproved" by  neoliberal propagandists sites. Even thoroughly brainwashed the USA population, who like member of high demand cult now internalized postulates of neoliberalism like dogmas of some civil religion (displacing Christianity, so much about fake myth the USA is Christian nation; it is not) , started to have doubts.  Alternative sources of information in 2016-2017 started to play such and outside role that the company about "fake news" was launched to suppress them. They did not stop people from reading, say, Guardian, RT, unz.com, American conservative, Asia Times, to name a few.

But still the general level  political education of US votes leave much to be desired and is probably as low if not lower that it was in the USSR (due to obsessive emphasis on the works of Marx and Lenin soviet voters with university education usually have strong doubt about soviet system ). Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs. neoliberal platform. Or define what the term "neoliberal" means. It is difficult also because the terms "neoliberalism" and "Paleoconservatism" are expunged from MSM. Like Trotsky writings were in the USSR. Assuming that this might well be the key difference between two frontrunner in the last Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

The myth about intelligent voters

That means the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (see Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful in the USA, despite being a primitive variation of classic "divide and conquer" strategy. In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoned Democratic neoliberals and flocked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries, and then engaged in anti-Russian hysteria to hide this criminal fact).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen.

The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their imperial ambitions. As in the efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieved by nomenklatura in Soviet Union outside of "Stalinism" period.  Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation with the Communist Party and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful "presstitutes" instead of political analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%.

Neoliberalism divides the society in  two classes like in old, good Marxism

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

Corporation as the role model for government under neoliberalism excludes the possibility of democracy

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance is "wealth maximization". Which proved to be very seductive for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.”

As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarianism of two factions of the same "Grand neoliberal Party of the USA"

Both Democratic Party and Republican arty in the USA are neoliberal parties. So effectively we have one-party system skillfully masked as duopoly ;-). Communists could use the same trick, by having the part Socialist internationalists worker-peasants party of the USSR and Democratic internationalists peasant-worker party of the USSR, with leaders wet kissing each other behind the curtain as is the case in the USA. In the USA we have Cola/Pepsi duopoly that is sold as the shining example of democracy, although just the rule "the first after the post" prevents democracy from functioning as it eliminates minorities from governance. 

Political atmosphere at the USA since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street really reminds me the USSR.  But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians.

If we assume that this is true, the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and using which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, such as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics.

Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective : a large part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarianism and corresponding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part,  voting behavior of the USA "white block" electorate.

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

Mu impression is that it too late to worry about the survival of the republic under Trump. Republic was lost long ago. According to Sheldon Wolin we live in a neoliberal empire at least since Bush II administration and even since  Reagan.  Essentially the collapse of the USSR was the death  sentence to the republic and at this point transformation of it into empire was quick and irreversible as there were no longer countervailing forces to slow down  this process.  Which is not a completely bad thing for citizens in the USA, unless it collapses like all empires. Which might happen when gas reaches $11 per gallon (in way this is petro-empire) or some other calamity. Sheldon Wolin (which book I strongly recommend to re-read) called this imperial social system that  emerged "inverted totalitarism". So Trump was elected way too late to participate in the destruction of the American republic. At best Trump put the final nail in the coffin of the American republic. Kind of parody on Julius Caesar:
During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich...
But the deep state was in ascendance since Truman (who can be viewed as the father of national security state). So dismounting of the republic was a long continues process with temporary reversal after Church commission, when the power of intelligence agencies were temporary curtailed and they were put under more close control of Senate and House. But later a new "neoliberal" deep state  emerged under Reagan and those gains were reversed.  I personally view Trump as a Bush III.  But resilience of US political system might prevent  the worst outcome -- a war with Russia or China. 

I would prefer if Sanders were elected. But FBI pushed him under the bus by exonerating Hillary. I think the USA now badly need a "New New Deal", biot some crazr "chrstria capitalism that Bannon professed (see Bannonism).  But the question is: "What social forces will support it ?" I see no strong social forces able to take on entrenched "corporatism" -- a merger of  Wall Street and MIC interests and corresponding economic power.  Add to this Silicon valley and unprecedented capability of surveillance.  In the absence of alternatives, the crisis of neoliberalism became  a chronic one.

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

In this sense the "Russiagate" campaign might be interpreted as an attempt of the neoliberal elite to rally people around the flag and hide Hillary political fiasco due to the crisis of neoliberalism. The later led to the surprise victory of Trump, because the voters rejected establishment candidate.  Also as for the level of warmongering Hillary probably is close or surpass Trump.   So in a way  the US voters were put by FBI between Scylla and Charybdis.   Of course,  Russians are not saints and they are an obstacle on the path to global US led neoliberal empire, but still I think that the whole thing is overdone.

A  good (IMHO) overview of our current political can be found in London review of books. See What We Don t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[Mar 24, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is less than 20K individual donations away from getting on the debate stage!

Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Niko House ‏ 10:57 AM - 22 Mar 2019

Tulsi Gabbard is less than 20K individual donations away from getting on the debate stage! Help her get there by donating just $1 to her campaign!

Tulsi Gabbard ‏ 5:21 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Thank you! So far we have 44,255 unique donors of the 65,000 needed to get on the debate stage! Almost 4,000 people contributed in the last 2 days. I'm humbled by your support. Stay tuned for updates! pic.twitter.com/UOd5Ky39vf

[Mar 23, 2019] Sanders was a sheepdog that prevented progressives from breaking with the Democratic Party

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio. This line spoken by Marcellus (and not Hamlet as is commonly believed) is one of the most recognizable lines in all of Shakespeare's works. Fully applicable to Sanders, Hillary and Trump
The context of the quote is also interesting and fully applicable: Marcellus, shaken by the many recent disturbing events and no doubt angered (as is Hamlet) by Claudius's mismanagement of the body politic, astutely notes that Denmark is festering with moral and political corruption. Horatio replies "Heaven will direct it" (91), meaning heaven will guide the state of Denmark to health and stability.
Mar 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Mar 22, 2019 9:17:01 PM | link

Circe @58:
This investgation was a convenient sham to cover for the real collusion and Trump was the Zionist 1 percenters choice and nothing was going to foil that and many of you here fell for the entire charade hook, line and sinker believing Trump was a poor victim all along.
I think you're mostly right but there's more to it, like:
>> Complicity of Christian Zionists and other enablers and hangers on;

>> Deep-State CYA after the lost war in Syria;

>> New Cold War as AZ Empire re-orients to respond to Russia-China challenge.

AIPAC/Israel's power in US politics is well known. And they have great influence on BOTH Parties. Your focus on as the embodiment of this evil suggest that you think that if he were not elected in 2016 then Zionist influence would be eliminated or greatly diminished. That is certainly not the true.

What strikes me about the 2016 Presidential election is not that wealthy Jews donated to Trump but that the election was manipulated in numerous ways. Highlights:

>> Trump was the only Republican populist (out of 19 contenders!);

>> Sanders and Trump were both long-time friends of the Clintons;

>> Sanders was a sheepdog that prevented progressives from breaking with the Democratic Party;

>> Hillary didn't need to collude with DNC - that added very very little to the money she raised for her campaign - but it did allow her to treat Sanders and his supporters shabbily;

>> Hillary also alienated other important groups, like blacks and white conservatives ("deplorables");

>> Trump played along by bringing on Manafort, asking Russia to find Hillary's emails, and breaking his campaign promise to investigate Hillary within days of the election;

>> Trump has brought allies of his supposed enemies into his Administration: VP Pence was close to McCain (as was Lindsey Graham who was anti-Trump during the election); Gina Haspel is Brennan's gal at CIA; Bolton and Abrams are neocons (neocons were 'Never Trump'); Attorney General William Barr is close with Robert Mueller; etc.

[Mar 23, 2019] Bernie betrayed his supporters again and again

Bernie only he served as a sheepdog for Hillary, he want to serve a sheep dog in elections 2020
Notable quotes:
"... Sen. John McCain was a friend and a man of great courage and integrity. We need a president who will fight for our veterans, not attack the memory of an American hero. ..."
"... "How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?...How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets?" - Smedley Butler, "War is a Racket" ..."
Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 5:26 AM - 21 Mar 2019

While I respect Bernie, I disagree with him strongly on this. John McCain was a war hawk who sent American youth to fight and die and never met a problem he didn't think could be solved through invasion or intervention. The real heroes are those who fought for PEACE.

Bernie Sanders ‏ 4:17 PM - 20 Mar 2019

Sen. John McCain was a friend and a man of great courage and integrity. We need a president who will fight for our veterans, not attack the memory of an American hero.

Mike Gravel ‏ 5:28 AM - 21 Mar 2019

"How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?...How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets?" - Smedley Butler, "War is a Racket"

[Mar 23, 2019] 2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC! MoveOn.Org Democracy In Action by Iram Ali

Notable quotes:
"... The story comes after a number of leading candidates- Sen. Bernie Sanders , Sen. Kamala Harris , Sen. Elizabeth Warren , Beto O'Rourke , Mayor Julián Castro , Governor Jay Inlsee , and Mayor Pete Buttigieg - said that they will not attend AIPAC's conference. ..."
"... "The influx of progressive candidates confirming they will not attend-even those who have gone in years past-shows how the momentum is shifting. In 2007, for example, ..."
"... both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attended, ..."
"... going so far as to throw parties at the conference. ..."
"... "AIPAC is clearly a partisan lobbying group that has undermined diplomatic efforts. It's no secret that that AIPAC has worked to hinder diplomatic efforts like the Iran deal, is undermining Palestinian self-determination, and inviting figures actively involved in human rights violations to its stage. Meanwhile, they give platforms to ..."
"... and refuse to condemn the anti-Semitism stemming from Republicans. It should come as no surprise that progressives don't want anything to do with this conference. ..."
"... "The fact that no 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have as of yet publicly committed to attending AIPAC's conference in DC this weekend-with seven candidates confirming they will definitely not ..."
"... stands in sharp contrast to the past. MoveOn members applaud the candidates for taking a stand against AIPAC's dangerous, partisan lobbying efforts." ..."
"... more than 74 percent of MoveOn members who responded agree or strongly agree with the statement that "any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference." ..."
"... AIPAC spent tens millions of dollars in 2015 to defeat the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama along with our European and international allies-a historic diplomatic agreement that Trump has tried to derail since taking office. ..."
"... This year's AIPAC conference is headlined by Benjamin Netanyahu under whose leadership, according to the U.N., Israel may have committed war crimes in attacks on Gaza. Netanyahu also has been indicted on bribery and fraud charges, and recently made a deal to bring the "Israeli KKK" party into the next government. ..."
"... AIPAC has been known to traffic in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while providing a platform to Islamophobes. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | MoveOn.Org

After MoveOn members asked candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, no 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are yet publicly committed to attend the AIPAC conference in DC this weekend!

The story comes after a number of leading candidates-Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Mayor Julián Castro, Governor Jay Inlsee, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg- said that they will not attend AIPAC's conference.

Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn, explained the significance:

"The influx of progressive candidates confirming they will not attend-even those who have gone in years past-shows how the momentum is shifting. In 2007, for example, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attended, going so far as to throw parties at the conference.

"AIPAC is clearly a partisan lobbying group that has undermined diplomatic efforts. It's no secret that that AIPAC has worked to hinder diplomatic efforts like the Iran deal, is undermining Palestinian self-determination, and inviting figures actively involved in human rights violations to its stage. Meanwhile, they give platforms to Islamophobes and refuse to condemn the anti-Semitism stemming from Republicans. It should come as no surprise that progressives don't want anything to do with this conference.

"The fact that no 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have as of yet publicly committed to attending AIPAC's conference in DC this weekend-with seven candidates confirming they will definitely not attend-stands in sharp contrast to the past. MoveOn members applaud the candidates for taking a stand against AIPAC's dangerous, partisan lobbying efforts."

On Wednesday, MoveOn released the results of a member survey which found that more than 74 percent of MoveOn members who responded agree or strongly agree with the statement that "any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference."

Here are some of the reasons MoveOn called on 2020 candidates to skip AIPAC:

[Mar 23, 2019] Poll- Democrats' priority is candidate to beat Trump in 2020, not issues

Mar 23, 2019 | www.usatoday.com

As the 2020 presidential field takes shape, Democratic voters by double digits say they are more interested in nominating a candidate who can defeat President Trump than one they agree with most on the issues, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds.

[Mar 23, 2019] For decades, Space has been a model of cooperation between global superpowers. But such cooperation is the latest victim of the new Cold War. Trump/Neocon efforts to start a space war/arms race will lead to destruction of our country and planet.

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

Tulsi Gabbard ‏Verified account @ TulsiGabbard Mar 17

For decades, Space has been a model of cooperation between global superpowers. But such cooperation is the latest victim of the new Cold War. Trump/Neocon efforts to start a space war/arms race will lead to destruction of our country and planet. # Tulsi2020

https://www.newsweek.com/scientists-warn-trumps-space-force-could-create-incentives-nations-build-1336633 pic.twitter.com/WSX3q8J3Hb

/ol

Tulsi Gabbard ‏Verified account @ TulsiGabbard Mar 17

For decades, Space has been a model of cooperation between global superpowers. But such cooperation is the latest victim of the new Cold War. Trump/Neocon efforts to start a space war/arms race will lead to destruction of our country and planet. # Tulsi2020

https://www.newsweek.com/scientists-warn-trumps-space-force-could-create-incentives-nations-build-1336633 pic.twitter.com/WSX3q8J3Hb

[Mar 23, 2019] MoveOn on Twitter the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

MoveOn ‏ 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019

& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to # SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @ PeteButtigieg , @ ewarren , @ BernieSanders , @ KamalaHarris , @ JulianCastro , @ BetoORourke , @ JayInslee ... who is next?

[Mar 22, 2019] America's Apartheid of Dollars

Notable quotes:
"... The divisions can always be jacked up. "My opponent is a white nationalist!" and so he doesn't just think you're lazy, he wants to kill you. Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than themselves. ..."
"... Listen for what's missing in the speeches about inequality and injustice. Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The birth lottery determines which of those three bands we'll sink or swim together in, because there is precious little mobility. In that bottom band, 81 percent face flat or falling net worths ( 40 percent of Americans make below $15 an hour) and so aren't going anywhere. Education, once a vehicle, is now mostly a tool for the preservation of current statuses across generations, to the point that it's worth paying bribes for. Class is sticky.

Money, not so much. Since the 9.9 percent have the most (except for the super wealthy at least), they have the most to lose. At their peak in the mid-1980s, the managers and technicians in this group held 35 percent of the nation's wealth. Three decades later, that fell 12 percent, exactly as much as the wealth of the 1 percent rose. A significant redistribution of wealth -- upwards -- took place following the 2008 market collapse, as bailouts, shorts, repossessions, and new laws helped the top end of the economy at cost to the bottom. What some label hardships are to others business opportunities.

The people at the top are throwing nails off the back of the truck to make sure no one else can catch up with them. There is a strong zero sum element to all this. The goal is to eliminate the competition . They'll have it all when society is down to two classes, the 1 percent and the 99 percent, and at that point we'll all be effectively the same color. The CEO of JP Morgan called it a bifurcated economy. Historians will recognize it as feudalism.

You'd think someone would sound a global climate change-level alarm about all this. Instead we divide people into tribes and make them afraid of each other by forcing competition for limited resources like health care. Identity politics sharpens the lines, recognizing increasingly smaller separations, like adding letters to LGBTQQIAAP.

Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, herself with presidential ambitions, is an example of the loud voices demanding more division . Contrast that with early model Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, who pleaded, "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

The divisions can always be jacked up. "My opponent is a white nationalist!" and so he doesn't just think you're lazy, he wants to kill you. Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than themselves. Keep the groups fighting left and right and they'll never notice the real discrimination is up and down, even as massive economic forces consume all equally. Consumption becomes literal as Americans die from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in record numbers .

Meanwhile, no one has caught on to the fact that identity politics is a marketing tool for votes, fruit flavored vape to bring in the kiddies. Keep that in mind as you listen to the opening cries of the 2020 election. Listen for what's missing in the speeches about inequality and injustice. Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support.

** The author doesn't really drive for Uber but his conversation with the Spaniard was real.


JeffK March 22, 2019 at 7:39 am

Mr Van Buren. This piece nails it. The Democrats made a huge mistake focusing on race and LGBTQ instead of class. Their stated goal should be to replace race based affirmative action with class-based programs.

If there is serious violence coming to America it will come during the next major recession/financial crisis. The ARs will come out of the closet when, during the next financial crisis, the elites are bailed out (again), yet the riff raff lose their homes and pickups to foreclosure.

I am very pessimistic in this area. I believe the elites, in general, are agnostic to SJW issues, abortion, job loss, BLM, religious liberty, and on and on. The look at the riff raff with amusement, sparring over such trivial things. Meanwhile, the river of cash keeps flowing to their bank accounts.

Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of in an investment account of a major bank. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts held by the very rich.

Instead, the elites receive their financial statements showing an ever increasing hoard of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. However, if everybody saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans and the IRS. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.

It's easy to propose the ultimate goal of the elites is to have a utopian society to themselves, where the only interaction they have with the riff raff is with subservient technicians keeping it all running. Like the movie Elysium.

https://youtu.be/QILNSgou5BY

Oleg Gark , says: March 22, 2019 at 8:22 am
When feudalism comes to America, it will be justified by Libertarianism. With government defined as the bad guy, there's nothing to stop the 1% from organizing everything to their own benefit.

On the other side of the political spectrum, identity politics emphasizes people's differences and tribal affiliations over their shared citizenship. This prevents them from making common cause.

Fundamentally, these trends make the body politic so weak that it becomes susceptible to takeover by authoritarians that represent narrow interests.

Johann , says: March 22, 2019 at 8:31 am
"His skin was clearly a few shades darker than mine, though he pointed out that was only because my relatives came from the cold part of Europe and he came from the sunny part."

The Spanish in Europe got their color from the Moorish invasion, not the sun.

More of my annoying trivia that has little to do with the subject of an article.

John D. Thullen , says: March 22, 2019 at 9:15 am
Welp, the Democratic Party, by and large, believes all Americans regardless of class, race, religion, and gender should have guaranteed equal access to affordable healthcare, a substantial minimum wage, education and the rest.

Stacy Abrams wants these items too, along with equal access to the voting franchise.

"Until slavery was ended in the United States, human beings were legally considered capital, just like owning stocks and bonds today. But the Spaniard knew enough about history to wonder what reparations would be offered to the thousands of Chinese treated as animals to build the railroads or the 8,000 Irish who died digging the New Basin Canal or the whole families of Jews living on the Lower East Side of New York who were forced to employ their children to make clothing for uptown "white" stores. Later in the same century, wages were "voluntarily" cut to the bone at factories in Ohio to save jobs that disappeared anyway after the owners had wrung out the last profits."

That would be an excellent point if your inner Spaniard concluded reparations should be offered to the others as well, but ends up being merely tendentious if he contends that no one gets reparations.

But will you like it if the Democratic Party makes that part of their platform too?

I was born in Middletown, Ohio alongside the elegiacal hillbillies, who, by the way, didn't care for the blacks on the other side of the tracks anymore than my Armco-employed grandfather did, and certainly the business owners who disappeared the jobs and cut wages while voting for the so-called free traders were of the same ilk.

I didn't know any Democrats among any of my family's circle and, by the way, Middletown might as well have been south of the Mason Dixon anyway for all the white Democrats in town who gave not a crap about their fellow black citizens, certainly not the business owners who disappeared the jobs while voting for the so-called free traders.

It was the Republican Party (Larry Kudlow, I'm gunning for you) who championed creative destruction and the red tooth and claw of unfettered worldwide competition without asking, in fact jumping for joy, what the unintended consequences would be because the consequences were intended smash the unions for all, cut wages and benefits and hand the booty to shareholders, move operations to lower-tax, lower wage, environmentally unregulated parts of the globe to manufacture them thar high margin MAGA hats for the aggrieved.

What a beautiful grift!

Hello, Marianas.

That Democrats jumped on the bandwagon is no credit to them, especially while assuming the prone position as the republican party frayed the safety net.

True, the republicans laid off everyone, regardless of race, gender, and class and then cut everyone's benefits.

How equable of them.

TomG , says: March 22, 2019 at 9:44 am
As the Spaniard rightly understood, one can look way back into our history and see that the moneyed class has always used identity politics in economic control games to divide and conquer. That the Republicans rail on this as some evil creation of the modern Democrat is laughable at best. That the sheep who follow the party mouth pieces of the moneyed class in this media age can still be so easily manipulated is rather pitiful. Making common cause for the general welfare has never really sunk in as an American value.

Divide and conquer remains our true ethos. As the dole gets evermore paltry the only seeming options remaining are common cause for a common good or greater violence. One requires us to find a contentment beyond the delusional American dream of becoming that 1 to 10%. The other just requires continued anger, division and despair.

JoS. S. Laughon , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:12 am
Ironically the view that race/culture isn't at all important and should be disregarded in view of the class division (a "distraction"), is pretty much endorsing the classic Marxist critique.
ProletroleumCole , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:27 am
It's easy to notice divide and conquer when it's hate against those of the same class but are of a different culture/race.

But what's *difficult* to notice is identifying with the elites of your race in a positive way.
A lot of people, especially with the onset of realityTV, tend to think rich people are just like them (albeit a little smarter). The methods and systems to keep power aren't considered. They're made non-threatening. So many billionaires and politicians act effete today to stoke this image.

Lynn Robb , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:31 am
"Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support."

So we're supposed to vote for Bernie Sanders?

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 22, 2019 at 11:30 am
" Whether your housing is subsidized via a mortgage tax deduction "

This jumped off the screen. I wonder how many people even realize that. Probably the same number who still believe that social security is a "forced savings".

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 22, 2019 at 11:47 am
Not to put too fine a point on it but clearly we are wasting our time arguing. As long as the current system of government remains in effect it will be same old same old.

Many changes are in order–starting with this archaic remnant of a bygone era called "The Two Party System".

Lert345 , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:05 pm
Spaniards are indeed Hispanic. The definition of Hispanic relates to a linguistic grouping – that is, relating to Spain or Spanish speaking countries. Your friend would indeed qualify for all sorts of preferences according to the definition.

As to being a POC, I could not locate any definition as to what threshold of skin tone qualifies someone as a POC. I wager none yet exists but will be forthcoming.

Johann

As for the skin tone of Spaniards, many in the south have the Moorish influence,however, in the rest of the country skin tones range from light beige to very fair. Rather similar to Italians, actually.

Dave , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm
First, kudos to Van Buren for getting a Seamless delivery while driving. That's not easy to coordinate. Second, I look forward to more conservative policies addressing poverty, drug addiction and access to health care. This article adds to the 10-year rant against what Democrats have done or want to do.

Like nearly every Republican of the last 10 years, Van Buren offers none here. But I'm sure once the complaining is out of his system, they will arrive.

david , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm
" Whether your housing is subsidized via a mortgage tax deduction "

Sorry, not taking your money is NOT subsidizing!

I thought this is a "conservative" idea to begin with? Apparently, it is not true even here.

Jealousy that others can keep their money is driving the worse instinct of many republicans.

Sigh.

Vincent , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Your Spaniard friend also has it all wrong. The real division line is between those willing to initiate coercion for their own self-righteousness and those who refuse to. Anyone that supports government is one-in-the-same, regardless of color or class.
LouB , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:35 pm
Thirty years ago I'd be asking who printed the canned response pamphlet to give prepared talking points to enable anyone to provide quick sharp tongued witty criticisms of anything they may encounter that didn't tow the party line.

Now I gotta ask where do I download the Trollware to accomplish the same thing.

Sharp article, thanks.

JonF , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:42 pm
The Moors were a tiny class of invaders who left rather little imprint on the Spanish genome. That was true of the Romans and the Goths as well. Spanish genes are mostly the genes of the pre-Roman population: the Iberians in the south (who maybe migrated from North Africa), Celts in the north, and the indigenous Basques along the Pyrenees.
WorkingClass , says: March 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
Yes. And thank you. It's a class war and the working class, divided, is a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
Carolyn , says: March 22, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Outstanding piece!
Dave , says: March 22, 2019 at 3:39 pm
What happened to "a rising tide lifts all boats"? We've been promised for decades that the wealth generated by those at the very top would "trickle down." This was a cornerstone of Reaganism that has been parroted ever since.

There have been naysayers who say that that theory was fantasy and that all we would have is increased wealth disparity and greater national deficits.

How peculiar.

Peter Van Buren , says: March 22, 2019 at 4:06 pm
A rising tide lifts all yachts.
-- author Morris Berman

[Mar 22, 2019] The idea that this country has a true democracy is absurd.

Mike Gravel is the sensation of 2020 race. Here are some of his tweets. He is 88 years old former senator from Alaska.
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 11:45 PM - 20 Mar 2019

The idea that this country has a true democracy is absurd. Everyone knows in their heart of hearts that we're ruled by elites, Wall Street, etc. We need serious, fundamental political reform - real, direct democracy: a Legislature of the People to decide policy.

Mike Gravel ‏ 8:28 PM - 20 Mar 2019

If you vote for the country to go to war, you should have to serve in the front lines in that war. I served in the U.S. Army, fiercely opposed the Vietnam War, helped end the draft. @ JoeBiden never served and still saw fit to send this country's kids to Iraq

Mike Gravel ‏ 10:57 AM - 20 Mar 2019

The philosophical underpinning of the neoliberal project is @ FukuyamaFrancis ' thesis that civilization had reached its final stage with modern capitalistic democracy. In effect: rule by the elites. Fukuyama was wrong. The final stage is rule not by the elites but by the PEOPLE.

Mike Gravel ‏ 10:45 AM - 20 Mar 2019

The neoliberal style in politics means delivering, in a wrapping of lofty words, absolutely nothing. It's the style that got us into Iraq in 2003, that destroyed our economy in 2008, that failed to effectively challenge Trump in 2016. Above all, It's the style of @ HillaryClinton .

Mike Gravel ‏ 2:05 AM - 20 Mar 2019

It's simply not enough to go back to "the pre-Trump normal." Because the pre-Trump normal meant drone strikes, forever, massacres, and mass surveillance. Pre-Trump gave us Trump. The way to escape the hell of Trump is by finding something better, not just returning to the old.

Mike Gravel ‏ 10:01 PM - 19 Mar 2019

If I run, I'd run not to win, but to push great candidates like @ BernieSanders and @ TulsiGabbard toward more sensible views on political reform and foreign policy through the debates. We need a strong left flank for strong policy.

Mike Gravel ‏ 9:38 PM - 19 Mar 2019

. @ CoryBooker melodramatically declared releasing inconsequential files on Brett Kavanaugh his "Spartacus moment." This is me, in 1971, reading the Pentagon Papers into the record for hours on end, risking expulsion from the Senate. That's real courage, Cory.

[Mar 22, 2019] Against Zombie Reaganism

With Democratic Party completely sold to Wall Street and multinationals and Republican Party completely sold to MIC and multinationals both constitute single War Party pursuing the same jingoistic foreign policy. So it is tricky whom we should support in 2002.
Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Consensus conservatism long ago ceased to inquire into the first things. But we will not.

We oppose the soulless society of individual affluence.

Our society must not prioritize the needs of the childless, the healthy, and the intellectually competitive. Our policy must accommodate the messy demands of authentic human attachments: family, faith, and the political community. We welcome allies who oppose dehumanizing attempts at "liberation" such as pornography, "designer babies," wombs for rent, and the severing of the link between sex and gender.

We stand with the American citizen.

In recent years, some have argued for immigration by saying that working-class Americans are less hard-working, less fertile, in some sense less worthy than potential immigrants. We oppose attempts to displace American citizens. Advancing the common good requires standing with, rather than abandoning, our countrymen. They are our fellow citizens, not interchangeable economic units. And as Americans we owe each other a distinct allegiance and must put each other first.

We reject attempts to compromise on human dignity.

In 2013, the Republican National Committee released an "autopsy report" that proposed compromising on social issues in order to appeal to young voters. In fact, millennials are the most pro-life generation in America, while economic libertarianism isn't nearly as popular as its Beltway proponents imagine. We affirm the nonnegotiable dignity of every unborn life and oppose the transhumanist project of radical self-identification.

We resist a tyrannical [neo]liberalism.

We seek to revive the virtues of liberality and neighborliness that many people describe as "liberalism." But we oppose any attempt to conflate American interests with [neo]liberal ideology . When an ideological [neo]liberalism seeks to dictate our foreign policy and dominate our religious and charitable institutions, tyranny is the result, at home and abroad.

We want a country that works for workers.

The Republican Party has for too long held investors and "job creators" above workers and citizens, dismissing vast swaths of Americans as takers unworthy of its time. Trump's victory, driven in part by his appeal to working-class voters, shows the potential of a political movement that heeds the cries of the working class as much as the demands of capital. Americans take more pride in their identity as workers than about their identity as consumers. Economic and welfare policy should prioritize work over consumption.

We believe home matters.

For those who enjoy the upsides, a borderless world brings intoxicating new liberties. They can go anywhere, work anywhere. They can call themselves "citizens" of the world. But the jet-setters' vision clashes with the human need for a common life. And it has bred resentments that are only beginning to surface. We embrace the new nationalism insofar as it stands against the utopian ideal of a borderless world that, in practice, leads to universal tyranny.

Whatever else might be said about it, the Trump phenomenon has opened up space in which to pose these questions anew. We will guard that space jealously. And we respectfully decline to join with those who would resurrect warmed-over Reaganism and foreclose honest debate.

... ... ...

Y'all know that I don't usually have much good to say about the president, but to me, Trump has accomplished two unambiguously good things: 1) put some good judges on the courts, and 2) smashed Conservatism, Inc.'s hegemony on the Right, opening the door for real debate about the future of the country, and of conservatism.

Any attempt by establishment conservatives to aspire to, and create, a Restoration after Trump goes should be strongly opposed.

He has made a big mess, but out of that mess we have to fight for renewal and the construction of something new, not the revivification of Zombie Reaganism.

[Mar 22, 2019] So you ask what I will change? I will change our priorities so we stop wasting trillions of our dollars on wasteful counterproductive wars

Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Tulsi Gabbard ‏ 7:34 AM - 19 Mar 2019

"So you ask what I will change? I will change our priorities so we stop wasting trillions of our dollars on wasteful counterproductive wars and dedicate them to taking care of the urgent needs of our communities across this country." # ServiceBeforeSelf # PeaceDvidend

Tulsi Gabbard ‏ 7:44 AM - 20 Mar 2019

"I'm not running for president to BE president. I'm running for president to be able to bring about this sea change in our foreign policy that is so necessary for us and for the world, and I'm most qualified to do that." # ServiceBeforeSelf # Tulsi2020 pic.twitter.com/wk2M7O0CgR

[Mar 20, 2019] The difference between Tulsi and Sanders: Sanders will not touch provate banking

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lgfocus , Mar 19, 2019 5:09:15 PM | link

psychohistorian @14

Actually Tulsi Gabbard made this point strongly in her last town hall.

Tulsi Gabbard Answers The Question, "How Are You Different From Bernie Sanders"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz_TwpA8awo

[Mar 20, 2019] Warren, Clinton and the sexist 'likability' narrative

Mar 20, 2019 | www.aol.com

In 2016, Cannon wrote that Warren would indeed bring more warmth than Clinton, pointing to an anecdote she shared on Facebook about how she would bake her mother a "heart shaped cake" as a child. He contrasted that with Clinton's sarcastic "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies" comment from 1992 , which was a response to ongoing questions about why she chose to continue her law practice when her husband was governor of Arkansas.

For some Bernie Sanders supporters, meanwhile, praising Warren was a way to deflect accusations of sexism. In a 2016 Huffington Post opinion piece titled, "I Despise Hillary Clinton And It Has Nothing to Do With Her Gender," Isaac Saul wrote that he "and many Sanders supporters would vote for Elizabeth Warren if she were in the race over Hillary or Bernie." ( Saul apologized to Clinton for being a "smug young journalist" and "Bernie Bro" in a follow up article months later, writing that his views of her changed after he endeavored to learn more about her history).

So what's going on here? Has Warren become incredibly unlikable over the past two years? Or is this change more an indication of her growing power. High-achieving women, sociologist Marianne Cooper wrote in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article , are judged differently than men because "their very success -- and specifically the behaviors that created that success -- violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave." When women act competitively or assertively rather than warm and nurturing, Cooper writes, they "elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine." As a society, she says, "we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we don't often really like them."

[Mar 20, 2019] Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who comes from the Sanders wing of the party, just told CNN in response to Brazile's op-ed that the she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged by Aaron Blake

Nov 02, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

The former interim head of the Democratic Party just accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of "unethical" conduct that "compromised the party's integrity." The Clinton campaign's alleged sin: A hostile takeover of the Democratic National Committee before her primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders had concluded.

Donna Brazile's op-ed in Politico is the equivalent of taking the smoldering embers of the 2016 primary and throwing some gasoline on them. Just about everything she says in the piece will inflame Sanders's passionate supporters who were already suspicious of the Democratic establishment and already had reason to believe -- based on leaked DNC emails -- that the committee wasn't as neutral in the primary as it was supposed to be.

But the op-ed doesn't break too much new provable, factual ground, relying more upon Brazile's own perception of the situation and hearsay. In the op-ed, Brazile says:

Brazile sums it up near the end: "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity."

None of this is truly shocking. In fact, Brazile is largely writing about things we already knew about. The joint fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was already known about and the subject of derision among Sanders's supporters. But it's worth noting that Sanders was given a similar opportunity and passed on using it, as Brazile notes.

There were also those emails from the DNC hack released by WikiLeaks that showed some at the DNC were hardly studiously neutral . One email chain discussed bringing Sanders's Jewish religion into the campaign, others spoke of him derisively, and in one a lawyer who worked for both Clinton and the DNC advised the committee on how to respond to questions about the Clinton joint fundraising committee. The emails even cast plenty of doubt on Brazile's neutrality, given she shared with the Clinton campaign details of questions to be asked at a pair of CNN forums for the Democratic candidates in March 2016, before she was interim chair but when she was still a DNC official. Brazile, who was a CNN pundit at the time, lost her CNN job over that.

The timeline here is also important. Many of those emails described above came after it was abundantly clear that Clinton would be the nominee, barring a massive and almost impossible shift in primary votes. It may have been in poor taste and contrary to protocol, but the outcome was largely decided long before Sanders ended his campaign. Brazile doesn't dwell too much on the timeline, so it's not clear exactly how in-the-bag Clinton had the nomination when the alleged takeover began. It's also not clear exactly what Clinton got for her alleged control.

This is also somewhat self-serving for Brazile, given the DNC continued to struggle during and after her tenure, especially financially . The op-ed is excerpted from her forthcoming book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House." Losses like the one in 2016 will certainly lead to plenty of finger-pointing, and Brazile's book title and description allude to it containing plenty of that.

But taking on the Clintons is definitely something that most in the party wouldn't take lightly. And Brazile's allegation that Clinton was effectively controlling the DNC is the kind of thing that could lead to some further soul-searching and even bloodletting in the Democratic Party. It's largely been able to paper over its internal divisions since the primary season in 2016, given the great unifier for Democrats that is President Trump.

Sanders himself has somewhat toned down his criticism of the DNC during that span, but what he says -- especially given he seems to want to run again in 2020 -- will go a long way in determining how the party moves forward.

[Mar 20, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism by David Leonhardt

Looks like Warren is acceptable candidate for NYT and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.
Mar 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Warren is trying to treat not just the symptoms but the underlying disease. She has proposed a universal child-care and pre-K program that echoes the universal high school movement of the early 20th century. She favors not only a tougher approach to future mergers, as many Democrats do, but also a breakup of Facebook and other tech companies that have come to resemble monopolies. She wants to require corporations to include worker representatives on their boards -- to end the era of "shareholder-value maximization," in which companies care almost exclusively about the interests of their shareholders, often at the expense of their workers, their communities and their country.

