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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 Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Populism Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Steele dossier The Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria 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
Demexit Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Bernie Sanders US anti war movement Libertarian Philosophy Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Neocons Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocons foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex  New American Militarism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking
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" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Myth about intelligent voter 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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[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi.
With a lot of masquerading in between.
A couple people who aren't on THE payroll,
or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 17, 2019] No loyal American would fire a leader as impressive as FBI director James Comey by Tucker Carlson

Jan 17, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

Don Lemon -- has it nailed. As we told you Tuesday night - you could've seen this coming - the FBI has suspected this for some time.

The bureau opened a criminal investigation into the president more than a year ago, on the grounds that no loyal American would fire a leader as impressive as FBI director James Comey. Putin must have ordered it. The Washington Post concurred with this.

As one of the paper's columnists noted, Trump has also "endorsed populism." That's right. Populism.

It has the stink of Russia all over it. Smells like vodka and day-old herring.

[Jan 17, 2019] Neoliberal elite which reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Selousscout1 , 29 Nov 2018 12:20

''Tis booming because the left/liberal/metropolitan muesli crunching elites (and I include the Tories in that) who have reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures. They have also connived in the insanity of insisting every hair brained liberal idea is worthy of being protected by the human rights legislative farce. Rapists being offered a say in the upbringing of their issue, school uniforms being dragged into law and a thousand and other one 'special issues' to a tiny minority being rammed down the throats of the fed up majority at every opportunity by activists.

[Jan 17, 2019] That populist has been so vaguely defined that neoliberal MSM use it as a label for anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

DanInTheDesert -> Tiny Toy , 29 Nov 2018 15:20

But that's the point, isn't it? That populist has been so vaguely defined that it encompasses anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Populism is a belief in the goodness of people, a belief that masses make better decisions than elites and that the the rule of the elite come at the expense of the demos.

It's a term synonymous with grassroots, popular democracy. Proponents of elite rule with reductionistic views democracy (rule with the consent of the governed and all that trash) call their grassroots opponents 'populists' in attempt to tie them to strong men.

Signed, a left populist.

lagoalberche , 29 Nov 2018 15:00
Noam Chomsky has a view on this issue and I am inclined to think he has a better understanding of it than the author of this piece.

Chomsky rejects the term "populism" in this matter and offers, instead, the proposal that ;

"Working people are turning against elites and dominant institutions that have been punishing them for a generation"

The theory of 'cause and effect' seems eminently more sensible to me than the shrill cries of "It was the internet wot dun it"

The elites and dominant institutions that Chomsky refers to ( including mainstream media ) precipitated the current shift and would do better to acknowledge the part they played in it, rather than insult and demean the consequential reaction of people on the receiving end of it.

DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 12:06
Before people get out the pitchforks and burn the populists in effigy, perhaps we could hear from some left populists?

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/elites-no-credibility-left-interview-journalist-chris-hedges /

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA7NA2TgXBQ&feature=youtu.be

The enemy is not populism, it's the right's capture of the populist narrative. Trump is a faux populist that has nothing but disdain for the people he employs and the people rules.

AnglophileDe -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:39
Well, here's a very apposite quote:

The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov
"A Cult of Ignorance". Newsweek, January 21, 1980.

DanInTheDesert -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:38

the very old school Christian conservative libertarians and old skool nutty right have seized on the success populist narrative has had in recent elections and referendum.

I would argue that is is because establishment figures in the Democratic party -- the New Democrats -- decided that the days of class struggle were over, that 'we are all capitalists now' and ceded the populist narrative to the right. Yes, this a populist moment and the question is not if we can reestablish faith in the elite but whether we can ensure that the new populism goes is a left rather than right direction.

I don't agree that populism lacks depth -- probably because when I think of populism I think of left populist intellectuals like Friere, Martin-Baro and the like who thought that democracy should be built on the virtues of the people.

The occupy movement was a populist movement. It said we, the people on the ground, know better than the elites in the towers. It made decisions democratically, this in stark contrast to the hierarchical structures of decision making exercised by the financial elite. I think populism, or grassroots, popular democracy has intellectual depth and sophistication. Take a look a the writing of Sheldin Wolin, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, David Graeber . . .

I don't agree with most of the definitions of populism we've been offered -- I think they are little more that pejoratives dressed in academic language and have as much depth as the right's favored "snowflake" pejorative.

Brian_Drain -> The_Common_Potato , 29 Nov 2018 11:38
I remember watching 'Tomorrows World' ' in the 1970s and they showed us an unpuncturable cycle tyre that would last 25,000 miles.
The patent was bought by Europe's largest cycle tyre manufacturer, and AFAIK that was the last ever heard of it.
If that happened why is the water fuel idea so fanciful?
If you inject water into the inlet port or combustion chamber of a petrol engine, compression ratios, power output and efficiency can be raised dramatically, this has been known since WW1 and was employed in high altitude aero engines during WW2, yet has never been taken up by any major car manufacturer as far as I know, why?
So the notion that inventions could be suppressed for commercial reasons is really not fanciful at all, it would make less sense for such technology, if it existed, to be made altruistically available on a single purchase basis than to shitcan it.
BluebellWood -> CheshireSalt , 29 Nov 2018 11:30
But who are the 'liberal elite' exactly?

As far as I can see, our country has been ruled by a right-wing, monied elite for many years- not a 'liberal' one. Liberals at least tend to think in terms of economic equality and social freedoms, whatever their other faults might be.

But many working class and middle class people still carry on voting Tory even though it's against their own interests.

We don't have a 'liberal elite' in the UK. We still have the old-fashioned right wing Tory elite in power based on class and wealth. Why 'liberals' get all the abuse these days is beyond me.

(I'm a socialist, btw.)

JulesBywaterLees -> Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 11:28
I'm researching populism on youtube - and it is seedy- and I have yet to turn on the FB news feed, but the algorithms do support populism- watch a PragerU video and the feed is full of other rightwing nonsense.
And all of it has the same empty lines.

I watched the Oxford Union Steve Bannon address- and it could have come from a left winger- the globalised corporate world has abandoned the little guy, and Trump is fixing it.
The on message is the MSM is lying
PC and activists are totalitarian = commies
either capitalism or socialism [commies] = freedom vs enslavement

and an over whelming anti intellectualism - where have we heard that before.

fredmb -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 11:25
True but there is still a case for having decent housing etc and training our own professionals as well and not hollow out professionals from less advantaged countries. When we took hundreds of nurses from the Philippines in 2000 and whole clinics there had to shut to terrible detriment of ill locals

[Jan 17, 2019] Critique or populism as providing simple solution to complex problems is deliberately overstated by political and media establishement. Lion share of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments is due to reaction to neoliberalism in the USA

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 , 29 Nov 2018 08:56

"But populism has two chief characteristics. First, it offers immediate and supposedly obvious answers to complicated problems, which usually blame some other group along the way."

I think this point (simple solutions to complex problems) is often overstated. If you take the issue of immigration (an issue that has fuelled populism) , it actually shouldn't necessarily be that difficult to bring the number of new immigrants down, except that the political and media establishment pretend that it is.

Take Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this as it is ultimately every country's prerogative to defend its borders.

Ditto for intra-EU immigration (perhaps the main reason for Brexit): the EU acts as if this principle of free movement is sacred, but why should that be the case? Or Germany, where I live, where the constitution guarantees a right to asylum for those seeking refuge in the country. Again, this is spoken of as though it were cast in stone, when it really shouldn't be that difficult to amend. So I don't necessarily believe that solutions to problems always have to be difficult and complicated.

HippoMan -> PSmd , 29 Nov 2018 08:30
I agree that advances in people's abilities to interact with greater numbers of other people tend to usher in periods of social upheaval. A lot of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments are the result of our initial reactions against unfamiliar influences coming from groups with whom we previously had relatively little contact.

Brexit, "Make America Great Again", and similar movements are the collective screams of resistance against dealing with unfamiliarity, learning new things, and growing. Over time, we will adapt, but this will probably require a generation or so, at minimum.


Of course, given the high pace of technological change, we are likely to be collectively bonded together even more tightly before we are able to adapt to the current state of the world. It won't be long before people will all be interconnected via implants, which means that each and every thing we do and every emotion we have will be sent out over the net.


It will be a brave new world.

[Jan 17, 2019] Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite."

In a way Populism is somewhat similar to Marxism: implicit message is that the class struggle in the societies is the key problem, which is completely true. American middle class was robbed from 1970th of a considerable chunk of its standard of living. So it is not surprising that the neoliberal elite ( the News Class of as they are called the US nomenklatura) now feels threatened and resorts to censorship, usage of intelligence agencies and mass surveillance, and other oppressive tactics to squash the dissent.
But in such cases the dissent grows stronger despise such an efforts and might turn, at some point, into insurrection against financial oligarchy as Marxists predicted.
The only problem is with Marxism is that they considered working class to the the next dominant class and this proved to be a false idea. That will never never happens.
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Jason1925 , 29 Nov 2018 07:50

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite." There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populists", and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

the wiki page is a bit more expansive you should try reading it.

The left is also guilty of populist ideas- blaming the rich, or banking [when in the UK we get a lot of tax from international banking as a service].

The right has just seized on populism and mainly through social media- brexit and trump are proof its works- but the people behind the populist message are the same old tired neo con christian right of the Reagan era and the sad old far right conspiracy nut jobs. Their message failed in the past- but people like Rees-mogg can now seize on this technique.

Your misunderstanding of what socialism means indicates you swallow the new right wing propaganda. Poorly funded education will result in people without proper opportunity- S.Korea is not a socialist country but they spend a huge amount on education and reap the rewards. But they have a culture where children doing well academically is praised but can also have negative pressure consequences.

It is complicated and worth discussion but populism wants the easy message.

[Jan 17, 2019] No wonder the neoliberal establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!'

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Writeangle , 29 Nov 2018 07:19

One of the better reports on populism I've see recently is ''European Disunion'' by Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard https://newrepublic.com/article/143604/european-disunion-rise-populist-movements-means-democracy .
A analysis by Harvard ''Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash'' found that the primary factor driving populism is a cultural backlash i.e. against [neo]liberal policies and immigration.
kbg541 , 29 Nov 2018 06:59
Populism is growing because wealth is being concentrated into the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else.

Generations, instead of doing better, through working are doing worse because governments are allowing individuals and corporations to reduce terms and conditions of the workforce.

Twenty years ago, many UK workers had company pension schemes and jobs that paid the rent & bills. Now, the pensions have largely dried up and as housing has got more expensive, and incomes have shrunk.

Those at the top are pushing those beneath them closer to a bowl of rice a day, and shrug at the social consequences as inevitable - and a necessary step to protect shareholder values and profits.

In essence, it is the same situation that gave rise to populism in the thirties.

Who do you blame for the fact that house prices have gone up?

Who do you blame for the fact that your pension is going to be smaller than your parents'?

Thing is the populist politicians are the very same people who cut your pension and made money out of it. They just want you to blame someone else.

Candidly -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 06:54
The Long Read: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/29/why-we-stopped-trusting-elites-the-new-populism

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 17, 2019] So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared? Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

FallenApple , 29 Nov 2018 06:48

My Oxford English Dictionary defines a populist as "a member of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people."

Sounds good to me.

So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared?

Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Once only government pronouncements or newspaper commentary and propaganda could shape our views.

Newspapers in the UK could more or less bring down a government, such was their influence on the electorate.

Now we can search out information on the internet, fact-check for ourselves, listen to whom we want, and read a whole range of arguments and views.

No wonder the establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!

samuelbear , 29 Nov 2018 06:22
Why is populism booming asks the writer - simple, because people feel that no-one's listening. Can it really be a surprise to The Guardian Opinion writers that people who have a zero hours contract, pay a high rent and have little job security won't vote for more of the same?
It's not a question as the writer suggests of 'if this wave of populism drifts into authoritarianism or worse' it's more a question of when - and when it does the liberal left will still be asking themselves - why?

[Jan 17, 2019] Tucker Carlson's 'Ship of Fools'The American Spectator

Notable quotes:
"... Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution , ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | spectator.org

https://bh.contextweb.com/visitormatch

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https://us-u.openx.net/w/1.0/pd?plm=10&ph=a31f7619-a863-4ba9-b420-86d41a8dc634&gdpr=0

hip of Fools' November 15, 2018, 12:05 am

A serious look at a serious American problem by a serious thinker.

A truer examination of a serious American problem could not be had.

In his new book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution , Tucker Carlson gets to the heart of the seriously bad situation that confronts America.

Ship of Fools is, says the opening flap of the book, "the story of the new American elites, a group whose power and wealth has grown beyond imagination even as the rest of the country has withered. The people who run America now barely interact with it. They fly on their own planes, ski on their own mountains, watch sporting events from the stands in skyboxes. They have total contempt for you."

In thumbnail, that could not possibly be a more accurate description of American elites, not to mention the reaction they produced: the election of Donald Trump. As someone who long ago left the precincts of Inside the Beltway Washington, D.C. to come home to the wilds of Central Pennsylvania, it was plain what was coming down the pike in November of 2016. This area was awash in Trump signs. They were everywhere, even hand-painted on the sides of barns. As it were, this was a sure sign of what Tucker describes this way:

Trump's election wasn't about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America's ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do.

Bingo.

On page after page Ship of Fools discusses the problems that millions of Americans have long since grasped -- sometimes without even formally being aware just what they were coming to understand. Among them:

• "a meritocracy" that is about the business of creating "its own kind of stratification, a kind more rigid than the aristocracy it replaced."

• Apple, on the one hand, has an astounding record of iPhones being assembled in China by Foxconn, "a Taiwanese company that is the biggest electronics manufacturer in the world." That would be workers making less than two dollars an hour, and who report "being forced to stand for twenty-four hours at a time" with others "beaten by their supervisors." On the other hand, the company gets a pass because "like virtually every big employer in American life, has purchased indulgences from the church of cultural liberalism. Apple has a gay CEO with fashionable social views. The company issues statements about green energy and has generous domestic partner benefits. Apple publicly protested the Trump administration's immigration policies. The company is progressive in ways that matter in Brooklyn. That's enough to stop any conversation about working conditions in Foxconn factories." Concern about this from the American ruling class? Zero.

• Then there's Uber, presenting itself to the public with the same liberal wokeness as Apple. But in reality? In reality Uber's more than one million drivers "would make Uber the second-largest private sector employer in the world." Ahhhh but there's a catch, which the book zeroes in on. "But employees are expensive, they require vacation days and health-care benefits. They have rights. In the United States, employees receive unemployment insurance, and they are entitled to compensation for on-the-job injuries." But does Uber do these things? Of course not. By playing a game that says their drivers aren't employees but rather "contractors," like a small independent business -- Uber escapes these responsibilities.

• And let's not forget Facebook. In perhaps the most frightening section of the book, Tucker details the degree to which Facebook "continues to gather ever-growing amounts of intimate information about its customers," something about which "most people have no idea." Tucker writes:

Use Facebook's mobile app on your phone? Facebook sees and records everywhere you go. Facebook knows the stores you visited, the events you attended, and whether you walked, drove, or rode your bike. Because Facebook is integrated onto so many other sites, the company also knows much of your Web browsing history as well, even when you're not browsing on Facebook.

Worse? There is the admission from Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, that, as Tucker writes, Parker "admitted that Facebook can override the free will of its users. The product is literally addictive. It was engineered to be that way."

There's more here on Facebook, much more that will raise the hair on the back of readers', not to mention Facebook users', necks. And much more to Ship of Fools . There is a thorough-going discussion of Cesar Chavez who founded the United Farmworkers union in the 1960s. As a serious Bobby Kennedy fan in that time-period, I well recall Chavez and RFK's alliance with him that made repeated headlines in the day. What Tucker reminds here is that there was no stauncher opponent of illegal immigration than the then-liberal hero Cesar Chavez. Chavez went to incredible lengths to fight the problem, even going to the extent of having his union members out "intercepting Mexican nationals as they crossed the border and assaulted them in the desert. Their tactics were brutal: Chavez's men beat immigrants with chains, clubs, and whips made of barbed wire. Illegal aliens who dared to work as scabs had their houses bombed and cars burned. The union paid Mexican officials to keep quiet." Which is to say, Cesar Chavez on illegal immigration makes Trump look like a wimp. And this being a Tucker Carlson book, there is the humorous irony as he notes that Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993, is so revered by liberals surely unaware of his actual position on illegals that there is a California state holiday named for him, along with all manner of schools, libraries, highways, and one college.

Not spared in this book -- as well they should not be -- is the GOP Washington Establishment. Tucker lasers in on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that he has been a leader in the open borders movement. He runs through various Ryan actions that made clear "Republicans in Congress don't care about the territorial integrity of the country."

This is a superb book, filled with eye-popping information on just how today's American ruling class conducts itself. As soon as the book appeared, it shot to the top of the bestseller lists, as well it should.

A word here about the author. In the headlines the other day was a tale of Antifa thugs gathering outside the Carlson home -- he was at the Fox TV studio -- yelling and screaming as an attempt was made to knock down the front door, damaging it as Tucker's wife, fearing a home invasion, hid in the pantry calling the police.

This in fact was just one more incident in a list of similar attacks made by mobs of fascist-minded thugs who have made it their business to go after any recognizable conservative or Trump supporter across the country. It takes courage to go on the most popular cable network night after night and stand up for conservative values in an atmosphere where the Left is in a furious fight to gain permanent power and privilege over their fellow Americans. Tucker Carlson -- like his colleagues Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham -- thankfully have that courage in spades.

Violence is in the DNA of the American Left -- and it always has been. From the use of the Ku Klux Klan as the military arm of the Democratic Party to labor violence, the 1960s Weather Underground and anti-Vietnam War protests, not to mention the window smashers of Occupy Wall Street and now the hooded thugs of Antifa, the Left's instinctive use of violence has never changed. It is imperative to understand that this is, indeed, straight-up fascism. Antifa -- and those who defend them in the liberal media and the Democratic Party and in scores of venues across the country, college campuses notably -- need to be called out for what they are. "Antifa" is, in reality, "Profa" -- pro-fascist, not anti-fascist. They are the philosophical descendants of Mussolini's "black shirts" -- with the addition of hoods to hide their paramilitary faces. And when they show up and physically attack someone's home, they should be tracked down, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It is amazing -- and I have written on this subject a great deal in this space -- that to believe in a colorblind America as Tucker Carlson does, to oppose identity politics, the latter which I have long since termed the son of segregation and grandson of slavery because it is, in fact, racist -- is to be accused, of all ridiculous things, of "white nationalism." It should not escape that the Carlson accusers on this score have a serious projection problem.

As Ship of Fools makes crystal clear, Americans face a serious problem in dealing with this cast of characters who populate the American elites. These elites do indeed hold millions of Americans in contempt -- and the election of Donald Trump was the answer. But Donald Trump will not be president forever, and, as Tucker points out, "if you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it."

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 15, 2019] The Neoliberal ship is foundering while the uplifting of people-based policies of Russia and China keep them on track to reach their aims

Notable quotes:
"... Soon, if Trump keeps the government shutdown, those idled federal workers just might be seen in the streets. ..."
"... "The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic." ..."
"... Metaphorically, Rome burns while Nero and his Senators fiddle ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 9, 2019 6:35:16 PM | link

George Galloway weighs in on the chaos engulfing the Empire in Washington, London and Paris. The Neoliberal ship is foundering while the uplifting of people-based policies of Russia and China keep them on track to reach their aims. Soon, if Trump keeps the government shutdown, those idled federal workers just might be seen in the streets. George has a penchant for connecting things, and had this to say about Macron:

"The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic."

The false flag of Austerity--Neoliberalism preying on its own as was predicted at its beginnings is what we're witnessing, while the actors that created the situation cling with bloody hands to the ship of state unwilling to surrender the wheel to those who might salvage the situation.

Metaphorically, Rome burns while Nero and his Senators fiddle .

[Jan 15, 2019] The Trump-Russia Scam - How Obama Enabled The FBI To Spy On Trump

Mueller investigation is a continuation of JFK assassination by other means.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Now, as the 'Russian influence' narrative is dying down, the anti-Trump - anti-Russian campaign is moving to new grounds. ..."
"... Initiating a counter-intelligence investigation, for which there was no basis, gave the FBI, and later the Mueller investigation, unfettered access to NSA 'signals intelligence' that could then possibly be used to incriminate Trump or his associates. ..."
"... It was the Obama administration which had given the FBI access to this tool : ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged ..."
"... Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton? ..."
"... "I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people." ..."
"... the assassination of JFK opened the floodgates of blatant depravity perpetrated by those whose greed and lust for power will ultimately destroy us. ..."
"... There are trends: A growing US citizen realization that their political system prior to Trump was nearly completely corrupt; the Clintons are more broadly understood as the pathological criminals that they are; the Podesta emails with their sick connotations remain 'in the air' - See Ben Swann's work, for example. The Clinton Foundation is far more broadly understood as a massive criminal enterprise. ..."
"... "Pompeo met on October 24 [at Trump's request] with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system." ..."
"... In short the last two years have been about trying to defeat Trump but the attackers are looking more and more wounded, and Trump, well, he's hanging in there. General Kelly and others have described Trump's work ethic as exhausting. ..."
"... Trump has been put under intense investigation by Deep State hacks who are determined to see him impeached. And all they have come up with is that he is a compulsive pussy-grabber (no shit, hey?). ..."
"... Well, if he has then he has hidden them extraordinarily well, because Mueller with all his resources hasn't found any. Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons. ..."
"... "Simply put, the Russia NIA is not an "IC-coordinated" assessment -- the vehicle for such coordination, the NIC, was not directly involved in its production, and no NIO was assigned as the responsible official overseeing its production. Likewise, the Russia NIA cannot be said to be the product of careful coordination between the CIA, NSA and FBI -- while analysts from all three agencies were involved in its production, they were operating as part of a separate, secretive task force operating under the close supervision of the Director of the CIA, and not as an integral part of their home agency or department." ..."
"... Escalation towards war with Russia was a matter of public record in late pre-election 2016, thanks to Clinton News Network ... now ask yourselves where is that general in the press conference nowadays? ..."
"... For a thorough update on the Integrity Initiative and its offshoots, check out the latest from legal investigator Barbara Boyd. ..."
"... To defeat the "Deep State" in the U.S., it is essential to understand the role of British Intelligence. While it is essential to know the role of Hillary Clinton, Obama, Comey, DOJ/FBI operatives, et.al., it is even more important to understand the geopolitical assumptions behind Russiagate. And for that, one must turn to the British. ..."
"... The aim of the counterintelligence operation and of the Russiagate hoax was not to build a prosecution case against President Trump. It was to put the United States in constitutional limbo by creating a parallel and competing center of constitutional legitimacy. ..."
"... Very difficult to judge: what is the result of infighting in the US vs. any agreed-on never mind coherent foreign policy? That the question is even asked - all over the world now - spells stage one collapse. ..."
"... Trump's nationalist credentials are further belied by such things as: adding TPP provisions to the new North American trade agreement; attacking Syria based on false flags; arming Ukraine; pulling out of the INF treaty and engaging in an unnecessary and costly arms race; actively seeking to overthrow the governments of Iran and Venezuela; etc. ..."
"... My own theory about 2016 is that everybody miscalculated. Trump was (IMO) running as an ego-building publicity stunt. Hillary (and her Deep State sponsors) had actively helped Trump get the nomination with hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity which also enhanced the bottom lines of Big Media. His multiple flaws were airbrushed away. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Despite the loss of major narratives, the war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated. The main of tool in this war are allegations of relations between Trump and anything Russia. The war runs along several parallel paths.

The narrative war in the media is most visible one. When any of the fake stories about Trump and Russia gets debunked and disposed, new ones are created or others intensified.

In parallel to these propaganda efforts the deep state created an investigation that Trump has no way to escape from. Enabled by one of the Obama administrations last acts the investigation is using signal intelligence to entrap and flip the people surrounding Trump (see section three below). The big price will be Trump himself. Here we take a look at what transpired during the last weeks.


One major anti-Trump narrative was that 'Russian influence' helped to put him into office. This was based on the alleged nefarious influence a Russian clickbait company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Peterburg, had on the U.S. electorate. That explanation never made sense. Little of the IRA activities had to do with the election. It used sockpuppets on Facebook and Twitter to attract people to websites filled with puppy pictures or similar nonsense. The IRA would then sell advertisement and promotions on these sites.

This was obvious for anyone following the factual content of the news instead of the 'opinions' a whole bunch of anti-Trump 'experts' and the media formed around them.

That the Mueller investigation finally indicted several of the IRA's officers over minor financial transactions was seen as a confirmation of the political aspects of the IRA activities. But nearly all the reporting left out that Mueller confirmed the commercial intent behind the IRA and its activities. There is nothing political in the accusations. Indeed point 95 of the Mueller indictment of the IRA says:

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts , including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.

Part of the false narrative of a political influence campaign was the claim that the $100,000 the IRA spent for advertisement to promote its clickbait webpages through Facebook ads somehow moved people to vote for Trump. But 56% of the IRA ads ran after the election, 25% of all its ads were never seen by anyone. How a few $10,000 for ads only few saw moved an election that was fought with several billions spent by each candidate's campaign was left unexplained.

This week, only fifteen month after this site came to the conclusion that IRA was a commercial clickbait business , the Washington Post finally admitted that the alleged political targeting of voters by the IRA never happened:

[T]he common understanding is that Russia's interference efforts included sophisticated targeting of specific voting groups on Facebook, which could have made the difference in states that Trump narrowly won on his way to an electoral-vote victory.

That understanding about Russia's sophisticated targeting, though, is not supported by the evidence -- if it's not flat-out wrong.
...
Most of the ads purchased by the Russians didn't specify a geographic target smaller than the United States on the whole, according to a Post review of the ads released by the House Intelligence Committee. Those that did target specific states heavily targeted those that weren't really considered targets of the 2016 election, such as Missouri and Maryland. And of those ads that did target specific states, most happened well before or well after the final weeks of the campaign.

All the claims that some Russian sockpuppets influenced the 2016 elections were and are nonsense. The IRA sockpuppets never had any political intent.

Likewise the allegations that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and Clinton crony Podesta's email are mere assertions for which no hard evidence was ever provided. The only known fact is that the emails and papers were real, and that there content revealed the shoddiness of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and her campaign.

Now, as the 'Russian influence' narrative is dying down, the anti-Trump - anti-Russian campaign is moving to new grounds. Last week the New York Times claimed that Paul Manafort, who for some time ran the Trump election campaign, gave public and internal polling data to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska: Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate . A day after that sensational claim made a large splash throughout U.S. media the New York Times recanted:

Kenneth P. Vogel @kenvogel - 18:39 utc - 9 Jan 2019

CORRECTION: PAUL MANAFORT asked KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK to pass TRUMP polling to the Ukrainian oligarchs SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN & RINAT AKHMETOV, & not to OLEG DERIPASKA, as originally reported. We have corrected the story & I deleted a tweet repeating the error.

