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Two Party System as Polyarchy with Inner Party (intelligence agencies) playing the role of kingmaker

Version 2.5 (Apr 25, 2019)

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 is enforced by "First after the post rule"   and is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. Intelligence agencies play important  role in selection of two candidate for Presidential elections, representing a third, "Inner Party" 

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

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

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

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

 

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

Summary

Polyarchy is distinct from oligarchy in sense that while few men (the elite) still selects candidates for the office there is national election which serve the purpose of  "confirming" one of the preselected by the elite candidates (aka lesser evilism) providing a patina of legitimacy to the elite rule. According to Wikipedia:

According to William I. Robinson, it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.[7]

... ... ...

In a discussion of contemporary British foreign policy, Mark Curtisstated that "Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad. This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites."[11]

Also, it is being promoted by the transnational elites in the South as a different form from the authoritarianism and dictatorship to the North as a part of Democracy Promotion.[12] Robinson argues that this is to cultivate transnational elites who will open up their countries following transnational agenda of neoliberalism where transnational capital mobility and globalized circuits of production and distribution is established. For example, it was promoted to Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, the Philippines, South Africa and the former Soviet Bloc countries.[13]

The reason that  the financial oligarchy don’t want free elections is they know that if they had free election, the people would vote for candidates pledging to confiscate their property.

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 ?  No. Or  in election of state leaders? No way.

But this is what direct democracy means and as such it is limited to small groups. As group became bigger intermediary arise in a form of political parties and this is when direct democracy ends and polyarchy begins. Because mass parties are natural breeding ground for the political elite which usurps political  power on behalf of financial oligarchy.  This is what the iron law of oligarchy is about.  

In modern societies the situation is even more complex. The key question here is: "Is the democracy possible if powerful and out of control 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.  In a way they are the "Inner Party" about which Orwell have written its famous dystopia 1984. This phenomenon is reflected in the term the Deep State.

President Truman probably did not fully understood what he is doing when he sighed  the National Security Act of 1947:  he signed a death sentence to the 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 the rule of the Deep State which is called "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form of government which  become entrenched 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 powerful political players. Huver at FBI and Allen Dulles at CIA were just the beginning. Nowhere the power of three letter agencies  was more clear then in 2016 Presidential elections, when by derailing Sanders FBI essentially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other agencies (and first of all CIA led by Brennan) launched a color revolution against Trump trying to depose him via Special Prosecutor mechanism.  That latter was don is cooperation with Vichy left -- Clinton wing of the Democratic party and controlled by neoliberals MSM, who correctly viewed Trump as a threat to the classic form of the neoliberal globalization.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?

Another important question is "Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?"

If yes does it explain a modified form of the Soviet one party state that exists in the USA in a form of 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 additional 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 "inverted totalitarism" covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their Wall Street and MIC 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 force? 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 a foreign  state such as AIPAC ? What is the actual level of influence of Israel on the US elected representatives?  Trump transformation from MAGA politician to MIGA politician represents here an interesting case lesson.
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime in which only the financial oligarchy dominates ordinary people and enforces political decisions that serves its interests.  Obama betrayal is a good case study here.

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washington 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 in the USA neither republic, not democracy exists. We have highly militarized neoliberal empirical state with tiny remnants of participatory democracy (unless voting for the lesser evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  But lesser evilism which is the essence of polyarchy is parody on democracy, not the  actual democracy. In this  case elections serve just for the legimization of the preselected  by the elite candidate. 

The role of intelligence agencies (including their control of MSM) deserve more close scrutiny after  2016 Presidential election (see Strzok-gate). They launched a "color revolution" against Trump after election. Before election, they derailed Sanders by exonerating Hillary thus enabling Trump's victory. So remnants of democracy probably still exists on local level, but not of the federal level, were the "Inner  Party" (aka the Deep State) completely dominates. Although even n local level financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level bankers who provide municipal loans usually fully control the politics.  That's why we have so many wasteful, hugely overprices and/or outright harmful for the people municipal projects.

In other word "democratic" elements in the neoliberal political system are just a facade for the dictatorship of financial oligarchy, and serve just for the  legitimization of its rule. Which is a 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 participative democracy.  Some elements  of participative democracy still remain (and Trump victory over Hillary had shown that  the control of financial oligarchy and intelligence agencies is not complete; unless we view Trump as Trojan force for financial oligarchy, a  fake opposition to establishment selected by dissident part of the elite,  like Obama was.)  After all it is undeniable that Trump executed similar to Obama "bait and switch" maneuver betraying his voters.  His tax cut, the level of jingoism, and the number of neocons in his administration (Haley, Bolton. Pompeo, Abrams) makes him undistinguishable from Bush II

The neoliberal elite firmly guards 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 after election. A classic color  revolution to depose him was unleashed by intelligence agencies, first of all by  CIA (see Brennan elections machinations ) and FBI (see Andrew McCabe and his FIFA scandal proofed close circle of politicized "fighters with organized crime"  and Strzok-gate.)  There was quick coup to install the Special Prosecutor and after that Trump was essentially finished. Tax  cut for the rich and appointments of Bolton and Pompeo (and later Elliott Abrams, the key architect of the Iraq War, to manage Venezuela regime change) were clear signs of a  complete betrayal of his voters.  Truth be told Trump folded even before that in April 2017 (Parteigenosse Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein in May), if we assume that his election promises were sincere (big if) and were not a blatant attempt to con the voters (see Bait and Switch).  

Democracy for whom?

  Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

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 respect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Yet another one: can the country with powerful and almost uncontrolled intelligence agencies be a democracy?  And what about running a neoliberal empire? Is this compatible with the democracy?

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

Add to this such an important factor as 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 got almost half of the US voted in 2016 elections.  Is not this quite sinister development ? 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 who 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. 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 a 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 similar to Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- the betrayer of his class -- while he clearly is not. He proved to be yet another marionette of MIC and Israel lobby. 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.  And neoliberal state put huge efforts into destructing people from analyzing the political situation in the country by bread and circuses shows.

Another  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  Yet another, equally powerful, 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 either 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 in the USA after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term financial 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 the return 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 (the return of McCarthyism of neo-McCarthyism )  suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually it was Hillary who 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", not some crazy "Christian capitalism" that Bannon professed under the flag of "economic nationalism" (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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[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

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

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

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

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

vexarb
And from Yemen:

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

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

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

-- -- -- -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

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

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

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

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

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

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

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

do you see how EW has finally opened our eyes?

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

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

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

those who want more
equality
.!

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

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

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

What's behind that virulence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

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

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4879&num_ads=18&cf=1258.5.zerohedge%20190919 Show 149 Comments


NOMO , 1 hour ago link

The Newly Awakened

As it turns out the once apathetic and flustered American woke up pissed off, in large numbers I might add. They sensed that someone was starting to mess with their happy blind relationship to the materialistic free market American dream. In other words, they are broke for the most part or are working like a beast to stay even. I get it.

"Apathy does not make us stupid. On the contrary, a great deal of energy is used to offset the world and hibernate in an apathetic state of existence. Apathy requires an acute awareness of the obvious. It is what drives some to having a broken "give a damn". Many can only cope with the influence of the pressure of reality by excusing themselves from it and gathering in flocks for comfort. They yearn for a sheep dog."

And now they are awake, angry and wanting revenge against whomever shattered their illusion of American integrity. In most respects some have herded together and really are angry political mobs.

justyouwait , 1 hour ago link

So why hasn't Graham started a senate investigation into this whole Ukrainian affair? Why hasn't he called all of Adam Schiff's witnesses into one of his own investigations of this thing and gotten the truth out of them under penalty of perjury should they not come clean?

Republicans are as usual cowering in the corner hoping this will all pass by without harming their re-election chances. There are precious few that really care and the bug eyed liar has them shut down totally. If they were playing chess, the Dems would have the Republicans in a constant state of Check (thanks to the unwavering support of their media lap dogs). The Republicans would be sitting at the table hoping time would run out while wetting their pants in fear that they would be discovered to be the weak kneed mamas boys in suits who just had their lunch money stolen AGAIN by the big bad Dem boys & girls.

DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago link

End of the two party system? No.

The Democratic Socialists will absorb the butthurt left, and Pelosi, Waters, Schiff and the rest will die naturally soon enough. This is a result of Democrats' identity politics, and radicalizing of the left.

The Republicans will likely move farther right. Both parties will continue to spend too much - just on different causes. But when the DS get rolling, probably with someone like AOC at the helm, it will be Kristallnacht all over again.

Except this time it will be Christians and conservatives.

NOMO , 58 minutes ago link

I would say that a 3rd and 4th party are not only inevitable but the next organic evolution of party. This will help explain why --> The Altered States of America.

66Mustanggirl , 2 hours ago link

If there is one thing that truly illustrates the psychotic break with reality the Democrats, DC Deep State Establishment, and their *useless* idiots in the MSM have suffered, it has to be the bizarre situation with the identity of the *whistleblower* that EVERYONE on the planet knows but that somehow THEY think they have kept *secret*.

Cue the Twilight Zone music, America, because THAT takes a special kind of crazy! Lol! 25th Amendment for every Democrat in the House??

On top of THAT craziness, Sen. Lindsay Graham has made it clear to Dems that if ERIC C*a*Amella (You literally cannot post comments with his name! Hysterical! lol) does not publicly testify, their show trial is DOA in the Senate. So I hope they have fun with their impeachment coup to nowhere as ERIC C*A*a*ell* sits like some bloated political elephant in the room for the next two weeks!

On the upside, it will be loads of fun watching a bunch of crazy people have their mental breakdown on national T.V. so, by all means, Dems, PLEASE carry on!

Lol.

TeraByte , 4 hours ago link

The political system is dead. You cannot run this freak show before people in the age of Internet. Most of deplorables are more online savvy than their ruling political class.

gespiri , 4 hours ago link

Schiff has connections to sex trafficking and pedophilia. He has a lot to do with well know activities in the Standard Hotel (west Pedowood) involving minors and powerful people in that filthy city which include politicians and business people. You easily start with Ed Buck which the media has buried quickly.

All Risk No Reward , 7 hours ago link

There is only one party - the Money Power Party.

What you see is a false political dichotomy.

I believe this false dichotomy is too effectual at duping the masses for the Money Power Monopolists to let it go easily.

All Risk No Reward , 6 hours ago link

This is an excellent example of Orwellian cognitive dissonance.

Everyone knows that almost all, if not all, politicians are bought off to the highest bidder.

Everyone knows that the people who control the money system have the most money.

But very few will logically assemble those two data points and conclude what exists in reality - that the Money Power Monopolists CONTROL BOTH PARTIES!

St. TwinkleToes , 7 hours ago link

Schitt and his cult of DemonRats represents the darkest elements of society. So without writing a long list you already know, here's what you should prepare yourself for.

Buy guns, ammo, cameras and survival supplies to last a few months.

Civil War 2.0 is coming.

We didn't start this war, but we sure as hell will finish it.

The time has come to take this country back from an elite permanent political class who doesn't give a damn about you, your family, your future.

Lock and load, the San Fransicko **** has already hit the fan.

Colin Kelley , 8 hours ago link

The public is in a mood to vote out RINO Republicans and most Democrats, and vote in MAGA Republicans. The Democrats will all but disappear from sight for awhile. After they reorganize and dump their radicals and after their corrupt ones go to jail, and after the MSM completely falls apart -- they will then come back, but probably not till 2024 or 2026

He–Mene Mox Mox , 9 hours ago link

The two party political system was never much of a democratic system at all. It's been with us since 1854, and has polarized the country more than once, the first time being the Civil War. In 2003, the MIT professor Noam Chomsky said, "In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies".

The two party system should be ended, and the Voter Access laws be repealed, and Gerrymandering districts be prohibited. Even your own vote means nothing, since it is only designed to ratify a selection someone else made for you. The only selection you can make is choosing personalities, but never on issues or money. You are never allowed to be a participant in the American political system, but rather, just a "consumer". Why? Because the American society is ruled by an Oligarchy! Why would they want to allow you to share power with them? None of this is what is practiced in a true democracy. The entire system needs to undergo some major changes.

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

Nov 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

@The Alarmist

The emperor is naked

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China 2000-2020 vs. USA 2000-2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is as shameful as it is tragic.

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

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

The middle class is almost completely unique to white people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Counterinsurgency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JoeMerl 2 days ago • edited

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

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

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

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

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

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

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

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

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

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

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

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

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

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

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

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

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


haruspicio , 45 minutes ago link

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

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

Bubba Rum Das , 2 hours ago link

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

wakeupscreaming , 2 hours ago link

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

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

keep the bastards honest , 1 hour ago link

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

Petkattash , 4 hours ago link

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

iSage , 7 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 08, 2019] The Poetry of Populism The American Conservative

Nov 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ordinary people accept uncritically and uncomplainingly the laws of nature and the fundamental and insurmountable limitations they set to the human condition. For liberals, who have agreed with Francis Bacon since the 17th century that nature is an enemy to be subjugated, exploited, and ultimately transcended, the program of mobilized rationalism this ambition requires is reasonable and acceptable. But it is irrational and intolerable to non-liberals, especially as they are the same people whom liberals, obsessed with psychology and psychological health, view as anti-social individuals in need of therapeutic treatment and reeducation to convert them to liberalism. One of the most famous liberals of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes, was in this respect a distinguished exception. "[The] pseudo-rational view of human nature [before 1914]," he believed, "led to a thinness, a superficiality not only of judgment but of feeling .The attribution of rationality to human nature, instead of enriching it, now seems to me to have impoverished it."

Keynes identified this grave intellectual error as having been a major cause of the Great War when he likened his generation to "water-spiders, gracefully skimming, as light and reasonable as air, the surface of a stream without any contact at all with the eddies and currents below." John Gray, writing recently in The New Statesman , compared this sublime naivete in the years immediately preceding the war to the utter inability of contemporary British elites to comprehend the meaning of the results of the national referendum three years ago on whether the United Kingdom should remain within the European Union or withdraw from it. Liberals today, he asserted, cannot grasp the fact that the post-Cold War era is over and done. "If a majority in Sunderland continues to support Brexit despite the threat it poses to Nissan [which operates a plant in the vicinity] the reason can only be [in the eyes of liberals] that they are irrational and stupid. The possibility that they and millions of others value some things more than economic gain is not considered." Gray added, "Persistently denying respect to Leave voters in this way can only bring to Britain the dangerous populism that is steadily marching across the European continent [and that Remainers insist on ignoring, seeing the EU as a noble dream of mankind]."

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, liberals have been insisting that liberalism is the future of democracy. Francis Fukuyama even famously argued that liberal-democratic capitalism represents the end of history. Alain de Benoist, the French political philosopher, says the opposite. Liberalism and democracy, he thinks, in fact are incompatible, as the first endows the second with an agenda that commits democracy to a mission having nothing to do with the restricted practical task it was designed for. Modern liberalism is not a creation of political philosophy. It is a religion that has developed a body of religious law that elevates administration over politics, an inversion that another French scholar, Pierre Manent, has also noted. Since democratic politics is a matter of popular involvement, while administration is the business of trained specialists, it is unsurprising that the end, or eclipse, of politics should be a major contributing cause of "populist" rebellion. This movement away from politics does not end there. As political activity diminishes and the administrative sphere expands , the rule of law -- of lawyers and judges -- takes its place. Lawyers and judges are human beings. The most successful of them, in liberal societies, are liberals as well. And because so much of law has become discretionary, in liberal societies the law is chiefly liberal law. In point of fact it isn't really law at all but, as Joseph Sobran remarked decades ago, only bad philosophy by which judges discover "penumbras" of meaning in legal documents and the inalienable right of individuals to determine their own reality for themselves -- and afterward impose it on society at large through the courts.

So politics is replaced by administration; administration reinforced or displaced by law; and law succeeded by bad law based on personal whim. The result is that an increasingly narrow space remains in public life for ordinary citizens, often aggrieved ones -- the "populists" -- to play a part in the res publica. Their absence, of course, is conspicuously unregretted by "egalitarian" liberals. Significantly, the single demand liberals never make on behalf of "inclusiveness" is that uneducated people be represented proportionately at the higher levels of society with educated ones, the stupid along with the clever. Yet competency in politics has never been dependent on technical expertise. Many highly effective, brilliant, even great politicians have been uneducated people or persons of mediocre intelligence for which they compensated by talent and innate shrewdness.

Benoist, a brilliant writer insufficiently known in the English-speaking world, attributes the prevalence of "expertocracy" in part to the idea that many "negative phenomena" are also inevitable ones. Among these are undesirable and destructive advances in technology, which (it is argued) answers only to a logic of its own, and global migration, considered by Western technocrats and political "experts" to be unstoppable and irresistible. These things, Benoist says, "have been decreed inevitable because we have lost the habit of asking ourselves about goals, and because we are accustomed to the idea that it is no longer possible to defend a decision (which is effectively more and more the case)." Whence comes this negativity, this defeatism?

The answer seems clear enough. The "elites," as the upper directing (and owning) strata of the Western world are known, have not lost their will. That is confirmed by their insistent unflagging pursuit of their globalist-technocratic project and by their relentless determination to impose it on all and sundry who disagree with it. What they have lost is faith in themselves; not of course as the ruthless omnicompetent titans of their imagination but as descendants of the greatest civilization known to history, of the tradition that nourished this civilization and allowed it to develop, and of the religion that formed the basis of that tradition. They have lost their faith in the God Who is left no place in their system, as the decision made by the European Union to exclude any reference in its founding documents to Europe's Christian origins and traditions makes agonizingly plain. Nevertheless human nature is naturally conservative; and while a large proportion of the comfortable Western peoples have doubtless grown lazy, fat, materialistic, careless, conformist, and cowardly, the fact remains that in order truly to disbelieve one needs to deny belief explicitly and affirmatively, and this the majority of Christians in the West have not done. They are lapsed, not apostatized, from their faith. Similarly, polls that claim to show that such-and-such a percentage of the population have no religion, no church, and no belief in God cannot determine the number of those who "feel" in some vague and indeterminate way, even if they do not "believe." Nor can they assess in what proportion the popular classes have retained their acceptance of the world as God made it, and of the natural law that men may deny and defy, but not alter. What the common people lack in the way of formal knowledge they make up for by common sense, aided by unreflective experience. Unlike Bishop Berkeley, but exactly like Dr. Johnson, they test and affirm reality by kicking the rock in their path. Unlike Christoper Hitchens too, but just like T.S. Eliot, they have become conscious of the stony rubbish, the dead trees, and the dry stones that comprise the environment of the barren world -- a world in its unmaking -- that surrounds them. They may not be able to express this consciousness in poetry but they feel it much as the poets do, though perhaps less keenly than a developed intellect allows for.

Populism is not, as a contemporary French lumiere has opined, the victory "of ill-educated people over the well-educated," nor, in the estimation of another representative of the Second Age of Enlightenment, "a denial of progress itself." It is something just as simple, but infinitely more basic and healthy. It is the unlettered but true apprehension that the old familiar world is being turned upside down, roundabout, and inside-out by the people who have seized control of it and are beavering away at their task of destruction; a process that in their minds is rather one of reimagination to be succeeded by the glorious recreation of the original inferior thing.

Chilton Williamson Jr. is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture and the author of many books, including fiction and nonfiction. His latest novel, The Last Westerner, is due soon from Perkunas Press .

[Nov 08, 2019] Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism E. Michael Jones

Highly recommended!
Biting critique of Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMT

Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jones

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Es15SwELIA?feature=oembed

the grand wazoo , says: November 7, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
Kirk ludicrously believes that, the Israeli attempt to sink the USS Liberty, is a conspiracy theory. He's a privileged brat, and he needs a spanking. Now all we have to do is find his his father. But to give him any sort of acknowledgement is plain stupid. No offense intended.

[Nov 08, 2019] Yes, Patriotism, the Nationalist desire to rescue America, and Restore our Democratic Republic, rests in the hearts of all true Citizens. The so-called 'Right Left' politics is making way for a politics defined by Patriotism, Nationalism, Economic control policies that benefit all our citizens, not just the rich.

Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist says: November 7, 2019 at 1:30 pm GMT 200 Words @Sick of Orcs

If you think this is some kind of 'gotcha' question you don't know the good folks at Unz. Speaking only for myself, I don't want non-Europeans here in any significant numbers, 100 years ago we got all the diversity we could eat from Europe alone, diversity that could and did assimilate, unlike today when assimilation is actually fought against.

Whites were the first to build habitable buildings more than four storeys high, the first to construct bridges to carry the weight of steam trains, which we also invented, and the safe and secure mines that produced the coal that smelted the metal that formed the engines that powered the trains with the coal we mined.

We are -- in a word -- astonishing. In invention and innovation we are elves and everyone else are orcs, and the orcs despise us for it all whilst coveting the things we have created.

Technology is our culture, and art and music and beautiful soaring cathedrals, penicillin and botany, flushing toilets and refrigeration and general anesthesia and Shakespeare.

The Burning Platform

Durruti , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT

Out of the mouth of Babes.

Congratulations to James Kirkpatrick for an excellent article.

Such nonsense is irrelevant to the lived experience of young (and mostly white) campus conservatives, who are confronted with radical anti-white politics, corporate censorship, and the ruinous cost of family formation.

Yes, Patriotism, the Nationalist desire to rescue America, and Restore our Democratic Republic, rests in the hearts of all true Citizens. The so-called 'Right & Left' politics is making way for a politics defined by Patriotism, Nationalism, Economic control & policies that benefit all our citizens, not just the rich.

The truth of this observation lies in Kirkpatricks fine essay, complete with numerous visual supports.

The Prison Planet directors also deserve credit:

https://www.prisonplanet.com/bill-gates-says-it-was-a-mistake-to-meet-with-epstein-5-years-after-he-was-convicted-as-a-sex-offender.html

https://www.prisonplanet.com/katie-pavlich-ties-abcs-epstein-cover-up-to-clintons-stephanopoulos.html

Congrats to Prison Planet for not completely burying the story (as the rest of the Mainstream Media has done).

Why are they (the Zionist owned & controlled Mainstream media), not asking -the whereabouts of Ms. Maxwell? Is she with Epstein? In the Entity, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, the Baleares, Caribbean, on one of the Rothschild's Estates?

Upcoming announcement: Hollywood's Oligarch owners & controllers are producing a Film about the lives of Epstein/Maxwell. The Film will not mention MOSSAD, but might misdirect by including reference to "bad elements within the CIA." Film will also have a brief flash of Casino Trump with Epstein, but no mention of Bill Clinton (in a blue dress), or former Entity Prime minister, Ehud Barak. Instead of Ethnic Cleansing the Palestinian People, Hollywood's Traitor Moguls will continue their Brain Cleansing/Washing of the American People.

Title of the Film will be: The Chosen Ones – Their Private Encounters with little Girls, Boys, and Owned Americans.

You heard it here, first.

Durruti

[Nov 08, 2019] Groyper Revolt Against Israel First Conservative Inc - Dave Reilly

Nov 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Published on Nov 3, 2019

Dave Reilly, who asked Charlie Kirk "how does anal sex help us win the culture war" at a TPUSA event, joins Henrik and Lana for a segment during Flashback Friday November 1, 2019. We discuss the rift inside the conservative movement. Is is going to be America First or Israel First? Additionally, how are values not traditionally associated with conservative activists going to help win over more people to their cause.


no name , 3 days ago

Mainstream Conservatives have no answer to moral questions on sodomy, fornication, adultery, et cetera, as it pertains to the culture war, and this opens up opportunities for interlopers. Dave will not have much competition on that topic. I admire the bravery.

no name , 3 days ago

Thanks for the post, good interview. Dave Reilly seems like decent fellow, but his "out of the closet" Roman Catholic material will only work on religious cable shows. It's hard to take, talking freedom with a back drop of massacres, indulgences, crusades, inquisitions, and a millennium of Pedophile cover ups.

Katie Rae , 23 hours ago

Gays try to contribute their lifestyle to everyone else. They can contribute but don't push something I don't agree with on me. I am 100% for equality for everyone

[Nov 08, 2019] Well then, thank God for Tucker Carlson: he is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border

Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.

BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.

Curmudgeon , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Patricus You are a victim of finance capitalism propaganda. Communism is Marxism, not socialism. Socialists do not outright reject private ownership, the goal was co-ops to displace finance capital. Co-ops are corporations where every member has only one share. The majority decides, not one shareholder with 50.1% of the shares. The state is not the worker.

Real socialists are opposed to private central banks. I haven't heard any of the allegedly "far left" Democratic Presidential candidates suggest nationalizing the Fed. Ron Paul was more of a socialist than they are on that one.

Also part of the brainwashing is the absolute failure of the vast majority of Americans, who fail to understand that immigration is the reserve army of capital, used to attack the people of the nation. It lowers wages and working conditions; produces more pollution; increases living costs; lowers standards of living; and most importantly, increases profits

Any real nationalism, out of necessity, will have socialist aspects, because doing what is right for the nation, in the truest sense of the word, means that the best solution can come from anywhere on the political spectrum. Governments "own" armies. Is that communism, or should it be a government asset that should be privatized just as the US government privatized the control of its currency.

As long as people dwell in the land of "left" and "right" the owners will continue to divide. One solution would be to ban political parties and require all candidates running for office to be funded equally, out of the public purse. That would make candidates have to face their electorate more directly, and make them more responsive to the electorate, rather than the party. In Congress, the political parties would not get to choose committee chairs, individuals would have to earn the respect of their peers for that.

There is a long way to go.

DanFromCT , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@follyofwar Tucker Carlson is the only news show I can watch, too. The rest is pretty obviously intended to neutralize the rise of native leadership with the relentless insinuation that all we can do is whine like Lou Dobbs and his guests, vote Republican, and show what we're made of by blowing hot air out our asses like Hannity with his mawkish imbecilities about America still being great because he gets great deals at Costco. Sean wuvs America and the gal who follows him turns to American-hating Alan Dershowitz to update us about the espionage of his long-term client Jeffrey Epstein. Check.

Just yesterday the kosher msm was mendaciously portraying our Army's combat vets as baby killers, while today no one says a word when Fox' toadeaters tout that "muh brothers, muh mission" fake and phony honor among "warriors" -- now all heroes of course, just for putting on the uniform for Eretz Israel and the Yinon Plan. More importantly, Fox News' elaborate efforts concealing Israel's culpability for 9/11 constitutes, as a matter of law, powerful circumstantial evidence of their guilt in the greatest act of treason against this country in its history.

Fox News' basecamp commando and armchair warrior types were outed by Homer's Achilles in the ninth century BC, in the Iliad. As Pope's translation has it,

O monster! Mixed of insolence and fear,
Thou dog in forehead, but in heart a deer!
When wert thou known in ambush'd fights to dare,
Or nobly face the horrid front of war?
'Tis ours, the chance of fighting fields to try;
Thine to look on, and bid the valiant die.

How dare Fox News demand we honor the soldiers who foolishly believed Fox News that they were fighting for their country. They still go in droves to their possible deaths, mistaking the costumed bureaucrats in the Pentagon who serve Israel first in all things for warrior patriots like themselves. I do not believe a military whose leadership's chief trait is servility toward a foreign nation and betrayal of its own can survive no matter how much money is counterfeited by the Treasury out of thin air to pay its bills.

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

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8

Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Tea Party foot soldiers?

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

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

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

Drain the swamp

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

"Lock her up!"

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

End the new Cold War

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

End "forever wars", bring the troops home

Nope.

Bring jobs home

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

= = = = = = = =

Republican Party?

Cut taxes
YES!

Cut regulations on business

YES!

Israel?

Move Embassy to Jerusalem
YES!

Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel

YES!

End aid to Palestinians

YES!

Don't give up on Syrian regime-change

YES!

US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?

End US participation in the JCPOA
YES!

McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

"locked and loaded"
!!

[Nov 08, 2019] Cuckservative -- the conservative insult of the month, explained by David Weigel

Cuckold - Wikipedia A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife. In evolutionary biology, the term is also applied to males who are unwittingly investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own. [1]
One definition of "cuckservative" is a conservative who sells out, In a 2015 interview with Breitbart News, Ben Harrison said he did not support any presidential candidate in the 2016 election, but said he admires Trump for "shaking up the neocon-controlled Republican Party
Notable quotes:
"... If you're asking how many people might agree with the underlying argument -- that the conservative movement has accommodated the cultural left for too long -- the answer might be millions. ..."
"... As many as 45 percent of self-identified "conservative Republicans" oppose any legal status for undocumented immigrants -- i.e., they oppose the establishment Republican position, as represented by Jeb Bush and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ..."
Jul 29, 2015 | www.washingtonpost.com

Late last week, a neologism was born. Twitter was the incubator. "Cuckservative," a portmanteau of "conservative" and "cuckold" (i.e. a man whose wife has cheated on him) burned up Twitter as fans of Donald Trump's politicking warred with the movement conservatives who opposed it.

... ... ...

Who are the "cuckservatives?"

You might be one! The hashtag's targets are conservatives who seem to have made peace with elements alien to traditional white Americanism. That could mean the transgender movement; it could mean non-white immigrants. Certainly, criticizing Trump's visit to the border, saying he will alienate certain voters, is a trial run for cuckservative status.