Warren was also the first high-profile politician to call for an annual wealth tax , on fortunes greater than $50 million. This tax is the logical extension of research by the economist Thomas Piketty and others, which has shown how extreme wealth perpetuates itself. Historically, such concentration has often led to the decline of powerful societies. Warren, unlike some Democrats, comfortably explains that she is not socialist. She is a capitalist and, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, is trying to save American capitalism from its own excesses.

"Sometimes, bigger ideas are more possible to accomplish," Warren told me during a recent conversation about the economy at her Washington apartment. "Because you can inspire people."

... ... ...

Warren's agenda is a series of such bold ideas. She isn't pushing for a byzantine system of tax credits for child care. She wants a universal program of pre-K and child care, administered locally, with higher pay for teachers and affordable tuition for families.

And to anyone who asks, "But how will you pay for that?" Warren has an answer. Her wealth tax would raise more than $250 billion a year, about four times the estimated cost of universal child care. She is, in her populist way, the fiscal conservative in the campaign.

... ... ...

David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt • Facebook [Sign up for David Leonhardt's daily newsletter with commentary on the news and reading suggestions from around the web.]

[Mar 20, 2019] So many Dem candidates looks like the fog of war

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 19, 2019 4:29:46 PM | link

@ testing that responded to my comment that wrote of Berniebots

I will support anyone who wants to take down global private banking and I don't think that includes Bernie

That said, there is a growing mass of young folks that just might try to take over the (s)election process this time around.....will they succeed? Not from what we see of protests against US meddling in Venezuela.....nothing

We will see what TPTB put forward for a circus this time around.....if we make it that far.....

testing , Mar 19, 2019 4:36:06 PM | link
Thank you. Yes indeed. So much candidates. Seems like fog of war. That can only mean they in reality sticking to their original plans.
psychohistorian , Mar 19, 2019 4:50:08 PM | link
@ testing who wrote
"
Yes indeed. So much candidates. Seems like fog of war.
"

With more candidates early on, it takes all that energy and diffuses it for petty warfare instead of a firmly focused "machine" that would take over Congress through the Dem party.

[Mar 20, 2019] Sanders was a sheepdog>

Notable quotes:
"... There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today. ..."
"... Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race . ..."
"... "Enough with the emails!" ..."
"... Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa ..."
"... Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary ..."
"... Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote ..."
"... Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion ..."
"... Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election ..."
"... As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man . ..."
May 31, 2017 | jackrabbit.blog
There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today.

Trump's first 100 days has come and gone and he has proven to be every bit the faux populist that Obama was (as I explained in a previous post). In hind-sight we can see how a new faux populist was installed.

Evidence

  1. Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race .

    Sanders made it clear from the start that he ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. That was only the first of many punches that Sanders pulled as he led his 'sheep' into the Democratic fold.

    Others were:

    • ; "Enough with the emails!"

    • ; Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa;

    • ; Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary;

    • ; Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote;

    • ; Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion;

    • ; Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election.

    As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man .

  2. Trump as Clinton protege

[Mar 20, 2019] Fool me once... Here is an interesting info of the stage of public mind mid 2016. I see no poseter that suspect that Sanders is a turncoat, who eesentially spend all those hard earned money and then folded to hillry formally giving her votes of people who supported Sanders becuase that hate Hillar and neoliberalims too much. I wonder how many suckers will support him for 2020

Notable quotes:
"... "Defiant leftwinger" is a bit rich. "Defiant leftwinger" only in relation to an artificially skewed spectrum represented by Fox News, Casino Trump, and a corporate funded neoliberal nominee toeing a rightwing foreign policy line. ..."
"... Bernie Sanders is a social democrat in the tradition of FDR whose policies are centrist in relation to other industrialised nations. ..."
"... He has focused on four planks he wants in the Democratic Party platform: the creation of an economy that works for all citizens, breaking up the five "too-big-to-fail" banks, a carbon tax to address climate change, and a single-payer healthcare system. ..."
"... Of course Bernie needs to stay. Hillary is under FBI investigation. If she ends up in an orange pantsuit in the big house Bernie will look very stupid and basically has thrown out over 200 mio. dollars which is the amount he has spent on his campaign so far. Given to him by his supporters. It is his duty to them to stay in. ..."
"... " the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.( Corbyn )" ..."
"... The Clinton camp is attempting to pressure Sanders to force him out before the convention to make sure that doesn't happen. The Sanders camp is just following the rules and playing fairly. ..."
"... Britain began its retreat from this post WWII social democracy in 1979, 37 years ago when Thatcher took over. The essentially neo-liberal agenda has been actively pursued by every government since then - Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown - and indeed has accelerated under Cameron. ..."
"... There is nothing to indicate that the average american will be worse off with Trump in office as opposed to Clinton. That's how far to the right her actual policies are. Not the crap she claims, but the stuff she has been doing for the past 20 years. ..."
"... People wonder why there is such animosity towards Americans. You support a woman for president whilst disregarding her most vile traits as a joke? Clinton is a real danger towards the Middle East and that is partly because of her warmongering and absolute support for Israel, wrong or right. There are girls in Sirte, Libya currently being used as sex slaves by ISIS who may think your not so funny. ..."
"... "He tapped into deeply held sentiments about a rigged economy and a broken political system, and built a mass movement of people who believe we can do better and demand solutions that match the scale of the crises." Corbyn has the same agenda in the UK and given the internecine struggle in the Tory Party has an even better chance of winning in 2020. Pity that progressive newspapers like the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him. ..."
"... And, who knows, elsewhere could possibly prove better - your guess is as good as mine. Clinton is neo-liberal establishment through-and-through. The darling of the global capitalist corporations. ..."
"... Yes, what is wrong with the idiots? Why don't they just lie on their backs and surrender to the neo-liberalist elite? ..."
"... Just a few years ago Americans prised themselves from an unelected monster, G. W. Bush - he and his monster crowd being the key architects/facilitators of the current economic woes and mayhem in the middle east. That's pretty well indisputable. People can try to dispute it but they are flat out wrong and they know it. So given that, why would America now want to place another monster in power? ..."
"... Funny, cancer works this way on the human organism confusing the immune system so much that the body thinks a tumour is okay, a genuine part of the body. Until it's too late. ..."
"... So the American presidential race is down to a contest between the supporter of Oligarchy (Clinton) and the Oligarch (Trump). Of course this would never lead you to believe that American politics serves only the Oligarchy and funds only their candidates. ..."
"... Dems are only about 29% of registered voters, btw, so that is 6% of 29% of voters backing her right now. Yep. Trump has a good chance of winning against that - a write-in campaign for a soggy loaf of bread has a good chance of winning against that. ..."
"... You really don't get what created Trump's opportunity do you, its the same that has seen a new options becoming a political force throughout Europe, its ever & constant growth of disenchantment with the Clinton's, Cameron's & the rest of the political establishment.......sadly the US people need Sanders far more than he needs them of so it would seem. ..."
"... It is no longer "God Bless America". It's "God Help America". With the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Bill (Mr. Zippy) Clinton is already interviewing the interns and glad that he can now get Cuban cigars. From President to "First Man". Remember " I did not have sexual relations with this woman." Just a Blow Job. ..."
"... However they must take a leaf out of the Tea Party's book and start getting their candidates elected as State and congress candidates. There is no point in having a radical president and a reactionary congress. ..."
"... No, those who propped up the corrupt Hitlery, knowing full-well that the system is rigged and the super delegates are bought and paid for, are to blame. ..."
"... Republicans have more of a spine than the Hitlery voters, because they voted for who they actually wanted, not who they were told to. ..."
"... Bernie is an Independent, he should run as one. F*ck Clinton and f*ck the DNC. ..."
"... The 67-year-old Democratic front-runner has been "frequently plagued" by "blinding headaches" and a series of strokes over the course of the campaign which have left her second-guessing her chances of winning in 2016, says the upcoming book "Unlikeable - The Problem with Hillary." ..."
"... The Democrat Party is controlled by the Right and the the representatives at [almost] all levels appear untouchable. The key to the future, not just for Sanders but for the Left he has mobilised, will be in opening up the Party to democracy and accountability. ..."
"... It is truly depressing that the democrats had the chance to put a decent trustworthy person in the White House but instead opted for Clinton, who represents the interests of Wall Street and the Party of Perpetual War. By opting for her they have handed the keys to the repulsive Trump. ..."
"... For decades tens of millions of Americans who are left politically on major issues (whether they identify as "left-wing" or not) have voted for politicians who have carried water for Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the national security apparatus--often more effectively than the Republicans they depict themselves as the progressive alternative to. ..."
"... Money buys power - always has; always will. Read 'Clinton Ca$h'. Or just read something besides MSM. ..."
"... I'm not saying that there are not people who fully support her (and Obama's) IMF/World Bank/USAID/Clinton Foundation approach to international development and international trade, her center aisle approach to use of armed force, her (and Obama's) preference for private insurance based health reform, her approach to Haiti ..."
"... Remember!, it wasn't all sweetness and light under warmonger Hillary. C. ..."
"... "save America" - if Clinton or Trump gets into the White House, NOTHING will save America! ..."
"... "In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA" ..."
"... ISIS was not reversed in Syria until Russia became involved, and they were in full decline within a month. Years of Obama's war against them and they expanded to holding 80% of Syria , and beyond. ..."
www.theguardian.com

greven -> truebluetah 9 Jun 2016 04:53

There is a difference isn't it? The Clintons are career politicians who have amassed a bigger fortune than Trump (and they are not the only ones that's become wealthy representing corporations) Bernie has amassed a few hundred thousand from a life in politics representing the voters.

SoxmisUK -> Shelfunit 9 Jun 2016 04:50

Compared to all the vile insults, conspiracy theory wailing and holy-than-thou posts by Sanders supporters over the last few months it's nothing

Let me amend that for you: "Compared to all the vile insults, conspiracy theory wailing and holy-than-thou posts by Clinton's supporters over the last few months it's nothing.."

There. Fixed.

Not true in either case, as one has been as bad as the other, but good to see you sticking your British oar in where it's clearly not wanted. You shit-stir enough for the Tories here in the UK.


WhigInterpretation 9 Jun 2016 04:50

"Defiant leftwinger" is a bit rich. "Defiant leftwinger" only in relation to an artificially skewed spectrum represented by Fox News, Casino Trump, and a corporate funded neoliberal nominee toeing a rightwing foreign policy line.

Bernie Sanders is a social democrat in the tradition of FDR whose policies are centrist in relation to other industrialised nations.

He has focused on four planks he wants in the Democratic Party platform: the creation of an economy that works for all citizens, breaking up the five "too-big-to-fail" banks, a carbon tax to address climate change, and a single-payer healthcare system.

Victorious1 -> Herr_Settembrini 9 Jun 2016 04:50

Sorry, but you cannot compare Ron Paul to Sanders and say they have little to show. One ran for many years and despite his sincerity and common sense came nowhere being nominated at any point in time and the other started a political revolution in his first run as nominee, drawing tens of thousands in crowds, more individual contributions than ever before and incredibly nearly won the nomination and probably would have done if he wasn't largely ignored by the media and the superdelegates weren't a bunch of establishment corrupt cronies.

ungruntled -> killedbydrones 9 Jun 2016 04:47

The election isnt over until the Party congress. In politics people often lie. A bunch of folk have said they will vote one way........but they may vote another(they may have been lying, or they may just change their minds.)

When the dust settles, and a few more wobbly polls are applied, it may transpire Clinton has no chance against Trump. In which case Clinton could easily be shown the VP's seat or...........

Seeing as there is little difference between Dems and Repubs, they might put the top heads of each party together in a room and dream up some other staretegy to screw over the American people. Clinton might get arrested. The possibilities are pretty endless

But the next POTUS is yet to be chosen
And Bernie is fighting on, just because he can. He isnt playing the stupid "I will bow out gracefully to keep the party together" bollocks because the party needs to be blown apart. Democracy in the USA is a joke.
Its all about who can buy the power, and Clinton and Trump are living proof of that fact.
Sanders sees that as corrupt and unnaceptable to the American people, (so do I) and anything he can do to upset the apple cart/gravy train, is fine with me

Ummmmm -> Suckspencil 9 Jun 2016 04:41

I agree with a fair amount of what you're saying, but with all due respect, you're missing the point, which is that what Sanders is proposing is eminently affordable for any developed nation. The Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Sweden and Estonia, among others, do, I believe, provide free higher education. If Estonia, why not the US?

As things stand, most of Europe still has a healthcare system free at the point of delivery. Europe has more stringent climate legislation than the US. That's one of the reasons that TTIP poses such a threat.

And you'll find that the Callaghan government was ahead of the Thatcher government that followed it in retreating from post WWII social democracy: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/themes/sterling-devalued-imf-loan.htm

fedback 9 Jun 2016 04:37

Of course Bernie needs to stay. Hillary is under FBI investigation. If she ends up in an orange pantsuit in the big house Bernie will look very stupid and basically has thrown out over 200 mio. dollars which is the amount he has spent on his campaign so far. Given to him by his supporters. It is his duty to them to stay in.

ID6512838 -> Herr_Settembrini 9 Jun 2016 04:35

corporations will just do business elsewhere (especially in emergent markets like India and China). The result will be a relative decline in living standards for the lower and middle classes in the U.S. (good bye cheap kitchen appliances, cellular phones, and big screen tvs) and a further erosion in jobs.

Corporations do business where the consumers. The USA is going to be a consumer society for many more years - they have been trained over many years to consume more and more.

HNS1684 9 Jun 2016 04:30

As I said before: the very fact that Clinton has only "won" VERY NARROWLY in New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts and probably other states as well, the fact Bernie got nearly half the votes in these states, means that there is STILL at least some hope left for Bernie Sanders.

ArchibaldLeach 9 Jun 2016 04:30

Sanders campaign did a lot to move Hilary to the left but it's not enough. He needs to start moving from his campaign to building a grassroots liberal activist movement. (Not just supporting people who endorsed him). My hope is that the next Democratic nominee will be more liberal. Sanders showed us that liberalism is alive and well and he brought crucial issues to the debate that were being ignored.

snakeatzoes kirby1 9 Jun 2016 04:30

" the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.( Corbyn )"

The latest, yesterday, in the middle of the Euro debate, was an astonishing attack by Blair, who clearly is about to" have his collar felt " over Iraq .

aaronpeacock 9 Jun 2016 04:30

what a load... it's a bitter pill and no one wants to eat it.

Clinton supporters have done little to nothing in the way of policy/platform inclusion, and the general election means she will pivot to the right shortly, where she always lived anyway.

It's going to take yet another cycle of right-wing idiocy, it seems, before the Democrats will realize that pushing a strong left/liberal candidate is what's required for electoral success. Get ready for a President Trump.

Lagasse 9 Jun 2016 04:29

Right now the delegate count stands at 2,178 to 1,810. Neither can get enough in the final primary to clinch the nomination. It has to go to the convention for a decision, therefore. Either candidate could be given the nomination at the convention, per DNC rules.

The Clinton camp is attempting to pressure Sanders to force him out before the convention to make sure that doesn't happen. The Sanders camp is just following the rules and playing fairly.

SoxmisUK -> Deborah Holloway 9 Jun 2016 04:27

That's twice you've posted that. Trolling for some reason? The only reason Bernie lost was that Clinton got a massive head start from the DLC as part of the institution and she was married to a former president.

If Sanders had another 3 months (Possibly much less..) he'd have wiped the floor with her and re-written politics in the USA. You can crow all you wish now, but the truth is come the next time around there will be a popular vote that stands firmly on the foundations Sanders has (Quite remarkably..) built.

Suckspencil Ummmmm 9 Jun 2016 04:26

what Sanders proposes is no more than bog-standard, post WWII social democracy - the sort of infrastructure that most of the rest of the developed world has enjoyed for the past seven decades

Britain began its retreat from this post WWII social democracy in 1979, 37 years ago when Thatcher took over. The essentially neo-liberal agenda has been actively pursued by every government since then - Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown - and indeed has accelerated under Cameron.

These are the issues which Sanders has campaigned on:

getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal healthcare,"

I wonder if Ummmmm could remind me which of those we still have in the UK. The struggle must continue here as well, I think. I wouldn't mind a bit of Sanders' "crazed pipe dream".

Ziontrain -> anemag 9 Jun 2016 04:24

There is nothing to indicate that the average american will be worse off with Trump in office as opposed to Clinton. That's how far to the right her actual policies are. Not the crap she claims, but the stuff she has been doing for the past 20 years.

Spare us the scaremongering. If you wanted to vote for a republican, why would you do so under the "Democratic party" banner?

p0winc -> Ummmmm 9 Jun 2016 04:22

Completely agree. What he wants to implement is what the rest of us take as ordinary and for granted. 643,000 People in the states went bankrupt from Medical bills last year. He has however started something unique in the states, showing it's possible to fund and at times out fund the political establishment from individual small donations and not have to compromise on policies.

Bookseeker -> snakeatzoes 9 Jun 2016 04:22

'La Lucha Continua' was also a slogan used by the CNT on its 100th anniversary.

JayJ66 -> R. Ben Madison 9 Jun 2016 04:21

People wonder why there is such animosity towards Americans. You support a woman for president whilst disregarding her most vile traits as a joke? Clinton is a real danger towards the Middle East and that is partly because of her warmongering and absolute support for Israel, wrong or right. There are girls in Sirte, Libya currently being used as sex slaves by ISIS who may think your not so funny.

kirby1 9 Jun 2016 04:20

"He tapped into deeply held sentiments about a rigged economy and a broken political system, and built a mass movement of people who believe we can do better and demand solutions that match the scale of the crises." Corbyn has the same agenda in the UK and given the internecine struggle in the Tory Party has an even better chance of winning in 2020. Pity that progressive newspapers like the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.

chrisdix15 9 Jun 2016 04:18

Trump and Clinton are a double headed coin. I would hope Sanders keeps himself away from either but ensures his supporters vote for neither - don't join the Corrupters Bernie, but stay where you are and keep the struggle going within Congress to show that both Trump and Clinton mean and do the same things. Only doing this will ensure people see a real alternative to the strait-jacket the Democrat/Republican parties stand for. The struggle has only just begun.


ryanpatrick9192 -> fedback 9 Jun 2016 04:39

If Hillary is indicted then that does not make Bernie the nominee by default. The superdelegates can still back Clinton and let her pick a replacement they approve of. Why would they choose Bernie? He doesnt have enouh support to win a general election. Trunp got more votes in the primary than Bernie for crying out loud.

Suckspencil -> Shotcricket 9 Jun 2016 04:35

How could you, even in jest, suggest such a thing possible? We in the West, are blessed to be led by fearless god-fearing moderates who believe in justice, peace, equality and the rule of law. Shame on you!

Suckspencil -> Cleggatemyhamster 9 Jun 2016 04:31

And, who knows, elsewhere could possibly prove better - your guess is as good as mine. Clinton is neo-liberal establishment through-and-through. The darling of the global capitalist corporations.


Suckspencil -> twiglette 9 Jun 2016 04:30

Yes, what is wrong with the idiots? Why don't they just lie on their backs and surrender to the neo-liberalist elite?

BruceRobbie 9 Jun 2016 04:15

Despite this dreadful situation one thing remains, Sanders and Trump supporters simply do not TRUST Clinton to deliver on her promises and she needs them to trust her if she is to get people go out and to vote for her. Voting requires effort for many people, and if they don't believe, they will simply stay at home on Election Day. In which case Clinton will lose, because a majority of Americans actually don't like her.

She is also perceived by a large numbers of Americans as little more than a Manager of the American nation; the leaders, the CEOs of America, sit in board rooms of corporate America waiting for their "manager" to deliver on their investment in her campaign.

Due to her untrustworthiness and serpentine character, Sanders has wisely shifted his efforts to Congress and the Senate, so that Clinton if elected, is held to account for electoral promises, Clinton is adept at avoiding difficult situation, emails and Goldman Speeches, and will try to wriggle out of any commitment if her leaders deem it necessary. She and the DNC have fought a disgraceful, campaign of deceit, corrupt electoral practise and voter suppression. So when she spouts her Democratic rhetoric in the coming months, her words will ring hollow as a drum. Good luck America, I fear you're going to need it as your choice of leader this time around truly is the lesser of two evils.

LouisianaAlba 9 Jun 2016 04:13

The story foisted upon us so far in this electoral cycle is a reasonably but not very complicated narrative - a few players strutting, ranting and pouting about the country in a predictable plot. In keeping with this predictability let's keep any analysis simple - fairytale level. Let's talk about monsters.

Just a few years ago Americans prised themselves from an unelected monster, G. W. Bush - he and his monster crowd being the key architects/facilitators of the current economic woes and mayhem in the middle east. That's pretty well indisputable. People can try to dispute it but they are flat out wrong and they know it.

So given that, why would America now want to place another monster in power?

Another age of the political monster is looming. Two loom over the world in the coming battle, with a third in the wings by marriage who wants another shot at power as well, the man who signed away the last threads of Glass Steagall's legal powers.

What is it with Americans and their love affair with these political monsters? Can't Americans choose a good and decent human being who cares for the people and the country. A person who doesn't treat the country and the world as fools.

Even on the money front, it can be so simple, as economists often say - a confident happy people can lead to economic prosperity. It won't guarantee it I concede and I won't trade arguments on government or no government intervention, but a happy people is a better bet for a good economy than the opposite. Keeping it all at the fairytale level of course. Treating people well leads them to be disposed, motivated towards treating others well. Most times. Okay then there is psychopathology and the narrative gets complicated.

But the simple truth is - the simple story has been hijacked because a simple story is too easily managed and a country easily managed is not so easily fooled. And if you can't fool a country and the world, it is not so easy to get away with complicated crimes. Which is the usual way a monster gets away with them or gets to be rich, complicating things so much we aren't aware fast enough to stop any of it. Then after we know we are so beaten down and weakened we're simply not strong or ready enough to fix blame where it belongs.

Funny, cancer works this way on the human organism confusing the immune system so much that the body thinks a tumour is okay, a genuine part of the body. Until it's too late.

NickDaGeek 9 Jun 2016 04:13

So the American presidential race is down to a contest between the supporter of Oligarchy (Clinton) and the Oligarch (Trump). Of course this would never lead you to believe that American politics serves only the Oligarchy and funds only their candidates.

God help us if Trump wins and the idiots in Whitehall sign up to TTIP. If that happens Brexit will swap Brussels for Washington and we will still be a vassal state of a huge power block run by tax avoiding globalist monopoly capitalists.

Lagasse -> MrBrownley 9 Jun 2016 04:13

the large majority who didn't vote for him

Where did that happen? Democratic primary turnout has been around 11%. So far she's got about 6% of Dem voters, meaning that around 94% of registered Dems that could have voted for her, didn't.

Dems are only about 29% of registered voters, btw, so that is 6% of 29% of voters backing her right now. Yep. Trump has a good chance of winning against that - a write-in campaign for a soggy loaf of bread has a good chance of winning against that.

She polls terribly with the largest group of registered voters: Independent (however Sanders does quite well).

Meanwhile, the GOP has had higher primary turnouts. More votes were cast in their primaries even though there are fewer registered Rep voters.

GOP voters are fired up while Dem voters aren't fired up to vote for an unpopular, DNC-annointed candidate - that's a recipe for losing, ask Martha Coakley.

Clinton and her supporters better up their games and quick.


Shotcricket -> pucksfriend 9 Jun 2016 04:10

You really don't get what created Trump's opportunity do you, its the same that has seen a new options becoming a political force throughout Europe, its ever & constant growth of disenchantment with the Clinton's, Cameron's & the rest of the political establishment.......sadly the US people need Sanders far more than he needs them of so it would seem.

Clinton is the old way, Sanders is the new way...the irony of that should not be lost on anyone.


SonOfFredTheBadman 9 Jun 2016 04:10

It is no longer "God Bless America". It's "God Help America". With the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Bill (Mr. Zippy) Clinton is already interviewing the interns and glad that he can now get Cuban cigars. From President to "First Man". Remember " I did not have sexual relations with this woman." Just a Blow Job.

ga gamba 9 Jun 2016 04:09

Shrewd move by Sanders, I think. Many believe that Clinton will veer sharply to the right when she nominated and campaigns for the general election. Withholding an endorsement until late October keeps her honest; if she backtracks on her "progressive" promises made during the primaries Sanders can endorse Jill Stein. In a sense, Sanders is the conscience Clinton doesn't possess.

He said it was a revolution, so Clinton and her supporters shouldn't be surprised that he's using revolutionary tactics.

Oudeis1 -> fahkingobserving 9 Jun 2016 04:09

I thank you -primarily for you actually typing-out your rationale. Mere 'carping' is the more common response to my posts, thanks again - for processing and expounding. And yes, I know enough of American Football to appreciate your analogy.

On the Green invitation to Sanders: I have been aware of this for some time. I'm sure that it is sincere, I'm also certain that it was a little too soon. Sanders does indeed know much about US Politics, and his conduct throughout this contest has been consistent enough for most observers to discern a clear pattern:

-His ideas are more important to him that his personal success.

-His 'read' on the electoral niceties, possibilities, probabilities and 'desirabilities' is sagacious.

-His initiation of his campaign by way of the Democrat Party is entirely logical.

-A firm commitment from the DNC & HRC on some of his more important policy-planks would allow him to conclude that his job was (well) done. And to then advise his supporters to get behind the renewed and revitalized HRC ticket.

Personally, inline with my own take on these things, Senator Sanders will not concede without (firm & meaningful) concessions. Should no such concessions be forthcoming...

He may then - if this is how things pan out, turn to his supporters for their opinion, or 'knowing' full well there likely response, turn directly to the Greens and add Jill Stein to his then Independent ticket, and run as a third option.
These last two options represent at least as much chance of the defeat of Trump, and very likely more chance of doing that, than his caving-in (selling his soul) to the DNC.
-Yes, I am aware that Sanders has firmly denied that he has any wish at all to run as a third option - this stance is both inline with his desire to see the Democrat Party turn away from the neoliberal/Republican-lite present and his overall objective of getting his policies promoted in November.
However: Nobody can promote the fundamentals of US Democracy and then deny them.

MajorRoadRage -> abdul maulud 9 Jun 2016 04:05

I would rather see Trump in office and see Hillary's supporters endure the same punishment as if we had all voted for her to begin with. Hillary is in it for herself and her corporate sponsors. So if I'm gonna be screwed, so will Hillary supporters, even with mountains of evidence available that she is NOT the candidate to run for presidency people still smile and nod their heads with complacency. Wake up and smell the corruption.

Bitty31985 -> powellscribe 9 Jun 2016 04:08

As I said; if you want some one to blame , blame the media and the DNC. I am never wasting my vote on the lesser of two evils ever again. You WILL never ever convince me to do otherwise. I vote for who I BELIEVE IN. Good luck trying to guilt people into supporting that sociopath.

wiseowler 9 Jun 2016 04:06

If Sanders can get people who support his core radical progressive changes onto key Democratic committees and positions of power, plus get support at the convention for these policies then he may be bale to set in train a transformation of the Democratic Party and the possibility of a real change candidate winning the next election.

However they must take a leaf out of the Tea Party's book and start getting their candidates elected as State and congress candidates. There is no point in having a radical president and a reactionary congress.

If he can achieve this then maybe his momentum can help transform the Clinton campaign - which is in sore need of some radical and youthful energy if she is to defeat Trump

artvandalay316 -> abdul maulud 9 Jun 2016 04:01

No, those who propped up the corrupt Hitlery, knowing full-well that the system is rigged and the super delegates are bought and paid for, are to blame. Spineless cowards who would rather tow the establishment line and never see any real change than vote for something a bit different for once. The most amusing thing is, the Republicans have more of a spine than the Hitlery voters, because they voted for who they actually wanted, not who they were told to.

Shotcricket 9 Jun 2016 03:57

"Sanders will discuss a wide range of issues, including getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal healthcare"

Almost The Guardian mantra of many a year

And yet The Guardian has been pro Clinton throughout the nomination campaign.....& very negative toward Sanders, just what does The Guardian believe in, other than the longevity of the political establishment ?


SilverTui 9 Jun 2016 03:45

L.A. County Supervisors Demand Answers Day After CBS2 Investigation Uncovers Deceased Voters Casting Ballots

so this is how Clinton won California - zombies

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/05/24/l-a-county-board-of-supervisors-demand-answers-day-after-cbs2-investigation-uncovers-deceased-voters-casting-ballots/


Virginia Fast -> gaiayceleste 9 Jun 2016 03:29

How can people believe their vote counts when it is opposed by endless money, lies and manipulation ? For example, how could the media make free tuition, last signed into law, by Abe Lincoln and existing in California until a couple of decades ago, seem strange ? And it's normal in all other countries as a matter of course. I cannot believe you can have that debt at such a young age and manage. It seems the last economic conflict exploited by capitalism is conflict--which should not be--is between old people and young people. Young people more and more are excluded from that American economic leveler, education.


blackerdog -> StephenChin 9 Jun 2016 03:20

The super delegates are all full paid up members of the establishment that's why Clinton get their vote.
She won't win against Tump, she has blood on her hands legal problems and can't control her own house never mind the lives of hundreds of millions.
Trump is a buffoon but he hasn't been bought. Middle America won't vote for her.


Flugler -> Virginia Fast 9 Jun 2016 03:18

Bill Clinton stripped the social security fund dry and used it to balance the budgets. Americans retiring in the near future are screwed. Cheers bill.


Virginia Fast -> Flugler 9 Jun 2016 03:14

With Clinton putting Hubby in charge of financial affairs, better get ready to bail out the banks and lose whatever you managed to keep last time. If only the fools who voted for them suffered --

It's a nightmare of endless war and homeless filling th streets. More of the same forever and ever.......the future as igtmare


Mynameistoocommon -> turn1eft 9 Jun 2016 02:50

If this were true the FBI should get the hell on with it and not play political games. It is certainly not any of their concern whether Clinton could be pardoned by Obama (which would surely kill her campaign in any event). Since she is innocent until proven guilty, the suspicion that the investigation places over her is itself damaging. If it could ever be proven that the FBI had deliberately taken their time in order to prolong the doubt, before clearing her, that would be a very serious allegation. I can't really see why they would bother though.


JK1875 9 Jun 2016 02:50

Bernie is an Independent, he should run as one. F*ck Clinton and f*ck the DNC.

robinvp11 -> Highgatecemetry 9 Jun 2016 02:47

I lived in the US for twelve years. Bernie Sanders is not a 'socialist;' in the UK, he'd be a Tory - not entirely sure where. Maybe liberal Tory but on a lot of things, he'd be to the right ie his views on guns (yes, he's pro-limited control but he buys into the NRA idea that it's 'mental health' issue).

trow 9 Jun 2016 02:46

Clinton was not elected she was appointed by so called super delegates .The election process was exposed as a farce .


turn1eft 9 Jun 2016 02:44

Sanders is only hanging on because the FBI have said they will prosecute Hillary on treason and racketeering.

Which sound strange to our ears. But racketeering was revived during the 1920s and treason during the Cold War.

Clintons email server didnt just include top secret documents illegally it also included information about illegal donations from foreign backers.

I think the FBI are undecided whether to press charges now - with a high chance Obama will pardon her - or press charges after the election in November when she will be spending the rest of her life dealing with this case.

ShaneFromMelbourne saddam 9 Jun 2016 02:43

Under Obama's watch:
Too big to fail banks....they're even BIGGER
1.5 Quadrillion dollar derivatives market that scares the shit out of even the hedge funds.
Dodd-Frank Act that has loopholes you could drive a truck through.
Unemployment still out of the park (as if anyone believes the BS statistic of 4.9%)
The US economy is still so shit the the Fed can't increase interest rates (that's right, there will be no interest rate hike this year or the next)
8 years hasn't improved much.....

qelt17 -> Aquarius9 9 Jun 2016 02:38

The 67-year-old Democratic front-runner has been "frequently plagued" by "blinding headaches" and a series of strokes over the course of the campaign which have left her second-guessing her chances of winning in 2016, says the upcoming book "Unlikeable - The Problem with Hillary."
http://nypost.com/2015/09/22/hillary-is-dealing-with-mounting-health-issues-new-book-claims/

FrankLeeSpeaking -> Mea Mea 9 Jun 2016 02:26

You must be a Killkary feminist. Sanders has deep rooted integrity and a fire to make the US a better place, unlike Killary ready to make the next killing, physically and financially speaking.

SilverTui 9 Jun 2016 02:15

A well funded and organised exit poll, which included mail in ballots, had a deficit of 16 percent from the reported results in California.

A deficit of 2 percent is sufficient to trigger an official investigation in Denmark.

Just saying.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/paulmitche11#!/vizhome/CapitolWeeklyDemPresidentialPrimaryAVExitPoll/USDEMPRIM

Also millions of California independents were given "placebo" affidavit ballots, that are not counted.

passtherockplease -> davidlen 9 Jun 2016 02:14

I believe we are already there. I think it will be very close but Trump will win -- republican tend to vote for their 'side' no matter whom it is. Those of us on the left seem to like purity, more than getting power to get things done. It is why These people only come out at Presidential elections forgetting there are three branches to governing in the US, Check out off year voting patterns GOP vote numbers stay firm. Democrats less so it is why there is no Democratic control senate and house and the house, well that is lost at least until the next census.

Go look at things like Young Turks and the like. They really think Clinton is worse than Trump.

gwynnechris -> Dennis25 9 Jun 2016 02:13

Lessor 'evilism' argument don't work. Trump may have different style, but politically/economically he's similar to Clinton. (Technically he's not a Fascist. He does not have bullyboys physically attacking left-wing/Trade Union meetings. eg Germany 1930's). I guess many people in USA want something different to Corporate dominance; which I believe will require a Labour Party formed from the Trade Unions. So Trump gets elected. Big deal. People will soon see their mistake and change. Politics has moved beyond the illusionary middle-ground as the election of Jeremy Corbyn indicates.


queequeg7 9 Jun 2016 01:52

The Democrat Party is controlled by the Right and the the representatives at [almost] all levels appear untouchable. The key to the future, not just for Sanders but for the Left he has mobilised, will be in opening up the Party to democracy and accountability.

In much the same way as Corbyn's election must make Labour MPs and Councillors more accountable to the Party membership, so Sanders' campaign must now find a way of challenging both the individuals and the process.


eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 01:51

Here some wondrous policies and initiative enacted or supported by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during their presidencies, almost all of which Hillary Clinton supports:

--Deregulation of telecom and finance
--The Omnibus Crime Bill
--The sanctions regime against Iraq (which killed 500,000 Iraqi children)
--NAFTA
--CAFTA
--TPP
--Fracking
--The objectively-racist death penalty
--Don't Ask, Don't Tell
--The Defense of Marriage Act
--Historic levels of repression against whistle-blowers
--Preservation of Bush-era tax cuts on the rich
--Expansion of NSA spying
--Years of foot-dragging on climate change
--Support for Israeli atrocities
--Support for the right-wing coup in Honduras
--Support for fraudulent election in Haiti
--Support for the Saudi dictatorship
--Support for a 31 cents/hour minimum wage (and against attempts to raise it)
--Arctic Drilling
--$1 trillion 20 year modernization of nuclear weapons arsenal
--Historically high numbers of deportations
--Drone missile strikes that kill large numbers of civilian an inflame anti-US hatred
--Health care reform that fortifies the power of the insurance cartel
--The bail-out of Wall Street


eastbayradical -> MikaelRogers 9 Jun 2016 01:48

Mikael supports the candidate that has backed the destruction of welfare, the private prison industry, the objectively-racist death penalty, fortification of the police state, deregulation of investment banks, NAFTA, the Iraq War, the bombing of Libya, the right-wing coup in Honduras, Israel's starvation blockade and blitzkrieg of Gaza, and the fight against raising the minimum wage in Haiti from 30 cents/hour to 60 cents/hour--all policies from which non-white people hav disproportionately suffered--yet every chance she gets, Mikael accuses the Sanders' campaign and supporters of being the racists.