Duh. Manafort gave polling data to his Ukrainian fixer Konstantin Kilimnik with the request to pass it along to Ukrainian oligarchs for who he had worked before joining the Trump campaign. Kilimnik had long worked for the International Republican Institute office in Moscow. The IRI is a CIA offshot under Republican Party tutelage that is used to influence politics abroad. Its long time head was the deceased hawkish Senator John McCain. While he worked with Kilimnik in the Ukraine, Manafort concentrated on moving the Ukraine towards the European Union and away from Russia. His and Kilimnik efforts were always opposed to Russian interests. But the NYT and others falsely try to pass them off as the opposite with the sole purpose of feeding the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign.

Another anti-Trump/anti-Russian propaganda effort is a new sensational NYT piece on obvious misbehavior in the upper rows of the FBI :

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests , according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The NYT lets it seem as if the decision to launch a counter-intelligence investigation related to Trump was as based on some reasonable suspicion the FBI had. It was not. This was an act of revenge by the upper anti-Trump echelons in the FBI with which they attempted to undermine Trump's presidency. Note what the claimed suspicion was based on:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Other factors fueled the F.B.I.'s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.

Trump made a joke during the election campaign asking Russia to release the 30,000 emails Hillary Clinton had deleted from her illegal private email server. There is no requirement, as far as I know, for any candidate to criticize this or that country. How can not following the non existing requirement to criticize Russia be suspicious? The Republican Party did not soften its convention platform on Ukraine. It rejected an amendment that would have further sharpened it. Overall the Republican platform was more hawkish than the Democratic one. The Steele dossier was of course from A to Z made up nonsense paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

It is non sensible to claim that these were reasonable suspicions sufficient to open a counter-intelligence investigation. The hasty FBI move to launch a counter-intelligence operation obviously had a different motive and aim.

After Trump fired FBI director Comey, the FBI was led by Andrew McCabe, later also fired for leaking to the media and lying about it. His legal council was Lisa Page who exchange tons of anti-Trump SMS messages with her lover, the FBI agent Peter Strozk. These are the people who initiated the counter-intelligence investigation :

Strzok and Page sent other text messages that raise the possibility they were discussing opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Trump before Comey's firing.

"And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok wrote to Page on the day of Comey's ouster.

Andy is Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy FBI director.

Page gave some indication in her congressional testimony in July 2018 that the text message was a reference to an investigation separate from the obstruction probe that has already been reported.

Normally the FBI needs to clear such counter-intelligence investigations with the Justice Department. In this case it did not do so at all :

In the case of the investigation into Trump, the FBI's decision to open a file on the president so quickly after Comey's firing in May 2017 was a source of concern for some officials at the Justice Department because the FBI acted without first consulting leadership at the department . But those worries were allayed when, days later, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to oversee the Russia probe ...

After Comey was fired, the FBI made a very hasty move, without reasonable suspicion and without informing the Justice Department, to launch a counter-intelligence operation involving the sitting president and his administration. What was the real purpose of this move?

Initiating a counter-intelligence investigation, for which there was no basis, gave the FBI, and later the Mueller investigation, unfettered access to NSA 'signals intelligence' that could then possibly be used to incriminate Trump or his associates.

It was the Obama administration which had given the FBI access to this tool :

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 4:05 utc - 12 Jan 2019

On his way out the door, we all were wallowing in our winter of discontent, Obama signed an executive order...
...
The order revised the rules around intelligence sharing among our intel community. Specifically, it made the firehose of raw intelligence collected by the NSA directly accessible to the FBI and CIA. Instead of having to ask for intel and getting what they filtered down the FBI and CIA could directly access the unfiltered "SigInt" or signals intelligence. Intercepted phone calls, emails, raw intel from human sources. Everything our vast intelligence vacuum hoovers up, available directly... but only for counterintel and foreign intel purposes .

The NSA can sit on virtually every communication into and out of the U.S. that takes place over networks. Obama made it possible for the FBI to directly access everything they had on Trump, et al. Obama supercharged the FBI's ability to investigate Trump.

The Obama administration enacted the changed executive order EO 12333 in early January 2017, shortly before Trump took over:

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.'s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for "minimizing" privacy intrusions.
...
[T]he 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American's identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations , not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.

However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.

At that time Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, already had the suspicion that Obama was behind the FBI campaign against Trump.

With the changes in EO 12333 Obama gave the FBI the ability to launch a world wide snooping operation against the incoming Trump administration under the guise of a 'counter-intelligence' operation. The hasty FBI move after Comey was fired activated this instrument. The Mueller investigation has since used it extensively. 'Crimes' revealed through the snooping operation are turned over to the Justice Department.

The NYT claim that the counter-intelligence investigation was initiated because of reasonable suspicion of Russian influence over Trump is nonsense. It was initiated to get access to a set of tools that would allow unlimited access to communication of Trump and anyone related to him. It was Obama who on his way out of the door gave the FBI these capabilities.

There are signs that the unlimited access the FBI and Mueller investigation have to signal intelligence is used to create prosecutions via ' parallel construction ':

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 18:50 utc - 12 Jan 2019

An active counterintel investigation means the Trump Administration's crimes were only as secure as the weakest link in their weakest moment. We got hints of this early. Our intelligence folks picked up "signals intelligence" or SigInt from Russians talking to Russians.
Those "signals" aren't the kind of evidence that finds its way into a courtroom. In fact, it's important that it doesn't. It would burn sources and methods. It lays out the crimes and the players though... and then prosecutors find ways to make triable cases other ways .
The public sees cases for specific charges carrying significant prison time without ever knowing that the NSA and prosecutors knew so much more than they ever revealed. Now, apply those principles to the cases we've seen Mueller bring forward so far.

Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape.

By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.
...

The 'crime' that di Flynn in was misremembering a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador. Similar happened with Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's righthand man and a member of Trump's transition team. Then it happened to Paul Manafort himself and to George Papadopoulos.

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indictment for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Because of the counter-intelligence investigation the anti-Trump gang in the FBI hastened to initiate, the investigators got hands on signal intelligence - phone calls, chats and emails - that allowed them to indict minor people for petty crimes and to flip them to talk to the investigation.

The aim, in the end, was and is to build a prosecution case against President Trump for whatever minor and petty half-backed illegal doing there may be.


To make such a prosecution and an indictment publicly palpable the media is assigned with launching story after story about nefarious relations between Trump and anything Russia.

As we have seen above with the IRA story, the retracted NYT 's Manafort bang, and the NYT's false claims about the motive of the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation, none of these stories hold up to diligent scrutiny. Today's Washington Post adds another example of no-beef stories that insinuate mystic 'Russian influence' over Trump:

Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration .

The first graph claims:

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin , including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

The rest of the story largely refutes the claim made in its headline and very first sentence:

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
...
Trump generally has allowed aides to listen to his phone conversations with Putin ..
...
In an email, Tillerson said that he " was present for the entirety of the two presidents' official bilateral meeting in Hamburg,"...

After Trump had a first White House meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Washington, lots of leaks about the talk appeared in the DC media. Trump was accused of giving information about an ISIS plot to the Russians that was allegedly secret. It was not . Since then Trump clamped down on the number of participants, briefings and readouts for such talks. That is simply a necessary and laudable behavior. Now the media try to construct that into 'Trump is concealing details' about talks with Russia even when the U.S. Secretary of State and others are present in these.


Ever since Trump won the Republican primaries, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration and the U.S. and British intelligence services prepared to prevent a successful Trump presidency. The Steele dossier, created by 'former' British intelligence agents and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was the basis for an FBI investigation that was seen as an insurance against a Trump win. Any possible Russia relations Trump might have came under scrutiny. This prevented him from fulfilling his campaign promise of coming to better relations with Russia.

Shortly before Obama left the office he created the tool the FBI needed to put its investigation on steroids. When Trump fired Comey for his handling of the Clinton email affair, the FBI put that tool into action. With unfettered access to signal intelligence the Mueller investigation was able to entrap a number of Trump related people and to flip them to its side. It will use any information they give up to find some angle under which Trump can be prosecuted and eventually impeached. Even if nothing comes off this investigations, the media reports and slander all this created may well be enough to prevent an election of Trump for a second term.

I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people. Unfortunately I see no way that Trump could escape from the hold it has gained over him. Exposing it as much as possible might well be his best defense.


Jose Garcia , Jan 13, 2019 1:51:10 PM | link

It is information that is put out there that is never cross checked by the American people. They are too busy, too involved with other things or too stupid to find out the true facts. It is hard to predict what will occur next year. I feel it all depends who wins the primary on the Democrat side.

Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:32:02 PM | link
I have to take issue with a few points, b.

[Trump] ... was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people.

There is a major flaw in reasoning here. Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged:

  • The anti-Russia campaign began in earnest in 2014 (well before the 2016 election);
  • Trump's pre-election relationship to the Clinton's is highly suspect: they were likely to be much closer than we have been led to believe;
  • An FBI informant worked for Trump for over 10 years - during the time that Mueller was FBI director;
  • Trump was the ONLY populist on the Republican side (out of 19 contenders!);
  • Sanders was a 'sheepdog' and Hillary ran a terrible campaign in which she made obvious mistakes that a seasoned campaigner like herself would never make;
  • British involvement in the election (Fusion GPS, Cambridge Analytica, a Brit 'spy' in the Sanders campaign, etc.) suggests CIA-MI6 working together;
  • Trump Administration policies are consistent those of Clinton-Bush-Obama:
> Obamacare was not repealed "on day one" - it has been strengthened by not defending coverage for prior conditions;

> Trump put TPP provisions into his new North American trade deal;

> Trump continues ME meddling;

> Trump continues militarism and tax cutting;

> Etc.

The only major "difference" that I can think of are Trump's Wall and China tariffs. But these are consistent with the 'Deep State' goals.
Surveys show that the "will of the people" is very different than the neoliberal, neoconservative policies that the establishment fosters upon us.

MAGA is a POLICY CHOICE as much as it is a campaign slogan. It is designed to meet the challenge posed by Russia and China and 'turn the page' on the deceit and duplicity of the Obama Administration just as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was designed to turn the page on the the militarism of the Bush Administration. These BI-PARTISAN page-turnings ensure that there is no accountability and provides each new Administration with a new sly story line that the public readily swallows. Each new Presidential charade entertains and misdirects as the interests of the Empire are advanced with a refreshed box of tricks and dishonest narratives.

...war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated.

Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton?

The war of the Deep State is a psyop to crush dissent as the butt-hurt Deep State continues to pursue their dream of global hegemony. Anyone that believes that Trump is no part of that psyop is delusional.

radiator , Jan 13, 2019 2:36:06 PM | link
Wow, man. Thanks to you and all the regulars here who contribute to gathering relevant info from all kinds of sources. I hate to repeat myself, but I feel that a little praise every 3 or 6 months is not too much spamming. This is what serious journalism looks like.
Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Zachary Smith @2: ... I just don't buy into the "insurance" theory.

And I don't buy the theory that Hillary is hell bent on war. The Clinton's are very rational and calculating and no President has the freedom that your theory suggests. IMO what the Deep State has done under their man Trump is very similar to what the Deep State would have done if they had selected Clinton instead. The fact is, a populist nationalist is what was deemed necessary to meet the challenge from Russia and China. And that is what we got (surprise!).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Furthermore, focusing on personality and Party is just what they want

"Watch what they do, not what they say" has a corollary: pay attention to the polices, not the politicians.

jacktheokie , Jan 13, 2019 3:01:49 PM | link
MoA's final paragraph is just about how I feel.

"I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people."

This pretty well sums it up for me. Being old enough to remember FDR and the brief rise of the middle class in the 40's, 50's and 60's (and having benefited from that attempt at leveling the playing field), I am more than saddened at the downward spiral of our nation. Politics have obviously never been clean and fair, but the assassination of JFK opened the floodgates of blatant depravity perpetrated by those whose greed and lust for power will ultimately destroy us.

donkeytale , Jan 13, 2019 3:19:32 PM | link
Of course b you have nothing here to offer except your opinion. Your views regarding the relentlessness of the US criminal justice system are on target, just ask the underclasses about that. Once in view, you are never let be and in the US everyone can be found guilty of something.

Rather nice to see the pampered son of inherited tax-free wealth on the receiving end for once, in my opinion.

Trump is a crook. Russian collusion is his smokescreen. His crimes have already been demonstrated through what little we already know and there is still much we don't know and probably never will know.

This essay reads something like a veiled mea culpa from you.

You were wrong about Trump from the get go. Why not just admit it and move along? Why remain steadfastly in thrall to any shred of rightwing, authoritarianism of the elite masquerading as populism?

Whatever Trump gets from the criminal justice system, Congress or the voters appears to be well-deserved. He has brought this on himself and really there is no one else to blame even as he never will accept responsibility. He is stupid at best, dishonest at best, a useful idiot at best.

Trump saved his ass financially after a series of disastrous business bankruptcies by accepting what appears by all indications to be laundered money from literally hundreds of anonymous shell companies investing in his condos since at least 2008.

He has run roughshod over the emoluments clause quite openly.

I do believe, knowing what we know now, he will probably avoid indictment and escape impeachment, maybe only through resignation/pardon but more likely the old fashioned way: defeat at the polls in 2020.

In many ways Trump has done some good by reinvigorating the US left (such as it is) and bringing at least enough cohesion in the ranks of a badly splintered populace mainly among white females and white college educated voters who now reject the GOP, or at least the GOP of Trump.

Whether this will lead to badly needed fixes for the heinous wealth inequality (started with Reagan) is doubtful but at least the conversation is now underway (started with Bernie) which is the first step.

Tax increases, social security stabilisation, re-funneling wasted MIC billions to domestic programs for the poor, etc.

It is a start. Will it become a solution or a revolution in time?

That is up to the people who are still under the yoke of neoliberalism and global capital flight.

Don Bacon , Jan 13, 2019 3:29:06 PM | link
re:
Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape.
By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.//

So the situation is worse than I thought. The clear inference is that (1) Flynn (and others) really did commit some major crimes, and then (2) got off easy by admitting to a memory lapse (3) while cooking a bunch of other gooses.

Flynn does the easy (2) and gets away with (1) and (3), both very serious. This is justice?

Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 3:42:11 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit #6

Well sir, opinions certainly do vary on this issue.

As you may recall, the woman threatened conflict on cyberattacks.

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses."

Regarding the Deep State and Trump, Syria is in the process of winning against the neocons. And Iran has not yet been attacked. Hillary has a record, and for the most part hasn't even tried to run away from it.

Hillary Clinton's War Record – 100% For Genocide

If you know of any instances of the woman speaking against the War Solution to problems, kindly tell me about them.

Trump is an incomparable jerk, but perhaps not quite as bad as HRC.

james , Jan 13, 2019 3:43:30 PM | link
thanks b... the topic is so very tiring.. i am sick of hearing about it.. if the usa fell off a cliff and never came back again - i would be fine with that.. thank you regardless, for taking it apart and trying ti dispel the bullshite.. it is so thick, it defies logic.. i agree with @1 jose garcia, and @4 radiator...

trump is a crook... so what? most of the business class in the west are at this point! politics and crookery go hand in hand... i would be surprised if it was any different at this point in time.. how about the intel agencies? you want to sleep with them? lol..

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:17 PM | link
There's either something wrong with this assumption, or something we're not being told...

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indiction for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Option 1. Something wrong? If you're being cross-examined in a court or pseudo-legal forum about things you may or may not remember, you have the right to decline to answer a question, or to preface any and every answer with the phrase "If I remember correctly blah blah blah..."

Option 2. Something we're not being told? If the interrogators were able to ambush Flynn, then it's probably because they didn't acquaint him with all of his rights, or he didn't have a lawyer with him.

Trump's not stupid. He won't blunder into a situation bereft of any semblance of legal Human Rights protections designed to ambush him. And if he can't have a lawyer with him when the questions start, then he can probably refuse to attend without breaking any law.

Tess Ting , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:41 PM | link
@donkeytale There has been close to three years of serious investigative intent to lay a glove on Trump (HRC's team, the FBI and Mueller) and there is only the merest scratch of a womaniser (which with three marriages doesn't come as a surprise). What is quite remarkable, despite all the investigative effort, is how clean Trump has managed to keep himself despite building a fortune in one of the toughest cities in the world, building himself up through the eras of the five families, junk bonds and ponzi schemes and soviet union mobsters, not to mention the corruption of the poltical classes and regulatory abuses and unionised labor.

For the world's he moves in, the only explanation that gives him enough protection is that for a long time Trump has been a protected FBI asset for one of the field offices, possibly now senior service figures. And it's this deep relationship with well connected parts of the FBI or other secret services that has given him the ability to steer past the various attempts by the deep state. Why, for instance, do we have such a lot of leakage of the inner workings of the anti-Trump FBI? Some part of the deep state has become disgusted at the spying (eg on congress), the blackmailing, the warmongering, and deep corruption of the anti-constitutionalists, and Trump is their vengence. You just have to decide which side you are on...

Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 4:06:26 PM | link
"Tess Ting" #14

I read that as Testing - perhaps a trial/demonstration as a professional troll for somebody or other. How else to interpret "only the merest scratch of a womaniser" or "how clean Trump has managed to keep himself". Maybe I'm surprised not to also see praise for the clever Government Shutdown.

Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:11:46 PM | link
Hoarsewhisperer 13 I think it unlikely that the likes of Flynn would not know their basic legal rights.
brian , Jan 13, 2019 4:17:24 PM | link
meanwhile..trump and his appointees attack legitimacy of Venezuela govt.
Trump is in bad odor at home while seeking to attack other govts.

' Washington has explicitly expressed its support for a potential coup against the elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, by offering its backing to the opposition and stating outright it was time for a "new government."

"The Maduro regime is illegitimate and the United States will continue ... to work diligently to restore a real democracy" to Venezuela, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on his trip to the Middle East on Saturday, adding that Washington would attempt to make the Latin American nations "come together to deliver that."'
https://www.rt.com/news/448673-us-venezuela-time-new-government/

Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:25:14 PM | link
One thing the US deep state and their muller proxy would have on Trump, and most if not all of Trump's team, is collusion with Israel (can this convert into charges of treason as threats). A weapon that is good for threats against and turning those around Trump, and possibly used in as a last resort to remove Trump.
Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:33:00 PM | link
Adding to my post @ 18
Pat Lang has a post up "What is wrong with Trump?" "But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl"

Collusion with Israel is something neither side - team Trump and the deep state - would wish to bring into the open, but this may be the only thing they have on Trump.

Robert Snefjella , Jan 13, 2019 4:43:58 PM | link
Great journalism b!

A few more points: from: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

"On Thursday November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Mike Rogers traveled to New York and met with President-Elect Donald Trump.

On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in "October" that [NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers] Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position:

The heads of the Pentagon and the nation's intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security
Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower.

Occam's Razor. NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn't want to participate in the spying scheme [on Trump]

(Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama's post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into [who knows what crimes]"

After the visit by Rogers, Trump vacated Trump Towers. There is considerable irony in the Mueller 'probe' and the continuing avalanche of MSM lies and evasions and spin etc pertaining to Trump.

There are trends: A growing US citizen realization that their political system prior to Trump was nearly completely corrupt; the Clintons are more broadly understood as the pathological criminals that they are; the Podesta emails with their sick connotations remain 'in the air' - See Ben Swann's work, for example. The Clinton Foundation is far more broadly understood as a massive criminal enterprise.

Serious criminality at the highest levels of the FBI is now far more obvious to far more people

MSM as evil propaganda is more widely understood.

It is understood widely that the DNC material to Wikileaks was not 'hacked' (Binney)

From the theintercept.com :

"Pompeo met on October 24 [at Trump's request] with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system."

In short the last two years have been about trying to defeat Trump but the attackers are looking more and more wounded, and Trump, well, he's hanging in there. General Kelly and others have described Trump's work ethic as exhausting.

Brendan , Jan 13, 2019 5:12:30 PM | link
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) paid $100,000 for Facebook ads and then charged its customers for the clickbait service (between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content). So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000. Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller.
juliania , Jan 13, 2019 5:17:56 PM | link
Thank you, b. I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around. A very rotten duopoly has taken over the US government, all based on the premise that money is speech and money runs government, the people be damned. Hence the shutdown being orchestrated by money, with Trump in the crosshairs.

I also very much adhere to your final paragraph's sentences. Let no one be in any doubt - what is underway is no less than traitorous activity, a clear violation of the US Constitution, motivated by corrupt individuals whose meanness is beyond dispute. How it can be redressed at this very late stage beggars the mind; I can only hope it be done as peacefully as possible.

vk , Jan 13, 2019 5:19:18 PM | link
If this is really true, then it's a clear sign of decline: Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy.
Hal Duell , Jan 13, 2019 6:27:54 PM | link
Shortly after the USSR's experiment with communism collapsed, I read an article which suggested that if the noise from that fall was loud, even louder will be the noise when the second shoe (the American experiment with capitalism) falls. And this is the crux of why I appreciate The Donald. His is the most honest face the US can present to the world at this point in time. So look at it closely, and marvel at where we have come to.
Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 6:47:25 PM | link
@ juliania #23
I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around.

LOL (first time I've ever written this!)

You made the same mistake I did in 2008. The deck was really stacked in that election, though I was too blind to see it at the time. Smiling & smooth-talking black face issuing zillions of promises, and this was right after the Codpiece Commander. It took me a whole year to realize I'd been suckered, and by 2012 understood the fix was STILL on. Obama had lost most all of his glitter by then, so the Power Elites arranged his opposition to be a financial predator/Mormon bishop paired up with the most awful Libertarian POS I've ever seen. Speaking the honest truth here, I'd prefer to have Sarah Palin as POTUS to Paul Ryan. What a combo! That's why I offered anybody I met 10:1 odds on Obama winning. Hillary thought she had had seen a winning pattern from all that, and arranged to have as her opponent a fellow named Donald Trump.

Yeah, Right , Jan 13, 2019 8:35:30 PM | link
@15 Zachary Smith "How else to interpret 'only the merest scratch of a womaniser' or 'how clean Trump has managed to keep himself'."

Zachary Smith, I have been posting here for a number of years, and on this I have to agree with the newcomer Tess Ting

Trump has been put under intense investigation by Deep State hacks who are determined to see him impeached. And all they have come up with is that he is a compulsive pussy-grabber (no shit, hey?).

To my mind Trump is a very offensive human being, but that isn't an impeachable character trait. I had assumed that he would have skeletons in his cupboard that would be grounds for impeachment.

Well, if he has then he has hidden them extraordinarily well, because Mueller with all his resources hasn't found any. Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons.

As I say, that is extraordinary. But - apparently - also true.

Blooming Barricade , Jan 13, 2019 9:21:09 PM | link
Astonishing how out in the open the military coup plotting against Venezuela is right now, it was consisted an outrage to overthrow Allende and that was even before direct proof of US involvement, now the anti-war and left wing consciousness of the public and the intellectual class has been so corroded that nobody care and many even see an attempted coup as a god thing. The ideological counter revolution in full swing.
psychohistorian , Jan 13, 2019 9:48:09 PM | link
@ Yeah, Right who wrote:
"
Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons.
"

I would just bring your attention to the possibility that bringing Trump down brings them down as well. Your assertion that Trump doesn't have any skeletons in the closet is laughable.

Also consider that most of what is known comes from compromised sources and much of the house of cards we live is built on sketchy assumptions.

Cui Bono for Trump?

I am beginning to understand how Trump fits the elite plan and instead of your "grab them by the pussy" thought change it to "they have him by the balls". They played his ego to get him to run the race and then, gee, he won.

I now see Trump as the last great hope of the elite to carve out as big a chunk as they can of the new world....and try and hold onto it. The ongoing proxy conflicts will keep the musical chair game playing for a bit more but then something is going to stop the music.

A shrink told me once that after fire came music. What comes after music?

NemesisCalling , Jan 13, 2019 10:18:57 PM | link
@3 jr

How did I know that you would be first up after b's exhaustive story on the IC's corruption and utterly obvious attempt to take Trump down to cry, "Fiction."

Here is a reply to all your points:

- yes, the Russia-bad narrative was picking up steam before Trump's election. The MSM and TPTB incorrectly surmised that there would be enough anti-Russia fervor among the masses that pinning the accusation on Trump would stick. It did not. It is evidence of THEIR stupidity.
- you must have never heard of keeping your enemies close. The Clintons are powerbrokers. Trump used them. Maybe he did like them at one point, but clearly shat on his relationship with them and since the election they have truly been trashed and unable to recover any good fortune or power. The Dems made a mistake will backing HRC. They weren't acting under Deep State orders once again, Occam's Razor dictates that stupidity is the culprit here.
- How does FBI informant in campaign neccessarily implicate Trump in conspiracy and not confirm IC's weasely attempts to dig up dirt?
- Look at prior Repub primaries? Notice anything? Populists don't float in the Yacht Club Party, do they? Trump was an anomoly indicitive of the times (again, Occam's Razor).
- Again, it is absolutely absurd and suspicious that you can not admit that the Dems are a party of retards and that they consistently step over quarters to pick up pennies.
- Your opinion that Trump's policies do not differ from the Dems needs qualifying. I don't agree that his domestic policies align and verdict is still out on his FP. We know he is not a True-Believer, which is good.
- British involvement again suggests that the IC is compromised and globalized yielding national sovereignty to centralized planning. Trump deserves that ire and proves that there is a contest afoot.

Jen , Jan 13, 2019 10:32:05 PM | link
Tess Ting @ 14, Zachary Smith (really?!) @ 15, Yeah, Right @ 28, Psychohistorian @ 30:

Donald Trump has declared six business bankruptcies and there is considerable information on these bankruptcies if you Google for information on them, such as the article linked to here:
https://www.thoughtco.com/donald-trump-business-bankruptcies-4152019

If Trump's corporate bankruptcies are so well-known, and picked over several times by different media sources (even Snopes has covered them), surely any other behaviour or incident that might call Trump's character or ethics into question must have been uncovered by Robert Mueller by now?

ab initio , Jan 13, 2019 11:03:11 PM | link
I can't imagine the scale of exploding heads among the media talking heads and the establishment of the two parties, IF, Trump gets re-elected. DC would be in serious melt down. After 4 years of continuous assault the voters may actually repudiate the corporate media and the DC elites in the 2020 elections.

In any case with the Democrat candidates starting to announce we are essentially into the next presidential campaign. I don't think it is smart to under-estimate Trump's electoral chances.

slit , Jan 13, 2019 11:05:10 PM | link
Great work, B!