"Just look at them!" said Spencer. "Glenn Beck, Erik [sic] Erickson, Mike Huckabee. They're mediocrities, or sub-mediocrities. They're grinning, obese doofuses. No person with a deep soul -- no person who wants to take part in a moment that's idealistic, that's going to change the world -- would want to be a part of 'conservatism.' In a way, the current 'cucks' are the residue of the Bush era. They were the 'conservative' and 'Religious Right' allies of the neoconservatives. They're still around, for no apparent reason."

What's the opposite of a "cuckservative," and how many of those people are there? There's no catch-all term, and the answer depends on how you limit results. If it's just the people using the new term, then it's a limited number of activists online. The white nationalism represented by Spencer has struggled to find footing. Youth for Western Civilization, a student group that attempted to bring millennials on campus into the "traditionalist" cause, burned brightly for a few years, then went inactive.

If you're asking how many people might agree with the underlying argument -- that the conservative movement has accommodated the cultural left for too long -- the answer might be millions.

As many as 45 percent of self-identified "conservative Republicans" oppose any legal status for undocumented immigrants -- i.e., they oppose the establishment Republican position, as represented by Jeb Bush and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

... ... ...

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

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

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

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

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

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

Social Media Meddling

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

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

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

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

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

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

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

Social Media Meddling

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

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

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

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

[Nov 07, 2019] Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism E. Michael Jones

Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMT

Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jones

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Es15SwELIA?feature=oembed

[Nov 07, 2019] Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border.

Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.

BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.

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

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

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

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

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

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

The brief continued:

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

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

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 06, 2019] It s the DNC, Stupid Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Nov 04, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

With the U.S. presidential cycle gearing up, Elizabeth Vos takes stock of lessons from 2016.

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

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

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

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

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2016 Democratic primary debate. (YouTube/Screen shot)

Social Media Meddling

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

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

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

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

"Bernie or Bust" protesters at the Wells Fargo Center during Democrats' roll call vote to nominate Hillary Clinton. (Becker1999, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News.

If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz DNC fraud lawsuit Elizabeth Vos U.S. election meddling

Post navigation ← Europe Can Do More Than Watch the Crisis in Kurdistan 'The Test of a Country Is Not the Number of its Millionaires' → 74 comments for "It's the DNC, Stupid: Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process"

countykerry , November 6, 2019 at 14:54

It appears that the DNC is responsible in fomenting this new cold war with Russia.

The party has become a war party and made the world very unsafe.

Instead of taking responsibility for Russiagate, it simply has progressed on to impeachment, no apologies simply moving on to the next tactic.

And why you might ask?

And weren't we a bit put off by our own intelligence agencies contributing to the overthrow of the Trump administration using the NYT and WAPO to spread innuendo and political chaos ?

Al Markowitz , November 6, 2019 at 12:31

Great analysis, yes it is the DNC, but larger than that it is the corporate oligarch which monoplize the power in both so-called parties which gave us Trump and which still prefer him to Sanders.

Ira Dember , November 6, 2019 at 00:20

Perception is everything. That is why the rigged "superdelegate" system was so effective. Clinton's sham "lead" became self-fulfilling prophesy. Many people told me, "I like Bernie but I'm voting for Hillary because she's more electable." Pure perception.

To test this widely held view, in March 2016 I started tallying every poll (at Real Clear Politics) that pitted Sanders and Clinton not against each other, but against GOP contenders including a reality-show buffoon named Trump. I did this all the way through early June, tallying 150 polls with no cherrypicking.

Result? Sanders outperformed Clinton against GOP candidates in 135 of 150 polls. That's 90 percent of the time. You can still see the results posted at my site BernieWorks.com.

What's more, Sanders remained consistently strong. It was so remarkable, so I dubbed him Iron Man Sanders. Meanwhile, Clinton's pattern of results across dozens upon dozens of polls showed disturbing signs of electoral weakness.

No one was paying attention. The corrupt system's rigged structure played a crucial role. The criminally fraudulet DNC and complicit corporate media played their respective roles.

So, disastrously wrong public perception won.

My tallies clearly show that if Sanders had become the nominee, he would have wiped the floor with Trump. And we would be living in a different world.

vinnieoh , November 6, 2019 at 12:01

As to your last sentence: yes I think he would have won handily, but no we would not be living in a different world. Recall that virtually no-one who should have endorsed Sanders did so – not Warren, and certainly not that oft-touted icon of "progressivism" my own Senator Sherrod Brown; in fact none in the D party that I can think of. They all obeyed the dictate of their undemocratic ruling central cabal. You need friends and allies to propose and enact legislation, and Bernie would have had few. As for foreign policy, aka WAR in US-speak, there was a completely unacknowledged military coup in 2000, right here in the good ol' US. The POTUS does not direct the ambitions of this empire.

Do I wish he would have won – absolutely, and that possibility yet exists. We've all watched the very unsubtle way in which the media is colluding with the D establishment. As soon as one candidate rises in the polls the media ignores them and focuses on one of the vote diluters inserted there to staunch the gathering rebellion. There was a piece by Jake Johnson on CD about the Sanders' campaign rightfully complaining about blatant misrepresentation of Sanders popularity in the polls. When distortion or silence proves ineffective look for primary election fraud to ensue.

My younger brother was one that was under the spell of that establishment party perception in '16 and I argued with him several times about it. I was flabbergasted and somewhat angry to hear him say recently that "Sanders could have won" then, but he can't now.

?????

wtf is it with some people?

Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 00:16

Good points in the article the main point being the democratic party was far more guilty of interfering with the democratic primaries by undermining Sanders. The media was complicit and should be considered an accessory to election rigging.

We the people didn't hold the democratic party heads accountable and therefore we are seeing a repeat happening again. I refuse to be forced to vote force someone I deplore just because they aren't republican. I will always vote for the best candidate. The duopoly is fiercely maintained by the oligarchs for just that reason. They correctly predict that consumer zombies will stay loyal to their team and I think they lost control of the process in 2016 by thinking if they ran Krusty the Clown Trump against Hillary, she certainly win. They didn't have a good handle on the animosity so many people had for Hillary, including millions of progressives who were are bitter about the wicked, illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American machinations by the democratic henchmen as laid out expertly in the article.

Korey Dykstra , November 5, 2019 at 22:48

It must be nearly impossible to be an honest politician when many charges made against you are based on lies couched as the truth (with out evidence) which in turn has to be defended in a way that conveys knowledge and truthfulness. Extremely difficult against an opponent versed in or deflecting from factual and/or provable information. Great article. I have not read too mcu on Consortium but will read it consistently from now on

Manqueman , November 5, 2019 at 20:35

Actually, far more harm to democratic institutions has been done not by the DNC or Russians and foreign interests but by our own GOP.

Ash , November 6, 2019 at 14:55

Thank you for that totally unbiased and nonpartisan viewpoint.

Maura , November 5, 2019 at 19:19

How foolish to use Russia in their plots against republicans.And still nothing gets done!

Walton Andrews , November 5, 2019 at 18:40

Impeachment is all about manufacturing a crime and using an investigation to damage your political opponent. The goal is to give your friends in the establishment media excuses for an endless series of negative headlines slamming your opponent. The "Russia collusion" charges were extremely useful in generating propaganda even though they fizzled out when it came time to present some actual evidence. Today, the Democrats are running the investigations. But the Republicans are open to the same tactics (Remember the Benghazi hearings?). Congress doesn't have time to address the real problems of the country – they are playing political games.

I will vote third party in 2020 because any vote for a Democrat or a Republican is sending the message that you will go along with the degenerate system in Washington.

mary-lou , November 6, 2019 at 12:17

vote, but make your ballot paper invalid (in Europe we do this): this way they can see you support the democratic process, but not the political system. cheers!

Nathan Mulcahy , November 5, 2019 at 18:03

Until Obama's first election in 2008 I was Dem leaning. That's when I started to complain to my Democratic supporting friends that I find it more meaningful and satisfying to debate and discuss political issues with Republicans as opposed to Democrats. My rationale was that while I do not agree with the Republicans' worldview I see a rationale. In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.

I was smart enough to recognize what a fraud Obama is, and Ended up not Voting Obama. Instead I voted for the Greens.

Needless to say that that cost me a lot, including friendships Only now do I realize how perceptive I was. The irrationality and cognitive dissonance of the Dims (among the way I thought it appropriate to change the name of the Party) are in full bloom now. Only the sheeple are unable to recognize their mental disorder.

Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 02:43

In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.

Yes, yes they do.

Richard Annotico , November 6, 2019 at 05:06

[And Look How Well They Did .You are Brilliant
You thereby might be responsible fot TRUMP the CON MAN !!! Take A bow !!!!

Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:29

As our country is ever more exposed to be the democratic hypocrisy that it is, we are finding that oligarchic empires never last. History certainly has proven that time and again. What leaves me in dismay, however, is how seemingly educated, intelligent societies continually fall asleep while any basic securities that the majority of those populations rely on are stolen away. It is like sailors whose ship has gone down, we cling to any flotation available to hold us up for one last breath of air as the sharks circle. What is the answer, you might be asking? Is there an answer? That we certainly cannot be sure of. But one thing is for certain; and that is, taking the same steps to solve this problem and expecting anything different from the usual results does not speak wisely of an intelligent people. As the article states, or maybe it was a comment, elections have not, and will not, change one thing in our entire existence as a nation. Taking to the streets just might be our only answer if we are to retain any pride in ourselves. And, without pride, what are we?

Mike K. , November 6, 2019 at 03:01

Those sharks you speak of consist of among others, the multinational companies who bribe congresspeople to pass bad trade bills and rewrite tax code which allowed those companies to offshore good paying jobs and otherwise exfiltrate our wealth. The election of Trump may well change some things in Washington DC. After the investigations by Durham, Barr, and Horowitz are completed, you will see the depths that govt officials and various media pundits, descended in their illegal, unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 election results. Hopefully, congress will retract their claws long enough to pass a bill giving congress vastly more oversight of our IC including the NSA and CIA, along with the FBI.

Lois Gagnon , November 5, 2019 at 16:28

Western Empire centered in the US is being challenged and its illegitimacy exposed by increased wars of aggression abroad and creeping authoritarianism domestically. Those profiting off the system for decades will resort to the usual tactics of lies, smears and violence to prevent having to surrender their power.

Elections have no doubt been rigged for a long time, but it's being done in the open now. Those who continue to believe they live in a functioning democracy being attacked by Russia are probably beyond hope for the short term. The cognitive dissonance is more than they can deal with. Trump's mistaken elevation to the presidency seems to have turned once functioning brains into easily controlled masses of obedient children. It's been surreal to watch the transformation.

Perhaps after another election fiasco for the ruling establishment, people will being to question who is really responsible for the way things are. Then again, maybe not.

karlof1 , November 5, 2019 at 16:13

Pardon me, but how many people were cited to have committed felonies but were never prosecuted for their criminality? Might I presume that's merely the tip of an iceberg and that the truth of the matter is the entire electoral process within the USA is utterly corrupt and thus illegitimate?! And of course there's a bipartisan effort to ensure no legislation regulating political parties ever gets to a vote so we the people have no means to alter their behavior!

I've looked long, hard and deep into the USA's fundamental problems and have mused about various bandages for the 1787 Constitution that might put the nation back into the hands of those in whose name it was organized–The People–but most people just don't seem to give a damn or argue that the situation isn't all that bad and just greater citizen activism is all that's required. What was it JFK said–"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." If the electoral process is completely illegitimate as it certainly appears to be, then the only real recourse citizens retain is revolution. Have the corporate pukes at the DNC & RNC thought through the outcome of their behavior; or perhaps revolution is what they want to see occur so they can crush it and establish the dictatorship their actions deem they prefer.

Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 01:29

Yes Ill join the revolution but please, just one more game of Candy Crush first. Can't you see I'm busy.

Charlene Richards , November 5, 2019 at 16:00

Progressives will NEVER have a seat at the Democrat Party table.

The Democrats and the DNC are hopelessly corrupt and the only way to strip them of their power is for ALL true Progressive Americans to walk away and refuse to vote for ANY Democrat, Trump or no Trump.

Just as Sanders got screwed by them and he and his supporters KNEW it and he STILL supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton who is a known liar and corrupt criminal!

I will vote for Tulsi in the California primary only because she had the guts to call out Clinton for what she is.

But I can promise all of you, if necessary the Superdelegates will step in to stop Sanders and when the corruption happens again next year I will start campaigning for Trump.

Believe me. Not playing their games with them is the ONLY way to stop them.

And I hope Canova will run against DWS again as an Independent. She is evil!!

Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:52

Thank you, Charlene, for your simple clarity on a viable, trustworthy candidate to work for. That person is Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie lost it for me when he "supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton" after what the Clinton/DNC did to him in the last election (sorry Bernie; but, you showed your true staying power with that one). Though again I will say it; it will take most of us in the streets to make the changes we need. Climate change is our real enemy with regards to our survival. US created endless wars blind us from this reality along with the silent killer, unrelenting population growth on a finite planet. If you care about any future for those coming after us, those three issues are all that really matter.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:07

It seems to me though, that not voting at all would be preferable in the circumstances you describe, to voting for such a one as trump. I'll never give my vote to any wickedly repulsive human being, no matter their party affiliation. Most Green Party candidates have been ethical, reasonable, kind, highly intelligent, and have good plans for the commons. But of course, to each his or her own, Charlene. Cheers, regardless.

Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 03:35

ML one more thing, would you vote for a candidate who hasn't initiated any regime change type of war and is doing his best to extricate us from the ones he inherited?
Even saint obama sent mountains of arms to Syria via Libya, which ended up in ISIS hands and killed US troops. Despicable!

rosemerry , November 5, 2019 at 15:28

"casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections". I am not an American but cannot believe that anyone could even pretend that there is any aspect of democracy in the US electoral process. As well as gerrymandering, the overwhelming effect of donors" ie bribes, and the appointment of partisan judges to SCOTUS and most of the other courts in the land make the selection and election of candidates a completely undemocratic procedure.Interference by Russia could never be significant, especially if, as Pres. Putin pointed out, the difference between the policies o the two Parties is minimal.

Steve Naidamast , November 5, 2019 at 15:27

I am a Green I don't care anymore :-(

Michael Crockett , November 5, 2019 at 14:03

I agree with your assessment of the DNC. They deflect from their own reprehensible conduct to blame Russia for interfering in our elections. No evidence is needed. It just a mind numbing stream of Russia! Russia! Russia! US elections are among the most corrupt in the world (Carter Foundation). It appears that our criminal justice system, to include our courts, can not or will not offer any remedy to this crisis.

Hopelb , November 5, 2019 at 13:55

The only way we US citizens can circumvent this undemocratic treachery is to hold a parallel vote on paper ballots that can be publicly counted if the election results are contested. Just read that Amazon or was it google has the cloud contract for tabulating votes in 40% of our elections.
HRC/the DNC not screaming night and day for I hackable paper ballots/publicly counted puts the lie to their Russia hoax.
Thanks for the great article! Love your show.

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:42

We've spent years reading and talking about the illegitimacy of elections, interspersed with people railing against those who don't vote. Each election is "the most important of our lifetimes," and "every vote counts," and if Democrats lose, we're back to shouting that (fill in the blank) stole the election.

We've gone over "politics 101" a thousand times. Most votes come down to economic issues, and these are the very issues by which the Clinton right wing divided and conquered the Dem voting base., middle class vs. poor. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. It isn't the result of arcane ideological differences, much less "Facebook trolls," but of the suffering caused by the policies of the Democrat Party. Predictably, we once again see much work going into to setting the stage to blame an expected election defeat on anything/everything other than this.

Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:12

One cannot?

The Democratic Party will probably annoint Warren or Biden, one of the establishment candidates. After all, they could point to Trump as justification for "managing" their primary voters!

And then anyone with a brain and a heart will vote third party.

C.K. Gurin , November 5, 2019 at 18:52

Anyone with a brain and a heart will vote Bernie.
Why the heck do you think the DNC IS working so hard to stab him in the back again.

Mike from Jersey , November 5, 2019 at 13:11

Excellent article.

It seems that dishonesty is not just acceptable to the two political parties and to the media but it is now considered "accepted practice."

This, of course, has nothing to do with real democracy. Real democracy requires honesty to function properly.

One can only conclude that we no longer have a democracy in this country.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:00

Very well said. While the DNC corruption is the proper focus for reformers, the Repubs celebrate corruption as an ideal. In Florida where "Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes [but] Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor" I have an ongoing investigation of racketeering involving the theft of over 100 million in conservation funds by wealthy scammers in government, all of whom do far are Repubs. They regularly sell public offices to donors (get yours now): $2K for committee memberships and $32K for chairmanships, including your state university board of trustees, no qualifications at all required. They include judges state and federal, governors, prominent senators, you name it. Money=virtue=qualification is the core of their belief system, and white-collar theft is their profession and only skill.

I am astounded that Canova got a summary judgment against Snipes, but not that Snipes had no prosecution or penalty and remained in the very office in which the public trust was utterly betrayed.

michael , November 6, 2019 at 07:40

Your comment calls out corruption by Republicans, but the one concrete example you give is of Brenda Snipes, a Democrat, stealing a Democratic primary for Wasserman Schultz over Canova? As Federal and Florida judge Zloch noted, primaries are a mere formality. The DNC can pick any candidates they want, votes are meaningless. The GOP has always been the party of business, mean and corrupt. But since the Clintons, the DNC has passed them in Wall Street support, corruption and war mongering; and of course they have abandoned their constituents, the Poor, the Working Class, and Progressives, knowing they will not vote for Republicans and "have nowhere else to go".

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 12:58

Good article

Jim Poly , November 5, 2019 at 12:52

Thank you for reinforcing my cynicism in the two party system in America. Both parties are at fault here of denigrating the public's confidence in the electoral process. How better than to blame the Russian boogie man in trying to rig our already rigged system. That's the purview of the plutocrat and oligarch cabal and their elite enablers in government. Stay in your lane.

Jill , November 5, 2019 at 12:50

This article makes many excellent points.

The US hasn't had an authentic election in a very long time. Even if the process was at one time more transparent, the CIA and OGA/other entities have taken out presidents who they didn't like. Then we come to 2000 where the election for president was clearly stolen by Bush and again in 2004, there was a likely election theft by Bush. (These thefts may have been by agreement of both legacy parties, as opposed to actual election theft. I say this because the Democratic party did not fight tooth and nail to make votes count or challenge voter roll purges that were happening in plain sight.)

What has changed now are the tools available to engage in mass election theft/voter disenfranchisement. Microsoft will be determining the coming election as they are the ones rolling out the voting machines. This is why we desperately need paper ballots. I lived in Ohio and I knew people who saw their vote changed in front of their eyes. As we will not get paper we need to figure out some way around unverifiable machine votes. That may be by filming one's vote or community efforts to have people come out of the polls and mark a citizen provided private paper ballot. Basically, a citizen run paper parallel voting apparatus that could provide some basis to challenge unverified machine votes.

This article points out some other things which have changed in the current society. The ability to ignore what most people really want is endemic. This is coupled with the ability to manipulate people to "want" someone they actually wouldn't "want" as a candidate where it not for massive propaganda and information restriction. Further, the government is lawless. The powerful will not be held to account for rigging or stealing elections. That has been made perfectly clear. The lack of legal accountability has necessitated making certain that citizens will not ask for evil and illegal actions committed by "their" parties' candidate/office holder to be questioned or called out. The government/corporate amalgam needs a closed system, no legal questions, no citizen questions. This allows complete impunity for all wrongdoing.

Thus we find ourselves in an incredibly dangerous place. People cling to a party/candidate with a zeal once reserved for cult leaders. As the cults run most of the discourse and have most of the information (as cults generally do) I think we must look at ways that people have successfully left cults and apply these stories to our own lives. We must break out of the cult.

Dfnslblty , November 5, 2019 at 12:48

Thanks for a good essay

Keep writing

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:30

LOL! I just changed from unaffiliated to Democrat so I can caucus/vote* for the least worst Democrat knowing that I'll end up voting Green-no-in-between anyway when the multi-party rigged election happens. I never feel dumber than when I waste my time filling out ballots or showing up for caucuses.
* Colorado changed procedures and I haven't given enough of a shit to figure out what I have to do, yet.

Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 12:11

The Economist, of course, has called the US a flawed democracy and they were probably being kind. On top of the chicanery Ms. Vos identifies here, we have the Republicans doing their dead level best to suppress the vote of anyone that even looks like they'd vote for someone else besides a Republican.

This is the Republicans pure and simple. They are the ones that are focused on winning at all costs. And both parties are now Republicans. There is, of course, the Republican party which has become extremely right wing in the wake of St. Ronnie, driving any moderate Republican out of the party and those people have infested the Democratic party as DINOs. Three Names herself is a former Goldwater Girl. The highly anticipated rematch between Donnie Murdo and Three Names will be a real disaster. (Hint: Donnie Murdo might get impeached but he'll never be convicted in the Senate)

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:59

Was there ever a better argument put forth that would prove that the Chinese Communist Party is a far better form of government than is the corrupt democratic process in the USA. At least the CCP gives the Chinese people a competant government, with the over all well being of the population first and foremost. Just look at where this democratic????? system of government has gotten us. The entire system looks like the movie " The Gangs of New York" with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the rival gang leaders.

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:47

Well one thing is certain, we won`t be seeing this op ed in the New York Times or Newsweek or any other major American news outlet any time soon.

Antonio Costa , November 5, 2019 at 11:25

Yes the rot that is the DNC!

Thank you for this great summary, that brings us to now.

These parties must be eliminated. They cannot be reformed.

Paul , November 5, 2019 at 11:23

When I read this I have to wonder if the Russia agenda is anything less than a raging success. The Democrat party is doing the work for them by splitting the country by their single minded focus on Impeaching Trump. I do not know if that was the intent but it certainly is the result.

michael , November 5, 2019 at 11:08

According to REAL CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou a Russian "asset" is someone paid by the Kremlin. The only people paid by Putin were the Clintons who received $500,000 for a talk to Putin's bank in Moscow while Hillary was Secretary of State.

The only recent documented interference in Elections was by New Knowledge pretending to be Russians to swing the Alabama US Senate race from Moore to Jones: a 'technological advance that we'll see much more of from NSA/State department spin-offs in 2020).

And by Ukraine's fake Black Ledger which knocked Paul Manafort from Chairman of the Trump Campaign, thus helping Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Campaign. Manafort is a sleazy corrupt politico just like the Bidens, Ciaramalla, the Podestas and Greg Craig, the latter two working closely with Manafort in the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

jmg , November 5, 2019 at 10:24

A prediction from 2016 that turned out to be correct:

"Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy . . .

"By far the most irresponsible and dangerous Hillary Clinton has done is however to accuse a foreign power – Russia – of meddling in the election in order to prevent her winning, and to impose Donald Trump on the American people.

"This is dangerous and irresponsible at so many levels that it is difficult to know where to start.

"Firstly, it is not true. . . ."

(Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy -- The Duran -- Oct 31, 2016)

Herman , November 5, 2019 at 09:59

Great article. The use of Russia as the red herring to confuse the public and to serve the Democratic Party apparatchiks. Not a surprise as ordinary folks like me can see it yet it works. Witnessing the venom in Mueller's voice when he spoke about the evil Russians interfering in our elections says a lot about the Washington mindset.

Then the point that people don't matter, money does is not a new idea but a telling one about the way we select our leaders. Throw in the media that benefits most from the money flow and you get what Ms. Vos eloquently describes in the article, a very corrupt and damaging system.

Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:16

Excellent commentary! It is apparent to anyone who bothers to think that the DNC did more to destroy our democratic process than anything Russia could ever be capable of. They constantly cry about the electoral college, yet they have "superdelegates" set up in the primary process to ensure that "corporate sponsored warmonger from column B" becomes the only Democratic Party option in the General Election. To call it blatant hypocrisy is an understatement.

Democracy has always been a farce in the USA, and Russia has nothing to do with it.

John Moffett , November 5, 2019 at 08:37

If everyone started boycotting corporate news shows, it would go a long way toward ending their negative influence over our lives. There is no excuse for watching CNN, MSNBC or any of the other corporate news outlets, unless of course you want to hear the lies that the billionaires want you to hear.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 5, 2019 at 07:33

A hopelessly corrupt and confused political system for a hopelessly corrupt and confused nation.

GT Barnett , November 5, 2019 at 06:56

Sixty years now of mass delusion. The southern strategy has worked well during the decades.. BUT. This president has exposed it all. Money Honey, and the Southerners are starting to feel.. STUPID.
I must say, of all of it's confessions, the "we left enough soldiers to protect the oil" (In Iraq/Iran) was casually blurted out as plain speech.
It's the beginning of the end..good riddance gop.

Paul Ellis , November 5, 2019 at 04:19

Thank you very much for putting all this together in one article. It's great to have as a resource to help people see what's going on with the DNC.

Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 01:26

Fortunately, the DNC doesn't want any of my money or support for their candidates. And the RNC is, if anything worse.

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:32

Are you crazy (I know you're not)? They lust for your vote and will do ANYTHING they can to get it except offer you anything you need.

Realist , November 5, 2019 at 00:09

As a life-long registered Democrat I have felt totally betrayed by the DNC for the fraudulent and illegal acts that Ms. Vos so lucidly and comprehensively outlines in her piece. It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. Undoubtedly the collusion of a fully partisan mass media has a great deal to do with this sad reality. However, one must insist that Trump Derangement Syndrome and extreme Russophobia, widely propagated by that corrupt media, are not valid reasons to adopt the same sleazy standards and morals reflexively attributed by Democrats to Republicans for generations. Maybe it used to be only half the country, when Democrats purportedly stood for strictly objective empirical truth, impartiality and fair play, but now, in light of proven shameless Democratic fraud, deception, false narratives and phony alibis, most of the country insists upon brazenly embarrassing itself beyond all belief. People don't seem to care whether they are governed by a rigorously open constitutional process or a demagogic dictator who seizes or sneaks into power through fraud, as long as that dictator is from "their" tribe. Shameful.

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:50

Boss Hogg would be proud.

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:36

Ditto! It's like a pass interference call in football. My team never deserves a flag and the other side always does.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:05

Yes, primitive tribalism remains at the core of politics, due to the extreme political ignorance spawned by our corrupt mass media.

michael , November 6, 2019 at 09:52

"It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. "
The rank and file party members have nowhere else to go and the DNC leadership knows it.

jadan , November 4, 2019 at 23:27

Our electoral system doesn't work because no one can have any confidence that their vote is counted as cast in a state wide or national venue. Aside from gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls, and other tricks and techniques of election rigging, there is the manipulation of numbers in computerized vote counts that undermines the validity of US election results. It's not the Russians or any other outside influence. It's not possible as a practical matter to do a recount of a presidential election. Why would any rational person have confidence in the outcome?

Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. Fact is, no one wants a true count of the majority vote because it would run counter to special interests that have grown accustomed to buying elections. The DNC becomes just another special interest. An electoral system that counted every vote as cast and could be recounted would destroy the oligarchy.

"Our democracy" is a fantasy. Funny how no politician calls for reform of the electoral process. Not even Bernie.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:12

Yes, and the reforms are quite easy, although some require amendments to the Constitution:
1. Limiting campaign contributions to the average day's pay annually (or similar means) with accounting and penalties.
2. Monitor public officials and all relatives and associate for life, with heavy penalties for payoffs etc.
3. Similar measures to isolate mass media (say over 10% of market in subject area or region) from economic power.
4. Strict monitoring of voting machine design/production/usage, or requirement of manual balloting.
But as you note, "too many players depend on a rigged system."

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:52

Agree, and while such reforms have been needed for decades, they would not change the consequences of Democrats successfully splitting apart their own voting base. By now, middle class liberals simply appear to be unaware of, or unconcerned about, this split, making it a lost cause.

Bethany , November 5, 2019 at 16:18

Right. Not even Bernie. And no one talks about Julian Assange either. None of them, including Bernie, wanted what WikiLeaks revealed to be revealed. Bernie's refusal to fight the obvious rigging last time and his subsequent directive to vote for Hillary were very enlightening. His weak defense of Tulsi Gabbard was also enlightening. Every day I am aware of what Hannah Arendt described as 'the iron bands' of totalitarianism tightening and don't foresee relief in the future.

nondimenticare , November 5, 2019 at 17:45

It puts me in mind of the election of Liberal Justin Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform of reforming the unfair, he said, Canadian voting system of first past the post to a form of proportional representation. (This was after years of a Conservative government.) What a surprise that when he won the election with a majority government, he had a middle-of-the-night epiphany that the voting system is quite fine as is.

The same reason we haven't gotten tax reform in the US even when people had a modicum of power: Everyone was sure that s/he was a rich person hiding in a poor person's body and, by golly, when that rich person emerged s/he wanted to keep all the loot. A pipe dream then, a virtual impossibility now.

Erelis , November 5, 2019 at 22:16

"Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. " Indeed. First, I have worked many an election and the ONLY people who can steal an election are the people inside the electoral infrastructure. That is, no Russian hacker sitting in Moscow who can change the results of an election. In America it is Americans cheating other Americans. (Just look to the the centuries long disenfrancshment of African America voters or recently in Georgia–not a Russian in sight.)