Nietzschestache 9 Jun 2016 01:37

It is truly depressing that the democrats had the chance to put a decent trustworthy person in the White House but instead opted for Clinton, who represents the interests of Wall Street and the Party of Perpetual War. By opting for her they have handed the keys to the repulsive Trump.

Guest Oo -> saddam 9 Jun 2016 01:30

If Bernie took in all the BIG MONEY like the corrupt politicians, he would accomplished a lot more for the oligarchy and corporations and forget the people. He would also be a multi-millionaire by now.

Bernie chose the route to have a government for the PEOPLE and that does not work anymore. Majority of the corrupt Democrat voters chose a GOVERNMENT FOR THE CORPORATIONS by voting for Hillary.

johnnyhacket NigelRG 9 Jun 2016 01:29

The lesser of two evils is an argument that holds no water.
Read this for a different perspective I do not agree with it all but it will make a change from all the Trump is evil you must vote HRC stuff that is coming our way .
http:// https://off-guardian.org/2016/06/06/the-myth-of-the-spoiler-why-the-machine-elites-fear-democracy/www .

eastbayradical HilltopRide 9 Jun 2016 01:25

For decades tens of millions of Americans who are left politically on major issues (whether they identify as "left-wing" or not) have voted for politicians who have carried water for Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the national security apparatus--often more effectively than the Republicans they depict themselves as the progressive alternative to.

Every four years we're told "yes, X Democrat is a corporate-backed, warmongering stooge, but look at how horrible Y Republican is! If you don't vote for the Democrat you're voting for the Republican!" It's the same scare tactics year after year after year--and year after year the political center of gravity shifts further to the right. This is the anatomy of our demise.

Finally, millions that have for years dutifully voted for the corporate, warmongering pseudo-progressive stooge with the (D) next to his name are waking up and saying to the Democrats: Try to win without out us you corporate scum!

joeblow9999 -> saddam 9 Jun 2016 01:16

Hilly's accomplishments?

Iraq War
Setting the stage for ISIS
Kicking off the next Cold War

She is a sham.

Jill McLean 9 Jun 2016 01:15

What I don't get is everyone's surprise. Just one example: A $29 billion deal with Saudi Arabia goes down, and the Clinton Foundation gets a $10 mil contribution. What kind of payback could Bernie get for petitioning for 'equal rights'? Come one, people. Money buys power - always has; always will. Read 'Clinton Ca$h'. Or just read something besides MSM.

duncandunnit 9 Jun 2016 01:03

Hillary Clinton is a warmongering she devil, that will only ever work with problems rather than solutions. She will be very happy for the usa to continue selling billions of dollars of weapons to wasabi jihadists at saudi instruction (which caused the European refugee crisis), she will continue the usa track record of the usa sticking in puppet presidentas into countries denying them democracy. She will continue the usa using propaganda as a weapon.

sammy3110 9 Jun 2016 00:48

After Hillary's coronation, I'll change my registration from D to I, and I hope others will consider doing the same. I'm not leaving the D Party, the D Party has left me.

ynnej1964 -> garth25 9 Jun 2016 00:42

I have to wonder. Among my pro-Clinton friends the dominant arguments were a) her 'qualification' b) it's time for a woman c) Bernie is less qualified, and so to chose him over hillary might indicate unconscious sexism.

I'm not saying that there are not people who fully support her (and Obama's) IMF/World Bank/USAID/Clinton Foundation approach to international development and international trade, her center aisle approach to use of armed force, her (and Obama's) preference for private insurance based health reform, her approach to Haiti , but I don't think that is why my clinton friends supported her. I can't speak for all. But i'd say these are more things they would forgive her for, rather than their first choice on policy.

daWOID -> eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 00:36

Sorry, friend, I happen to know a good deal about voter fraud in New York State, where I worked for a few decades as Inspector of Elections. Don't know much about California. So here's what I can contribute:

a) In New York State at least, provisional ballots are exactly the joke you describe. All it takes is a poll worker who doesn't like your looks and they'll pretend they can't find you on the rolls and why don't you simply fill out a provisional ballot?

b) And of course the provisional ballots never get counted, because to have your ballot counted you would have to go before a judge to determine whether or not you were rightly denied your vote.

c) The amount of voter fraud and voter suppression perpetrated in the Democratic Primary this year has surpassed anything I've ever seen in my lifetime, excepting my work during the Civil Rights Era, where it was just as bad but considerably less sophisticated. So is it likely that the same applied in California? Well, duh...

macktan894 9 Jun 2016 00:32

These are crucial issues that most people have repeatedly bitched about over the years in these forums. It makes no sense to plunge kids into bankruptcy and lifelong debt with outrageous fees and interest rates who are tying to get an education. We have seniors whose social security checks are being garnished because they still owe on college loans. We have people who are afraid to see a doctor or go to an emergency room, even though they pay yearly escalating premiums, because they fear the debt it will trigger. Yet Elected Officials seem only able to act when it comes to Endless Wars and surveillance; no problem spending trillions on defense, just don't ask them to spend it on the American people lest they feel entitled.

I'm hardly surprised that the Status Quo wants Bernie to just shut up and disappear. Who's lauding him for running a campaign financed by people who voted for him, not by corporations and billionaires? And I'll continue to donate to him because he is the people's lobbyist. Go, Bernie!

GigabitG 9 Jun 2016 00:31

So is the Guardian arguing that Clinton fought a fair campaign? Really? Try a little harder please, you know full well that Clinton hobbled Sanders at every step. Throughout this campaign the Guardian has chosen to ignore all the reports of widespread disenfranchisement and polling irregularities that prevented millions of Sanders supporters from voting and instead lazily point to the inevitability of Clinton. Depressing news from a complicit Guardian.

RogersRoy ChrisD58 9 Jun 2016 00:29

Sad to see Sanders ego and self delusion providing even more opportunity for the monster that is Trump

Remember!, it wasn't all sweetness and light under warmonger Hillary. C.

The Republican & Democrat DNA is within 1% of each other. These parties have loads of Corporate corrupt White House monsters.

When our governments; the White House and their British Parliamentary lackeys use our taxes to pay their terrorists to overthrow legitimate sovereign countries and their elected leaders and organise assassinations then I say; it's high time this incompetent maverick nonsense stopped!!.

I Refuse To Pay These Illegal Bills.

eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 00:07

Both my wife and I registered as Democrats in California in the last month.

My wife received a ballot in the mail but she was still listed as a Green. When she went to the precinct to vote she was given a provisional ballot that allowed her to vote in the Democratic primary. I just asked her if her name was on the voter rolls and she said she doesn't know, that the precinct workers "didn't know what they were doing, they just gave me a provisional ballot."

Unlike my wife I did receive confirmation that I had been registered as a Democrat and I received a ballot with the Democratic primary choices on it. Despite getting the ballot in the mail I wanted to vote at the precinct. I found when I got to the precinct that my name wasn't listed on voter rolls. The precinct worker recommended that I vote by provisional ballot, which I didn't like the idea of. I decided to fill out my ballot at the precinct and I was told to put it into a blue bag with a slot on the top. The precinct worker assured me that my ballot would be counted.

Journalist Greg Palast reports that provisional ballots, like the one my wife voted with, are essentially "placebo ballots"--that a very large percentage of them are never counted. He additionally reports that there are hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots in California that have yet to be counted. There is every reason to believe that provisional ballots, since they're given to newly-registered voters, were disproportionately given to Sanders' voters like my wife. Palast also reports that very large numbers of voters found that there names were not on voting rolls when they went to vote. It would seem that this would also disproportionately affect newly-registered voters.

On top of all this, there are many thousands of ballots that were sent on Monday and Tuesday that have yet to be counted.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter? Is Greg Palast wrong about provisional ballots? Are all the votes going to be counted? I'm happy to hear the thoughts of people who think that Palast is full of shit, so long as they're actually engaging in thinking.

Janosik53 -> sandi78 8 Jun 2016 23:55

Published May 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton for months has downplayed the FBI investigation into her private email server and practices as a mere "security inquiry."

But when asked Wednesday about Clinton's characterization of the bureau's probe, FBI Director James Comey said he doesn't know what "security inquiry" means -- adding, "We're conducting an investigation. That's what we do."

Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar.

iammaynard -> drpage1 8 Jun 2016 23:38

Your leaders, Clinton and Obama created ISIS

I wish I had the middle east figured out as well as you got it. If you understand the causes so clearly, when will you be bringing your solutions? Those must obviously as clear to you, yes?


Carenshare -> Annie Rainier 8 Jun 2016 23:31

Re: Your points.....

"bags" - Both Clintons drag around more baggage than American Airlines
"old man" - Sanders isn't much older than Clinton
"God" - There is no God
"save America" - if Clinton or Trump gets into the White House, NOTHING will save America!

But 'Good Luck' anyways!

Girl 8 Jun 2016 23:27

Super delegates don't count until the convention... The Guardian has aided the fruad and been a champion for the DNC...Hillary is goin' down, either the e mails, the clinton foundation, or Trump, she is done...

drpage1 -> nevesone 8 Jun 2016 23:19

Your leaders, Clinton and Obama created ISIS. Here is a clue:

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html

"In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA"

"...a string of embarrassing setbacks which included recruits being ambushed and handing over much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to an Al Qaeda affiliate."

ISIS was not reversed in Syria until Russia became involved, and they were in full decline within a month. Years of Obama's war against them and they expanded to holding 80% of Syria , and beyond.

DesertPear -> Jared Hall 8 Jun 2016 23:06

The US Military-Industrial Complex is possibly the largest user of fossil fuels in the world and the information is not transparent nor available. We absolutely must turn away from war as a solution if we are to slow climate change! And the only way to change the military is to get money out of politics.

mbidding -> notmurdoch 8 Jun 2016 21:34

Student financial aid is not extremely generous in the US and generally does not cover the full cost of tuition at modestly priced state schools, let alone books. Loans, of course, are available, but financial aid is nothing like it was before Reagan gutted federal financial aid in the eighties and the states started divesting from their public universities at the same time.

[Mar 20, 2019] A look at Presidential candidate Andrew Yang by Kim Iversen

Kim Iversen did a good job attacking our interesting to this non-establishment candidate.
Universal basic income must come with the strict criteria for eligibility (probably income less then median) and "strings attacked"; for unemployment this might be doing some community work.
Looks like Yang got a really interesting set of domestic policies...
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

George Janeiro , 1 day ago

Yang is all about policies, NOT platitudes.

George Janeiro , 1 day ago

I'm proud to be one of Andrew Yang's first 65,000 donors. He and his ideas belong on that debate stage.

Team Vegas Vip , 1 day ago

I don't care what establishment Dem candidate makes it to the debates but we need to have Tulsi, Yang and Bernie there. That is all we need 🙌

Sam Miller , 1 day ago (edited)

Why does so much for what passes as "objective" journalism these days sound like click-bait? Is it being rewarded by higher ranking in social media and search engine algorithms? Good on Andrew Yang for drawing people from both sides of the political spectrum to his universal human-centered platform. I like the fact he is not shy in campaigning on Fox. He is not afraid to break our idealogical bubbles in the name of data and compassion.

Captain Jax , 1 day ago

I've been following Mr. Yang for a while, and he's like Bernie and Tulsi in a way a true progressive vs the rest of the candidates are label themselves as! And Andrew has a sense of humor too!

[Mar 20, 2019] Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi

Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jandy Thomas , 1 week ago

Ms. Bash is the personification of what's wrong with our country. Tulsi was extremely patient with her. Tulsi Gabbard 2020

ChainMail , 1 week ago (edited)

i am impressed how she handles baited questions

softminimal1 , 1 week ago

She can serve in the army and still be anti interventionist because our military is supposed to be a defense force not an offense force. You can be willing to fight to protect your country without wanting to go running round the world creating conflict for oil and regime change.

Philip Murphy , 1 week ago

This is how bad the Dems are: 12 are running, and the only one with military service is the peace candidate, I will change my party to vote for her.

Joel Alvarado , 1 week ago

Dana Bash is another foot soldier for corporate elitists who want less for the American people.

edfou5 , 1 week ago

'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi.

[Mar 20, 2019] Neoliberal MSM all invte Tuslsi to ask her if whe was Asssad girlfriend. What a despible bootomfeeders

Notable quotes:
"... The american entitlement, as if it is your buisness what happens in other countries to the point that you have a right to invade, kill, and oppress their citizens is disgusting. The U.S. sanctions are starving Venezeualans, as is the theft of billions of dollars by the wannabe puppet president. Sanders/Gabbard all the way. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Errol Tumarae , 3 weeks ago

Assad didn't gas his people it was the US backed moderate rebels you yanks are brainwashed

Sharon Abreu , 3 weeks ago

I hope Tulsi's message is getting through. We have become accustomed to a pro-war society. It's very concerning to me.

Debbie Vretis , 3 weeks ago

Why doesn't anyone say...Assad did not gas his own people...US backed rebels gassed the Syrian people. It's called manufactured consent. Sometimes I really hate the ignorance too many Americans choose.

Simon Threlkeld , 3 weeks ago (edited)

Megan is such a lying fake news propagandist. Yes Assad is a brutal dictator. However, the allegations of gassing his people are debunked fake news (her stating them as facts is fake news). There was no ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria before the US backed regime change war. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, millions displaced.

Io inthenightsky , 3 weeks ago

Her calm and poise in the face of these right wing hacks is impressive. The american entitlement, as if it is your buisness what happens in other countries to the point that you have a right to invade, kill, and oppress their citizens is disgusting. The U.S. sanctions are starving Venezeualans, as is the theft of billions of dollars by the wannabe puppet president. Sanders/Gabbard all the way.

[Mar 20, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Consumer Financial Protection by Drake Bennett

Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run ..."
"... At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them." ..."
"... Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks." ..."
"... While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't. ..."
Jul 07, 2011 | bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run

Elizabeth Warren's admirers often refer to her as a grandmother from Oklahoma. This is technically true. It's also what you might call posturing. Warren, 62, is a Harvard professor and perhaps the country's top expert on bankruptcy law. Over the past four years she has managed to stoke a fervent debate over the government's role in protecting American consumers from what she sees as the predatory practices of financial institutions, and she has positioned herself as the person to oversee a new federal agency to rewrite the rules of lending. Warren is a grandma from Oklahoma in roughly the same way Ralph Nader is a pensioner with a thing about cars.

If the grandmother perception is plausible, it's largely because Warren has a gift for parables and for placing herself in the middle of them as the embodiment of moral force. Thus, her account of the precise moment she realized that changing the way banks lend was going to require a new federal bureaucracy -- and that it was up to her to create it.

Warren begins her tale in the spring of 2007, before the housing crash and the financial crisis. She was on a plane back to Boston after a series of discouraging meetings with credit-card company executives. She had tried to sell them on an idea called the "clean card" that grew out of her academic work and her side gig as a guest on such shows as Dr. Phil , where she dispensed empathy and advice to audience members who were one bad check away from losing everything. The concept was simple: Offer the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to any credit-card company that disclosed all of its costs and fees up front, no fine print.

After a few meetings in which she was politely rebuffed, one executive walked Warren to the door and, with his arm around her, let her in on a trade secret: If he admitted that his card's actual rate was 17 percent, while his competitors were still claiming theirs was only 2.9 percent, his customers would desert him for the seemingly cheaper option, seal of approval or not. No credit-card company would ever go along with a clean card unless all of them did. And the only way to get all of them to do it was to require it by law.

At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them."

Here she pauses for effect, and to take a sip of herbal tea. Warren is slight and kinetic, with wide, pale blue eyes behind rimless glasses. She punctuates her sentences with exclamations like "Holy guacamole!" It's difficult to tell whether these are spontaneous or deliberately deployed to soften her imposing professorial mien. Warren, who grew up poor and went to college on a debate scholarship, understands the power of expression. When she wants to underline a point, she leans in to conspire with her listener; then her voice goes quiet, as it does when she says she knew instantly the condescending executive was right. Her clean card was a flop.

And so, on the flight home, Warren turned to the problem of how to push those credit-card companies into doing the right thing. By landing time, she says, she had her answer: a powerful new federal agency whose sole mission would be to protect consumers, not only from confusing credit cards but from what she calls the "tricks and traps" of all dangerous financial products. The same way the Consumer Product Safety Commission guards against dangerous household products or the Food and Drug Administration watches out for contaminated produce and quack medications. The way Warren tells it, she pulled a piece of paper out of her backpack and got to work right there on the plane. "I started sketching out the problem and what the agency should look like."

It's a good story, even if the timeline is a little off. Warren's aides say she first pitched the idea of a consumer financial protection agency to then-Senator Barack Obama's office months before her fateful meeting with the executive. Whatever the idea's provenance, there's no doubting its influence. In a summer 2007 article in the journal Democracy , Warren outlined what her guardian agency would look like. "It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house," she wrote. "But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street -- and the mortgage won't even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner." One was effectively regulated. The other was not.

The annals of academia are stuffed with provocative proposals. Most die in the library. A little over four years after she first dreamed it up, Warren's has become a reality. Last summer, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a package of financial reforms meant to prevent another economic meltdown. One of the bill's pillars is Warren's watchdog agency, now called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On July 21, exactly a year after Dodd-Frank became law, the CFPB is scheduled to open for business with a broad mandate to root out "unfair, deceptive, or abusive" lending practices. Consolidating functions previously scattered across seven different agencies, the bureau will have the power to dictate the terms of every consumer lending product on the market, from mortgages and credit cards to student, overdraft, and car loans. It will supervise not only banks and credit unions but credit-card companies, mortgage servicers, credit bureaus, debt collectors, payday lenders, and check-cashing shops. Dozens of researchers will track trends in the lending market and keep an eye on new products. Teams of examiners will prowl the halls of financial institutions to ensure compliance. The bureau is already at work on its first major initiative: simplifying the bewildering bank forms you sign when you buy a house.

Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks."

One other person she has not yet won over: Barack Obama. The President has not nominated her to head the bureau. Instead, last fall he gave her the title of special assistant to the President and special adviser to the Treasury and tasked her with getting the place up and running. For now, she is the non-head of a non-agency. The White House refuses to say whether Obama will eventually put her up for the job, allowing only that he is considering several candidates. In the coded language of appointment politics, it is a signal that they are seriously considering passing Warren over for someone else. A White House official says the Administration would like to have a nominee in place before Congress leaves for its August recess.

There's a reason for their wariness. The White House is reluctant to antagonize congressional Republicans in the middle of contentious negotiations over the federal debt ceiling. Warren's position requires Senate approval, and Republicans, many of whom regard the CFPB as more clumsy government meddling in the free market, are vehemently opposed to allowing its creator to be installed at its helm. Republicans have used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the Senate from officially adjourning for its traditional summer break, thus depriving Obama of the opportunity to sidestep their objections and make Warren a recess appointment.

"She's probably a nice person, as far as I know," says Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Banking Committee, which will hold hearings on the eventual nominee for the post. Shelby has said Warren is too ideological to lead the agency, a judgment shared by many of his Republican colleagues. "She's a professor and all this," he says in a tone that makes it clear he is not paying her a compliment. "To think up something, to create something of this magnitude, and then look to be the head of it, I wouldn't do that," Shelby says. "It looks like you created yourself a good job, a good power thing."

Warren is not waiting for permission to do the job she may never get. She and her small team have hired hundreds of people, at a recent clip of more than 80 per month. The agency has already outgrown its office space and is divided between two buildings in downtown Washington -- with branches to be opened across the country. A fledgling staff of researchers is cranking out the CFPB's first reports, and its first bank examiners are being trained. Meanwhile, the office softball team has compiled a 2-3 record.

Above all, an institutional culture is emerging, and it is largely loyal to Warren and her idea of what the agency should be. She has attracted several top hires from outside the federal government. The bureau's chief operating officer, Catherine West, was previously president of Capital One; its head of research, Sendhil Mullainathan, is a behavioral economist and star Harvard professor; the chief of enforcement, Richard Cordray, is the former attorney general of Ohio; Raj Date, her deputy and head of the bureau's Research, Markets and Regulation Div., is a former banker at Capital One and Deutsche Bank. Warren, whose reputation as a scholar rests on her pioneering use of bankruptcy data, has imbued the place with her faith in quantitative analysis. Researchers she recruited and hired have begun to build the bureau's database of financial information, with a broad mandate to keep track of lending markets and find ways to make financial information more easily digestible.

While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't.

The CFPB's main offices are on two floors of a russet-colored office building a few blocks northwest of the White House. The government-gray cubicles and hallways spill over with new hires -- many of them young -- working 12- and 14-hour days elbow to elbow, pale and exuding a dogged cheerfulness that suggests that, no, they do not miss the sun. By the elevator bank is a calendar counting down the days until July 21.

Ten years ago, before she became a liberal icon, Warren was a popular Harvard professor known for taking a maternal interest in the students she chose as research assistants. She was famous, but only in the small corner of academia that cared about bankruptcy. "In my opinion she is the best bankruptcy scholar in the country," says Samuel Bufford, a law professor at Penn State who got to know Warren decades ago as a bankruptcy judge in California's Central District.

Work Warren did with Jay Westbrook, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Teresa Sullivan, a sociologist who is now president of the University of Virginia, reshaped the scholarly understanding of bankruptcy. Analyzing thousands of filings and interviewing many of the debtors themselves, they found that those who go bankrupt weren't, as commonly assumed, primarily poor or financially reckless. A great many of them were solidly middle class and had been driven to bankruptcy by circumstances they did not choose or could not control: the loss of a job, a medical disaster, or a divorce. The explosion in consumer credit in recent decades had only exacerbated the situation -- almost without realizing it, households could now slide faster and further into debt than ever before.

Warren, Westbrook, and Sullivan all saw their bankruptcy findings as a window into the broader travails of the financially fragile middle class. More than her co-authors, though, Warren sought a larger audience for the message. In 2003, along with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, she wrote The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke , a book that combined arguments about the political and economic forces eroding middle-class financial stability with practical advice about how households could fight them. The language was sharper than in her academic work: "Subprime lending, payday loans, and the host of predatory, high-interest loan products that target minority neighborhoods should be called by their true names: legally sanctioned corporate plans to steal from minorities," Warren and Tyagi wrote.

The book got attention and Warren became a frequent TV guest. She was invited to give speeches and sit on panels on bankruptcy and debt. She was a regular on comedian Al Franken's radio show on the now defunct Air America network. "She's quite brilliant. She was always just an excellent guest," recalls Franken, now a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota. "She has a very good sense of humor."

In 2003, Warren attended a fundraiser in Cambridge for Barack Obama, then running for U.S. Senate. When she walked up to shake his hand, he greeted her with two words: "predatory lending." As a senator, Obama would occasionally call Warren for her thoughts, though the two never became close.

It was the financial crisis that made Warren a star. In November 2008, in a nod to her growing reputation as a consumer advocate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chose Warren to chair the congressional panel overseeing the TARP financial rescue program. The reports she helped produce over the next two and a half years and the hearings she helped lead gave the panel a higher profile than even its creators had predicted, as she articulated concerns that many Americans had about the wisdom of a massive Wall Street bailout. In perhaps her most famous moment, Warren grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on AIG's share of the aid money and how it was that so much of it had ended up simply reimbursing the investment banks the insurer owed money.

Warren used her role on the panel, and the newfound visibility it gave her, to push for her agency. She worked the idea into a special report the committee released in January 2009, among a list of recommendations to head off fut ure financial crises. She wrote op-ed pieces, was on TV constantly, and met with at least 80 members of Congress. She also brought the idea to the Administration. Over a long lunch at an Indian restaurant in Washington, she pitched the concept to White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, whom she knew from his tenure as Harvard's president. Inside Treasury, the idea was taken up by Michael Barr, a key architect of Dodd-Frank and a lawyer Warren had known for years. At least within the White House, Barr recalls, it wasn't hard to build support. "I think there was a general consensus that built pretty quickly that this was a good option," he says. "I didn't get any significant pushback on the idea." Barr's inside advocacy, combined with Warren's PR blitz, paid off. In June 2009, Obama released a "white paper" laying out his own financial regulatory proposals, and Warren's agency was in it.

Among the CFPB staff there is a strongly held belief that they have the opportunity not only to reshape an industry but reinvent what a government agency can be, to rescue the idea of bureaucracy from its association with sclerosis and timidity. People there emphasize that they are creating a 21st century agency. Still, there's a throwback Great Society feel to the place, with its faith in the abilities of very smart unelected administrators, armed with data, to iron out the inefficiencies and injustices of the world. "Nobody looks at consumer finance regulation as it existed over the past decade and says, 'Yeah, that seemed to work all right, let's do more of that,' " says Raj Date, a square-jawed 40-year-old who speaks in the confident, numbers-heavy parlance of Wall Street.

Regardless of whether the CFPB has a director by its July 21 "transfer date," there are certain things it will immediately begin to do. One is to send teams of examiners into banks and credit unions to make sure they are complying with existing consumer finance regulations. When the bureau is fully staffed up -- initially, it will have some 500 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million -- a majority of the people who work there will be examiners. The bureau has only supervisory power over banks with assets of more than $10 billion, though the rules it writes will still apply to smaller banks. Banks on the low end of the scale will see a team of examiners for a few weeks every two years, unless there are specific complaints to investigate. Most of the biggest banks, those with assets of $100 billion and up, will have CFPB examiners in residence year-round. The examiners will go to work parsing the terms of mortgages and other loans, searching for evidence of consumer harm. They'll look at how the products are marketed and sold to make sure it's done transparently, that costs and fees are disclosed up front.

What the bureau will not be able to do without a director is send its examiners into nonbank financial institutions. Dodd-Frank gives the CFPB jurisdiction over payday lenders, check cashers, mortgage brokers, student loan companies, and the like. Because this is an expansion of regulatory powers, it will not take effect until a permanent director is in place.

The bureau is less willing to discuss the specifics of what will happen when it finds evidence of wrongdoing. The press office refused to make the head of enforcement, Richard Cordray, available for an interview. Like other enforcement agencies, the CFPB will have a variety of measures at its fingertips: It will be able to give firms a talking-to, or issue so-called "supervisory guidance" papers on problematic financial products. It will be able to send cease-and-desist orders. And if all else fails, the bureau will be able to take offenders to court.

The CFPB will also have broad rule-making powers over everything from credit-card marketing campaigns to car loan terms to the size of bank overdraft fees. For now, it has confined itself to initiatives less likely to arouse wide opposition among financial firms. The major one at the moment is developing a clear, simple, two-page mortgage form that merges the two confusing ones borrowers now confront. Bureau staff met with consumer advocates and mortgage brokers last fall, then put up two versions of a possible new form on the bureau's website, where consumers were invited to leave critiques. About 14,000 people weighed in. The forms are now being shown to focus groups around the country. A new version is due out in August.

This lengthy process is meant to demonstrate the bureau's commitment to a sort of radical openness to counter accusations that it's a body of unaccountable bureaucrats. In another gesture, Warren's calendar is posted on the website so that anyone can see who has a claim on her time. The undeniable sense among bureau staffers that they are political targets tempers that commitment to transparency a bit. The press office is jittery about allowing reporters to talk to staff on the record, and Warren agreed to two interviews on the condition that Bloomberg Businessweek allow her to approve quotes before publication.

If the supervision and enforcement division is the long arm of the bureau, its eyes and brain will be Research, Markets and Regulations, headed by Raj Date. Teams of analysts will follow various markets -- credit cards, mortgages, or student loans -- to spot trends and examine new products. Economists and other social scientists on staff will help write financial disclosure forms that make intuitive sense. The benefits of this sort of work, Date argues, will extend beyond just protecting consumers. It will help spot signs of more systemic risks. If the bureau and its market research teams had been in place five years ago, he says, they would have spotted evidence of the coming mortgage meltdown and could have coordinated with the bureau's enforcement division to head it off. "If it was someone's job to be in touch with the marketplace and monitor what was going on," Date says, "it would have been very difficult not to notice that three different kinds of mortgages had gone from nothing to a very surprising share of the overall marketplace in the span of, honestly, like three years."

Were it not for a head of prematurely gray hair, Patrick McHenry could still pass for the college Republican he once was. Elected to Congress from North Carolina seven years ago at age 29, he speaks through an assiduous smile and arches his eyebrows as he listens -- furrowing them quizzically at arguments he disagrees with. In late May, McHenry assumed the role of Warren's chief antagonist in Congress. At an oversight hearing he was chairing, McHenry accused Warren of misleading Congress about whether she had given advice to Treasury and Justice Dept. officials who were investigating companies for mortgage fraud. McHenry said she had concealed her conversations. Warren insisted she had disclosed them.

The hearing then took a bizarre turn. McHenry called for a recess so members of the committee could go to the House floor for a vote. Warren replied that she had agreed to testify for an hour and could not stay any longer. "Congressman, you are causing problems," she said. "We had an agreement." Offended, McHenry shot back: "You're making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case." Warren's response, an outraged gasp, was played on cable news.

In a conversation a month later in his Capitol Hill office, McHenry is eager to emphasize that his problem is not with Warren, but with the bureau itself. That's not to say he feels he has anything to apologize for. "I've asked questions of a litany of Administration officials from Democrat and Republican Administrations, and I've never seen an action by any witness like I saw that day," he says.

Like most congressional Republicans -- and a broad array of business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions -- McHenry opposed the creation of the CFPB and voted against Dodd-Frank. At the time, the bureau's opponents argued that its seemingly noble goals would not only hurt financial firms -- depriving them of the ability to compensate for risky borrowers by charging higher interest rates -- they would also hurt borrowers. The prospect of limits on the sort of rates and fees they could charge would cause banks and payday lenders alike to lend less and to not lend at all to marginal borrowers at a time when the economy needed as much credit as it could get.

Where it's not actively harmful, McHenry argues, the bureau will be redundant. If there's fraud or deceptive marketing in the consumer lending market, the federal government can prosecute it through the Federal Trade Commission. Clearer mortgage forms are all well and good, but Congress can take care of that, he says, noting that he introduced legislation for a simpler mortgage form three years ago. In response to arguments like these, Warren simply points to the record of those existing regulators: the Fed and the Housing & Urban Development Dept. have haggled over a simpler mortgage form for years. As for fears that the bureau will cap the interest rates companies can charge, she notes that Dodd-Frank explicitly prevents it from doing that.

Warren has been uncharacteristically tightlipped about her own ambitions. She refuses to say whether she even wants the job and has never publicly expressed a desire for it. In a way, the White House may do her a favor by not nominating her. If the President decides to go with a compromise candidate to appease Republicans, she will be spared the indignity of being tossed aside. She can't be said to have lost a job she was never offered.

Yet Warren gives the distinct impression that she will not suffer long if the President passes her over. Harvard has more than its share of celebrity professors who have gone to Washington and returned. The experience could also lead to a different kind of life in politics: Democrats in Massachusetts have been urging her to come home to run for Senate against Republican Scott Brown. There would be books to write, television appearances to make, and, who knows, maybe a show of her own. And whatever happens, she will get to tell the second half of the story of how she started a government agency. Whether the story ends with her confirmation or being driven from town, it's almost certain that the character of Elizabeth Warren will come out looking just fine.

( Corrects the year Elizabeth Warren moved to Washington to work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau )

[Mar 20, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard's appearance on Stephen Colbert by Kim Iversen

I was pleasantly surprised that so many people were on Tulsi's side.
Now it is clear the Stephen Colbert is creation of his handlers and personally is quite stupid.
Notable quotes:
"... Stephen Colbert is a total disgrace and surprisingly really stupid ..."
"... Colbert is a corporate toadie and an apologist for neocon regime change wars. Tulsi put him in check. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Kim Iversen , 5 days ago

Well, this was demonetized and is under copyright review....:(

ArgentiumTea , 5 days ago

Stephen Colbert should be ashamed of himself

Cody Hald , 5 days ago

I unsubscribed from Colbert's channel because of his hackey establishment propaganda. He is now in the same category as Bill Maher

Jared Oborny , 5 days ago

I grew up watching and loving Colbert. Over the last few years I have not really liked him or his views, but still had a sot spot in my heart for him. This interview makes me never want to even watch another clip of his again. I felt disgust and anger after watching his interrogation of Tulsi.

Steve Smith , 5 days ago

Tulsi meeting with Assad is called diplomacy. Apparently, this is no longer a concept that our government recognizes.

Gordon Adams , 5 days ago

I have never before heard a politician give a straight yes or no answer to a direct question and follow through with, "in my opinion". She is fantastic.

Fay A , 5 days ago

I wish Tulsi told Colbert that he and the media are giving David Duke too much power giving them the voice to discredit any presidential election.

ND Williams , 5 days ago (edited)

What Tulsi should point out is that we created the vacuum in the first place. If we had not intervened there would be no power vacuum for China or Russia to fill. The first rule of getting out of a hole: stop digging

Loro sono umano , 5 days ago

China is going to become the worlds biggest super power because they're playing the long game. Although you can say their building is a "debt trap" it's still business deals that the other countries need and it's not like we Americans dont use credit cards and are in a bunch of debt.

The US keeps losing trust in the world because of how we've gone about things. We need someone like Tulsi to gain that trust back and actually do good in the world

Troy McGarrigle , 5 days ago

U.S. drops a bomb every 20 minutes for the past 10 years, on countries its not even at war with, and to this Colbert says 'nature abhors a vacuum'.

GundyG B , 5 days ago (edited)

Great video as usual. Stephen Colbert is a total disgrace and surprisingly really stupid. However, it doesn't matter if Tulsi doesn't win the presidency in 2020. What is most important is she becomes a part of Sander's team so that she can put a stop to the crazy US military ambition.

Tulsi is perfect as the Sec of State. She can be the president a few years into a Sanders presidency. Her time is not in 2020, but in 2024 or 2028. Her support will grow over time.

ND Williams , 5 days ago (edited)

That's how the propaganda works. Repeat repeat repeat. 'sometimes you gotta propel the truth to get it to sink in' Bush, Jr. TULSI 2020

Greg Rubin , 5 days ago

Colbert is a corporate toadie and an apologist for neocon regime change wars. Tulsi put him in check.

rambanita , 5 days ago

Quote of the day..."Use your own goddamn Brain ! " Applause

Norbert Rosendahl , 5 days ago

The USA does not force for good . Look for Venezuela .... the USA does force for access to the resources.

Patience Goudledieu , 2 days ago

Stephen is the establishment. His idol, Les Moonves, passed him the torch. Colbert needs to go away.

[Mar 19, 2019] ALERT Tulsi Gabbard Demolishes The View co-host Meghan McCain - YouTube

Feb 21, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Once again Tulsi Gabbard was smeared by War Friendly Agents this time it was The View's Meghan McCain. Tulsi Gabbard explains her positions on a series of issues. #TulsiGabbard #TheView #TimBlackShow Pinned by TBTV


TBTV , 3 weeks ago

DEBUNKING ANOTHER TULSI GABBARD SMEAR HERE: https://youtu.be/Lo3GM760a2s

E Menz , 1 week ago

She is a very smart woman. Her demeanor and composure to answering questions was 

CASSINE70 , 1 week ago

What a classy, compassionate, intelligent, empathetic WOMAN!!!!! Go Tulsi!

darren alevi , 3 weeks ago

Meghan McCain is a disgusting little Neocon warmonger who has been brought up in an elite bubble she wouldn't have the guts or integrity to serve like Tulsi did. Tulsi handed this with class.