"Normally the FBI needs to clear such counter-intelligence investigations with the Justice Department. In this case it did not do so at all:"This sounds like the same "kangaroo court" MO Scott Ritter detailed a few years ago:

"Simply put, the Russia NIA is not an "IC-coordinated" assessment -- the vehicle for such coordination, the NIC, was not directly involved in its production, and no NIO was assigned as the responsible official overseeing its production. Likewise, the Russia NIA cannot be said to be the product of careful coordination between the CIA, NSA and FBI -- while analysts from all three agencies were involved in its production, they were operating as part of a separate, secretive task force operating under the close supervision of the Director of the CIA, and not as an integral part of their home agency or department."

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

slit , Jan 13, 2019 11:25:22 PM | link
Zachary @2, JackRabbit:

Why does it have to be either-or?; it could have been for insurance AND warmongering narrative/dog whistling.

Escalation towards war with Russia was a matter of public record in late pre-election 2016, thanks to Clinton News Network ... now ask yourselves where is that general in the press conference nowadays?

DNC Russia Hotwar

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dIYHje-rv5w

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 1:19:29 AM | link
NemesisCalling @31: Here is a reply to all your points

Well, you haven't replied to all my points, nor have you addressed the the thrust of my remarks. But I'll answer the issues that you raised so my view is clear to everyone.

=
- yes, the Russia-bad narrative was picking up steam before Trump's election. The MSM and TPTB incorrectly surmised that there would be enough anti-Russia fervor among the masses that pinning the accusation on Trump would stick. It did not. It is evidence of THEIR stupidity.
Wrong. Firstly, I was referring to the anti-Russia imperative in official circles NOT to the propaganda effort. That imperative intensified greatly after Russia blocked USA-proxy takeover of Syria (2013), and Crimea and Donbas (2014). In fact, Kissinger wrote a WSJ Op-Ed in Aug 2014 that issued a cryptic call for MAGA.

"picking up steam before Trump's election" needs some unpacking. The anti-Russia fervor among the masses has been entirely concocted, and mostly AFTER 2014.

Nothing has stuck to Trump because there's no substance to the allegations.

=
- you must have never heard of keeping your enemies close. The Clintons are powerbrokers. Trump used them. Maybe he did like them at one point, but clearly shat on his relationship with them and since the election they have truly been trashed and unable to recover any good fortune or power. The Dems made a mistake will backing HRC. They weren't acting under Deep State orders once again, Occam's Razor dictates that stupidity is the culprit here.
What does Occam's Razor have to say about the remarkable continuity of US foreign and domestic policy for the last 30 years?

Trump and the Clintons were known to be close. Even their daughter's were/are close.

Are you unaware of the CIA connections of Clinton, Bush, and Obama? Should we assume that Trump is free of any such connection?

=
- How does FBI informant in campaign neccessarily implicate Trump in conspiracy and not confirm IC's weasely attempts to dig up dirt?
The FBI informant (Felix Sater) worked for Trump from about 2001 to 2013. This was essentially the same period in which Mueller was FBI Director. Mueller and Comey are close and are connected to the Clinton's.

The informant wasn't investigating Trump or digging up dirt on him, he was informing on the Russian mob, and probably using employment by Trump to get closer to the mob. FBI/counter intel might have also used info provided to turn some of the Russians into US intel assets.

=
- Look at prior Repub primaries? Notice anything? Populists don't float in the Yacht Club Party, do they? Trump was an anomoly indicitive of the times (again, Occam's Razor).
Have you heard of the Tea Party? Have you heard of Obama using the IRS against the Tea Party? Seems that a Republican populist would get a lot of votes against the hated Hillary who championed Obama's "legacy".

- Again, it is absolutely absurd and suspicious that you can not admit that the Dems are a party of retards and that they consistently step over quarters to pick up pennies.
You can't admit that the Dem's have failed the left so consistently that it is unlikely to be due to their mental capacity or an accident of circumstance.

=
- Your opinion that Trump's policies do not differ from the Dems needs qualifying. I don't agree that his domestic policies align and verdict is still out on his FP. We know he is not a True-Believer, which is good.
I didn't say that they don't differ from the Dems, I said that Trump policies are consistent with policies of previous Administrations and that Hillary likely would've ruled in much the same way.

=
- British involvement again suggests that the IC is compromised and globalized yielding national sovereignty to centralized planning. Trump deserves that ire and proves that there is a contest afoot
The US IC is undoubtedly primary and universally acknowledged to be the lead in the US-Brit Intel relationship.

The only 'contest' I can discern is how best to fool the people.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

You seem to believe that a populist outsider can be elected President. And, you also believe that a US President can be both all powerful (Obama) or constrained by Deep State whim (Trump).

You also seem to believe that Trump's rhetoric is gospel-truth and means what you think it does. Surprise! "Negotiation with Russia" doesn't mean peace. Troop 'pull out' doesn't mean it'll happen any time soon (and possibly never). Anti-TPP doesn't mean he won't implement TPP provisions in other trade agreements. Etc.

PS The establishment doesn't benefit DESPITE our populist President's, they benefit BECAUSE we are willing to believe that our populist President's work for US.

NemesisCalling , Jan 14, 2019 2:14:54 AM | link
Jr, it was a fruitless endeavor, to be sure, but I gave it a shot.

For the record, I never counted Trump as savior, although he could very well be if he continues on getting caught with his dick in his hand as the empire around him crumbles. He's not a true believer, but he can at the very least be a useful idiot for the real anti-imperialists in the world.

bryan hemming , Jan 14, 2019 7:05:34 AM | link
It is of note that Oleg Deripaska is not a stranger to the world of politics and politicians. Before his fortunes changed dramatically, Oleg Deripaska was well-known for entertaining world politicians on his luxury yacht moored off Kassiopi in the northwest corner of the Greek Island of Corfu.

The Rothschilds have an estate outside Kassiopi. Among the many high-powered friends and guests of Deripaska was UK Tory politician, George Osborne, who visited him on his yacht at Kassiopi while still British Chancellor of the Exchequer. Osborne and EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, a powerful force in Tony Blair's government, were both guests at a function held aboard the yacht in 2008. Baron Mandelson's position in the EU, at the time, led to accusations of a conflict of interest.

Among other movers and shakers, John McCain was also a friend of Oleg Deripaska, but that friendship may have soured after the virtual collapse of the Russian billionaire companies. McCain was more a fairweather friend than a stalwart ally through thick and thin. The reason I mention these tidbits is because the corporate media fails to join all the pieces that show just how corrupt Western politicians have become.

Harley Schlanger , Jan 14, 2019 7:06:30 AM | link
For a thorough update on the Integrity Initiative and its offshoots, check out the latest from legal investigator Barbara Boyd.

To defeat the "Deep State" in the U.S., it is essential to understand the role of British Intelligence. While it is essential to know the role of Hillary Clinton, Obama, Comey, DOJ/FBI operatives, et.al., it is even more important to understand the geopolitical assumptions behind Russiagate. And for that, one must turn to the British.

https://larouchepac.com/20190110/part-ii-integrity-initiatives-foreign-agents-influence-invade-united-states

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 14, 2019 7:36:44 AM | link
It would help to get a handle on the precise nature and format of these FBI "under oath" fishing expeditions if the FBI released transcripts of a few of the recent hi-profile Q & A sessions. If suspects are being convicted for misdemeanors of dubious relevance to the stated aim of the Mueller Crusade then transcripts would allow inconsistencies to be counted and evaluated. It would also be interesting to discover whether the FBI uses a seductive approach to questioning, or a confrontational approach, given the petty nature of the 'crimes' exposed to date.
Petri Krohn , Jan 14, 2019 8:58:50 AM | link
The aim of the counterintelligence operation and of the Russiagate hoax was not to build a prosecution case against President Trump. It was to put the United States in constitutional limbo by creating a parallel and competing center of constitutional legitimacy.

The Obama Administration would live on in the structure of this "investigation", without ever having to relinquish power to Trump. The investigation would form the center of "The Resistance", with the ability to question the legitimacy of the Trump Administration.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 9:43:31 AM | link
Jackrabbit @ 37

I didn't say that they don't differ from the Dems, I said that Trump policies are consistent with policies of previous Administrations and that Hillary likely would've ruled in much the same way.

This is very true but only in the same sort of overgeneralised sense with you populate your latest CT. That is, sweep any of the plainly ridiculous assumptions in your theory under the widest possible rug available to conspiratards.

At least you aint exactly drinking the Orange Kool-Aid like so many of the posters on this thread. That's a big positive in my book. As for them, it's more a reflection of the love for rightwing authoritarianism than for Trump himself. What they really wish for is a crafier, shrewder Amerikkkan version of Putin, but they accept Trump because his bumbling is the existential proof of US decline in relative power, as if such proof was necessary.

And if you overlook all Trump's achievements (such as they are):

1. Obamacare/Medicaid expansion repeal and subsequent degradation of the enrollment and funding processes by executive degree when appeal failed thanks only to McCain's "in yo office sucka" thumbs down vote.

2. Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (basically same thing)

3. SCOTUS and federal bench selections


The US system is meant to create a uniparty environment whereby opposing views are compromised into a "third way" legislative process.

I grok this system is broken and completely controlled by the wealthiest (show me a political system anywhere that you prefer that is not controlled by the wealthiest) but the funding mechanisms need changing before there will ever be significant change to governing processes.

Trump through his ignorance, corruption and loose lips has tilted the playing field left. Hilliary through her elitism, arrogance, corruption and lack of retail political skills gets a big assist in the same tilting.

Those who believe (if any truly do) that Trump represents anything more than the end of Reaganist conservatism are "wishin' and hopin'" as Dusty Springfield would say.

I do applaud those who are willing to show in the comments that they suffer from the real "Trump Derangement Syndrome," such as your good buddy James. They're all crooks, in his opinion.

So what is it Jim? Do you excuse Trump only or do you excuse them all? LMAO

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 9:45:39 AM | link
Putin January 2017 - "You know, there is a category of people who leave without saying goodbye, out of respect for the situation that has evolved, so as not to upset anything. And then there are people who keep saying goodbye but don't leave. I believe the outgoing administration belongs to the second category.

What are we seeing in the United States? We are seeing the continuation of an acute internal political struggle despite the fact that the presidential election is over and it ended in Mr Trump's convincing victory. Nevertheless, in my opinion, several goals are being set in this struggle. Maybe there are more, but some of them are perfectly obvious."

The first is to undermine the legitimacy of the US president-elect. By the way, in this regard, I would like to point out that whether deliberately or not, these people are causing enormous damage to US interests. Simply enormous. The impression is that, after a practice run in Kiev, they are now ready to organise a Maidan in Washington to prevent Trump from taking office."

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 9:46:40 AM | link
The link for my post @45
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53744

Posted by: pretzelattack , Jan 14, 2019 10:05:43 AM | link

sure, no doubt trump has been involved in financial improprieties; this in no way means he colluded with Russia to fix the election, or that russia on its own hacked the election, or any of the other false narratives the ic is trying to cram down our throats with the connivance of the msm and (mostly, but there are some republicans pushing it, too) the "centrist" dems.

And the clintons have their own skeletons, but they seem to be judgement proof with the aid of comey et al.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 10:22:40 AM | link
pretzelattack @ 47

The only real difference between Trump and the Clintons at end of the day is they are smart lawyers who obviously better understand how to navigate the treacherous legal waters surrounding them.

They also know what the definition of "is, is" and how to carefully craft their words in public, while Trump is all loose cannon all the time ahd his legal representation appears to follow his lead, IE Giuliani and Cohen.

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 10:53:12 AM | link
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 14, 2019 9:45:39 AM | 45:
We are seeing the continuation of an acute internal political struggle despite the fact that the presidential election is over and it ended in Mr Trump's convincing victory.
Not really. What we are seeing is Deep State controlled media force-feeding the public a toxic concoction: the narrative of a political struggle that centers on anti-Russia hysteria.

Maybe you missed Romney's Op-Ed in which he praised Trump's pro-establishment policies while attacking his Russia-friendly 'pull out' from Syria. That's the best example of the two-faced establishment bullsh*t.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Robert Snefjella , Jan 14, 2019 10:57:29 AM | link
What is loosely called 'globalism', consisting of various trends and ideologies and practices: the EU and the aborted for now 'North American Union' and satellites, and cell phones able to instantly transmit images from the other side of the planet, and so on, has also importantly aimed at and advocated for and implemented various means by which national sovereignty was eroded.

And this erosion meant a reduction of the ability of a country's people to wield an effective national politics, let alone something vaguely democratic, or to implement policies which were at odds with the various globalist institutions and imperatives and programs. So we've seen on numerous occasions, for example, the IMF impose its globalist economic 'recipe' on a nation's economic policies.

And even the destruction of Libya in 2011 was primarily or importantly directed at preventing Libya from implementing a national financial strategy intended to give African countries an alternative to the depredations of global financial 'business as usual'.

But over the last two years the movement to restore or renovate national sovereignty has made something of a comeback.

So for example, Macron as recently as roughly two years ago was being lauded as a great new leader of the globalist project, and both he and Merkel have gone on record decrying the very concept of national sovereignty.

But now Macron and Merkel are largely reviled, especially Macron, by their people, and 'populist' enthusiasm strengthens. You can see the same trend in virtually every European country.

And in the United States, the tens of millions of 'deplorables' backing Trump are doing so partly, perhaps mostly, because he champions the restoration of national sovereignty and has questioned dominant globalist institutions.

Now for those who are committed to the view that Trump doesn't really mean it, that he isn't really an American nationalist, and so on, well, fine, believe what you like. But in the end, Trump's base of support is nationalistic, and that is as I noted above a very general trend that is quickly manifesting.

pretzelattack , Jan 14, 2019 11:17:45 AM | link
https://theintercept.com/2019/01/14/the-fbis-investigation-of-trump-as-a-national-security-threat-is-itself-a-serious-danger-but-j-edgar-hoover-pioneered-the-tactic/
Noirette , Jan 14, 2019 12:00:27 PM | link
Collapse ctd.

Re. the USA, when the handmaidens of power, aka politicians, the servant class in an oligarchic corporatist 'state,' are alarmingly seen to fight to the death in public it is crystal clear that control (which may take the shape of relatively informal and obscure networks ) is lost, .. > the 'fight' will only serve to weaken all parties.

Trump is loathed because he upset the apple cart and revealed weakness and fissures in the system. (+ possibly because he is an upstart, from the wrong side of whatever, has bad hair, is dumb, a thief, more )

He ran as an anti-establishment maverick:

- and was elected only for that reason. It was disconcertingly easy to do, which is also terrifying to the PTB. Plus, election/voter fraud did not perform as expected - help !! The MSM promoted him with mega 24/24 coverage - help !!

As the no. 1 disruptive foe is merely an elderly scummy biz type, an intruder, some other entity like malignant agressive Russia had to be associated with him. (Yes, is was Obama-Clinton who started the highjinks + the following Mueller investig.; see b at top - also, bashing Russia gradually took wing as it recovered under Putin, the Ukraine plots did not work out, etc. *Crimea!* the last straw! ..)

If Obama had announced that 2K USA personnel were to be withdrawn from Syria because the good folks want their wonderful husbands and wives, great ppl, our folks, home soon, they have dutifully served, etc. the MSM and anyone who bothered to digest that news would have clapped and sent off pixel sparkles and sweet tweets.

Very difficult to judge: what is the result of infighting in the US vs. any agreed-on never mind coherent foreign policy? That the question is even asked - all over the world now - spells stage one collapse.

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 12:23:45 PM | link
Robert Snefjella @50:
Now for those who are committed to the view that Trump doesn't really mean it, that he isn't really an American nationalist, and so on, well, fine, believe what you like. But in the end, Trump's base of support is nationalistic ..."

Did Obama really mean it when he touted "Change You Can Believe In"? No. His rhetoric was meant to turn the page from the Bush Administration excesses and convince the world that USA was not the threat that they perceived us to be. In fact, he was given a Nobel Prize for essentially not being Bush. But it was all psyop. Obama refused to hold CIA accountable for rendition and torture, refused to stop NSA pervasive spying, conducted covert wars and regime change ops, bragged of his drone targeting skills, made Bush tax cuts permanent, bailed out bankers, etc.

Does Trump really mean his nationalism? Only to the extent that a nationalist was needed to meet the challenge from Russia and China. People don't fight for globalist principals.

US is still a member of NATO, still involved in the Middle East, still has hundreds of bases around the world.

Trump's nationalist credentials are further belied by such things as: adding TPP provisions to the new North American trade agreement; attacking Syria based on false flags; arming Ukraine; pulling out of the INF treaty and engaging in an unnecessary and costly arms race; actively seeking to overthrow the governments of Iran and Venezuela; etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 12:41:01 PM | link
dahoit 53

Is there a requirement for an open trial on these sort of things. I'm not sure about the US, but normally gag orders are all that's required to keep something quiet. All the people around Trump could be taken down in this way with charges that would stick.
Apparently the only one they cannot take down in this way is the president (Another post up now at SST on the legalities of investigating the president). As far as I know, the president can only be taken down by impeachment so I guess they wouldn't try to use collusion with Israel for that unless they could keep what they were impeaching him for secret.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 1:18:09 PM | link
Snefjella @ 50

And in the United States, the tens of millions of 'deplorables' backing Trump are doing so partly, perhaps mostly, because he champions the restoration of national sovereignty and has questioned dominant globalist institutions.

Yes, "Amerikkka First" represents nationalism for sure. Many, maybe most Amerikkkans have always been nationalistic and detest globalist structures because they view them as limiting Amerikkka's rightful global sovereignty. This is a fine distinction I believe gets lost in commentary such as yours. Trump isn't looking to retreat from Amerikkkan Exceptionalism at all, it his raison d etre for the tariffs and increases in military spending.

The movement which elected Trump represents the nostalgic view of a lost Amerikkkan dominance over the globe, which of course they blame on those hated Democratic and Republican establishment globalists, Bushes, Clintons and Obama.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 1:23:22 PM | link
And I meant "rightful" in quotation marks not that I believe it is rightful but is the opinion of the "Deplorables".
Zachary Smith , Jan 14, 2019 1:43:05 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit #28
You see all that and then assume that the Hillary-Trump contest was genuine?

Why not assume that the Deep State's candidate won in every election since Carter and work from there.

That first is a difficult one to answer, for I quite agree with you on the second part. Rigged elections from Carter on to the present day matches my own thoughts as well. In 2000 "they" had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get their man in office, but GWB did indeed move into the White House.

My own theory about 2016 is that everybody miscalculated. Trump was (IMO) running as an ego-building publicity stunt. Hillary (and her Deep State sponsors) had actively helped Trump get the nomination with hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity which also enhanced the bottom lines of Big Media. His multiple flaws were airbrushed away. Hillary ran a horrible campaign because she is an arrogant and "entitled" woman. The incompetence of that campaign simply didn't uncover the extent to which she was hated by so many people. (myself included, but I didn't vote for the torture-loving Trump, either)

The biggest mistake of all was not having any plan in place to use the touch-screen voting systems (think "Diebold") to nail down her victory. Again an opinion, but I think that was judged to be a little too risky plus the fact it was obviously totally unnecessary. Hillary didn't have a "loss" speech prepared, and Trump didn't have a "victory" one.

This is why I call Trump an "accidental" President. I'll admit the Deep State has reacted pretty well since 2016, but they're still playing catchup. Israel - to name just one - remains in shell shock.

In summary, I think we barely disagree. :)

vk , Jan 14, 2019 1:55:56 PM | link
I think Trump's election was a miscalculation of the American elites...
Robert Snefjella , Jan 14, 2019 2:54:31 PM | link
Further to American's general support for Trump's declared intention of reduction of troops in Syria and Afghanistan, the Daily Caller on the 9th of January 2019 cited 56 % in support, 20 % not sure, and 27 % opposing. This is after MSM and general national political outrage and 'deep concern' over Trump's decision.

Note that US involvement in Syria has been justified by the most lurid of lies and disinfo continually poured for years into American's psyches. For Tulsi Gabbard to have a direct conversation with Assad (the designated 'butcher of Damascus', the 'horrid monstrous dictator' accused over and over of attacking his own people, often with chemical weapons from barrel bombs, and especially targeting children and hospitals: the man can have no soul, no heart! We must help the Syrians in their struggle against this animal!) was an outrage!

So not only do most Americans want American troops out of Syria, it would seem that there is some growing immunity among the people of the United States to their diet of diseased propaganda.

karlof1 , Jan 14, 2019 3:16:31 PM | link
Just finished b's excellent recap and the entire affair reeks of Treason -- not against Trump, but against the Nation.
Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 4:57:11 PM | link
Posted by: vk | Jan 14, 2019 1:55:56 PM | 60

Donald Trump as an outsider of the GOP

The populist hero must be portrayed as an "outsider" that takes on the establishment. Obama was positioned in much the same way.

Trump is no "outsider". He is very establishment. Even before running for President, he had access that ordinary people never get.

Trump only won because of a bizarre technicality of the American electoral system.

You are directing our attention to what the establishment wants us to see. It ignores Hillary's spectacular failure: snubbing of Sanders progressives; Cold shoulder to black voters; insult to white voters ("deplorables"); choosing not to campaign in crucial states; the wierdness of Bill Clinton being discovered meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Bill Clinton is one of the most recognizable people in America - why why why would be meeting with the Attorney General on an airport tarmac?), etc.

If the race were easy, Trump woundn't be a populist hero, would he? And Hillary's winning the popular vote is a nice consolation prize to the Clinton's. Plus, it nicely sets up the fake Deep State vs. Trump conflict.

Linda Amick , Jan 14, 2019 8:22:16 PM | link
While Trump is a member of the elite establishment that practically owns the country he has always been a pariah for one main reason. He does not honor the unspoken code of never exposing inside information about other elite members. He is a big mouth.

Given that, the establishment and their propaganda arm of the media have been out to get him even before he was elected. His presidency has largely been an inside struggle. However, Trump is clever and crafty. During his tenure he has been give access to tremendous amounts of information about his political enemies and he continues to bait, insult and fire them, pushing them deeper and deeper into insanity.

He will fight fire with fire. If they attempt to impeach him he will tit for tat release information incriminating his enemies. I view this as a positive direction for the US in the long run. ALL of these people need to be banished to "Elba". Maybe they will fight to the death of both sides. One can dream.

[Jan 15, 2019] Profit Over People Neoliberalism and Global Order eBook Noam Chomsky Kindle Store

Jan 15, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Trevor Neal 4.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated November 2, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The book, Profit over People by Noam Chomsky, Linguist turned political / social critic, is an indictment against the process of globalization currently in vogue. Supporters of U.S. International policy and trade agreements beware. If you agree with present policy then this book is not for you. However, if you seek to examine your views, or if you need data to utilize as a critique of current policy then Noam Chomsky offers a strong expose of capitalism and globalization.

The book revolves around several major themes, including an examination of neoliberalism, its definition, history, and how it is utilized in current policy. Next, Mr. Chomsky turns to how consent for neoliberalism is manufactured through institutions such as the media. He ends with a critique of U.S. Foreign policy especially in Latin America, the NAFTA agreement, and insights into the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas Mexico during the 1990's.

Mr. Chomsky uses neoliberalism as a pejorative term to connote the practices of economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, and deregulation. In 'Profit over People' it is defined "as the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit." Neoliberalism is based on the economic theories of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

At the time of 'Profit Over People,' Neoliberalism had been the dominant economic paradigm for a couple decades. In his critique of this paradigm, Mr. Chomsky observed that it was being used to justify the corporate domination of the civic and public life of nations including the U.S. He also noted that through neoliberalism, capitalism was being equated with democracy and supporters were using this perspective to advocate for deregulation policies as well as international trade agreements. He insinuated that at the same time corporations were manufacturing consent for economic liberalization their real goal was to attempt to gain control of international markets. A quote from the introduction illustrates this theme;

"....as Chomsky points out, markets are almost never competitive. Most of the economy is dominated by massive corporations with tremendous control over their markets and that therefore face precarious little competition of the sort described in economic textbooks and politicians speeches. Moreover, corporations themselves are effectively totalitarian organizations, operating along nondemocratic lines."

Contemplating the issues Mr. Chomsky raises it is difficult to be objective with him because his argument is so one-sided. He does not have one good thing to say about the effects of globalization or trade agreements. There definitely are some negative effects of globalization, yet it raises red flags in the mind of a discerning reader when positive effects are overlooked. For example, he is very critical of NAFTA and provides evidence in support of his argument, yet his critique is before NAFTA even went into effect.

Still, although a little outdated, and opinionated, Profit over People provides important insights into the process of globalization, and who gains from the process. Mr. Chomsky raises legitimate concerns about current trends in global development, and the forces behind it. This is why I consider 'Profit over People' a book worth reflecting on.

[Jan 14, 2019] Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump as President - Desperate Ones Do!

People are ready to rebel... Stability of countries is underrated and it is easy to destroy it and very difficult or often impossible to rebuilt it.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com


John McCandlish 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book - but dinging him one star for not being bold and honest with himself October 20, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition

I encourage people to read this book. My four star rating certainly does NOT reflect my agreement with all of his points and arguments. However, debate and understanding of other viewpoints is important. Compared to many other right-wing books, Tucker I think makes a lot of valid points.

However, I am dinging him one-star because I don't think he put himself really out there. I suspect he wants to protect his viewership on Fox by not calling out Trump when appropriate. Tucker never once mention Trump where Trump does not stand for what Tucker stands for. The words civility is often mentioned; yet nothing about our President outright meanness, cruelty, and lack of civility. Also, I get and agree with the subject of Free Speech and some of the extremists on the left. Yet failing to mention the attacks on the free press from Trump illustrates his weakness to be completely objective. (Yes the MSM is liberal, but free press is still part of our democracy). Probably most important is Tucker's failure to even address tax and fiscal policy in regards to the elites. Maybe Tucker thinks a ballooning debt is okay (both Obama and Trump); and the Trump tax cut is not part of the elite structure to gain even more power. Seems odd to me.

Other noteworthy items for potential readers. Be prepared for two long rants. While I lean liberal, I had no idea what Chelsea Clinton was up to. Apparently she is destroying the world. lol. It's almost like Tucker just has a personal vendetta with her. I myself don't keep up with any President's kids. ...okay, that's a little bit of a lie. I find the SNL skits on Don Jr. and Eric very funny. Tucker's other personal vendetta is with Ta-Nehisi Coates. I got in the first two minutes Tucker didn't like the book and thought it full of holes. I didn't agree with everything Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote either just like I don't agree with everything Tucker writes; but I have rated both as four stars.