In 2000 I thought the democratic party leadership would lead the way to electoral reform as there were just a ton of compliants about computer based voting machines. Nada. Instead the democrats blamed Nader. There is only one conclusion. Neither the democrats nor republicans want to give up their electoral advantages to change and alter and the direction of the outcomes of an election.

Zhu , November 4, 2019 at 23:23

I first voted in the US in 1972. Nothing important has ever improved because of voting. We get more wars on third world people, more homelessness, no matter which team wins. No wonder more than half never vote!

Sweet William , November 5, 2019 at 11:30

that's just silly. Encouraging people not to vote has been highly successful in this country. thanks for your help in making it a successful tactic. CN plays a part in that same old sorry: both sides are equally evil.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:30

This is to Sweet William: Denying party leaders legitimacy, which they both richly deserve to be denied them, is but one way to deal with the utter sham that comprises our electoral system. I don't judge people for not voting out of sheer outrage and protestation. I have always voted and since I could not abide either candidate in 2016, I voted Green, but don't judge people for making the decision not to participate in protest. It's one thing to be completely incurious and apathetic, it's quite another to be raging mad and calling the system out for what it is- a completely corrupted unethical mess like our fascistic, lying, murdering, bellicose empire, the USA. I am not proud to be an American. But my right to vote includes my right NOT to, Sweet William.

jadan , November 5, 2019 at 23:01

People do not believe their votes are counted as cast because they aren't. There is no way to recount a national election. Nothing changes for most people by and large while great benefits accrue to the elites. The war racket continues. exploitation of the environment and labor continues. People do not trust their government to work for them, so why vote? This is the result of a rigged system that is not transparent. It is easy to fix the system. Paper ballots will not solve the problem. We need to develop a block chain system for voting. Just as a bitcoin is secure, so can a voter's ID be secure. You could easily check to see if your vote was counted as cast. The election itself could be recounted quickly and easily. The majority of people are not right wing libertarian or left wing radicals. If the voice of the genuine majority were delivered in an election, the oligarchy would collapse.

Jeffery Denton , November 4, 2019 at 22:11

Next I would like to hear your take on WHY the Republicans went along with the russiagate conspiracy theory. And what Joe thinks as well.

Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:20

The MIC funds both parties to a large extent. Trump's musings about detente with Russia made him the enemy of the establishment on both sides of the aisle.

Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:15

Because either 1) they're on the national security gravy train, or 2) they can be easily pressured by all the forces of 1).

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:54

Republicans fully support the "Russia-gate" insanity because they see how it has driven away more Dem voters, making Democrats too dangerous to vote for.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:42

I think Antiwar7 has it just about right and so does Skip Scott. I'd add that Trump's musings on detente with Russia went no further in his tiny, grasping mind than "what will I get out of this personally" if I encourage rapprochement with Russia? Except that the word "rapprochement" isn't in his vocabulary- but you get the idea.

Noah Way , November 4, 2019 at 21:54

Despite the blatant manipulation of the 2016 election by the Dems (to Hillary's chagrin, LOL) and the coordinated post-election disenfranchisement of the elected president (no matter how awful he is) by the collapsed accusations of RussiaGate and likewise the totally fabricated UkraineGate (just think about this for a millisecond – they're using an anonymous CIA "source" to blame Trump for something Biden actually did, and which has been a basic tool of US foreign policy since WWII), this is only part of domestic election meddling by both parties that includes gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, media manipulation, unlimited anonymous money in politics, electronic vote hacking, supreme court interference, etc., etc., etc.

The entire system is corrupt from the top to the bottom.

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

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

snake , Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

Thanks bin @ 23 for article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

even in the 'good articles', even in 'noble efforts' its pretty hard not to slip into, what? Let's call it, Empire Speak. Or is that Swamp Speak? by: Robert Snefjella @ 42 <= the mind control weapons that fire bullets made of propaganda are extremely powerful..

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 05, 2019] Both Latinos and young voters going disproportionately for Sanders.

Nov 05, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"The 7 big bets that will decide who wins the White House in 2020" [ Politico ].

"Sanders' big bet is that this movement has the capacity to grow and to appeal to voters who have not previously participated in Democratic contests. If true, this could give him staying power in the race even if he has yet to score big victories by spring. From early on, Sanders has demonstrated strength with younger voters, with Hispanics and with working-class voters.

[Politico Repoter Holly] Otterbein notes the obvious risk: Lots of candidates historically have pledged to expand the electorate and not many have been successful. 'On the other hand,' she observes, 'there was evidence in 2018 that some of these groups actually did see a real big boost in turnout.

Latinos -- their voter turnout increased more than any other ethnic group. And the younger generations outvoted the boomers and older generations.'" • Both Latinos and young voters going disproportionately for Sanders.

[Nov 05, 2019] Civil War Begins When the Constitutional Order Breaks Down

Nov 05, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

[ The American Conservative ]. "Civil war is, at root, a contest over legitimacy. Legitimacy -- literally the right to make law -- is shorthand for the consent of the citizens and political parties to abide by the authority of a constitutional order.

Civil war begins when this larger political compact breaks down .

Hence civil war becomes a struggle in which one party must successfully assert a successor legitimate order, and to which the opposing party must eventually submit. This is above all a contest over constitutional authority.

Inasmuch as civil war happens after constitutional breakdown, it means that resolution must be reached not only outside of a now-former legal framework, but also unrestrained even by longstanding political customs and norms.

Extra-constitutional force is now the deciding factor, which is why these struggles are called civil wars ." • This is a must-read.

[Nov 04, 2019] Neoliberalism Never Heard of It

Nov 04, 2019 | jacobinmag.com

Neoliberalism? Never Heard of It

By
Luke Savage

The latest liberal parlor game is pretending there's no such thing as neoliberalism. The game's very popularity highlights neoliberalism's enduring hegemony.

For the first time in decades, it has become possible to envision real alternatives to the prevailing political and economic order of the past forty years. In both Europe and the Americas, the neoliberal consensus is facing a crisis of moral, intellectual, and popular legitimacy: proving unable to deliver either the growth or the broad prosperity its ideologues once promised and facing robust electoral challenges from both the socialist left and the nationalist right.

Predictably enough, this turn of events has elicited a defensive response from neoliberalism's greatest partisans and those otherwise invested in its political and cultural hegemony. "Reminder: Liberalism Is Working, and Marxism Has Always Failed," asserts an anguished Jonathan Chait. "It's Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses," bellows an indignant James Traub. "Not left, not right, but forward," meanwhile, has once again become the median posture among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president -- with most candidates channeling the spirit of Tony Blair's famous 1998 call to neoliberal technocracy and making familiar appeals to moderation and tepid meliorism.

But the past several years have also given birth to another, more curious phenomenon: namely the repeated insistence of many prominent liberals and centrists that neoliberalism is either a phantom created by leftists or, alternatively, a term so ethereal it defies definition and therefore serves no useful purpose. In Britain and America especially (arguably neoliberalism's most significant ideological beachheads in the 1980s and '90s), some commentators can't seem to help resist this strange line of argument, even as the contours of the neoliberal order become ever-more visible as its political prospects weaken and its economic fortunes decline.

The argument comes in several variations.

The first, and most plainly superficial, caustically insists that neoliberalism doesn't exist or at any rate ceased to have a meaningful existence long ago. "Nobody has spotted a neoliberal in the wild since Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign," writes Politico 's Bill Scher, in his stunningly humorless review of The Chapo Guide to Revolution . Or, to take the petulant words of former Clinton sycophant Tom Watson: "There are no neoliberals in the US Congress -- not one. Not one in any statehouses in the nation, either. Yet it's constantly bandied about by the white academic left as a functioning and present ideology."

A second, related version holds that the word primarily exists as a term of abuse: an epithet reductively deployed by leftist trolls looking to slander everyone in sight. This variation's greatest scribe is undoubtedly the ever-aggrieved Chait who, in a July 2017 piece titled "How 'Neoliberalism' Became the Left's Favorite Insult of Liberals," insists that liberalism has remained largely consistent and unchanging (thus making "neo" an unnecessary and pejorative addendum). This argument hinges on the astoundingly ahistorical claim that liberal politicians had no hand in the generalized rightward shift that followed the 1970s and, furthermore, have not wavered in their basic commitments, particularly when it comes to economic policy, since the New Deal:

The Democratic Party has evolved over the last half-century, as any party does over a long period of time. But the basic ideological cast of its economic policy has not changed dramatically since the New Deal . . . Progressives are correct in their belief that something has changed for the worse in American politics. Larger forces in American life have stalled the seemingly unstoppable progressive momentum of the postwar period . . . All this forced Democrats more frequently into a defensive posture . . . Barack Obama's far more sweeping reforms still could not win any support from a radicalized opposition. It is seductive to attribute these frustrations to the tactical mistakes or devious betrayals of party leaders. But it is the political climate that has grown more hostile to Democratic Party economic liberalism. The party's ideological orientation has barely changed.

In this telling, liberal writers like Chait and Democratic politicians like Clinton and Obama have remained consistent with the liberalism of the midcentury. The "neoliberalism" charge is therefore an abusive tactic invented by socialists and designed primarily to "bracket," as he puts it, "the center-left together with the right as 'neoliberal' and then force progressives to choose between that and socialism."

This calls to mind a third, perhaps more emblematic variation on the form, which holds that the wide application of "neoliberal" renders the term too vague or imprecise for it to retain real value. In an editorial for the Independent , Ben Chu takes aim at the regular charge made by some on Labour's Corbynite left that the EU is a neoliberal institution: a reflex he believes to be incoherent, conspiratorial, and even mildly sinister. Partly echoing Chait, Ed Conway (economics editor for Britain's Sky News) asks : "What is neoliberalism and why is it an insult?" While socialists and others on the Left are fond of branding everything they dislike "neoliberal," he writes, no one can actually agree on the word's meaning:

You could pick any one of [Jeremy Corbyn's] speeches over the past few years for . . . examples. The Grenfell Tower was a tragedy of neoliberalism . . . Austerity was a product of neoliberalism. The City is neoliberal, the government is neoliberal, the press is neoliberal . . . Despite the fact that neoliberalism is frequently referred to as an ideology, it is oddly difficult to pin down. For one thing, it is a word that tends to be used almost exclusively by those who are criticizing it -- not by its advocates, such as they are (in stark contrast to almost every other ideology, nearly no one self-describes as a neoliberal). In other words, it is not an ideology but an insult.

A somewhat more earnest and coherent version of this argument is found in a recent essay by Vox 's Ezra Klein , which does at least grant the term neoliberalism some tangible meaning. "In its simplest form," Klein writes, "neoliberalism refers to a general preference for market mechanisms over state interventions." This, however, is where the problems begin for him:

Since almost everyone sometimes prefers market mechanisms to state interventions, and sometimes prefer state interventions to market mechanisms, the conversation quickly gets confusing. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were neoliberals . Bill Clinton is often seen as a neoliberal. Barack Obama is sometimes considered a neoliberal. Elizabeth Warren is occasionally called a neoliberal.

As such, Klein concludes, the label is often over-applied to the point of incoherence. "A label that can describe everyone," he argues, "doesn't usefully describe anyone." To his credit, Klein doesn't want us to abandon the term entirely. Nor does he pretend, as others do, that the phenomenon it describes is so nebulous it might as well not exist (to his earlier definition, he even adds: "Neoliberalism describes what happens when capitalism mutates from an economic system to a governing and even moral philosophy").

His essay's primary purpose, however, is to argue that the Obama presidency fell short of progressive expectations because of an intransigent Congress rather than an attachment to neoliberalism. This is where Klein, his more nuanced and inquisitive posture notwithstanding, begins to sound a bit like Chait:

In recent years, neoliberal has reemerged as political slander, meaning something like "corporatist sellout Democrat" . . . I've become more frustrated with the lazy ways the term is tossed around -- and, particularly, how it becomes an all-purpose explanation for any political outcome someone doesn't like.

While exhibiting variations and coming in numerous shades of good and bad faith, all of these arguments -- and others in the same vein -- share some common features.

The first is poor, or at any rate incomplete, history.

Far from being abstract or immaterial, neoliberalism was the consciously pursued project of an initially small group of intelligentsia who, thanks to decades of well-funded organizing and adept political maneuvering -- particularly during the economic crises that afflicted Keynesian social democracy in the 1970s -- gradually succeeded in taking their ideology to the heights of institutional and cultural power. First capturing the old right (in Britain's Tory Party, the disappointments of the Heath era gave way to the more dynamic and confrontational ethos of Thatcherism, just as in America Nixon and Ford were succeeded by Reaganism), the neoliberal ascendency eventually secured a foothold in the center-left thanks to the agency of figures like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

The new generation of ideologues who came to dominate Western liberalism in the 1990s were hardly dragged kicking and screaming into the embrace of its more market-zealous incarnation. On the contrary, New Labour acolytes and Atari Democrats were some of neoliberalism's most enthusiastic converts and set out to realign their parties with the consensus already set in motion by the new right. Here's how the Democratic Party's shift away from postwar liberalism was described in 2013 by none other than Chait himself :

[Various] magazines once critiqued Democrats from the right, advocating a policy loosely called "neoliberalism," and now stand in general ideological concord. Why? I'd say it's because the neoliberal project succeeded in weaning the Democrats of the wrong turn they took during the 1960s and 1970s. The Democrats under Bill Clinton -- and Obama, whose domestic policy is crafted almost entirely by Clinton veterans -- has internalized the neoliberal critique.

Given these observable shifts, it is simply ahistorical to argue that liberalism has been ideologically stagnant, or that its transformation into neoliberalism during the 1990s did not occur; equally so to suggest that liberal politicians like Clinton or Obama were simply the casualties of a generalized rightward drift, akin to an intense weather event, rather than the conscious practitioners of an ideology. If neoliberalism is sometimes invoked as a pejorative term for today's liberal politicians, it's because the Left opposes the consensus they seek to perpetuate and holds that a more humane alternative is both possible and desirable.

Setting aside the historical details, what about the second major component of the arguments at hand -- that the moniker "neoliberalism" is either too widely applicable or too contested to be of any use?

This is the fulcrum of the reasoning offered in varying degrees by Klein, Conway, and Chu, and like many erroneous arguments, it contains a degree of truth. For one thing, there is indeed some ambiguity surrounding the term -- but that's only because what it refers to is so multifaceted. Taken at face value, neoliberalism describes a mixture of classical liberal philosophy and neoclassical economics amounting (on paper at least) to an ethic of governance that sees individual freedom as best actualized under a regime of limited state activity, favors private enterprise over public ownership, and is skeptical of state regulation.

But neoliberalism also variously describes: an existing set of interconnected economic and political institutions; a conscious ideological offensive that transformed global politics in the 1980s and '90s and the frontiers of acceptable public policy since; a range of principles that guide elected leaders of both the Right and the liberal center whether they are conscious adherents to neoliberal philosophy or not; and the near-totalizing reality of life under the pressures and logics of late capitalism.

For some, this is reason enough to abandon, dismiss, or severely limit the application of the term -- in some cases to the point that it ceases to be a recognized feature of contemporary life. If a set of political ideas can be applied too widely, so this thinking runs, then continuing to identify or isolate them as a causal force becomes basically pointless. How, after all, can a label applicable to politicians as distinct as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama be of any real use?

But we might just as easily draw the opposite conclusion. The ubiquity of a particular phenomenon does not make discrete analysis of it useless; if anything, such omnipresence makes identifying it a more urgent and critical task. A phenomenon so diffuse that it seems manifest throughout politics, economics, and culture is hardly a chimera, and the apparent reticence of many commentators to recognize or even acknowledge its valence as a term can only be viewed as a symptom of neoliberalism's continued stranglehold on our political, cultural, and intellectual life.

The longer something is a part of your reality, the more it tends to fade from your field of focus. Put another way: the more pervasive a particular object or phenomenon, the easier it can be to take its presence for granted. After its initially disruptive incursion in the 1980s, neoliberalism fast became a feature of our collective existence, so indelible many now seem unable to recall a time before it existed, let alone conceive a future that goes beyond it. An ideology secures hegemony at precisely the point it ceases to be considered an ideology: its claims transform into axioms; its theories harden into dogma; its abstruse vernacular becomes the lingua franca; its assumptions are subsumed under "common sense."

That neoliberalism remains so poorly understood in the very political mainstream whose frontiers it now circumscribes is a testament to both the breathtaking scope of its counterrevolution, and the daunting task facing those of us who desire its overthrow. It is everywhere and therefore nowhere: at once so diaphanous it seems invisible; so internalized it appears inescapable. Then again, there may be something altogether more hopeful to be drawn from this strange and often narcotic diffusion. As the late Mark Fisher reminds us:

The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.

[Nov 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay

Nov 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 01, 2019 at 07:34 AM

Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay
for 'Medicare for All' https://nyti.ms/2N9lI4F
NYT - Thomas Kaplan, Abby Goodnough
and Margot Sanger-Katz - November 1

WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20.5 trillion in new spending through huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans to pay for "Medicare for all," laying out details for a landmark government expansion that will pose political risks for her presidential candidacy while also allowing her to say she is not raising taxes on the middle class to pay for her health care plan.

Ms. Warren, who has risen steadily in the polls with strong support from liberals excited about her ambitious policy plans, has been under pressure from top rivals like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to release details about paying for her biggest plan, "Medicare for all." Her new proposal marks a turning point for her campaign, in which she will have to sell voters on a tax-and-spending plan that rivals the ambitions of the New Deal and the Great Society while also defending it against both Democratic and Republican criticism.

Under Ms. Warren's plan, employer-sponsored health insurance -- which more than half of Americans now receive -- would be eliminated and replaced by free government health coverage for all Americans, a fundamental shift from a market-driven system that has defined health care in the United States for decades but produced vast inequities in quality, service and cost.

Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade, including by requiring employers to pay trillions of dollars to the government, replacing much of what they currently spend to provide health coverage to workers. She would create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households and ramp up her signature wealth tax proposal to be steeper on billionaires. She also wants to cut $800 billion in military spending.

Ms. Warren's estimate for the cost of Medicare for all relies on an aggressive set of assumptions about how to lower national health care costs while providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she would essentially eliminate medical costs for individuals, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Critically, her new plan would not raise taxes on middle-class Americans, a question she has been asked over and over but has not answered directly until now. When confronted on the campaign trail and debate stage, she emphasized instead that her plan would result in higher overall costs for wealthy people and big corporations but lower costs for middle-class families. ...

"A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs -- and how to pay for it," Ms. Warren wrote in her plan. To do that, she added, "We don't need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny."

The issue of health care helped Democrats win control of the House in last year's midterm elections, after unsuccessful attempts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has been a central issue again this year as Ms. Warren and other Democrats have competed for their party's presidential nomination, highlighting a divide on policy between the party's moderates and its liberal wing that favors transformative change. ...

Ms. Warren's proposal shows just how large a reorganization of spending Medicare for all represents. By eliminating private health insurance and bringing every American into a federal system, trillions of dollars of spending by households, employers and state governments would be transferred into the federal budget over the course of a decade.

Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban's estimate of $34 trillion over the same period.

Ms. Warren attempts to minimize fiscal disruption by asking the big payers in the current system to keep paying for health care through new taxes. She would create a new "employer Medicare contribution" that would effectively redirect what employers are already paying to health insurers, totaling $8.8 trillion over a decade. Small businesses would be exempt if they are not currently paying for their employees' health care.

Ms. Warren has also proposed that states pay the federal government much of what they currently spend to cover state workers and low-income residents under the Medicaid program.

But she also describes new revenue streams to replace the other big chunk of health spending: the money spent by households on premiums, deductibles and direct payments for services like dental care that are not always covered by insurance.

Ms. Warren would raise $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax the richest Americans. She has previously said that her wealth tax proposal, another signature of her campaign, would impose a 3 percent annual tax on net worth over $1 billion; she would now raise that to 6 percent. She would also change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households.

In addition to imposing a tax on financial transactions, she would also make changes to corporate taxation. She is counting on stronger tax enforcement to bring in $2.3 trillion in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. And she is banking on passing an overhaul of immigration laws -- which itself would be a huge political feat -- and gaining revenue from taxes paid by newly legal residents.

Ms. Warren's plan would put substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent. Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors' pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care. ...

Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care
Costs on American Families by @ewarren
https://link.medium.com/8Jx43ukfg1

Elizabeth Warren releases Medicare for All
plan, promising no middle class tax increase
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/elizabeth-warren-released-detailed-plan-raise-trillon-pay-for-medicare-for-all-promising-middle-class-taxes-won-increase-one-penny/yWXQ1gsnfxwZ7T2UAqzr6I/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

point -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
This seems almost uniformly great. I only have two quibbles.

One is that a 6% wealth tax is actually too high, confiscatory even. The reason is that if expected ROI is about 6%, the tax takes all the expected return. In perpetuity that is equivalent to taking the entire net worth. Property tax is a pretty good guide here, 1-1.5% works, perhaps a bit more.

Two is that the slant shows up immediately with this reporter. One example: "Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade..." Note the use of "new spending". This may make sense if the subject is limited to government spending, but we all know the game is to distract from the good lowered-aggregate spending and emphasize the component spent by the evil government. We may see much more of this misdirection including by primary opponents.

She is basically proposing to municipalize the entire payment flows for healthcare, much as proposals now exist for California to municipalize PG&E, both excellent ideas.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM
This is a nice threat
But a universal public option is all we need here immediately
That and a Medicaid increase
funded by a wealth tax

Beyond that we need health cost cap and trade
Something not on the agenda of pols

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM
Five takeaways from Elizabeth
Warren's Medicare for All plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/five-takeaways-from-elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-plan/0xQAuKT7f3p8gCggtCkZ3O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - November 1

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released her proposal to pay for Medicare for All, a plan to move every American to government-run health insurance that would reshape the US health care system.

Warren's plan, outlined in a 9,275-word Medium post, included complex ideas for paying for health care costs after private insurance is ended . It's a lot to digest, so here are five takeaways.

Much of it is based on the Medicare for All Act
The plan released by Warren on Friday is primarily aimed at answering the question of how to pay for single-payer health care. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of how her health care plan would work, Warren points to the existing Medicare for All Act, that "damn bill" Senator Bernie Sanders colorfully reminded debate viewers that he wrote.

Under the Medicare for All Act, introduced by Sanders in April and cosponsored by Warren, all US residents would be automatically enrolled in a national health care plan administered by the federal government. In addition to traditional medical coverage, the Medicare for All Act includes vision and dental, plus long-term care services.

It relies on a lot of assumptions

At the outset, Warren acknowledges that it's difficult to predict what health care costs will be in the future, and she notes that current projections about how much Medicare for All would cost vary widely. Because the Medicare for All Act leaves open questions about how the single-payer system would work, including major ones like the amount that health care providers would be compensated, Warren fills in the gaps to arrive at a total cost estimate. Outside analysts, including two local experts, cited by Warren estimate her plan would result in overall US health care costs that are slightly lower than what the nation currently spends.

Arriving at a specific cost allows Warren to figure out how she will pay for it, and there are some assumptions here, too.

To fund the plan without increasing taxes on the middle class, Warren relies on enacting seemingly unrelated legislation, including immigration reform. The pathway to citizenship for millions of people in her immigration proposal would add to the tax base. Warren also wants to cut defense spending.

There aren't new middle class taxes, but there are hikes for businesses and the wealthy

Warren announced her Medicare for All plan with a major promise not to increase taxes on the middle class, but that doesn't mean some taxes won't go up. After accounting for existing federal spending and health care spending by employers that would be redirected to the government, there's still a big hole. Warren fills it by levying new taxes and closing loopholes in ways that target financial firms and large corporations. She also increases her previously proposed wealth tax.

Some businesses would be hit harder than others. As Vox points out, if Warren asks businesses to send their existing employee health insurance payments to the government, businesses that currently provide inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all, fare much better than those that provide good insurance coverage. That sets up a kind of penalty for businesses that offer health coverage: They're helping pick up the tab for Medicare for All, but they no longer have an advantage in attracting top talent with generous benefits.

Under Warren's plan, that situation is temporary as businesses would eventually pay into the system at the same rate. And Warren says employers ultimately will be better off because they won't get hit with unpredictable changes in health care costs.

It would be difficult to implement

Moving every single American to a new health care plan is a massive endeavor, so much so that Warren says she'll release an entirely separate plan that deals with how to handle the transition.

The transition has become a sticking point in the Democratic primary, with moderates like former vice president Joe Biden using the lengthy time period (Sanders' plan says it would take four years) as a reason to oppose it altogether.

And then there's the problem of passing such legislation: During the debate around the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a proposed public option to allow people to buy into a government-run health care plan nearly sunk the entire bill, and was stripped out of the landmark legislation. The episode underscored the difficulty of implementing a government-run health care program, even one popular with voters.

Warren has a plan for that, though. She wants to get rid of the filibuster, meaning the Senate would need a simple majority to pass legislation, rather than the 60 votes currently required to stop debate.

Warren has been reluctant to go on the offensive, but that may be changing

As she rose in the polls, Warren resisted leveling direct attacks against her primary opponents. Warren's style has been to rail against the concept of big money fueling a campaign, rather than directly criticizing individual candidates who have taken cash from high-dollar fund-raisers.

But there are hints that this could be changing. Warren's lengthy Medicare for All plan includes rebuttals to the criticism she's gotten from the moderate wing of the primary field, calling on candidates who oppose her plan to explain how they would cover everyone.

"Make no mistake -- any candidate who opposes my long-term goal of Medicare for All and refuses to answer these questions directly should concede that they have no real strategy for helping the American people address the crushing costs of health care in this country. We need plans, not slogans," she wrote.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 05:55 AM
Declaring war on corporate America

The corporate health sub system
Intimately involves
the entire corporate system
We are on course toward
20 % of our economic output
Flowing thru our domestic
health services and products sectors

Where is the cost control mechanism

Simply in part
Progressively resourcing
And rechanneling the inflow of funds
Addresses a result not a cause

We have to address costs

We need a cap and trade market system

With a cap sector to GDP ratio that
Slowly squeezes down
the relative costs of the health sector

Enter stage left

a colander Lerner mark up market system

Paine -> Paine... , November 02, 2019 at 06:05 AM
Public option is the transition
That empowers
people themselves
To spontaneous determine
the timing and pattern of
Their own transitioning

Anything else is political folly


Liz has set a bold end state vision
Bravely out laying where we must go eventually
And drawing in
the major shift in the share of
The total social cost burden
to the wealthy classes


But that's an end a destination
not a path

Urge choice not mandates
as the better path

The present corporate cost
burden share
is a mess
That should self dissolve over time

Now we need an optional public system
And
A means to capture the
Present corporate pay ins
Piecemeal over time as employees opt out of corporate plans into publicnplans one by one

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 02:15 PM
Liz Warren would double her proposed billionaire
wealth tax to help fund 'Medicare for All' https://cnb.cx/332evbX

... Warren's wealth tax proposal would also impose a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion. She has previously said that it would be used to fund her ambitious climate agenda, a slate of investments in child care and reductions in student loan debt.

But Warren is refusing to tax the middle class. She released an analysis produced by several respected economists on Friday that suggests she will not have to.

( https://assets.ctfassets.net/4ubxbgy9463z/27ao9rfB6MbQgGmaXK4eGc/d06d5a224665324432c6155199afe0bf/Medicare_for_All_Revenue_Letter___Appendix.pdf )

Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, former Labor Department Chief Economist Betsey Stevenson, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, wrote that Warren could pay for her program "without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families."

The economists cite a number of possible revenue and spending options that they found could generate $20.5 trillion in additional funding. Much of that funding is expected to come from reallocating employer spending on health care and taxing the increased take-home pay that employees are expected to receive under her system.

But taxes on the wealthy form a substantial portion. Doubling the billionaire wealth tax will raise $1 trillion over 10 years, the economists found. They note in their analysis that the calculation assumes a 15% rate of tax avoidance. ...

[Nov 03, 2019] Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.antiwar.com

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

The 'they are manipulating Trump' angle is valid I'm sure but it tends to diminish those other aspects of Trump's 'intuition'. It is stated in the article though. Trump is antiwar in the sense that he is against useless wars. Give him a clear goal and he doesn't mind war at all. Looting and pillage is fine. Attacking defenseless enemies is fine. Convince him that endless wars are actually good business and he'll support those as well. He doesn't require manipulating for that. The antiwar elements in his thinking are easily used to paper over his other characteristics as 'being manipulated'.

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

Another subject is that of Trump's dishonesty. In fact it is more about out of sync dishonesty: 'normal people' (policy level) use shared schemas for when to lie and when not to lie. Trump uses a different one. He will lie when others consider it a bad idea and will speak the truth when others consider it a bad idea.

Luchorpan 3 days ago ,

Tulsi Gabbard just won 4% in latest national poll. Maybe Trump is taking the oil in order to make her the Dem nominee.

Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

[Nov 03, 2019] The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias | Nov 1 2019 21:28 utc | 41

The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them. Only explanation I can think of is that they realize she has a good chance of winning the Iowa caucuses and don't want to be caught flatfooted by continuing their noncoverage of her campaign.