Lakeview Recording Studio , 2 weeks ago

Tulsi has a clue. She knows the dynamics of war. She knows why we need to stop been the world police. She's amazing and so brave.

savagemaestro , 2 weeks ago

These old girls got schooled by an actual WOMAN.

justafanintexas , 1 week ago

For the record, I always cringe when Meghan McCain opens her mouth Anyone remember her appearance on Bill Maher's show when she engaged Paul Begalla in a little debate on a specific moment in history and she replied, "I wasn't born yet," and then Begalla immediately stated, "I wasn't round during the French Revolution but I know about it"? Time to stop employing the uninformed daughter of a deceased Senator, dontcha think? Especially one who is so unmercifully unread.

Mint & Tea , 2 weeks ago

Gabbard is fantastic. An incredible level head.

Mel Bowen , 3 weeks ago

I don't no this lady but after this interview I'm on board with Tulsi Gabbard.

Kim Leroux , 1 week ago (edited)

The fact that Americans are still convinced the reasons they intervene in other countries are humanitarian help and defending freedom and not economic or strategic reasons is laughable. Get real, people, you are rarely the good guys. And no, the rest of the world do not want you barging in and patronize them.

ucanthandledatruth01 , 2 days ago

First time I've seen this beautiful intelligent compassionate lady named Tulsi. That blonde haired land shark thinks she's smart because she has been allowed to masquerade as some sort of respectable human for so long, she's just a fool even she's fooled by her own foolishness

Celieboo , 3 weeks ago (edited)

Damn! Tulsi Gabbard just gained my respect. She walked through minefield and came out unscathed because she kept her composure and stuck to her beliefs. And she is right--Assad has never threatened us!

Chaitanya Srishti , 3 days ago

hated the way Tulsi was attacked by these women there was literally hate on their faces they were clearly biased unfortunate she had to be interviewed by them but kudos to her, she answered every question and hell yes, there is vagueness in the green new deal Tulsi is talking about environment since a long time now but there is suddenly a new deal and new blood in Congress and all of a sudden ppl are noticing 'women' in Congress talking and making valid points while women like Tulsi have been making their arguments and many valid points w/o shouting

Angel Leigh , 1 week ago

You're the only person that I've heard be honest enough to say that the Green New Deal is just a framework. It is a starting point to a conversation. Thank you. Secondly, it is always amazing to me when political Talking Heads say we can't pay for universal healthcare or free higher education but are willing to fund regime changes in other countries. Willing to spend unnegotiated billions of dollars and Wars and conflicts in other countries. Where's the sense in that? And finally what would Meghan McCain have done had Hillary Clinton not accepted the Electoral College results and declared herself president in the United States because she won the popular vote? What would all of those Talking Heads and politicians have thought or done at all had all of those voters marched against the White House and Congress to force Hillary into the presidency? Hmmmm

Wesley Byrd , 6 days ago (edited)

Hello... military industrial complex is the driver here, always has been, always will be, until we come to terms with this, we'll keep intervening.

[Mar 19, 2019] Tulsi 2020! No other democrat focuses on Foreign Policy like her! Tulsi Gabbard Speaks in San Francisco

Important speech. Important ideas. No teleprompter.
Mar 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Wahpahh , 2 days ago

Tulsi 2020! No other democrat focuses on Foreign Policy like her!

alorr4uz , 2 days ago (edited)

wow. that was just wow. when she said "I am not someone who will go into the white house and sit back and rely on the foreign policy establishment in Washington to tell me what to do, I don't have to. I'm not intimidated by the stars that someone wears on their shoulders. I am not intimidated by the military industrial complex and what they're pushing for." she literally could have just dropped the mic. I bet the aforementioned military industrial complex just peed themselves a little. This is why MSM and DNC hate her. And why we all love her. I'm all in on #Tulsi2020 .

Majdi Saadieh , 2 days ago (edited)

Hello, Mrs. Gabbard excuse my English which is my third language. I respect you so much, I'm from Syrian, I live in SF you are the only one who really stood up for the Syrian people by talking about the lies of the media toward my country, and also by meeting with The Syrian President who is the legal representative of the Syrian people by election. You had the honor to visit my country and saw the miserable situation caused by the war that was made and supported by the US; please if you become the president end this war and end the suffer of the Syrian people 

Brooks Rogers , 2 days ago

99 year Old Mother, WWII ARMY Nurse Corp Vet on the Comfort when it was hit by a kamikaze, "adores" you Tulsi. So moved when watching the CNN Town Hall. You are her hero!

cptsketch13 , 2 days ago

Keep going Tulsi! You are making progress with your visibility and you crush those lame interviews that try to smear you

Peter Rieser , 2 days ago

That is my President right there.

wanowan , 2 days ago

Great speech. If you guys in USA don't want her, will take Tulsi in Canada.

Agz , 2 days ago

Get her to the debate stage America! Donate!!!

eXcommunicate1979 , 2 days ago

Listening to Tulsi is so inspiring. <3

Highlander77 , 2 days ago

I don't think I've ever seen a politician who I've listened to and said "This person, THIS is the one I want to be our President. THIS is the one who will truly represent the people, and lead this nation with a true vision and actually fight to do the things they say they want to do". But when I see and hear Tulsi, I feel like I'm seeing just that, for maybe the first time in my life.

Nate Murdoch , 2 days ago

Who should I support? An incredible woman who is a combat veteran with original ideas, or a white skateboarder who pretends to be Latino and married a rich girl? #Tulsi2020

bones007able , 2 days ago

she is starting to talk a little tougher lately.... she needs to ramp up her passion and she can't fail.....

re575817 , 2 days ago

We all have to work hard to get her up in the polls. She is a brilliant candidate!

Midori L. , 2 days ago (edited)

I was overwhelmed with so much warmth when I heard you speak, I swear I have never felt this before. Thank You for all your hard work! No matter what happens, you have my full support and my vote :)

Jesse Pentecost , 2 days ago

The next president of the united states of America

uncleo , 2 days ago

I've been all in for Bernie but listening to Tulsi is equally if not more inspiring given that her focus is on our insane interventionist foreign policy

Raynaud Moreno , 2 days ago

I donated $250. Please donate at least one dollar to her campaign and get her on the debate stage. We will she her crush all the other candidates

BigAlShark , 2 days ago

No teleprompters, no notes, no platitudes or empty rhetoric. Calm and logical and intelligent. No wonder the establishment is scared of her. GO TULSI!!!!

[Mar 19, 2019] Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting

Mar 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

rc, March 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting. Regulatory policies and a credit based monetary system have resulted in massive real price increases in inelastic areas of demand such as healthcare, education and housing eroding purchasing power.

Further, trade policies have put U.S. manufacturing at a massive disadvantage to the likes of China, which has subsidized state-owned enterprises, has essentially slave labor costs and low to no environmental regulations. Unrestrained immigration policies have resulted in a massive supply wave of semi- and unskilled labor suppressing wages.

Recommended initial steps to reform:

1. Change the monetary system-deleverage economy with the Chicago Plan (100% reserve banking) and fund massive infrastructure lowering total factor costs and increasing productivity. This would eliminate

2. Adopt a healthcare system that drives HC to 10% to 12% of GDP. France's maybe? Medicare model needs serious reform but is great at low admin costs.

3. Raise tariffs across the board or enact labor and environmental tariffs on the likes of China and other Asian export model countries.

4. Take savings from healthcare costs and interest and invest in human capital–educational attainment and apprenticeships programs.

5. Enforce border security restricting future immigration dramatically and let economy absorb labor supply over time.

Video of UC-B lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&feature=youtu.be

Jerry B, March 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

As I have said in other comments, I like Liz Warren a lot within the limits of what she is good at doing (i.e. not President) such as Secretary of the Treasury etc. And I think she likes the media spotlight and to hear herself talk a little to much, but all quibbling aside, can we clone her??? The above comment and video just reinforce "Stick to what you are really good at Liz!".

I am not a Liz Warren fan boi to the extent Lambert is of AOC, but it seems that most of the time when I hear Warren, Sanders, or AOC say something my first reaction is "Yes, what she/he said!".

[Mar 19, 2019] Angry Bear " Elizabeth Warren, David Leonhardt, Redistribution, and Predistribution by Robert Waldmann

Mar 17, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Politics Taxes/regulation I just had an unusual experience. I was convinced by an op-ed. One third of the way through "Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism" by David Leonhardt, I was planning to contest one of Leonhard's assertions. Now I am convinced.

The column praises Elizabeth Warren. Leonhardt (like his colleague Paul Krugman) is careful to refrain from declaring his intention to vote for her in the primary. I am planning to vote for her. I mostly agreed with the column to begin with, but was not convinced by Leonard's praise of Warren's emphasis on aiming for more equal pre-fiscal distribution of income rather than just relying on taxes and transfers to redistribute.

In particular, I was not convinced by

This history suggests that the Democratic Party's economic agenda needs to become more ambitious. Modest changes in the top marginal tax rate or in middle-class tax credits aren't enough. The country needs an economic policy that measures up to the scale of our challenges.

Here two issues are combined. One is modest vs major changes. The other is that predistribution is needed in addition to redistribution, as discussed even more clearly here

"Clinton and Obama focused on boosting growth and redistribution," Gabriel Zucman, a University of California, Berkeley, economist who has advised Warren, says. "Warren is focusing on how pretax income can be made more equal."

The option of a large change in the top marginal tax rate and a large middle class tax credit isn't considered in the op-ed. I think this would be excellent policy which has overwhelming popular support as measured by polls (including the support of a large fraction of self declared Republicans). I note from time to time that, since 1976 both the Democrats who have been elected president campaigned on higher taxes on high incomes and lower taxes on the middle class (and IIRC none of the candidates who lost did).

This is also one of my rare disagreements with Paul Krugman , and, finally one of my rare disagreements with Dean Baker ( link to a book which I haven't read).

After the jump, I will make my usual case. But first, I note Leonardt's excellent argument for why "soak the rich and spread it out thin" isn't a sufficient complete market oriented egalitarian program. It is phrased as a question.

"How can the next president make changes that will endure, rather than be undone by a future president, as both Obama's and Clinton's top-end tax increases were?"

Ahh yes. High taxes on high income and high wealth would solve a lot of problems. But they will be reversed. New programs such as Obamacare or Warren's proposed universal pre-K and subsidized day care will not. Nor will regulatory reforms such as mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory paid family leave. I am convinced that relatively complicated proposals are more politically feasible, not because it is easier to implement them, but because it is very hard to eliminate programs used by large numbers of middle class voters.

I'd note that I had already conceded the advantage of a regulatory approach which relies on the illusion that the costs must be born by the regulated firms. Here I note that fleet fuel economy standards are much more popular than increased gasoline taxes. One is a market oriented approach. The other is one that hides behind the market as consumers don't know that part of the price of a gas guzzler pays the shadow price of reducing fleet average milage.

OK my usual argument after the jump

It is unusual for me to disagree with Baker, Leonhardt, and (especially) Krugman. I am quite sure that the Democratic candidate for president should campaign on higher taxes on the rich and lower taxes for the non-rich.

To be sure, I can see that that isn't the only possible policy improvement. Above, I note the advantages of hiding spending by mandating spending by firms and of creating entitlements which are very hard for the GOP to eliminate. I'd add that we have to do a lot to deal with global warming. Competition policy is needed for market efficiency. I think unions and restrictions on firing without cause have an effect on power relations which is good in addition to the effect on income distribution.

But I don't understand the (mildly) skeptical tone. I will set up and knock down some straw men

1) Total straw -- US voters are ideological conservatives and operational liberals. They reject soaking the rich, class war, and redistribution. To convince them to help the non rich, one has to disguise what one is doing.

This is especially silly, and no one in the discussion argues this (anymore -- people used to argue this). The polls and elections are clear. US voters want higher taxes on high incomes and on the wealthy. Also Congress has gone along -- the effective tax rate on the top 1% was about the same after Obama as before Reagan

2) Extremely high marginal tax rates are bad for the economy. Here this is often conceded, in particular by people arguing for modest increases in the top marginal tax rate. The claim is not supported by actual evidence. In particular the top rate was 70% during the 60s boom.

3) High tax rates cause tax avoidance. This reduces efficiency and also means that they don't generate the naively expected revenue. There is very little evidence that this is a huge issue . In particular there was a huge increase in tax sheltering after the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cuts and reforms. It is possible to design a tax code which makes avoidance difficult (as shown by the 1986 Kemp-Bradley tax reform). It is very hard to implement such a code without campaigning on soaking the rich and promoting class uh struggle.

4) More generally, redistribution does not work -- the post tax income distribution is not equalized because the rich find a way. This is super straw again. All the international and time series evidence points the other way.

I don't see a political or policy argument against a large increase in taxes on high incomes (70% bracket starting at $400,000 a year) used to finance a large expansion of the EITC (so most households receive it).

I think a problem is that a simple solution does not please nerds. I think another is that a large fraction of the elite would pay the high taxes and it is easier to trick them into trying to make corporations pay the costs.

But I really don't understand.


Denis Drew , March 17, 2019 3:51 pm

First, whenever anybody (that I hear or read) talks about what to do with the revenue from higher taxes on the rich, they always suggest this or that government program (education, medical, housing). I always think of putting more money back in the pockets of my middle 59% incomes to make up for the higher consumer prices they will have to pay when the bottom 40% get unionized.

Of course the 59% can use that money to pay taxes for said government programs -- money is fungible. But, that re-inserts an important element or dimension or facet which seems perpetually forgotten (would not be in continental Europe or maybe French Canada).

Don't forget: predistribution goal = a reunionized labor market. Don't just look to Europe for redistribution goals -- look at their predistribution too.

Bert Schlitz , March 17, 2019 10:14 pm

Nobody in the 60's that was taxed at a marginal 70% rate paid 70%. The top effective rate was about 32-38%, which was far higher than today, but you get the point. The income tax code was as much control of where investment would take place as much as anything ..Ronald Reagan whined about this for years. Shove it grease ball. There was a reason why.

Redistribution won't work because the system is a debt based ponzi scheme. The US really hasn't grown much since 1980, instead you have had the growth in debt.

You need to get rid of the federal reserve system's banks control of the financial system, which they have had since the 1830's in terms of national control(from Hamilton's Philly, which was the financial epicenter before that) and de Rothschild free since the 1930's(when the bank of de Rothschild ala the Bank of England's reserve currency collapsed). Once we have a debt free currency that is usury free, then you can develop and handle intense changes like ecological problems ala Climate Change, which the modern plutocrats cannot and will not solve.

They have been ramming debt in peoples face since 1950 and since 1980 it has gotten vulgar. They know they are full of shit and can't win a fair game.

run75441 , March 18, 2019 6:09 am

Robert:

Would you agree a secure healthcare system without work requirements for those who can not afford healthcare is a form of pre-distribution of income? Today's ACA was only a step in the right direction and is being tampered with by ideologs to limit its reach. It can be improved upon and have a socio-economic impact on people. Over at Medpage where I comment on healthcare, the author makes this comment:

"Investing in improvements in patients' social determinants of health -- non-medical areas such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity -- is another potentially big area, he said. "It's a major opportunity for plans to position around this and make it real. The more plans can address social determinants of health, [the more] plans can become truly organizations dedicated to health as opposed to organizations dedicated to incurring medical costs, and that to me is a bright future and a bright way to position the industry."

Many of the "social determinants of health" are not consciously decided by the patient and are predetermined by income, social status or politics, and education. What is being said in this paragraph makes for nice rhetoric and is mostly unachievable due to the three factors I suggested. And yes, you can make some progress. People can make healthy choices once the pre-determinants to doing so are resolved.

Another factor which was left dangling when Liebermann decided to be an ass is Long Term Healthcare for the elderly and those who are no longer capable. Medicare is only temporary and Medicaid forces one to be destitute. There is a large number of people who are approaching the time when they will need such healthcare till death. We have no plans for this tsunami of people.

The tax break was passed using Reconciliation. In 7-8 years out, there is a planned shift in taxes to be levied on the middle income brackets to insure the continuamce of Trump's tax break for the 100 or so thousand households it was skewed towards. If not rescinding the tax break then it should be fixed so it sunsets as did Bush's tax break due to its budget creating deficit. Someone running for the Pres position should be discussing this and pointing out how Republicans have deliberately undermined the middle income brackets.

We should not limit solutions to just income when there are so many areas we are lacking in today.

Mu $.02.

Robert Waldmann , March 18, 2019 4:47 pm

I guess I consider food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security old age pensions and disability pensions to be redistribution. My distinction is whether it is tax financed. Providing goods or services as in Medicare and food stamps seems to me basically the same as providing cash as in TANF and old age pensions.

There is also a difference between means tested and age dependent eligiability, but I don't consider it fundamental.

I assert that Medicare (especially plan B) is a kind of welfare basically like TANF and food stamps.

(and look forward to a calm and tranquil discussion of that opinion).

run75441 , March 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Robert:

Medicare is 41% funded by general revenues. The rest comes from payroll taxes and beneficiary premiums. Advantage plans cost more than traditional Medicare for providing the same benefits and also extract a premium fee. I do not believe I have been mean to you. I usually question to learn more. I am happy to have your input.

I am writing for Consumer Safety Org on Woman's healthcare this time and also an article on the Swiss struggling to pay for cancer fighting drugs.

I am always looking for input.

[Mar 18, 2019] FULL CNN TOWN HALL WITH TULSI GABBARD 3-10-19

Highly recommended!
amazing, simply amazing. You need to watch this Town Hall in full to appreciate the skills she demonstrated in defense of her principles. What a fearless young lady.
And this CNN warmonger, a prostitute of MIC was/is pretty devious. Question were selected with malice to hurt Tulsi and people who ask them were definitely pre-selected with an obvious intent to smear Tulsi. In no way those were spontaneous question. This was a session of Neocon//Neolib inquisition. Tulsi behaves like a modern Joan of Arc
From comments: "People need to donate to Tulsi Gabbard for president so she is allowed on the DNC sponsored debate stages. 65000 unique donors required to be in the debates. Donation can be as small as $1 if you can't afford $25"(mrfuzztone)
Notable quotes:
"... Braver then 99.9% of all men in power. They just enjoy watching the blood sports they create for profit. Looks like people are starting to get fed up with the show. About time ..."
"... WE CURRENTLY HAVE A CRONY CAPITALIST PYRAMID SCHEME AND CNN PLAYS IT'S PART TO KEEP THAT SYSTEM IN PLACE ..."
"... I'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi. ..."
Mar 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com
lalamimix , 1 week ago

Braver then 99.9% of all men in power. They just enjoy watching the blood sports they create for profit. Looks like people are starting to get fed up with the show. About time✌️ 😉

FMA Bincarim , 1 week ago

CNN has the nerve to claim that Cloudbootjar Copmala Cory and Creepy Joe are polling higher than her.

softminimal1 , 1 week ago (edited)

WE CURRENTLY HAVE A CRONY CAPITALIST PYRAMID SCHEME AND CNN PLAYS IT'S PART TO KEEP THAT SYSTEM IN PLACE.

softminimal1 , 1 week ago

CNN LOVES WARS.

edfou5 , 1 week ago

I'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi.

mb1968nz , 1 week ago (edited)

Tulsi handled these hacks like a pro LOOL Are you a capitalist? LOL What s stupid question.....CCN usually stacks there town halls with corporate cronies. I bet Bernie picks her for a high position in his government.

mrfuzztone , 1 week ago

People need to donate to Tulsi Gabbard for president so she is allowed on the DNC sponsored debate stages. 65000 unique donors required to be in the debates. Donation can be as small as $1 if you can't afford $25.

[Mar 18, 2019] DNC is GOP lite. They are a bunch of greedy corrupted thugs. MSNBC Host: I'd Vote Trump Over Bernie!

Mar 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Troy Rudd , 3 days ago

Wow. The same people blaming "bernie bros" for Trump are gonna teach us a lesson by giving us more of what they are mad about. Now, that's some "unity" for ya! #Bernie2020

James , 3 days ago

I lived in Copenhagen for my fieldwork and it is spectacularly more advanced and functional than ANY city in this shit country.

Alex F , 3 days ago (edited)

Someone should send this clip to Sanders/Gabbard. Just have them play this on repeat during their campaign so people will wake up to how awful America is if the people don't vote correctly in 2020

Bethany Hunt , 3 days ago

"Of course it has to be reformed" yes, and how many times do we reform capitalism before we realise that there's something intrinsically wrong with it?

Stephen Goodfellow , 1 day ago (edited)

Socialism for Billionaires, Capitalism for everybody else :-) Enact a Separation of Wealth and State

Joel Runyan , 3 days ago

Everyone on corporate media is a millionaire doing the bidding of billionaires

[Mar 18, 2019] The Party of Davos have ruled for 40-50 years. We've got unprecedented wealth inequality. We've got endless wars with no benefit for the Deplorables. All they have are opioids.

Mar 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , 2 days ago

Harper,

The media and the establishment are focused on Trump and his personality. They don't want to delve into the zeitgeist that allowed him to defeat two political dynasties. That's what they should be focused on.

It's a similar zeitgeist that caused Brexit. That elected Salvini and 5 Star in Italy. That's behind Gilets Jaunes who are now in their 18th week of protests in France. China going more totalitarian by the day under Chairman Xi.

The Party of Davos have ruled for 40-50 years. We've got unprecedented wealth inequality. We've got endless wars with no benefit for the Deplorables. All they have are opioids. More dying of that than automobile accidents. Health care, tuition, rents all rising. A double standard in tthe application of the law. Hypocrisy oozing from every pore of the ruling elites. Bribing their way to elite colleges while espousing meritocracy.

Is this what Howe & Strauss mean by the Fourth Turning?

[Mar 18, 2019] Tulsi Smashes CNN's Pro War Horribleness

CNN is just mouthpiece for intelligence community and MIC
The question of a type "did you finished to beat your wife" are very difficult to ask. So how skillfully Tulsi handled those "sinking" question comment her skills.
Mar 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

Become a Patron/Premium Member: https://www.patreon.com/jimmydore & http://bit.ly/JDPremium Schedule of Live Shows: http://bit.ly/2gRqoyL

PeterMX , says: March 16, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT

The problem with Jimmy Dore is he has some kind of mental block or is somehow completely unaware of the reasons we bomb countries that are hostile to Israel and located right on their border or at least near them. You also have to be completely unaware of the power of the Jewish lobbies and their obvious bias towards their own interests to ignore Jews role in promoting wars that benefit Israel. It's not the "military industrial complex" Jimmy, it's who controls that complex. Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN is a Jew, that like Jake Tapper (also a Jew) sees any destruction of Syria as beneficial to Israel. The neo-Con Max Boot was born in Russia and still wants to bomb Russia because he's a Jew that doesn't want Putin preventing Jewish controlled US from destroying Syria. I can level some similar criticism at Jimmy that he levels at the mainstream media.

[Mar 18, 2019] Boeing Drops as Role in Vetting Its Own Jets Comes Under Fire

Mar 18, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

Boeing Co. tumbled early Monday on heightened scrutiny by regulators and prosecutors over whether the approval process for the company's 737 Max jetliner was flawed.

A person familiar with the matter on Sunday said that the U.S. Transportation Department's Inspector General was examining the plane's design certification before the second of two deadly crashes of the almost brand-new aircraft.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that a grand jury in Washington, D.C., on March 11 issued a subpoena to at least one person involved in the development process of the Max. And a Seattle Times investigation found that U.S. regulators delegated much of the plane's safety assessment to Boeing and that the company in turn delivered an analysis with crucial flaws.

Boeing dropped 2.8 percent to $368.53 before the start of regular trading Monday in New York, well below any closing price since the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10. Ethiopia's transport minister said Sunday that flight-data recorders showed "clear similarities" between the crashes of that plane and Lion Air Flight 610 last October.

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration employees warned as early as seven years ago that Boeing had too much sway over safety approvals of new aircraft, prompting an investigation by Transportation Department auditors who confirmed the agency hadn't done enough to "hold Boeing accountable."

The 2012 investigation also found that discord over Boeing's treatment had created a "negative work environment" among FAA employees who approve new and modified aircraft designs, with many of them saying they'd faced retaliation for speaking up. Their concerns pre-dated the 737 Max development.

In recent years, the FAA has shifted more authority over the approval of new aircraft to the manufacturer itself, even allowing Boeing to choose many of the personnel who oversee tests and vouch for safety. Just in the past few months, Congress expanded the outsourcing arrangement even further.

"It raises for me the question of whether the agency is properly funded, properly staffed and whether there has been enough independent oversight," said Jim Hall, who was chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001 and is now an aviation-safety consultant.

Outsourcing Safety

At least a portion of the flight-control software suspected in the 737 Max crashes was certified by one or more Boeing employees who worked in the outsourcing arrangement, according to one person familiar with the work who wasn't authorized to speak about the matter.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the inspector general's latest inquiry. The watchdog is trying to assess whether the FAA used appropriate design standards and engineering analysis in approving the 737 Max's anti-stall system, the newspaper said.

Both Boeing and the Transportation Department declined to comment about that inquiry.

In a statement on Sunday, the agency said its "aircraft certification processes are well established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs," adding that the "737 Max certification program followed the FAA's standard certification process."

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed minutes after it took off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. The accident prompted most of the world to ground Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft on safety concerns, coming on the heels of the October crash of a Max 8 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air that killed 189 people. Much of the attention focused on a flight-control system that can automatically push a plane into a catastrophic nose dive if it malfunctions and pilots don't react properly.

In one of the most detailed descriptions yet of the relationship between Boeing and the FAA during the 737 Max's certification, the Seattle Times quoted unnamed engineers who said the planemaker had understated the power of the flight-control software in a System Safety Analysis submitted to the FAA. The newspaper said the analysis also failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded -- in essence, gradually ratcheting the horizontal stabilizer into a dive position.

Software Fix

Boeing told the newspaper in a statement that the FAA had reviewed the company's data and concluded the aircraft "met all certification and regulatory requirements." The company, which is based in Chicago but designs and builds commercial jets in the Seattle area, said there are "some significant mischaracterizations" in the engineers' comments.

[Mar 17, 2019] HARPER: THE DIALECTICS OF STUPIDITY

Mar 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Someone astute once said "history repeats itself--the first as tragedy and then as farce." Oh, yes, it was Karl Marx in his Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. Quite relevant to the subject.

I have followed the beginning of the 2020 presidential campaign undecided whether to cry or laugh. That is to say, I am undecided whether to view the unfolding season as a tragic or farcical circumstance.

Of particular agony is the back-and-forth between President Trump and his sycophants on the one side and the nominal Democratic wunderkind AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for those living on another planet) on the other. Trumpers label her as a dangerous socialist and vow to defend America against a resurgence of socialism. AOC returns the volley by declaring that she is, indeed a socialist, and the socialistic redistribution of billionaire fortune is what's best for the United States. Mainstream Democrats are terrified that AOC and her Millennial fans will hijack the 2020 primary campaign and once again allow the Democrats to seize defeat from the jaws of victory.

Between AOC and The Donald, I doubt that a single page of the writings of Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, or Mao Zedong have been read and digested.

There were serious revolutions in the 19th and early 20th century. Marx's writings on class warfare, the theory of surplus value and related topics were once seriously studied and gave some foundation to serious revolutionary thinkers. There were ferocious debates, particularly in Bolshevik Soviet Union post-1917 that led to firing squads and other serious consequences. Socialism in one country of Stalin versus permanent revolution of Trotsky was a core issue in shaping world revolution in the 1930s. The Popular Front Against Fascism was Stalin's approach to align with the United States and others to defeat the Nazis. 20 million Russians and 23 million Chinese died in the fight. 16 million Americans were sent to battle in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. But the moment the war ended, the new Cold War started. It was a struggle between Soviet Communism and Western Democracy, led by the United States. It had real consequences. It led to the rise of what President Eisenhower warned of as the "military-industrial complex" in his Farewell Address.

Relative to these genuine battles over ideas, I find the current debate worse than farce. If the best that the two major parties can come up with in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections is a debate over "socialism for dummies," then the real losers will be the American people.

I hope this thread sparks some response. I am touching on a big subject in a few words. Is there a genuine emergence of Millennial Socialism? AOC's self-proclaimed Green New Deal has nothing to do with FDR's actions in 1933, which were aimed, in part, at preparing the United States for the next war that was already looming in Europe. Reichstag Fire was February 27,1933.

FDR was inaugurated March 4, 1933--not even a week later. Serious times demand serious ideas and rich debate. Not kindergarten name calling from the peanut gallery.


Mark Logan -> Pat Lang , a day ago

It's IMO merely an aspiration document. I totally agree it's unrealistic and potentially catastrophic if suddenly implemented in the style of, say, one of Mao's 5-year plans. Yet it's not completely without merit. The world is rapidly industrializing and the population booming. At some point fossil fuels will become precious. There really are "green jobs", many in infrastructure and that means some government involvement. Jobs jobs jobs.

We have too large a percentage of our capital just sloshing back and forth on Wall Street casino tables IMO.

Fred -> Mark Logan , 10 hours ago
You mean when Senator Malarkey introduced that legislation he did not intend it to become the law of the land? That says a great deal about the Senator. "aspiration" is just the twist the Democratic party is using to continue to control the media narrative.

"We have too large a percentage of our capital... on Wall Street..."

How did it become "our capital" and why should the Federal government be telling me what I can do with my own money?

Mark Logan -> Fred , 7 hours ago
Because "A hungry mon is an angry mon." The US model is one of government saving capitalism both from and for the capitalists.

I understand some subscribe to the Ayn Rand notions of laissez faire capitalism, but I know of no industrialized place on the world where that has worked out well. We went through a Gilded Age ourselves, the result was not a happy one for most workers so we broke up the trusts and redistributed the wealth. Worked out pretty well, and it was done by the very generation being touted as heroes of capitalism now. Ike had a 90% tax rate on individual incomes above a certain level, and he hardly did that alone. I suspect Ike wanted to make damn sure the Daddy Warbucks of his previous war did not make him have to route hungry vets protesting for their pay out of Washington's streets again, but I be guessing.

I hear a lot about "supply side" theories. That implies a false dichotomy, one must be either a supply sider or something else. I'm a "both sider". Can't have a consumer economy without consumers and so consumers must have money to spend. Can't have jobs without some capital. I view assuming that it happens naturally in all cases as blind faith.

If I had to justify this constitutionally, I'd put it under "provide for the general welfare' and "preserve domestic tranquility'.

TTG -> Mark Logan , a day ago
The GND as introduced by AOC is indeed an aspirational document. It is a resolution rather than a bill destined to become law. Compared to some of the GNDs put out by other groups over the last few years, AOC's resolution is almost moderate. Almost, I still think going to net zero carbon emissions in 10 years is a tall order.

We are subsidizing a lot of industries at the state and federal level. That in itself smacks of socialist policies. If those subsidies were redirected to green industries we would be well on the way to meeting a lot of the GND goals. Even without those subsidies, the auto industry seems intent on moving to EP fleets at the expense of their fossil fuel fleets. And coal as a fuel is going the way of the dodo bird.

Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 5 hours ago
It aspires to what? The kind of pastoral society that the South was before the Yankees destroyed it?

[Mar 17, 2019] Mueller uses the same old false flag scams, just different packaging of his forensics-free findings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians. ..."
"... Maybe the VIPS should look into the murder of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who had the security clearance required to access the DNC servers, and who was murdered in the same week as the emails were taken. In particular, they should ask why the police were told to stand down and close the murder case without further investigation. ..."
"... What a brilliant article, so logical, methodical & a forensic, scientific breakdown of the phony Russiagate project? And there's no doubt, this was a co-ordinated, determined Intelligence project to reverse the results of the 2016 Election by initiating a soft coup or Regime change op on a elected Leader, a very American Coup, something the American Intelligence Agencies specialise in, everywhere else, on a Global scale, too get Trump impeached & removed from the Whitehouse? ..."
"... Right. Since its purpose is to destroy Trump politically, the investigation should go on as long as Trump is in office. Alternatively, if at this point Trump has completely sold out, that would be another reason to stop the investigation. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi's announcement two days ago that the Democrats will not seek impeachment for Trump suggests the emptiness of the Mueller investigation on the specific "collusion" issue. ..."
"... We know and Assange has confirmed Seth Rich, assassinated in D.C. for his deed, downloaded the emails and most likely passed them on to former British ambassador Craig Murray in a D.C. park for transport to Wikileaks. ..."
"... This so-called "Russiagate" narrative is an illustration of our "freedom of the press" failure in the US due to groupthink and self censorship. He who pays the piper is apt to call the tune. ..."
"... Barr, Sessions, every congressmen all the corporate MSM war profiteer mouth pieces. They all know that "Russia hacked the DNC" and "Russia meddled" is fabricated garbage. They don't care, because their chosen war beast corporate candidate couldn't beat Donald goofball Trump. So it has to be shown that the war beast only lost because of nefarious reasons. Because they're gonna run another war beast cut from the same cloth as Hillary in 2020. ..."
"... Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c ..."
"... Trump is a willing player in this game. The anti-Russian Crusade was, quite simply, a stunningly reckless, short-sighted effort to overturn the 2016 election, removing Trump to install Hillary Clinton in office. ..."
"... Much ado about nothing. All the talk and chatter and media airplay about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election only tells me that these liars think the American public is that stupid. ..."
"... Andrew Thomas I'm afraid that huge amounts of our History post 1947 is organized and propagandized disinformation. There is an incredible page that John Simpkin has organized over the years that specifically addresses individuals, click on a name and read about them. https://spartacus-educational.com/USAdisinformation.htm ..."
"... It's pretty astonishing that Mueller was more interested in Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi as credible sources about Wikileaks and the DNC release than Craig Murray! ..."
"... Yes, he has done his job. And his job was to bring his royal Orangeness to heel, and to make sure that detente and co-operation with Russia remained impossible. The forever war continues. Mission Accomplished. ..."
Mar 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

O Society , March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am

The Truth is Out There. I Want to Believe!

Same old scams, different packaging. That's New & Improved for you.

http://opensociet.org/2019/03/16/the-return-of-the-hidden-persuaders

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I could not suffer through reading the whole article. This is mainly because I have watched the news daily about Mueller's Investigation and I sincerely believe that Mueller is Champion of the Democrats who are trying to depose President Donald Trump at any cost.

For what Mueller found any decent lawyer with a Degree and a few years of experience could have found what Mueller found for far far less money. Mueller only found common crimes AND NO COLLUSION BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND PUTIN!

The Mueller Investigation should be given to an honest broker to review, and Mueller should be paid only what it would cost to produce the commonplace crimes Mueller, The Democrats, and CNN has tried to convince the people that indeed Trump COLLUDED with RUSSIA. Mueller is, a BIG NOTHING BURGER and THE DEMOCRATS AND CNN ARE MUELLER'S SINGING CANARYS! Mueller should be jailed.

Bogdan Miller , March 15, 2019 at 11:04 am

This article explains why the Mueller Report is already highly suspect. For another thing, we know that since before 2016, Democrats have been studying Russian Internet and hacking tactics, and posing as Russian Bots/Trolls on Facebook and other media outlets, all in an effort to harm President Trump.

It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians.

B.J.M. Former Intelligence Analyst and Humint Collector

vinnieoh , March 15, 2019 at 8:17 am

Moving on: the US House yesterday voted UNANIMOUSLY (remember that word, so foreign these days to US governance?) to "urge" the new AG to release the complete Mueller report.

A non-binding resolution, but you would think that the Democrats can't see the diesel locomotive bearing down on their clown car, about to smash it to pieces. The new AG in turn says he will summarize the report and that is what we will see, not the entire report. And taxation without representation takes a new twist.

... ... ...

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

What else would you expect from two Political Parties who are really branches of the ONE Party which Represents DEEP STATE".