Scott Z. 4.0 out of 5 stars Missing an Action Plan October 27, 2018 Format: Hardcover

T.C. - Kudos, you absolutely nailed it with title and introduction. The first paragraph exacts our situation, and lowers down your reader ever so softly, allowing us to know: You Do Get It. Perhaps best explified with this little zinger:

"Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump as President - Desperate Ones Do!"

And, please accept a Big Thank You for taking the time to narrate your own book. IT truly is the best way to consume the content.

"Nothing is really hidden - Only ignored!!" I sincerely doubt our ruling class - which reasoned away why Trump was ever elected.. Will Ever Get This Point. Today's ruling elite's are fully insulated and it is EXACTLY the way they like it. They have it Far Too Good living in a No Answer Required reality while being fed by lobbists. Heck our leadership is so far removed, they couldn't hear the ever increasing cries for Civil Revolution that have bellowed on since at least, 2010. On the other hand, Donald Trump sure did! He campaigned exactly on this. And some of us that voted for him, are willing to bet too - The Wizards of Oz [Federal Reserve] were listening as rebels yelled with question of their secret club and it's role in this funneling - decades long downward swirel. Lest anyone forget, it was they [under FDR's New Deal] who are postured with pinnicle to shield us from another Great Depression.

So What if Trump tells lies. Don't you get it? It's FREE Speech on Steroids. He's making a statement about our First Amendment.

Your next 8 chapters... profoundly filled with deep and convincing material.. albeit, sometimes shocking in perspective... clearly articulates our reality... all of which, when glued together tells us exactly what we know: The Boat has Run Amuk!

The meaty middle of your publication... filled with oceans of content - leaves this reader to wonder which think tank supported your endevour? I mean, material like this doesn't just come from perusing the Washington or New York Post. Lastly, you give thanks to your Fox Team but come on... this is far too volumous for stellar three research artists to uncover - even if given 5 years.

Notwithstanding, it was your epilog that brought my Biggest Disappointment. Any sailor knows if you want to Right a Rolled Ship, you'll first need Force - to get the thing uprighted, and a Super Slurping Sump to get it drained. Only then, can we change how it Floats.. and which way it Sails. In fairness, perhaps you are implying the ship was uprighted by such a force back in Nov. 2016, with the election of President Trump. If so, I clearly missed that one from you.

Amazingly, with just under two years in office, his administration has made tremendous headway at operating the bilge. And, I don't think there has been another president in the history of your country who has Done More of what he campaigned on, to this point in any administration. And only the next election cycle will determine if the Coast Guard has begun sailing toward us in rescue.

With our capitalistic democracy you can't just wish the boat to flip and drain. While your "Tend to the Population" idea is both eloquent and laudable - and will help change the course once the keel is down.. it does nothing to cause money to stop flowing up the hill. When 2% of the population holds 90% of the wealth, when the outdated middle class based Income Taxation System is wrapped around a middle class that is no longer in existence, then there's little hope for the lower 10% to emerge. Heck, take this to a basic conversation about our democracy. We have lost faith in the power of our vote against the lobbists. The middle and lower class population can't spare the time to handle your decentralized suggestion even if leaders did fork over some power. We fell in the ocean long ago and are doing all we can to tread water, while fending off the circling sharks.

Sir, you know full well there is no incentive in our current democracy which will change what has been 40+ years in the making.. that which your middle 8 chapters so eloquently reveal. Oh, one or two politicians with genuine heart will try. But the two party system and all it's disfunctional glory will only laugh.

You suggest our leaders should proceed slow, that they decentralize power. Again laudable in therory, but reality suggests we stand too far devided in these "United States" and far too loudly is the call for revolution. The politicians are pandering the point!

We need to break the Democratically Elected, Capitalistically Funded - Autocratcy! Short of a mutiny, I for one have lost faith to believe anything else is going to right the ship. Rather than offer a mildly soft solution, your book needed to speak to action. And how it will get done!

R. Patrick Baugh 4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas to ponder November 6, 2018 Format: Hardcover

Love him or loathe him (I happen to know him, and I'd describe him as a "charming rogue" after sitting next to him at dinner on several occasions), the author has some very interesting things to say about why we as a nation seem to be headed in the direction we're heading. A few of his facts that he uses to back up his ideas seem a little "let me see if I can find an obscure fact or quote to back my point up" and fly in the face of reality (which is why I only gave 4 stars), but he presents some ideas that everyone should consider - you may choose not accept them, but an open-minded, independent person would take the time to actually think about what he's saying instead of dismissing it out of hand.

[Jan 14, 2019] Carlson labeled the "1% Gang" as "globalist" schemers who could care less about the folks at the bottom - or our America. He wrote that they hide their contempt for the poor and working class behind the "smokescreen of identity politics." They are leaving us with a "Them vs. Us" society, he warned - "a new class system."

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Bill Hughes 4.0 out of 5 stars I'm giving Carlson's tome three out of five stars. November 3, 2018 Format: Hardcover Let's face it, we live in trying times. Take politics for example. Donald Trump's Right-leaning Republicans (The Repugs) couldn't be more divided from Nancy Pelosi's Liberal Democrats (The Dims) on just about every serious issue. How wide? Think Atlantic Ocean wide!

We don't need any expert to tell us that either. Things are so bad, most sane people won't bring up sensitive subjects, such as government, race, immigration, the environment, and on and on, in the company of strangers. To do so is to risk starting WWIII. Under the reign of "El Presidente," aka "The Donald," it has all gotten worse.

When I was growing up in a heavily-democratic South Baltimore, a Republican was a novelty. There was only one on my block in Locust Point. She kept a low profile. This was so even during the halcyon days of Republican Theodore "Teddy" McKeldin, twice mayor of Baltimore and twice governor of Maryland.

Things have changed dramatically. Now, my old democratic political club on South Charles Street, near the Cross Street market, "The Stonewall," a once-strong bastion for the working class, is no more. Its boss, Harry J. "Soft Shoes" McGuirk, too, has passed on to his final reward. Its loyal followers, the ever faithful precinct workers, have vanished along with it. Instead, there's a booming housing market with properties, new and old, selling in Federal Hill, and Locust Point, too, for over one half million dollars.

During my salad days, you could have bought a whole block of houses in Locust Point for that kind of money. That day is over.

The Millennials, aka "Generation Y," have flooded the area. They have also found it hard to identify with either major political party, or major institutions, according to a recent Pew Study. Bottom line: The Millennials have demonstrated little or no interest in democratic machine politics. This is not a good sign for maintaining a vigorous participatory democracy at either the local or national level.

Enter Tucker Carlson and his best-selling book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution." It couldn't be more timely with divisions in the country rising daily and sometimes leading to - violence!

The author zeroed in on America's grasping ruling clique. I like to call them "The 1% Gang." The numbers keep changing for the worse. One study shows them owning about 40 percent of the country's wealth. They own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, according to a Federal Survey of Consumers Finances.

In a recent "Portside" commentary, writer Chuck Collins, pointed out that the wealth of America's three richest families has grown by 6,000 percent since 1982. Today, they owned as "much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. population combined." (11.02.18)

Carlson labeled the "1% Gang" as "globalist" schemers who could care less about the folks at the bottom - or our America. He wrote that they hide their contempt for the poor and working class behind the "smokescreen of identity politics." They are leaving us with a "Them vs. Us" society, he warned - "a new class system."

How did Donald Trump win in 2016? Carlson gives his spin on that controversial election: He said, "desperate" countries elect candidates like Trump. The voters were, in effect, giving the "middle finger" to the ruling class, after decades of "unwise leaders." Once the voters believe that "voting is pointless," anything can happen. Wise leaders should understand this. But after listening to Hillary Clinton perpetually whine about her losing bid, "poor Hillary," in 2016, for the highest office, I'm not so sure they do.

To underscore the charge of unwise leadership, the author pointed to the stupid decisions to "invade Iraq and bail out Wall Street lowering interest rates, opening borders and letting the manufacturing sector collapse and the middle class die." The people, Carlson emphasized, sent a strong message: "Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump." To put it another way, Hillary's "Deplorables" had spoken out loud and clear.

I especially enjoyed how Carlson ripped into the Neocons' leading warmonger, Bill Kristol. He exposed the latter's secret agenda to become the "ideological gatekeeper of the Republican party." Kristol believed the U.S. should be bombing and invading countries throughout the Middle East. His main claim to infamy was his support for the illegal and immoral U.S. invasion of Iraq. When Trump critiqued the Iraq War and its promoters, Carlson wrote "Kristol erupted." That feud continues to this day. I'm sure if Trump goes along with a US invasion of Iran, they will patch things up - quickly.

Question: Shouldn't warmongering be a "Hate Crime?"

In summing up his book, Carlson said that the "1% Gang," hasn't gotten the message. They are "fools, unaware that they are captains on a sinking ship."

Let's hope the Millennials are listening. It sure is odd, however, that this book advocating "reason" in our political life, comes from a commentator associated with a television station which is known as a bastion of unreason - Fox News! The author is an anchor on the Fox News Channel.

Although, Carlson deserves credit for blasting both the Left and Right in his book, I found some of his arguments lacking substance. Nevertheless, his main point about greedy lunatics running the country into the ground, and the need for a campaign to stop them, warrants immediate attention by an informed electorate.

I'm giving Carlson's tome three out of five stars.

[Jan 14, 2019] Tucker Carlson Leaves Cenk Ugyur SPEECHLESS On Immigration

Notable quotes:
"... Chunk Yogurt is unaware that breaking into our country is a crime. He's talking about a secondary crime being committed by the illegals ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

WesleyAPEX 1 month ago

Chunk Yogurt is unaware that breaking into our country is a crime. He's talking about a secondary crime being committed by the illegals

Fernando Amaro 1 month ago

While Tucker uses logic and facts to make his arguments, Cenk uses feelings to support his. If anyone is still a follower of Cenk after this video, then Tucker is right, the level of delusion in society is staggering.

Western Chauvinist 1 month ago

Chunk really is a disingenuous slime ball. He brings up food as evidence of our "multiculturalism", it's such a moronic example. The fundamentals of culture that Tucker was speaking of include our beliefs enshrined in the constitution, freedom of speech, our egalitarianism, capitalism, the English language, ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, all of the god-given rights we believe in, self defense, etc. It's very uniquely American and to have millions upon millions of Hondurans or Mexicans or whatever flood in, not assimilate, and change the language and the freedoms/god-given rights we believe in, that will displace OUR culture with theirs.... and clearly our culture is superior, if it wasn't then they'd be the one's with a rich country that we'd want to move to. Who gives a fuck if we like to eat tacos or pasta you greasy slime ball. Basically if Glob of Grease was right then there would be no such thing as assimilation.

CWC4 1 month ago

At the risk of sounding misogynistic I have to say listening to a liberal is like listening to a woman. No matter how wrong they are in their mind they're right. No matter how much logic & common sense you throw their way it's never enough for them to understand. That's what it be like watching these "debates". This is why a lot of the left when it comes to men are considered BETA. They have the skewed mind like that of a female, men appeal more to logic than emotional rhetoric like what Cenk was speaking from. This is why civilizations of the past have all gone the way of the dodo bird. Because they'll allow themselves to become so diverse to the point of collapse. It's funny too because all of the countries they beg us to allow in are some of the most segregated countries on the planet, such as Asia.

[Jan 14, 2019] Nanci Pelosi and company at the helm of the the ship the Imperial USA

Highly recommended!
The quote below is from Tucker book... Tucker Carlson for President ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves. ..."
"... Facts threaten their fantasies. And so they continue as if what they're doing is working, making mistakes and reaping consequences that were predictable even to Greek philosophers thousands of years before the Internet. ..."
"... They're fools. The rest of us are their passengers. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Most terrifying of all, the crew has become incompetent. They have no idea how to sail. They're spinning the ship's wheel like they're playing roulette and cackling like mental patients. The boat is listing, taking on water, about to sink. They're totally unaware that any of this is happening. As waves wash over the deck, they're awarding themselves majestic new titles and raising their own salaries. You look on in horror, helpless and desperate. You have nowhere to go. You're trapped on a ship of fools.

Plato imagined this scene in The Republic. He never mentions what happened to the ship. It would be nice to know. What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves.

The people who did it don't seem aware of what they've done. They don't want to know, and they don't want you to tell them. Facts threaten their fantasies. And so they continue as if what they're doing is working, making mistakes and reaping consequences that were predictable even to Greek philosophers thousands of years before the Internet.

They're fools. The rest of us are their passengers.

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars October 2, 2018

Don't drink and read

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

[Jan 14, 2019] Sunday Special Ep 26 Tucker Carlson

Nov 04, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Tucker Carlson, Fox News host and author of "Ship of Fools", joins Ben to discuss the social impact of rapid technological advances, what role government should or shouldn't play in the economy, and how both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are able to appeal to the same voters.

Subscribe to the Daily Wire to watch the bonus question! https://bit.ly/2q0wopL

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution Tucker Carlson 9781501183669 Amazon

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Don't drink and read October 2, 2018 Format: Hardcover

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

Doyle 5.0 out of 5 stars Tucker at his best October 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I am 73 and voted for Bill Clinton both times. Was heavily involved in local union as president of a local. I have witnessed the declining middle class. The loss of our critical steel industry and the SHAFTA deal as we termed it NAFTA was first started by Bush Senior adopted as a center piece by Bill Clinton and and supported by both party's. Then we witnessed the migration of jobs, factories and the middle class becoming food stamp recipients. I couldn't understand how our country willing destroyed our manufacturing jobs. I wondered how we could ever fight a world war with no Steel and Aluminum plants. I became very disillusioned with both political party's. I felt Neither party gave a dime about the real loss to our country.

When the Towers fell I witnessed how it must have been when Pearl Harbor was attacked. People actually came together the Recruiter offices were packed with both men and women wanting to extract revenge on the terrorist. Then the longest war in our history began. It saddens me to say that our wonderful country hasn't won a war since World War 2. But not because of our military but the politicians . Vietnam was a for profit war most that fought there didn't have a clue as to why we were bogged down there and not one of the Generals had any idea how to fight this terrible travesty that took over 58000 lives and uncounted lives of veterans since.

When Trump announced his bid for president he was ridiculed by the elite from both party's . He listened to the disillusioned to the workers that lost everything. When Trump won it was a shot across the bow of the powers that be.

Our president is far from perfect however he heard the masses and brought back some semblance of sanity. Once again President has given hope to our country that had been commandeered by an apologist President . Who was not respected on the world stage. Thank you Tucker for this book.

Alan F. Sewell 5.0 out of 5 stars Tucker Carlson in sharpest focus October 2, 2018 Format: Hardcover

If there's one word that describes Tucker Carlson, it is "sharp." He cuts to the core of each issue, explains it concisely, and shucks away the hidden agendas of those who want to manipulate the issue for their own self-serving agendas.

That's exactly what he does in this book. It is written conversationally, the way Tucker Carlson talks on TV. He has condensed millions of words about the advent of Donald Trump into two sentences: "Countries can survive war and famines and disease. They cannot survive leaders who despise their own people." Tucker elaborates:

=====
Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it. They just concluded that the options were worse -- and not just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created the world as it was in the fall of 2016: the people in charge. Trump might be vulgar and ignorant, but he wasn't responsible for the many disasters America's leaders created .

There was also the possibility that Trump might listen. At times he seemed interested in what voters thought. The people in charge demonstrably weren't. Virtually none of their core beliefs had majority support from the population they governed .Beginning on election night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer action movie: Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters. Trump won because Russian agents "hacked" the election. Trump won because mouth-breathers in the provinces were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links.
=====

He covers many insights provided in other excellent books by Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Anne Coulter, Charles Murray, and Jordan Peterson. But he brings them into the sharpest focus in his own unique way. For example, he addresses the issue of income inequality, which the Republican and Conservative Establishments seems afraid of:

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America thrived for 250 years mostly because of its political stability. The country had no immense underclass plotting to smash the system. There was not a dominant cabal of the ultrawealthy capable of overpowering the majority. The country was fundamentally stable. On the strata of that stability its citizens built a remarkable society.

In Venezuela . small number of families took control of most of the Venezuelan economy. America isn't Venezuela. But if wealth disparities continue to grow, why wouldn't it be? Our political leaders ought to be concerned. Instead they work to make the country even less stable, by encouraging rapid demographic change
====

He is courageous in pointing out that excessive immigration, of the kind that Wall Street Republicans and Liberals Democrat want, is perhaps detrimental to the interests of most Americans:

====
. Democrats know immigrants vote overwhelmingly for them, so mass immigration is the most effective possible electoral strategy: You don't have to convince or serve voters; you can just import them. Republican donors want lower wages.
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He talks about the social stratification of American society: that we have become an overly-credentialized society that concentrates its wealth into a tiny number of elites, while the middle class struggles far in the rea:

====
The path to the American elite has been well marked for decades: Perform well on standardized tests, win admission to an elite school, enter one of a handful of elite professions, settle in a handful of elite zip codes, marry a fellow elite, and reproduce.
=====

Tucker castigates the corruption of Conservatives and Liberals. He characterizes Republican House leader Paul Ryan as a bought-and-paid-for tool of multinational corporations. He talks about how Liberals have also become corrupted. The old-time Liberals (like his elementary school teacher) were an affable group of socially-conscious, well-meaning, and charmingly eccentric people. Some of those Liberals are still around. But many have become the greediest of Wall Street charlatans who operate the most oppressive companies here and abroad. Even worse, they have come do despise their fellow American citizens who have been distressed by the unstable economy of recent decades:

====
This is the unspoken but core assumption of modern American elites: I went to Yale and live on ten acres in Greenwich because I worked hard and made wise choices. You're unemployed and live in an apartment in Cleveland because you didn't. The best thing about old-fashioned liberals was how guilty they were. They felt bad about everything, and that kept them empathetic and humane. It also made them instinctively suspicious of power, which was useful. Somebody needs to be.
=====

Tucker concludes by explaining why the Establishments of both parties are whining about what they think is "the end of democracy" (translation: "We, the Establishment, think democracy is ending because the people won't vote for our candidates"). Then he gives the Establishment his trademark, one-sentence summation:

"If you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it."

TN_MAN 4.0 out of 5 stars Solution is Weak October 16, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Tucker Carlson does a good job, in this book, of laying out the mistakes being made by the Political Establishment in America. He takes both flavors of the Establishment to task. Both the smug, leftist Democrats and the soft Republican RINO's. I thought that I was educated on the problems being caused by this 'Ship of Fools' but Mr. Carlson informed me that things were even worse than I feared.

Where the book is weak is in the area of offered solutions. This is why I only gave it 4 stars. Mr. Carlson assumes that the Establishment set is purely driven by greed and a selfish desire for more and more power. So, his 'Solution' is to just tongue-lash them for being so greedy and selfish. He seems to assume that such shaming will force them to reform from within. This is delusional.

The Establishment is driven not only by greed and a lust for power. Many of them truly believe in a Marxist-Socialist ideology. They have taken over the education system, the legacy media, Hollywood and many big internet companies. This makes their ideology self-perpetuating. They cannot and will not reform on their own. Mr. Carlson is walking up the gangplank and joining the 'Ship of Fools' if he believes that 'self-reform' is a solution.

No, there are only two solutions. One is the election of 'disruptors', like President Trump, who will gradually reform both the Government and the Education System so as to replace Marxist-Socialism with a return to the core American principles of a Representative Republic. The other, I am sad to say, is forcible suppression of the Establishment Class by the American People. The smug elites may imagine that the police and military will support them. However, they won't do it against their own people. Especially for a ruling class that does nothing but belittle both the police and the military at every opportunity.

I truly don't want to see this second approach implemented. America already has enough blood-stained pages in her history. Nevertheless, if the Establishment and the Marxist-Socialist Education system is not reined in, it will end up with many of the Establishment Class hanging from lampposts or facing firing squads. I truly hope it does not come to that.

Not Original, But a Great Read, and a Great Primer October 28, 2018

"Ship of Fools" extends the recent run of books that attack the American ruling class as decayed and awful. However it is characterized, as the professional-management elite, the Front Row Kids, or one of many other labels, all these books argue the ruling class is running our country into the ground, and most argue it is stupid and annoying to boot. I certainly agree, and I also tend to agree with the grim prognostication in the subtitle, that revolution is coming -- that is, this will end in blood. What this book fails to offer, though, just like all these books, is any kind of possible other solution. Which, after a while, reinforces the reader's conclusion that there is no other solution.

Not a word in this book is truly original. That's not to say it's bad: Carlson is highly intelligent and well informed, and his book is extremely well written, clever, funny, and compelling. As with most current political books, Donald Trump appears often, not as himself, but as a phenomenon, whose rise deserves and requires explanation, and who therefore implicitly frames the book, though the author stops mentioning him about halfway through. Carlson's thoughts on Trump, however, are no more original than the rest of the book, the basic conclusion of which is that actions have consequences, and Trump is a natural consequence of the actions taken by our ruling class. In Greek myth, when you sow the earth with dragon's teeth, you get fierce warriors; today, when you harrow the disempowered with rakes, you get Trump.

Carlson, in his Introduction, recites a familiar litany, of the evisceration of the middle class and the emergence of the new class system, where there is a great gulf set between the ruling class and the mass of Americans. Part of the gap is money, shown by increased income and asset inequality. Part of the gap is status, as shown by behavior, such as consumption habits, but even more visible in differences in opportunity, where many desirable options are available to those who pass elite filters such as attending the right universities, and are wholly unavailable to the rest. Few people, of whatever political persuasion, would deny the emergence of this gap; it is what conclusions to draw that are in dispute.

This widening horizontal fracture between mass and elite is reflected in the political parties. The Democrats have shifted from a party of the masses, to a party focused on elite concerns, such as "identity politics, abortion, and abstract environmental concerns." They ignore existential threats to the non-elites such as the loss of good manufacturing jobs, the opioid epidemic, the dropping life span of the non-elite, and that Obamacare and crony capitalism handouts to the insurance companies and lawyers have made insurance unaffordable for the working class. The Republicans have always been more focused on the elite (until Trump), and so have shifted position less, but are no less blameless. Carlson recognizes that the common Republican talking point, that nobody in America is actually poor by historical standards, is mostly irrelevant for these purposes. Inequality is perceived on a relative scale, and it creates envy. As Jonathan Haidt has explained at length, for many people's moral views, fairness is a key touchstone, and abstract economic arguments are not an adequate response. And whatever the causes or rationales, this abandonment of the masses by both parties leaves nobody with power representing the non-elite.

Now, I think this horizontal fracture analysis of the political parties is a bit too simplistic. I see American politics as a quadrant, in which neoliberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton have more in common with elite-focused Republicans like Jeb Bush than they do with either Bernie Sanders Democrats or Trump Republicans, who have much in common with each other. Carlson collapses this quadrant into a duality, in essence lumping Clinton and Bush into one group, and Sanders and Trump acolytes into another. This conceals certain critical issues, especially between the two portions of the quadrant that constitute those excluded from the ruling class. But I suppose Carlson's main goal is to highlight the elite/non-elite distinction on which he builds his case.

The rest of the book is an expansion on this Introduction, in which history is intertwined with analysis of the present day. Carlson heavily focuses on immigration, i.e., "Importing a Serf Class." This is the issue most clearly separating the ruling class from the ruled. Democrat and Republican elites have actively cooperated to flood America with alien immigrants, legal and illegal, against the wishes and interests of the masses. Diversity is not our strength, "it's a neutral fact, inherently neither good nor bad. . . . Countries don't hang together simply because. They need a reason. What's ours?" Carlson contrasts Cesar Chavez, who hated illegal immigrants as wage-lowering scum, with today's elites, who demand illegal immigrants so they can be waited on hand and foot in their gated palaces. These changes are reflected in the official programs of the parties and in the pronouncements of their mandarins -- or they were, until Trump showed up, and modified the Republican approach. What is more, they extend now to seemingly unrelated single-issue pressure groups -- the Sierra Club, for example, now shrilly demands unlimited immigration, increased pressure on the environment be damned.

Immigration, though, is just one example of how the elites now ignore the legitimate interests of the working class. Apple treats workers (Chinese, to be sure) like slaves, but burns incense at the concerns of the elite such as gender inequality in management, so no attention is paid to the workers -- the time of Dorothy Day is long gone. Amazon treats its employees as human robots, yet nobody in power complains. Facebook corrupts our youth through deliberate addiction and is chummy with killer regimes, yet no Congressman challenges them for that. Meanwhile the Democratic Party has exiled real representatives of the masses, whom they used to lionize, such as Ralph Nader. How do the elites reconcile this behavior in their own minds? They are united in their belief that their elite status is the result of merit, what Carlson cleverly calls "secular Calvinism." The masses have less because they deserve less. That is to say, elite liberals, in particular, no longer challenge the hierarchy on behalf of the truly powerless, which is, as Jordon Peterson points out, the traditional and valid role of the Left. Instead, they denigrate the powerless, the bitter-clingers, the deplorables, while assuring themselves that because they focus on elite matters supposedly related to "oppressions," such as granting new rights to homosexuals (a wealthy and powerful group), that they are somehow maintaining their traditional role.

Carlson also covers "Foolish Wars," in which the masses die for elite stupidity, such as George W. Bush's delusion that the Arab world wanted democracy. Again, the cutting humor shows through: "One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. . . . The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof it's happening in America." Trump, at least in the campaign, saw the demands for ever-more foreign wars as what they are -- an abomination. The ruling classes, on the other hand, are all for more wars -- a departure from the past, especially among Democrats.

It's not just Max Boot that Carlson attacks by name. He slices up Bill Kristol for several pages. It is brutal. (I was a young intern in the White House when Dan Quayle was Vice President and Kristol his chief of staff. Kristol was a preening moron even then; unlike a fine wine, he has not improved with age.) Carlson also savages Ta-Nehisi Coates at length, although that's a bit like thrashing a man tied up in a gimp suit, too easy. Referring to Coates's miserable book, he says "It's a measure how thoroughly the diversity cult has corroded the aesthetic standards of our elite that the book was greeted with almost unanimous praise, which is to say, lying."

Next comes free speech. Liberals used to support free speech, no matter the cause; now the elite is eager to violently suppress speech that displeases them (or, more accurately, speech that threatens them by proving to be effective in eroding their power). Such suppression is primarily something pushed by the Left, though the elite Right is happy to cooperate. Carlson adduces the infamous dawn SWAT raids on conservatives by elite Democrats in Wisconsin, led by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm, judge Barbara Kluka, and prosecutor Francis Schmitz (who have escaped punishment, so far, unfortunately, although if the revolution that Carlson seems to predict arrives, hopefully they will be remembered). Brendan Eich and James Damore also make an appearance, as individuals persecuted by the elites, in the form of corporations, for their speech.