David G , Nov 1 2019 23:20 utc | 58

lysias @40:

The explanation is more likely the opposite, I'm afraid. The Iowa caucuses are now close enough, and Gabbard polling low enough, that the WashPost feel they can tidy up their record by publishing something about her, even something favorable. If she were really threatening the front-runners, minimal and/or hostile coverage would be de rigueur.

karlof1 , Nov 1 2019 23:31 utc | 60
wendy davis @48--

Thanks for your reply! IMO, Gabbard was correct to vote Yea for the inquiry as it doesn't specify the crime(s). On her Twitter , Gabbard called out Trump for his continuing criminal actions in Syria which constitute a High Crime and impeachable offense. Furthermore, the orders given were all illegal orders as they're against international and US Law and should've been refused by every soldier issued them as it's their duty to do so . Unfortunately, Gabbard didn't make that very important point.

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2019 23:33 utc | 61
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake.

Right on b, a MAJOR blunder. But they stampeded themselves into that blunder because of their hysteria over Trump gunning for Biden and all the other carpetbaggers in Ukraine. This Demoncrat gang of shysters have as much wisdom as a flat rock. They have now lost Biden, must choose frootloop Warren as they can never have Sanders.

That looks a lot like keeping USA safe for Trump to me.

It is so pathetically obvious and these Demoncrats can't even assemble a package of legislation with their majority to benefit USA citizens even one small bit. The Demoncrats 'leadership' are owned in their entirety by the oligarchs of MIC, big pharma and big insurance. The Greens are incapable of breaking through their glass ceiling. What a total shambles in just about every USA allied country.

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 0:00 utc | 65
David G @57--

I just posted poll results two days ago from New Hampshire showing Gabbard at 5% while Harris had dropped to 3%. And given the size of the field, 5% is respectable and was clearly a boost provided by Clinton's outburst. Gabbard was just given space for an op/ed in The Wall Street Journal which prompted the WaPost item. Can't read the WSJ item since it's behind a paywall, but The Washington Times ran its own piece about her op/ed that provides some insight as to its content, but that site won't allow copy/paste so I can't provide MoA with the blurb it published. Here's a WaPost item about Gabbard's Iowa campaign, which as I discovered when using google is one of many by the WaPost. Despite all the ads, I liked it, but it won't get me to subscribe.

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 0:10 utc | 66
Just got another fundraiser email from Tulsi's campaign. It ends with:
Tulsi is taking this fight directly to the people -- with a packed schedule of townhalls and meet and greets, with big ad spends in the early states, with signs and boots on the ground. The best thing you can do right now to help Tulsi rise above the smear campaigns is to help her keep speaking truth to power. . . .
pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 0:11 utc | 67
democrats don't care if they shoot themselves in the foot as long as sanders or gabbard doesn't win. that's the real threat to their machine.
Ghost Ship , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 89
Really?? @ 74
From what I read at ZeroHedge, it sounds like it will be "Make my day" time in the Senate, with GOP senators able to subpoena anyone they want.

Yes, but if the GOP senators stick with their usual grandstanding posing then they can subpoena whoever they like and it'll be pointless. Actually, it'll be a complete and utter waste of fucking time because GOP senators have little or no experience of forensic cross-examination and will spend their time dicking around and asking stupid questions in a vain vain attempt to look good.. If they really want to stick it to the Democrats they need a Senate impeachment resolution that allows them to use really experienced outside criminal lawyers to plan and carry out the questioning. Since most experienced U.S. criminal lawyers are experts at making deals with prosecutors for their clients rather than going to trial, I would suggest they should bring in a couple of top-flight British QCs (barristers)with their teams of juniors.

John Merryman , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 90
With Russia and now Ukrainegate, I'm reminded on the Fed dropping interest rates every time the market has a down week. Yet eventually this shot of adrenaline will not work and the market falls through the floor.

So now that Ukrainegate has a huge hole in its chest, do the dems have a plan c, or is this the Big One?

I make this point because there are very many never Trumpers out there, clinging to this spiel, but eventually even they will wake up and where do they go? Do they finally accept the whole system really is rigged?

Eventually the ground under the powers that be will turn to quicksand and this really is a notable earthquake.

Petri Krohn , Nov 2 2019 1:29 utc | 91
THANK GOD FOR THE DEEP STATE

An interesting story and video via Fox News .

Ex-acting CIA boss expresses gratitude for 'deep state' involvement in impeachment inquiry

"Well, you know, thank God for the 'deep state'," McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

The former intelligence official was speaking at an event hosted by George Mason University, joined by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA Director John Brennan -- both of whom have been critical of the president.

"With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," McLaughlin said.

He went on to praise the intelligence community. "This is the institution within the U.S. government -- that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth," he said.

"It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby."

As b stated in a previous post, it is the Borg who should dictate US foreign policy. It certainly is not one of the three branches of government (the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary) of the trias politica model. The Intelligence Community if the Fourth Estate (Vierte Gewalt) that rules supreme over the three other branches of government.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:44 utc | 97
US Secretary of State. "We lied, we cheated, we stole." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05ac
lysias , Nov 2 2019 1:56 utc | 99
Since the UN Charter has the same legal status as Acts of Congress under U.S. law, the AUMF can certainly violate the UN Charter, under U.S. law. The AUMF may violate international law, but that is another matter.

A friend of mine attended a government meeting under President G.H.W. Bush. I believe the subject was the kidnapping of General Noriega from Panama. In any case, I was told that at the meeting William Barr said, "F!!! international law!" And it is well known that (according to Richard Clark) George W. Bush said in the White House the evening of 9/11, "I don't care what the international lawyers say, we're going to kick some ass!"

We are a lawless nation.

Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:13 utc | 102
lysias 98 US when it comes to international law has been lawless since 1986.

"The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America (1986) ICJ 1 is a public international law case decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. also blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any compensation.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua_v._United_States

In the last decades, US has used things like R2P and coalitions and so forth, but under Trump, US is dropping most pretenses.

Pompeo at times is as honest as Trump when it comes to US and what it is.

I linked a video in an earlier comment to Pompeo, but then I realised there was a bit more to "We lied, we cheated, we stole." The piece that was cut off in the earlier video I linked " It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE9zczFARuM

lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104
The Bushes were a CIA family. William Barr's first jobs after college were with the CIA, and his father was OSS. This has been the CIA's attitude towards law from the start. They've largely been running the country since the JFK assassination, and now they're out in the open trying to topple an elected president.
lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104 Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:33 utc | 105
The non Trump section of the swamp is not going down without a fight..

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-giuliani/giuliani-associate-charged-in-ukraine-linked-case-denied-release-from-house-arrest-idUSKBN1XB3XQ?il=0
"Federal prosecutors have accused Fruman and Parnas of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to the pro-Trump committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That effort was carried out at the request of at least one Ukrainian official, prosecutors said. Trump ordered the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, removed in May."

ben , Nov 2 2019 2:54 utc | 106
b said;" The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake."

Exactly b, and most Dems know it. That's the whole point, find a way to pretend they want
DJT gone, when in reality, they love what this Admin. is doing. Devolving the Gov. so their corporate masters can rake in more $ thru deregulation.

Big $ has finally achieved it's goal of of complete and total hegemony in the U$A.

Pelosi & Schumer are sycophants for the uber-wealthy, along with the majority of both parties.

Let the theater continue..

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 107
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.
Piotr Berman , Nov 2 2019 4:40 utc | 111
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 106

Since the activity is secret, so are the benefits! Actually, as a place for work, "agencies" offer a number of benefits, especially post-employment opportunities.

james , Nov 2 2019 5:38 utc | 113
smoothie wrote a good overview of this 'whistleblower' and etc... some folks here would enjoy reading it..

Whistle While You Work...

[Nov 03, 2019] On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her

Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

ph 10.19.19 at 6:04 am (no link)

On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her. Somebody takes Morris's thesis seriously. The world will be better off with the US the permanent military leader of the world.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/10/18/hillary_clinton_calls_jill_stein_a_russian_asset_implies_gabbard_is_being_groomed_by_russians.html

This is blowing up all over Twitter, with Gabbard slapping back, and the HRC loyalists calling Gabbard an Assad apologist and worse.

According to HRC logic, American third party candidates are necessarily Russian stooges placed to help the Kremlin's candidate win. The logic is "inescapable" according to HRC. BUT OF COURSE!!!! Now it ALL MAKES SENSE! 1992 Perot-Clinton, 2000 Nader-Bush, 2016 Jill Stein-Trump, and, 2020 Gabbard-Trump!!!!

It's all so clear now! The KGB wanted to keep HW Bush out of office as the former Soviet Union collapsed! That's how she and Bill entered the WH in 1992! Perot was a KGB stooge, and Bill and Hillary have been lifelong assets of the KGB. Of course!!! That's why Hillary sold all that uranium to the Russians! Lest, anyone believe the charge of dual-loyalty leveled against Gabbard is a fiction, check for yourselves.

The above is an actual argument just made by the 2016 candidate for POTUS. Russia controls US elections by promoting third-party candidates. The best part is that HRC, beneficiary of "obvious" Russian interference may yet end up running in 2020. Something to look forward to! Imagine if HRC had won in 2016. Conspiracy theories out the wazoo!

Kind of puts the Morris "scholarship" in perspective, doesn't it? my mother and sister have. Dipper, probably not)

ph 10.19.19 at 6:46 am ( 65 )
Hi John, do whatever you want with this interview with Tulsi. It looks like it's on – big time. Clinton versus Gabbard for the nomination and the chance to run against orange man bad. On the basis of what I've seen I'd say Tulsi is the only Dem with a message to take Donald down, and she's not scared to reach out to everyone for support.

She scares the crap out of all the right people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgCC5cZP5Q

I wonder about the Morris book, really. Histories aimed at the popular market are rarely written in a vacuum. As you know, post-9/11 we saw a bumper crop of mostly crap histories of the class of civilizations variety. I won't be buying or reading Morris, simply because I find wide, encompassing arguments generally useless and dull. Anyway, from the sounds of it, I do think Morris has a constituency among the FP elites.

[Nov 03, 2019] The non Trump section of the swamp is not going down without a fight..

Notable quotes:
"... If American society ever radically alters to achieve some degree of sanity in the future it is most likely that Trump will be in the history books as a heroic figure bucking the tide of bat-shit crazy that gripped the nation as its empire died. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:33 utc | 105

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-giuliani/giuliani-associate-charged-in-ukraine-linked-case-denied-release-from-house-arrest-idUSKBN1XB3XQ?il=0
"Federal prosecutors have accused Fruman and Parnas of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to the pro-Trump committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That effort was carried out at the request of at least one Ukrainian official, prosecutors said. Trump ordered the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, removed in May."


ben , Nov 2 2019 2:54 utc | 106

b said;" The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake."

Exactly b, and most Dems know it. That's the whole point, find a way to pretend they want
DJT gone, when in reality, they love what this Admin. is doing. Devolving the Gov. so their corporate masters can rake in more $ thru deregulation.

Big $ has finally achieved it's goal of of complete and total hegemony in the U$A.

Pelosi & Schumer are sycophants for the uber-wealthy, along with the majority of both parties.

Let the theater continue..

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 107
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies. Results? No known benefits. Unknown cost: The damage they do.
Piotr Berman , Nov 2 2019 4:40 utc | 111
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 106

Since the activity is secret, so are the benefits! Actually, as a place for work, "agencies" offer a number of benefits, especially post-employment opportunities.

james , Nov 2 2019 5:38 utc | 113
smoothie wrote a good overview of this 'whistleblower' and etc... some folks here would enjoy reading it..

Whistle While You Work...

Westcoast , Nov 2 2019 6:43 utc | 114
The Republicans will be OK with Mike Pence too. But I don't think they want to face the wrath of Trump supporters at election time. It will be interesting to see what happens. And if Pelosi's face further cracks. :) This is going to be a race to the finish for Trump & Pelosi.
BM , Nov 2 2019 7:23 utc | 117
That Schiff, Pelosi and Ciaramella should be able to get away with such openly fraudulent and treasonous conduct in a direct attempt to remove the elected President is incomprehensible. Can't they be indicted for treason, fraud, perjury and contempt of Congress? (The contempt of Congress at least would most likely entail a vote of Congress, unlikely to pass until after the next election). Is there something equivalent to an independent "Inspector General" responsible for dealing with misconduct of members of the House?

From the Federalist article:

ADAM SCHIFF: Director, do I have your assurance that once you work out the security clearances for the whistleblower's counsel, that that whistleblower will be able to relate the full facts within his knowledge that concern wrongdoing by the president or anyone else, that he or she will not be inhibited in what they can tell our committee, that there will not be some minder from the White House or elsewhere sitting next to them telling them what they can answer or not answer?

Oh, erm, what was it I was reading the Republican committee members asked Ciaramella, whereupon Schiff immediately ordered Ciaramella not to answer? [Oops! I think that was probably Vindman, I can't see the reference for the moment.)

This man Schiff is a disgrace (always was, but now most obscenely so). He urgently needs to be removed from his positions as he is bringing such contempt to the Congress. If this man could be thoroughly and honestly investigated, and all his papers examined, there would be such a stench of rotting worms the whole of Congress would need to be evacuated.

Circe , Nov 2 2019 7:57 utc | 119
Trump can be beaten by good policies. Instead of offering any the Democrats try to defeat him with theater. But Trump is a much better showman than Schiff or any other Democrat. It nearly looks as if they want Trump to win.

It's not just that Trump is a good showman. It's that the American mass is enthralled with the craven image of itself reflected back by Trump. He's the ugly American inside them that they've been crying out to release. Trump is deliverering them from self-restraint, and inhibition. He's telling them it's okay to embrace hypocrisy, greed, selfish global domination, material infatuation, ignorance, deception and racist hubris.

Trump is a full-throttle Zionist that appeals to the rapture-longing Evangelicals and the supremacy-covetous Zionist order and ironically many of you here.

The problem with Democrats is that in many ways they offer no different, especially in regards to Zionism, and eat their own kind who rebel against Zionism and the neoliberalism that protects it. They have all the same flaws as the Trump-enamoured mass except that they cover themselves with a veneer of pseudo-intellectual elitism, political correctness and hypocritical humanitarianism.

Authentic rebel liberals and libertarians don't stand a chance in Zionist America and you're contributing to that reality by endorsing Trump while you waste your energy putting down Democrats 100 different ways without lifting up the few that offer an authentic difference. Blech. 🙁

CircusLover , Nov 2 2019 8:25 utc | 121
Impeachment Theater

What kind of theater is this? If only, perhaps, the theater of the absurd. But everything that has been happening lately is more and more reminiscent of a circus, in the arena of which clowns perform.

Russ , Nov 2 2019 9:27 utc | 124
circe 119 "I've stated repeatedly that I'm for Sanders."

circe 122 "Oh, and one more thing to nitwits who think it's better Trump should go down at the ballot box. Wrong! Wrong! And Wrong again. Americans are too stupid to vote this goon out of office. They proved it when they voted for Bush AND Obama TWICE. He needs to go down ASAP. If Trump's dirt is too well-concealed to take him down, INVENT IT. This is one time when I'd forego ethics and side with the end justifies the MEANS."

That seems like a contradiction. The Democrats already would prefer to lose to Trump than win with Sanders. And if somehow Trump were ousted in favor of Pence, that might encourage the Democrats to think they could actually win with one of their straight-up corporate candidates. That would further reduce the already negligible chances of Sanders getting the nomination. Seems to me a Sanders partisan ought to prefer that Trump be running.

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 10:37 utc | 125
all that would happen if trump actually got impeached and booted out is pence would be president. oh and the intel community would have even more control. why this would be desirable to somebody who wants to change the system is unclear.
lizard , Nov 2 2019 11:29 utc | 127
Circe,

our host is providing a critical service, so I would appreciate if you would stop coming in and taking a crap on the rug. I take b at his word when he says he is opposed to many things Trump is doing.

this portion of your comment is incredibly dangerous:

He needs to go down ASAP. If Trump's dirt is too well-concealed to take him down, INVENT IT. This is one time when I'd forego ethics and side with the end justifies the MEANS."

your Trump Derangement Syndrome appears to metastasizing to your brain. Trump's dirt isn't too well-concealed to take him down, nope, the real nasty stuff that could take him down could delegitimize our entire political system. Think Epstein hanging out on his island while ALL his accomplices walk free.

if you didn't suffer from TDS you would understand how dangerous this Ukrainegate farce actually is. the ends DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.

the ONLY way Trump's removal doesn't end up in some new form of civil war is if Brennan, Clapper, Comey and the Clintons are also hauled away to the clink.

I for one appreciate how the Trump phenomenon has unmasked the unelected permanent power structure supposedly aligned against him. if I was forced to choose sides right now in an impending civil war, it wouldn't be the treasonous DNC/intelligence nexus I would choose to fight for.

why don't you take a break and go do something more productive, like read a book. if you read something like John Potash's Drugs As Weapons Against Us you might actually learn something about the side you are defending in this charade. I for one would certainly appreciate less hyperventilating from TDS victim. thanks.

William Gruff , Nov 2 2019 11:32 utc | 128
Addendum to my previous post:

If American society ever radically alters to achieve some degree of sanity in the future it is most likely that Trump will be in the history books as a heroic figure bucking the tide of bat-shit crazy that gripped the nation as its empire died.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 11:40 utc | 129
james @113: Thanks for the smoothie, that's good stuff.
If you think that a person who does such research as this "Structural ambiguity in the Georgian verbal noun" is a serious analyst, I have a bridge to sell. Knowing language is just a first step in knowing cultures and nations. The idea that some barely 30 years old kid can have a profound understanding of factors forming geopolitical balance by merely studying language or working in the Wold Bank is preposterous. It is not even the issue of IQ-driven so called intelligence metric. I met many people with IQ through the roof and some of them were one of the most impressive dumbfvcks I ever encountered in my life. The issue here is deeper--you literally have brainwashed political operatives, most of them not even book-smart, who are excreted every year from the American "humanities" programs who have "credentials" but have zero actual serious skills which are imperative for a serious statesmanship. They simply do not teach this in the US, nor can it be changed because the whole machine of the US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative with latter being as false as the former one. Few common sense and objective views which exist in between are pure coincidence which are there despite a totally corrupt educational system in the US when dealing with humanities. If you think that a person who does such research as this "Structural ambiguity in the Georgian verbal noun" is a serious analyst, I have a bridge to sell. Knowing language is just a first step in knowing cultures and nations. The idea that some barely 30 years old kid can have a profound understanding of factors forming geopolitical balance by merely studying language or working in the Wold Bank is preposterous. It is not even the issue of IQ-driven so called intelligence metric. I met many people with IQ through the roof and some of them were one of the most impressive dumbfvcks I ever encountered in my life. The issue here is deeper--you literally have brainwashed political operatives, most of them not even book-smart, who are excreted every year from the American "humanities" programs who have "credentials" but have zero actual serious skills which are imperative for a serious statesmanship. They simply do not teach this in the US, nor can it be changed because the whole machine of the US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative with latter being as false as the former one. Few common sense and objective views which exist in between are pure coincidence which are there despite a totally corrupt educational system in the US when dealing with humanities.
ADKC , Nov 2 2019 11:53 utc | 130
Impeachment is not a "major mistake" by the Democrats. If we assume that Trump is 4real then it is the only thing they can do, otherwise the Biden/Ukrainegate thing ( IF it is really pursued) will see the whole upper tier (and more) of the Democratic and Republican political bandits in prison (because they have all been carpetbagging in Ukraine). For the same reason (if this is 4real) then, after the Democratic Congress have impeached Trump, the Republican Senate will follow suit.

Chomsky's often stated opinion that the Republican Party is "utterly craven" is utterly meaningless and a point of no meaningful distinction with the Democratic Party.

At this moment in time the US/Western financial system is at it's weakest since the 2008 crash and is far weaker than the circumstances than the period and circumstances that led up to that crash. If the crash happens during the forthcoming period of the impeachment/Biden/Ukrainegate interregnum (which it is highly likely to do) then everything and everyone will forget immediately about impeachment/Biden/Ukrainegate and will be much more concerned about what happened to their job, pensions, money, etc. while everything they own becomes worthless and everything they need becomes unaffordable. Americans will need to be more together then they have ever been; instead they are divided and at eachother's throats

The US political system is fiddling while it's financial system and institutions are preparing to collapse.

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 12:01 utc | 131
if the cia were running the country since jfk assassination, there wouldn't have been a church committee, and they wouldn't have needed an October surprise to take down carter. they wouldn't need a wurlitzer campaign to take down trump, and they would have whacked george bush jr when he took down one of their agents. they are trying to run the country, but they don't yet. the fact is most presidents are on board with their bullshit, and it doesn't take a threatened assassination to make that happen.
Jayne , Nov 2 2019 12:12 utc | 132
Peter AU1 @ 100

Once a Deep State 'Spook' who has been vetted/trained/conditioned/approved by those 'powers that be' = always a Spook. Unless, he has shown some type of leveling and de-programming that by some miracle has occurred.

jadan , Nov 2 2019 12:13 utc | 133
You're parroting the Trump party-line and I cannot respect your views any longer, b. You have forfeit your claim to objectivity in the face of Trump's blatant authoritarian and unconstitutional behavior. You cannot invoke the doddering old gatekeeper Chomsky to signal your leftiness. Ciao.
Jayne , Nov 2 2019 12:22 utc | 134
Jadan @ 133

No, he's not? This blog doesn't have to conform to some pathetic right vs. left Sunday morning political show contrasted as an American football game, it's a lot more sophisticated than that with many layers of players, ideologies, whacky faction religions and the yes the Borg -- LOL. Trump is just the showman.

Ghost Ship , Nov 2 2019 12:30 utc | 135
BM @ 117
This man Schiff is a disgrace (always was, but now most obscenely so).
Too true.
He urgently needs to be removed from his positions ..
Nah, he should be left in place to fuck up the impeachment and bring disgrace and contempt on the Democratic Party. That might be the only way to bring about real change in the Democratic Party.
.. he is bringing such contempt to the Congress.
Nah, Congress already deserves a shitload of contempt.
William Gruff , Nov 2 2019 12:40 utc | 138
From smoothie as quoted by Bemildred @129 and linked by james @113: "...US "humanities" education pulsates between two extremes: one is of a complete deconstruction of the American history and culture into one non-stop genocide by whites of everyone else or, on the other extreme, utterly delusional exceptionalist shining city on the hill narrative..."

It is important to realize that these two extremes run in parallel in the fragmented minds of the supposedly "educated" in America. Is it any wonder then that such "educated" layers of the society believe reality to be sufficiently malleable that fantasy identities can be made real through sufficient wishing and active suppression of disbelief? "If Trump hasn't done the evil that we want to believe he has done, then it is OK to just make it up!" is seen as perfectly reasonable to these people with permanent fugues in their heads.

And those are humanities grads! We are not even talking here about business majors whose training (like a circus animal) is to be able to generate reams of grammatically comprehensible yet semantically empty text. This last portion of what passes for America's intelligentsia don't even have fugues in their heads, only fragments of previous chunks of TV media they've consumed running in loops.

Now take these properly trained "professionals" out of storage from their cubicles in Langley and away from their cookie-cutter McMansions in suburban northern Virginia and drop them in "enemy territory" in the CIA's fortress-like embassy in Havana. Away from the artificial worlds of manicured lawns and fake-smile neighbors with the insecticide trucks puffing down the street every week, for the first time in their lives they hear a real cicada, or the squeaky belt drive of an old fashioned air conditioner. Combine this with the additional dislocation of regular old culture shock and is it any wonder they they become convinced that their already atomized minds are under attack by secret Soviet brain rays?

Given that Americans, both faux-left and fake-right, sneer at rigorous hard sciences, these are what passes for America's "best and brightest" these days. And so American diplomats are clueless of the cultures they are trying to subvert for their empire, American "journalists" believe the false narratives that they themselves spun just the day before, and America's airliners designed to requirements mandated by America's top business leaders fly themselves into the ground.

This is how empire dies: in delusion and denial of reality.

Sorghum , Nov 2 2019 12:50 utc | 139
@ circe 119

I completely agree with your assessment. I don't see a viable solution for the very reasons you state. The problem isn't Trump, it is the true mentality and morals of the American culture.

Walter , Nov 2 2019 13:48 utc | 143
Y'allz discussion of legality of orders minded me that officers and enlisted take different oaths, if memory serves. Look them up and read them...then read the USC and the UN Charter et al... and a reading of the corpus of the UCMJ will fill in the rest.

And about responsibilities...see "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder".

There Mr B makes specific arguments in Law, which generally apply down the chain of command right now.

Every killing in this foreign adventure is a consequence of a felony, eg felony murder at a minimum...and how many? Millions and working toward more.

In my own ROTC days (a very long time ago) my CO and I privately discussed the M16 rounds then being developed...and that WW2 (and Korea) wounded vet (twice wounded in combat) said that the .223 round was illegal under the laws of war. That's true...every wound from M16 is a crime in and of itself.

Seems to me that the US said that the wooden bullets sometimes used by Japan were criminal...back in th' day...

migueljose , Nov 2 2019 13:53 utc | 144
Karlof1,petri, lysias and others,(@40s) thank you for your details and focus on the U.S. government's crimes and actions in Ukraine, especially pointing to Obama. His name is left out of most blogs and discussions and I think is key to a critical need for us to redirect our future conversations and actions: we need to identify the neoliberal/neocon trojan horses early and often. I voted for Obama in 08 and was shocked as he immediately began filling his cabinet with neoliberal/neocons-- Geitner, Hillary, Gates, Summers, etc.

Obama's life and actions are a texbook explanation of how humans develop on the sociopathic spectrum. Not all sociopaths are evil-looking monsters. Obama, Biden, Buttigieg, Kamala, W... but their actions always expose them. We, as fellow humans and sentient beings, must develop filters that trigger deeper probes into their actions over time and their sociopathic-- even psychopatic actions will emerge.

vk , Nov 2 2019 13:56 utc | 145
From Michael Roberts' blog facebook:
The US stock market reaches yet new highs as investors hope for a trade deal between China and the US and the Federal Reserve Bank cuts interest rates again. But US corporate profits are falling significantly.

Patrick Hill, Editor of The Progressive Ensign, explains this contradiction from data on corporate profits, rising corporate debt, increased share buybacks and dividends, and falling international sales.


The Market Soars... As Corporate Profits Slump!

Cash is the lifeblood of a company, but a company can't borrow money forever without being a viable profitable entity able to pay back debt.

"Non-financial corporations have taken on record debt at 47% to GDP. The last time corporations approached this level of debt was during the Great Recession."

"The profit margin squeeze has been happening over the past 4 ½ years, well before the trade war started. Profits were flat for the past nine years, supported by a huge corporate tax cut from the Tax Cut Bill of 2018. The contraction in profit margins has been the longest one on record since WWII. Note how recessions usually follow steep declines in profit margins at 1 to 4 years."

"profit margins are declining due to declining international sales. It is difficult to maintain healthy margins when sales are falling due to base spending for sales, support, and transportation to reach a certain sales threshold of profitability. Major corporations face increasing trade headwinds."

"The SPX soaring to new heights tells us that stock market complacency is at record levels in appraising stock valuations versus actual corporate profits. The chart below shows how wide the gap has become which is about twice the gap size just before the Dotcom decline into 2002 from a peak in 2000."

For more on this, see my post.

The problem is not only that the Dems elite cannot give a viable alternative, but that the Trumpist elite's strategy is also not working.

Honestly, I can't see a solution for the structural crisis the USA is going through now except a revolution. But the American people has clearly signalled to the rest of the world they won't do a revolution. We must prepare for WWIII.

ADKC , Nov 2 2019 14:18 utc | 146
vk @145

Everywhere you look in the US/West financial system there is unmanageable and increasing debt and insurmountable, unsolvable and increasing problems; the forthcoming collapse will be horrendous (worst than 1929; with no resources or strategies of mitigation except war).

Gary Weglarz , Nov 2 2019 14:34 utc | 148
"Trump can be beaten by good policies. " - well, that's the problem in a nutshell. The DNC absolutely refuses to consider "good policies" as an election strategy - preferring continued neoliberal Wall Street loyal war-mongering mayhem.
Walter , Nov 2 2019 14:51 utc | 149
Well, some may see this as a bit odd, but... see "They Live, We Sleep: Beware the Growing Evil in Our Midst" in whatever...an essay by J W Whitehead. I am fairly confidant it's right on topic...and with Crosstalk's bit with brother Ray (up now) as a buttress...

"For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it's not only expedient but necessary."

Huummmdair... It's sorts film review, and about theater itself.

The essay's on several sites, but the informationclearinghouse site has brother Lenard's "Everybody Knows as a lagniappe fe y'allz' enjoyment (it's fairgud)

Jayne , Nov 2 2019 14:55 utc | 150
Bemildred @ 142

Thank you for linking to Johnstone's article.

Human consciousness is of great interest to the 'powers that be', therefore it doesn't take a flying leap to say they would like control over that said consciousness programming. In fact, they've always been interested e.g. Edward Bernays, and our State controlled Media - having its 'purge' at the moment -- so our brains don't have to think so hard.