DWS , March 15, 2019 at 5:58 am

Maybe the VIPS should look into the murder of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who had the security clearance required to access the DNC servers, and who was murdered in the same week as the emails were taken. In particular, they should ask why the police were told to stand down and close the murder case without further investigation.

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm

EXACTLY! But, Deep State will not allow that. And, it would ruin the USA' plan to continue to invade more sovereign countries and steal their resources such as oil and Minerals. The people of the USA must be Ostriches or are so terrified that they accept anything their Criminal Governments tell them.

Eventually, the chickens will come home to roost and perhaps the USA voters will ROAST when the crimes of the USA sink the whole country. It is time for a few Brave Men and Women to find their backbones and throw out the warmongers and their leading Oligarchs!

KiwiAntz , March 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm

What a brilliant article, so logical, methodical & a forensic, scientific breakdown of the phony Russiagate project? And there's no doubt, this was a co-ordinated, determined Intelligence project to reverse the results of the 2016 Election by initiating a soft coup or Regime change op on a elected Leader, a very American Coup, something the American Intelligence Agencies specialise in, everywhere else, on a Global scale, too get Trump impeached & removed from the Whitehouse?

If you can't get him out via a Election, try & try again, like Maduro in Venezuela, to forcibly remove the targeted person by setting him up with fake, false accusations & fabricated evidence? How very predictable & how very American of Mueller & the Democratic Party. Absolute American Corruption, corrupts absolutely?

Brian Murphy , March 15, 2019 at 10:33 am

Right. Since its purpose is to destroy Trump politically, the investigation should go on as long as Trump is in office. Alternatively, if at this point Trump has completely sold out, that would be another reason to stop the investigation.

If the investigation wraps up and finds nothing, that means Trump has already completely sold out. If the investigation continues, it means someone important still thinks Trump retains some vestige of his balls.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm

By last June or July the Mueller investigation has resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes, and there was a handful of convictions to date. The report did not support the Clinton wing's anti-Russian allegations about the 2016 election, and was largely brushed aside by media. Mueller was then reportedly sent back in to "find something." presumably to support the anti-Russian claims.

mike k , March 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

From the beginning of the Russia did it story, right after Trump's electoral victory, it was apparent that this was a fraud. The democratic party however has locked onto this preposterous story, and they will go to their graves denying this was a scam to deny their presidential defeat, and somehow reverse the result of Trump's election. My sincere hope is that this blatant lie will be an albatross around the party's neck, that will carry them down into oblivion. They have betrayed those of us who supported them for so many years. They are in many ways now worse than the republican scum they seek to replace.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Trump is almost certain to be re-elected in 2020, and we'll go through this all over again.

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm

The very fact that the FBI never had access to the servers and took the word of a private company that had a history of being anti-Russian is enough to throw the entire ruse out.

LJ , March 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Agreed!!!! and don't forget the FBI/Comey gave Hillary and her Campaign a head's up before they moved to seize the evidence. . So too, Comey said he stopped the Investigation , thereby rendering judgement of innocence, even though by his own words 'gross negligence' had a occurred (which is normally considered grounds for prosecution). In doing so he exceeded the FBI's investigative mandate. He rationalized that decision was appropriate because of the appearance of impropriety that resulted from Attorney General Lynch having a private meeting on a plane on a runway with Bill and Hillary . Where was the logic in that. Who called the meeting? All were Lawyers who had served as President, Senator, Attorney General and knew that the meeting was absolutely inappropriate. . Comey should be prosecuted if they want to prosecute anyone else because of this CRAP. PS Trump is an idiot. Uhinfortunately he is just a symptom of the disease at this point. Look at the cover of Rolling Stone magazine , carry a barf bag.

Jane Christ , March 14, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Exactly. This throws doubt on the ability of the FBI to work independently. They are working for those who want to cover -up the Hillary mess . She evidently has sufficient funds to pay them off. I am disgusted with the level of corruption.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 10:50 am

Nancy Pelosi's announcement two days ago that the Democrats will not seek impeachment for Trump suggests the emptiness of the Mueller investigation on the specific "collusion" issue. If there were something hot and lingering and about to emerge, this decision is highly unlikely, especially with the reasoning she gave at "so as not to divide the American people." Dividing the people hasn't been of much concern throughout this bogus witch hunt on Trump, which has added to his incompetence in leavening a growing hysteria and confusion in this country. If there is something, anything at all, in the Mueller report to support the collusion theory, Pelosi would I'm sure gleefully trot it out to get a lesser candidate like Pence as opposition for 2020.

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:17 am

We know and Assange has confirmed Seth Rich, assassinated in D.C. for his deed, downloaded the emails and most likely passed them on to former British ambassador Craig Murray in a D.C. park for transport to Wikileaks.

We must also honor Shawn Lucas assassinated for serving DNC with a litigation notice exposing the DNC conspiracy against Sanders.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Where has Assange confirmed this? Assange's long-standing position is NOT to reveal his sources. I believe he has continued to honor this position.

Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:15 am

It has merely been insinuated by the offering of a reward for info on Seth's murder. In one breath he says wikileaks will never divulge a source, and in the next he offers a $20k reward saying that sources take tremendous risk. Doesn't take much of a logical leap to connect A to B.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Are you aware that Democrats split apart their 0wn voting base in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor? The Obama years merely confirmed that this split is permanent. This is particularly relevant for Democrats, as their voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, for the common good. Ignoring this deep split hasn't made it go away.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Even more important is how the Democrats have sold out to an Establishment view favoring neocon theory, since at least Bill Clinton. Pelosi's recent behavior with Ilhan Omar confirms this and the split you're talking about. My point is it is distinctly odd that Pelosi is discouraging impeachment on "dividing the Party" (already divided, of course, as you say), whereas the Russia-gate fantasy was so hot not that long ago. Again it points to a cynical opportunism and manipulation of the electorate. Both parties are a sad excuse to represent ordinary people's interests.

Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:21 am

She said "dividing the country", not the party. I think she may have concerns over Trump's heavily armed base. That said, the statement may have been a ruse. There are plenty of Republicans that would cross the line in favor of impeachment with the right "conclusions" by Mueller. Pelosi may be setting up for a "bombshell" conclusion by Mueller. One must never forget that we are watching theater, and that Trump was a "mistake" to be controlled or eliminated.

Cindy Haddix , March 14, 2019 at 8:04 am

Mueller should be ashamed that he has made President Trump his main concern!! If all this investigation would stop he could save America millions!!! He needs to quit this witch-hunt and worry about things that really need to be handled!!! If the democrats and Trump haters would stop pushing senseless lies hopefully this would stop ? It's so disgusting that his democrat friend was never really investigated ? stop the witch-hunt and move forward!!!!

torture this , March 14, 2019 at 7:29 am

According to this letter, mistakes might have been made on Rachel Maddow's show. I can't wait to read how she responds. I'd watch her show, myself except that it has the same effect on me as ipecac.

Zhu , March 14, 2019 at 3:37 am

People will cling to "Putin made Trump President!!!" much as many cling "Obama's a Kenyan Muslim! Not a real American!!!". Both nut theories are emotionally satisfying, no matter what the historical facts are. Many Americans just can't admit their mistakes and blaming a scapegoat is a way out.

O Society , March 14, 2019 at 2:03 am

Thank you VIPS for organizing this legit dissent consisting of experts in the field of intelligence and computer forensics.

This so-called "Russiagate" narrative is an illustration of our "freedom of the press" failure in the US due to groupthink and self censorship. He who pays the piper is apt to call the tune.

It is astounding how little skepticism and scientifically-informed reasoning goes on in our media. These folks show themselves to be native advertising rather than authentic journalists at every turn.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm

But it has been Democrats and the media that market to middle class Dems, who persist in trying to sell the Russian Tale. They excel at ignoring the evidence that utterly contradicts their claims.

O Society , March 15, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Oh, we're well beyond your "Blame the middle class Dems" stage.

The WINNING!!! team sports bullshit drowns the entire country now the latrine's sprung a leak. People pretend to live in bubbles made of blue or red quite like the Three Little Pigs, isn't it? Except instead of a house made of bricks saving the day for the littlepiggies, what we've got here is a purple puddle of piss.

Everyone's more than glad to project all our problems on "THEM" though, aren't we?

Meanwhile, the White House smells like a urinal not washed since the 1950s and simpletons still get their rocks off arguing about whether Mickey Mouse can beat up Ronald McDonald.

T'would be comic except what's so tragic is the desperate need Americans have to believe, oh just believe! in something. Never mind the sound of the jackhammer on your skull dear, there's an app for that or is it a pill?

I don't know, don't ask me, I'm busy watching TV. Have a cheeto.

https://opensociet.org/2018/12/18/the-disneyfication-of-america/

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Very good analysis clearly stated, especially adding the FAT timestamps to the transmission speeds.

Minor corrections: "The emails were copied from the network" should be "from the much faster local network" because this is to Contradict the notion that they were copied over the internet network, which most readers will equate with "network." Also "reportedin" should be "reported in."

Michael , March 13, 2019 at 6:25 pm

It is likely that New Knowledge was actually "the Russians", possibly working in concert with Crowdstrike. Once an intelligence agency gets away with something like pretending to be Russian hackers and bots, they tend to re-use their model; it is too tempting to discard an effective model after a one-off accomplishment. New Knowledge was caught interfering/ determining the outcome in the Alabama Senate race on the side of Democrat Doug Jones, and claimed they were merely trying to mimic Russian methods to see if they worked (they did; not sure of their punishment?). Occam's razor would suggest that New Knowledge would be competent to mimic/ pretend to be "Russians" after the fact of wikileaks' publication of emails. New Knowledge has employees from the NSA and State department sympathetic to/ working with(?) Hillary, and were the "outside" agency hired to evaluate and report on the "Russian" hacking of the DNC emails/ servers.

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Mueller released report last summer, which resulted in (the last I checked) roughly 150 indictments, a handful of convictions to date, all for perjury/financial (not political) crimes. This wasn't kept secret. It simply wasn't what Democrats wanted to hear, so although it was mentioned in some lib media (which overwhelmingly supported neoliberal Hillary Clinton), it was essentially swept under the carpet.

Billy , March 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm

Barr, Sessions, every congressmen all the corporate MSM war profiteer mouth pieces. They all know that "Russia hacked the DNC" and "Russia meddled" is fabricated garbage. They don't care, because their chosen war beast corporate candidate couldn't beat Donald goofball Trump. So it has to be shown that the war beast only lost because of nefarious reasons. Because they're gonna run another war beast cut from the same cloth as Hillary in 2020.

Realist , March 14, 2019 at 3:22 am

You betcha. Moreover, who but the Russians do these idiots have left to blame? Everybody else is now off limits due to political correctness. Sigh Those Catholics, Jews, "ethnics" and sundry "deviants" used to be such reliable scapegoats, to say nothing of the "undeveloped" world. As Clapper "authoritatively" says, only this vile lineage still carries the genes for the most extremes of human perfidy. Squirrels in your attic? It must be the damned Russkies! The bastards impudently tried to copy our democracy, economic system and free press and only besmirched those institutions, ruining all of Hillary's glorious plans for a worldwide benevolent dictatorship. All this might be humorous if it weren't so funny.

And those Chinese better not get to thinking they are somehow our equals just because all their trillions invested in U.S. Treasury bonds have paid for all our wars of choice and MIC boondoggles since before the turn of the century. Unless they start delivering Trump some "free stuff" the big man is gonna cut off their water. No more affordable manufactured goods for the American public! So there!

As to the article: impeccable research and analysis by the VIPS crew yet again. They've proven to me that, to a near certainty, the Easter Bunny is not likely to exist. Mueller won't read it. Clapper will still prance around a free man, as will Brennan. The Democrats won't care, that is until November of 2020. And Hillary will continue to skate, unhindered in larding up the Clinton Foundation to purposes one can only imagine.

Joe Tedesky , March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm

Realist,

I have posted this article 'the Russia they Lost' before and from time to time but once again it seems appropriate to add this link to expound upon for what you've been saying. It's an article written by a Russian who in they're youth growing up in the USSR dreamed of living the American lifestyle if Russia were to ever ditch communism. But . Starting with Kosovo this Russian's youthful dream turned nightmarishly ugly and, as time went by with more and yet even more USA aggression this Russian author loss his admiration and desire for all things American to be proudly envied. This is a story where USA hard power destroyed any hope of American soft power for world unity. But hey that unity business was never part of the plan anyway.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

Realist , March 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm

right you are, joe. if america was smart rather than arrogant, it would have cooperated with china and russia to see the belt and road initiative succeed by perhaps building a bridge or tunnel from siberia to alaska, and by building its own fleet of icebreakers to open up its part of the northwest passage. but no, it only wants to sabotage what others propose. that's not being a leader, it's being a dick.

i'm gonna have to go on the disabled list here until the sudden neurological problem with my right hand clears up–it's like paralysed. too difficult to do this one-handed using hunt and peck. at least the problem was not in the old bean, according to the scans. carry on, sir.

Brian James , March 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Trump is a willing player in this game. The anti-Russian Crusade was, quite simply, a stunningly reckless, short-sighted effort to overturn the 2016 election, removing Trump to install Hillary Clinton in office. Trump and the Republicans continue to win by default, as Democrats only drive more voters away.

Howard , March 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Thank you Ray McGovern and the Other 17 VIPS C0-Signers of your National Security Essay for Truth. Along with Craig Murray and Seymour Hirsch, former Sam Adams Award winners for "shining light into dark places", you are national resources for objectivity in critical survival information matters for our country. It is more than a pity that our mainstream media are so beholden to their corporate task masters that they cannot depart from the company line for fear of losing their livelihoods, and in the process we risk losing life on the planet because of unconstrained nuclear war on the part of the two main adversaries facing off in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Let me speak plainly. THEY SHOULD BE TALKING TO YOU AND NOT THE VESTED INTERESTS' MOUTHPIECES. Thank you for your continued leadership!

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:28 am

Roger Ailes founder of FOX news died, "falling down stairs" within a week of FOX news exposing to the world that the assassinated Seth Rich downloaded the DNC emails.

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 6:03 pm

Google the Mueller investigation report from last June or July. When it was released, the public response was like a deflated balloon. It did not support the "Russian collusion" allegations -- the only thing Democrats still had left to sell. The report resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes (not political), and a handful of convictions to date -- none of which had anything to do with the election results.

Hank , March 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Much ado about nothing. All the talk and chatter and media airplay about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election only tells me that these liars think the American public is that stupid. They are probably right, but the REAL reason that Hillary lost is because there ARE enough informed people now in this nation who are quite aware of the Clinton's sordid history where scandals seem to follow every where they go, but indictments and/or investigations don't. There IS an internet nowadays with lots of FACTUAL DOCUMENTED information. That's a lot more than I can say about the mainstream corporate-controlled media!

I know this won't ever happen, but an HONEST investigation into the Democratic Party and their actions during the 2016 election would make ANY collusion with ANY nation look like a mole hill next to a mountain! One of the problems with living in this nation is if you are truly informed and make an effort 24/7 to be that way by doing your own research, you more-than-likely can be considered an "island in a sea of ignorance".

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm

We know that the FBI never had access to the servers and a private company was allowed to handle the evidence. Wasnt it a crime scene? The evidence was tampered with And we will never know what was on the servers.

Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm

As a complement to this excellent analysis, I would like to make 2 further points:

The Mueller indictment of Russian Intelligence for hacking the DNC and transferring their booty to Wikileaks is absurd on its face for this reason: Assange announced on June 12th the impending release of Hillary-related emails. Yet the indictment claims that Guccifer 2.0 did not succeed in transferring the DNC emails to Wikileaks until the time period of July 14-18th – after which they were released online on July 22nd. Are we to suppose that Assange, a publisher of impeccable integrity, publicly announced the publication of emails he had not yet seen, and which he was obtaining from a source of murky provenance? And are we further to suppose that Wikileaks could have processed 20K emails and 20K attachments to insure their genuineness in a period of only several days? As you will recall, Wikileaks subsequently took a number of weeks to process the Podesta emails they released in October.

And another peculiarity merits attention. Assange did not state on June 12th that he was releasing DNC emails – and yet Crowdstrike and the Guccifer 2.0 personna evidently knew that this was in store. A likely resolution of this conundrum is that US intelligence had been monitoring all communications to Wikileaks, and had informed the DNC that their hacked emails had been offered to Wikileaks. A further reasonable prospect is that US intelligence subsequently unmasked the leaker to the DNC; as Assange has strongly hinted, this likely was Seth Rich. This could explain Rich's subsequent murder, as Rich would have been in a position to unmask the Guccifer 2.0 hoax and the entire Russian hacking narrative.

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/muellers-new-indictment-do-the-feds-take-us-for-idiots-5406ef955406

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/how-did-crowdstrike-guccifer-2-0-know-that-wikileaks-was-planning-to-release-dnc-emails-42e6db334053

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Curious that Assange has Not explicitly stated that the leaker was Seth Rich, if it was, as this would take pressure from himself and incriminate the DNC in the murder of Rich. Perhaps he doesn't know, and has the honor not to take the opportunity, or perhaps he knows that it was not Rich.

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:40 am

View the Dutch TV interview with Asssange and there is another interview available on youtube in which Assange DOES subtly confirmed it was Seth Rich.

Assange posted a $10,000 reward for Seth Rich's murders capture.

Abby , March 13, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Another mistaken issue with the "Russia hacked the DNC computers on Trump's command" is that he never asked Russia to do that. His words were, "Russia if you 'find' Hillary's missing emails let us know." He said that after she advised congress that she wouldn't be turning in all of the emails they asked for because she deleted 30,000 of them and said that they were personal.

But if Mueller or the FBI wants to look at all of them they can find them at the NYC FBI office because they are on Weiner's laptop. Why? Because Hillary's aid Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife sent them to it. Just another security risk that Hillary had because of her private email server. This is why Comey had to tell congress that more of them had been found 11 days before the election. If Comey hadn't done that then the FBI would have.

But did Comey or McCabe look at her emails there to see if any of them were classified? No they did not do that. And today we find out that Lisa Page told congress that it was Obama's decision not to charge Hillary for being grossly negligent on using her private email server. This has been known by congress for many months and now we know that the fix was always in for her to get off.

robert e williamson jr , March 13, 2019 at 3:26 pm

I want to thank you folks at VIPS. Like I have been saying for years now the relationship between CIA, NSA and DOJ is an incestuous one at best. A perverse corrupted bond to control the masses. A large group of religious fanatics who want things "ONE WAY". They are the facilitators for the rogue government known as the "DEEP STATE"!

Just ask billy barr.

More truth is a very good thing. I believe DOJ is supporting the intelligence community because of blackmail. They can't come clean because they all risk doing lots of time if a new judicial mechanism replaces them. We are in big trouble here.

Apparently the rule of law is not!

You folks that keep claiming we live in the post truth era! Get off me. Demand the truth and nothing else. Best be getting ready for the fight of your lives. The truth is you have to look yourself in the mirror every morning, deny that truth. The claim you are living in the post truth era is an admission your life is a lie. Now grab a hold of yourself pick a dogdamned side and stand for something,.

Thank You VIPS!

Joe Tedesky , March 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Hats off to the VIP's who have investigated this Russian hacking that wasn't a hacking for without them what would we news junkies have otherwise to lift open the hood of Mueller's never ending Russia-gate investigation. Although the one thing this Russia-gate nonsense has accomplished is it has destroyed with our freedom of speech when it comes to how we citizens gather our news. Much like everything else that has been done during these post 9/11 years of continual wars our civil rights have been marginalized down to zero or, a bit above if that's even still an argument to be made for the sake of numbers.

Watching the Manafort sentencing is quite interesting for the fact that Manafort didn't conclude in as much as he played fast and loose with his income. In fact maybe Manafort's case should have been prosecuted by the State Department or, how about the IRS? Also wouldn't it be worth investigating other Geopolitical Rain Makers like Manafort for similar crimes of financial wrongdoing? I mean is it possible Manafort is or was the only one of his type to do such dishonest things? In any case Manafort wasn't charged with concluding with any Russians in regard to the 2016 presidential election and, with that we all fall down.

I guess the best thing (not) that came out of this Russia-gate silliness is Rachel Maddow's tv ratings zoomed upwards. But I hate to tell you that the only ones buying what Ms Maddow is selling are the died in the wool Hillary supporters along with the chicken-hawks who rally to the MIC lobby for more war. It's all a game and yet there are many of us who just don't wish to play it but still we must because no one will listen to the sanity that gets ignored keep up the good work VIP's some of us are listening.

Andrew Thomas , March 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm

The article did not mention something called to my attention for the first time by one of the outstanding members of your commentariat just a couple of days ago- that Ambassador Murray stayed publicly, over two years ago, that he had been given the thumb drive by a go-between in D.C. and had somehow gotten it to Wikileaks. And, that he has NEVER BEEN INTERVIEWED by Mueller &Company. I was blown away by this, and found the original articles just by googling Murray. The excuse given is that Murray "lacks credibility ", or some such, because of his prior relationship with Assange and/or Wikileaks. This is so ludicrous I can't even get my head around it. And now, you have given me a new detail-the meeting with Pompeo, and the complete lack of follow-up thereafter. Here all this time I thought I was the most cynical SOB who existed, and now I feel as naive as when I was 13 and believed what Dean Rusk was saying like it was holy writ. I am in your debt.

Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Andrew Thomas I'm afraid that huge amounts of our History post 1947 is organized and propagandized disinformation. There is an incredible page that John Simpkin has organized over the years that specifically addresses individuals, click on a name and read about them. https://spartacus-educational.com/USAdisinformation.htm

Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:18 pm

A small correction: the Daily Mail article regarding Murray claimed that Murray was given a thumbdrive which he subsequently carried back to Wikileaks. On his blog, Murray subsequently disputed this part of the story, indicating that, while he had met with a leaker or confederate of a leaker in Washington DC, the Podesta emails were already in possession of Wikileaks at the time. Murray refused to clarify the reason for his meeting with this source, but he is adamant in maintaining that the DNC and Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked.

And it is indeed ludicrous that Mueller, given the mandate to investigate the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta, has never attempted to question either Assange or Murray. That in itself is enough for us to conclude that the Mueller investigation is a complete sham.

Ian Brown , March 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm

It's pretty astonishing that Mueller was more interested in Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi as credible sources about Wikileaks and the DNC release than Craig Murray!

LJ , March 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

A guy comes in with a pedigree like that, """ former FBI head """ to examine and validate if possible an FBI sting manufactured off a phony FISA indictment based on the Steele Report, It immediately reminded me of the 9-11 Commission with Thomas Kean, former Board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, being appointed by GW Bush the Simple to head an investigation that he had previously said he did not want to authorize( and of course bi partisan yes man Lee Hamilton as #2, lest we forget) . Really this should be seen as another low point in our Democracy. Uncle Sam is the Limbo Man, How low can you go?

After Bill and Hillary and Monica and Paula Jones and Blue Dresses well, Golden Showers in a Moscow luxury hotel, I guess that make it just salacious enough.

Mueller looks just like what he is. He has that same phony self important air as Comey . In 2 years this will be forgotten.. I do not think this hurts Trumps chances at re-election as much as the Democrats are hurting themselves. This has already gone on way too long.

Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 11:59 am

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians.

Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump, which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein, Brennan, Podesta and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. It will be fascinating to witness how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was likely in bed with the Winter Hill Gang.

Jack , March 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm

You have failed. An investigation is just that, a finding of the facts. What would Mueller have to extricate himself from? If nothing is found, he has still done his job. You are a divisive idiot.

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Yes, he has done his job. And his job was to bring his royal Orangeness to heel, and to make sure that detente and co-operation with Russia remained impossible. The forever war continues. Mission Accomplished.

Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm

@Jack,
Keep running cover for an out of control prosecutor, who, if he had any integrity, would have hit the bully pulpit mos ago declaring there's nothing of substance to one of the most potentially dangerous accusations in world history: the Kremlin hacking the election. Last I checked it puts two nuclear nation-states on the brink of potential war. And you call me divisive? Mueller's now a willing accomplice to this entire McCarthyite smear and disinformation campaign. It's all so pathetic that folks such as yourself try and mislead and feed half-truths to the people.

You're failing Jack, in more ways than you know.

Gregory Herr , March 13, 2019 at 9:13 pm

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/liberals-are-digging-their-own-grave-with-russiagate-2019-03-08

Drew, you might enjoy this discussion Robert Scheer has with Stephen Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Realist , March 15, 2019 at 3:38 am

Moreover, as the Saker pointed out in his most recent column in the Unz Review, the entire Deep State conspiracy, in an ad hoc alliance with the embarrassed and embarrassing Democrats, have made an absolute sham of due process in their blatant witch hunt to bag the president. This reached an apex when his personal lawyer, Mr. Cohen, was trotted out before congress to violate Trump's confidentiality in every mortifying way he could even vaguely reconstruct. The man was expected to say anything to mitigate the anticipated tortures to come in the course of this modern day inquisition by our latter day Torquemada. To his credit though, even with his ass in a sling, he could simply not confabulate the smoking gun evidence for the alleged Russian collusion that this whole farce was built around.

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Mueller stood with Bush as he lied the world into war based on lies and illegally spied on America and tortured some folks.

George Collins , March 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm

QED: as to the nexus with the Winter Hill gang wasn't there litigation involving the Boston FBI, condonation of murder by the FBI and damages awarded to or on behalf of convicted parties that the FBI had reason to know were innocent? The malfeasance reportedly occurred during Mueller time. Further on the sanctified diligence of Mr. Mueller can be gleaned from the reports of Coleen Rowley, former FBI attorney stationed in Milwaukee??? when the DC FBI office was ignoring warnings sent about 9/11. See also Sibel Edmonds who knew to much and was court order muzzled about FBI mis/malfeasance in the aftermath of 9/11.

I'd say it's game, set, match VIPS and a pox on Clapper and the complicit intelligence folk complicit in the nuclear loaded Russia-gate fibs.

Kiers , March 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

How can we expect the DNC to "hand it " to Trumpf, when, behind the scenes, THEY ARE ONE PARTY. They are throwing faux-scary pillow bombs at each other because they are both complicit in a long chain of corruptions. Business as usual for the "principled" two party system! Democracy! Through the gauze of corporate media! You must be joking!

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 11:28 am

"We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions."

I wish I shared this belief. However, as with Nancy Pelosi's recent statement regarding pursuing impeachment, I smell a rat. I believe with the help of what the late Robert Parry called "the Mighty Wurlitzer", Mueller is going to use coerced false testimony and fabricated forensics to drop a bombshell the size of 911. I think Nancy's statement was just a feint before throwing the knockout punch.

If reason ruled the day, we should have nothing to worry about. But considering all the perfidy that the so-called "Intelligence" Agencies and their MSM lackeys get away with daily, I think we are in for more theater; and I think VIPS will receive a cold shoulder outside of venues like CN.

I pray to God I'm wrong.

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

My extensive experience with DOJ and the federal judiciary establishes that at least 98% of them are dedicated career liars, engaged in organized crime to serve political gangs, and make only a fanatical pretense of patriotism or legality. They are loyal to money alone, deeply cynical and opposed to the US Constitution and laws, with no credibility at all beyond any real evidence.

Eric32 , March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm

As near I can see, Federal Govt. careers at the higher levels depend on having dirt on other players, and helping, not hurting, the money/power schemes of the players above you.

The Clintons (through their foundation) apparently have a lot of corruption dirt on CIA, FBI etc. top players, some of whom somehow became multi-millionaires during their civil service careers.

Trump, who was only running for President as a name brand marketing ploy with little desire to actually win, apparently came into the Presidency with no dirt arsenal and little idea of where to go from there.

Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

I remember reading with dismay how Russians were propagandized by the Soviet Press Management only to find out later the depth of disbelief within the Russian population itself. We now know what that feels like. The good part of this disastrous scenario for America is that for careful readers, disinformation becomes revelatory. For instance, if one reads an editorial that refers to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or continually refers to Russian interference in the last Presidential election, then one can immediately dismiss the article and question the motivation for the presentation. Of course the problem is how to establish truth in reporting

Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

Thank you, VIPs. Hopefully, you don't expect this to make a difference. The US has moved into a post truth, post reality existence best characterized by Karl Rove's declaration: "we're an empire now, when we act, we create our own reality." What Mr. Rove in his arrogance fails to appreciate is that it is his reality but not anyone else's. Thus Pompous can claim that Guaido is the democratic leader in Venezuela even though he's never been elected .

Gary Weglarz , March 13, 2019 at 10:21 am

Thank you. The next time one of my friends or family give me that glazed over stare and utters anymore of the "but, RUSSIA" nonsense I will refer them directly to this article. Your collective work and ethical stand on this matter is deeply appreciated by anyone who values the truth.

Russiagate stands with past government propaganda operations that were simply made up out of thin air: i.e. Kuwaiti incubator babies, WMD's, Gaddafi's viagra fueled rape camps, Assad can't sleep at night unless he's gassing his own people, to the latest, "Maduro can't sleep at night unless he's starving his own people."

The complete and utter amorality of the deep state remains on display for all to see with "Russiagate," which is as fact-free a propaganda campaign as any of those just mentioned.

Marc , March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

I am a computer naif, so I am prepared to accept the VIPS analysis about FAT and transfer rates. However, the presentation here leaves me with several questions. First, do I understand correctly that the FAT rounding to even numbers is introduced by the thumb drive? And if so, does the FAT analysis show only that the DNC data passed through a thumb drive? That is, does the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks? Second, although the transatlantic transfer rate is too slow to fit some time stamps, is it possible that the data were hacked onto a local computer that was under the control of some faraway agent?

Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

Not quite. FAT is the crappy storage system developed by Microsoft (and not used by UNIX). The metadata associated with any file gets rewritten when it gets moved. If that movement is to a storage device that uses FAT, the timestamp on the file will end in an even number. If it were moved to a unix server (and most of the major servers run Unix) it would be in the UFS (unix file system) and it would be the actual time from the system clock. Every storage device has a utility that tells it where to write the data and what to write. Since it's writing to a storage device using FAT, it'll round the numbers. To get to your real question, yes, you could hack and then transfer the data to a thumb drive but if you did that the dates wouldn't line up.

Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 8:05 am

Jeff-

Which dates wouldn't line up? Is there a history of metadata available, or just metadata for the most recent move?

David G , March 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Marc asks: "[D]oes the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks?"

I asked that question in comments under a previous CN piece; other people have asked that question elsewhere.

To my knowledge, it hasn't been addressed directly by the VIPS, and I think they should do so. (If they already have, someone please enlighten me.)

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I am no computer wiz, but Binney has repeatedly made the point that the NSA scoops up everything. If there had been a hack, they'd know it, and they wouldn't only have had "moderate" confidence in the Jan. assessment. I believe that although farfetched, an argument could be made that a Russian spy got into the DNC, loaded a thumb drive, and gave it to Craig Murray.

David G , March 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Respectfully, that's a separate point, which may or may not raise issues of its own.

But I think the question Marc posed stands.

Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am

Hi David-

I don't see how it's separate. If the NSA scoops up everything, they'd have solid evidence of the hack, and wouldn't have only had "moderate" confidence, which Bill Binney says is equivalent to them saying "we don't have squat". They wouldn't even have needed Mueller at all, except to possibly build a "parallel case" due to classification issues. Also, the FBI not demanding direct access to the DNC server tells you something is fishy. They could easily have gotten a warrant to examine the server, but chose not to. They also purposely refuse to get testimony from Craig Murray and Julian Assange, which rings alarm bells on its own.

As for the technical aspect of Marc's question, I agree that I'd like to see Bill Binney directly answer it.

[Mar 17, 2019] VIPS- Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2019 | Consortiumnews

The final Mueller report should be graded "incomplete," says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings

Executive Summary

Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his "completed" report anytime soon, it should be graded "incomplete."

Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.

We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

There is an overabundance of "assessments" but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well -- and did our best to expose -- how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

We have scrutinized publicly available physical data -- the "trail" that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media -- an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.

This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below -- as a kind of aide-memoire -- a discussion of some of the key factors related to what has become known as "Russia-gate." And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data associated with WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails.

We do not claim our conclusions are "irrefutable and undeniable," a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments, however, are based on the scientific method -- not "assessments." We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring that you hear that directly from us.

If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work -- or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham.

In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "to ensure a full and thorough investigation," when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again, we are at your disposal.

Discussion

The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win. The weeks following the election witnessed multiple leak-based media allegations to that effect. These culminated on January 6, 2017 in an evidence-light, rump report misleadingly labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA)." Prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only three of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, and NSA), the assessment expressed "high confidence" in the Russia-hacking-to-WikiLeaks story, but lacked so much as a hint that the authors had sought access to independent forensics to support their "assessment."

The media immediately awarded the ICA the status of Holy Writ, choosing to overlook an assortment of banal, full-disclosure-type caveats included in the assessment itself -- such as:

" When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong."

To their credit, however, the authors of the ICA did make a highly germane point in introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution." They noted: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation -- malicious or not -- leaves a trail." [Emphasis added.]

Forensics

The imperative is to get on that "trail" -- and quickly, before red herrings can be swept across it. The best way to establish attribution is to apply the methodology and processes of forensic science. Intrusions into computers leave behind discernible physical data that can be examined scientifically by forensic experts. Risk to "sources and methods" is normally not a problem.

Direct access to the actual computers is the first requirement -- the more so when an intrusion is termed "an act of war" and blamed on a nuclear-armed foreign government (the words used by the late Sen. John McCain and other senior officials). In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not insist on physical access to the DNC computers even though, as he conceded, "best practices" dictate direct access.

In June 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. " Sen. Burr followed up: "But no content? Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?" Comey: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

The "private party/high-class entity" to which Comey refers is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm of checkered reputation and multiple conflicts of interest, including very close ties to a number of key anti-Russian organizations. Comey indicated that the DNC hired CrowdStrike in the spring of 2016.

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – including a possible impeachment battle and greatly increased tension between Russia and the U.S. -- it is difficult to understand why Comey did not move quickly to seize the computer hardware so the FBI could perform an independent examination of what quickly became the major predicate for investigating election interference by Russia. Fortunately, enough data remain on the forensic "trail" to arrive at evidence-anchored conclusions. The work we have done shows the prevailing narrative to be false. We have been suggesting this for over two years. Recent forensic work significantly strengthens that conclusion.

We Do Forensics

Recent forensic examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May 2016. (On June 12, Julian Assange announced he had them; WikiLeaks published them on July 22.) We recently discovered that the files reveal a FAT (File Allocation Table) system property. This shows that the data had been transferred to an external storage device, such as a thumb drive, before WikiLeaks posted them.

FAT is a simple file system named for its method of organization, the File Allocation Table. It is used for storage only and is not related to internet transfers like hacking. Were WikiLeaks to have received the DNC files via a hack, the last modified times on the files would be a random mixture of odd-and even-ending numbers.

Why is that important? The evidence lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. When a file is stored under the FAT file system the software rounds the time to the nearest even-numbered second. Every single one of the time stamps in the DNC files on WikiLeaks' site ends in an even number.

We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on the Wikileaks site. All 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If those files had been hacked over the Internet, there would be an equal probability of the time stamp ending in an odd number. The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power. Thus, these data show that the DNC emails posted by WikiLeaks went through a storage device, like a thumb drive, and were physically moved before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.

This finding alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts, for example, about Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks. A defense attorney could easily use the forensics to argue that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device like a USB thumb drive and got them physically to WikiLeaks -- not electronically via a hack.

Role of NSA

For more than two years, we strongly suspected that the DNC emails were copied/leaked in that way, not hacked. And we said so. We remain intrigued by the apparent failure of NSA's dragnet, collect-it-all approach -- including "cast-iron" coverage of WikiLeaks -- to provide forensic evidence (as opposed to "assessments") as to how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks and who sent them. Well before the telling evidence drawn from the use of FAT, other technical evidence led us to conclude that the DNC emails were not hacked over the network, but rather physically moved over, say, the Atlantic Ocean.