Carlson makes an important point here, one ignored by the odious coterie of inside-the-beltway corporate Republicans and #NeverTrumpers -- that even though they are not subject to the First Amendment, it is false that corporations who behave this way cannot or should not be disciplined. As he notes, "Government regulates all sorts of speech in the private sector." What government doesn't do is regulate speech in a way that protects conservatives -- restriction of speech is a sword used only to enforce the dominion of the Left. The Right needs to weaponize it against the Left, not to defend an abstract and unnecessary principle that is ignored when harm is done to them. As I have written elsewhere, a good place to start would be legislatively forbidding all sizeable corporations from any discrimination based on speech or other expressive action (such as donating money to a cause) that the federal government could not legally forbid (e.g.., obscenity). The law would be enforced by massive statutory damages ($500,000 per occurrence), one-way fee shifting against the companies, and a huge federal enforcement bureaucracy empowered with broad discovery powers. This would apply both to protect employees and, critically, to protect all speech and actions of the public where the corporation, such as Twitter or Facebook, offers a supposedly neutral platform for the public to make statements. It would further apply, beyond mere speech, to forbid discrimination by all entities providing services analogous to common carriers, such as payment processors, notably PayPal, and credit card processors, whose services are now being selectively denied to suppress conservative speech. In addition, online shopping platforms such as Amazon would also be deemed common carriers, not permitted to refuse to list any non-illegal good for sale if they held themselves out as acting as a seller of general merchandise, or as acting as a platform to match third-party sellers and buyers. All this would be a good start to break the power of the corporate Left; it would be a change from conservatives' belief that private businesses should be left alone, but if they won't leave us alone, there is no reason we should leave them alone.

Identity, and its uses by the ruling class, swing next into the author's crosshairs. Carlson notes the elites don't bear the costs of the "diversity cult"; the masses do. The elites whip up fear of white supremacists as a political tool, even though the sum total of real white supremacists is trivial and they have no power. That is, the elites inflame racial passions for every group but whites, not realizing how dangerous that is. Of the obvious question, why whites shouldn't organize as a group, Carlson points out that some have asked the question, "but so far they have been self-discrediting: haters, morons, and charlatans. What happens when someone calm and articulate does it?" I am not eager to find out, but we are probably going to.

And, on feminism, Carlson notes the inconvenient truth that women are far less happy, as reported by the University of Chicago's longitudinal General Social Survey, than they were forty years ago, and that those with traditional views of gender roles are much happier, in general and in their marriages, than their harpy cousins. The latter, though, are dominant in the elites; Carlson names here names and shames Sheryl Sandberg. Moreover, the elites mandate a focus on their obsessive concerns about sexual behavior, including demanding the masses endorse claims utterly divorced from reality. "Men posing as female weight lifters isn't the biggest problem Western civilization faces, but it's an ominous symptom of deeper rot. When the people in charge retreat into fantasy, and demand that everyone else join them there, society itself becomes impervious to reality." Non-elite men, meanwhile, are treated like dirt, can't find jobs, and die at ever-younger ages, and the elite doesn't care -- in fact, it (mostly) discreetly celebrates. Finally, on environmentalism, elites don't care about the actual environment, cleaning up the trash, but rather about abstractions like supposed global warming, while they urge their private jets to greater speed.

It is a fast and compelling read. True, every so often Carlson missteps when talking about history. No, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, assassinated in 1914, was not "a second-string Austrian nobleman." Nor is it even remotely true that "Divide and conquer. That's how the British ruled India." Equally untrue is that "The right to express your views is the final bulwark that shields the individual from the mob that disagrees with him." The right to own and carry effective military weaponry, enshrined in the Second Amendment, is that right. Speech is a distant second as a bulwark. For a very smart man, Carlson seems to avoid any but recent history, and given these examples, that is probably a wise choice for him.

OK, so far, so good. The book is worth reading -- as I say, nothing original, but for those not attuned to such matters and looking for a primer, an excellent read. I eagerly looked forward to the last chapter, or rather the Epilogue, "Righting the Ship." That was a mistake. It is less than two pages. It offers bad history, suggesting that the only two alternatives are a system of oppressive rulers and oppressed serfs, and democracy. The former, supposedly, is the norm; our democracy is special, but it is under attack. Carlson therefore offers us, or rather our ruling class, two options: suspend democracy, or "attend to the population . . . If you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it." The alternative is likely civil war.

This is not helpful. Leaving aside that democracy is far from the only system that has provided a proper equilibrium between the ruling class and the masses (as Carlson himself admits when talking at length about the disappearance today of noblesse oblige), Carlson offers no reason at all for the ruling classes to take his advice. Why would they? Even if they accepted his analysis, which they don't, and won't, there is zero historical example of a late-stage ruling class reforming itself voluntarily. Carlson's Epilogue is just so much space filling. I suspect he knows that, too, which is why his Introduction is longer and more apocalyptic -- because he thinks that rupture is the future, and only hopes it will involve minimal violence. Rupture is almost certainly inevitable, but the end result is unlikely to be the saving of democracy as it exists now, since democracy is an inherently unstable system and at least partially responsible for the core fact of which Carlson complains, the rot of the ruling class. Thus, this book is a decent introduction to the topic of ruling class vice and decay, but no more. 16 people found this helpful Helpful 1 1 comment Report abuse

R. Larry Overstreet 4.0 out of 5 stars, November 1, 2018

Enlightening, but with Frustrations I like to watch Tucker Carlson's show on the Fox network. This book reads just like his opening monologues on his show, and I think that some (maybe much) of its content is a direct spinoff from that show. His writing sounds just like he speaks on his program. It is terse, compact, and often riveting. It is well written, and I did not observe any "typos" in its pages. He also provides excellent summaries of a wide ranging set of topics. For all of that, I would give the book a 5 star rating.

However, the book has a serious weakness for anyone who desires to use it to identify sources either easily or accurately. For examples, Tucker often directly quotes individuals (using quotation marks) but does not provide the sources where he obtained the quoted information. Many times he will refer to articles in Time magazine, or the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times, etc., but does not give the author of the articles, nor the titles, nor the dates. This makes a reader wonder precisely what those sources are. I recognize that Tucker is writing for an "ordinary reader," but for any reader who desires to have precise source data, this book is completely lacking. For that reason, I gave it a 4 star rating.

Amazon Customer 4.0 out of 5 stars, October 14, 2018

Eye opening

Being pre-baby boomer (1943) I have witnessed most of this. I guess I was aware on some level but not until Bill Clinton did I really start to pay close attention to political slide that is so evident now. Much of the Democratic screed is utter BS but to youngsters it is new, exciting and entirely believable because they have no from of reference.

Vantage2020 4.0 out of 5 stars October 24, 2018

Tucker Will Make You Angry

The average liberal, democrat, or progressive might want to avoid this book unless they possess a fair amount of courage. I'm talking about the courage to have their world view challenged. About what, you ask? A short, partial list includes immigration, racism, environmentalism, global warming, and the first amendment. And left wing folks are not the heroes of the piece. Then again, this book is not full of heroes. But the elites and ruling classes, most--but certainly not all--of whom are are left wing as described here--consistently occupy the roles of the villains in Ship of Fools. Tucker writes clearly and concisely in sketch and essay format. Each topic he tears into, and there are many, ends up shredded, in ruins when he's done with it and moves on. My only regret as he angers me about one issue and then the next is that he fails to offer solutions. I believe that's from whence the anger emanates. Readers might like to read that there is something obvious, if not easy, they can do to correct the moronic and hypocritical deeds the elites have bequeathed to the rest of us.

EastTexasGal 4.0 out of 5 stars October 22, 2018

Appreciated the History

Being a fairly regular viewer of Tucker Carlson Tonight, I had heard a.lot of his views on, e.g., Environmentalism, Gender Issues, Feminism, etc. What I appreciated about his book was that he explained how, when and why these became issues for America and the process by which so many good ideas have been derailed by greed, personal agendas, and selfishness.

Ocean View Retiree 4.0 out of 5 stars October 27, 2018

But what do we do?

On balance, he's right! ! I'm a great fan of Tucker Carlson on TV; he routinely takes on the lip flappers in the same way he does in this book. Every night. Five nights a week. And to what end?

The subject is hypocrisy, pure and unadulterated. It won't change, no matter what. Reading books like it only serves to frustrate me because people like Tucker know what's going on and we are all powerless to do anything about it. Yes, I'll vote and go to meetings, but it's all so miniscule.

Keep on truckin Tucker. Maybe someday somebody will listen.

Medusa 4.0 out of 5 stars October 23, 2018

Moving right along until.....

My copy of the book went from page 184 to 217, which is bad enough, but from page 217 onward it was a rehash of Chapter 6. Fortunately, I also purchased the CD or I would never know what else Tucker had to say. Amazon, look into this!

The book itself, what I could read of it, is right on. He says we're on the brink of revolution. I think we're already there. We are no longer a republic; we are an oligarchy, IMO. Tucker points out the reasons why. Much of what he says in the book you have probably heard him say on his show. That may prevent you from buying this book but sometimes repetition is good, especially when it's on subjects that address our imminent demise as a sovereign nation if we don't wake up. Tucker is not an alarmist; he's a realist. Liberals will hate this book b/c truth hurts.

Dr. Russell Warren 4.0 out of 5 stars December 9, 2018

Only one paragraph on the last page devoted to the solution? Shameful

I give Mr. Carlson a four for his succinct statement of the major political/social problem of our society. It can be found in the preface and itself is a major contribution to understanding society's major challenge and the imperative to address it.
95% of the book is devoted to fleshing out the problem. But this section is much too verbose. Also Carlson tucks in his pet opinions uch as his belief that global warming is not happening. That is not at all essential to his argument. Whatever side one is on, the pet opinions distract from the imperative of the fundamental problem and tend to be divisive.

He gets one star for the solution to the problem. It is covered in the last paragraph on the last page. One might hope that almost half of the book might be devoted to it. After all, it does little good to identify a problem and then leave the reader to fend for himself in solving it. The absence of his thinking about it makes one wonder how serious he is in addressing society's greatest challenge. This book needed an enlightened and heavy-handed editor.

[Jan 13, 2019] It is impossible to separate the current backlash on globalization from the backlash on neoliberalism as an ideology.

Notable quotes:
"... Crumbling of neoliberal ideology now is an undisputable scientific fact. While neoliberal practice continues since 2008 unabated, and neoliberalism even managed (not without help from some three-letter agencies) staged counterrevolutions in several countries such as Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil (the phenomena known as "Strange non-death of Neoliberalism"). ..."
"... The current level of degeneration of the neoliberal elite is another interesting factor. Essentially neoliberal oligarchy (and this is first of all financial oligarchy) and their political stooges lost the legitimacy in the minds of the majority of the electorate in the USA (Trump+Sanders supporters). ..."
"... Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society. ..."
"... Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 01.13.19 at 6:05 pm 22

My impression is that it is impossible to separate the current backlash on globalization from the backlash on neoliberalism as an ideology.

Crumbling of neoliberal ideology now is an undisputable scientific fact. While neoliberal practice continues since 2008 unabated, and neoliberalism even managed (not without help from some three-letter agencies) staged counterrevolutions in several countries such as Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil (the phenomena known as "Strange non-death of Neoliberalism").

One of the fundamental forces behind the last 25 years of neoliberal globalization is the availability of cheap oil. If this period is coming to an end in a decade or two (as in prolonging period of over $100 per barrel prices) the reversal of neoliberal globalization might acquire a completely different pace and scale.

The current level of degeneration of the neoliberal elite is another interesting factor. Essentially neoliberal oligarchy (and this is first of all financial oligarchy) and their political stooges lost the legitimacy in the minds of the majority of the electorate in the USA (Trump+Sanders supporters).

In this sense, I would like to emphasize an amazing and unexplainable (given Fox news owner) speech by Tucker Carlson on Jan 2, 2009.

He offered this blunt advice to Republicans:

Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

This is probably the first statement that neoliberalism is the enemy of healthy society on Fox.

This might not end well as financial oligarchy is entrenched and does not was to share power with anybody. Indeed, Carlson anticipated the resistance to his views in the way similar to FDR:

Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people

This also shed additional light of Russiagate, as an attempt to cement cracks in the neoliberal society by uniting the nation against the common enemy. In no way Russiagate is only about Trump.

[Jan 13, 2019] NSA Director Mike Rogers visit to Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in "October" that [NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers] Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position: The heads of the Pentagon and the nation's intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed. ..."
"... After the visit by Rogers, Trump vacated Trump Towers. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Jan 13, 2019 4:43:58 PM | link

Great journalism b!

A few more points: from: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

"On Thursday November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Mike Rogers traveled to New York and met with President-Elect Donald Trump.

On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in "October" that [NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers] Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position: The heads of the Pentagon and the nation's intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower.

Occam's Razor. NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn't want to participate in the spying scheme [on Trump]

(Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama's post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into [who knows what crimes]"

After the visit by Rogers, Trump vacated Trump Towers.

There is considerable irony in the Mueller 'probe' and the continuing avalanche of MSM lies and evasions and spin etc pertaining to Trump.

There are trends: A growing US citizen realization that their political system prior to Trump was nearly completely corrupt; the Clintons are more broadly understood as the pathological criminals that they are; the Podesta emails with their sick connotations remain 'in the air' - See Ben Swann's work, for example. The Clinton Foundation is far more broadly understood as a massive criminal enterprise.

Serious criminality at the highest levels of the FBI is now far more obvious to far more people

MSM as evil propaganda is more widely understood.

It is understood widely that the DNC material to Wikileaks was not 'hacked' (Binney)

From the theintercept.com :

"Pompeo met on October 24 [at Trump's request] with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system."

In short the last two years have been about trying to defeat Trump but the attackers are looking more and more wounded, and Trump, well, he's hanging in there. General Kelly and others have described Trump's work ethic as exhausting.

[Jan 13, 2019] What is wrong with Trump

Trump was elected using Adelson money. That;s probably is what is wrong with Trump.
Is Trump a Republican Obama? As in "Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard."
Notable quotes:
"... The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI. ..."
"... Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal. ..."
"... And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what? ..."
"... And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers. ..."
"... To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it? ..."
"... I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck. ..."
"... Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard. ..."
"... If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

According to Hido, Washington's Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, delivered several messages to the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) demanding them to slow down the negotiations with Damascus and promising to discuss the idea of establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish political described Jeffery's messages as "disturbing" and called on the Kurdish leadership to deal with them in careful manner.

Furthermore, Hido stressed that the SDF should take a decision on the talks with the Damascus government as soon as possible and regretted that some Kurdish officials are still pinning their hopes on a possible change in the U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria .

"Talks with the Syrian government are still ongoing in a positive atmosphere," RT quoted Hido as saying.

Jeffrey made a visit to Turkey recently, where he tried to strike a deal with Ankara over northeastern Syria. However, Turkey's plans to attack US-backed Kurdish forces and invade the region hindered his efforts.

It appears to be that the SDF's only real option is the deal with Damascus as any U.S. solution would likely involve Turkey, which has demonstrated its agressive attitude towards Syrian Kurdish groups during its operation in Afrin in 2018." SF

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

The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI.

Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal.

What could that have been other than a renewed presidential order to the Defense Department? And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what?

And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers.

BTW, any soldier will tell you that the purpose of barriers IS NOT to stop all movement. No, it is to slow up movement and canalize it so that Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) can get there first with the most. To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it?

On Smerconish's show today, Bob Baer, spy extraordinaire, (read his books) asserted that the various bits and pieces of circumstantial "evidence" about Trump's contacts with and attitude toward Russia, as well as those of his flunkies and relatives amount to a "good enough" case for Trump being a Russian agent of influence. That is how a HUMINT spook judges such things. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard evidence. Assets of an alien government are not always witting (understanding) of their status from the POV of the foreign government, but that does not necessarily make other than agents. Sometimes they think they are merely cooperating in a good and normal way when, in fact, the relationship is much deeper. Jane Fonda in North Vietnam would be an example.

OTOH the president is responsible for the conduct of US foreign policy and is not under an obligation to accept the perhaps hackneyed views of his subordinates. Perhaps his world view is quite different and he is not mesmerized by the group think of the Borg. If that is so ...

But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl

https://southfront.org/kurdish-politician-washington-trying-to-sabotage-talks-between-sdf-and-damascus/

Eric Newhill , a day ago

Sir, I think he's just being cautious and exhausting all other options because half of the country has been made to believe he's a dictator. He's being sensitive to that. He will act. Give it time.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 17 hours ago
Sensitive? Cautious? Caring about Americans not in his base (whatever his base means)? Doesnt sounds like president Donald Trump the last two years. He acts more like he is confused about what the president's powers are while the wormtongues he appointed and replaces with more of the same continue to whisper in his ear.
Eric Newhill -> ISL , 10 hours ago
Contrary to all the TDS out there, maybe he prefers to do things the right way and have Congress make laws and budgets that work for all of us whether or not we all understand how.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 3 hours ago
If that was the case, why so many signing statements (particularly since republicans control congress ). He is on target to pass Obama. who also preferred not to do things by laws. http://www.coherentbabble.c... Its just that the trend towards an imperial, unitary presidency keeps getting worse with full acquiescence of congress who suckles on the corporate money teat, under both Dems and Repubs.

I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck.

Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard.

-----
Here's a nice plot - US apprehensions comparable to 1970 when the US had a much smaller population.

ISL -> ISL , 3 hours ago
Now if Trump shut the govt down until congress did something about big pharma and the opioid crisis because Congress is in their pocket he would have my support. But then the republicans and dems would jointly impeach him to keep the money spigot flowing.

Decreasing life expectancy is what happens in the sh-tholes to use his term. If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants. Don't republicans who theoretically support capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism) understood supply and demand? (If there is a demand, then supply will meet it)

Oh, because illegal immigrants are good for the bottom line of people, like, well, Trump:

https://www.washingtonpost....

[Jan 13, 2019] Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter.

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago link

OLD news. This was established long ago by looking at the time line of events.

SDShack , 1 hour ago link

Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good not to try to run in 2020 as he might already be a toast. He definitely is not up to the job and in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Depp state recemble so closly to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficuties to distinuish between the two.
Most of his appointees are radib neolon. That that extends beyoong obsious cazies like Haley, Bolton and Pompeo.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

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

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

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

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

me title=

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

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

[Jan 13, 2019] Tucker Carlson Routs Conservatism Inc. On Unrestrained Capitalism -- And Immigration by Washington Watcher

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Tucker Carlson's critique of unrestrained capitalism last week sent the Respectable Righ t into apoplectic fury. That's why it's irrelevant -- and why Carlson is increasingly emerging as a name to conjure with. ..."
"... Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating ..."
"... Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society. ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson's Victimhood Populism ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... National Review? ..."
"... [T]he primary responsibility for creating a life of virtue and purpose rests with families and individuals. In fact, it is still true that your choices are far more important to your success than any government program or the actions of any nefarious banker or any malicious feminist. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson Claims Market Capitalism Has Undermined American Society. He's Wrong. ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... America Needs Virtue before Prosperity ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Most young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, new report finds ..."
"... Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people ..."
"... Carlson's economic populism pairs with his support for patriotic immigration reform: both policies aim to serve the people's interest and strengthen America as a unified community. This vision conflicts with multinational corporations who would rather see America as one giant strip mall filled with atomized customers. Not surprisingly, these companies oppose patriotic immigration reform. Also not surprisingly, so does Conservatism Inc. ..."
"... The only institution that can stand up to corporations and tell them to change is the state -- which happens to be the only institution patriots can have any influence over. Academia, Hollywood, corporate America, and the Establishment Media are all under the thrall of Cultural Marxists. (The churches are a more complicated matter, but fewer Americans listen to religious leaders in our day and age.) ..."
"... Washington Watcher [ email him ] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway. ..."
"... Don't cry in 2020 if Donald Trump loses because he took advice from the same market capitalists who tried to sink him and his movement back in 2016 – the same people who destroyed Romney's chances in 2012. He's already well on his way with deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. Unfortunately, some of his supporters seem eager to help him in that losing effort. ..."
"... In my view, I think the message is clear. Government's role of facilitator, monitor and guarantor of fair practices has decided to jump in bed on the side of business and that without guarantee of a fair distribution to the US citizens, who in the case of government subsidies, contracts and bailouts are footing the bill for a good deal of financial misconduct and lousy adherence to best practices as they reap the benefits. ..."
"... Oh–I get it. The problem is not Capitalism. It's that we don't have more of it. God you people are brazenly ingenuous. ..."
"... Deregulating big biz without corresponding relaxations on common people is wrong and we must oppose it. No tax cuts for biz without much bigger ones for the common people! ..."
"... Some below average dude above said "this country has nothing resembling Capitalism going on. Big Business is in bed with Big Feral Gov't. "Crony Capitalism" may not roll off the tongue, but that's the usual fair description of it." Hear that on Fox News? Oh, if only we were all controlled and dominated by Capitalists. If only capitalists owned all the major media. If only Capitalists owned all the politicians. If only capitalists made up all the leading politicians. If only all the bankers were Capitalists If only the Fed was made up of capitalists. Then we would finally have true capitalism. ..."
"... But wait a minute. That's EXACTLY the situation that we do have. What that means is that we have EXACTLY the capitalism that capitalism produces. We have EXACTLY the capitalism that the leading capitalists, who will always control the capitalist government and the capitalist economy, want and need. ..."
"... And before anyone starts with "its the globalists." Globalism is capitalism. Capitalism brought the black slaves here, capitalism is bringing the Mexicans here. Slave labor/cheap labor is the name of the game, always has been. Nothing new. Globalism=capitalism ..."
"... Capitalist wars are also driving the refugees from their homelands. Whether in Iraq, Sudan or Honduras, wars are a twofer for capitalists, massive war profiteering, theft of resources, with the added bonus of driving refugees into Europe/America to lower the standard of living and decrease wages for us. ..."
"... Privatization of public property/resources is theft, privatization today is strictly about prioritizing money away from the commons and general welfare and giving total monopoly to the inbred 1% rent-seeking parasites, monopoly of resources (food, water, air, shelter), monopoly of control, monopoly of propaganda, monopoly of Policy, monopoly of money, monopoly of war. ..."
"... Most people, including below average guy above don't wan't to accept this, usually because of ignorance or "muh capitalism" and "muh free markets " brainwashing by Fox "News". They have been programmed subconsciously into thinking that any other alternative method will not work or it is "evil socialism". They are still interested in making rentier classes out of each other and fucking over their children's future, while propping up their capitalist overlords. ..."
"... Meet the New World Order. Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/ ..."
"... and give it a rest with the "freedumb" BS you goon. The US has the largest prison population in the world. You go to jail for smoking a joint for goodness sake. At the same time capitalist bankers make off with trillions in stolen wealth without a slap on the wrist. ..."
"... Not to mention the spying/surveillance, Patriot Act, assassinations and indefinite detention of Americans with no due process, Anti-BDS laws, a totally rigged judicial system, a healthcare system that is nothing short of a racket, a fake media totally controlled by the capitalist war profiteers and corporate parasites. Everything that you accuse "communists" of is what is actually happening under the Capitalists. ..."
"... I agree with Tucker that the family unit is the most important reason why America is degenerating, resulting in less people getting married, less children, less everything, creating a vacuum that can only be filled by foreign invasion. The lack of strong families is also the reason for the rise in suicides, drug addiction, crime, treason, etc., etc. ..."
"... Militant feminism has made it such that husbands and wives become economic competitors rather than complementary partners. Families have become less important as compared to each partner seeking financial success above all else ..."
"... There is a disincentive to have children because it is an obstacle to climbing the corporate ladder. If you don't have children, there is not a lot of benefit to being married, so divorces increase. ..."
"... As Tucker says, no woman wants to marry a man who makes less than she does. So, as more women are forced into the workforce, less marriages happen. ..."
"... Uncontrolled immigration helps the ruling class to reduce wages, also contributing to declining families. Legal immigration decimates the middle class ..."
"... If that isn't enough, mass distribution of pornography, deviant sex, gender perversion, LGBTQXYZZY , all contribute to the breaking of traditional intimacy between one man and one woman, that is the foundation of marriage and stable families. ..."
"... And there are the fake wars. As sons, and now daughters, go off to fight in foreign lands that have not attacked us, only one parent stays behind to raise the family, inadequately. Moreover, when these traumatized soldiers return from battle, they are seldom able to re-integrate into the family unit, and in a large number of cases, divorces and criminal behavior result. ..."
"... Idiots on here are always going on about how we don't got capitalism, if we only had capitalism, we don't got free markets, if only we had free markets, then everything would be hunky-dory. Without any proof, of course, because there never was and never will be a "free" "market." The US has plenty capitalism. And everything sucks. And they want more. Confused, stupid, disingenuous liars. ..."
"... Free markets are crookedness factories. As a PhD from Chicago Business School told me, "Free markets?! What free markets?! There is no free market! It's all crooked!" ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Tucker Carlson's critique of unrestrained capitalism last week sent the Respectable Right into apoplectic fury. That's why it's irrelevant -- and why Carlson is increasingly emerging as a name to conjure with.

In a now-celebrated monologue on his Fox News show, Carlson blamed multinational corporations and urban elites for the decline of Middle America. [ Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating , Fox News , January 3, 2019] He listed several social ills that he attributed to unrestrained capitalism, including predatory loans, higher drug use , declining marriage rates , and shuttered factories.

Carlson lambasted "conservatives" who bemoan the decay of the family but refuse to consider if capitalism played any role in that tragedy. According to Carlson, "conservatives" consider criticism of the free market to be apostasy.

He offered this blunt advice to Republicans who want to make America great again.

Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Needless to say, this opinion was met with frothing anger by several Conservatism Inc. writers, a crowd that seems to believe the free market a holy thing that must not suffer blasphemy. They were upset that anyone would dare suggest that the state could act to rectify social ills, arguing that this was rank demagogy and antithetical to conservatism. National Review published several op-eds condemning Tucker's monologue -- a sure sign of Respectable Right displeasure.

David French , briefly Bill Kristol's Never Trump catspaw, represented the typical response in The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson's Victimhood Populism . [ National Review , January 4, 2019]. French claims to agree with Carlson that Middle America suffers from numerous ills, but he argues the state should play no role with fixing them. Thus payday loans are a necessary part of capitalism, drug criminalization is bad because it puts nice minorities in jail, and radical feminism and Affirmative Action aren't serious concerns.

French also defended the virtue of America's elites, citing their charitable giving (including to National Review? ) to absolve the ir disdain of the working class and support for outsourcing :

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you.