I believe it goes beyond the obvious that we should take note of those 'heavily' promoted and marketed in the Coach/Spiritual Guru field (and "the where the hell do they get their $$$ to promote this kinda stuff?"), Through personal experience I have found that those in the Shift/Waking Consciousness movement should be viewed just as much with a discerning 'eye' -- as those who are our politicians.

We came out of the "Industrial Age!" decades ago. Plus, with the "mechanisms of truth?", we should look more closely at what those current 'mechanisms' are in play that are apparently making the transition/mutation "less traumatic" for us. Any coach, or spiritual guru that doesn't provide an honest depiction of what the 'digital age' is capable of in the forms of AI and 'especially' Google's AI consciousness agenda (aligned with the 'powers that be') that can twist said human consciousness should be taken with a massive bag of salt.

Richard , Nov 2 2019 15:00 utc | 152
'Impeachment theatre' is an excellent way to describe it! In a system where all parties are bought and paid for by the oligarchs, there are no true policy differences between them so the only way to 'campaign' for elections is to make up nonsense like the current impeachment drama (or the 'the Russians did it' nonsense). The whole 'left'/'right' political divide is now nonsense...the only divide now is 'us' versus 'them'...

https://richardhennerley.com/2018/10/30/its-not-left-vs-right-its-us-vs-them/

Sasha , Nov 2 2019 15:36 utc | 155
Now take these properly trained "professionals" out of storage from their cubicles in Langley and away from their cookie-cutter McMansions in suburban northern Virginia and drop them in "enemy territory" in the CIA's fortress-like embassy in Havana. Away from the artificial worlds of manicured lawns and fake-smile neighbors with the insecticide trucks puffing down the street every week, for the first time in their lives they hear a real cicada, or the squeaky belt drive of an old fashioned air conditioner. Combine this with the additional dislocation of regular old culture shock and is it any wonder they they become convinced that their already atomized minds are under attack by secret Soviet brain rays?

To all those inconvenients in Havana, you must add the unsurmontable humid hot weather which unables you to remain out in the streets for more than two hours under the sun without needing to oo into some airconditioned environment/place and take some cold drink to recover yourself a bit...and conspiracy theories about intents on finishing you is the least you will start imagining while you, along your brain, well, directly melts...

Then, if US Embassy in Havana would be even a fortress...like El Morro , with its beautiful views...but, is it more like an ugly iron building like a bunker, in the middle of a part of long Malecón which does not impress by its urbanization precisely, and which has in front an explanade now full of empty flag mats that look like spears.... called Tribuna Antiimperialista ...

Nightmares are to be expected....

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 15:59 utc | 156
Jayne @150: Well, you made me go read it more closely.

It's something I'm conscious of all the time, the "falling away of patterns", I think of it as decadence most of the time, but one can theorize about spooks conditioning us too, and I don't doubt some of them try with some sort of "success", but by the very fact that they are trying to do that I think they are too dumb to carry it off very well. Of course conspiracy theories run rampant in such decadent times too. Another falling away.

Trump is very emblematic of that, and he's an agent of change for sure. I get a little uncomfortable with Ms Johnstone's theorizing about hidden forces, but I am well aware that that talky part of my mind is not all that is going on, so what she says there agrees with my own experience. And I give her a lot of credit for undertaking and writing about such investigations. Brave stuff.

Lord knows we are surrounded with attempts to "condition" us these days, you just cannot escape from the yapping when out in public for example, and everything is covered with ads. A very un-natural environment, you have to admit.

The USA has always been the land of hucksters and grifters, modern media just hyped that to the max. I quite agree if you want to be saved, you're better off to do it without paid help.

As for the people who are working at this very moment to turn us all into obedient suit-droids, it seems clear on the one hand they can do a lot of damage with their follies, but on the other hand I think they are going to have much bigger problems before long. The utopian technocratic future they dream of looks very infeasible to me.

Rob , Nov 2 2019 16:09 utc | 157
The impeachment process may redound to Trump's favor, but only if the charges against him are limited to Ukrainegate. The list of more serious impeachment-worthy offenses is a long one, and the inquiry could be dragged out well into the election season. Under such a scenario, Trump would come out badly damaged, even if he is not removed from office, which most Americans would see as a politically partisan result. Of course, his hard-core base will never desert him, but other Republicans and Independents will, and Democratic voters will come out in force.

Are the Democrats and Adam Schiff up to the task of running a proper impeachment inquiry and gaining as much political capital as they might? My hopes are not high. Nancy Pelosi does not have her heart in it, and Schiff is a mad dog grandstander and never-say-die Russiagater. I cannot trust their judgement on this or almost any other matter.

james , Nov 2 2019 16:22 utc | 159
@126 william gruff.. you might find this article alters the equation some..

CIA's Afghan Militias Are 'Death Squads,' Rights Group Says

and it was going on under obama as well..article from 2010 America's Secret Afghan Prisons .. so maybe trump isn't all that different in maintaining the murder rate of the us military..

@129 bemildred... you're welcome! smoothie writes good articles generally.. i enjoy his writing either way!

@130 adkc quote: "The US political system is fiddling while it's financial system and institutions are preparing to collapse." it looks that way to me as well..

@138 william gruff quote:"This is how empire dies: in delusion and denial of reality." so true...

ignore the broken records folks.. there are a few of them regularly appearing in the sound booth!

c1ue , Nov 2 2019 17:04 utc | 162
@pretzelattack #131
Sadly, your knowledge of the Church committee is wrong. Read the Angelo Codevilla interview on Tablet magazine. He specifically notes that the Church committee was an internally sponsored affair - not an external one. In particular, that it was convened to enable the FBI to stop getting sued for eavesdropping activities. And he would know - he was working in Congress for the US Senator that chaired the Intelligence committee at that time.
Noirette , Nov 2 2019 17:07 utc | 163
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake. ( .) The process will create a lot of collateral damage. - b

Agree, and I can trust that the Dems. are monumentally stupid (having read the Podesta e-mails.. a painful exercise to be recommended.) This reasoning is only relevant under the assumption that the Dems. want to win the Prez. election and are doing 'anything' to boot Trump out of the arena, solidify their base, and gather new adherents. Perhaps Dems are on the ropes, and know it, failing badly, and are appealing to or making up any old rubbish to at least keep their base on board. Or the desperate accusations and mucking about are the outcome of the prediction of being shown up, accused, indicted, pursued (see ADKC 130, yes.)

They might prefer to lose to Trump, or consider it inevitable, likely, whatever. If we see all this as a fight between factions that control the US (deep state, corporations, heavy-hitting backers, lobbyists, MIC, etc.) which don't correspond to a Dem / Rep divide (e.g. McCain and Killary were sorta bro-sis clones) or only partly so, the fight is between Mafia-like, influential, groups, that use all kinds of moves behind the scenes -- what the public sees, and is sollicited to participate in, is Theatre, see b's title.

One might also argue, on a loftier level, that these are the death throes of a political system (Federation with 'representative' 'democracy', successfully managed by powerful low-vis groups) that is edging towards implosion.

Seer , Nov 2 2019 17:12 utc | 164
My 2 cents...

While all this certainly has the ability to turn into one big distractive sh*t show, it is possible that it flushes the toilet. I know that some don't believe/trust Gabbard, but her vote for impeachment was most likely based in forcing the Clinton (via Biden) wing into a trap (of their own setting), forcing them to call their own bluff.

We'll see what kind of counter info (info forcing Biden's activities) gets into the open via the House process. IF it moves to the Senate THEN it'll be open season, and I'll be rooting for Trump and the GOP to outing Biden et al. Why? Because THEN we'll start the process of purging corruption. First it'll be the Dems: Pelosi, Schiff, Biden and the folks behind the curtain (Clintons and their big dollar supporters). Figure this to play out like HRC's stupid attack on Gabbard: TOTAL backfire! News flash: don't mess with Gabbard. One would hope that the process will show that the GOP best cleanse itself lest it get run through the same.

I have little doubt that these are thrashings of the neoliberal Dem party going down. I see Buttigeig as the last great hope for the Corporate/Clinton Dems. The more exposure people have to him the less they'll be impressed (he's a 100% white Obama): little different than Harris, though with less of a condescending smug smirk (and with a milder chuckle). Biden will continue to drop.

Not sure if the Corporate/Clinton Dems are willing to risk a head-to-head between Warren and Sanders. Sanders' insurance policy is Gabbard. Her mission has been to ensure that the Corporate/Clinton Dems don't get the nomination. She's been picking off such candidates one by one and now she is set to pick off the ones in the "top tier" (after having proven capable by picking off the self-described "top tier" candidate Kamala Harris). People need to help get her into the next debates. Buttigeig will be her target. Biden can be left hanging in the wind as he'll eventually dry up (shoot himself out of the race).

What Trump mouthed when he ran will be EXECUTED by Sanders/Gabbard. The difference is that there is an actual movement behind Sanders, policies and a plan. Trump's support was never capable of driving the bus: there was never a plan on how to get "there" (in which case the usual beneficiaries were able to control things).

pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 17:37 utc | 165
nope c1ue. the church committee hampered the cia, but they started working to rectify that immediately, and by the time they helped install Reagan their comeback was complete.
Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 18:41 utc | 166
re: Church Committee 165
I'm afraid that as soon as the Trump era ends, with its severing of military alliances and lack of war, however it ends, this bull in the China shop (pun intended), including unfavorable visibility on spook behavior, we will see a comeback to the old ways.
lizard , Nov 2 2019 19:01 utc | 168
Circe,

you advocate for inventing dirt if it means getting rid of Trump and I think that is bonkers. the volume of your comments is tedious and obnoxious. MoA is one of the few places left that hasn't collectively succumbed to TDS, so when you talk shit on the host of this space for being some mindless Trump supporter it pisses me off. I've followed b's analysis for over a decade and I have much more respect for his perspective than yours.

I'm not looking for some long back and forth, so consider this my last comment to you. adios.

NemesisCalling , Nov 2 2019 19:04 utc | 170
Re: Gabbard

Remember people, there is great russophobia sweeping the nation still. Most of potus' actions as well as Gabbard's vote to impeach has to walk the tight rope between seeming and being. If the impeachment matters not, as it surely won't, except to torpedo retard dems, then what is the harm for Gabbard to vote yes?

The angle is is that she distances herself from the charge that she is a russian agent by looking tough on potus. People, it ain't that complicated.

And re: jackrabbit's insinuation that appointing Mueller helped the deep state narrative...it is the same logic...POTUS needs to look tough and so why not throw in a beauracrat that makes them look bad. Larry Johnson at SST has traced Mueller back to his associations with Trump campaign plants looking for dirt.

Trump knows they got nothing. But the Russophobia was and is strong in this country and that was their dumb angle. POTUS gives enough rope to hang themselves and meanwhile the downright nasty Russian-agent angle doesn't pack the punch because it looks like he is not adverse to allowing the investigation.

Trump is playing 3d chess. It appears Gabbard is too. Which leads to my thesis that without Trump there would be no Gabbard and so another thank you to the Don.

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 19:09 utc | 171
A commentator up thread asked "what kind of theatre," which I thought an interesting question. My initial thought was something along the lines of Cabaret , with some Chicago , Twilight Zone , and Night Gallery added for additional spices and seasoning. Also popping into my mind was the destruction of a broken William Jennings Bryan by Clarence Darrow in what's known as the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925--popular superstition made road kill by facts. An epilog to it all occurs in 2009 when Obama stabbed millions of homeowners in the back, refused to do his job as Chief Magistrate, committed treason by perverting the law and gave the guilty bankers and Wall Street speculators billions instead of prosecuting them, and yet he was reelected in 2012. When it comes to treasonous presidents, IMO Obama tops the list; Trump pales in comparison. Gee, does that qualify as a self-righteous rant?
bevin , Nov 2 2019 19:37 utc | 172
1 "Remember people, there is great russophobia sweeping the nation still..." NemesisCalling@170

Is there, though? It seems to me that this is a disease to which only members of the liberal intelligentsia are generally prone. Most Americans, in my limited experience of them, are pre-occupied by more practical matters. As to the narrative that Russia was responsible for Hillary's defeat it is one likely to diminish suspicion of Russia, among ordinary voters and, the more numerous, nonvoters.

2/"does that qualify as a self-righteous rant?" karlof1@171
Don't trouble yourself: your posts, right or wrong, are of a consistently high quality, which is remarkable, given that they are so frequent.

nietzsche1510 , Nov 2 2019 20:03 utc | 174
jam the political space, distract the society so to keep the curious citizenry from digging what the Judeo-Zionist crowd, aka.; the Collective Entity is performing since the hit of 9/11.
jared , Nov 2 2019 20:23 utc | 176
It seems to me that even the charge against Trump is lacking in merit for impeachment - like impeaching him for Jay-walking. Biden exposed himself to such consideration. I am relieved to learn that Trump is asking such questions. I hope he will continue. It is somewhat entertaining to watch the reactions. The cast of witnesses are being exposed as shady and corrupt themselves - the agenda of the permanent government is being revealed.

Re. Ms Gabbards vote in support of investigation: I can see why it would be necessary to support investigation politically, why not. So far it has proven Trump to be nearly a saint.

Well I thank the dems. I know which way I will vote if Gabbard does not win the nomination.

Jackrabbit , Nov 2 2019 21:49 utc | 179
uncle tungsten @178

The talking point that Trump has not started any wars is bullshit .

Trump is essentially at war with:

Venezuela
USA and its allies have stolen billions of dollars in Venezuelan State assets and backed a coup.

Syria
USA has been occupying parts of Syria long past what is reasonable under UN Resolution 2257. And now USA has seized the oil fields.

Yemen
AFAIK USA provides or provided battlefield "targeting" and is Saudi Arabia's chief source of military supplies.

Iran
How is sanctions against third-parties that trade with Iran not an illegal embargo? And let's not forget US support for MEK and the US-Israeli Stuxnet virus.


Trump supporters should explain why these simmering conflicts and others will not turn into shooting wars after Trump gets a second term.

!!

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 21:51 utc | 180
Jen @175--

Thanks for your reply! I like that combo, but Sweeny Todd the opera or movie? Other, literary, works also came to mind, like the theatre dream scene from Hesse's Steppenwolf and the craziness of Kafka's The Trial . But overall it seems proper for Rod Serling--in black and white--to preside over the entire affair and deliver the moral of the story.

bevin @172--

Thanks for your observation. Also related to the theatre aspect are how these events remind one of two different Star Trek episodes from the 1960s--the world run by Mafia-like gangsters and the world run by Nazis, both created by violations of the Prime Directive, IIRC.

jared , Nov 2 2019 21:59 utc | 181
@ uncle tungsten | 178

I agree in being disappointed in what Trump has accomplished at this point; however, I think the disruption he brings has revealed the extent and nature of the corruption in our government - a great improvement over the "go along to get along" type that was Obama.

Also I think that even in his somewhat random agenda it makes apparent the powerful forces of entrenched, self serving, paid for influences that he (or any president) struggles to overcome. His tweeting is ridiculous yet has a degree of frankness and honesting that is never seen from the establishment.

He calls out the press as servants of corrupt and entrenched interests.

As I think Peter AU has pointed out, Trump has started 0 wars, which compares favorably with his predessesors. He's more bark than bite. Even in some of the military actions he has authorized I think he has pulled his punches.

There are many issues woefully unaddressed, but not every battle is owned by the president - seems the US government is an AirMax on auto-pilot.

I don't like much of what he says. But he is speaking at the level of his audience.

I would choose Gabbard in a heartbeat, but would expect to be similarly disappointed in the results.

Personally, I tend to believe that the only way out of this mess is through the bottom - it will only get better once we fail utterly and completely. I would advise younger people to consider other options - it does not feel good to be feeding the Borg that is enslaving and bombing the world.

jared , Nov 2 2019 22:01 utc | 183
I would not consider Sanders - just another snake oil salesman offering "free" stuff.
Hoarsewhisperer , Nov 2 2019 22:03 utc | 184
The symbolism of this fiasco is amusing. In the sphere of political acumen the Democrats seem addicted to behaving like Donkeys.
jared , Nov 2 2019 22:12 utc | 185
@ Jackrabbit 179

Yes Trump attempted "non-violent" over throw of Maduro but again I believe this was an effort promoted by others that he accepted thinking maybe he would sneak in a quick, low cost "win". He has not done what I am sure he was asked to do and now with Russia taking the oil it seems possible there is a positive outcome. And things are looking up on many fronts in S Amarica.

Trump did not start the wars in Iraq and Syria and seems fairly successful in winding them down against tough odds.

Trump did not create the special relationship with SA. Is that all you've got, sir?

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 22:16 utc | 188
peak number of troops involved in ground combat under last three presidents
Bush-43 -- 130,000 (Iraq)
Obama -- 100,000 (Afghanistan)
Trump -- 0

So Trump is clearly the winner in that category, plus he has withdrawn most troops from Afghanistan, and has regularly spoken against troops in combat overseas. Trump has not been able to do all that he wants to do because the US president is fighting the establishment in shutting down the people who love war -- there's so much money in it. Presidents are not dictators able to do whatever they want. Some things, but not all things, so we have some side-shows going on which get attention but aren't terribly fatal.

Plus Trump has significantly weakened US ties with NATO which is the alliance that has proven to be so wasteful and dangerous (with a US general in charge).

The clearest sign that Trump's policies aggravate the establishment are that the Intel establishment is against him, as well as the Dem warmonger neolibs. Trump has neutered the neocons like Senator Graham, the McCain acolyte.

So plaudits to a president that has accomplished a lot despite his personal shortcomings. The worst part of life on earth is war, which is unhealthy for men, women and children, and there are no current wars of any magnitude. That's great.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 22:18 utc | 189
What kind of theater: Well, obviously, Brazil:
The film centres on Sam Lowry, a man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil's satire of bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four[11][12][13] and has been called Kafkaesque[14] and absurdist.[13]

Sarah Street's British National Cinema (1997) describes the film as a "fantasy/satire on bureaucratic society"; and John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (2005) describes it as a "dystopian satire".

Brazil (at Wikipedia)

What is our computer paradise now but a world of "whimsical machines"?

Trailer Trash , Nov 2 2019 22:28 utc | 190
>I'll be rooting for Trump and the GOP to outing Biden et al.
> Why? Because THEN we'll start the process of purging corruption
> Posted by: Seer | Nov 2 2019 17:12 utc | 164

Politicians are regularly caught with their hands in the cookie jar and go to jail. Trouble is, for every pol that falls there are ten more shoving and pushing to take their place at the feeding trough. I don't see how an honest system of any design can be built in a swamp, even if it's drained first. With so many people ready and willing to participate in corrupt schemes, I think we're gonna need better people to build new institutions with foundations of integrity and competence instead of greed and groupthink.

jared , Nov 2 2019 22:38 utc | 191
@ Bemildred

More like Harrison Bergeron - Kurt V:
https://youtu.be/nL9zg7-rzPc

Or more simply 2+2=5:
https://youtu.be/EHAuGA7gqFU

Jackrabbit , Nov 2 2019 22:53 utc | 192
jared @185: Is that all you've got, sir?

Are you really unaware that USA and it's puppet have essentially taken control of Citco, plus seized Venezuelan gold and real estate? Why has your hero not reversed these actions if he was misled? And why does he continue the sanctions against Venezuela?

The more realistic view is that Trump wasn't misled, he was fully on-board.

!!

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 22:59 utc | 193
On Trump and interfering in a sovereign nation's legitimate activities which is a violation of the peace, international law and the US Constitution. Every sanction levied is a violation. The escalation of the illegal embargo aimed at Cuba is a violation. The massive "invasion" into Venezuela's affairs is a major, ongoing crime. The continuance of the illegal operations within Syria, aggressive missile attacks and illegal sanctions. The illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and imposition of illegal sanctions on Iran. Continuance of Death Squad operations within Afghanistan and smuggling of opium and refined heroin. The personal aggression waged against Julian Assange. The kidnapping in Canada of a Chinese national. Falsified charges and imprisonment of Russian nationals. Illegal theft of Russian diplomatic property. Supplying Daesh and al-Ciada terrorists with arms and munitions. And I'm sure I could come up with more. Oh, forgot to mention sponsorship of Hong Kong terrorists. Then there are numerous transgressions of US law, first and foremost being the continued obstruction of justice related to the crimes committed by Obama, Hillary Clinton and the DNC, along with a host of lesser fry.

As noted above and many places elsewhere, Obama was a treasonous president and prolific lawbreaker. Being marginally better than Obama in no way makes Trump a good man or president; rather, it makes him just a lesser criminal and certainly no patriot. Trump made his choices and ought to live by their consequences. IMO, the overall failure lies in the refusal to impeach and convict Bush/Cheney then Obama/Biden and a host of Congresscritters and Executive staffers, thus meaning the wholesale illegitimacy of the entire federal government (since when is another question). The government pretends to obey the fundamental law of the land while constantly breaking it, thus rendering it illegitimate, an ongoing practice since 1945.

Trailer Trash , Nov 2 2019 23:11 utc | 194
>there are no current wars of any magnitude. That's great.
> Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 22:16 utc | 18

If current global conditions can be described as "peace", I fear to think what "war" would look like.

How many war refugees around the world are currently being herded like cattle and treated like slaves? Millions? Most of them are a direct result of Uncle Sam's endless wars on everyone who doesn't obey. Dropping napalm on people is not the only way to kill them. Cutting off access to the necessities of life is just as effective. Madeleine Albright's barbaric comments about killing Iraqi children come to mind:

On May 12, 1996, Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her, "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it." (from Wikipedia)

Dead is dead whether Uncle Sam uses a bullet or blockades food and medicine.

When Uncle Sam starts shutting down the 600 overseas military bases and stops its military, financial, political, and economic attacks on everyone who won't obey, then we can say that things are improving. Until then, claims of "peace" are just ...

Nemesiscalling , Nov 2 2019 23:11 utc | 195
@173 jr

Trump is a radically different actor than what the duopoly produces. This is why I think your belief that the tyrannical duopoly is some kind of genius mastermind steering us all down THEIR path is untrue and gives them waaaaaayyyyyy too much credit. It all has to do with the teleological end of globalism and America's place in the world as the vanguard international experiment par excellence.

Trump is a harbinger and the duopoly owned by the globalists is accelerating into oblivion. See Don Bacon's post and read the tea leaves of the current geopolitical chessboard.

What does the future hold?

Who knows...but DJT and Putin seemed to be leading us there.

...

On a side note: everyone should please check out Ann Coulter's recent interview on Frontline PBS. It is 50 mins and Coulter's quirks are amplified but she is never one to not speak her mind. There is a ton of insight and truth to it.

It leaves one with the impression that Trump was not a true believer wrt anti-globalization but has forced himself into a role where his words have brought power and confidence and is now guiding his mission. He said simple things but also intensely powerful and hence brutally truthful or at least leading one to extrapolate his off the cuff stuff towards a deep message on globalism and its ill effects in the U.S.

Bemildred , Nov 2 2019 23:17 utc | 196
jared @191: Well I'm always up for some Vonnegut. I put him right up there with Orwell and Huxley. He is one of the writers who first introduced me to the low class of our upper classes here. That is an old theme in Vonnegut, "God Bless You Mr Rosewater" is a satire on a similar theme. I think he picked up a bad attitude about the rich and powerful from his time there in Dresden. He was more accurate than most, Gore Vidal and Lewis Lapham are two others, both scions of the upper classes themselves, but they didn't give it quite the bite that Vonnegut did.
karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 23:37 utc | 198
188, 194 & 195--

The upshot seems to be as b initially stated impeaching Trump solves nothing -- corrupt is replaced by corrupt at the head of a totally corrupt and rotten to the bone institution unwilling to obey its own law. From a global vantage point, the disappearance of the Outlaw US Empire would be a massive boon to the entire planet as the only reason for the building of most weapon systems is to defend against that Empire's predations. Total focus could then go to climate mitigation and resilient development as humanity is finally purged of the biggest threat to its existence. Nice theatre, huh?

[Nov 03, 2019] On seeing Astra Taylor's What is Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... What is Democracy? ..."
"... All the while it poses the questions of whether democracy is compatible with inequality and global financial systems and the boundaries of inclusion. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

I went to see occasional Timberite Astra Taylor's remarkable film What is Democracy? last night. It takes us from Siena, Italy to Florida to Athens and from Ancient Athenian democracy through the renaissance and the beginning of capitalism to the Greek debt crisis, occupy and the limbo life of people who have fled Syria and now find themselves stuck. It combines the voices of Plato and Rousseau with those of ordinary voters from left and right, Greek nationalists and cosmopolitans, ex-prisoners, with trauma surgeons in Miami, Guatemalan migrants in the US, with lawmakers and academics, and with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. All the while it poses the questions of whether democracy is compatible with inequality and global financial systems and the boundaries of inclusion.


steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 3:05 pm (no link)

At a first approximation, democracy is the alliance of the city dwellers for the power of the city, ignoring tribes and rural aristocrats, carefully contained so the landowners keep their land, and the slaves are kept under control. Or, to update it, the class collaboration of the wealthy (nowadays some sort of capitalist,) the middling strata and the common people for the power of the nation, carefully arranged so the people with great property make the decisions about the economy.

It doesn't sound like this is very informative or useful, so I will wait until I have a cheaper way to see it.

Z 10.23.19 at 8:38 pm (no link)
In my opinion, democracy as an actually existing property of a society is only imperfectly described in terms of institutional arrangements, philosophical constructs, political system or (as steven t johnson would have it) power relations between social groups. In addition to all that, but probably prior to all that, democracy relies on principles which are anthropological in nature, that pertains to the particular way human beings relate to each other on a given territory.

This means that I absolutely believe in the necessity of a "we" to underlie democracy but I doubt that this "we" needs to be (or indeed is ever) constitutive, it exists primarily if not exclusively as a matter of human relations not as a constitutive abstraction. This also means that I'm not surprised by the general absence of convergence in democratic forms around the world (much to the bemusement of English-speaking political philosophers, or in the last 20 years, German and Flemish politicians) and that I believe that global citizenship is under present circumstances a meaningless concept with respect to democracy. Some people understand this to be arguing for a national, ethnic or cultural definition of democracy, in which only people with a specific national identity, or a particular ethnicity, or specific cultural practices or (in the contemporary American libertarian version) specific personality traits may participate, as a matter of normative or positive judgment, depending on various proponents of this theory. This seems to me to be a rather ironic analytical error: if indeed a core property of democracy is rooted in the characteristic ways people relate to each other, it is highly implausible that this could change under the influence of even a substantial minority (in one direction or the other).

Incidentally, the idea that democracy is originally native to North-America is somewhat classical (Voltaire championed it, but as usual with him, it is hard to vouch for his seriousness). Since then it has resurfaced periodically for instance in William James Sidis (disturbed) book The Tribes and the States or in the works of Bruce Johansen. Serious discussions of this question lead, I believe, to the seemingly paradoxical observation that English and Dutch settlers came to adopt the democratic principles of the Haudenosaunee because they were themselves rather primitive (temporally speaking), and hence democratic, in their anthropological values. Suc discussion would also lead to the far more pessimistic conclusion that beyond their political models, native people in North-America facilitated the establishment of a political democracy by providing a large neighboring group to exclude out of humanity.

steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 8:49 pm ( 12 )
LFC@10 uses a reason for waiting as an excuse for a rhetorical question meant as a taunt. The reason I might see it, if it's cheap enough, is because new facts and the (rare) new perspective, if any, would seep into my thinking. The idea that my thinking doesn't change is unfounded. It changes, it just doesn't change by conversion experience. The cogent arguments of the wise on the internet are like Jesus on the road to Damascus, not quite able to be described consistently, but still irrefutable.

But, try as I may, continual reworking of old ideas by new -- to me -- information inevitably leads to the change. The process usually goes A Is that really true? B My old ideas get a parenthesis added. C The parenthesis gets worked into the rest of the paragraph so that I'm more consisten. D I've always believed that. The step where I abjectly plead for forgiveness for being a moron is never there, any more than actually being consistent.

As an example, it's only in the last few years I've wakened up to the extraordinary tendency to people to ignore either the progressive content of bourgeois revolutions, such as in pretending that destroying a national secular state in Iraq or Syria and replacing it with a cantonal confederation is a step backward. Or in surreptitiously pretending that democracy has nothing to do with the democratic state needing fighters against other states. Like most people on the internet, i do tend to get a little trendy, and repetitive. But apparently I'm too socially backward to get the memo on the correct trendy, and repetitive.

For a less contentious example, as part of the process I've realized that ancient Sparta was on the democratic spectrum, not least because of two kings which is definitely not twice the monarchy. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is still true, despite authority. But a true expert who actually cared could revise the elementary insight into a much more sophisticated, much superior way that might not even seem controversial. It might even seem just like the answer to the questions: Why did Sparta ever ally with Athens in the first place? Why did both Athens and Sparta ally (at different times) with Persia?