Is it possible that NSA has not yet been asked to produce the collected packets of DNC email data claimed to have been hacked by Russia? Surely, this should be done before Mueller competes his investigation. NSA has taps on all the transoceanic cables leaving the U.S. and would almost certainly have such packets if they exist. (The detailed slides released by Edward Snowden actually show the routes that trace the packets.)

The forensics we examined shed no direct light on who may have been behind the leak. The only thing we know for sure is that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike. No less puzzling is why Comey would choose to call CrowdStrike a "high-class entity."

Comey was one of the intelligence chiefs briefing President Obama on January 5, 2017 on the "Intelligence Community Assessment," which was then briefed to President-elect Trump and published the following day. That Obama found a key part of the ICA narrative less than persuasive became clear at his last press conference (January 18), when he told the media, "The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to how 'the DNC emails that were leaked' got to WikiLeaks.

Is Guccifer 2.0 a Fraud?

There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphishing attack. William Binney, one of VIPS' two former Technical Directors at NSA, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined files posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those files could not have been downloaded over the internet. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.

There was a flurry of activity after Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016: "We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication." On June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced that malware was found on the DNC server and claimed there was evidence it was injected by Russians. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 persona emerged on the public stage, affirmed the DNC statement, claimed to be responsible for hacking the DNC, claimed to be a WikiLeaks source, and posted a document that forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

Our suspicions about the Guccifer 2.0 persona grew when G-2 claimed responsibility for a "hack" of the DNC on July 5, 2016, which released DNC data that was rather bland compared to what WikiLeaks published 17 days later (showing how the DNC had tipped the primary scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders). As VIPS reported in a wrap-up Memorandum for the President on July 24, 2017 (titled "Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence)," forensic examination of the July 5, 2016 cyber intrusion into the DNC showed it NOT to be a hack by the Russians or by anyone else, but rather a copy onto an external storage device. It seemed a good guess that the July 5 intrusion was a contrivance to preemptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish from the DNC, by "showing" it came from a "Russian hack." WikiLeaks published the DNC emails on July 22, three days before the Democratic convention.

As we prepared our July 24 memo for the President, we chose to begin by taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value; i. e., that the documents he posted on July 5, 2016 were obtained via a hack over the Internet. Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents and compared that metadata with the known capacity of Internet connection speeds at the time in the U.S. This analysis showed a transfer rate as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than was possible from a remote online Internet connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincided, though, with the rate that copying onto a thumb drive could accommodate.

Binney, assisted by colleagues with relevant technical expertise, then extended the examination and ran various forensic tests from the U.S. to the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest Internet rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK -- was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the capacity typical of a copy onto a thumb drive.

The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the WikiLeaks data does not indicate who copied the information to an external storage device (probably a thumb drive). But our examination does disprove that G.2 hacked into the DNC on July 5, 2016. Forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data adds to other evidence that the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphishing attack. The data breach was local. The emails were copied from the network.

Presidential Interest

After VIPS' July 24, 2017 Memorandum for the President, Binney, one of its principal authors, was invited to share his insights with Mike Pompeo, CIA Director at the time. When Binney arrived in Pompeo's office at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017 for an hour-long discussion, the director made no secret of the reason for the invitation: "You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk with you."

Binney warned Pompeo -- to stares of incredulity -- that his people should stop lying about the Russian hacking. Binney then started to explain the VIPS findings that had caught President Trump's attention. Pompeo asked Binney if he would talk to the FBI and NSA. Binney agreed, but has not been contacted by those agencies. With that, Pompeo had done what the President asked. There was no follow-up.

Confronting James Clapper on Forensics

We, the hoi polloi, do not often get a chance to talk to people like Pompeo -- and still less to the former intelligence chiefs who are the leading purveyors of the prevailing Russia-gate narrative. An exception came on November 13, when former National Intelligence Director James Clapper came to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington to hawk his memoir. Answering a question during the Q&A about Russian "hacking" and NSA, Clapper said:

" Well, I have talked with NSA a lot And in my mind, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT business, the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever." [Emphasis added]

Clapper added: " as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn't have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election."

(A transcript of the interesting Q&A can be found here and a commentary on Clapper's performance at Carnegie, as well as on his longstanding lack of credibility, is here .)

Normally soft-spoken Ron Wyden, Democratic senator from Oregon, lost his patience with Clapper last week when he learned that Clapper is still denying that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the extent of NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. In an unusual outburst, Wyden said: "James Clapper needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people about mass surveillance. To be clear: I sent him the question in advance. I asked him to correct the record afterward. He chose to let the lie stand."

The materials brought out by Edward Snowden in June 2013 showed Clapper to have lied under oath to the committee on March 12, 2013; he was, nevertheless, allowed to stay on as Director of National Intelligence for three and half more years. Clapper fancies himself an expert on Russia, telling Meet the Press on May 28, 2017 that Russia's history shows that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever."

Clapper ought to be asked about the "forensics" he said were "overwhelming about what the Russians had done." And that, too, before Mueller completes his investigation.

For the steering group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington's justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.

image_pdf image_print 9280

Tags: Bill Binney Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Clapper James Comey Mike Pompeo Robert Mueller Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity VIPS WikiLeaks


[Mar 15, 2019] What the Strzok-Page 'insurance policy' text was actually about - The Washington Post

Mar 15, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

What the Strzok-Page 'insurance policy' text was actually about - The Washington Post

With the release of testimony from those two employees -- attorney Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok -- the "insurance policy" argument for the illegitimacy of the Russia investigation gained new energy. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted a Fox News story about Page's testimony.

"This deserves more attention!" he wrote . "FBI Mistress, Lisa Page, confirmed to House Judiciary, there was an anti-Trump Insurance Policy and it's the fake Russian investigation! She admits there was almost no evidence on collusion, yet they continued with WITCH HUNT!"

Trump tweeted Paul's message to his followers, adding, "I agree with Rand Paul. This is a total disgrace and should NEVER happen to another President!"

[Mar 15, 2019] Patriots Turning To #YangGang In Response To Trump, Conservatism Inc. Failure by James Kirkpatrick

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Yang promises a universal entitlement, not dependent on income, that he calls a "freedom dividend." To be funded through a value added tax , Yang claims that it would reduce the strain on "health care, incarceration, homeless services, and the like" and actually save billions of dollars. Yang also notes that "current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally." ..."
"... Yang is justifying the need for such a program because of automation . Again, VDARE.com has been exploring how automation may necessitate such a program for many years . Yang also discussed this problem on Tucker Carlson's show , which alone shows he is more open to real discussion than many progressive activists. ..."
"... Indeed, journalists, hall monitors that they are, have recognized that President Trump's online supporters are flocking to Yang, bringing him a powerful weapon in the meme wars. ..."
"... it is ominous for Trump that many of the more creative and dedicated people who formed his vanguard are giving up on him. ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

The dark horse candidate of the 2020 Democratic primary is entrepreneur Andrew Yang , who just qualified for the first round of debates by attracting over 65,000 unique donors. [ Andrew Yang qualifies for first DNC debate with 65,000 unique donors , by Orion Rummler, Axios, March 12, 2019]

Yang is a businessman who has worked in several fields, but was best known for founding Venture for America , which helps college graduates become entrepreneurs. However, he is now gaining recognition for his signature campaign promise -- $1,000 a month for every American.

Yang promises a universal entitlement, not dependent on income, that he calls a "freedom dividend." To be funded through a value added tax , Yang claims that it would reduce the strain on "health care, incarceration, homeless services, and the like" and actually save billions of dollars. Yang also notes that "current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally."

As Yang himself notes, this is not a new idea, nor one particularly tied to the Left. Indeed, it's been proposed by several prominent libertarians because it would replace the far more inefficient welfare system. Charles Murray called for this policy in 2016. [ A guaranteed income for every American , AEI, June 3, 2016] Milton Friedman suggested a similar policy in a 1968 interview with William F. Buckley, though Friedman called it a "negative income tax."

He rejected arguments that it would cause indolence. F.A. Hayek also supported such a policy; he essentially took it for granted . [ Friedrich Hayek supported a guaranteed minimum income , by James Kwak, Medium, July 20, 2015]

It's also been proposed by many nationalists, including, well, me. At the January 2013 VDARE.com Webinar, I called for a "straight-up minimum income for citizens only" among other policies that would build a new nationalist majority and deconstruct Leftist power. I've retained that belief ever since and argued for it here for years.

However, I've also made the argument that it only works if it is for citizens only and is combined with a restrictive immigration policy. As I previously argued in a piece attacking Jacobin's disingenuous complaints about the "reserve army of the unemployed," you simply can't support high wages, workers' rights, and a universal basic income while still demanding mass immigration.

Yang is justifying the need for such a program because of automation . Again, VDARE.com has been exploring how automation may necessitate such a program for many years . Yang also discussed this problem on Tucker Carlson's show , which alone shows he is more open to real discussion than many progressive activists.

Yang is also directly addressing the crises that the Trump Administration has seemly forgotten. Unlike Donald Trump himself, with his endless boasting about "low black and Hispanic unemployment," Yang has directly spoken about the demographic collapse of white people because of "low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide ."

Though even the viciously anti-white Dylan Matthews called the tweet "innocuous," there is little doubt if President Trump said it would be called racist. [ Andrew Yang, the 2020 long-shot candidate running on a universal basic income, explained , Vox, March 11, 2019]

Significantly, President Trump himself has never once specifically recognized the plight of white Americans.

...He wants to make Puerto Rico a state . He supports a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, albeit with an 18-year waiting period and combined with pledges to secure the border and deport illegals who don't enroll in the citizenship program. He wants to create a massive bureaucratic system to track gun owners, restrict gun ownership , and require various "training" programs for licenses. He wants to subsidize local journalists with taxpayer dollars...

... ... ...

Indeed, journalists, hall monitors that they are, have recognized that President Trump's online supporters are flocking to Yang, bringing him a powerful weapon in the meme wars. (Sample meme at right.) And because many of these online activists are "far right" by Main Stream Media standards, or at least Politically Incorrect, there is much hand-waving and wrist-flapping about the need for Yang to decry "white nationalists." So of course, the candidate has dutifully done so, claiming "racism and white nationalism [are] a threat to the core ideals of what it means to be an American". [ Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has a meme problem , by Russell Brandom, The Verge, March 9, 2019]

But what does it mean to be an American? As more and more of American history is described as racist, and even national symbols and the national anthem are targets for protest, "America" certainly doesn't seem like a real country with a real identity. Increasingly, "America" resembles a continent-sized shopping mall, with nothing holding together the warring tribes that occupy it except money.

President Trump, of course, was elected because many people thought he could reverse this process, especially by limiting mass immigration and taking strong action in the culture wars, for example by promoting official English. Yet in recent weeks, he has repeatedly endorsed more legal immigration. Rather than fighting, the president is content to brag about the economy and whine about unfair press coverage and investigations. He already seems like a lame duck.

The worst part of all of this is that President Trump was elected as a response not just to the Left, but to the failed Conservative Establishment. During the 2016 campaign, President Trump specifically pledged to protect entitlements , decried foreign wars, and argued for a massive infrastructure plan. However, once in office, his main legislative accomplishment is a tax cut any other Republican president would have pushed. Similarly, his latest budget contains the kinds of entitlement cuts that are guaranteed to provoke Democrat attack ads. [ Trump said he wouldn't cut Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare . His 2020 budget cuts all 3 , by Tara Golshan, Vox, March 12, 2019] And the president has already backed down on withdrawing all troops from Syria, never mind Afghanistan.

Conservatism Inc., having learned nothing from candidate Donald Trump's scorched-earth path to the Republican nomination, now embraces Trump as a man but ignores his campaign message. Instead, the conservative movement is still promoting the same tired slogans about "free markets" even as they have appear to have lost an entire generation to socialism. The most iconic moment was Charlie Kirk, head of the free market activist group Turning Point USA, desperately trying to tell his followers not to cheer for Tucker Carlson because Carlson had suggested a nation should be treated like a family, not simply a marketplace .

President Trump himself is now trying to talk like a fiscal conservative [ Exclusive -- Donald Trump: 'Seductive' Socialism Would Send Country 'Down The Tubes' In a Decade Or Less , by Alexander Marlow, Matt Boyle, Amanda House, and Charlie Spierling, Breitbart, March 11, 2019]. Such a pose is self-discrediting given how the deficit swelled under united Republican control and untold amounts of money are seemingly still available for foreign aid to Israel, regime change in Iran and Venezuela, and feminist programs abroad to make favorite daughter Ivanka Trump feel important. [ Trump budget plans to give $100 million to program for women that Ivanka launched , by Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones, March 9, 2019]

Thus, especially because of his cowardice on immigration, many of President Trump's most fervent online supporters have turned on him in recent weeks. And the embrace of Yang seems to come out of a great place of despair, a sense that the country really is beyond saving.

Yang has Leftist policies on many issues, but many disillusioned Trump supporters feel like those policies are coming anyway. If America is just an economy, and if everyone in the world is a simply an American-in-waiting, white Americans might as well get something out of this System before the bones are picked clean.

National Review ' s Theodore Kupfer just claimed the main importance of Yang's candidacy is that it will prove meme-makers ability to affect the vote count "has been overstated" [ Rise of the pink hats , March 12, 2019].

Time will tell, but it is ominous for Trump that many of the more creative and dedicated people who formed his vanguard are giving up on him.

[Mar 15, 2019] Patriots Turning To #YangGang In Response To Trump, Conservatism Inc. Failure by James Kirkpatrick

Mar 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

The dark horse candidate of the 2020 Democratic primary is entrepreneur Andrew Yang , who just qualified for the first round of debates by attracting over 65,000 unique donors. [ Andrew Yang qualifies for first DNC debate with 65,000 unique donors , by Orion Rummler, Axios, March 12, 2019]

Yang is a businessman who has worked in several fields, but was best known for founding Venture for America , which helps college graduates become entrepreneurs. However, he is now gaining recognition for his signature campaign promise -- $1,000 a month for every American.

ORDER IT NOW

Yang promises a universal entitlement, not dependent on income, that he calls a "freedom dividend." To be funded through a value added tax , Yang claims that it would reduce the strain on "health care, incarceration, homeless services, and the like" and actually save billions of dollars. Yang also notes that "current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally."

As Yang himself notes, this is not a new idea, nor one particularly tied to the Left. Indeed, it's been proposed by several prominent libertarians because it would replace the far more inefficient welfare system. Charles Murray called for this policy in 2016. [ A guaranteed income for every American , AEI, June 3, 2016] Milton Friedman suggested a similar policy in a 1968 interview with William F. Buckley, though Friedman called it a "negative income tax."

He rejected arguments that it would cause indolence. F.A. Hayek also supported such a policy; he essentially took it for granted . [ Friedrich Hayek supported a guaranteed minimum income , by James Kwak, Medium, July 20, 2015]

It's also been proposed by many nationalists, including, well, me. At the January 2013 VDARE.com Webinar, I called for a "straight-up minimum income for citizens only" among other policies that would build a new nationalist majority and deconstruct Leftist power. I've retained that belief ever since and argued for it here for years.

However, I've also made the argument that it only works if it is for citizens only and is combined with a restrictive immigration policy. As I previously argued in a piece attacking Jacobin's disingenuous complaints about the "reserve army of the unemployed," you simply can't support high wages, workers' rights, and a universal basic income while still demanding mass immigration.

Yang is justifying the need for such a program because of automation . Again, VDARE.com has been exploring how automation may necessitate such a program for many years . Yang also discussed this problem on Tucker Carlson's show , which alone shows he is more open to real discussion than many progressive activists.

Yang is also directly addressing the crises that the Trump Administration has seemly forgotten. Unlike Donald Trump himself, with his endless boasting about "low black and Hispanic unemployment," Yang has directly spoken about the demographic collapse of white people because of "low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide ."

Though even the viciously anti-white Dylan Matthews called the tweet "innocuous," there is little doubt if President Trump said it would be called racist. [ Andrew Yang, the 2020 long-shot candidate running on a universal basic income, explained , Vox, March 11, 2019]

Significantly, President Trump himself has never once specifically recognized the plight of white Americans.

Of course, Yang has foolish, even flippant policies on other issues. He wants to make Puerto Rico a state . He supports a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, albeit with an 18-year waiting period and combined with pledges to secure the border and deport illegals who don't enroll in the citizenship program. He wants to create a massive bureaucratic system to track gun owners, restrict gun ownership , and require various "training" programs for licenses. He wants to subsidize local journalists with taxpayer dollars, which in practice would mean just paying Leftist activists to dox people in their communities.

(Though as some have pointed out, with a thousand dollars a month no matter what, right-wingers wouldn't have to worry as much about being targeted by journofa ).

Indeed, journalists, hall monitors that they are, have recognized that President Trump's online supporters are flocking to Yang, bringing him a powerful weapon in the meme wars. (Sample meme at right.) And because many of these online activists are "far right" by Main Stream Media standards, or at least Politically Incorrect, there is much hand-waving and wrist-flapping about the need for Yang to decry "white nationalists." So of course, the candidate has dutifully done so, claiming "racism and white nationalism [are] a threat to the core ideals of what it means to be an American". [ Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has a meme problem , by Russell Brandom, The Verge, March 9, 2019]

But what does it mean to be an American? As more and more of American history is described as racist, and even national symbols and the national anthem are targets for protest, "America" certainly doesn't seem like a real country with a real identity. Increasingly, "America" resembles a continent-sized shopping mall, with nothing holding together the warring tribes that occupy it except money.

President Trump, of course, was elected because many people thought he could reverse this process, especially by limiting mass immigration and taking strong action in the culture wars, for example by promoting official English. Yet in recent weeks, he has repeatedly endorsed more legal immigration. Rather than fighting, the president is content to brag about the economy and whine about unfair press coverage and investigations. He already seems like a lame duck.

The worst part of all of this is that President Trump was elected as a response not just to the Left, but to the failed Conservative Establishment. During the 2016 campaign, President Trump specifically pledged to protect entitlements , decried foreign wars, and argued for a massive infrastructure plan. However, once in office, his main legislative accomplishment is a tax cut any other Republican president would have pushed. Similarly, his latest budget contains the kinds of entitlement cuts that are guaranteed to provoke Democrat attack ads. [ Trump said he wouldn't cut Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare . His 2020 budget cuts all 3 , by Tara Golshan, Vox, March 12, 2019] And the president has already backed down on withdrawing all troops from Syria, never mind Afghanistan.

Conservatism Inc., having learned nothing from candidate Donald Trump's scorched-earth path to the Republican nomination, now embraces Trump as a man but ignores his campaign message. Instead, the conservative movement is still promoting the same tired slogans about "free markets" even as they have appear to have lost an entire generation to socialism. The most iconic moment was Charlie Kirk, head of the free market activist group Turning Point USA, desperately trying to tell his followers not to cheer for Tucker Carlson because Carlson had suggested a nation should be treated like a family, not simply a marketplace .

President Trump himself is now trying to talk like a fiscal conservative [ Exclusive -- Donald Trump: 'Seductive' Socialism Would Send Country 'Down The Tubes' In a Decade Or Less , by Alexander Marlow, Matt Boyle, Amanda House, and Charlie Spierling, Breitbart, March 11, 2019]. Such a pose is self-discrediting given how the deficit swelled under united Republican control and untold amounts of money are seemingly still available for foreign aid to Israel, regime change in Iran and Venezuela, and feminist programs abroad to make favorite daughter Ivanka Trump feel important. [ Trump budget plans to give $100 million to program for women that Ivanka launched , by Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones, March 9, 2019]

Thus, especially because of his cowardice on immigration, many of President Trump's most fervent online supporters have turned on him in recent weeks. And the embrace of Yang seems to come out of a great place of despair, a sense that the country really is beyond saving.

Yang has Leftist policies on many issues, but many disillusioned Trump supporters feel like those policies are coming anyway. If America is just an economy, and if everyone in the world is a simply an American-in-waiting, white Americans might as well get something out of this System before the bones are picked clean.

National Review ' s Theodore Kupfer just claimed the main importance of Yang's candidacy is that it will prove meme-makers ability to affect the vote count "has been overstated" [ Rise of the pink hats , March 12, 2019]. Time will tell, but it is ominous for Trump that many of the more creative and dedicated people who formed his vanguard are giving up on him.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk by Jack Hunter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president. ..."
"... Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells. ..."
"... Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars. ..."
"... "Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run. ..."
"... Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks. ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept.

Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

... ... ...

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


WorkingClass March 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Only a crushing defeat and massive casualties on the battlefield will cause ANY change in foreign policy by either party.
PAX , says: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm
The antiwar movement is not a "liberal" movement. Hundreds of mainly your people addressed the San Francisco board of supervisors asking them to condemn an Israeli full-fledged attack on Gaza. When they were finished, without objection from one single supervisor, the issued was tabled and let sink permanently in the Bay, never to be heard of again. Had the situation been reversed and Israel under attack there most probably would have been a resolution in nanoseconds. Maybe even half the board volunteering to join the IDF? People believed Trump would act more objectively. That is why he got a lot of peace votes. What AIPAC wants there is a high probability our liberal politicians will oblige quickly and willingly. Who really represents America remains a mystery?
Donald , says: March 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm
"That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

True, but the prowar tendency with mainstream liberals ( think Clintonites) is older than that. The antiwar movement among mainstream liberals died the instant Obama entered the White House. And even before that Clinton and Kerry and others supported the Iraq War. I think this goes all the way back to Gulf War I, and possibly further. Democrats were still mostly antiwar to some degree after Vietnam and they also opposed Reagan's proxy wars in Central America and Angola. Some opposed the Gulf War, but it seemed a big success at the time and so it became centrist and smart to kick the Vietnam War syndrome and be prowar. Bill Clinton has his little war in Serbia, which was seen as a success and so being prowar became the centrist Dem position. Obama was careful to say he wasn't antiwar, just against dumb wars. Gore opposed going into Iraq, but on technocratic grounds.

And in popular culture, in the West Wing the liberal fantasy President was bombing an imaginary Mideast terrorist country. Showed he was a tough guy, but measured, unlike some of the even more warlike fictitious Republicans in that show. I remember Toby Ziegler, one of the main characters, ranting to his pro diplomacy wife that we needed to go in and civilize those crazy Muslims.

So it isn't just an illogical overreaction to Trump, though that is part of it.

polistra , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:18 am
Won't happen. Gabbard is solid and sincere but she's not Hillary so she won't be the candidate. Hillary is the candidate forever. If Hillary is too drunk to stand up, or too obviously dead, Kamala will serve as Hillary's regent.
ked_x , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:48 am
The problem isn't THAT Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The problem is HOW Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The Left isn't fighting about 'keeping troops indefinitely in Syria' vs pulling troops out of Syria'. Its a fight over 'pulling troops out in a way that makes it so that we don't have to go back in like Obama and Iraq' vs 'backing the reckless pull out Trump is going to do'.
Kasoy , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am
Will Democrats go full hawk?

For Democrats, everything depends on what the polls say, which issues seem important to get elected. They will say anything, no matter how irrational & outrageously insane if the polls say Democrat voters like them. If American involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are less important according to the polls, Democratic 2020 hopefuls will not bother to focus on it.

For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil.

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am
"I am glad Donald Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the intervention."

Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells.

M. Orban , says: March 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Having grown up under communism, I learned that it is dangerous but inevitable that propagandists eventually come to believe their own fabrications.
Argon , says: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am
Kasoy: "For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil."

I think that needs the trademark symbol, i.e True Christians™

What do True Scotsmen do?

Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Recent suggests that more Christian Identity Politics will not keep us out of unwise wars.
Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
The Second Coming of Jack Hunter. Given his well-documented views on race, it's no surprise he's all in on Trump. That surely outweighs Trump's massive spending and corruption that most true libertarians oppose.
EarlyBird , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars.

Of course, the left would come out against puppies and sunshine if Trump came out for those things.

But if they are smart, they'd recognize that on war, or his lack of interest in starting new wars, even the broken Trump clock has been right twice a day.

Erin , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm
The flip side of this phenomenon is that so many Republican voters supported Trump's withdrawal from Syria. Had it been Obama withdrawing the troops, I suspect 80-90% of Republicans would have opposed the withdrawal.

This does show that Republicans are listening to Trump more than Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio on foreign policy. But once Trump leaves office, I fear the party will swing back towards the neocons.

Andrew , says: March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm
"Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run.

Dopey Trump campaigned on something different and has now surrounded himself with GOP hawks, probably because he's lazy and doesn't know any better.

Bernie, much like Ron Paul was, 180 degrees away, is the only one who might do different if he got into office, and the rate the left is going he may very well be the nominee.

Mark Thomason , says: March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks.

The least bad comment on Democrats is that everyone in DC is a hawk, not just them.

[Mar 13, 2019] Stephen Colbert, millionaire mouthpiece for billionaire war mongers. tried to ambush Tulsi and failed.

In this interview with Colbert, Tulsi Gabbard discussed what should be one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century -- war in Syria and support of jihadists by the USA government
Tulsi demonstrated again "courage under fire". Evidently hostile Colbert is a more dangerous opponent then Megan McCain, even if he asked basically the same questions. His popularity adds to the weight of the questions. .
Notable quotes:
"... America is not the "policeman of the world". It is the military enforcer of its multinational corporations. ..."
"... Oh my God Colbert. Hack and establishment stooge. Embarrassing line of questioning. ..."
"... They ALL try to pin her on Syria, Assad, how can she be non-interventionist and still support the military, etc etc etc. ..."
"... It's SERIOUSLY as though they're all reading from the same exact script verbatim. Someone could put together a soundbyte of all of the different anchors asking the same questions sycnhronized I bet. ..."
"... @Animus Nocturnus the same recycled questions about meeting Assad she has answered 1000 times before isnt journalism. Journalism is what you need to get NEW information. ..."
"... T his is just one hack beating the war drum. ( dog whistling I believe the new term is) and pushing American exceptionalism ..."
"... Wow.... Colbert is being quite the little imperialist! Thanks for nothing Colbert. ..."
"... Colbert did the Clintons bidding, again ... he tried to ambush Tulsi, but Tulsi was too good, and also right! I'm with Tulsi. I donated, and I want the USA to be involved in the world too, to be a force for good. GO TULSI GABBARD!! ..."
Mar 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0jnKb8MDks

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard explains a 2020 foreign policy platform that is largely informed by her own experience serving in the military.

Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton

In this rare mainstream interview, @ TulsiGabbard discussed what should be one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century (which Colbert has never mentioned on his show):

In its war on Syria, the US armed and trained far-right Salafi-jihadist rebels, empowering al-Qaeda and ISIS

Sumerian Hero 1 day ago

Tulsi dismantled every single one of Golbert's CIA talking points. She's f*** amazing!

RasJam Kebraraw 1 day ago

CBS evolved Colbert into his own satire.. I miss the old him.

Bob Gillis 1 day ago

America is not the "policeman of the world". It is the military enforcer of its multinational corporations.

Veronica Reid 1 day ago

Ashamed of Colbert asking the same questions as CNN. Shame, shame, shame!

LoSt GaNdalF 1 day ago

Very disappointed in Colbert. I mean I know he is part of the establishment. But to see it in action hurts

dirtcom7 1 day ago

Oh my God Colbert. Hack and establishment stooge. Embarrassing line of questioning.

bob Saget 13 hours ago

Yea Colbert is bought and paid for by his NBC/corporate masters, anti-war pro peace is not allowed, we spend $700 billion dollars a year on the military. They will smear anyone who tries to stop that gravy train and he's one of their puppets that does that smearing. 8

Animus Nocturnus 8 hours ago

Actually, that was a great line of questioning. Instead of the wish-wash "how are you, how are the kids, what did you ate today" bullshit, he asked real questions and she was able to give real answers. That's what journalism should look like, and how people running for high government jobs should be interviewed.

Those are jobs that require people who know their stuff instead of entertainers.

And you will only know about how the people runnig for those jobs will conduct themselves if they get asked tough questions. And she did a great job answering those questions.

MawcDrums, 6 hours ago (edited)

@Animus Nocturnus

The thing is they "sound like" real questions, BUT, and this is a HUGE but, they are the EXACT SAME questions she has received from every other mainstream media interview I've seen with her.

They ALL try to pin her on Syria, Assad, how can she be non-interventionist and still support the military, etc etc etc.

And then some cute jab about Hawaii as if to say "Sorry about that". It's despicable and it's happening to Bernie and all of the true progressive candidates (AOC as well).

It's SERIOUSLY as though they're all reading from the same exact script verbatim. Someone could put together a soundbyte of all of the different anchors asking the same questions sycnhronized I bet.

dirtcom7, 4 hours ago

@Animus Nocturnus the same recycled questions about meeting Assad she has answered 1000 times before isnt journalism. Journalism is what you need to get NEW information. Hence the NEWS.

This is just one hack beating the war drum. ( dog whistling I believe the new term is) and pushing American exceptionalism

Ron Widelec, 23 hours ago

Wow.... Colbert is being quite the little imperialist! Thanks for nothing Colbert.

Jesse Prevallet, 1 day ago

Colbert,

if you had any of your 3 kids serving in the military right now, you would not be such a mouthpiece for the empire. Grow a spine and ask a real question instead of these CIA lapdog questions

Robert S, 23 hours ago

Colbert did the Clintons bidding, again ... he tried to ambush Tulsi, but Tulsi was too good, and also right! I'm with Tulsi. I donated, and I want the USA to be involved in the world too, to be a force for good. GO TULSI GABBARD!!



[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: The US Government s Treatment of Wikileaks Will Have a Chilling Effect on Investigative Reporting

Notable quotes:
"... If the government can change the designation of Wikileaks from being a news organization (Obama Administration's designation of Wikileaks) to a 'hostile intelligence service' (Trump Administration's designation), then any entity – online and offline – is in danger of being designated a hostile intelligence agency if they carry out investigative reporting that the US government or a particular administration considers to be hostile to itself. ..."
"... This will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting of powerful government agencies or officials, including the president, intelligence agencies, etc. This is a serious breach of our constitutional freedoms and every American – Democrat, Republican or Independent – must stand up against it." ..."
"... This is a follow-up to similar statements she's made about WikiLeaks before. During an event in New Hampshire, she said the stolen information that WikiLeaks published had "spurred necessary change." During her Concord meet and greet she said: "Obviously the information that has been put out has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there." ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | heavy.com
...Today she wrote on Facebook:

If the government can change the designation of Wikileaks from being a news organization (Obama Administration's designation of Wikileaks) to a 'hostile intelligence service' (Trump Administration's designation), then any entity – online and offline – is in danger of being designated a hostile intelligence agency if they carry out investigative reporting that the US government or a particular administration considers to be hostile to itself.

This will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting of powerful government agencies or officials, including the president, intelligence agencies, etc. This is a serious breach of our constitutional freedoms and every American – Democrat, Republican or Independent – must stand up against it."

... ... ...

You can see her Facebook post and the responses below.

... ... ...

This is a follow-up to similar statements she's made about WikiLeaks before. During an event in New Hampshire, she said the stolen information that WikiLeaks published had "spurred necessary change." During her Concord meet and greet she said: "Obviously the information that has been put out has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there."

Her response was an answer to a question about President Donald Trump's administration seeking to prosecute Julian Assange. Just this week, Chelsea Manning was jailed for not answering questions from a grand jury about Assange. She refused to testify before a grand jury investigation regarding WikiLeaks, AP shared . She said she objected to the secrecy of the grand jury process and had already shared everything that she knows. Because prosecutors granted her immunity for her testimony, she said she couldn't invoke the Fifth Amendment to defend her right not to speak.

The emails from the DNC shared by WikiLeaks did indeed ultimately bring about some changes, including lesser power to superdelegates in 2020. Donna Brazile, former DNC chairwoman, has said that the DNC primary in 2016 was "rigged" against Bernie Sanders. Brazile herself had even leaked some debate questions to Hillary Clinton before her debate with Sanders. Brazile has said that the DNC worked closely with Clinton's campaign in 2016 because it needed the money, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz let Clinton's campaign help cover the DNC's debt in exchange for some level of control, the Miami Herald reported . The DNC is supposed to be impartial during Democratic presidential primaries, but Brazile said that was not the case.

... ... ...

In July 2016, Wasserman Schultz stepped down as chair of the DNC after WikiLeaks published DNC emails that showed the organization strongly favored Clinton over Sanders during the primary. Brazile briefly served as interim chair before Tom Perez took over.

When DWS resigned, many supporters said the resignation was not enough . Bernie Sanders had demanded her resignation after nearly 20,000 DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks that showed she and others in the DNC had a clear bias against Sanders.

Sanders himself said that he believed Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign:

I asked and demanded Debbie Wasserman Schultz's resignation many, many months ago and I state that again. I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC. Not only for these awful emails which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people and I don't think her leadership style is doing that."

However, DWS was allowed to resign after the 2016 Convention, which angered some. Meanwhile, Clinton praised DWS and gave her an honorary position on her campaign.

... ... ...

One of the emails that WikiLeaks leaked showed a letter from Darnell Strom and Michael Kives to Tulsi Gabbard, saying they were very disappointed that she had resigned from the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders. The email read in part: "For you to endorse a man who has spent almost 40 years in public office with very few accomplishments, doesn't fall in line with what we previously thought of you. Hillary Clinton will be our party's nominee and you standing on ceremony to support the sinking Bernie Sanders ship is disrespectful to Hillary Clinton. A woman who has spent the vast majority of her life in public service and working on behalf of women, families, and the underserved. You have called both myself and Michael Kives before about helping your campaign raise money, we no longer trust your judgement so will not be raising money for your campaign "

Recent reports have indicated that the U.S. may be considering prosecuting Julian Assange.

[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard on WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Tulsi Gabbard: The U.S. Government's Treatment of Wikileaks Will 'Have a Chilling Effect on Investigative Reporting'
See also Tulsi Gabbard on the issues - TulsiGabbard.org
Mar 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Micah W , 2 weeks ago

She doesn't have a policy ready yet on the issue, and it is an important one she needs to address better than this. FWIW, she follows Wikileaks on Twitter and she is critical of the Deep State- which is better than Bernie Sanders. It matters to me and most Americans, I believe, that she would not pursue Julian Assange. It also matters that she believes in very strong progressive taxation. Top marginal rate over a million needs to start at 50 percent. Progressively increase the rate so it becomes impossible to become a billionare. This is about fairness and making sure that a single person does not have control of that many resources. I prefer to talk about resource distribution instead of wealth inequality.

Lynzi Wildheart , 2 weeks ago

Tulsi is the bravest candidate for standing against war!! This should indeed be our first consideration. Please donate to her effort, even if it's just $5!! She needs 65,000 donations from different people in at least 30 states!! Please donate!! Go Tulsi!!!

Marc A , 1 week ago

Donated! - For once let's say 'No Wars', 'Yes to health care', 'Yes we like to spend our $s here in the U S of A', 'Let's free ourselves from Employer health care bondage!'. Why not divert billions of dollars that feed wars go to our health care, our schools. And yes to retrain those people whom current system is forcing to go back into tunnels and dig dirt to make money. America is great when her people are living great lives! -- Why not make funds available to retrain these wonderful people in jobs above ground? Do you know the risks to health working underground? At minimum you must heard of Radon gas in basements, right? causes cancer. And basements are only a few feet deep!. Come on people do you really want this work for your children and their children? no you do not. You deserve to have shot at good life, a healthy shot!