French's solution is for the working class to go to community college and for America to magically experience an organic renewal of virtue. It's all up to the individual to make America better:

[T]he primary responsibility for creating a life of virtue and purpose rests with families and individuals. In fact, it is still true that your choices are far more important to your success than any government program or the actions of any nefarious banker or any malicious feminist.

It is certainly true that your family and your own choices has a great influence over whether you live a virtuous and even happy life. But that does not show how social ills will somehow be corrected by self-help advice.

Additionally, as one man from a Midwest town destroyed by plant closures pointed out on Twitter, community college and re-training are not sufficient in equaling the old manufacturing jobs . "'New tech always comes along to save the day' does not apply. The late 19th-Century farm workers who flocked to Henry Ford for jobs after the last great labor upheaval have nowhere to go this time," the man, Tom Ferguson, tweeted.

Greenville has only 8,000 residents, but is the largest city in Montcalm County. The plant closure eliminated 3,000 jobs. As long as we're quantifying, I'll note the equivalence to 3,000,000 (sic) jobs being lost in New York City. 4/20 The local community college offered communications and other job-skills courses. My recollection says this noble effort, measured across 3,000 layoffs, was not very meaningful. 8/20 "New tech always comes along to save the day" does not apply. The late 19th-Century farm workers who flocked to Henry Ford for jobs after the last great labor upheaval have nowhere to go this time. 11/20

(See the whole thread here , here , or (as a screenshot) here .)

French also failed to consider how much influence a " malicious feminist " can have over the lives of normal people. Just one "offensive" tweet can cost somebody their career and reputation if Leftists stir up a mob . Good luck finding a job if your Google history is says you're a sexist. Additionally, Human Resources Departments are run to conform to Leftist dictates, and your private speech and views could draw the suspicion of HR at any time.

Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro attacked Carlson in two separate articles. The first, for his own website, zealously defended the greatness of the free market and the purity of movement conservatism: "Traditional conservatives recognized that the role of economics is to provide prosperity – to raise the GDP," is a sentence that best summarizes Shapiro's ridiculous retconning of a once-great movement [ Tucker Carlson Claims Market Capitalism Has Undermined American Society. He's Wrong. , by Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire , January 4, 2019]

Shapiro truly believes the free market is one of the greatest things to ever exist and it must not be restrained. All social problems, according to him, are due to individual choices and we should not seek collective solutions to social ills like declining marriage rates and fewer good jobs for working-class males. Trust the free market and insist a virtue renewal will resolve the problems state aims to solve.

Shapiro followed up his Daily Wire column with a short column in National Review that also insisted we need a virtue renewal instead of a state intervention into the market. Shapiro believes we just need Americans to stop wanting "stuff" and exhibit virtue in order to bring back Middle America [ America Needs Virtue before Prosperity , by Ben Shapiro, National Review , January 8, 2019].

"Carlson's claim that material gain isn't enough to provide happiness doesn't lead him back to virtue, which would bolster additional freedom. It leads him to the same material solutions that undercut virtue in the first place," Shapiro concluded,.

It would be nice if people would make themselves better and get the right job training after they read one National Review column. But that's not going to happen and Shapiro offers no means for enacting a renewal of virtue.

In effect, all of Carlson's Conservatism Inc. critics demand we must do nothing about the woes of working-class whites and the free market will figure out something.

So at a time when a majority of Americans -- including a majority of Republicans -- support single-payer healthcare and other big government initiatives, Conservatism Inc. pundits offer platitudes about limited government and the greatness of capitalism [ Most young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, new report finds , by Kathleen Elkins, CNBC , August 14, 2018].

This will not end well. Indeed, Carlson anticipated noted this response in his monologue:

Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people

(Carson did not directly mention immigration, somewhat surprising because it has been one of his long-standing concerns. But it ties into this debate. Many of the Conservativism Inc, types outraged at Tucker also support mass immigration and buy into the notion that America is a " nation of immigrants ." They see America as primarily an economy or an idea, not a nation. Tucker's national populism reverses those false notions -- America is a nation first and its primary responsibility is to its citizens , not the GDP.

Carlson's economic populism pairs with his support for patriotic immigration reform: both policies aim to serve the people's interest and strengthen America as a unified community. This vision conflicts with multinational corporations who would rather see America as one giant strip mall filled with atomized customers. Not surprisingly, these companies oppose patriotic immigration reform. Also not surprisingly, so does Conservatism Inc.

The unfortunate fact is that American corporations pose the greatest threat to our fundamental liberties and way of life. They censor free speech, make banking difficult for political dissidents, exclusively promote progressive causes, listen to foreign governments more than our own, promote mass immigration, and demonstrate a loyalty only to their own profits and power. Currently, in fact, they are increasingly boycotting Tucker Carlson's show, to Leftist applause .

The only institution that can stand up to corporations and tell them to change is the state -- which happens to be the only institution patriots can have any influence over. Academia, Hollywood, corporate America, and the Establishment Media are all under the thrall of Cultural Marxists. (The churches are a more complicated matter, but fewer Americans listen to religious leaders in our day and age.)

Americans cannot expect a civic renewal from our social institutions. Conservatives wield zero influence over a culture that encourages drug use, sexual promiscuity, agnosticism, and women's' choosing career over family. We are not going to experience a social renaissance just by wishing for one.

If we want our society to improve, we have to push for state policies with that goal in mind. There is no other option.

It's time to discard the worn-out conservative dogmas and make the state serve the people. National populism is the only path for Republicans to remain viable and (yes!) make our country great again.

Washington Watcher [ email him ] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway. Tucker Carlson Routs Conservatism Inc. On Unrestrained Capitalism -- And Immigration, by Washington Watcher - The Unz Review


Anon [123] Disclaimer , says: January 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm GMT

The first two comments on this blog perfectly illustrate why conservatives are in so much trouble: they refuse to let go of old – harmful – dogmas, preferring to rationalize them instead; they fail to embrace the policies that could realistically assure a positive outcome for themselves and their beliefs. This leaves them vulnerable to rhetorical conmen like Ben Shapiro and outfits like the National Review – controlled opposition if I ever saw it.

It's not surprising to me that the National Review would oppose Carlson's viewpoint, as the article mentioned. Here are the readership demographics of the National Review: 60+ with an average annual salary somewhere north of $200,000. With that in mind, ask yourself if it is really more likely that the National Review is interested in preserving the principles of free market capitalism than they are merely interested in preserving the pocketbooks of their donors and readers.

And let's be honest, Ben Shapiro was brought in by the National Review to run interference after the disastrous failure of their market capitalism-based NeverTrump critiques back in 2016; their front cover during that campaign was entitled "Against Trump". Despicable.

Ben Shapiro's shtick is to mix "muh feminism" rhetoric popular with the youth with "muh unregulated markets" rhetoric popular with the National Review donors in order to obscure the line between the two. The end result is that you hear exactly what you want to hear (a temporary, but hollow, pleasure) while nothing is ever ultimately done to address the cause of "muh feminism" in the first place which just so happens to be some of the same things pushed by the National Review, as Tucker Carlson noted. This is the kind of thing that explains why you lost the culture war. You embraced rhetoric over reason with no mind to the future.

What the responder here has done is merely repackage old assertions with new rhetoric. He makes the same kind of outlandish and unrealistic claims as Shapiro, even if he is unaware – wishing for miracles, essentially. He points out an issue (say the tax code) and then claims this problem is the ultimate source of all our problems. Lost in this analysis is any sense of probability. What is the probability that the tax code (or anything else he mentioned) will spontaneously fix itself against the wishes of the public, according to all the polls? Answer: very small, probably zero. So, why bother with that approach?

Ask yourself why we shouldn't address the crime rate with the same logic. We could abolish the prison system and just hope that there is a solution to the ensuing rampant dysfunction by wishing for it. Obviously, that's stupid and the public would never go for it, ever. So, why is this logic smart for economics and politics?

Could the National Review and their conman Ben Shapiro really be so obtuse as to really believe that their suggestions are even a remote possibility? I doubt it. Or maybe they have an ulterior motive, as I have already mentioned: run interference with cleverly chosen words while fundamental problems affecting actual republican voters go unaddressed – poverty, suicide, revocation of fundamental liberties, a growing police state, and rampant internet censorship; meanwhile, rich National Review donors continue to line their pocketbooks with cheap labor immigration.

Also unaddressed in multiple – often disingenuous – critiques of Tucker Carlson is exactly how supporters of voodoo economics have any solutions themselves beyond mere rhetoric. Do they even bother at this point? I didn't see much in these rebuttals other than assertions and semantics games. Perhaps, instead, these people have a track record of success that might lead one to believe Elysium is around the corner? Hardly. They have a track record of continual failure. So, why believe them here?

Wage growth has been stagnant for decades while healthcare costs, public debt, and tuition have soared. They've done next to nothing on immigration; their proposal before Trump was to double it. These are also the same people who claimed NAFTA would be great for the American worker – that people could just get retrained. Also wrong. NAFTA has exploded the trade deficit while workers often work longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits. The culture wars? Total failure. Freedom of religion, of speech, and of association are on life support – often at the behest of multinational corporations that threaten boycotts or deny service to conservative viewpoints. What about the rise of China? Totally wrong. That nation is eating our lunch. Sucks that we had to export our industries to them. As we speak, they're considering an armed assault against Taiwan while Rand says their military is probably strong enough to defeat ours if we came to their defense.

Meanwhile, cultural conservatives have lost every battle in the United States mainland. The movement is so weak we can't even protect our own borders because, according to Nancy Pelosi, "that's not who we are." You want to know who else agrees with Nancy? Multinational corporations and National Review donors. Funny how those issues go hand-in-hand. It's almost like these trucons care more about low taxes than mass immigration. Which do you care more about?

And that's why conservatives lose. They refuse to choose between pie-in-the-sky dogma that benefits others at their expense and practical solutions to the issues at hand. They'll justify the current order with statements like "this isn't capitalism, if only we had real capitalism" not realizing that this is the real capitalism the ruling class wants because it benefits them economically, not you the ordinary man.

Ironically, this result is similar to Alexander Fraser Tytler's critique of democracy – that it ends as soon as the public realizes they can vote themselves free goodies. The often missed point of Lord Tytler's argument is that, when given a choice, the average person will forego sacrifice with long-term benefits, instead choosing short-term pleasures with long-term consequences; the end result is dysfunction and ruin. In this case, market capitalists make the same mistake. They embrace disastrous long-term policies – immigration, deregulation, monopolies, a warped tax code, punishing the poor – in order to preserve their short-term bank accounts. We will lose the nation if they and their supporters are allowed to carry the day. That's what happens when you let your enemy control every lever of power in society; they use it to their benefit and at your expense. And that's exactly what free market capitalists advocate, even if they don't directly state it. Thus, the need for regulation and the exercise of power from the sole places where we have it: the government and the military.

Don't cry in 2020 if Donald Trump loses because he took advice from the same market capitalists who tried to sink him and his movement back in 2016 – the same people who destroyed Romney's chances in 2012. He's already well on his way with deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. Unfortunately, some of his supporters seem eager to help him in that losing effort.

EliteCommInc. , says: January 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT
In my view, I think the message is clear. Government's role of facilitator, monitor and guarantor of fair practices has decided to jump in bed on the side of business and that without guarantee of a fair distribution to the US citizens, who in the case of government subsidies, contracts and bailouts are footing the bill for a good deal of financial misconduct and lousy adherence to best practices as they reap the benefits.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

just for starters -- I am a pro capitalist. But what we are experiencing is not capitalism.

obwandiyag , says: January 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm GMT
Oh–I get it. The problem is not Capitalism. It's that we don't have more of it. God you people are brazenly ingenuous.
Fidelios Automata , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:52 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman As a long-time libertarian, I'd agree with you for the most part. But I've had an epiphany in the last 2 years. All freedoms are not created equal. One of the things beltway-tarians such as the Koch-funded Cato Institute push is the idea that an increase in freedom in any area is good because the benefits "trickle down." Bullcrap!

Deregulating big biz without corresponding relaxations on common people is wrong and we must oppose it. No tax cuts for biz without much bigger ones for the common people!

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
Some below average dude above said "this country has nothing resembling Capitalism going on. Big Business is in bed with Big Feral Gov't. "Crony Capitalism" may not roll off the tongue, but that's the usual fair description of it." Hear that on Fox News? Oh, if only we were all controlled and dominated by Capitalists. If only capitalists owned all the major media. If only Capitalists owned all the politicians. If only capitalists made up all the leading politicians. If only all the bankers were Capitalists If only the Fed was made up of capitalists. Then we would finally have true capitalism.

But wait a minute. That's EXACTLY the situation that we do have. What that means is that we have EXACTLY the capitalism that capitalism produces. We have EXACTLY the capitalism that the leading capitalists, who will always control the capitalist government and the capitalist economy, want and need.

Newsflash! There can be no Capitalism that is different from what we've got today. You would have to kill all the capitalists, to start over, because they would just buy their way right back to the top. The money all accrues to the top, very quickly. It's like a bad game of Monopoly. They take the money they've accumulated, and, realizing that money is just a means to an end, put it to work. They buy political power, and use the combination of political and financial/economic power to cement their monopoly. The very first thing they do it to pull up the "ladder of success" after themselves.

When nobody else can climb the ladder, we get frustrated, and want to change the rules to allow an "even playing field." This is exactly what the early winners of Capitalism will not allow, and they go to great lengths to prevent it. They also complain bitterly about any and all attempts to even out the effects of Capitalism.

That "evil government" that you hate is nothing more than the organization of the capitalists. Every member of the government is a Capitalist, often funded into power by even richer capitalists. We do not have a government, we have puppets of capitalists or as you Fox News Hannity enthusiasts call it "the deep state"

Government was intended to be of the people, by the people, for the people, and to serve the people, not the Corporation.

To the (((shill))) Shapiro

If we all had a PhD, there would be EXACTLY the same number of people being paid poverty wages and exactly the same number unemployed. McDonalds and Wal-Mart don't pay a penny more for a fry cook or greeter with a PhD. It's capitalism that determines the jobs and the pay, not the education level of the masses.

When capitalism tells the masses to "go get an education" as being the solution to their poverty, it's nothing more than saying, "you workers need to compete harder among yourselves for the few good-paying jobs that capitalism has to offer." Thanks to the capitalists sending the good paying middle class jobs to slave labor countries so they could make a few dollars more.

And before anyone starts with "its the globalists." Globalism is capitalism. Capitalism brought the black slaves here, capitalism is bringing the Mexicans here. Slave labor/cheap labor is the name of the game, always has been. Nothing new. Globalism=capitalism

Capitalist wars are also driving the refugees from their homelands. Whether in Iraq, Sudan or Honduras, wars are a twofer for capitalists, massive war profiteering, theft of resources, with the added bonus of driving refugees into Europe/America to lower the standard of living and decrease wages for us.

Privatization of public property/resources is theft, privatization today is strictly about prioritizing money away from the commons and general welfare and giving total monopoly to the inbred 1% rent-seeking parasites, monopoly of resources (food, water, air, shelter), monopoly of control, monopoly of propaganda, monopoly of Policy, monopoly of money, monopoly of war.

Most don't have a clue what Socialism actually is. Socialism is government by the working-class. There is not the slightest hint of the working-class ruling over society anywhere in the world. Obviously.

The New World Order is being brought to you through capitalism, private banking and corporate monopoly over EVERYTHING. You think your imaginary boogie-man socialists and communists are scary? Wait till Monsanto/Bayer have total monopoly over our food and water, they're getting very close, better wake up. Jesus warned you.

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:04 am GMT
Some miserably mediocre guy above said "Jesus didn't warn me that I'd better love "my" government."

He warned you about the love of money AKA capitalism, and what it leads to. You like being replaced with cheap labor, H1B visa slaves, alright that's fine, but I think most American workers are a little tired of it. Problem today mediocre dude, is that governments aren't "governments" but private corporations, with shareholders, operating in the public sector. Again, government is the PEOPLE. The citizens, the workers. Of the people, by the people, for the people, and to serve the people, not the Corporation. Not the parasite. You got it backwards son.

Most people, including below average guy above don't wan't to accept this, usually because of ignorance or "muh capitalism" and "muh free markets " brainwashing by Fox "News". They have been programmed subconsciously into thinking that any other alternative method will not work or it is "evil socialism". They are still interested in making rentier classes out of each other and fucking over their children's future, while propping up their capitalist overlords.

Meet the New World Order. Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:39 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

I get that you are too young, too stupid, or both, to imagine freedom

and give it a rest with the "freedumb" BS you goon. The US has the largest prison population in the world. You go to jail for smoking a joint for goodness sake. At the same time capitalist bankers make off with trillions in stolen wealth without a slap on the wrist.

Not to mention the spying/surveillance, Patriot Act, assassinations and indefinite detention of Americans with no due process, Anti-BDS laws, a totally rigged judicial system, a healthcare system that is nothing short of a racket, a fake media totally controlled by the capitalist war profiteers and corporate parasites. Everything that you accuse "communists" of is what is actually happening under the Capitalists.

Ask Julian Assange or Snowden about this freedumb you speak of.

That's about all I have to say about that.

Cloak And Dagger , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I agree with Tucker that the family unit is the most important reason why America is degenerating, resulting in less people getting married, less children, less everything, creating a vacuum that can only be filled by foreign invasion. The lack of strong families is also the reason for the rise in suicides, drug addiction, crime, treason, etc., etc.

But Tucker can't tell us the reason for why this has been happening for decades now. He can't point to the deliberate manipulation of America by strong Jewish forces. The family unit has been the thrust of these attacks, and nobody realizes it.

... ... ...

3. Militant feminism has made it such that husbands and wives become economic competitors rather than complementary partners. Families have become less important as compared to each partner seeking financial success above all else.

There is a disincentive to have children because it is an obstacle to climbing the corporate ladder. If you don't have children, there is not a lot of benefit to being married, so divorces increase. After his divorce, one of the managers in my company has been living together with his girlfriend for 11 years, and they have no intention of getting married or having children. They are together because neither can afford housing on their own and their joint income makes it possible. With only economic necessity holding them together, there is every reason to expect cheating or unexpected dissolution of the partnership when better financial opportunities present themselves. As Tucker says, no woman wants to marry a man who makes less than she does. So, as more women are forced into the workforce, less marriages happen.

... ... ...

5. Uncontrolled immigration helps the ruling class to reduce wages, also contributing to declining families. Legal immigration decimates the middle class.

6. If that isn't enough, mass distribution of pornography, deviant sex, gender perversion, LGBTQXYZZY , all contribute to the breaking of traditional intimacy between one man and one woman, that is the foundation of marriage and stable families.

7. And there are the fake wars. As sons, and now daughters, go off to fight in foreign lands that have not attacked us, only one parent stays behind to raise the family, inadequately. Moreover, when these traumatized soldiers return from battle, they are seldom able to re-integrate into the family unit, and in a large number of cases, divorces and criminal behavior result.

... ... ...

obwandiyag , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:37 am GMT
Idiots on here are always going on about how we don't got capitalism, if we only had capitalism, we don't got free markets, if only we had free markets, then everything would be hunky-dory. Without any proof, of course, because there never was and never will be a "free" "market." The US has plenty capitalism. And everything sucks. And they want more. Confused, stupid, disingenuous liars.
obwandiyag , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
Look, what you call "capitalism" and "free markets" just means scams to make rich people richer. You read some simple-minded description of some pie-in-the-sky theory of some perfect world where rational actors make the best possible decisions in their own interest without any outside interference, and you actually think you are reading a description of something real.

I'll tell you what's real. Crookedness. Free markets are crookedness factories. As a PhD from Chicago Business School told me, "Free markets?! What free markets?! There is no free market! It's all crooked!"

GandalfTheWhite , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman "We need nationalism without capitalism and socialism without internationalism" ~ Gregor Strasser

In the American case, that would also in effect restrict all transfer payments to being within kin-groups and at the local / state / civil society level. America could have had a workable welfare state if the right leadership had governed it (i.e. if there had been no Sexual Revolution amplified by feminism and Cultural Marxist subversion of critical institutions) and if resources of middle class white families were not transferred to non-white underclass dysfunctional degenerates.

follyofwar , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:48 am GMT
Tucker's show is the only political opinion show I watch. The rest of Fox is pretty much Neocon Central. CNN/MSNBC are jokes parading as news outlets. I love it when Trump continually calls them Fake News, which is exactly what they are.

But it's ominous that so many corporations have stopped advertising on Tucker's show. Fox now finds itself in a bind. Not knowing he would become such a threat to the established order when they gave him a prime time gig, they may well prefer to get rid of him. And they could use the convenient excuse that no one wants to advertise on the show anymore. But Carlson has become such a popular pundit that, if they fired him, it could well spell the end of Fox as viewers would leave in droves.

Free speech is dying in newsrooms everywhere and is endangered on the Internet also, with all-powerful leftist corporations like Google deciding what (to them) is acceptable speech. I'd just hate to see Tucker go the way of Phil Donohue, who lost his MSNBC show (at the time the most popular on the network) because he was against the Iraq war.

Huskynut , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
@achmed e newman, @redmudhooch

It's kinda weird watching you two trade blows.. from the outside your differences seem about 10% of your shared disgust of the MSM.
I'm guessing you'll thump each other to a draw and both fall over exhausted, having left the genuine shared enemy untouched.
In what world is that a sensible outcome?! Stop being such macho douches and start playing a smart political game, or just get used to being shat on by the incumbent powers. Your choice..

anon [180] Disclaimer , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:04 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman yes, I agree with you Mr. Newman.. but there is something still missing to explain how the good wholesome concept of Capitalism has captured the governed of nearly every nation state and placed them into a prison farm where the monopoly powered corporate private capitalist can extort as much as they please.

Keeping the economic environment fair, open, free, in a fully restrained completely fair play condition is an absolute requirement of capitalism is the only legitimate function of government; in fact, it is the essence of a government that is formed of the substance of the right of self determination. When monopoly powers are generated by government and given to private private enterprise, or or when government services are privatized, capitalism has been turned into captivism and the market has be turned into a human farm yard, allowing those with the monopoly powers to cull and harvest the herds as they wish.

Instead of government doing its job; the USA has actually become the center for biasing capitalism. It continues to bestow monopoly powers (copyright, patents, and it continues to give government grants to universities that use the grants to take the risk that industry should be taking, to investigate new ideas and new products and it continues to allow its obligations to the governed to be privatized ). Basically the University has become the middle man between government and monopoly powered capitalism. The government gives the University a grant, the grant is used to fund training programs called Phd studies, and after a while the (the research encounters a promising discovery, and the corporate department is created within the University but funded by the governed in the form of a government grant. Next when a product of substance is sufficiently understood and most of the questions about it fully explored at government expense (note the privately owned monopoly powered corporation does not have to put any money at risk, until the University develops the product so billions of research dollars are funded from the pockets of the governed, for the practical benefit of one of the monopoly powered corporations), the entire university department become employees of the patent acquiring monopoly powered privately owned corporation. Then as if to add insult to injury, the government has been allowing the private corporations to offer the services the government is suppose to offer (like the water companies, the power companies, the garbage companies, the security companies, the production of weapons, and the likes, all of these government monopolies have been sold off or licensed to private enterprise.in a monopoly transfer concept called privatization or grant by government contract)
so in fact there is no such thing as capitalism in the USA governed America, its privatized monopoly ism.

What makes monopolies so bad is that they prevent competition (and competition is the name of the game in capitalism ). Someone in his back yard invents something that puts Apple or Microsoft, or IBM or the Federal Reserve out of business, just as the University of Australia has invented a way to supply the whole world with nearly free energy, the solar and wind power are used when functioning while the excess is stored so that the capacity of the wind, solar and hydro storage are sufficient to generate, store and provide a flow of energy sufficient to supply the needs of the world, yet few have heard about it, because the media is another privatized thing, and it(the media) will remain silent about such innovation, at least, until it can force the university to sell its patents to one of the mega buck monopoly powered corporations. This solar, wind and hydro combinationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lk3elu3zf4 is not really a new science discovery , its an application using proven methodology) would eliminate the need for gas and oil in the world, and that would solve the C02 problem which is the essence of global warming .
The problem with capitalism USA style is that government must function as an independent third party, some the USA cannot seem to be, an honest broker.. the government must deny any kind of favouritism to any and all that would in any way bias discovery, bias competition, or bias the financing of investigations that might lead to discovery or financing needed to build the infra structure that allows the new invention to replace the old. History shows the problem with republics, is that the corrupt soon own the government, at least that seems to fit the conditions in the UK, USA, Israel, France, and Saudi Arabia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lk3elu3zf4

utu , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:06 am GMT
@obwandiyag The same thing was in the Soviet Union. Any problem was dismissed on account that they would go away once they had more communism. And it was always emphasized that it must be so because it was scientifically proven by Marx. The libertarian idiots like our Achmed here are no different than those communist idiots.
utu , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:10 am GMT
Achmed E. Newman -- > Commenters to Ignore

I strongly recommend doing this.

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Indeed, the examples below are not free market capitalism, but these are what too many erroneously think is the result of free market capitalism:

– Trade deals made by Big Gov are not free market capitalism.
– Special exemptions from competition for those connected to Big Gov is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov granting monopolies to unions is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov granted monopolies to utility companies are not free market capitalism.
– No bid Big Gov contracts are not free market capitalism.
– Gov laws supporting rent controls are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov price fixing is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov income taxes are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov property taxes are not free market capitalism
– The Big Gov authorized Federal Reserve is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov massive taxes on every aspect of the economy are not free market capitalism, and which often lead to companies setting up shop elsewhere.
– Big Gov fees for services from agencies we already pay for are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov subsidies of "alternative energy" which cannot otherwise compete is not free market capitalism.

The list of Big Government intervention in the economy is endless.

Big Gov intervention is the problem, not free market capitalism

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:42 am GMT
@obwandiyag It's government intervention in the economy that is the problem, not real free market capitalism.

Please pay attention.

BTW, what kind of economic system does your absurdly beloved Africa have?
Oops.

animalogic , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:46 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman " a land full of people encouraged to be irresponsible by, yes, you guessed it, Big Government." Sure. OK.
But watch an hour of TV & try to tell me it's ONLY big Gov encouraging people to be irresponsible.
Our whole consumer culture makes a virtue out of irresponsibility & the plain stupid & juvenile. (Incidentally, it is utter crock that the Right wants "virtuous" citizens. Where would the Oligarchs be if masses of people started being virtuous ? Honesty, truth, justice, impulse control & rational desires would wreck their whole grubby set-up. Indeed, a virtuous public might actually start thinking & thinking might lead to lamp posts & pitch forks .)
Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:51 am GMT
@redmudhooch You simply don't know the difference between authoritarian Big Government intervention in the economy, which is sadly what we increasingly have and is what you advocate more of, vs. a truly free market economy.