I will admit to a general prejudice against every historical discovery that a particular place etc. was the birth of virtue.

steven t johnson 10.24.19 at 3:20 pm (no link)
Re the Haudenosaunee as exemplars of democracy, this is as I recall long known to be true of Benjamin Franklin, one of the disreputable founders, nearly as disgraced as Tom Paine. (Indeed, the notion that the revolutionaries weren't the founders, but Philadelphia lawyers' convention was, is remarkable, though unremarked on.) But, what did Franklin admire about the Iroquois League? I think it was the power through unity of different "tribes." The league essentially genocided the Hurons to control the fur trade; launched long distance military expeditions to drive away many other peoples from large areas in the Ohio valley to free up hunting grounds; when it was convenient, they sold their rights, lands, there to the US. (The treaty of Fort Stanwix) was later repudiated, verbally at least, by other.

The classic model of course was the Roman Republic. By coincidence I was reading Livy's first five books and the relationship between rights for the plebs and the need for them in war, stands out. Macchiavelli's Discourses on Livy makes this even plainer. In the US much of this was conveyed to the Americans via Algernon Sidney's Discourses on Government as refracted through Cato's Letters. (I hope to live long enough to read Discourses on Davila by John Adams, solely because of the title.)

eg 10.25.19 at 2:35 am ( 17 )
It would seem to me that the answer to the question "what is democracy" is best answered by another question: who gets (and doesn't get) the franchise?

[Nov 02, 2019] The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic: Part 2 of 4: The First Hammer-Blows

Nov 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. The commentariat had a lively discussion of the first installment of this mini-history of the Roman Republic, with Michael Hudson in particular taking issue with the framing. I hope this post leads to further debate.

By Newdealdemocrat. Originally published at Angry Bear

This is part 2 of my four part look at the Roman Republic and subsequent Empire. In part 1, I described the structure of the Republic, and its several centuries of stability and success, as well as the underlying causes of its ultimate downfall.

The hammer-blows that rained down on the Republic from the existential dispute between Senatorial oligarchs on the one hand, and Roman plebeians and Italian allies on the other, came in five episodes:

1. The Gracchus brothers – in the 130s and 120s
2. Saturninus – approximately 100 BC
3. Marius and the Italian civil wars 90 BC
4. Marius, Cinna, and Sulla 90-80 BC
5. Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar 50-40 BCIn this part I make a *brief* summary sketch of the first four of the above five episodes. The fifth will be described in the next part.

As each of the above five episodes occurred, there were further and further deviations from the "mas maiorem," or customs, that underlay the Republic, and increasing problems with legions or private "brownshits" giving their allegiance to their military leader rather than to the Republic itself.

1. The Gracchus Brothers Tiberius Gracchus was the more temperamental and passionate of the two brothers. Following the passage of the secret ballot in 139 B.C. the Assembly elected him a Tribune in 134. Violating custom, he did not consult with the Senate before bringing an Italian land reform bill to redistribute vacant land (much of which was illegally being farmed by oligarchs including those in the Senate), before the Assembly. A fellow Tribune, who had been bought off by Senate oligarchs, vetoed the bill. Tiberius than vetoed all other bills to try to force his fellow Tribune to relent. When that wasn't enough, he introduced a bill to strip the obstructing Tribune from office – another violation of norms. Both bills passed when Tiberius packed the Assembly with his supporters.

The Senate, with the power of the purse, voted not to fund the Commission necessary to carry out Tiberius's land reform. Then, in a twist of fate, a king in Asia Minor passed away without heir and willed his treasury to Rome. Tiberius proposed another bill that the Assembly could disperse the moneys in the will, thus funding his Commission.

At this the lead Senator, the "Pontifex Maximus," Publius Nasica, led an armed mob of Senators to the Assembly and murdered Tiberius and 300 of his supporters. The Senate followed up by establishing a commission to put Tiberius's supporters to death, despite the fact that only the Assembly was allowed to impose the death penalty for offenses.

Tiberius's younger brother, Gaius, was more cerebral, thoughtful, and strategic. He was elected Tribune in 123 BC. He proposed an entire program of reforms, including offering Roman citizenship to the Italian allies, forbidding the Senate from establishing tribunals unless allowed by the Assembly, giving the land redistribution commission final say in boundary disputes, proposing new Italian roads and colonies for settlement, ending the deductions for expenses from soldiers' pay, a grain dole for Rome's urban plebeians, and replacing Senators with Equines from the merchant class on juries.

Once again the oligarchs employed another Tribune, Optimus, to veto the entire program. when Gaius ran for an unprecedented third term as Tribune – another violation of the mas maiorem – he was deemed defeated. Unwilling to accept defeat, he organized a demonstration by his followers to intimidate the Assembly. When a follower murdered a Senator's servant, the Senate gave Optimus dictatorial power to crush the uprising, resulting in 250 killed including Gaius Gracchus.

Two things are important about Gaius Gracchus: (1) the Senate oligarchs refusal to compromise with his program served to exacerbate the inequalities and radicalize future reformers; and (2) gave those future reformers a blueprint for how to put together a coalition of anti-oligarch "populares."

Interlude -- 1.5 Gaius Marius and His Armies

Gaius Marius was a pivotal figure in the demise of the Republic. He was a "novus homo," or "new man," who came from the rural areas outside Rome, I.e., not a blueblood – think of Bill Clinton as a modern analog. Despite this, he was a military genius, who won almost all his battles, and defeated foreign enemies in Gaul and North Africa. In short, he was the kind of leader the Republic would turn to in a military crisis. In the course of events described below, he broke yet another tradition by becoming consul for five successive years in the 100s.

Most significantly, in 107 B.C., the Senate made a fateful mistake. As noted previously, Roman legions typically were raised from farmers who had at least some property. The demise of so many small farmers since the overseas Greek and Punic wars meant that this particular resource was nearly exhausted.

There was a revolt in North Africa, the details of which are not important. What *is* important is that the Senate gave Marius permission to raise an army on his own. He recruited especially from the urban and rural poor and landless, who saw the chance to enrich themselves with substantial plunder, and by allying themselves with Marius to have him reward them with land after the war was over. In other words, this was basically a private army whose primary allegiance was to their commander and not to the Republic.

And indeed, after Marius's successful North African campaigns, as we will see below, his veterans formed a potent political bloc, the appeasement of whom could reap rewards for an able politician.

2. Saturninus and Glaucia

The Roman Republic might well have recovered from the violence associated with the Gracchi brothers. But the reign of terror by the demagogue Saturninus 20 years later started the true downward spiral of violence.

Saturninus was similar to Tiberius Gracchus, in that he was a "populare" demagogue, but he was much more prone to threatening and using physical violence, organizing mobs to intimidate adversaries and advance his causes. As a Tribune in 103 BC, he arranged for criminal trials of deposed "optimates," had the Assembly pass a law estalishing a permanent corruption and treason court, and along with Glaucia, proposed land grants for thousands of successful legionnaires of Gaius Marius (more on him later), organized a mob to prevent the election of an adversary as consul.

His ally, Gaius Glaucia, a populare Senator, was elected a praetor in 100 BC. He tried to revive the coalition of Gaius Gracchus by offering a similar program benefiting the urban plebaiens, rural farmers and Equestrians, Italians, and legionnaire veterans. Unfortunately for Saturninus and Glaucia, once Marius's soldiers got their land grants, neither they, nor more importantly, Marius himself, had no further interest in helping with the rest of the populare agenda.

Saturninus ultimately organized another mob to try to keep himself from being expelled from the Senate. The Senate responded in 99 BC by appointing Gaius Marius dictator and authorized him to restore order. Marius arrested Saturninus, who was ultimately beaten to death himself by a mob. Glaucia was also dragged from atop his horse and murdered.

3. Marius and the Italian 'Social War'

In 91 BC, consul Marcus Livius Drusus, a Senator, again proposed reforms similar to those of Gaius Gracchus. This appears to have been an honest attempt at compromise. Equestrians were offered membership in the Senate if they gave up commerce. He also proposed a new grain dole for the urban plebeians, and citizenship to the Italian allies. He was opposed by Lucius Crassus, who had been consul in 95 BC. Although Drusus appeared to have majority support in the Senate, he was murdered. Afterward Crassus had all of Drusus's proposals repealed. This sparked a revolt by the Italian city-state allies, as their attempts to obtain citizenship were always abrogated at the last minute by conservative "optimates" in the Senate, usually by expelling them from Rome on the eve of elections by the Assembly. (In other words, preventing "illegal aliens" from voting!).

Once again, the Senate turned to Gaius Marius, who was broadly a "populare," to put down the rebellion. As noted above, he was called upon by the Senate to crush Saturninus and Graucia. In 98 BC he "retired," but could not restrain himself from continuing to seek the spotlight.

To cut to the chase, Marius (who supported Italian citizenship) came through again, defeating the Italians in the Social War three years later, in 88 BC, but the Senate had been sufficiently unnerved that the cost, to bring some of the Italian city-states back onside, was granting the Italians their long-sought citizenship.

4. Cinna, Marius, and Sulla

The violent convulsions which started in about 100 BC reached a climax in the 80s.

Sulla was an "optimate," and another brilliant military commander who had learned at the feet of Marius. He was consul in 88 BC and was selected to lead a military expedition to Asia Minor. Once again, his troops counted on plunder and a post-war reward of land to follow him. Instead Marius, who had just won the Social Wars, had the Senate strip him of his command. In this Marius was aided by a wealthy politician named Sulpicius, who raised his own private army of 3,000 and handed it over to Marius. Fatefully, when Sulla and his legions learned of this, he called them together and asked them to declare their loyalty to his orders personally. Once again, with visions of plunder and land distributions from a successful campaign as inducements, they agreed. Sulla turned his army around, and for the first time in the Republic's history, marched on Rome itself.

In response, Marius armed slaves to protect the city, and assassinated allies of Sulla.
Despite this, because Sulla had his legions behind him, and Marius had none nearby to command, Sulla won. He declared 12 men to be "enemies of the State" to be executed on sight, including Marius, who fled in true Huckleberry Finn style (too long to narrate), winding up in North Africa. Sulla declared that he sought to restore the "constitution of the elders," including that the Senate must approve of any bill passed by the Assembly, and voting rights only for major landowners. To buy off the Equestrians, he added 300 of them to the Senate. Then, surprisingly, he left Rome and returned to his eastern military expedition.

As soon as this happened, yet another demagogue, Lucius Cinna, was elected consul in 87 BC and continued through 84 BC. By now, the tradition by which consuls only served for only one year was shredded.

Sulla had the newly elected consuls, including Cinna, swear an oath not to disturb his reforms. But as soon as Sulla left Italy, Cinna reneged. He organized his own partisan gangs, indicted Sulla for the murder of Romans, and proposed a voting gerrymander in the Assemblies that would give the new Italian citizens overwhelming power.

Needless to say, the urban plebeians who would suddenly find themselves outvoted reacted with fury and revolted. Cinna was stripped of his consulship (another violation of old norms) and fled the city. But he then raised his own legions of Italians and launched his own military attack on Rome, aided by Marius, who had returned to Italy with 6,000 troops of his own. Cinna was restored by the Senate as consul and had Sulla declared an enemy of the State. He also proscribed at least 14 prominent Romans, including the murder of 6 former consuls in five days.

Unfortunately for Cinna, the military genius Marius finally succumbed to age, and as he prepared an attack on Sulla in the east, he was murdered by a centurion as a tyrant.

The enraged Sulla marched his personally loyal legions on Rome yet again as soon as he finished his campaign in Asia. This time he proscribed hundreds of Romans, including a young Julius Caesar, who escaped execution due to the intervention of family friends. Many of those executed were simply large landowners whose assets were coveted by Sulla's military allies. Sulla again "refounded" the Republic, most importantly stripping the Tribunes of virtually all their power, and forbidding them from holding higher office. It seemed that the "optimates" had finally triumphed. Sulla officially stepped down as consul in 79 BC, but continued to wield power behind the scenes until he died the next year of natural causes.

By 78 BC the Republic was dead on its feet. Virtually all of its norms of office-holding had been swept away. Political mobs using violence to get their way had become chronic. Even worse from a long-term point of view, prominent politicians of wealth were raising private armies that they themselves paid, and whose loyalty was to them rather than to the Republic, culminating in 3 separate military marches on Rome in short-lived dictatorships.

For the next 30 years, however, the Republic had a brief "Indian summer." Plebeian agitation led to the reinstatement of most of the Tribunes' powers, the continuation of the bread dole, and the integration of the new Italian citizens into public life. But the problem of politicians having the ability to raise powerful private legions remained, and Rome remained militarily defenseless against them, with no home guard with loyalty to the Republic itself.

(Continued in part 3)


Lee , October 23, 2019 at 8:27 am

Came across an article on the role of slavery in the demise of the republic: https://www.unrv.com/slavery.php

The Roman conquests of Carthage, Macedonia and Greece in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC altered what was once a luxury and privilege for the ruling elite into the predominant factor driving both social and economic policies for the Republic as a whole.

The mass influx of slaves during this time period first was a sign of great wealth and power, but later destabilized an already fragile Roman class system. Farms originally run by small business families throughout Italy were soon gobbled up and replaced by enormous slave run plantations owned by the aristocratic elite. Cheap slave labor replaced work for the average citizen and the rolls of the unemployed masses grew to epidemic proportions.

These issues had a great destabilizing effect on the social system which had a direct role in the demise of the Republic. As the rift between Senatorial elite (optimates) and social reformers (populares) grew, the use of the unemployed, landless, yet citizen mobs were an overwhelming ploy grinding away at the ability of the Senate to govern.

Though there are many factors involved in the Fall of the Republic, slavery and its effects rippled throughout every aspect of that turbulent time period.

Also, under what theory of money were they operating at the time? In an example cited, the ability to go forward with a state funded reform requiring funding is made possible by a royal gift to the treasury. It would appear that the state was revenue constrained. If another limiting factor was the availability of certain metals, were mines state owned or the dispersal of their product regulated to control the amount of money in the system?

The histories of famous names and their minions is all well and good but what's up down in the dirt among the unwashed masses is also worth a mention.

deplorado , October 24, 2019 at 1:36 am

Great comment! I hope someone can follow up on the questions.

Maurice , October 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm

The Roman establishment used slaves free work to ruin small Roman peasants, the very hardcore of the army. Consequently, barbarian mercenaries had to be used to defend the empire instead of the vanished Roman peasants (who by the way lost their plots of land to big owners).

And guess what? The empire crumbled of its own weight, the establishment being unable to understand why.

So much for the political acumen of the Roman establishment. Happy are we to have better establishments!

Adam Eran , October 24, 2019 at 6:58 pm

One other corollary to your observation that the slaves started farming plantations: the quality of Italian soil deteriorated. Previous Roman (small) farmers were of the permaculture variety, but the deterioration of the slave-farmed soil meant the Italian peninsula could no longer feed itself. They then had to rely on North African grown food. When the Visigoths conquered the Iberian peninsula and North Africa, they cut off that food supply and that was the end of Rome (See Peter Heather's The Fall of the Roman Empire for a summary of the latest archaeology, and David R. Montgomery's Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations )

One other historical observation: the American Civil War was largely fought over whether the slave plantations could farm the newly opened Western U.S. Slaves are not known for caring much about the soil they tend, so the pattern in the South was to farm until the soil played out, then move west. The Civil War was a result of the South's need for new, fertile land, just as Rome depended on North Africa.

As for the money I've read that Roman coins' value was more than the weight of silver. So the "theory" of money was that its usefulness in paying taxes and fees was significant in determining its value. Also: Coins from ancient Rome were discovered as far away as India. The farther they were from the taxing authority, the more closely their value corresponded to the weight of silver in the coin.

The Rev Kev , October 23, 2019 at 9:00 am

An excellent description this if sad reading. You read this and you think, gee – the elites won. They stomped down heard on political change, murdered all their opponents and enlarged their wealth. The Senatorial Order won the big game. Well, no. It did not work out that way at all. In the following years there would be mass cullings of Senators through proscription and new Senators would have to be recruited to take their place. You want to know what it was like? It was like Game of Thrones where Cersei said "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
The Romans were great organizers but in reading this you can see them come unstuck where player after player decides to play fast and loose with the rules and try to get away with murder – literally. And the order of the Republic broke down as a result. I agree where the author states that 'Roman legions typically were raised from farmers who had at least some property' and it was quite the occasion when there was a muster held. But not all of these farmer-soldiers were killed. Lots came back from the Punic wars to discover that their farm had been incorporated into the elite's estates and that there was nothing that they could do about it.
When Marius started to recruit these men for the new Legions it was a matter of necessity but it broke the bond between Rome and her armies. When it became obvious that Senatorial Rome did not care about these men and their families but that a General would, it did not take long for the men to decide where their loyalty lay. Imagine an American Army in Afghanistan loyal not to the Constitution but to a General like Petraeus. Yeah, it would be that bad. A Roman Trump could recruit an Army and do all sorts of damage to the Republic.
I look forward to the third chapter of this series.

False Solace , October 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm

This is already happening. Billionaires have enough money to afford their own private armies. We see the CEO of Blackwater/Xi/Academi/whatever being courted by various politicians. Bloomberg thought it was neat that NYC's police force ranked among the world's largest armies. It won't take long for billionaires to discover to the joy of conquest and overturn whatever parliamentary decisions they don't like.

ChadH , October 23, 2019 at 8:14 pm

Cullen Murphy, in his book Are We Rome? , names privatization as a major factor in Rome's eventual disintegration as a viable political entity.

One core similarity is almost always overlooked -- it has to do with "privatization," which sometimes means "corruption," though it's actually a far broader phenomenon. Rome had trouble maintaining a distinction between public and private responsibilities -- and between public and private resources. The line between these is never fixed, anywhere. But when it becomes too hazy, or fades altogether, central government becomes impossible to steer. It took a long time to happen, but the fraying connection between imperial will and concrete action is a big part of What Went Wrong in ancient Rome. America has in recent years embarked on a privatization binge like no other in its history, putting into private hands all manner of activities that once were thought to be public tasks -- overseeing the nation's highways, patrolling its neighborhoods, inspecting its food, protecting its borders. This may make sense in the short term -- and sometimes, like Rome, we may have no choice in the matter. But how will the consequences play out over decades, or centuries? In all likelihood, very badly.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/06/murphy200706

jsn , October 23, 2019 at 10:38 pm

It won't take generals long to figure out MMT and turn on the billionaires.

After a couple wars, the mercenary armies of the Renaissance city states turned on their Princes and made themselves the government.

The corporate elite and our oligarchs can't see that money derives it's value from coordinated, collective action. Any good logistics officer would get it pretty quickly.

hemeantwell , October 23, 2019 at 9:09 am

Thanks, Yves. Other than the then recent experience of the English Civil War I'm not familiar with the sources Hobbes drew on to argue for absolute sovereignty, but this would have served. In my reading about Rome it was painfully clear how weak the sources are, e.g. gauging elite interest in developing agricultural tech hinges on the writings of this or that patrician, standing in for a century or two. So it's hard to understand what made elites so tight-fisted/avaricious about landholding. However, if land wealth converted to status and patronage power which, I suppose it would be of essential importance if conflict was always threatening to get bloody. But that gets self-reinforcing, fast.

mpalomar , October 23, 2019 at 7:32 pm

I thought political science gives Hobbes much of the credit for his exposition on the necessity of an absolute sovereign. Further it's interesting that his proposed relation or contract between citizen/subject and sovereign provided the opening for Locke and others to opine on the social contract in a more balanced and equal arrangement.

The foundational republic, with all its faults, was premised on citizen-farmer-soldiers, capped by the Cincinnatus mythology and its element of truth; by the time that model was replaced by professional soldiers, huge land holders and slave farmers the Republic's number was up. Grain and the land to grow it on was always an issue and the cause or impetus of early expansion but by the end of the republic traders and politicians were importing grain from places like Sicily and as noted, using it as a patronage tool.

jsn , October 23, 2019 at 10:45 pm

What makes our oligarchs so avaricious and tight fisted?

I think it's the nature of unearned wealth, and no one ever "earned" a billion dollars.

You can manipulate an asymmetry in economic power to shift the money sluice in your direction, but you can't "earn" a billion!

Reality Bites , October 23, 2019 at 9:23 am

Thanks for this series Yves. One quibble and comment. First, Pontifex Maximus was the head of the religious college. He oversaw the religious festivals and calendar. The Senate Leader was known as Princep Senatus.

I actually think this part of the series could have been expanded. This was the period that truly killed the Republic even if the corpse marched on for awhile. Julius Caesar was actually related to Marius and cared for him after he had a stroke. He learned as much from Marius as Sulla did. When Sulla relieved Caesar froM from the job of Flamen Dialis, he is said to have regretted it and predicted that Caesar was 100 times more dangerous than Marius.

Joe Costello , October 23, 2019 at 9:38 am

Most important things to think about in fall of Roman republic are first, the former distributed nature of the Roman economy in small farms was gradually concentrated and centralized into ever fewer hands with Rome's imperial success.

Second, was in the last decades the increasing dysfunction of Roman politics and the overturning of established procedures of governance, especially the addition of violence.

Finally the use of the army as a domestic political tool, which however you want to define democracy/self-government, once the army's in, it isn't. It is one of the reasons American founders insisted the executive was Commander in chief.

What's interesting about today is what no one foresaw, the National Security State bureaucracy has become the tool for usurping an election, I suppose somewhere down our future path, if no reform, the troops will be brought in too.
The Roman republic fell at the height of it's economic and military power.

Lee , October 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

I am leaning toward a labor arbitrage theory of collapse as can be inferred from the article I cite below, in which a lack of a material stake in a society's fortunes breeds apathy, alienation, and hostility to TPTB among its citizens.

Lee , October 23, 2019 at 9:53 am

Skynet seems to have gobbled up my comment so I'll try again.

Came across an article on the role of slavery in the demise of the republic: https://www.unrv.com/slavery.php

"The Roman conquests of Carthage, Macedonia and Greece in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC altered what was once a luxury and privilege for the ruling elite into the predominant factor driving both social and economic policies for the Republic as a whole.
The mass influx of slaves during this time period first was a sign of great wealth and power, but later destabilized an already fragile Roman class system. Farms originally run by small business families throughout Italy were soon gobbled up and replaced by enormous slave run plantations owned by the aristocratic elite. Cheap slave labor replaced work for the average citizen and the rolls of the unemployed masses grew to epidemic proportions.
These issues had a great destabilizing effect on the social system which had a direct role in the demise of the Republic. As the rift between Senatorial elite (optimates) and social reformers (populares) grew, the use of the unemployed, landless, yet citizen mobs were an overwhelming ploy grinding away at the ability of the Senate to govern.
Though there are many factors involved in the Fall of the Republic, slavery and its effects rippled throughout every aspect of that turbulent time period."

Also, under what theory of money were they operating at the time? In an example cited, the ability to go forward with a state funded reform requiring funding is made possible by a royal gift to the treasury. It would appear that the state was revenue constrained. If another limiting factor was the availability of certain metals, were mines state owned or the dispersal of their product regulated to control the amount of money in the system?
The histories of famous names and their minions is all well and good but what's up down in the dirt among the unwashed masses is also worth a mention.

hemeantwell , October 23, 2019 at 10:52 am

As the rift between Senatorial elite (optimates) and social reformers (populares) grew, the use of the unemployed, landless, yet citizen mobs were an overwhelming ploy grinding away at the ability of the Senate to govern.

It's hard to parse causality here because the situation is so interactive. But this way of putting things tends to lose track of how the existence of the landless, who would have trouble becoming a proletariat because there wasn't much industry to speak of, is what sets up the need for reform, and thus which sets the stage for their mobilization into mobs, aka assault forces, to be used by struggling factions who approach the question of landlessness with widely varying degrees of sincerity. I.e. do they actually get land or just a grain guarantee? And if they get land, will some landlord faction need to be offed in order to acquire it, or can they be moved into conquered lands? Gaul, here we come!

I think we need to be careful about who gets included in the slave category. I believe that from time to time downward mobility for Romans could involve a slave-like status that supplemented the ranks of the conquered. This may have happened more in the imperial periphery and it may have gone on more in the later stages of the empire, when slave acquisition dwindled.

rtah100 , October 23, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Enjoyable reading – probably more than you intended at one point because I think you meant "brownshiRts". :-)

Pym of Nantucket , October 23, 2019 at 10:10 am

Funny typo in the preamble on what I think should be "brownshirts". Correct me if I am wrong

The Historian , October 23, 2019 at 11:20 am

So far so good! This writer is following along with what most historians today believe about what happened.

I do have a couple of quibbles.

1) It was actually Marius and not Sulla that turned Roman troops against Romans first, albeit he did it at the behest of the Senate. So, note that it was actually the Roman Senate that called for using force against its own people and started the precedent of Romans fighting Romans.

2) The general unhappiness of the people in Rome needs to be emphasized more because that was the crack that allowed men like Marius and Sulla to gain power; Marius used populism, Sulla used the traditional power of the elites who by this time were becoming afraid of the populists. The Roman poor were pitted against the freedmen, all Romans were fearful of their slaves, Romans were pitted against the Italians who wanted the same citizenship rights as Romans, the veterans were pitted against the landholders, etc.

Greg Aldrete, a historian at UW at Green Bay asks an essential question in his Great Course Series on the Rise of Rome: Given that the Roman Republic was weakening, who did more to ensure its death? Maruis or Sulla?

animalogic , October 23, 2019 at 10:30 pm

Marius or Sulla? Tricky.
I suppose Sulla's two marches on Rome would be foremost candidates. Or Marius' multiple consularships.
What is interesting is the way luck & circumstances operate.
Marius' multiple consulships (7) were constantly renewed for the very good reason that 100,000's of Germans were wandering around Gaul for years. That had already destroyed a number of Roman armies commanded by blue bloods. Rome was genuinely petrified.
Similar, for Sulla. He marches on Rome, but can not stay to sort things out because Mithradiates has to be brought to heel. In his absence things go even further off the rails & demanding he essentially fight his way back to Rome on landing at Brundisium. (Incidentally the Rome troubles caused Sulla to conclude a hasty treaty -- which allowed Mithradiates to be a pain in Rome's side for more years)

Synoia , October 23, 2019 at 12:29 pm

I'm a bit puzzled at publishing this series on NC.

Most of this history, if not all, was covered by many authors over many years. What is new with this new Author, and is it relevant to our situation today?

The Cynic in me believes backstabbing is much the same, as are faction, concentrations of wealth, and use (or misuse) of Power.

Is, perhaps the rational to demonstrate "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?"

JTMcPhee , October 23, 2019 at 3:23 pm

"Minatory" is a good word. The Empire uses troops against citizens, for example the "dispersal" of the Bonus Marchers. Got to love the Wiki thumbnail that characterizes the Bonus Marchers vs. the IS Army as "Belligerants," as they do e.g. Arab states vs. Israelites for the entry in the Six Days War.

The Imperial military supposedly is constrained by the Posse Comitatus Act, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act , barring use of the military to enforce government policies as against the "civitates." But the military has on its bookshelf an "operational plan" or OPLAN that extends and grows "Operation Garden Plot" under which military forces can be used to "suppress insurrections" like the fun and games around the 1968 Democratic Convention and urban outbreaks in Detroit and Watts and such.

I'm looking forward with trepidation and loathing to the possible reprise of "politics as a violent contact sport" along the lines described in this article. Not sure how well Pelosi and McConnell and others would do when the long knives are drawn.

Naw, assassinations and proscriptions could never become a part of America's political scene. Never.

JBird4049 , October 23, 2019 at 5:51 pm

"Naw, assassinations and proscriptions could never become a part of America's political scene. Never."

Hah!

My fear is that the current security state will overreact and just start arresting and killing people en mass if anything like the riots of the 1960s and early 1970s happen again. Even the peaceful mass protests of those days could cause such a reaction.

Americans being Americans, the United States has had political street violence with concurrent suppression. Even Senator Joseph McCarthy's McCarthyism or HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee) was not a one time event. However, most of the leadership during those times had been exposed to traumatic events that gave them a different measure of what was disastrous and what was not. That gave them a different measure of what was the appropriate response to any crisis.

What will our wealthy, comfortable, coddled elites responses be to any protests, forget violent protests, just peaceful ones on the scale of the past? How would they act towards the Anarchists of the early 1900s or the Weathermen of the 1960s today? We already have a society cranked up on fear because the elites are using the message of "Fear Everything! Terrorism! Deplorables! Guns! Something Darn It!" because that is how they can manipulate others including themselves.

I am truly wondering when the next wave of assassinations, of unfortunate police homicides will occur again as it in did in the 60s and 70s. Perhaps child porn will be found in Bernie Sanders' or some other troublesome person's laptop.

The Rev Kev , October 23, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Doesn't have to be child porn. Read an article by an activist some time ago who thought that here laptop was doing some not-normal stuff. She had a computer-minded friend dig into it and he found buried deep in her files three government documents that were classified as top secret. If it ever became needful to arrest her at some time, you would be hearing on the news how so-and-so was arrested and was found to have classified documents on her computer she had stolen.

Big River Bandido , October 26, 2019 at 3:30 pm

You forgot the violent squelching of the OWS demonstrations.