[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard comments on WikiLeaks' Julian Assangr are encouraging for anti-war independents'

Nikki2 comment on Youtube: "GUYS! Tulsi needs 65,000 individual donations to get into the debates. Even if she's not your #1 candidate, please donate a small amount so she can bring the foreign policy/regime change conversation to the debates"
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

RobinG , says: March 12, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski Chelsea Manning is imprisoned (from the article you cited) "for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury." The regime is after Julian Assange, so they're trying to squeeze Manning. Not happening!

BTW, Tulsi Gabbard on WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r96RWyhDPS0

[Mar 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Ads Banned From Facebook

Mar 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," read the ads which began to run on Friday, According to Politico . "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation , and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies. -Elizabeth Warren

Facebook confirmed with Politico that the ads had been taken down and said said the company is reviewing the matter. "The person said, according to an initial review, that the removal could be linked to the company's policies about using Facebook's brand in posts ."

Around a dozen other ads placed by Warren were not affected.

[Mar 11, 2019] The university professors, who teach but do not learn: neoliberal shill DeJong tries to prolong the life of neoliberalism in the USA

Highly recommended!
DeJong is more dangerous them Malkin... It poisons students with neoliberalism more effectively.
Mar 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Kurtismayfield , , March 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

Re:Wall Street Democrats

They know, however, that they've been conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game.

Thank you Mr. Black for the laugh this morning. They know exactly what they have been doing. Whether it was deregulating so that Hedge funds and vulture capitalism can thrive, or making sure us peons cannot discharge debts, or making everything about financalization. This was all done on purpose, without care for "winning the political game". Politics is economics, and the Wall Street Democrats have been winning.

notabanker , , March 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

For sure. I'm quite concerned at the behavior of the DNC leadership and pundits. They are doubling down on blatant corporatist agendas. They are acting like they have this in the bag when objective evidence says they do not and are in trouble. Assuming they are out of touch is naive to me. I would assume the opposite, they know a whole lot more than what they are letting on.

urblintz , , March 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

I think the notion that the DNC and the Democrat's ruling class would rather lose to a like-minded Republican corporatist than win with someone who stands for genuine progressive values offering "concrete material benefits." I held my nose and read comments at the kos straw polls (where Sanders consistently wins by a large margin) and it's clear to me that the Clintonista's will do everything in their power to derail Bernie.

polecat , , March 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

"It's the Externalities, stupid economists !" *should be the new rallying cry ..

rd , , March 10, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Keynes' "animal spirits" and the "tragedy of the commons" (Lloyd, 1833 and Hardin, 1968) both implied that economics was messier than Samuelson and Friedman would have us believe because there are actual people with different short- and long-term interests.

The behavioral folks (Kahnemann, Tversky, Thaler etc.) have all shown that people are even messier than we would have thought. So most macro-economic stuff over the past half-century has been largely BS in justifying trickle-down economics, deregulation etc.

There needs to be some inequality as that provides incentives via capitalism but unfettered it turns into France 1989 or the Great Depression. It is not coincidence that the major experiment in this in the late 90s and early 2000s required massive government intervention to keep the ship from sinking less than a decade after the great unregulated creative forces were unleashed.

MMT is likely to be similar where productive uses of deficits can be beneficial, but if the money is wasted on stupid stuff like unnecessary wars, then the loss of credibility means that the fiat currency won't be quite as fiat anymore. Britain was unbelievably economically powerfully in the late 1800s but in half a century went to being an economic afterthought hamstrung by deficits after two major wars and a depression.

So it is good that people like Brad DeLong are coming to understand that the pretty economic theories have some truths but are utter BS (and dangerous) when extrapolated without accounting for how people and societies actually behave.

Chris Cosmos , , March 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

I never understood the incentive to make more money -- that only works if money = true value and that is the implication of living in a capitalist society (not economy)–everything then becomes a commodity and alienation results and all the depression, fear, anxiety that I see around me. Whereas human happiness actually comes from helping others and finding meaning in life not money or dominating others. That's what social science seems to be telling us.

Oregoncharles , , March 10, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Quoting DeLong:

" He says we are discredited. Our policies have failed. And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans."

That's welcome, but it's still making excuses. Neoliberal policies have failed because the economics were wrong, not because "we've been conned by the Republicans." Furthermore, this may be important – if it isn't acknowledged, those policies are quite likely to come sneaking back, especially if Democrats are more in the ascendant., as they will be, given the seesaw built into the 2-Party.

The Rev Kev , , March 10, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Might be right there. Groups like the neocons were originally attached the the left side of politics but when the winds changed, detached themselves and went over to the Republican right. The winds are changing again so those who want power may be going over to what is called the left now to keep their grip on power. But what you say is quite true. It is not really the policies that failed but the economics themselves that were wrong and which, in an honest debate, does not make sense either.

marku52 , , March 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm

"And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans.""

Not at all. What about the "free trade" hokum that DeJong and his pal Krugman have been peddling since forever? History and every empirical test in the modern era shows that it fails in developing countries and only exacerbates inequality in richer ones.

That's just a failed policy.

I'm still waiting for an apology for all those years that those two insulted anyone who questioned their dogma as just "too ignorant to understand."

Glen , , March 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Thank you!

He created FAILED policies. He pushed policies which have harmed America, harmed Americans, and destroyed the American dream.

Kevin Carhart , , March 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

It's intriguing, but two other voices come to mind. One is Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste by Mirowski and the other is Generation Like by Doug Rushkoff.

Neoliberalism is partially entrepreneurial self-conceptions which took a long time to promote. Rushkoff's Frontline shows the Youtube culture. There is a girl with a "leaderboard" on the wall of her suburban room, keeping track of her metrics.

There's a devastating VPRO Backlight film on the same topic. Internet-platform neoliberalism does not have much to do with the GOP.

It's going to be an odd hybrid at best – you could have deep-red communism but enacted for and by people whose self-conception is influenced by decades of Becker and Hayek? One place this question leads is to ask what's the relationship between the set of ideas and material conditions-centric philosophies? If new policies pass that create a different possibility materially, will the vise grip of the entrepreneurial self loosen?

Partially yeah, maybe, a Job Guarantee if it passes and actually works, would be an anti-neoliberal approach to jobs, which might partially loosen the regime of neoliberal advice for job candidates delivered with a smug attitude that There Is No Alternative. (Described by Gershon). We take it seriously because of a sense of dread that it might actually be powerful enough to lock us out if we don't, and an uncertainty of whether it is or not.

There has been deep damage which is now a very broad and resilient base. It is one of the prongs of why 2008 did not have the kind of discrediting effect that 1929 did. At least that's what I took away from _Never Let_.

Brad DeLong handing the baton might mean something but it is not going to ameliorate the sense-of-life that young people get from managing their channels and metrics.

Take the new 1099 platforms as another focal point. Suppose there were political measures that splice in on the platforms and take the edge off materially, such as underwritten healthcare not tied to your job. The platforms still use star ratings, make star ratings seem normal, and continually push a self-conception as a small business. If you have overt DSA plus covert Becker it is, again, a strange hybrid,

Jeremy Grimm , , March 10, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Your comment is very insightful. Neoliberalism embeds its mindset into the very fabric of our culture and self-concepts. It strangely twists many of our core myths and beliefs.

Raulb , , March 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm

This is nothing but a Trojan horse to 'co-opt' and 'subvert'. Neoliberals sense a risk to their neo feudal project and are simply attempting to infiltrate and hollow out any threats from within.

There are the same folks who have let entire economics departments becomes mouthpieces for corporate propaganda and worked with thousands of think tanks and international organizations to mislead, misinform and cause pain to millions of people.

They have seeded decontextualized words like 'wealth creators' and 'job creators' to create a halo narrative for corporate interests and undermine society, citizenship, the social good, the environment that make 'wealth creation' even possible. So all those take a backseat to 'wealth creator' interests. Since you can't create wealth without society this is some achievement.

Its because of them that we live in a world where the most important economic idea is protecting people like Kochs business and personal interests and making sure government is not 'impinging on their freedom'. And the corollary a fundamental anti-human narrative where ordinary people and workers are held in contempt for even expecting living wages and conditions and their access to basics like education, health care and living conditions is hollowed out out to promote privatization and become 'entitlements'.

Neoliberalism has left us with a decontextualized highly unstable world that exists in a collective but is forcefully detached into a context less individual existence. These are not mistakes of otherwise 'well meaning' individuals, there are the results of hard core ideologues and high priests of power.

Dan , , March 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

Two thumbs up. This has been an ongoing agenda for decades and it has succeeded in permeating every aspect of society, which is why the United States is such a vacuous, superficial place. And it's exporting that superficiality to the rest of the world.

VietnamVet , , March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

I read Brad DeLong's and Paul Krugman's blogs until their contradictions became too great. If anything, we need more people seeing the truth. The Global War on Terror is into its 18th year. In October the USA will spend approximately $6 trillion and will have accomplish nothing except to create blow back. The Middle Class is disappearing. Those who remain in their homes are head over heels in debt.

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt. The wealthy are getting richer.

The Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates families together have as much wealth as the lowest half of Americans. Donald Trump's Presidency and Brexit document that neoliberal politicians have lost contact with reality. They are nightmares that there is no escaping. At best, perhaps, Roosevelt Progressives will be reborn to resurrect regulated capitalism and debt forgiveness.

But more likely is a middle-class revolt when Americans no longer can pay for water, electricity, food, medicine and are jailed for not paying a $1,500 fine for littering the Beltway.

A civil war inside a nuclear armed nation state is dangerous beyond belief. France is approaching this.

[Mar 11, 2019] Bill Black Analyzes Brad DeLong's Stunning Concession Neoliberals Should Pass the Baton and Let the Left Lead naked capitali

Notable quotes:
"... He apparently still sees neoliberalism as way to "control capitalism's worst tendencies," when in fact neoliberalism is capitalism on steroids. In other words, he's completely lost. ..."
"... Black seems to be seeing a change of heart where there is simply a temporary surrender until the coalition of " neoliberal shills" can infiltrate and then overthrow again the "left policies that are bound to lead to destruction". ..."
"... And he seems to be blaming the blue dogs for not drumming into the plebs' heads that the former Presidents' (Clinton/Obama's) policy were great in order that the coalition grew. This was not a mea culpa. It was Delong's realistic strategy outline for neoliberal's continuance. And perhaps, a thinly veiled request for a policy position for himself or his son in any new lefty administration. ..."
"... Wasn't DeLong the economist so threatened to kneecap any academic economist and policy wonk who went against Hillary in the last election? He sounds practically mafiaso in this post . ..."
"... It's hard to take DeLong seriously. Contrary to what he says, the GOP and Dems have worked closely and successfully to implement neo-liberalism in America. ..."
"... My feeling is DeLong and the neo-liberal donor class are already conceding the 2020 election; seeing it as a repeat of the 1984 Mondale debacle. They want the young socialist side of the Democratic Party to take the blame, so in 2024 the donor class can run a candidate pushing new and improved neo-liberalism. Trump seems to be making the same calculation as he moves away from his populist/nationalist policies to become just another in a long line of Koch brother GOP neo-liberal stooges. ..."
"... Brad DeLong is brilliant, yet pushed the magical thinking of neoliberalism for 30 years. Am I missing something here? ..."
"... the university professors, who teach but do not learn. ..."
"... But when it came to Hillary running for President in 2016, DeLong fell in line and endorsed her, despite HRC's bad ("complete flop"?) decisions along the way as Senator and SOS (Honduras, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, Wall Street Speeches and Clinton Foundation grift). Can DeLong be trusted? ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MARC STEINER: So I mean, there's one quote that kind of sums up for me. When he wrote: "Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney's healthcare policy, with John McCain's climate policy, with Bill Clinton's tax policy, and George H.W. Bush's foreign policy. And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No f'n way he did not," is what he said. Cleaned it up just a little bit. But that kind of sums up, in many ways, exactly what he was saying.

BILL BLACK: Brad DeLong is brilliant. And he writes really well. And he has, in a super short form, captured it exactly. All of Obama's key policies were the product of very conservative views that are, on many economic fronts, literally to the right of these crazies that are the Republicans who constitute the House and the Senate. And even when they're not to the right of the crazies, they're way, way right, and they're inferior. Right? The progressive policies are fundamentally superior. Market regulation is a terrible failure. It is criminogenic.

I'll give you one example. He ends by saying wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if we could use cap and trade to create an incentive for, you know, 20-plus million people to do the right thing? Because again, the neoliberal view is if they do the right thing they will get a profit. See? It'll all be wonderful. They'll all do the right thing. Except that it's vastly easier on something like cap and trade to do the wrong thing. To lie, to commit fraud about whether you're actually reducing the pollution, and collect the fees. And so he doesn't realize, still, I think, that we are incentivizing not 20 million people to do the right thing, but literally 2 billion people to do the wrong thing. And you know, often that will be the result, the wrong thing.

MARC STEINER: So, two final questions here. So in this–what's moving ahead here. Let me just posit this. So how did Democrats and the left respond to this? We're about to see an MSNBC clip from the CPAC meeting that took place in D.C. last weekend. And this is clearly going to be part of their major attack in the coming elections. Think about this vis a vis the long road. Let's watch this.

TED CRUZ: Look, I think there's a technical description of what's going on, which is that Democrats have gone bat crap crazy.

MIKE PENCE: That system is socialism.

SEBASTIAN GORKA: That is why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced the Green New Deal. It's a watermelon. Green on the outside. Deep, deep red communist on the inside. They want to take your pickup truck. They want to rebuild your home. They want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved.

MARC STEINER: So clearly this is going to be part of this strategy coming forth. I'm thinking about the long road and how this fits in, because this clearly is going to be the opposition, what they're going to start doing.

BILL BLACK: So literally, the watermelon guy, Gorka, is literally a Croatian fascist.

MARC STEINER: No question. No question.

BILL BLACK: I mean the Ustase, the pro-Hitler Croatian fascists. So progressives should take enormous comfort from Brad DeLong. He is one of the most influential economists. He wasn't just a theorist. He actually was there designing and implementing these policies at the most senior levels of the Clinton administration. And he says they are failures. They're political failures and they're often economic failures. And he says the left is composed–the progressive wing of the Democratic Party–of among the best people in the world. Their policies are typically wonderful. Excellent for the world. We need to get behind them. And the idea that we should continue to listen to the New Democrats, the Wall Street Democrats, and take guidance from them, is preposterous; that they must exit the stage and the baton must pass to the progressives to take the leadership role. And that they're doing an excellent job of that, and should continue and expand that leadership


pretzelattack , March 10, 2019 at 10:27 pm

ok after reading the comments i'm discouraged again. delong isn't a signal of a sea change of heart among neoliberals. but it's more friction for the neoliberals to cope with, and it is useful politically. he did admit that the policies he had espoused were wrong, and that the neoliberal view of the world was inaccurate. this isn't going to be easy for the krugmans to ignore.

delong personally could be another david brock; time will tell, and how he responds to the wave of criticism he will face from former colleagues.

Cripes , March 10, 2019 at 5:52 am

DeLong gives a qualified support to MMT, saying that it's not foolproof but better than the alternatives. As MMT-ers remind us, in political economy the policies are a different matter.

Reminds me of a bit of physics theories, that an old one is retired when a newer theory explains reality better. Except the old theorys were designed to conceal, not explain, reality.

You can read it here

https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/01/what-is-modern-monetary-theory.html

Susan the Other , March 10, 2019 at 11:44 am

Thanks for this link. It was such a short, clear analysis. In econospeak it was like a memo to a colleague. So Brad DeLong is on our list of good guys. How nice. The questions I am left with are about the usefulness of interest rates at all, and I vaguely remember Randy Wray saying stg. like 'interest rates should be kept very low to insure against inflation' which makes sense. Interest rates themselves could be pushing bubbles. And then what exactly are we talking about with the word "inflation"? I like (DeLong's or MMT's?) theory about inflated assets (govt bonds here) – that prices stay within a balance because there are fewer greater fools than we imagine. Maybe. But it might be nice to actually come up with a better remedy if and when the SHTF. A fiscal means of adjusting the balance without harming ordinary people. (MMT does this best.) The only method I know about is devaluing a currency and keeping on as is. Nobody loses any value that way because more dollars balance out the inflated values. But neoliberals are definitely batshit about currency devaluations. As if money had some intrinsic value. Maybe it's just a trade thing – but if so, you'd think it could be separated out from the rest of the uses of money. Maybe firewalls. So maybe I'll read some more Brad. Thanks.

Carla , March 10, 2019 at 6:50 am

I'm not rejoicing about this, and having read the VOX interview, I don't quite understand Steiner's and Black's enthusiasm. DeLong doesn't want to pass the baton at all -- he wants to crapify valid and essential policies: expanded, improved Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, MMT with a Job Guarantee, and a foreign policy not based on forever-wars. And that's exactly what the neoliberals intend to do: crapification on a grand scale.

"Market-friendly neoliberals, rather than pushing their own ideology, should work to improve ideas on the left. This, [DeLong] believes, is the most effective and sustainable basis for Democratic politics and policy for the foreseeable future."

Carla , March 10, 2019 at 9:02 am

Hey, DeLong, listen up: expanded, improved Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, a federal Job Guarantee, and a foreign policy (and defense budget) ending forever-wars are NOT ideas that need improving. They ARE the improvements. Neoliberalism is dead, and we intend to bury it.

notabanker , March 10, 2019 at 9:19 am

I agree with you here. For me the kicker is this:

No. It means argue with them, to the extent that their policies are going to be wrong and destructive, but also accept that there is no political path to a coalition built from the Rubin-center out. Instead, we accommodate ourselves to those on our left. To the extent that they will not respond to our concerns, what they're proposing is a helluva better than the poke-in-the-eye with a sharp stick. That's either Trumpist proposals or the current status.

Basically he's saying we don't have the numbers and building a coalition with the right hasn't worked, so now we should build one with the left. He's not actually saying the progressive policies are better, just that they have a better chance of getting their agenda forward with progressives than with conservatives.

The key to all of this from my perspective is they don't have the numbers. The American empire is in accelerating decline. Every major system is broken and corrupt. Government can't fix the problems. Populism elected Trump, and now voters will swing the other way looking for the magic bullet. The corporatists choices are deliberate sabotage of the electoral system, because good old fashioned corruption will no longer suffice, or capitulate to the left. DeLong sounds like a trial balloon to me.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 9:33 am

Read up on his Wikipedia entry and the following bit grabbed my attention-

"In 1990 and 1991 DeLong and Lawrence Summers co-wrote two theoretical papers that were to become critical theoretical underpinnings for the financial deregulation put in place when Summers was Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton."

I would be very wary on any advice that he gives out myself.

Mel , March 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm

He doesn't have to convince me, so it doesn't matter that he won't. But if he can convince a few shaky Democrats on the less-right side that it's futile to try to reform the Republican Party from within

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Basically he's saying we don't have the numbers and building a coalition with the right hasn't worked, so now we should build one with the left. He's not actually saying the progressive policies are better, just that they have a better chance of getting their agenda forward with progressives than with conservatives.

Exactly. He hasn't changed his neoliberal stripes. He in no way admits, or feels sorry for, the incredible destruction neoliberal policies have wreaked on the masses here and abroad. He apparently still sees neoliberalism as way to "control capitalism's worst tendencies," when in fact neoliberalism is capitalism on steroids. In other words, he's completely lost.

Although he has a wide audience and any change in his rhetoric can theoretically be positive, there's no way he should be trusted. His change of opinion is not a substantive change of heart. It's out of absolute necessity due to the incredible pressure exerted by the grassroots. That pressure should never cease, or rest on its laurels, because the Brad DeLong's of the world change their tune.

Barry , March 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

The thing to rejoice or be sad about is not whether DeLong abandons centrism and becomes a leftist (or if you believe he has); it's whether the Left has a place at the table, which is what he is acknowledging.

For years, the Centrists have ignored or hippy-punched the Left while bargaining with the Right, which has pulled the Centrists ever-further to the right.

When a Centrist like DeLong says they should argue with the Left about lefty policies; when he says Centrists should pass the baton to the Left, he is acknowledging they have power now that must be reckoned with.

Acquiring enough power that the Establishment must treat with them should be the goal of all people on the left. It's far more important than winning any specific election.

(Let's just skip over distinctions between 'left', 'liberal' and 'progressive' in reading my comment. Those terms are entirely over-loaded and you can tell who I mean)

JEHR , March 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Forget "left," "right," and "progressive" and look at the actual policies that a group brings to politics–that's where you will find what is best for the public. Try to list T's policies and you will see what I mean.

Hopelb , March 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

I agree. Black seems to be seeing a change of heart where there is simply a temporary surrender until the coalition of " neoliberal shills" can infiltrate and then overthrow again the "left policies that are bound to lead to destruction".

Delong asserts that once these neoliberal Econ policies work then this great coalition was going to feel less grinchy and the trickling would indeed then have trickled. He blames the politics not the economics.

And he seems to be blaming the blue dogs for not drumming into the plebs' heads that the former Presidents' (Clinton/Obama's) policy were great in order that the coalition grew. This was not a mea culpa. It was Delong's realistic strategy outline for neoliberal's continuance. And perhaps, a thinly veiled request for a policy position for himself or his son in any new lefty administration.

Chris , March 10, 2019 at 7:25 am

I'm not sure I agree with Prof. Black here either. Wasn't DeLong the economist so threatened to kneecap any academic economist and policy wonk who went against Hillary in the last election? He sounds practically mafiaso in this post .

"Mind you: The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for Guevarista fantasies about what their policies are likely to do. The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do. And it will be important to do so then–because overpromising leads to bad policy decisions, and overpromising is bad long-run politics as well."

That doesn't seem like integrity to me. It appears to be more opportunistic. He'll happily kick you whenever he thinks he can get away with it.

TroyMcClure , March 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

The leaked Clinton emails also revealed him to be repeatedly begging for a job for his adult son in the ersatz Clinton administration.

He's an operator. Nothing more.

Alain de Benoist , March 10, 2019 at 8:06 am

It's hard to take DeLong seriously. Contrary to what he says, the GOP and Dems have worked closely and successfully to implement neo-liberalism in America. He cites ObamaCare? The GOP pretended to be against it in order to win support from the less bright side of the political left bell curve and to wean them away from things like the public option or single-payer. But the GOP never went past Kabuki theatre to dismantle ObamaCare when they had the power to do so.

DeLong gives no policy specifics outside of some boring carbon tax stuff. Will he support protectionism? Single-payer? Nationalisation of Wall Street? Dismantling the US empire? Huge punitive tax increases on the wealthy? These are all things the Democratic donor class (which of course has a strong overlap with the GOP donor class) will never accept.

And what about ideas to deal with AI, deindustrialisation, automation, guaranteed income, etc? And since neo-liberals are 100% committed to mass immigration policies that at the same time increases total GDP but reduce per capita GDP; how will they react if progressive finally wake up and realise that taking in millions of low skilled workers in a future where demand for labour is radically reducing is a total recipe for disaster? Not to mention that the welfare state they are proposing will be impossible without very strict immigration policies, not to mention the terrible impact mass immigration has on the climate.

My feeling is DeLong and the neo-liberal donor class are already conceding the 2020 election; seeing it as a repeat of the 1984 Mondale debacle. They want the young socialist side of the Democratic Party to take the blame, so in 2024 the donor class can run a candidate pushing new and improved neo-liberalism. Trump seems to be making the same calculation as he moves away from his populist/nationalist policies to become just another in a long line of Koch brother GOP neo-liberal stooges.

The problem is that Trump's radical energy and ideas seduced many Americans who are now disappointed with his decidedly low-energy accomplishments. Basically the only campaign promises he kept were those he made to the Israel lobby. Now Trump is conceding the high energy and new idea ground to the Democratic left. He is switching from radical to establishment. This will open the door to say Bernie Sanders to win in 2020. But you can rest assured that the most voracious opponents that Bernie will have to get past will be Brad DeLong and the Democratic donor class when they realise this just might not be 1984 all over again.

Chris , March 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

I think DeLong isn't speaking for many of the neoliberal establishment. See this from Mr. Emmanuel in the Atlantic.

Echoes of "never ever" resounding off the cavernous walls of their empty heads and hearts

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 8:17 pm

Yes. Jimmy Carter has done much good since his failed presidency and so it's painful to remember that he was the first Democrat neo-liberal POTUS.

SPEDTeacher , March 10, 2019 at 8:56 am

Brad DeLong is brilliant, yet pushed the magical thinking of neoliberalism for 30 years. Am I missing something here? Is Bill Black patting him on the back because he's brilliant at sophistry?

nihil obstet , March 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Back 15 years or so ago, I read DeLong's blog daily, trying to learn more economics than I know. I quit because it didn't make any sense. I remember there being these broad principles, but they had to be applied in a very narrow sense. One I remember vividly was DeLong's objections to consumer boycotts of foreign goods to end abuse of workers. These boycotts are counterproductive, he opined, and therefore you are just hurting the people you're trying to help. You should just shop as normal. So, I presume he regarded it as all right for me to choose products that are the color I want, the size I want, the whatever I want, except for the way it's produced I want. He did not like considerations of right and wrong among the people.

PlutoniumKun , March 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

DeLong has always been among the most thoughtful of centrists. He reminds me of people I know who are instinctively quite left wing but who's instincts are even stronger to stay within their own particular establishment circle and to side with the winners. Back in the 1990's I knew a few formerly left Labour supporters who became cautious Blairites (or at least Brownites). Some were opportunists of course, but some put it simply – 'I'm tired of losing. The reality is that a pure left wing government will not get elected under current conditions, we've proved this over decades. The only way we can protect the poor and vulnerable is to make peace with at least some of the capitalists, and remake ourselves as the party of growth and stability. If we can achieve growth, we can funnel as much as possible as this to the poor'.

What he seems to be saying is that the left wing analysis (economically and politically) is at least as intellectually tenable as those in the Centre and right, even if he has his doubts. He is honest enough to know that the political strategy of making common cause with 'moderate' Republicans hasn't worked and won't work. And he doesn't see 'the Left' as any worse than so called moderates or centre right (which of course distinguishes him from many Dems). So he is seeing the way the wind is blowing and is tacking that way. Essentially, he is recognising that the Overton Window is shifting rapidly to the left, and as a good centrist, he's following wherever the middle might be.

Whatever you think of his motivations (and from my reading over the years of his writings I think he has a lot more integrity than most of his colleagues. and is also very smart), the reality is that a successful left wing movement will need establishment figures like him to be 'on board'. Of course, they'll do their best to grab the steering wheel – the task is to keep them on board without allowing them to do that.

WobblyTelomeres , March 10, 2019 at 1:08 pm

Sees a parade, elbows his way to the front?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell , March 10, 2019 at 10:09 am

What?? Did Brad DeLong finally discover Monetary Sovereignty and the Ten Steps to Prosperity ? Nah, progressivism is still too radical for the university professors, who teach but do not learn.

Watt4Bob , March 10, 2019 at 10:21 am

The 'first step' is to admit you have a problem, and it's obvious that those of us who self-identify as progressives, if not socialists, have taken that step, admitting that as democrats, we have a problem.

The eleven-dimension game that we were sold, and that we so wishfully believed in, turned out to be a massive delusion, and ultimately an empty promise on the part of the democratic leadership.

The ' powder ' was kept dry, but ultimately stolen.

We were left defenseless, and became prey, and third-way democrats are the architects of our collective loss.

I'm taking DeLong at his word.

He may be the exception that proves the rule, and the Clinton wing of the democratic party may yet wrong-foot us, continue to mis-lead, and capitulate in the face of the enemy, but it strikes me as totally to be expected that reality should eventually dawn on at least a few of the folks responsible for the epic failures of democratic leadership.

I'm a big fan of that old saw, 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way' , democrats, fearful after losing to the likes of Reagan, decided to follow, and now find themselves as lost as the rest of us.

It doesn't strike me as totally impossible that a few of them might decide to ' get out of the way ', if only to be able to face themselves in the mirror.

John Wright , March 10, 2019 at 10:26 am

I don't get this exchange:

>MARC STEINER: You–do you think that the Wall Street Democrats, folks who are in the investment world, along with the Chuck Schumers of the world, are going to acquiesce? .. but are actually going to take seriously what DeLong said? -- -- -

>BILL BLACK: No, but that's because Brad DeLong has vastly more integrity than they do. They know, however, that they've been conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game.

For as long as Black has been around, I would not expect him to argue that "Wall Street Democrats" have been "conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game". Democrats such as Schumer, HRC, and Obama are in on the con and are not "absolute fools". They have the money and power to show that they were not working for chump change.

Black is too kind..

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

I agree. I see no evidence that people Wall Street/corporate Democrats have collectively been "fooled" by Republicans. Take Obamacare for example, Obama mumbled some "facts" about health-care briefly at the beginning of the process and never mentioned anything like how much the US spends relative to other OECD countries which, with his bully-pulpit, he could have done to create a more reasonable system. All he would have to have done is cite statistics, studies, facts, facts, facts, facts about other health-care systems and the obvious corruption, inefficiency or our own. He could easily have gotten some equivalent of the "public option" or a more managed system like in continental Europe had he hammered away at FACTS.

I don't think Obama ever had any intention of changing health-care from a profit-making industry to a public utility like what the rest of the world enjoys. I don't think Obama ever had any intention of being anything but a center-right (not a centrist) POTUS. I don't buy into this "we were fooled" argument.

Guys like DeLong may have been fooled but I believe, more likely (and I know the Washington milieu), he pulled the wool rather intensively over his own eyes as many brilliant people did in the Clinton/Obama administrations because it was a good career move. I don't, btw, believe this was directly and consciously a deliberate plan–I believe it was something to do with a profound ignorance on the part of many if not most Washingtonians (and indeed most intellectuals in the USA) of the role of the unconscious in the psyche. I've seen it. A big player (a family friend) from the Clinton era went into Big Pharma thinking he could "do good" and he was sincere about it. But I also knew he liked money and the lifestyle that it brings–later he said that he was fooled after six or seven years of lavish salaries.

TimR , March 10, 2019 at 12:12 pm

I noticed that too. Black often strikes me as having a very crude framework that is either naivete or (more likely imo) bad faith and intentional misleading. It's just too much of a cartoon to be believed, even if (like me) you're not an insider who personally knows the players (as Black does DeLong.)

Repubs are "crazies" while Progressives have "wonderful, superior" policies. Ok sure This is not much more sophisticated thinking than team Red or team Blue that you get from your Aunt Irene or somebody.

John Wright , March 10, 2019 at 10:49 am

And remember this from Brad DeLong

from: http://www.unz.com/isteve/ex-clinton-staffer-brad-delongs-post-on-hillarys-management-skills/

" June 07, 2003″

"TIME TO POUND MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL ONCE AGAIN"

" My two cents' worth–and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly."

But when it came to Hillary running for President in 2016, DeLong fell in line and endorsed her, despite HRC's bad ("complete flop"?) decisions along the way as Senator and SOS (Honduras, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, Wall Street Speeches and Clinton Foundation grift). Can DeLong be trusted?

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

Can't say whether DeLong can be trusted but I can imagine him remembering Keynes' famous line about changing his opinion when new information becomes available. That said, I can not imagine what new information may have come about, aside from Trump's unexpected wrecking of main stream Republicans, that had him change his mind about HRC. Her truth has been evident for decades and the more power she amassed over those years only made her truth ever more execrable.

Kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

Re:Wall Street Democrats

They know, however, that they've been conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game.

Thank you Mr. Black for the laugh this morning. They know exactly what they have been doing. Whether it was deregulating so that Hedge funds and vulture capitalism can thrive, or making sure us peons cannot discharge debts, or making everything about financalization. This was all done on purpose, without care for "winning the political game". Politics is economics, and the Wall Street Democrats have been winning.

notabanker , March 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

For sure. I'm quite concerned at the behavior of the DNC leadership and pundits. They are doubling down on blatant corporatist agendas. They are acting like they have this in the bag when objective evidence says they do not and are in trouble. Assuming they are out of touch is naive to me. I would assume the opposite, they know a whole lot more than what they are letting on.

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

I think the notion that the DNC and the Democrat's ruling class would rather lose to a like-minded Republican corporatist than win with someone who stands for genuine progressive values offering "concrete material benefits." I held my nose and read comments at the kos straw polls (where Sanders consistently wins by a large margin) and it's clear to me that the Clintonista's will do everything in their power to derail Bernie.

Hepativore , March 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Daily Kos is like a yoga session compared to all of the Obots and Clintonites on Balloon Juice. One particular article "writer" there by the name of Annie Laurie is a textbook example of said Clinton die-hards and she whips up all of her cohorts into a rabid, anti-Sanders frenzy every time she posts.

Despite all of the complaining about Trump, I am sure that these neoliberals and identitarians would pine for the days of his administration and pal around with ex-president Trump much like they did with W. Bush. If Saint Harris or Saint Biden lose they will fail to shield the take-over of the political leadership of the unwashed masses of ignorant peasants who elected Sanders or Gabbard. Then places like Daily Kos and Balloon Juice will bemoan the fact that we did not listen to those who know what is best for us lowly knaves.

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

Though I like Bill Black a lot–seems like a very hip guy and has done marvelous work for many years. However, my father got his second master's degree in economics around 1961–he did it as a career move. Eventually when I got old enough he told me that the field was "bullshit" and based on false assumptions about reality, however, the math worked so everyone believed in the field. Economics, as I looked into it is, indeed, a largely bullshit discipline that should never have been separated from politics or other fields.

We have a kind of fetishistic attitude towards "the economy" which is religious. "It's the economy, stupid" is an example of this fetish. I've talked to economists who really believes that EVERYTHING is a commodity and all motivations, interests, all come down to some kind of market process. This is utterly false and goes directly against what we've learned about social science, human motivation including happiness studies.

Economics also ignores history–people are motivated more by myth than by facts on the ground. This is why neoliberals are so confused when their models don't work. Thomas Frank described how Kansans favored policies that directly harmed them because of religious and cultural myths–this is, in fact, true everywhere and always has been. We aren't machines as economists seem to believe. All economists, particularly those who rely on "math" to describe our society need to be sent to re-education camps.

polecat , March 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

"It's the Externalities, stupid economists !" *

*should be the new rallying cry ..

rd , March 10, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Keynes' "animal spirits" and the "tragedy of the commons" (Lloyd, 1833 and Hardin, 1968) both implied that economics was messier than Samuelson and Friedman would have us believe because there are actual people with different short- and long-term interests.

The behavioral folks (Kahnemann, Tversky, Thaler etc.) have all shown that people are even messier than we would have thought. So most macro-economic stuff over the past half-century has been largely BS in justifying trickle-down economics, deregulation etc.

There needs to be some inequality as that provides incentives via capitalism but unfettered it turns into France 1989 or the Great Depression. It is not coincidence that the major experiment in this in the late 90s and early 2000s required massive government intervention to keep the ship from sinking less than a decade after the great uregulated creative forces were unleashed.

MMT is likely to be similar where productive uses of deficits can be beneficial, but if the money is wasted on stupid stuff like unnecessary wars, then the loss of credibility means that the fiat currency won't be quite as fiat anymore. Britain was unbelievably economically powerfully in the late 1800s but in half a century went to being an economic afterthought hamstrung by deficits after two major wars and a depression.

So it is good that people like Brad DeLong are coming to understand that the pretty economic theories have some truths but are utter BS (and dangerous) when extrapolated without accounting for how people and societies actually behave.

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

I never understood the incentive to make more money–that only works if money = true value and that is the implication of living in a capitalist society (not economy)–everything then becomes a commodity and alienation results and all the depression, fear, anxiety that I see around me. Whereas human happiness actually comes from helping others and finding meaning in life not money or dominating others. That's what social science seems to be telling us.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Actually, Milton Friedman was a machine.

Big River Bandido , March 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

I read DeLong's piece in an airport last Tuesday, so I may have missed something (or I may have read an abridged version). But I think Steiner and Black read a little too much into it.