But then Communists have made ignorance and being wrong an art form.

jilles dykstra , says: January 13, 2019 at 8:04 am GMT

make our country great again.

Another undefined slogan in this era of muddle headed thinking, or of no thinking at all.
The 'again' suggests there once upon a times there was this great America.
I cannot be too difficult to specify when this great America existed, and what was so great about it.
But I wonder if it is as in one of Deighton's Cold War novels, German refugees from the east meeting in West Berlin, 'talking about a society that never was'.

Biff , says: January 13, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
What's the difference between government controlling every aspect of business, or business controlling every aspect of government?
Would there be two different outcomes?
Icy Blast , says: January 13, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
I keep hearing about "free markets" but I've never actually encountered one. It seems we will die slowly of taxation and regulation while blaming Ron Paul and his friends for our misery. If there were free markets we would be able to sell coal and oil to China and buy weapons from Russia, build nuclear power plants, desalination plants, and LNG ports. But our wise overlords in D.C. won't permit this. Also, the pride of those Marxists who were converted in the 70's and 80's won't let them admit they were cruelly deceived.
eah , says: January 13, 2019 at 9:23 am GMT
Such voices are out there -- it is very important that more people hear them and their arguments.
niceland , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:07 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

You hit the jackpot, this is a good start but needs to go much further to drive the powerful interest groups out of Government.

It doesn't matter if you believe in capitalism, socialism both or neither. Left or Right politics, big or small government or none. Everyone should recognize that without this process NOTHING will ever change, absent perhaps a bloody revolution.

It's a full time job for citizens of every country to guard their government from being hijacked by special interest groups. In most cases they fail and almost always it's the same group ending up with all the power. Crony capitalist elites.

In America and most of Europe the Crony Capitalistic elites running the country have joined small part of the left wing – SJW types and allow them good access to their media outlets and small share of the loot. This mercenary army of SJW then in turn barks and gnaws at anyone threatening the status quo. It's a win win. In the meantime both the traditional left (pro working class) and the right have no voices or influence.

Our own (Icelandic) banking crash enabled similar process as you describe, grants to political parties are limited, MP's have to publish their ownership in corporations etc and all kinds of limitations. We are currently enjoying the benefits. It will last few years more – by then the elites will be back in full force.

Realist , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:07 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

just for starters --

Big talk now make it happen Hahahahaaa

aspnaz , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Where can we find a free market? The US markets are so skewed by regulation that there is not one commodity that has a 'free' market. Add to that the fact that the government has abandoned its policy of preventing market dominance through monopoly. Add to that the US tax payers feeding money into the wealthiest government in the world, a quantity of money that attracts the least beneficial leeches from around the world. The government attracts leeches, otherwise known as individual or corporate government contractors, being overpaid money from the tax payers to support their companies that can't make it in the 'free' market: these companies need the handouts to help them survive.

So where's the free market? It exists only in the small companies that litter the USA and who battle the big corporates, like Amazon, that survive on tax handouts, beating their competitors by bribing politicians rather than fighting the good fight in the free market.

james charles , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
"the free market"?
[MORE]
'This "equilibrium" graph (Figure 3) and the ideas behind it have been re-iterated so many times in the past half-century that many observes assume they represent one of the few firmly proven facts in economics. Not at all. There is no empirical evidence whatsoever that demand equals supply in any market and that, indeed, markets work in the way this story narrates.
We know this by simply paying attention to the details of the narrative presented. The innocuous assumptions briefly mentioned at the outset are in fact necessary joint conditions in order for the result of equilibrium to be obtained. There are at least eight of these result-critical necessary assumptions: Firstly, all market participants have to have "perfect information", aware of all existing information (thus not needing lecture rooms, books, television or the internet to gather information in a time-consuming manner; there are no lawyers, consultants or estate agents in the economy). Secondly, there are markets trading everything (and their grandmother). Thirdly, all markets are characterized by millions of small firms that compete fiercely so that there are no profits at all in the corporate sector (and certainly there are no oligopolies or monopolies; computer software is produced by so many firms, one hardly knows what operating system to choose ). Fourthly, prices change all the time, even during the course of each day, to reflect changed circumstances (no labels are to be found on the wares offered in supermarkets as a result, except in LCD-form). Fifthly, there are no transaction costs (it costs no petrol to drive to the supermarket, stock brokers charge no commission, estate agents work for free – actually, don't exist, due to perfect information!). Sixthly, everyone has an infinite amount of time and lives infinitely long lives. Seventhly, market participants are solely interested in increasing their own material benefit and do not care for others (so there are no babies, human reproduction has stopped – since babies have all died of neglect; this is where the eternal life of the grown-ups helps). Eighthly, nobody can be influenced by others in any way (so trillion-dollar advertising industry does not exist, just like the legal services and estate agent industries).
It is only in this theoretical dreamworld defined by this conflagration of wholly unrealistic assumptions that markets can be expected to clear, delivering equilibrium and rendering prices the important variable in the economy – including the price of money as the key variable in the macroeconomy. This is the origin of the idea that interest rates are the key variable driving the economy: it is the price of money that determines economic outcomes, since quantities fall into place.
But how likely are these assumptions that are needed for equilibrium to pertain? We know that none of them hold. Yet, if we generously assumed, for sake of argument (in good economists' style), that the probability of each assumption holding true is 55% – i.e. the assumptions are more likely to be true than not – even then we find the mainstream result is elusive: Because all assumptions need to hold at the same time, the probability of obtaining equilibrium in that case is 0.55 to the power of 8 – i.e. less than 1%! In other words, neoclassical economics has demonstrated to us that the circumstances required for equilibrium to occur in any market are so unlikely that we can be sure there is no equilibrium anywhere. Thus we know that markets are rationed, and rationed markets are determined by quantities, not prices.
On our planet earth – as opposed to the very different planet that economists seem to be on – all markets are rationed. In rationed markets a simple rule applies: the short side principle. It says that whichever quantity of demand or supply is smaller (the 'short side') will be transacted (it is the only quantity that can be transacted). Meanwhile, the rest will remain unserved, and thus the short side wields power: the power to pick and choose with whom to do business. Examples abound. For instance, when applying for a job, there tend to be more applicants than jobs, resulting in a selection procedure that may involve a number of activities and demands that can only be described as being of a non-market nature (think about how Hollywood actresses are selected), but does not usually include the question: what is the lowest wage you are prepared to work for?
Thus the theoretical dream world of "market equilibrium" allows economists to avoid talking about the reality of pervasive rationing, and with it, power being exerted by the short side in every market. Thus the entire power hiring starlets for Hollywood films, can exploit his power of being able to pick and choose with whom to do business, by extracting 'non-market benefits' of all kinds. The pretense of 'equilibrium' not only keeps this real power dimension hidden. It also helps to deflect the public discourse onto the politically more convenient alleged role of 'prices', such as the price of money, the interest rate. The emphasis on prices then also helps to justify the charging of usury (interest), which until about 300 years ago was illegal in most countries, including throughout Europe.
However, this narrative has suffered an abductio ad absurdum by the long period of near zero interest rates, so that it became obvious that the true monetary policy action takes place in terms of quantities, not the interest rate.
Thus it can be plainly seen today that the most important macroeconomic variable cannot be the price of money. Instead, it is its quantity. Is the quantity of money rationed by the demand or supply side? Asked differently, what is larger – the demand for money or its supply? Since money – and this includes bank money – is so useful, there is always some demand for it by someone. As a result, the short side is always the supply of money and credit. Banks ration credit even at the best of times in order to ensure that borrowers with sensible investment projects stay among the loan applicants – if rates are raised to equilibrate demand and supply, the resulting interest rate would be so high that only speculative projects would remain and banks' loan portfolios would be too risky.
The banks thus occupy a pivotal role in the economy as they undertake the task of creating and allocating the new purchasing power that is added to the money supply and they decide what projects will get this newly created funding, and what projects will have to be abandoned due to a 'lack of money'.
It is for this reason that we need the right type of banks that take the right decisions concerning the important question of how much money should be created, for what purpose and given into whose hands. These decisions will reshape the economic landscape within a short time period.
Moreover, it is for this reason that central banks have always monitored bank credit creation and allocation closely and most have intervened directly – if often secretly or 'informally' – in order to manage or control bank credit creation. Guidance of bank credit is in fact the only monetary policy tool with a strong track record of preventing asset bubbles and thus avoiding the subsequent banking crises. But credit guidance has always been undertaken in secrecy by central banks, since awareness of its existence and effectiveness gives away the truth that the official central banking narrative is smokescreen.'
https://professorwerner.org/shifting-from-central-planning-to-a-decentralised-economy-do-we-need-central-banks/
james charles , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:36 am GMT
"Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people "

"Even in the US most of nine Labour policies we put to people received majority backing

The British General Election of 2017, an academic account of last year's vote, recalls how Jeremy Corbyn's team questioned just how radical Labour's manifesto was, given that many of the policies were already mainstream in several European countries.
But the question shouldn't unduly worry Labour advisers; a new international YouGov survey shows that Corbynite policies are popular not only on the continent, but also in the UK."
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/01/09/eurotrack-corbyns-policies-popular-europe-and-uk?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=website_article&utm_campaign=eurotrack_corbyn

The Alarmist , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:45 am GMT
Tucker's point is that the "Free Market" system of America is run by an amoral predator class looking out for only its own interests. What is missing is a sense of noblesse oblige rank has its privileges, but also its own duties to others in the system. Shapiro is but another amoral schmuck looking out only for himself.
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
Eell said. He does sound like a verbose goon. And only ultra-stupids are libertarians
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
@niceland Congressmen are exempt from the laws against insider trading. The US is corrupt. The masters are in Israhell!
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@The Alarmist He is a "shapiro". What cane expect
Digital Samizdat , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm GMT
@redmudhooch So true. All these libertarians think capitalism automatically implies competition , but in the real world, that's just a temporary phase. Once the oligopoly stage of capitalism is reached, businesses cease to compete with one another and simply collude–to take over the government, among other things. Then you have business and government working together to shaft the common man (they'll call it "public/private partnership," or some such).

Competition is simply not a permanent part of capitalism, any more than the maggot-phase is a permanent part of being a fly. In the end, the 'free' market is destined to give way either to Jew-Bolshevism or to National Socialism. Personally, I opt for the latter.

niceland , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Realist

Big talk now make it happen Hahahahaaa

It looks like a pipe dream, and perhaps it is, do you have better alternative?

Of course: socialists, pure capitalists and libertarians can all continue to sit in their little corner and continue to argue against each other like they have done for the past decades, totally powerless and ignored. All waiting for.. what? At least here is an idea to start with, a common ground.

Think about it, while commenters "Achmed E. Newman" and "redmudhooch" almost totally disagree on ideological grounds It seems obvious they could march in a lockstep in a political movement trying to separate the Government from crony capitalism – with all the Unz crowd and majority of the public close behind them. It would be a beautiful sight!

Washington filled with protesters with signs: "We want our Government back" or "The best Government money can by doesn't work – lets try something else"

The MSM would be powerless, their heads would explode trying to dig up slander against such movement.

onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm GMT
@aspnaz aspnaz says: "Where can we find a free market? "

It's now called "the black market" don't you know.

Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro etc, like most here, wouldn't know a free market if it bit them in the a$$.

Carlson and Shapiro et all are nothing more than shills for the state [again, like most here].

aspnaz says: "So where's the free market? It exists only in the small companies that litter the USA and who battle the big corporates"

Outside of "illegal" black markets, that's pretty much true.

Corporations are creatures of the state and are protected by the state. Hell, they are the state!

As you obviously know, government/ the state is the problem- never the solution.

The only real political "solution" [as I see it] would be to return the government to its original size and functions, getting rid of the 1000's of regulatory agencies [EPA, FDA, BATF, CIA FBI NSA etc etc etc ad nauseum], plus all welfare , government-run "healthcare", social "security" etc. etc.

And of course, getting rid of the standing army and all associated, to boot.

And to a nation of government indoctrinated, [virtually] commie slaves whose only desire is to live at the expense of everyone else, that "solution" is entirely out of the question.

But even if it were possible to return to the original constitutional government limitations, seeing as how, judging by the results to date, the constitution and bill of rights obviously was not/is not a secure enough chain on federal government growth and its ever increasing interference in all markets [and all areas of our lives], that "solution" would only give us all, at most, about 10 years of relative freedom and prosperity, if even that.

So unless we could figure out some new, better way to permanently chain down the government to a constitution and bill of rights and keep it out of everything else , then a dreamed of return to an allegedly "constitutionally limited" government would only provide a temporary, short term reprieve, as I see it.

Regards, onebornfree

Wizard of Oz , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm GMT
@niceland Unfortunately the prescriptions are naive.

c. with a bit of grammatical tidying up is already the rule I say with some confidence. The problem is what they might do in the hope of employment when they retire from the armed forces. Perhaps a four year embargo on receiving any direct or indirect benefit from the arms industry might be worth thinking about.

a. is an invitation to legal ingenuity. Ever heard of a "blind trust"? How blind is the politician to the reality of his interests even if his wife isn't the trustee. And if you banned blind trusts you wouldn't stop the spouse, siblings or children standing in for the politician as investor.

b. You could prevent them getting paid directly and immediately but they could often make a case that the consulting was just part of a politician's and some bureaucrats' everyday job and involved both giving and receiving information and advice. And, as to the money side of it, nearly all Congressmen spend a great deal of their time raising money for their reelection campaigns so they wouldn't be asking to be paid personally in most cases. And if the worst came to the worst a PAC fund could receive the money.

anon [393] Disclaimer , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm GMT
Ironically I came to tuckers same conclusion about a decade ago while being redpilled by neo reactionaries. They of course are technofuturist post humanists which is why its ironic, but they did encourage me to more radically check my premises and i had to admit capitalism had probably done more harm to west civ tham communism in fact without capitalism there is no communism. I had to admit my reflex unequivocal defense of capitalism was more coldwar anti socialism refelex mixed with theoretical capitalism. Oh im still a capitalist but like tucker i think its a tool and we who love it have to remember why we love it or ought to, because it serves us, iy might also be a beautiful machine but if it didnt serve us theres no reason to support it. i also had to admit not only do we not actually have capitalism but corporatism and corporatism is inevitable tendency of capitalism but that we dont really think capitalism functions well without intervention as we pretend we just think it functions best when conservatives invent the interventions .we know left un tended monopolies and cartels form, we know that large corporations will use their size to crush smarter more innovative new firms,price fixing will happen, we dont allow a free market in all sorts of things from child porn to heroine, yet inexplicably other porn and alcohol are ok.I also had to admit it wasnt true that capitalism needs democracy, capitalism finds ways of thriving in any government from stalinist communist to monarchies to managed theocracies or anything in between.Finally I had to admit apes are both capitalist and socialist creatures and white apes particularly so, we are the most capitalistic yet have the lowest tolerance for watching suffering, now that can be for the most part solved with market solutions to social safety if we are willing to admit that despite our hatred of socialists we are never the less social apes. And this is perhaps the crux of the matter, HBD some people are just genetically more capable than others in a free market some will thrive others not so much over time some will really really thrive others not so much at all. so yeah white nationalism is a must actually any nation must be an ethno state because your only real chance of overcoming this natural difference is to start with a group that at least fairly homogenous, but then you must intervene. NO NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMANS WITH RIGHTS FUCKEM NO NOT BECAUSE THEYRE MUH WHITE BROS
because theres more of them than us cog elites and as tucker points out eventually if we make it worth their wiles they will just take our shit. Capitalism does require some form of government even if its just my gang enforcing my rules. all civilization is built on violence and the proles have it they just dont use it because frankly we are their slaves we make the world better for them or they replace us.its in our interest to be their stewards. its also a better way to live with bakers wives and steam fitters smiling and happy nd pumping out children to ward off the other nations. As elites we must do for them what they can not naturally do for themselves a nation is a family or ought to be, everyone has a place. Thats not to say we ought not find ways to stretch our right tale and shorten our left tail which will make us tighter knit and more efficient and less fractured.
besides its simply retarded to give away your best tech to your enemies and and then buy it back from them while leaving your 90% unemployed. This idea that thats capitalism implies that you intend to reduce americans to the status of the least paid third worlder and only when hes willing to work for those wages will you hire him- well good luck with that all I can say is where are you going to hide.Heres the thing all the smart people do not in fact rise to the elite in fact more and more get locked out in a way that prevents them from even breeding statistically the average proles are producing 50% of each year cognitive elite children they are less stable cog elites in as much as their children more likely to revert to mean but never the less they will meet and fuck your children at harvard and contribute 50% of elite generation and some hybrid vigor.you really dont want 50% of the gifted struggling in tiny houses and gigs deciding they really ought to be figuring out how to build a robot army to take you out because they can they have the numbers
helmond , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT
Inside beltway crap.
Capitalism have been hijacked long time ago by the secret private bank.Central economic control.
The average american citizen daily survival depends on the will to deliver the goods from roughly 11 corporations and their subsidiary networks.And for those who are trying to control morality "happy fishing day".
KenH , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@follyofwar Phil Donohue had his issues but was a semi-honest liberal and was the only popular talking head that I recall who was opposed to the Iraq war and asking the hard questions and second guessing politicians.

Mr. "no spin zone" Bill O' Reilly and many others gave us nothing but spin and just vomited out the neocon talking points.

follyofwar , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Wally Do you get your talking points from Ayn Rand's didactic, absurd novel "Atlas Shrugged?" Paul Ryan did, and what did he ever do for the country besides give more tax cuts to the rich?
lysias , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
Take power away from the elected politicians who can be bribed by the capitalists, and give it to average people. Adopt the Athenian system of choosing officials by lot from all citizens, and capitalism may have to reform.
onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
"Dreams [Matrix Blues]":

"Dreams, you've been hanging on
To dreams when all your dreaming should be done
Dreams, about the way the world could be
You keep dreaming , despite reality

"Dreams, that Donald Trump is not a fraud,
Dreams, that Obama was not a fraud,
Dreams, that Reagan was not a fraud,
Dreams, that all the rest were not frauds,
Dreams, that the Constitution is not a scam,

[MORE]
Dreams, that the Supreme Court is not a scam,
Dreams, that the Federal Reserve is not a scam,
Dreams, that the C.I.A. is not a scam,
Dreams, that the F.B.I. is not a scam,
Dreams, that the cops and the courts are not a scam,

Dreams, that the Pentagon is not a scam,
Dreams, that 9/11 was not a scam,
Dreams, that the war on terror is not a scam,
Dreams, that Social Security is not a scam,
Dreams, that public education is not a scam .."
[and so on and so forth] .

Regards,onebornfree

Agent76 , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
November 21, 2018 The homelessness crisis deepens across North America

Homelessness is spiraling out of control across the US and Canada as laws are enacted to criminalize rough sleepers, reports John Clarke.

https://www.counterfire.org/articles/analysis/19988-the-homelessness-crisis-deepens-across-north-america

Oct 2, 2014 13 year old girl Victoria Grant explains Extreme Corruption the cause of Extreme Poverty Governments

Second speech by 13 year old Victoria Grant on the issue of corruption within the banking system. She argues it is a cause of extreme poverty.

DESERT FOX , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm GMT
What we have here in the US is communism disguised as capitalism , is anyone doubts this, read the 10 planks of the communist manifesto!
onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm GMT
@anon anon[393] • Disclaimer says: "..i had to admit capitalism had probably done more harm to west civ tham communism in fact without capitalism there is no communism ."

If you [ or anyone else] wanted to live under an entirely voluntary communist/socialist [ or whatever] system, while others freely chose not to, then I personally would have no problem with that.

But of course, that is not whats being implied in all of this back and forth. The discussion here and elsewhere is ultimately always about who gets to enforce, at the point of a gun, their own imagined "ideal" system on everyone else, via everybodys imagined best friend/big brother, the government, regardless of individual preference.

Private socialism? Go for it.

Not a problem [except for those who try to live under it], but "go ahead, make my day" as someone once said.

After all , the very first Plymouth colony in the "New World" was founded on full on socialism, and therefor quickly failed, but , I remind myself: the one thing that we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history.

Regards, onebornfree

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT
@follyofwar 1. Nope, never read it. Whats "absurd" about it?

However, it's noted that you cannot refute my "talking points".

2. What tax cuts for the rich only? The recent one has helped everyone; me, even you, IF you even work.

Besides, I'm for any tax cuts. The less money Big Gov has the better.

BTW: ca. 50% of US workers pay NO federal income tax.

Cheers.

anarchyst , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc. I would take it a step further. As it stands now, Congress exempts itself from just about every law and regulation that it imposes on the rest of us. Also, most people are unaware that federal judges do not pay "income taxes".
What is needed it a Constitutional amendment to wit:
"Congress shall make NO LAW that does not apply equally to itself, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, and its agencies, departments, and subdivisions, thereof. All federal agencies, departments, and subdivisions thereof are prohibited from enacting any rulemaking without express approval of Congress. Corporate charters shall not confer the status of personhood on corporations"."
Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra I guess all those millions of illegals already in and all the millions more wanting in don't think America is so great.

And no doubt you're planning your move to Canada with Barbra Streisand. LOL

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:16 pm GMT
@Icy Blast Indeed, disparaging free market capitalism that doesn't exist is like describing Communism as government by & for the people.
Taxhonestyguy , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Great comment! I found Tucker's speech to be vague and largely off point. We do not have capitalism, we have "currently existing capitalism"- like the left called the USSR "currently existing socialism", libertarians know, as Rand said, capitalism is an Unknown Ideal.
As a fellow traveller with Ron Paul, Tucker still has libertarian leanings. He seems confused sometimes about his stand on the Drug War, too often settling for his trope that interdiction at the border will actually stop the overdose deaths, rather than recognizing interdiction has been a failure for a hundred years. And how can he recognize that our foreign wars involve us in one futile crisis after another, without asking why after a century of the war on drugs, we are still experiencing a drug crisis? He says he regrets his "long haired libertarian youth", thereby marking himself as just another old fogey who can't remember the fun he had When he was young.
Instead of pearl clutching, he could strike the biggest blow to international corporatism by acknowledging the crucial role that de- dollariztion is playing. He could recognize the role of the Fed in creating international power centers in NYC, London, Zurich now being challenged by Moscow and Beijing.
Like all conservatives, and alas libertarians as well, he doesn'understand the US Individual Income Tax, the original Populist response to big government enabled crony capitalism. He doesn't understand the income tax is a tax on the exploitation of a federal privilege for profit, not an UN-apportioned tax on "everything that comes in". See http://www.losthorizons.com
And please, bring a real libertarian on as his straw man, not that awful, slow thinking slow talking Objectivist !
FvS , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
Libertarianism needs white nationalism, but at least libertarians consistently call out the Federal Reserve. Tucker never has to my knowledge, maybe because he doesn't understand or isn't interested in monetary policy. But monetary policy affects all aspects of the economy, from wages to international trade. Tucker is libertarian on foreign policy, among other things, and the last time I checked, he's no Bernie Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez when it comes to domestic policy. Does he favor socialized medicine, public higher education, expansion of the welfare state, and government housing for all? His main gripe is with many corporations' love of cheap foreign labor, big tech censorship, and "free" trade. Oh, and he thinks the rich need to be taxed a little more. Can't say I disagree with him there. However, I don't even see any evidence that he is a race realist. I like him, but he seems like the quintessential civic nationalist to me, though that could just be the mask he has to wear.

The foreign labor aspect does need to be reined in (hence why libertarianism needs racial/ethnic nationalism). Google is hardly a private company as it was seed funded by the CIA and NSA. Facebook regularly colludes with Israeli/U.S. Intelligence. It is not unlibertarian to oppose "private" companies that become arms of the state to shut down opposition. The whole free trade vs. protectionism debate is more complicated than either side will admit. Both policies create winners and losers to varying degrees as Trump's tariffs have shown, and the Federal Reserve mucks up things either way. There is no free market in America.

wayfarer , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm GMT

Socialism in Marxist theory is a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

SunBakedSuburb , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Anon Good rebuttal to Achmed E. Newman's comment and the Hallelujah Chorus replying to him. Carlson's point about market capitalism being a religion to conservatives triggers them mightily.
SunBakedSuburb , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman I love the way you sprinkle your magical market fairy dust.

[Jan 13, 2019] What happens when Tucker Carlson makes sense

Amazing admission in Bezos' blog...
Notable quotes:
"... "Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot," he scoffed at one point, and later elaborated: "Market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it." His speech reached a remarkable crescendo: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having." ..."
"... conservatives could also use this to finally connect with those market-critiquing progressives across the aisle -- or at least to understand them ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

The bell tolled last week on the Jan. 2 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," his Fox News show. Carlson spent several minutes in the first half of the show bemoaning the plight of American men, who, as one segment title put it, are "in decline as the ruling class looks away."

... ... ...

What happens when Tucker Carlson makes sense? - The Washington Post

Still, there were some uncomfortable truths to be found in between the finger-pointing. Men are struggling: Even the American Psychological Association, the country's largest professional organization of psychologists, agrees, and is crafting new standards to address it. Marriage rates are eroding , especially among the poor, and trade shocks -- especially to the manufacturing sector -- have lowered men's earnings and their marriage market potential. Yes, well-educated elites do tend to value stable marriages for themselves, even while championing atypical family structures and laissez-faire lifestyles in public.

Carlson's Wednesday night monologue was part of a larger critique of American financial systems and the failures of free market capitalism, and his commentary was on target there, too.

"Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot," he scoffed at one point, and later elaborated: "Market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it." His speech reached a remarkable crescendo: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having."

In a follow-up interview with the news site Vox , Carlson elaborated on his counterintuitive views...

... ... ...

Intriguingly, now that Carlson is speaking the truth, it's progressive outlets and personalities who seem most willing to engage with his rather out-of-character commentary. (There were positive write-ups in the Atlantic and the above piece in Vox, as well as approving chatter on social media and thoughtful discussion elsewhere .) And while conservatives were quick to defend his less-than-fact-based scapegoating of feminism, they seem less eager to countenance his newly woke ideas.

That's a shame. Carlson's fiery new take should appeal to his traditional constituency, which purports to have an interest in issues of the family and social stability. But conservatives could also use this to finally connect with those market-critiquing progressives across the aisle -- or at least to understand them...

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

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What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 11, 2019] How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism by Ilana Mercer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are. ..."
"... If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. ..."
"... Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.) ..."
"... No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors." ..."
"... These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose. ..."
"... "It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media." ..."
"... To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand. ..."
"... So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots. ..."
"... The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within. ..."
"... The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative. ..."
"... I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!). ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump's foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg's Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

" for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.'"