The Historian , October 23, 2019 at 3:39 pm

"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

I think Polybius had it right with his anacyclosis theory:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacyclosis

No doubt we are headed towards ochlocracy and then back to strong man rule.

JBird4049 , October 23, 2019 at 5:11 pm

I really hope not. Our republic is still somewhat functional and has gone through serious crises before that could have destroyed it. Unlike the Roman Republic we have managed to slip through them. We could easily be destroyed by our current march of folly, but there is still some time left.

The scary part is not knowing just how close we are to midnight. It does make life interesting does it not?

Susan the Other , October 23, 2019 at 4:13 pm

I'm warming up to this. Today I appreciated Newdealdemo's parenthetical comments. I think we gave the Romans more credit for being civilized than we should have. They were tribal all the way. Smart but tribal. I must have missed it, but where did the villa-ensconced elite come from – were they originally Etruscan? And whence the Etruscans? Or were they imports from Egypt and the Levant? From Greece after the Siege of Troy. I'm tenuous about the currents and tides of people and interests. And why some were peaceful and some were aggressive and looney. And why nascent democracy failed time and again.

JBird4049 , October 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IIRC, no one knows just where the Etruscans originally came from. Their language was something like Basque which is a completely isolated language with no known relation to any others. It makes research on them difficult. Often something like the Rosetta Stone can be used as a start to figure out an ancient language, but if you cannot find another one it is just undecipherable gibberish.

JBird4049 , October 24, 2019 at 12:11 am

On Basque and Etruscan, I might be unclear. They are not related to each other. They are just not related to any other known language especially to ones near by.

LarsX , October 24, 2019 at 5:25 pm

Much more is known about Basque since people speak it. Not enough remains of Etruscan to make many comparisons with Basque. The Emperor Claudius wrote a thirteen volume history of the Etruscan language, but alas, the work did not survive.

While we're at it, I believe the Latin term the author used "mas maiorem" is correctly spelled "mos maiorum."

Joe Costello , October 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm

lack of economic independence key, that was what Jefferson learned from it and why he promoted a Yeoman farm republic. He said someone who didn't have economic independence couldn't have political independence, that is be a citizen – more/less a direct quote.

The small guys all lost their farms because of constant warring, growing debt, and failing to farm. But they were all citizens so moved to Rome, where they voted in people in the last decades who subsidized grain from N. Africa which Rome got with conquering Carthage, but from other areas too. Also they got subsidized housing, and then of course those who threw a good party – the circuses etc. The Newt Gingrich, who was supposed to be an historian. used to say the welfare state had been developed for the first time in last 100 years, hah the last decades of the Roman republic were a massive welfare state.

The landless citizens who flocked to Rome were the infamous "proletariat", who while far from a revolutionary class, could certainly be counted on to mix it up and always for the well timed riot, even burning down the Senate house in the republic's final years.

debt-relief was one of the bills Caesar enacted when he got to power, though much less than everyone wanted. A great book on the republic's history is Mommsen's History of Rome , written mid -19th century, very big at time, but disappeared middle of 20th for some reason.

Mommsen's best quote when asked why he didn't write an account of Imperial Rome, "It's too depressing."

JBird4049 , October 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

I also think that one of the reasons for the violence was that the dispossessed did not necessarily want cheap housing and food. They wanted land or a trade that they could get a living from. If you, or your parents, had a farm for generations, or a shop or did blacksmithing, would you be happy being on the dole? How unsatisfying it would be. Being forced into welfare and then mocked by the very people who did that for doing so could make some unhappy.

ChadH , October 23, 2019 at 8:16 pm

UBI = Universal Bread Income. Semper ubi sub ubi

Synoia , October 23, 2019 at 7:44 pm

Both the Romans and their successors, the Byzantines, had difficult Governmental succession processes.

It'd not yet clear that our modern (gamed?) elections are better. Some would like to believe that our current system is not susceptible to "Roman Rot"

That belief looks shaky, but I suppose the rot is only fully revealed when looking back, too late to make corrections.

But, the Roman system persisted until the fall of Constantinople in the 1400s, and, even then one could argue that the Church & Byzantium continued their momentum through the Holy Roman Empire to the 20th Century empires to their WW1 destruction; and possibly the "Baton of Empire" then passed to the US -- and may be in the process of being passed to China.

JBird4043 , October 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm

The Roman Empire did last a long time, but a fantastic amount of resources including lives were spent insanely; first in stealing it from the majority which increasingly were fellow citizens after the first century; then in the many, many assassinations, massacres, coups, and civil wars trying to get or keep the purple.

The Vandals found invading Italy easy because, unlike in the three Punic Wars, almost nobody wanted to fight them. Sometimes they were interested in joining instead. Most of rural populations were landless peasants, serfs, or slaves working the vast plantations of the tiny ultra-rich upper classes. Internal trade was permanently disrupted after the Crisis of the Third Century. I forget how many emperors were around in one year. Three or four maybe. Then there were the Byzantines who also similarly crazy although perhaps not as bad as the earlier regime. Still weaken themselves greatly.

From what I understand, nobody wanted to end the Western Roman Empire. Not even those that conquered it. The people in charge of the various areas of that empire wanted to keep it going. They probably wanted to improve it. Perhaps bring it back up to what was. The Byzantines thought it was still was, or at least should be, part of the whole empire at the time.

I think that there was not enough left to reconstitute into a viable civilization. There were still millions of people, even cities, but when you have gotten to were you cannot even repair something as fundamental as the city of Rome's aqueducts, what's left?

Which, circling back to the problem of succession, and ultimately resource distribution, is that too much of everything else went into the creating, maintaining, and bribing the Roman legions; trade, infrastructure, education, everything needed for even a small village, forget a civilization of fifty million people, was ignored. That is also why you can see the quality of everything going down the older the empire was.

So at least the Western Roman Empire was just a facade for something called an empire and still considered just one half of the "Roman Empire" but really was already dead like a gangrenous limb before the last emperor was deposed.

Susan the Other , October 24, 2019 at 11:40 am

very interesting. and above too about "too depressing." Escobar today has a piece out about the neoliberal mess in South America. He quotes David Harvey (?) referring to neoliberalism as "accumulation by dispossession." A very old story.

RBHoughton , October 23, 2019 at 8:20 pm

Better than Game of Thrones

1 Kings , October 24, 2019 at 6:35 am

Are we gonna let the Asian King just happened to die without an heir so he willed his everything to the Roman treasury bit..?
Really? That is very convienent.

Hayek's Heelbiter , October 24, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Brilliant essay from Angelo Codevilla: [Can't get link code to work]

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/culture-news/292763/angelo-codevilla?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=f2f322bd4c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_24_12_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-f2f322bd4c-207541509

In place of the America that is described in history books, where Henry Clay forged his compromises, and Walt Whitman wrote poetry, and Herman Melville contemplated the whale, and Ida Tarbell did her muckraking, and Thomas Alva Edison invented movies and the light bulb, and so forth, has arisen something new and vast and yet distinctly un-American that for lack of a better term is often called the American Empire, which in turn calls to mind the division of Roman history (and the Roman character) into two parts: the Republican, and the Imperial.

[Nov 02, 2019] Sanders just happened to vote against the most self-destructive of the recent adventures. He's an imperialist through and through. If I have to pick between Imperialists, should I choose the incompetent one or the one who's going to have a heart attack in the first year of the job?

Nov 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 10.31.19 at 10:45 pm @ 51

Faustusnotes --

I think your views of American politics are often a bit "off". For instance, while it is not uncommon for people on the far left to criticize Sanders for voting for imperialist foreign policies, you are the only person I have ever seen use this as a defense of more mainstream Democrats who are far more hawkish than he is.

So I jumped in to point out that Biden's sleaziness has been an often discussed topic going back for decades. I could have mentioned the plagiarism of Kinnock's speech, but that was so strange I don't know what to make of it.

... ... ...

faustusnotes 11.02.19 at 3:08 am @ 68 ( 68 )

Hidari, replace the word "fascism" with "neoliberalism" in that Orwell quote and you might be onto something. You're always so close, but slightly off

Donald observes (about me):

it is not uncommon for people on the far left to criticize Sanders for voting for imperialist foreign policies, you are the only person I have ever seen use this as a defense of more mainstream Democrats who are far more hawkish than he is

So let me give you some reasons why this matters to me, not in any particular order.

1) Obama voted against the Iraq war but it doesn't stop him being derided as a warmonger. Which leads to two obvious points: past voting is no indication of future performance, and what is it about Sanders that separates him from Obama on this in the eyes of his fanboys?

2) In the 2016 election we were constantly told by the US far "left" to ignore lesser-evil voting (it's bad w were told) and to vote on ideological purity. But now the primary has rolled around, Sanders is struggling against a known hawk, and we're suddenly told to ignore his past imperialism, and vote for the lesser evil. Why should I do now what I was constrained from doing in 2016? What is special about Sanders?

3) Most supporters of Sanders believe that a) the 1994 crime bill increased incarceration rates and b) the Iraq sanctions killed 1/2 a million children. Sanders voted for both of these. That makes him a monster to these people, but they claim he is the best person to decarcerate America and end foreign interventions. What kind of left wing logic is this?

4) Sanders has not got any kind of critique of American imperialism, he just happened to vote against the dumbest and most self-destructive of the recent adventures. He's an imperialist through and through. If I have to pick between Imperialists, why should I choose the incompetent one who's going to have a heart attack in the first year of the job?

[Nov 02, 2019] Assad Calls Trump Best US President Ever For Transparency Of Real US Motives

Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Arguably some of the most significant events since the eight-year long war's start have played out in Syria with rapid pace over just the last month alone, including Turkey's military incursion in the north, the US pullback from the border and into Syria's oil fields, the Kurdish-led SDF&# deal making with Damascus, and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All of this is why a televised interview with Presiden39;st Bashar Assad was highly anticipated at the end of this week.

Assad's commentary on the latest White House policy to "secure the oil" in Syria, for which US troops have already been redeployed to some of the largest oil fields in the Deir Ezzor region, was the biggest pressing question. The Syrian president's response was unexpected and is now driving headlines, given what he said directly about Trump, calling him the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

"When it comes to Trump you may ask me a question and I'll give you an answer which might seem strange. I tell you he's the best American president," Assad said, according to a translation provided by NBC.

"Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president," Assad continued.

"All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the 'unique' and 'brilliant' American or Western principles. But all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others," he added.

"Trump speaks with the transparency to say 'We want the oil'." Assad's unique approach to an 'enemy' head of state which has just ordered the seizure of Syrian national resources also comes after in prior years the US president called Assad "our enemy" and an "animal."

Trump tweeted in April 2018 after a new chemical attack allegation had surfaced: "If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!"

A number of mainstream outlets commenting on Assad's interview falsely presented it as "praise" of Trump or that Assad thinks "highly" of him; however, it appears the Syrian leader was merely presenting Trump's policy statements from a 'realist' perspective , contrasting them from the misleading 'humanitarian' motives typical of Washington's rhetoric about itself.

That is, Damascus sees US actions in the Middle East as motivated fundamentally by naked imperial ambition, a constant prior theme of Assad's speeches , across administrations, whether US leadership dresses it up as 'democracy promotion' or in humanitarian terms characteristic of liberal interventionism. As Assad described, Trump seems to skip dressing up his rhetoric in moralistic idealism altogether, content to just unapologetically admit the ugly reality of US foreign policy.


indaknow , 4 minutes ago link

Most President's thought you had to plot coups. Regime changes, color revolutions. Long convoluted wars with many deaths and collateral damage.

Trump says **** that. We're just taking the oil. Brilliant

Chupacabra-322 , 18 minutes ago link

To fund their Black Ops to destabilize Sovereign Countries & rape, murder, pillage & steal their natural resources. And, install their Puppet leaders.

Wash, rinse & repeat.

ExPat2018 , 22 minutes ago link

I see Americans keep calling Assad and Putin a ''dictator'' Hey, jackasses, they were ELECTED in elections far less corrupt than what you have in the USSA

Guentzburgh , 54 minutes ago link

Transparently Assad is a moron, the oil belongs to the kurds snake.

beemasters , 52 minutes ago link

Not anymore... Russian Military Releases Satellite Images Confirming US Smuggling of Syrian Oil
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201910261077154752-russian-military-releases-satellite-images-confirming-us-smuggling-of-syrian-oil/

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Securing oil from those you don't want to have it is different than "stealing" the oil. Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

Dzerzhhinsky , 33 minutes ago link

Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

The one thing all capitalists have in common is they all want more money, it's never enough.

You commies will never understand the deep in your gut need to take every penny from every child.

Fiscal Reality , 1 hour ago link

Pelosi, Schiff, Cankels, Schumer, The MSM all sriek in unison "TRUMP IS ASSAD'S PAWN. IMPEACH HIM!!!"

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

Very much so. When he says something, it's definitely the opposite that he would be doing. You can't get more transparent than that.

NorwegianPawn , 1 hour ago link

Assad is a very eloquent speaker. Witty, sharp and always calm when speaking with decadent press. Of course the MSM understood what he DID mean, but they cannot help themselves, but parse anything to try hurting Trump.

Just don't believe a word the media says.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Mr. Assad's got that pitch correctly...

As a matter of fact he used "real motives" when he should have used the words "maniacal" and "desperate"...

Case in point... https://southfront.org/western-europe-archdiocese-officially-reunited-with-russian-orthodox-church/

If true. It means the Vatican (the oldest most important money there is) like Saudi Arabia and the UAE sure do seem to care about stuff like purchasing power in their "portfolios" and a "store of value"?...

I see lots of EU participants taking their money to Moscow as well with that Arctic bonanza that says "come hither" if you want your money to be worth something!!!

To Hell In A Handbasket , 1 hour ago link

It's always been about oil. Spreading Freedumb, Dumbocracy and Western values, is PR spiel. The reality is, the West are scammers, plunderers and outright thieves. Forget the billions Shell Oil, is holding for the Biafran people/region in Nigeria, which it won't give to either the Bianfran states in the east, nor the Nigerian government, dating back to the secessionist state of Biafra/Nigerian civil war 1967-70. The west are nothing more than gang-bangers, but on the world stage.

If people think its just oil we steal, then you are mad. What the UK did in reneging on 1500 Chieftain tanks and armoured personnel vehicles, with Iran which they paid for up-front and fucked Iran over in the UK courts over interest payments over 40 years. Are stories that simply do not make the news.

Yet the department for trade and industry is scratching its head, wondering why their are so few takers for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, where the honest UK courts have the final say? lol

truthseeker47 , 1 hour ago link

Too bad it is political suicide for an American president to try to establish communication with Assad. He seems like a pretty practical guy and who knows, it might be possible to work out a peaceful settlement with him.

TheLastMan , 1 hour ago link

economic warfare on the syrian civlian population through illegal confiscation of vital civilian economic assets, and as conducted in venezeula, is called ________________

Meximus , 1 hour ago link

That is not a compliment for Trompas .

Assad is saying where before the UKK was a masked thief, with Trompas and his egotism alias exceptionalism, has not bothered withthe mask. He is still a murderer and thief.

Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

Now Assad has some idea why Trump is so popular with his base, they love him for not being politically correct, for "telling it like it is". He's like the wolf looking at the sheep and telling them he's going to eat them and the sheep cheering because he's not being a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Unfortunately in the case of Trump's sheeple, they don't even have a clue they're going to be eaten, the Trumptards all think he's going to eat someone else like the "deep state" or the "dumbocrats". Meanwhile he's chewing away at their health care, their export markets, piling up record deficits, handing the tax gold to the rich and corporations while they get the shaft, taking away program after program that aided students, the poor, and the elderly, appointing lobbyists to dismantle or corrupt departments they used to lobby against, and in general destroying the international good will that it's taken decades to build.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

[Nov 02, 2019] Russian Assets and Realignment as the Dems Morph into Neocons by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Believing herself untouchable and immune from any genuine criticism or objective analysis after having successfully evaded prosecution from the nation's top law enforcement agencies, HRC went off the deep end dragging the Democratic party further into the ditch. ..."
"... She is a favorite of the Russians. That's assuming that Jill Stein will give it up which she might not because she is also a Russian asset." ..."
"... Gabbard's message is relatively simple -that is: Instead of the US destroying countries it should be spending the Military Budget on rebuilding the US. Yes that sounds like an America First type of stance but it has a decent logic about it. ..."
"... The US needs an enemy to justify its massive defence bill and 800 bases worldwide. ..."
"... Stoltenberg would happily stop all social services in order to buy more missiles and gain a few brownie points from Trump. Stoltenberg along with the US Neocons are are sick SOB's. ..."
"... Both Trump and Jabbard are opponents of the CIA – Wall street complex. Nationalists vs Globalists, but some people still believe the former are more dangerous than the latter. ..."
"... The Dems morphed into neocons when her willy-waving husband sold out and destroyed the Democratic Party of LBJ's Great Society. ..."
"... Tulsi has shown a lot of class, truth to the darkest Power, and long may she have this platform.. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As you may have figured out by now, Hillary Clinton, warped by her own self aggrandizement of entitlement, did Tulsi Gabbard and her Presidential campaign against interventionist wars a huge incidental favor.

While the Democrats continue to splinter and spiral out of control on the eve of what promises to be a transformative national election, the Grand Inquisitor seized an opportunity to allege that Gabbard (and Jill Stein) are " Russian assets " and " Putin puppets ".

Since Tulsi is a Major in the US Army Reserves and holds the highest security clearance available, the term 'asset,' which is associated with being an agent of a foreign power, carries a level of national security significance.

Believing herself untouchable and immune from any genuine criticism or objective analysis after having successfully evaded prosecution from the nation's top law enforcement agencies, HRC went off the deep end dragging the Democratic party further into the ditch.

She is a favorite of the Russians. That's assuming that Jill Stein will give it up which she might not because she is also a Russian asset."

Clinton's historic pronouncement came in the mistaken belief that publicly humiliating Gabbard would intimidate the Aloha Girl to silence and seek refuge on her surfboard – but that is not how it has played out.

An unexpected bonus proved once again that political strategy has never been Clinton's strong suit as her malicious comments have brought the anti-war alt left with the libertarian alt-right together in Gabbard's defense. With HRC's injudicious taunts, the glimmer of an emerging political realignment , one that has been at odds with both the Dem and Republican establishments, has surfaced – probably not exactly what HRC intended.

In response to having received a burst of unprecedented support, Gabbard is about to assure her place on the November debate stage and continues to solidify her credibility as a critic of a corrupt bipartisan political establishment and its endless wars.

If they falsely portray me as a traitor, they can do it to anyone. Don't be afraid. Join me in speaking truth to power to take back the Democrat Party and country from the corrupt elite."

It is noteworthy that HRCs accusation was to the only candidate who stands in direct opposition to the Queen Bee's history for the war machine and all of its bells and whistles. As if to call attention to the contradiction, the entire fiasco has acknowledged what was never meant to be acknowledged: that one little known Congresswoman from Hawaii would dare to publicly confront the omnipotent HRC with her own demons and malfeasance; thereby elevating the one candidacy that represents a threat to the military industrial complex and its globalist order.

It is no coincidence that the corporate media operates in lockstep as an offensive October 12th NY Times article was immediately followed by a CNN commentary as well as other media sycophants, all tagging Gabbard as a Russian asset.

Contrary to Journalism 101 on how professional media should conduct themselves, there has been no evidence, no facts, no supporting documentation as they characteristically rely on innuendo and disinformation.

At the last Dem debate and during the kerfuffle with Clinton, Tulsi has stepped up and showed herself to be a candidate the country has been waiting for. With a powerful inner grit, she did not hesitate to take the Times and CNN publicly to task and then in response called HRC out as a warmonger and dared her to enter the 2020 fray.

There lies a deep truth within Gabbard's response especially identifying Clinton as the " personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party. "

During Clinton's term as Secretary of State which is little more than a Glorified Global Hustler for the US military industrial complex, the Democratic Party lost its soul, morphing as nefarious neocons in pursuit of raw political and economic power that emanates from a policy of unfettered regime change and interventionist wars.

As Democrats embraced the neocons with no objection to the unrestrained violence, increased military budgets, indiscriminate selling of weapons to bomb a civilian population, then why should the party's grassroots object to the Tuesday morning assassination list or drone attacks on civilians or creating war in four countries living in peace in 2008?

As the party faithful allow themselves to dismiss all the suffering, the death and destruction wrought by US-made weapons as if Amazon and Google toys were an acceptable trade, they lost their conscience and their connection to the basic essence of humanity's need for peace, love and compassion.

The latest example of the Party's devotion to war is their opposition to the withdrawal of US troops from Syria as they created the phony debate that the Kurds were worth more American blood or resources. The Dems have always been more pro-war than they have been given credit for with WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam all initiated and/or expanded under Democrat Presidents.

With no substantiation from the mindless meanderings of a seriously disoriented woman, it is now clear that Clinton's derangement syndrome of unresolved guilt and denial led the Democratic party to its irrational embrace of Russiagate as the justification for her 2016 loss.

In other words, it was Russiagate that protected HRC's fragile self-esteem from the necessary introspection as Americans were pitted against one another, dividing the nation in a deliberate disruption of civil society in a more acrimonious manner than any time since the 1860's. The country has paid a bitter, unnecessary price for a divisive strategy due to Clinton's refusal to personally accept responsibility for her own failings.

HRC's most egregious war crimes as Secretary of State include assigning Victoria Nuland to conduct the overthrow of a democratically elected President in Ukraine in 2014 and the ensuing violence and civil war in the Donbass as well as her joyous rapture cackling at the death of Libyan President Qaddafi in 2011. The now infamous video " We came, we saw, he died " showed her to be more than just your average war criminal but a Monster who experiences an aberrant thrill at death and destruction.

Since June, TPTB have done their darnedest to deny Tulsi a spot on the debate stage rigging the qualifying requirements as best they could. Making it near impossible for the polling firms, which rely on campaign season and their economic connection with the DNC to call the shots in a fair and equitable manner.

As the early primary states loom ahead, the last thing TPTB need is a powerful pro-peace voice resonating with the American public. The message seems clear: talk of peace is verboten and equates with being a Russia asset and anyone with pacifist tendencies will be publicly chastised and condemned for being a tool of the Kremlin.

None of that has stopped Tulsi Gabbard.

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


Ken Kenn

I am very impressed by Tulsi Gabbard. She's a bit too patriotic for me – but I'm a Brit so for a serving American it's understandable. It isn't the person that is dangerous- it is the insertion of the idea that Regime Change wars are counterproductive.

Gabbard's message is relatively simple -that is: Instead of the US destroying countries it should be spending the Military Budget on rebuilding the US. Yes that sounds like an America First type of stance but it has a decent logic about it.

Wasteful wars and the idea that the US should install its version of Democracy across the Middle East has always been a doomed project and co-operation and an attempt at rebuilding these nations in order to attempt some kind of democracy and future prosperity is required – not bombing and bullying.

You could be outraged by Clinton's nasty rhetoric but let's face it. Clinton lost to someone she considered to be a Clown.

In actuality the DNC almost promoted Trump as person they could beat hands down.

It bit them on the arse as did the Brexit result in the UK.

Clinton has never got over losing to a chump and she is just covering her backside as to why she lost.

Hell hath no fury like a self appointed Candidate scorned. Like Johnson in the UK Clinton thought she had the right to rule. She didn't and doesn't. To quote some US Senator; " The people have spoken. The bastards!"

Igor
The objective is not to install American "democracy". Which does not exist anywhere, USA is officially a republic. Unofficially, it is an oligarchy. Elite super wealthy families and their corporations run the USA. All 45 Presidents have been related to those families. The President is actually elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. This was designed into the Constitution of USA, Inc.

The aim of regime change is to create chaos in MENA, by which a small ME state can profit without doing any visible dirty work.

Ramdan
https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/they_live_we_sleep_beware_the_growing_evil_in_our_midst
falcemartello
The Democrats(oxymoron for il Partito Fascista Americano) are doing this for the simple reason knowing full well that most traditional old school democrats identify with Bernie Sanders. The whole notion of the WASP notion of left right paradigm is oxymoron in itself.

Any political science follower or student would have to agree. What is the political left mean in the west????????? Has anyone ever read Marx and Engles ???????????? Social democrat WTF does that mean. Historical revisionist get labelled Nazi sympathisers. The constant lies and obfuscation with real facts. Like population stats death births . The Classic method being used at the moment is they no longer due c0up d'etats the good old fascistic way. The popular vote gets discredited by the judicial system. IE the recent elections of Argentina and Bolivia does not suit the IMF( the International Mafia Fund) henc e the European Union Funded election monitoring organisations are all openly stating that both elections were not KOSHER.

Look at the people in Venezuela and Bolivia that are demonstrating against the popular elected and voted for Governments. White upper middle class figli di putane. Plain and simple the western paradigm of fake democrazia and fake economy is dying the plutocratic and oligarchical class are just creating storms and fires just do deviate from good old fashion bread and butter issues.

Conclusion:

The pax-americana Democrats(RATS) know full well that Bernie will not lead the party Gabbard will not lead the party so here is there strategy and good old Chuckie Schuemer the anglo-zionist par excellance laid it out in 2015. They are hoping that old fashion conservative Republicans that are disgusted with the Orange one will vote for them and further reduce the number of voters. Just think of this. In this day and age with the largest wealth gap exceeding the Gilded age which individual would take a day off to line up to vote on a bitter grey November day. So these remarkable establishment shills in their great wisdom are running as Eisenhower Republican and hoping to steal votes from the Republicans and not win any votes from the new ever growing lower so called middle class.

POST SCRIPTUM: The irony and the complete paradox more war will give us peace and the rich getting richer will give us the sheeple wealth. Black is white and grey does not exist and left vs right. What a sad state of affairs.

Docius in fundem: The sad reality in our dying western paradigm of pax-americana is never in the history of the modern and post modern era we have more people graduating from tertiary education but we have created the most ignorant and pliant class of individuals ever.

Jon
She came, we saw, she lied.
Hugh O'Neill
Russian asset and Putin puppet, Jesus of Nazareth reportedly said: "Blessed are the Peace Makers". As we know, Trump receives maximum MSM contempt for anything approaching diplomacy and peace, and highest MSM approval when advocating war and destruction. Likewise, when a Presidential candidate dare breathe the word "Peace" then she is either ignored, ridiculed or accused of treachery – and that greatest of all crimes, being pro-Russian (ergo anti-American). It is timely perhaps to re-read President Kennedy's (largely unreported) Commencement Address to American University, 10th June 1963:

" What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time".

"I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn."

Lest we forget: Lee Harvey Oswald was sheep-dipped as a Russian-loving commie precisely so as to blame Russia for killing that commie/socialist/pacifist/drug-addled/free-lovin' Jack Kennedy. Somehow, their script didn't really make any sense. Script-writer Allen Dulles had written a turkey, but the show must go on, and on .

Igor
It won't be allowed. The People have no say in the matter. Politics is pure spectacle, to distract and entertain the masses, and to make them think that they have a voice. All 45 US Presidents have been interrelated through 200+ super wealth elite intertwined families. If Tulsi Gabbard is not related, then she is not getting into the White House. If she is related, she will get in and do nothing different from what the previous actors have always done.

#Resist45 and Trump, Mr. #45, work for the same people. Keeping the nation dazed and confused, since January 2017. Congress does nothing useful, by design, concentrating on impeachment. The Media has plenty of Trump social media coverage to prevent ever having space to report on actual events (as if they would).

Chinese Asset?
Please don't make the Republicans look better than they are. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ms. Hua Chunying said at a press briefing that

Pence's speech made Thursday revealed his "sheer arrogance and hypocrisy, and was packed with political prejudice and lies"

So refreshing to hear it from a high level official! Ms Hua also accused Pence of using China as a prop to distract from the United States' failings. Now we know, the 'Russian asset' accusation is used to distract from the continuous and never-ending murderous operation of the US regime.

Seamus Padraig

Since Tulsi is a Major in the US Army Reserves and holds the highest security clearance available, the term 'asset,' which is associated with being an agent of a foreign power, carries a level of national security significance.

Alt-journalist Caity Johnstone has recently remarked upon how the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) have started to give the word 'asset' their own little proprietary meaning:

"Russian 'assets' are not formal relationships in the USIC [US Intelligence Community] sense of the word," CNN analyst and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained via Twitter. "If you are parroting Russian talking points and furthering their interests, you're a source who is too dumb to know you're being played to ask for money."

"It's important to point out here that a Russian 'asset' is not the same thing as a Russian 'agent'," tweeted virulent establishment narrative manager Caroline Orr. "An asset can be witting or unwitting; it's any person or org who can be used to advance Russia's interests. It's pretty clear that Tulsi satisfies that criteria."

"One doesn't have to be on the Kremlin's payroll to be a Russian asset. One doesn't even have to know they are a Russian asset to be a Russian asset. Have you not heard the term 'useful idiot' before?" tweeted writer Kara Calavera.

At this rate, pretty soon, we'll all have to check with RT first before we open our mouths in public, just to make sure we're not accidentally agreeing with the Russians!

The Dems have always been more pro-war than they have been given credit for with WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam all initiated and/or expanded under Democrat Presidents.