I interpreted DeLong's statement essentially as saying now neoliberals will have to make policy by collaborating with the left rather than the right. And I certainly didn't get the sense he was looking to the left to lead, but instead how neoliberals could co-opt the left, or simply be "freeloaders".

Michael , March 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/4/18246381/democrats-clinton-sanders-left-brad-delong

Zack Beauchamp

So the position is not that neoliberals should abandon their policy beliefs. It's that you need to reorient your understanding of who your coalition is.

Brad DeLong

Yes, but that's also relevant to policy beliefs, right?
.
.
We need Medicare-for-all, funded by a carbon tax, with a whole bunch of UBI rebates for the poor and public investment in green technologies.
.
How does Bernie fit in here? Ever?

Kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

We already are paying more for the medical care that is being provided than what single lpayer will cost. I am so tired of the "How are you gonna pay for it" stuff. We already are, it's just a question of what bucket it comes from.

Oregoncharles , March 10, 2019 at 4:07 pm

True, but there still has to be a way of transferring the funds from the "private" bucket to the "government" bucket. MMT is one way of doing that, but still not acknowledged as a possibility by the PTB – except for the military, of course.

I'd rather see it taken out of the military, since that would be a good thing in itself, and the carbon tax (merely one of many measures, of course) rebated and/or used specifically to remediate climate deterioration. Rebating a carbon tax both protects it politically and corrects the harm that would otherwise be done to poor people.

kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Take it out if the property taxes that Muni's have to use to insure all of their employees.

Take it out of all the money that business pays to health insurance.

Cut the military budget in half and tell a few if the tributaries "You are on your own". Cut the Navy in half and police only the Pacific.. tell Europe they are on the hook for the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Start there and you will get pretty close to $3 Trillion.

Synoia , March 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Mandatory retirement for Politicians:

Age 65, 3 proven lies, or failure to complete a Marathon in under 6 hours.

Whit hope the the result of the first Marathon would be repeated endlessly in our political circles.

Oregoncharles , March 10, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Quoting DeLong: " He says we are discredited. Our policies have failed. And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans."

That's welcome, but it's still making excuses. Neoliberal policies have failed because the economics were wrong, not because "we've been conned by the Republicans." Furthermore, this may be important – if it isn't acknowledged, those policies are quite likely to come sneaking back, especially if Democrats are more in the ascendant., as they will be, given the seesaw built into the 2-Party.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Might be right there. Groups like the neocons were originally attached the the left side of politics but when the winds changed, detached themselves and went over to the Republican right. The winds are changing again so those who want power may be going over to what is called the left now to keep their grip on power. But what you say is quite true. It is not really the policies that failed but the economics themselves that were wrong and which, in an honest debate, does not make sense either.

marku52 , March 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm

"And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans.""

Not at all. What about the "free trade" hokum that Deong and his pal Krugman have been peddling since forever? History and every empirical test in the modern era shows that it fails in developing countries and only exacerbates inequality in richer ones.

That's just a failed policy.

I'm still waiting for an apology for all those years that those two insulted anyone who questioned their dogma as just "too ignorant to understand."

Glen , March 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Thank you!

He created FAILED policies. He pushed policies which have harmed America, harmed Americans, and destroyed the American dream.

Kevin Carhart , March 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

It's intriguing, but two other voices come to mind. One is Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste by Mirowski and the other is Generation Like by Doug Rushkoff. Neoliberalism is partially entrepreneurial self-conceptions which took a long time to promote. Rushkoff's Frontline shows the Youtube culture. There is a girl with a "leaderboard" on the wall of her suburban room, keeping track of her metrics. There's a devastating VPRO Backlight film on the same topic. Internet-platform neoliberalism does not have much to do with the GOP. It's going to be an odd hybrid at best – you could have deep-red communism but enacted for and by people whose self-conception is influenced by decades of Becker and Hayek? One place this question leads is to ask what's the relationship between the set of ideas and material conditions-centric philosophies? If new policies pass that create a different possibility materially, will the vise grip of the entrepreneurial self loosen? Partially yeah, maybe, a Job Guarantee if it passes and actually works, would be an anti-neoliberal approach to jobs, which might partially loosen the regime of neoliberal advice for job candidates delivered with a smug attitude that There Is No Alternative. (Described by Gershon). We take it seriously because of a sense of dread that it might actually be powerful enough to lock us out if we don't, and an uncertainty of whether it is or not.
There has been deep damage which is now a very broad and resilient base. It is one of the prongs of why 2008 did not have the kind of discrediting effect that 1929 did. At least that's what I took away from _Never Let_. Brad DeLong handing the baton might mean something but it is not going to ameliorate the sense-of-life that young people get from managing their channels and metrics.
Take the new 1099 platforms as another focal point. Suppose there were political measures that splice in on the platforms and take the edge off materially, such as underwritten healthcare not tied to your job. The platforms still use star ratings, make star ratings seem normal, and continually push a self-conception as a small business. If you have overt DSA plus covert Becker it is, again, a strange hybrid,

Jeremy Grimm , March 10, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Your comment is very insightful. Neoliberalism embeds its mindset into the very fabric of our culture and self-concepts. It strangely twists many of our core myths and beliefs.

Kevin Carhart , March 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Jeremy! Glad you saw it as you are one of the Major Mirowski Mentioners on NC and I have enjoyed your comments. Hope to chat with you some time.

Harold , March 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm

And this be law, that I'll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever king may reign, Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Nailed it!

Raulb , March 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm

This is nothing but a Trojan horse to 'co-opt' and 'subvert'. Neoliberals sense a risk to their neo feudal project and are simply attempting to infiltrate and hollow out any threats from within.

There are the same folks who have let entire economics departments becomes mouthpieces for corporate propaganda and worked with thousands of think tanks and international organizations to mislead, misinform and cause pain to millions of people.

The have seeded decontextualized words like 'wealth creators' and 'job creators' to create a halo narrative for corporate interests and undermine society, citizenship, the social good, the environment that make 'wealth creation' even possible. So all those take a backseat to 'wealth creator' interests. Since you can't create wealth without society this is some achievement.

Its because of them that we live in a world where the most important economic idea is protecting people like Kochs business and personal interests and making sure government is not 'impinging on their freedom'. And the corollary a fundamental anti-human narrative where ordinary people and workers are held in contempt for even expecting living wages and conditions and their access to basics like education, health care and living conditions is hollowed out out to promote privatization and become 'entitlements'.

Neoliberalism has left us with a decontextualized highly unstable world that exists in a collective but is forcefully detached into a context less individual existence. These are not mistakes of otherwise 'well meaning' individuals, there are the results of hard core ideologues and high priests of power.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

Two thumbs up. This has been an ongoing agenda for decades and it has succeeded in permeating every aspect of society, which is why the United States is such a vacuous, superficial place. And it's exporting that superficiality to the rest of the world.

VietnamVet , March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

I read Brad DeLong's and Paul Krugman's blogs until their contradictions became too great. If anything, we need more people seeing the truth. The Global War on Terror is into its 18th year. In October the USA will spend approximately $6 trillion and will have accomplish nothing except to create blow back. The Middle Class is disappearing. Those who remain in their homes are head over heels in debt. The average American household carries $137,063 in debt. The wealthy are getting richer. The Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates families together have as much wealth as the lowest half of Americans. Donald Trump's Presidency and Brexit document that neoliberal politicians have lost contact with reality. They are nightmares that there is no escaping. At best, perhaps, Roosevelt Progressives will be reborn to resurrect regulated capitalism and debt forgiveness. But more likely is a middle-class revolt when Americans no longer can pay for water, electricity, food, medicine and are jailed for not paying a $1,500 fine for littering the Beltway.

A civil war inside a nuclear armed nation state is dangerous beyond belief. France is approaching this.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Debt forgiveness is something we don't hear much about, even from the Bernie Sanders left. Very important policy throughout history, as Michael Hudson has so thoroughly documented.

[Mar 11, 2019] CNN 2020 Town Hall Live Stream Time, How to Watch Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney at SXSW

Mar 11, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

Gabbard is set to lay out her vision for the country and her 2020 candidacy during a live presidential town hall starting at 8 p.m. ET. The "Live From SXSW" event Sunday will be moderated by CNN's Dana Bash and Jake Tapper. The event will air live on CNN , CNN International and CNN Español channels.

[Mar 11, 2019] This Man Stopped a Runaway Impeachment

Mar 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This Man Stopped a Runaway Impeachment When the GOP madly went after President Andrew Johnson, Senator Edward G. Ross ruined his own career to thwart them. By Barbara Boland March 11, 2019

Senator Edmund G. Ross As Robert Mueller's pending report looms heavily over Washington, many are darkly speculating about a new era in our history. When have there been so many investigations, such rank partisanship, such indifference to justice and the rule of law?

Actually we have been here before.

The myth that our present moment is somehow more scandalous than any other is easily dispelled by reading John F. Kennedy's book Profiles in Courage , which details the political bravery of eight largely unsung individuals from congressional history.

One story in particular stands out as the perfect antidote for our time: that of Edmund G. Ross, senator from Kansas. In 1868, the United States came perilously close to impeaching its seventeenth president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, because the Republican majority in Congress was at odds with him over how to handle the defeated Southern states. Ross bucked his party, followed his conscience, and cast a vote against articles of impeachment. He was vilified at the time; decades later, he would be hailed as having saved the republic.

While previous impeachment efforts had been defeated, on February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives adopted articles of impeachment by a tremendous margin -- every single Republican voted in the affirmative. With that hurdle cleared, the charges moved to the Senate, where they were presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Ross was a Republican, and was naturally expected to support Johnson's impeachment.

"Public opinion in the nation ran heavily against the President; he had intentionally broken the law and dictatorially thwarted the will of Congress!" writes Kennedy.

After the president was effectively indicted by the House, the Senate trial proceeded and high drama riveted the nation. "It was a trial to rank with all the great trials in history -- Charles I before the High Court of Justice, Louis XVI before the French Convention, and Warren Hastings before the House of Lords," writes Kennedy. Yet there were two elements missing: "the actual cause for which the President was being tried was not fundamental to the welfare of the nation; and the defendant himself was at all times absent."

The actual causes for impeachment sound somewhat obscure to today's ears, although the tenth article, which alleged that Johnson had delivered "intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues against Congress [and] the laws of the United States," sounds positively Trumpian. The first eight articles concerned the removal of Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war in supposed violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The ninth article alleged that Johnson's conversation with a general had violated an Army appropriations act. The eleventh was something of a catch-all for the rest.

The counsel for the president argued convincingly that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional. And even if there had been a violation of the law, Stanton would have needed to submit to being dismissed and then sued for his rights in the courts -- something that had not happened.

From Profiles in Courage :

as the trial progressed, it became increasingly apparent that the impatient Republicans did not intend to give the President a fair trial on the formal issues upon which the impeachment was drawn, but intended instead to depose him from the White House on any grounds, real or imagined, for refusing to accept their policies. Telling evidence in the President's favor was arbitrarily excluded. Prejudgment on the part of most Senators was brazenly announced. Attempted bribery and other forms of pressure were rampant. The chief interest was not in the trial or the evidence, but in the tallying of votes necessary for conviction.

At the time, there were 54 members of the Senate, which meant 36 votes were required to secure the two thirds necessary for Johnson's conviction. There were 12 Democratic senators, so the 42 Republicans could afford only six defections.

The mood and tenor in Washington, according to David Miller DeWitt's The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson , was that of a city under siege. "The dominant part of the nation seemed to occupy the position of public prosecutor, and it was scarcely in the mood to brook delay for trial or to hear the defense."

The city was thronged by the "politically dissatisfied and swarmed with representatives of every state of the Union, demanding in a practically united voice the deposition of the President," writes Kennedy. "The footsteps of anti-impeaching Republicans were dogged from the day's beginning to its end and far into the night, with entreaties, considerations, and threats."

Ross and other doubters were "daily pestered, spied upon, and subjected to every form of pressure. Their residences were carefully watched, their social circles suspiciously scrutinized, and their every move and companions secretly marked in special notebooks. They were warned in the party press, harangued by their constituents, and sent dire warnings threatening political ostracism and even assassination."

The New York Tribune reported that Ross in particular was "mercilessly dragged this way and that by both sides, hunted like a fox night and day and badgered by his own colleagues ."

While both sides publicly claimed Ross as their own, the senator himself kept a careful silence. His brother received a letter offering $20,000 if he would reveal Ross' mind. The morning of the fateful vote, spies followed Ross to breakfast, and 10 minutes before the vote, a colleague from Kansas warned him that support for "acquittal would mean trumped up charges and his political death."

That day in the Senate, as Ross would later write, "the galleries were packed. Tickets of admission were at an enormous premium. The House had adjourned and all of its members were in the Senate chamber. Every chair on the Senate floor was filled ."

The broad eleventh article of impeachment would command the first vote. By the time the call came to Ross, 24 "guilty" votes had already been pronounced. As Kennedy writes, "Ten more were certain and one other practically certain. Only Ross's vote was needed to obtain the thirty-six votes necessary to convict the President. But not a single person in the room knew how this young Kansan would vote."

"I almost literally looked down into my open grave," writes Ross. "Friendships, position, fortune, everything that makes life desirable to an ambitious man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever. It is not strange that my answer was carried waveringly over the air and failed to reach the limits of the audience, or or that repetition was called for ."

"Then came the answer again in a voice that could not be misunderstood -- full, final, definite, unhesitating and unmistakeable: 'Not guilty.' The deed was done, the President saved, the trial as good as over and the conviction lost. The remainder of the roll call was unimportant; conviction had failed by the margin of a single vote and a general rumbling filled the chamber ."

When the second and third articles of impeachment were read 10 days later, Ross also pronounced the president "not guilty."

Neither Ross nor any of the other six Republicans who voted for Johnson's acquittal were ever reelected to the Senate. When they returned to Kansas, Ross and his family were ostracized, attacked, and impoverished.

Kennedy writes:

Who was Edmund G. Ross? Practically nobody. Not a single public law bears his name, not a single history book includes his picture, not a single list of Senate "greats" mentions his service. His one heroic deed has been all but forgotten. Ross chose to throw [his future in politics] away for one act of conscience.

Yet even if he fell into obscurity, history would vindicate Ross. Twenty years after the fateful vote, Congress repealed the Tenure of Office Act, and the Supreme Court later held that "the extremes of that episode in our government" were unconstitutional.

Prior to Ross's death, the American public realized its errors too, and the same Kansas papers that had once denounced and defamed Ross declared that his "courage" had "saved" the country "from calamity greater than war, while it consigned him to a political martyrdom, the most cruel in our history ."

Kennedy does a wonderful job recounting this momentous episode, with the rich suspense and colorful imagery that it deserves. Ross's words jump from the page as if they were written for our own age, and his bravery in the face of partisan political pressure has withstood the test of time.

To end with Ross's own words:

In a large sense, the independence of the executive office as a coordinate branch of the government was on trial . If the President was to step down a disgraced man and a political outcast upon insufficient proofs and from partisan considerations, the office of President would be degraded, cease to be a coordinate branch of the government, and ever after be subordinated to the legislative will. If Andrew Johnson were acquitted by a nonpartisan vote America would pass the danger point of partisan rule and that intolerance which so often characterizes the sway of great majorities and makes them dangerous.

We should bear that in mind today.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

[Mar 11, 2019] Neoliberal MSM want to bury Tucker

Mar 11, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

From: Fox News' Tucker Carlson Responds To Recordings Where He Calls Women 'Extremely Primitive' By Inviting Critics To Appear On His

By Donica Phifer On 3/10/19 at 11:17 PM

The tapes, released on Sunday by Media Matters for America , a progressive watchdog group, are recordings of Carlson from 2006 to 2011 when the media personality regularly called in to The Bubba the Love Sponge Show . The nationally-syndicated program featured shock jock host Todd "Bubba" Clem, who legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge Clem in 1998, and broadcast from Tampa, Florida.

The three-and-half minutes of audio features a wide variety of subjects including Carlson, Bubba and an unnamed co-host discussing Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of two counts of felony child sexual assault.

"(Jeffs) is in prison because he's weird and unpopular and he has a different lifestyle that other people find creepy," Carlson says in a clip from August 2009 following a discussion about the charges brought against Jeffs.

"No, he is an accessory to the rape of children. That is a felony and a serious one at that," a co-host responds, prompting Carlson to ask what he means by an "accessory."

"He's got some weird, religious cult where he thinks it's okay to, you know, marry underage girls, but he didn't do it," Carlson said. "Why wouldn't the guy who actually did it, who had sex with an underage girl, he should be the one who is doing life."

"Look, just to make it absolutely clear. I am not defending underage marriage at all. I just don't think it's the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child," Carlson added later in the interview.

In a separate interview, dated September 5, 2009, Carlson says that the charges against Jeffs for sexual assault are "bulls--t" because he is not "accused of touching anybody. He is accused of facilitating a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man. That's the accusation. That's what they're calling felony rape."

In another interview, Carlson referred to Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis Stewart as a"'c--nt" and, in yet another one, called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton "biggest white wh--res in America."

Carlson also found himself caught in a discussion about his daughter's boarding school in October 2009, and allegations from Bubba and his co-host that girls attending boarding schools often experiment with same-sex relationships.

... ... ...

[Mar 09, 2019] Gone When They Get Your Vote

Notable quotes:
"... I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason. ..."
"... I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected. ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

...He brilliantly exposed the false-distinction between Democrats and Republicans as a choice between the lesser of the same evil.

Malcom X's last speech after Feb. 1965 firebombing of his home https://vimeo.com/192326332

"Foxes and wolves usually are of the same breed. They belong to the same family -- I think it's called canine. And the difference is that the wolf when he shows you his teeth, you know that he's your enemy; and the fox, when he shows you his teeth, he appears to be smiling. But no matter which of them you go with, you end up in the dog house."

It took a mean mugging by reality -- one that shook me out of cognitive dissonance -- for me to realize that Democrats are no different than Republicans. They differ in their methods, but in the end they feast on us regardless of their gang affiliation. Both parties are subsidiaries of corporations and oligarchs; our entire political system is based on two factions bamboozling their respective bases while manufacturing dissension on all sides.

... ... ...

Now that I've shed my political blinders, I see how this game is played. I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason.

I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected.

They have maintained power for decades by successfully treading on the pains of marginalized groups as they concurrently enact legislation and regulations that inflame the very injustices they rail against.

If there is one group that has been leveraged the most by Democrats, it's the descendants of slaves and "black" diaspora as a whole. For generations, supposed liberals -- who now call themselves progressives -- have cunningly used the pains of "African-Americans" to further their own agendas. The Democrat's most loyal voting bloc have time and time again been taken advantage of only to be tossed to the side as soon as Democrats gain power. They talk a good game and pretend to be for us right up until election day, soon as the last ballot is counted, they are nowhere to be found.

[Mar 09, 2019] Zabinski Point for democrats

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , March 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Re: Loyalty Oath

That's the Democrats for ya! When they don't have any useful ideas they go and grab the Republican's old, bad ones out of the trash.

Carey , March 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

"Loyalty Oath"? We are in what country, in what year?

*Why* did he sign on with the Dems? Could've had ballot access with the Greens, and
everything else from the Dem association is a net-negative, IMO.

Lucy/Football2020

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm

I want to say this is the Zabinski Point (apparently the lowest dry point in the geographic US) in the D party's recent history, but I fear it could get lower still.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Nope, the name of the lowest point is even more appropriate for the donkey show

Badwater

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 4:20 pm

I guess I was misinformed by that moive, Zabriskie Point.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

The actual lowest point in the state might be at the bottom of the artificially created lake-the Salton Sea, as at the surface it's -236 feet, and the claim is the bottom is 5 feet higher than Badwater, but who knows.

It was created in 1905, when a diversion of the Colorado River went out of control for 2 years, until they were able to stop the flow.

ambrit , March 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm

"Zabriskie Point." A truly apt metaphor for the modern political landscape.
My favourite foreign movie metaphor for the Democrat Party would be Bertolucci's "The Conformist."

[Mar 09, 2019] Debbie Wasserman Schultz has threatened to have Sanders kicked out of the party unless he calls out Madura as a dictator

Jimmy Dore show is pretty educational... Why hasn't Schultz been charged for election fraud yet (she rigged the 2016 primary and then rigged her own race in Florida against Tim Canova.)? Just when you thought crooked Hillary and corrupt Debbie Wasserman-Schultz were finally silent and out of the picture, they keep coming back again and again and again...like a case of herpes.
Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev, March 6, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Nothing that Bernie will do can satisfy the Democrats. Said the other day he was wishy-washy over Venezuela but it was still not enough. Seems that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has threatened to have him kicked out of the party unless he calls out Madura as a dictator.

Film clip at-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnlEVf7oaVQ

Some language used.

polecat , March 6, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Well then, Sanders better be carrying a polished shield at all times never know when Debbie the medusa will lurch forward throwing that gazy DNC stink-eye in his direction !

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren Takes Her Amazon, Facebook Breakup Proposal to SXSW

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as "platform utilities," and for the appointment of regulators who'd unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.

"The idea behind this is for the people in this room," for tech entrepreneurs who want to try out "that new idea," Warren told a packed and enthusiastic crowd. "We want to keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out."

Warren said venture capital "in this area" has dropped by about 20 percent because of a perceived uneven playing field. She didn't provide more detail or say where she obtained her figures.

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren's Plan to Break Up Big Tech Should Focus on Amazon

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up "Big Tech" companies is sure to stoke debate and add to the tension between the Democratic Party and reliably Democratic Silicon Valley. While breaking up Big Tech isn't likely to happen anytime soon, one nuance in her proposal is worth thinking about, and that's whether tech companies that operate large marketplaces should also be able to participate in said marketplaces.

The most obvious impact this would have would be on Amazon. While in the universe of the American retail industry Amazon's market share remains in the single digits, in e-commerce it's got around 50 percent market share . When consumers shop on Amazon, they're presented with items sold by Amazon, and also items that Amazon doesn't own or warehouse but merely hosts the listings. It's also increasingly getting into the advertising business, so that when you're searching you'll be presented with a list of sponsored products in addition to whatever results a search may generate.

A third-party seller on Amazon has a difficult relationship with Amazon, which can act both as partner and competitor. Amazon can use its huge data sets to see how successful third-party sellers and products are, and if they meet a certain profitability threshold Amazon can decide to compete with that third-party seller directly.

Someone might say, isn't that what grocery stores or Costco do with private label goods or Costco's Kirkland brand? But the difference is that in physical retail, there are all sorts of stores where a producer can sell their products -- Walmart, Target, Costco, major grocery chains, and so on. In e-commerce, with half the market share, Amazon has a dominant position. While in the short run Amazon being able to compete with its third-party sellers may be good for consumers, who can end up with lower prices, in the long run it may mean fewer producers even bother to come up with new products, feeling that eventually Amazon will crowd them out of the marketplace.

Would restricting Amazon, which has grown so quickly and is popular with consumers, harm the economy? Government's antitrust fight with Microsoft a generation ago ended up paying dividends for innovation. In the 2000s a common critique of Microsoft was that it "missed" the internet, and smartphones, and social media, but to some extent that may have been because the company feared an expansion in emerging technologies would bring back more scrutiny from the government. As a result, new tech platforms and companies bloomed. The same could happen in the next decade if Amazon's ambitions were reined in a little.

"Break up Big Tech" is an easy emotional hook, but hopefully Warren's proposal will get all Americans to think more about the power of tech companies and their platforms, and whether regulatory changes would best serve both consumers and producers.

[Mar 09, 2019] According to the text of the application Dems candidates swear to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Note that the candidate swears to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin Studebaker's view : "A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto."

Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate ; perhaps a short term failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party.

In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system: Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a candidate, and the "National Chairperson" must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer. Pesky voters!

[Mar 09, 2019] The shadow of 1930th fall over the USA: a modest Swiftian proposal to deliver swift justice to globalizer plutocrats such as the Rothschilds.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Charles Pewitt says: March 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm GMT 200 Words

@Anthony Aaron

It's been the biggest money maker for them since -- the Rothschild family invented central banks -- or loaned money to both sides in every war they could find and/or drum up.

The Rothschilds must be financially liquidated in an orderly and legal manner as a lesson to the other globalizer plutocrats.

The Koch boys and the Benetton bunch should be legally liquidated financially as well.

There should be no billionaires in European Christian nations.

The Russians excepted; let those Ruski bastards do as they please within reason. I love Russians, and I would like to see many Russians depart the USA and England to go back to beautiful Russia. England for the English; America for the Americans; Russia for the Russians!

Billionaires in European Christian nations should be financially liquidated and exiled to sub-Saharan Africa. They must never be allowed to leave sub-Saharan Africa once they are escorted there.

The above is my modest Swiftian proposal to deliver swift justice to globalizer plutocrats such as the Rothschilds.

[Mar 08, 2019] Ilhan Omar Controversy: Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren Defend Criticism of Israel by Ewan Palmer

Mar 07, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

Seenator Bernie Sanders came to the defense of Representative Ilhan Omar as the Minnesota congresswoman faced backlash over remarks that some perceived as anti-Semitic. Sanders said there was a key difference between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of the Israeli government.

The Vermont senator criticized House Democrats' reaction to Omar after she was heavily condemned for her tweet that said: "I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee." Omar was referring to Israel.

The comment, which has been rebuked by members of her own party , was seen as exploiting anti-Semitic tropes and attacking U.S. support of Israel.

In a statement, Sanders, who is a 2020 presidential candidate, said that while anti-Semitism is a "hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed we must not equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.

"Rather, we must develop an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace," Sanders said, reported HuffPost. "What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That's wrong."

Sander's statement came after senior Democrats had planned to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which was seen as a direct response to Omar's comments . The vote was delayed as the House Foreign Affairs Committee rewrites the resolution to include condemnation of all hate.

Kamala Harris, also a 2020 presidential candidate, also issued a statement defending Omar, suggesting that the spotlight currently on the congresswoman "may put her at risk.

"We should be having a sound, respectful discussion about policy," Harris said, as reported by HuffPost. "You can both support Israel and be loyal to our country. I also believe there is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders, and anti-Semitism."

Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic presidential candidate, expressed similar views in her statement defending Omar.

"We have a moral duty to combat hateful ideologies in our own country and around the world, and that includes both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. In a democracy, we can and should have an open, respectful debate about the Middle East that focuses on policy," Warren said.

"Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Threats of violence-like those made against Omar-are never acceptable."

Omar, who was forced to apologize for previous remarks in which she suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was paying politicians for their support of Israel, has defended her latest remarks.

"Being opposed to Netanyahu and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic. I am grateful to the many Jewish allies who have spoken out and said the same," she tweeted on March 2.

[Mar 07, 2019] The democracy problem that has been brewing for 40 years has been the practical curtailment of representative democracy in the West. The chief driver of this has been the institutional encroachment of the market, from supranational bodies down to local authorities.

Notable quotes:
"... One thing your blog ignores is the role of the media (note that Johnson and Gove had secondary careers as journalists). Democracy specifically doesn't work if the public are shamelessly misled by the people whose job it is to inform others. ..."
"... The key question for Burkeans is: to what degree do these elites look out for the interests of the people as a whole, instead of their own interests? ..."
"... The EU vote was influenced not only by the belief that "Europe" was symbolic of this decline, but by the realisation that a referendum was a rare opportunity for direct democracy ..."
"... The Left get a bloody nose from the electorate over a major shift in the course society is going to take for the first time in 30 years and suddenly democracy isn't a satisfactory way of deciding things. ..."
"... How convenient. I've always said the Left don't really give a sh*t about the people they purport to represent, its all just a facade to gain power. I think the response to the Brexit vote pretty much settles it. ..."
"... I think if the Australian system of compulsory [voting] was introduced it would help - by making zealots a smaller proportion of the electorate and by (hopefully) making it clear that voting is not a right to get what you want, but a responsibility to vote in the public interest. ..."
"... This is the problem with the state of our politics. There is a group of people who think they have some kind of right to sit in judgment on the others and decide what is right for them. They have unilaterally split the world into sensible rational people like us and stupid people not like us. They have decided that people who seek out rotten fish are clearly stupid, when they might have decided that "One's man's trash is another man's treasure" ..."
"... The politicians are the ones who are informed and they have a difficult job. Sometimes they have to decide to do things which are unpopular but which will benefit society at large. ..."
"... Our FPTP system ensures that only a minority of an elite make these decisions, and sadly the rest of the tories fall into line like willing sheep. Ultimately the question for the people is whether they can trust the decision-makers to decide on their behalf. Over the last few decades that trust has been eroded. ..."
"... There is, I believe, a political consequence of our modern "knowledge explosion" that has yet to be widely recognized. That lack of recognition may have very grave consequences. ..."
"... Human knowledge has vastly outstripped the capacity of any single human mind. ..."
"... The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States of America "knew everything". As a group, they held all human knowledge: economics, physics, medicine, geology, ... everything! ..."
"... Back then, any (fairly intelligent) person who was determined enough, could collect all the knowledge needed to competently understand the policy decisions that the Founding Fathers were making. ..."
"... Democracy was possible, because demos could in fact be competent. ..."
"... This is no longer true. Demos has absolutely no chance of being competent on the complex and interlocking topics of today's world. If an incompetent demos tries to run the world, the inevitable result is erratic, erroneous policy with no basis in fact: Tea Party America. ..."
"... We are not competent to decide policy; but no political organization has yet had the courage to say, "We propose to choose the experts who MUST decide and manage policies on such-and-such criteria"... which would be the best that demos could hope to decide with any degree of competence. ..."
"... I fear that democracy is a zombie. Walking dead. ..."
Oct 07, 2016 | stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com
Hilary Richards | October 06, 2016 at 02:20 PM
One thing your blog ignores is the role of the media (note that Johnson and Gove had secondary careers as journalists). Democracy specifically doesn't work if the public are shamelessly misled by the people whose job it is to inform others.

The people have asked for rotting fish because they were told it was good nourishing fish.

Dmcdougall | October 06, 2016 at 03:18 PM
Traditionally, representative democracy has maintained a mainly Burkean ethos, and respecting 'the will of the people' has largely been done only when it represents the desires of (some set of) elites. Brexit is largely falling into this camp -- May et al are claiming clear mandates for specific policies from a vote which offered, at best, a murky amalgamation of possible motives (as well as very likely the problems of misinformation/ignorance).

There has for the last half-century or so been a push toward removing this layer of Burkean restraint -- not institutionally, but culturally, in rhetoric if not in practice. The current Tory policy move to the hard right on immigration makes canny use of this, but the anti-Burkean left seems very happy to let this happen in its respect for methodology over outcomes.

Respect for the trappings of democracy (voting, the will of the people) without the accompanying information & deliberation seems a shallow form of democracy. I too would like to see the left-intelligentsia's critique of Burke struggle against these challenges of voter understanding, and to propose a new model for achieving Burke's desired ends, but I'm not sure that epistocracy moves us any closer to a fair society than the system of having a powerful class of elites act as a check on the will of the people. The key question for Burkeans is: to what degree do these elites look out for the interests of the people as a whole, instead of their own interests?

From Arse To Elbow | October 06, 2016 at 03:58 PM
The democracy problem that has been brewing for 40 years has been the practical curtailment of representative democracy in the West. The chief driver of this has been the institutional encroachment of the market, from supranational bodies down to local authorities. The decline in respect for the political class is due more to a belief that our elected representatives are powerless than that they are corrupt.

The EU vote was influenced not only by the belief that "Europe" was symbolic of this decline, but by the realisation that a referendum was a rare opportunity for direct democracy (it's worth wondering to what extent the "excitement" around the Scottish independence vote fed into this). Michael Gove may be an idiot, but his jibe at "experts" resonated.

Any theory of politics that doesn't address this encroachment by the market is just rearranging the deckchairs.

Jim | October 06, 2016 at 09:28 PM
The Left get a bloody nose from the electorate over a major shift in the course society is going to take for the first time in 30 years and suddenly democracy isn't a satisfactory way of deciding things.

How convenient. I've always said the Left don't really give a sh*t about the people they purport to represent, its all just a facade to gain power. I think the response to the Brexit vote pretty much settles it.

reason | October 07, 2016 at 09:34 AM

I think if the Australian system of compulsory [voting] was introduced it would help - by making zealots a smaller proportion of the electorate and by (hopefully) making it clear that voting is not a right to get what you want, but a responsibility to vote in the public interest.
Dipper | October 07, 2016 at 09:37 AM
"If a man asks for a lot of rotting fish, should we blame the fishmonger for giving it him?"

This is the problem with the state of our politics. There is a group of people who think they have some kind of right to sit in judgment on the others and decide what is right for them. They have unilaterally split the world into sensible rational people like us and stupid people not like us. They have decided that people who seek out rotten fish are clearly stupid, when they might have decided that "One's man's trash is another man's treasure"

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/icelandic-cuisine-hakarl-iceland-fermented-shark.html

aragon | October 07, 2016 at 10:10 AM
@TonyBrite

Not Social Darwinism but Psychology, backed by experimental evidence. But people aren't killing each other in the Middle East in a spasm of tribalism? And when they come here they will be enlightened by your views and not keep their culture, attitudes to women and prejudices, as the Swedes about that one, and social cohesion.

Rather than voting from experience it was mob mentality? Half the country in a civilised exercise in democracy over several months. No they have experienced immigration and rejected free movement.

Boston in Lincolnshire is one of the areas most impacted by European immigration and voted Brexit.

The areas that voted remain are the areas doing best from the status quo e.g London and the South East, who don't want to rock the boat.

towerbridge | October 07, 2016 at 01:37 PM
Aragon, you have just vindicated TonyBrite's point. You start with stating that there are people in the middle east who have different values.

You then connect that to the EU. This is a deliberate conflation I have seen time and time again with immigration especially in our awful media.

As Dave Hansell said a few posts ago, you will find that save for one year immigration has primarily came from outside the EU.

This is exactly why the complex decision of brexit should not have been left to the media in this country and a simple vote, as it just brought out base prejudices and ill-informed opinions.

For example, how many people knew that when outside the EU it would be unlawful to subsidise the farming industry? (WTO rules) or how many people believed the propaganda that the original EC treaty voted on in 1975 was really just a trade treaty (a look at that treaty, article 46, "social policy" would have ended that argument)?

The politicians are the ones who are informed and they have a difficult job. Sometimes they have to decide to do things which are unpopular but which will benefit society at large.

I agree with you, Chris, that it is difficult to do, but what I would say is that we could make a better fist of it than we currently do. One of the ways of doing this would be to increase representation at governing level and force more negotiation/compromise. Our FPTP system ensures that only a minority of an elite make these decisions, and sadly the rest of the tories fall into line like willing sheep. Ultimately the question for the people is whether they can trust the decision-makers to decide on their behalf. Over the last few decades that trust has been eroded.

Robert Nelson | October 07, 2016 at 01:58 PM
There is, I believe, a political consequence of our modern "knowledge explosion" that has yet to be widely recognized. That lack of recognition may have very grave consequences.

The founders of our "Modern Occidental World" -- France's philosophes, Great Britain's Royal Academy, America's Founding Fathers -- were men (and a very few particularly enterprising women) who "knew everything". If you google "the last man who knew everything" you'll find several candidates... but none are modern. Even such wide-ranging intellects as Hawking and Sagan never pretended to "know everything".

Human knowledge has vastly outstripped the capacity of any single human mind.

That seems like an obvious statement... but it is in fact quite a recent situation. The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States of America "knew everything". As a group, they held all human knowledge: economics, physics, medicine, geology, ... everything!

When those men decided policy, they could -- BY THEMSELVES -- take account of ALL human knowledge.

Back then, any (fairly intelligent) person who was determined enough, could collect all the knowledge needed to competently understand the policy decisions that the Founding Fathers were making.

(Not