"For a moment," swooned Lake , "I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting."

Onward to Venezuela! Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with "American exceptionalism." It's not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in "a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war," Riyadh's ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake. After a campaign of "America First," the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369 !

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they're currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency -- its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump's original "America First" plank -- is to "undermine American democracy."

Besides, "good" Americans know that only the Russians "meddle."

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more-dangerous regime is consolidating regional power. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family dynasty (like that of the Clintons and the Bushes), to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule .

When it comes to the Saudi-Israeli-American-Axis-of-Angels, the Kushner-Trump Administration -- is that another bloodline in-the-making? -- has not broken with America's ruling dynastic families (the Clintons and the Bushes, aforementioned).

It's comforting to know Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in the UN's human rights affairs. In January of last year, the Kingdom executed 47 people in one day, including a rather benign Shiite cleric. Fear not, they went quickly, beheaded with a sword .

Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.)

Our bosom buddies, the Saudi's, are currently barricading Yemeni ports. No aid gets through her hermetically sealed ports. Yemenis are dying. Some Twitter followers twittered with joy at the sight of starving Yemeni babies, like this one . Oh well, Yemeni babies can be sinister.

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors."

These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose.

"It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media."

Indeed, while outlining his "new" Afghanistan plan, POTUS had conceded that "the American people are weary of war without victory." (Make that war, full-stop.) Depressingly, the president went on to promise an increase in American presence in Afghanistan. By sending 4000 additional soldiers there, President Trump alleged he was fighting terrorism, yet not undertaking nation building.

This is tantamount to talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Teasing apart these two elements is near-impossible. Send "4,000 additional soldiers to add to the 8,400 now deployed in Afghanistan," and you've done what Obama and Bush before you did in that blighted and benighted region: muddle along; kill some civilians mixed in with some bad guys; break bread with tribal leaders (who hate your guts); mediate and bribe.

Above all, spend billions not your own to perfect the credo of a global fighting force that doesn't know Shiite from Shinola .

The upshot? It's quite acceptable, on the Left and the pseudo-Right, to casually quip about troops in Niger and Norway . "We have soldiers in Niger and Norway? Of course we do. We need them."

With neoconservatism normalized, there is no debate, disagreement or daylight between our dangerously united political factions.

This is the gift President Trump has given mainstream neoconservatives -- who now comfortably include neoliberals and all Conservatism Inc., with the exceptions of Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

How exactly did the president normalize neoconservatism: In 2016, liberals accused candidate Trump of isolationism. Neoconservatives -- aka Conservatism Inc. -- did the same.

Having consistently complained of his isolationism , the Left and the phony Right cannot but sanction President Trump's interventionism . The other option is to admit that we of the callused Old Right, who rejoiced at the prospects and promise of non-interventionism, were always right.

Not going to happen.

To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of " The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016) & " Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa " (2011). Follow her on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube . How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism, by Ilana Mercer - The Unz Review


utu , says: January 5, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

But you can fool the whole country all the time in American bi-partisan system. Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump each were brought to power by fooling their electorate.

Biff , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:02 am GMT
So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots.

I'm waiting for another one of those "Trump's Truth in Action" moments when describes the real political atmosphere in Washington. Trump was asked about something he said in a previous interview: "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do." "You'd better believe it," Trump said. "If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money."

EliteCommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:11 am GMT
I think its time to dump the label "neoconservative". The appropriate term is "interventionists without a cause" (IWAC or IWC) or some other descriptor.

The real problem that Pres Trump has and I remain a Pres Trump supporter is two fold:

1. He seems to have forgotten he won the election.

2. He seems to have forgotten what he was elected to do.

And nearly everyone of these issues on foreign policy the answer rests in respecting sovereignty – that of others and our own.

I didn't need to read,"Adios, America" to comprehend the deep state damage our careless immigration policy has on the country. I don't need to reread, "Adios, America" to grasp that our policies of intervening in the affairs of other states undermines our own ability to make the same case at home.

If I weren't already trying to plow my way through several other books, documentaries and relapsing to old school programming such as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and now the Dick Van Dyke show, i would reread,

"Adios , America."

In Col. Bacevich's book,

Washington Rules, he posits a distressing scenario that the foreign policy web is so tangled and entrenched, the executive branch is simply out his league. The expectation was that Pres trump had the will to turn the matter. I hold out hope, but maybe not. There's time.

I agree, at least build the darn wall.

Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III , says: January 5, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@J.Ross The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within.
anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT
Told you so. Cf., "The Winning Trump Ticket & Cabinet (Part I)," published here February 6, 2016. (Ms. Mercer never got to Part II.)

Elections at the USG level allow the ruled to harmlessly let off steam.

The Alarmist , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
It's life imitating art: Trump reprises the role of Professor/Führer John Gill in Star Trek episode 50, Patterns of Force.
neutral , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative.

I have a question for all the Trump supporters still in denial, what will it take to break your delusions? He is not going to build a wall, mass immigration is up, the left wing are mass censoring and essentially running everything now, his foreign policy is now endorsed by the all the never Trumpers – so what is your limit, is there anything he must do to lose your support?

Anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Jews and the Jewish Media normalized Jewish NeoCons by guaranteeing that they always have a voice and airtime in American culture and media. Never called out by the WashingtonPost and NY Times for their previous blunders, they continue to shape American foreign policy. And, of course, the end game here is Israel and the Israeli agenda at all costs, you Jews are one issue folk. And You definitely do your part, with the subtle subterfuge at work in the articles that you write.

No one should be surprised by Trump promoting Israeli interests über alles. For decades he was so involved in Israel events in New York I debated whether he was actually Jewish or not. Bannon said the embassy move to Jerusalem was at the behest of Adelson, Trump's old casino buddy. In the campaign Trump got a lot of support from NY Jewish billionaires (Icahn, Feinberg, Paulson, et al.). They know him and how he operates.

But being pro-Israel doesn't necessarily equate to neocon. The neocons are the dumb Jews with serious inadequacy issues who could never make it in business and instead went into politics and journalism. The latter are still staunchly opposed to Trump even after a lot of pro-Israel moves. They might warm up to Trump's bellicosity towards a lot of Israel's enemies (a long list with degrees of separation), but so far they've simply moved left.

I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!).

Lastly, I like to think Trump surrounded himself with neocons (McMaster, Haley, et al.) to placate the GOP establishment because he knows he has to play the game.

anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III Very well put.

People are inclined to believe that any activity -- in this instance, voting for the red/blue puppets in Washington -- in which their participation is patronized must be legitimate and effectual. Many duped in November 2016, even those who now feel betrayed by that farce, were still around here a few weeks ago acting like a Senator Moore in Alabama would be pivotal to reform, his defeat devastating.

That's how Ms. Mercer and her pundit ilk (Buchanan, Napolitano, etc.) thrive -- supporting the Empire by never questioning its legitimacy, just taking sides within the Establishment. And they'll be buying into the 2018 congressional contests, ad nauseum.

Of course, what is done to us, and to others in our name and with our money, never changes to any meaningful degree. Americans might realize this if they thought critically about it, so they don't. Instead, they lap up the BS and vote for who tells them the lie they like to hear. When there are identity politics involved, the delusion seems even deeper. There are self-styled "progressives" who used to advocate single-payer, nationalized health care who are elated over the retention of so-called "Obamacare," the legislation for which was written by and for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Me? I cope by boycotting national elections and mass media, participating in forums like this, and hoping that when the tottering tower of debt and gore tips over, as few innocents and as many guilty as practicable are among those crushed.

DESERT FOX , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The Zionist neocons and Israel did 911 and got away with it and everyone in the U.S. gov knows it and they tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it and so normal is an Orwellian society where Zionists can kill Americans and destroy the Mideast and nobody does jack shit about it.

The neocons are Satanists warmongers and will destroy America.

WorkingClass , says: Website January 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm GMT
Neocons are Zionists. Trump, Bannon and Kushner are Zionists. Israel continues to wag the dog.
Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
Neocons are about as evil as proudly proclaimed Leftists, and they are obviously more duplicitous.

Either Neocons will be refuted and publicly rebuked and rejected, or Neocons will eventually destroy the country. Their long term fruits are destruction of that which they have used to destroy so many others.

Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@anonymous Far from all Neocons are Jews. However, virtually all Neocons are militantly pro-Israel to the point of making Israel's foreign policy desires central to their assessment of what America needs in foreign policy.

And the source is Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy necessarily produces pro-Jewish culture. WASP culture is inherently pro-Jewish, as much as it is anti-Catholic and anti-French and and anti-Spanish and anti-Irish, etc.

And all that means that WASP is opposed to the nest interests of the vast majority of white Christians while being pro-Jewish.

Jews did not cause any of that. Anglo-Saxon Puritan heretics did.

ElitecommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@neutral Pres Trump is a situational leader. It's a rare style, for good reason. However, he is openly situational. That was clear during the campaign season. however,

I thought his positions were sincere. I don't think that this was any kind of slight of hand, "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat". His positions on Israel, same sex behavior, marijuana, healthcare remain what they were going in. His foreign policy and immigration positions have been buffered and he seems incapable of standing where he came in.

It was no secret he intended an assertive military. However, he seems easily convinced that strong means aggressive, and that needlessly aggressive policy is a substitute for a strong US -- that is a mistake. Syria cruise strike was the first sign that he was giving in to the men whom he chose as advisers. As it it turns out winning the election has been easier than governing. I assumed he had a much stronger backbone, than he has been willing to exhibit in office.

Alden , says: January 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jake The Israeli/AIPAC bribery of American bible thumper preachers, especially in the fundamentalist southern American states has more to do with it than the reformation.

The preachers get huge donations to pay for their churches and TV shows. They get free trips to Israel for themselves and their families all the time.

On their Israel trips they pay more attention to the OT Jewish and holocaust sites than the Christian ones

It's true that the reformation was a return to Judaism and a rejection of Christianity, but that was 500 years ago.

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

If the southern fundamentalists only knew what Jews think of them. I really got an earful of Jewish scorn and hate for southerners and fundamentalists during the recent Roy Moore election.

Read Jewish publications if you want to learn what they think of southern fundamentalists

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Twodees Partain Trump appointed Haley because Sheldon Adelson told him to.
And contrary to the myth of trump funding his own campaign he did not the only money he put in his campaign was a 1o million loan to it. Adelson was his biggest contributor just like Saban was Hillary's.

Nikki Haley: Neocon Heartthrob

Not coincidentally, however, neocon hopes may lie as well with the generous political funding provided to Haley by Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's and Trump's single biggest donor.

Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. (Only one was successfully defeated.) Adelson was the largest contributor to her group,
which raised a total of $915,000.

This powerful Adelson-funded Israel lobby could soon rival AIPAC's
https://www.haaretz.com › U.S. News
Oct 31, 2017 – Sheldon Adelson(L), The 3rd annual IAC National Conference, in September, 2016, and Nikki Haley. . will feature, for the first time ever, a prominent speaker from the ranks of the U.S. government: U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is a favorite among the right-leaning "pro-Israel" crowd.

The Jews have bought this government and trump and Haley are nothing but junk yard dogs.
Not that there are good alternatives but anyone who stills supports trump is as crazy as he is.

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:18 am GMT
@Alden

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

You have it completely backwards .the evangelicals, particularly Roberson donate money for Israeli settlements.

Grandpa Charlie , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT
@Alden

The title is ridiculous. Neo conservatives have been normal for decades.

The neocon movement was normalized in 2001 by the PATRIOT Act. The domestic side of the neocon worldview -- or world-system -- was joined with the international or interventionist side, just as anti-Palestinian actions by Israel were joined by way of repression of free speech with the Charlottesville protest by conservatives of the desecration of monuments.

Alden , says: January 6, 2018 at 4:45 am GMT
@renfro I'm sure the evangelical preachers con their followers into donating money to Israel. I've seen those late night ads begging for donations to feed ancient old holocaust survivors in Israel.

But the Israelis pay for all those luxury trips to Israel And a lot of the money to start those TV shows and for the big salaries come from Israel and AIPAC so does the money to set up those big churches that just appear from nowhere

polskijoe , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie I have always wondered why its okay to say WASP but not Jew in public.
One is more pc, the other is not allowed.
I have seen some articles about Jews replacing wasp, even from Jewish authors.

As for Neoconservatives. It depends how we define it.
I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.
From what I know modern Neoconservativism started somewhere around the 70s,80s? Became dominant around the Bush years. (during Reagan years they got rid of many Paleocons).

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Not only Nikki is a prank, she is also a godsend. Now the world get to see USG naked without usual pretension.

Trumps is probably the most honest Potus with highest integrity & bravery in American history(stupid aside). He means what he said without mind boggling hypocrite lies, he tried fulfilling all his election promises, fighting bravely with his only little weapon tweeter besiege by entire states organs, CIA/FBI, both parties, MSM, world allies,

He put US Embassy in Jerusalem that all other Potus promised but never keep, he tried to revise immigration policy that people blocked, building prototype wall now, try befriend Russia become a treason act, reneged nuclear agreement with Iran, make US military great(of course need hyper tension like nuclear NK), scraped Obacare, TTP, Climate deal, try to grab Killary, bring back jobs with tax heaven .

Mann, this is really a man of his word. Didn't these are what you people voted him for, to drain the swamp? He gotta shock the entire MSM brainwashed nation up to see the deeply corrupted USG, collapse it quickly for a new one to move in(by whoever after his prank). As Trumps had asked:"what you got to lose to vote me?"

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 10:26 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Yes..ues i admit, don't shoot. Im just been sarcastic, USG is in such a laughing stock to the world now, many americans probably are exasperated if not yet numb. I am not judging he is good, DT is just less evil typical business man..imo

But frankly, i do see why people are voting DT now. He is at least more entertaining and blunt to screw up WH deep states show. Per msm (fake news), he is honouring all his campaign promises rt? So that make him above hypocrite liar Obama who speak on peace(Nobel prize), but drenched in Libyan and Syrians blood.

US msm brainwashed people need lot of shock & awe to wake up to reality, then they might have hope to drain the swamp in unity or just await to implode and suck down whole world.

Erebus , says: January 7, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy.

Well, some better minds than mine do deny that very thing. Three of them follow below.

Gilbert Doctorow at: http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2017/12/20/kissinger-s-fingerprints-on-the-trump-security-doctrine-2017-1161961.html

What we see in the NSS is prioritization and true strategic vision as opposed to ideological cant and ad hoc responses to global developments

Patrick Armstrong at: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/02/trump-cuts-gordian-knot-foreign-entanglements.html

Trump has little interest in the obsessions of the neocon and humanitarian intervention crowd.

Finally, Andrew Korybko puts it all together at: https://orientalreview.org/2017/12/27/trump-agent-chaos-k-kraken/

Believing that the current world system no longer sufficiently advances American interests ever since Washington lost control of its institutional tools, and that the eventual outcome of this increasingly multipolar state of affairs is that the US will in turn lose its global empire, Trump has decided to become the Agent of Chaos in bringing about its destruction.

Steve Gittelson , says: January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I know with certainty that Hillary is a beast from depth of hell.

Meh, hyperbole.

Hillary is no different from most politicians. She's in it for the wealth and power. She got herself a real smart, duplicitous, pussy-chasing beast of a husband, and made the most of the opportunity.

People -- the American people -- should be able to see this rather-evident characteristic of politicians. They should be adequately educated, at least to the extent of being able to detect the base chicanery and corruption that radiates from political personalities.

But, they don't. They don't see the evil. The media deftly conceals it, because the beasts of the media, like jackals, feed on the morsels of wealth that fall to the ground as the politicians devour the carcass of well, hell, freedom and democracy is as useful a metaphor as any.

ILANA MERCER , says: Website January 9, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT
@anonymous Thank you for the opportunity to share, once again, a magnificent column, published on the Unz Review and elsewhere.

"The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian" ( http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/ ) addressed, for once and for all, a small, shrinking community's stunning and consistent displays of intellectual dishonesty, over the years.

In this context, I am reminded of British comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented satirist performing, Sayle replied: "I go back stage and tell him he'll never make it."

Indeed, the attitude to my work over 20 years has been the best proof of its quality.

If the Comments threads about "ilana mercer," on the Unz Review, prove anything (other than that anti-Semitism lives), it is that mediocre "men" (for the most) hate a woman who can out-think them. As a defender of men, this saddens me, but it is, nevertheless, true.

So here is the link to "The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian," which the venomous mediocrity commenting here so rudely derided, but refrained from linking, for obvious reasons: http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/

Ron Unz, our wonderful editor, chose the image appended to the column. (The brilliant Mr. Unz is one of the few intellectually honest individuals I know in this biz. He, columnist Jack Kerwick, and a handful of others.)

In reply to kunckle-dragger's sniveling: I'll continue to refrain from interacting with his ilk ("fanboys") on my column's thread. But this particular dreadful cur (with apologies to dogs, which I love) further embarrasses himself when he offers up the non sequitur that engaging him is the litmus test for being a "good writer."

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@polskijoe

I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.

Agreed. American imperialism has a long long history (going back to at least the mid-19th century). That's why the neocons were able to gain so much influence. They were appealing to a pre-existing imperialist sentiment.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

There is a large group of US politician non Jews
who also are pushing this policies. So these two groups together would be called Neocons.
There is a large group in US population, that find this idea very appealing.

That's why Make America Great Again was such a popular slogan. It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:14 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

There are people who claim to have high IQs who are totally stupid in practical matters.

I'd almost go so far as to suggest that there's a direct correlation between high IQ and stupidity in practical matters.

Talha , says: January 10, 2018 at 4:18 am GMT
@dfordoom Edward Dutton stated that it was a trade-off between intelligence on one side and instinct on another – both are necessary for survival. For me, intelligence does not seem to correlate directly to wisdom.

Peace.

renfro , says: January 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

If so, that reinforces my view that Trump doesn't know anybody in the Swamp

You are exactly right.

Trump really knew no one to hire or appoint to anything except his NY cronies , mainly his Jewish lawyers and Kushner contacts.
So he appointed anyone they and his biggest donors recommended to him.
His ego and insecurity demanded he surround himself with his NY cohorts and close family.

dfordoom , says: Website January 11, 2018 at 1:59 am GMT
@Authenticjazzman

" It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism" = "Make America great again"

So you would prefer : "Make America powerless and insignificant again"

How about "Make America a normal nation that respects other nations' sovereignty, that doesn't plant military bases on foreign soil, that doesn't bomb other people's countries, doesn't try to impose its views and its culture on the rest of the world, doesn't undermine the governments of other countries and doesn't threaten any country that dares to disagree with it." Would that be too much to ask?

I would have thought that someone "Mensa" qualified since 1973 could understand that greatness should not be equated with behaving like a thug or a schoolyard bully. America's aggression does tend to look like the manifestation of a massive inferiority complex.

HogHappenin , says: January 11, 2018 at 4:32 am GMT
I commend Ms. Mercer for publishing this which will no doubt bring to light an ugly truth about many of her own tribesmen since there many of her other views which I wholly or partially disagree with

And as was said sometime before, the thought process of earlier elites (the banking, Hollywood and the neo-con, neo-lib crowd which was almost exclusively Zio-Jewish and is disproportionately still is) has creeped into the very being of what constitutes to be an "elite" in the west these days. Unlimited warfare and welfare using fraudulent money, disturbing the social and sexual fabric of a society! Satan would be quite proud of this scum bunch

So the zionist cabal still calls the shots and the slavish goyim second tier elites now willingly go along and in fact share the same mentality

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 10, 2019] How the Hawks Prevailed on Syria by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage. ..."
Jan 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Pillar comments on Bolton's maneuvers to keep us at war in Syria:

The episode involving withdrawal and non-withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria should be a lesson for those who mistakenly placed hopes in Trump for a more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy. Applause lines on the campaign trail have been mistaken for deeper thought. Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage.

If the first two years of Trump's presidency didn't already make it clear, the last few weeks should have laid to rest any suspicions that the Trump administration is going to put an end to unnecessary foreign wars. It isn't happening. For one thing, everyone around Trump doesn't want those wars to end and will go to considerable lengths to ensure that they continue. That is a result of Trump's own poor personnel choices and bad judgment. It isn't possible to have a "more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy" when the president's national security team is dominated by reflexive hawks that have never seen a military intervention they didn't want to support. Trump put Bolton in the position he now occupies, and unless he wants to start in on his fourth National Security Advisor within two years we are going to be stuck with the unfortunate consequences of that bad decision for a while longer.

Pillar writes:

The de facto reversal of Trump's withdrawal decision is a victory only for those who -- like Bolton, who still avers that the Iraq War was a good idea -- never met a U.S. military intervention in the Middle East they didn't like and never stop seeing regimes they would like to change with force.

One big problem with the Trump administration is that it is filled with the people who never met an intervention they didn't like. People like that have been the ones shaping administration policies in the region for the last two years, and on Syria they have prevailed once again. It could scarcely be otherwise when there is essentially no one willing or able to make the arguments for the other side of these issues. It is extremely difficult for hawks to lose an internal administration debate when there is no one in the administration that opposes hawkish policies.

SteveJ January 9, 2019 at 10:41 pm

I'm going to give Trump until the end of the year to get us out of these places.

If he doesn't have the backbone for it, like the previous 2 Presidents, then screw him.

[Jan 05, 2019] Obama as the agent of the Deep State consciously deciving his voters with faux populism promises which he never intended to follow

Obama strategy in Syria was replica of Clinton strategy in Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars. Divide everybody up by ethnicity or religion (Croats are Catholics, Serbians are Orthodox not to mention the various Muslims and Albanians lurking about), arm them, create false flags to set them at each other's throats. Enjoy the results.
Obama like Clinton before him was a real wolve in sheep's clothing
Notable quotes:
"... Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face. ..."
"... Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 5, 2019 6:10:33 PM | 17

bevin @10:

But the notion that it is part of a complex and tightly scripted conspiracy in which he plays his public part and the deep state play theirs, pretending to be at odds with each other, is bizarre.
I would've agreed with you before Obama. I followed the criticisms of Obama from true progressives closely. It was clear within 2 or 3 years that Obama was betraying his 'base'.

His lofty rhetoric didn't match his actions. His Nobel Peace Prize can only be viewed today as a ruse. He talked of peace and fairness but worked behind the scenes to further the establishment.

Fast forward to the 2016 election where Sanders was a sheepdog and Hillary ran a terrible campaign. It's difficult to look back and not be at least somewhat suspicious of the 2016 election. A populist nationalist was what the Deep State NEEDED to face the threat from Russia and China to their NWO project. And that is what they got. After recognizing the threat in 2013-14 (when Russia countered the Empire in Syria and Ukraine).

Similar excuses are made for both Obama and Trump. We are told that they were FORCED to succumb to Deep State scheming and political power. But a much more logical view is that these "populists" know exactly what they are doing: they know what their 'job' is to serve the establishment and act as the leader of the Deep State's political arm. In return they get financial gain, social standing, and life long protection. Sweet.

Obama 'turned the page' on the Bush Administration's warmongering. He promised a more peaceful USA. But he conducted covert wars and bragged of his drone targeting.

Trump 'turned the page' on Obama's deceitfulness. He promised to put 'America First' but within months attacked Syria with missiles "for the babies". Evidence that his first attack was prompted by a false flag didn't deter him from attacking AGAIN - also based on a false flag. Trump is still helping the Saudis in Yemen. And he's not doing what's necessary to get peace in Korea.

Obama promised 'transparency' ("Sunlight is the best disinfectant") but 'no drama' Obama protected CIA torturers, NSA spies, and bankers. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" but has welcomed oligarchs and neocons into his Administration.

How much sly BS do we have to see before people connect the dots? A real populist will NEVER be elected in USA unless there is a revolution; USA political elites are fully committed to a neoliberal economics that make society neofeudal, and a neoconservative-driven foreign policy that demands full spectrum dominance that brooks no opposition to its NWO goals.

Anyone who believes otherwise has drunk the Kool-Aid, an addictive, saccharine concoction, provided without charge and in abundance.

Glenn Brown | Jan 5, 2019 10:27:14 PM |

39@ 10 17

Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face.

Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump.

Yes, their public rejection of Trump is partly motivated by the need to be able to claim that Trump is an aberration from all previous US Presidents, as opposed to Trump and his policies being just a particularly explicit continuation of the same underlying trends.

But I see no reason to doubt that the US elites really wish they had someone as President who was better at supplying the right propaganda and less obviously an incompetent fool. So I don't understand why you think the US oligarchy and deep state would have thought they needed someone like Trump, or would have greatly preferred him to Hillary Clinton.

[Jan 05, 2019] Are Trump's senior people going rogue?

Numerous MSM articles appear about Trump's standing up to the Generals: Mattis, Kelly, Dunford, etc. Yet Bolton feels free to conspire against the President's agenda? The narrative that Trump is fighting for his campaign promises, but allows Bolton and Pompeo to scheme against him does not make any sense.
A more realistic take is that rump is a faux populist. He is the Republican Obama - pretending to be a populist peacemaker while working for the establishment. The "populist hero" is a gimmick that reinforces people's belief in USA democracy and the righteousness of USA actions. The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op.
The major inconsistency here is why the Deep State is hell bent of deposing him. Is The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op? I do no not think so.
Trump is certainly a 'faux populist' as all right wing populists are: promises to the people while promoting the interests of the 1%. But there is a genuine struggle going on within the ruling class due to the crisis of neoliberal governance. The world is a complex place and Washington's influence is declining. No surprise that parts of the US elite that got used to "full spectrum dominance" are panicking. And it is all real.
Notable quotes:
"... "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas." ..."
"... Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media? ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Jan 5, 2019 10:21:56 PM | link

The Washington Post article that b links to ("never signed off") has the headline " 'They can do what they want' Trump's Iran comments defy his top aids"

The "They" in the quote in the headline is a reference to Iran in Syria. "President Trump stuck a dagger in a major initiative advanced by his foreign policy team:
Iran's leaders, the president said, "can do what they want" in Syria.

With a stray remark, Trump snuffed out a plan from his national security adviser, John Bolton, who this fall vowed that the United States would not leave Syria
"as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders." Pompeo has of course also obsessed over Iran.

Now the next paragraph in the WP piece is I think quite remarkable: "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas."

Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media?

Also note that acting Defense Sec Patrick Shanahan, who was injected immediately into his position when Trump gave Mattis the boot, is becoming part of the strategic scene.

From the NYT: "He is the brightest and smartest guy I worked with at Boeing," said Carolyn Corvi, a former executive at the company. "He has the ability to see over the horizon and {implement needed change]."

"Ana Mari Cauce, the president of University of Washington, worked with Mr. Shanahan .... She said his outsider perspective was helpful in questioning old practices, forcing people to look at problems in different ways."