Ha, ha! That takes me back–all the way to 1976, to be exact–to when Bob Dole (then a candidate for Vice-President) described all the wars of the 20th century as " Democrat wars ".

Igor
"CNN analyst and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained via Twitter. "

Says the CNN paid asset.

Hugh O'Neill
Thanks once again to Renee for championing Tulsi. Yesterday my local paper here in NZ (The Otago Daily Times) in its "This Day in History" column, briefly referred to JFK and the peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I wrote to the editor my appreciation:

"Although I am old enough to remember both the 1960 election and the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I was blissfully unaware of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 (when I was almost 7 years old). My thanks to the ODT for marking this date which is the day in History when the world stepped back from the abyss of nuclear war and ended all life on Earth. Sadly, too many today live in blissful ignorance of the most dangerous moment in the History of Mankind.

As the old saying goes, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Next time around, there may no longer be the politicians with the courage and intelligence of Kennedy and Khrushchev: both men had to out-manoeuvre their own military hawks, and each man knew the personal risks he faced in doing so. Khrushchev was replaced within a year and died in ignominy.

JFK's lived another year before his own untimely end. Though we may lament the execution of John F. Kennedy, he had not lived and died in vain, because we are still here despite the military. I cannot recommend highly enough two books: firstly, Bobby Kennedy's "13 Days> A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis" and James Doulglass "JFK & The Unspeakable. Why he died & Why it Matters".

Tulsi has been the only candidate in a very long time to speak the unspeakable truth. Do not condemn her for whatever flaws some commenters below perceive. No-one is absolutely perfect in every way – not even Mary Poppins. But Tulsi is a breath of fresh air and has immense courage, eloquence, passion, integrity and charisma to bring out the best in people. The real enemy is within – in every sense.

Gwyn
I'm sure this link will be of interest to you, Hugh. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Arkhipov_(vice_admiral)
Hugh O'Neill
Thanks, Gwyn. I knew this story already but it is worth rereading. The fact that some dimwitted USN ship started dropping depth charges without top authority shows that JFKs grip on his own military was tenuous. He had recently read Barbara Tuchman's "The guns of August" which showed how stupid acts by subordinates could have massive consequences. Once again, this demonstrates the treachery of the military. Recently, some British General stated publicly that if Corbyn were elected, there would be a coup. The military mind cannot cope with the concept of Democracy.
Harry Law
The US needs an enemy to justify its massive defence bill and 800 bases worldwide. Who better to shill for the US than that fool Jens Stoltenberg [Sec General NATO] "NATO General Secretary Says $100 Billion in Additional Alliance Spending Not Enough for Defence". The US spent $649 billion in 2018, other members of NATO spent an additional $314 billion, whereas Russia who do not want to be an enemy spent just $61.4 billion". https://sputniknews.com/military/201910251077152221-nato-general-secretary-says-100-billion-in-additional-alliance-spending-not-enough-for-defence/

Stoltenberg would happily stop all social services in order to buy more missiles and gain a few brownie points from Trump. Stoltenberg along with the US Neocons are are sick SOB's.

Antonym
Trump doesn't want US taxpayers to fund US mil in Europe, not unreasonable. Both Trump and Jabbard are opponents of the CIA – Wall street complex. Nationalists vs Globalists, but some people still believe the former are more dangerous than the latter.

Amazon, Google or Apple have more power than North Korea, Iran or Xyz. China cannot be the CIA-Wall street bogey now as they make too much profit of it: Russia is much smaller fish margin wise (the Clinton's only managed a few dozen million$) so that makes the perfect fake enemy. On top Russia actually competes with oil and gas, which China can't.

Wilmers31
Someone with more knowledge to the timeline needs to correlate the punishments for Russia (sanctions) to the oil price. I think they started sanctions when Russian oil and gas deliveries were getting cheaper but US needed 75$+ for the frackers. It was just eliminating a competitor, especially after they could not purchase the monopoly on Russian gas and oil through the monopoly company Yukos.
Gary Weglarz
This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and this seems like a good post to share it on.

Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists – not fighting them" – is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

My favorite of course is when one State troll debates another State troll in completely "fake" discourse, attempting to amplify their troll message. The other technique that is endlessly amusing is when a single troll posts something a well informed person with progressive values can quite agree with one day, followed the next by complete gibberish posing as "sophistication," followed the next day by talking points right out of the CIA & Pentagon, and then follows all that up with posting something sensible again. Just a bit "crazy-making" no?

It pays to remember ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive") that come right out of the trolling manual. It should be a red-flag if these descriptors characterize someone's posts.

The saying that if it ("looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, well, it just might be a duck") – is one that is worth applying to our comment's sections discourse. Because if it "posts like a troll"- in the end it doesn't really matter if it "is" a troll (something we will never know), or is simply an uniformed but opinionated idiot – as that person is "doing the work of" the State sponsored trolls in either case.

I find it is always worth periodically reviewing what we know about these operations (thank you Edward Snowden) – as it helps us to better understand and prepares us to better deal with the State sponsored troll operations we now see routinely in all of our truly progressive comments sections on alternative media sites. What we now deal with here at OffG and elsewhere are daily routine attempts to take over, shape and control otherwise rational informed sincere discussion by readers. Sadly this is how some people make their living – existing in a continual state of existential "bad faith."

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

BigB
Gary:

Anyone who stands for a perception managed 'business as usual' candidacy is authentic: anyone who tries to expose the vicious hypocrisy is an 'asset' or a 'troll'? Welcome to the postmodern anti-debate.

I'm trying to think of where I have come across a more cynical attempt to distort the truth and apologetically cover ethnic cleansing and cultural anti-Muslim genocide? And I cannot think of a better example. Anyone who attempts to expose Gabbard for her cultural links to actual Hindutva supremacism and real live fascism must be a paid state troll? What can I say: I am a peace troll exposing the Politics of Lies you appear to support. Tulsi Gabbard is a traitor to humanity.

What I laid out below is not trolling: it exposes just how much you have to invert the true values of liberation and freedom to get a 'peace candidate' from a Zionist fascist supporter. In brief synopsis: Modi tore up the Indian constitution; flooded Jammu and Kashmir with troops; invoked the 'Riot Act' to eject all journalists and TV crews; in order that his ethnic cleansing of the valley goes unseen. This is a crime against humanity: which also carries no small risk of nuclear war. Making this apparent is trolling?

In the perversion of the narrative script you propose: this is called "vocally opposing America's regime change wars". How; by apologising for not being able to attend the 'Howdy, Modi' because she was pre-commited to be lying somewhere else?

In contrast: Arundhati Roy stands accused as a traitor and having her rights and citizenship stripped for bringing attention to Modi's war crimes. What does Gabbard do? Pass the caviar and offer more lucrative trade deals for Modi's murderers? That is the difference between a real world candidate and a fake. Will Gabbard call out Modi; el-Sisi; Netanyahu or Adelson for that matter?

You know the scene that Milosevic likes to post: of Netanyahu being feted by Congress – which looks exactly like the Nuremberg Rallies Gabbard was there to listen to the ally and friend of the United States – that is the only democracy in the Middle East – denounce Iran. Afterward, she went on Fox News and glibly agreed Greta Van Susteren that the deal was akin to the infamous Munich Pact. Blithely nodding her head before engaging in some fantasy talking points about North Korean nukes hitting Hawaii: and the three month acquisition of the Iranian bomb which comes straight off of one of Nuttyyahoo's empty CD-roms. So can we drop the pretense please?

https://video.foxnews.com/v/4091784052001/#sp=show-clips

Adelson's 'Champion of Freedom' nails her real colours to the mast?

Then you invoke Sartre: did you know he was a communist? Who staid loyal to Stalin's Soviet Union for much longer than he really should have? What do you think he would have made of a candidate who dines with Hindutva fascist racist supremacists and offers them more trade on a pro rata basis of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity? Bad faith and authenticity: where do yo think they lie? Gabbard is an authentic candidate only in such a highly perception managed world as we have. Which is why we have such a highly perception managed world – because we highly perception manage it ourselves. No paid state trolls required: except in the imagination perhaps? Perhaps only those not suffering the illusion can see who she really is?

The only way to make this real is by censoring the right to criticism the illegitimate candidacy of those who are silent on Modi's open fascism and very probable silent, unseen ethnic cleansing. If it is silent and unseen then it is not happening. Then we have our perfect 'peace candidate'. Do you see how it works?

Let us shut down any chance of any open debate on that. Well done Gary. You and all the fawning sycophants on this page have the perfect peace candidate you deserve. By ignoring valid and authentic critical consciousness and suppressing the voice of freedom.

Gabbard needs to be exposed as a modified war candidate: and friend of the Gods of Money and their pet dictators. It is a cynical ploy to try and close down such real world exposure as 'trolling'. Trolling for peace maybe? Peace we may never now know.

Gary Weglarz
My comments were not intended to be a defense of Gabbard. Though she is the only candidate I can remember in many years that is speaking some truth, any truth, about the amoral U.S. war machine, she of course has no chance whatsoever of winning and no one in their right mind would suggest otherwise. Yet I and others who are quite aware of this obvious reality find the undeniable fact she is "publicly speaking some truth" about that war machine a rather important addition to the theatre of the absurd political debate here in the U.S. So strange that support and recognition of this simple fact is so controversial to some.

No, my comments were not some defense of Gabbard as an impure savior, but rather about the trolls and those who perhaps in their boundless narcissism simply do the work of the government trolls because they routinely "post like trolls." You know, ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive"). Perhaps you missed that somehow?

I tire of so much smug narcissistic idiocy, and predictable attacks on any who might disagree, posing as – "commentary" or "discourse." Of course neither you nor Big B have commented a word on that topic- the actual topic of my post. Instead simply strawman attacks related to Tulsi. How strange. But then again: "You've obviously got it all sewn up :(" – eh Frank?

RobG
I really don't give a shit about what the totally corrupt US political system is doing.

They are all scum and vermin, who, in a sane world, would all be swept down the gutter.

In the Middle East we are on the verge of WW3. The Russians and the Chinese are not going to put up with the American Frankenstein any more. Do Americans realise what this will mean?

I doubt it, because many Americans don't have a brain cell between them (Clue: America will be totally destroyed in a WW3).

nonameforsure
8 elements appeared on a website recently which the author suggested could be used to identify fake, false, or self agenda propaganda.. learn them.. apply them.
Develop an international way to report in some standard way on the elements that appear in articles. Maybe date, time, place presented, element identified, together with a comment that fits each expression. In my opinion it is important to build the case that the same false narrative appears in your favorite fake media as well as everyone else's favorite fake media.

You will be able to detect how these 8 elements develop fact that identify processes and activities of those in charge and how these elements will allow those seeking the truth to build a collaborative means to debunk fake. Example refer to paragraph 7 in a subject article by indicating "place" on "date" @ "time" "time" "title" and element number and then make a comment to explain why you marked the expression with a element number.

This kind of reference system allows to detect and compare both intra article fake news with inter publication fake news.. so maybe it will be discovered the news outlets and publishers and authors that hawk the same false or misleading propaganda in time to inform the public, moreover, if you can get the public to understand and to apply the element method of debunking propaganda; article by article, paragraph by paragraph, just the act of doing it, might wake them up.

1) EN establish the narrative :fake always try to establish the tuth
2) WR They wrong, we right : inconvenient facts are transformed to support the narrative
3) PF Cherry Pick the Facts : only report the facts that support the narrative
4) IS Ignore stuff : never include something that is contrary to the narrative
5) VB Blame the Victim : keep the victim on the defensive
6) MU Make up Stuff: false or non fact claims can be made up to fit the narrative
7) AC Attack and deny any form to all challengers: Persons who ask ?s are conspiracy terrorist.
8) RL Repeat the lies, repeat the lies, repeat the lies. People need help to remember the lie

Capricornia Man
Your eight methods for creating fake news aptly describe the way the 'systemic anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party' myth was promoted. Particularly methods 3,4 and 8.

When I complained to a broadcaster about its incompetent and biased 'coverage' of this non-issue, one of its chief defences was: 'that's what all the other news outlets are saying'.

The MSM wonder why they are regarded as mendacious and contemptible by thinking people who take the trouble to separate the facts from the spin.

mark
A Brief Summary Of The War In Syria.

2011. The Neocons activate a long standing plan that has been around for 20 years to destroy Syria. Syria is to be destroyed, like Iraq and Libya before it. Assad will be toppled within a few months and Syria smashed into a thousand pieces.

The Axis of Evil, the US and its NATO satraps, Shady Wahabia, Kosherstan and Sultan Erdogan, flood Syria with the necessary cannon fodder, hundreds of thousands of head choppers and throat slitters from a hundred countries, with a licence to murder, burn, rape, loot, steal and enslave to their hearts content. An alphabet soup of takfiri groups is created out of thin air, armed, trained, paid, transported and orchestrated with tens of billions of western taxpayers money. ISIS is just one of many.

The Syrian state, armed forces and people resist with unexpected courage and determination, and fight the proxy head choppers to a standstill. But they are under extreme pressure and have to concentrate their forces in the main battles in the west of the country. This leaves a vacuum that is filled by the phantom ISIS caliphate. This suits the Axis of Evil just fine. There is no problem with ISIS black flags flying over Damascus provided Syria is destroyed.

By 2015, the outcome is in the balance. Clinton and Sultan Erdogan have agreed to impose a no fly zone to turn the tide in favor of the head choppers. A series of Gas Attack Hoaxes and false flag atrocity claims are staged over a protracted period of time to justify Libya style intervention.

All bets are off as Putin overrides his advisors and dispatches Russian forces to intervene and prevent the destruction of the Syrian state. With the support of Iran and Hezbollah, the situation is transformed. Though the worst of the fighting is yet to come, the Neocon plot to destroy Syria is a busted flush. Syria is steadily liberated from terrorist occupation.

The main terrorist sponsors try to salvage something from this failure. Sultan Erdogan switches sides and takes the opportunity to attack the Kurds. Trump seizes the opportunity to scale back US involvement, generating much hysteria from all the Zionist shills in Washington. The Kurds seek some kind of accommodation with Damascus.

The war is now winding down. It will take some time before all the terrorist areas are liberated and occupying US and Turkish forces have to withdraw. But the outcome is now inevitable.

Chalk up another failure for the Neocons.

Gezzah Potts
Funny you mentioned Arundhati Roy as I almost bought her book today: Capitalism A Ghost Story, in a Left bookshop here, however ended up getting Culture & Imperialism by Edward Said and a second hand copy of Pedadogy Of The Oppressed which I've, um, never read. Time to broaden the mind, as have hardly read any books for years except articles on the Internet. Will pick up Arundhati's book next time. Have a good day
eddie
The Dems morphed into neocons when her willy-waving husband sold out and destroyed the Democratic Party of LBJ's Great Society.

Tulsi being a member of the establishment which she lambasts is quite a paradox, but can be seen from one's own moral perspective. During the VietNam war era, '63-75, many who opposed the fiasco took a stronger stance: prison as a conscientious objector, moving to Canada, undesirable discharges, very vocal public protests & arrests. Many lives and futures ruined, my own included, to actively stop the illegal & profit driven Invasion ..

Tulsi has shown a lot of class, truth to the darkest Power, and long may she have this platform..

Rhys Jaggar
Next they will try saying that because she is not a mother she has no place being President. If I had a vote in the US, I would vote for any man, woman, black/white/Hisoanic/Asian/any other ethnicity, straight/gay/indeterminate who:

1. Pledged to cut the US military budget in half, sign up to existing OPCW conventions on chemical+biological weapons and demanded that Israel did likewise.
2. Removed the right for dual citizen US-Israeli zionists to hold public US office (tell em to decide whether they are primarily aligned to Israel or not) and neutered the election-rigging AIPAC monstrosity at source.
3. Called out the global warming hoax as the biggest scam of the 21st century.
4. Enforced the concept that polluters pay to clean up their polluting, particularly in extractive industries, agriculture, mining and packaging.
5. Promoted the restoration of mutually owned local finance, particularly in providing mortgages.
6. Confronted the self-serving victim gravy train, in particular making the terms 'man' and 'woman' beyond the rights of anyone to take legal action.
7. vowed to shut down 25% of US overseas military bases in a first term and a further tranche in a second term.

Just for starters.

[Nov 02, 2019] Is Elizabeth Warren the New Ted Cruz The American Conservative

Nov 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite scant polling evidence, Joe Biden's continued lead , and serious concerns over her viability with the broader electorate, Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign has taken on an air of inevitability.

Just this fall, the emcee of the financial television circuit, Mad Money 's Jim Cramer, has gone from wailing "She's got to be stopped" to insisting, "I don't think she's nearly as anti-business" as commonly portrayed. Either way, Cramer continues, "I think there is such a thing called Congress." The implication is even if the prairie populist by way of Massachusetts goes the distance, Wall Street's network on Capitol Hill would make mincemeat of her agenda.

In my interviews with members of Congress, especially Republicans, Warren's nomination is generally treated as a fait accompli. Perhaps it's projection, Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist. The contest of Warren vs. Donald Trump would provide, if nothing else, clarity.

The dynamic extends past Northeast Washington. Where people put their money where their mouth is -- political gambling sites -- Warren's chances of winning the Democratic nomination are assessed at nearing 40 percent. On PredicitIt.com, one can buy a Warren share an absurd thirty-eight cents on the dollar.

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The idea of Democrats nominating an aged, gaffe-prone white male popular with industry and in the Rust Belt seems absurd on the face: "That's our nominee, right?" David Axelrod, mastermind of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, earlier this month crowned Warren the "front-runner."

There's just one problem with this line of thinking: it's not at all clear Warren is going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Her principal rival, Biden, the former vice president, still leads in some national polls. Biden is frequently compared to Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite, paper tiger on the Republican side in the last round.

There are two problems with this analogy. Biden isn't nearly as "establishment" as the former Florida governor. Bush was the cash-flush son and brother of two presidents, while Biden is bleeding dough and has failed to procure the endorsement of the president he served. Conversely, unlike Bush, whose lead nationally evaporated by Labor Day, Biden has stubbornly stayed more or less at the top of the heap through all of 2019.

It's Halloween and Democratic voters haven't been spooked enough by the former vice president's at-times catastrophic performance to dump him. Unlike Bush, Biden has an ace in the hole: the anchoring constituency of his party, African-American voters. If Bush had commanded the acclaim of evangelical Christians he might have held on despite his other weaknesses as a candidate. Biden is also relatively popular , while the Bush clan is rightly still blamed for the destruction of American prestige at home and abroad.

Down With the Clapback Will Senate Republicans Take A Chance on President Pence?

Biden frequently, even pathetically presents himself as an "Obama-Biden Democrat." ButBiden's candidacy remains most similar to a non-Bush 2016 candidate: Donald Trump, the front-runner the "smart set" claimed was doomed from the start. Like Trump, Biden is famous . And as Biden has hit campaign troubles, the former veep's raison d'etre can take on an air of the self-evident: I'm leading the race because I'm leading the race.

Like Trump, who would proudly spend literally hours of his campaign rallies reading off primary poll results, Biden also seems content to run a campaign based on his own lead. After weeks of purported political battering, Biden told 60 Minutes Sunday: "I know I'm the frontrunner."

With almost Trump-like flare, Biden noted: "Find me a national poll with a notable a couple exceptions." What was true of the last Democratic debate, earlier this month in Ohio, may be true of the 2020 election as a whole. As Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest , said : "It was a good night for the old codgers on stage."

Indeed, insistences from career progressives and conservatives that Warren is the true Democratic standard-bearer can take on a mawkish tone. Surely, in a time of ubiquitous partisanship, the victors will be most ideological. The Democrats are moving ever left, the Republicans, ever right. Surely, it is time for a true believer.

But the logic is too clever by half. Templates are incomplete assessments of the world, but play along: if Trump is Biden's proper analogue, then Warren's candidacy is perhaps most akin to Ted Cruz's in 2016. Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues, which doubles as a badge of honor with many, more ideological activists.

But party activists perhaps understand the organization they serve less than they think they do. Isn't it just as possible, indeed maybe even likely, that Warren, like Cruz, is waiting for a day that will never come? Trump's "implosions" were never reflected at the ballot box. Maybe so, it will also be with Biden.

Templates aren't perfect, however. While Cruz did well with evangelicals, Warren has failed to make inroads among African Americans. And unlike Cruz, the establishment has warmed to Warren's rise -- her campaign doubles as a Harvard satellite campus.

But perhaps Warren's greatest weakness as a candidate, as it was for Cruz, is that she is not the real voice of her party's discontented. A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Of the 2016 conservatives, Cruz was perhaps most polite to Trump, but in failing to ape the future president's program, he never emerged as anything more than a poor imitation of the real estate mogul. Immigration and ennui over America's international role were the orders of the day, and for a core contingent, no substitutes for Trumpian nationalism would do.

Warren experiences this vulnerability, an intensity gap, not with Biden, but with Bernie Sanders. Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist. Perhaps accordingly, socialist Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez, the most powerful millennial politician, has thrown in with Sanders, the candidate she volunteered for four years ago. For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vise-grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

Curt Mills is senior writer at .


Signore Sharpshooter 2 days ago

The money is deserting Biden. He's toast.
Faux Squaw will take it. It's baked in.
LeeInWV 4 days ago
A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Ummmm... Romney LOST.

For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vice grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

The article was nearly completely about Biden vs Warren then changed course near the end by bring Sanders into it. So Warrenism may be "too little, too late" so Dems will go for less with Biden? Sorry, it really seems incoherent to me.

Richard Karl Schultz LeeInWV 2 days ago
Yeah, the analogy that makes more sense is Trump:Cruz as Bernie:Warren, except instead of being a total fraud with no political experience, Bernie has 40 years of experience, with lots of accomplishments, and is seen as far-and-away the most trustworthy and with the highest favorability.
Ed 4 days ago
As competing right-wing and left-wing versions of the "cool nerd"? I guess so, though the essence of the "cool nerd" is that most people don't think the "cool nerds" are cool.

Is Biden really less "Establishment" than Jeb Bush?. A lot depends on how you define Establishment -- and the word is very slippery and hard to define. I'd say they were both Establishment to something like the same degree. Bush has a waspy pedigree and two presidents in his family, but 38 years in the Senate made Biden part of the Washington Establishment to a high degree. Neither of them had much substance. Biden was sort of like the ottoman in a Washington salon - something you might not notice until you tripped over it - but still he was a Washington fixture. Jeb Bush had the connections, but so far as Washington was concerned there was something provincial about him.

Kelly Storme 4 days ago
It doesn't really matter who wins the Democrat's party nomination or who wins the Presidential election. The 'Deep State' runs the government and will continue to run the government no matter which pony is the face on stage. Pick your puppet at the polls. That is if you want to waste your time voting at all.
LewistonCatholic Kelly Storme 4 days ago
True of any candidate except Trump who is the only one not controlled by the Deep State. Not that he hasn't had limited success so far in going up against them, given their control of the FBI and CIA and ability to manufacture scandals at will such as the "Russia Collusion" hoax.
Kelly Storme LewistonCatholic 2 days ago
I'll agree that Trump is somewhat outside the 'Deep State's' control. I'll state that I am not a fan of most of his policies or the man himself and it is my firm opinion that even though he is not an 'offspring' of the Deep State, his actions and interests are self-focused just like those that are bred from within. None of them give a rat's behind about Joe Public; it's the super-elites serving the interests of the super-elites.
=marco01= Kelly Storme 3 days ago
The socalled Deep State swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. That oath comes before their loyalty to Trump.

Trump is president, not dictator. He doesn't just get to do whatever he wants despite the fact he thinks he can, he thinks he is above the Constitution.

"I have to the right to do whatever I want as president." - Trump

You no doubt nodded in agreement when he said that, but if a Democratic president ever said that, you'd erupt in outrage completely forgetting how you felt when Trump said it.

Stan Grand =marco01= 3 days ago
Elections have consequences.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= 2 days ago
The previous Democratic president ruled largely through executive orders, if you haven't noticed. Not a dictator, right. While those upholders of the Constitution which are so dear to you, violated it left and right in everything foreign policy. Try better.
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
Obama issued an average of 34.6 EOs per year. Trump is at 47.7 per year. You were saying?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/...

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Hellprin_fan a day ago
Yes, and the next one, R, D or else, will issue even more of those. My point is that the tacit transition to dictatorship has already happened.
Kelly Storme =marco01= 2 days ago
Actually, as Alex stated, rule by Executive Order has become more prevalent with each successive President regardless of political party. Without going into a long explanation, I'll just say that the Constitution has been eroded by all Branches of the government - unfortunately, it's getting to the point where it will be completely ineffectual soon.
Madeleine Birchfield 4 days ago
Warren (as well as Bernie Sanders) would have been a great candidate for the Democratic Party to try to win back working-class whites in 2016, but nowadays it seems they are the Republican base and big Trump supporters and aren't returning back to the fold.

Democrats would do better to find a more center-right figure to win over neoconservatives, liberatarians, and suburban America, all alienated by Donald Trump and by what the Republican Party has become, which could potentially get them states like Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and the like.

cka2nd Madeleine Birchfield 3 days ago
That describes most of the Democratic also-rans, and pretty much Biden, too. And Hilary Clinton, of course, and look how inspiring she was to the Democratic electorate.
Dan Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
You're pretty much describing Andrew Yang. His base is currently small, but very passionate, consisting of progressives, disaffected Trump voters, working class whites, libertarians, etc., basically anyone on the political spectrum.
Richard Karl Schultz Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
Only Bernie.
staircaseghost 4 days ago • edited
Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist.

A few paragraphs down, you said "Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist." Did you just assume your readers would prefer the smear up front and the facts buried near the bottom?

Message to pro-capitalist, Warren-curious conservatives: come on in, the water's fine!

" Franklin Foer : All the investment bankers who have voodoo dolls of you might be a bit surprised that you recently described yourself as "capitalist to the bone." What did you mean?

Elizabeth Warren : I believe in markets and the benefits they can produce when they work. Markets with rules can produce enormous value. So much of the work I have done -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, my hearing-aid bill -- are about making markets work for people, not making markets work for a handful of companies that scrape all the value off to themselves. I believe in competition."

Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues

"Somewhat unpopular"? Ted Cruz is positively *loathed* by his colleagues.

Wake me up when something actually analogous to Ted Cruz happens, like if Warren calls the eventual nominee a "narcissist" and "serial liar" for whom "morality doesn't exist" and then goes on to phone bank for him in the general.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) staircaseghost 3 days ago
Well, looks like I already have to wake you up. Remember that story with her saying that it ain't right when a veep's son serves on the board of a foreign company and then immediately backtracking after having understood what she just said?
Kenneth_Almquist Alex (the one that likes Ike) 3 days ago
No. In any case, you appear to be describing a case where Warren misspoke and quickly corrected herself, which is nothing like what Cruz did.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Kenneth_Almquist 2 days ago
Nah, that's what I'm describing:

http://disq.us/p/24lfxof

There's even a video there.

IanDakar staircaseghost 3 days ago
Sounds like Warren is thinking of "Capitalism, with fixes from outside capitalism"

I'll admit, even the criticisms make me more interested in her. Though I fear that it's more of a 'too good to be true' concept. My time in customer service helped me to understand that sometimes you have to give Hard Messages to people as you really can't have Everything You Want. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing Warren as "OMG this is everything I wanted." Which is one of the red flags I had over Trump.

It's hard though. I know that giving hard messages is basically a death sentence in campaigns so people don't do that. But Bernie did and he's not dying. BLAH.

In any case, don't go too hard on TAC articles about democratic candidates. It's sort of like when a US new organization puts an editorial on a foreign culture. It's not a bad viewpoint to have, but it IS going ot be..well.. different.

marqueemoons staircaseghost 3 days ago
How about if the President says her Dad was involved in killing JFK and insults her spouse?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 4 days ago
It becomes more and more obvious with each day that nominating Biden is incomparably greater priority to the Democratic Party as an institution than winning the election. Yes, Warren is no orator (which is an extremely ill omen for a candidate when running against someone like Trump), but neither Biden is. Warren, with all her faults, at least speaks like a non-orator with both hemispheres functional. While Biden is simply babbling.

And that's not to mention the fact that Democrats (yet) have a candidate who would reliably beat any opponent aside from Rand Paul - Tulsi Gabbard. But these... epitomes of alternative genius keep on trying to drive her away from their party at all costs instead of holding on to her for dear life.

Kent 4 days ago
Trump won because of the number of other Republican candidates who wanted to fight it out to the bitter end, rather than throw in their lot with a better candidate like Cruz or even Jeb! Had it come down to two Republican candidates, Trump and one holding more traditional views, it is likely Trump would have lost the Republican nomination.

The Democrats look the same for 2020. Biden represents the Clinton, Republican-lite wing of the party. He has the name recognition and the big money backing. Sanders is a true leftist. And Warren is somewhere in-between. The question is whether or not Sanders and Warren will fight it out to the bitter end, leaving Biden with just enough of a plurality to win the nomination. I don't give any of the rest a chance.

I tend to think that Trump would beat Biden. For the same reasons he beat Clinton: he's a neo-liberal, neo-conservative who could give a rat's a$$ about the pain of the working and middle-classes. I think Warren could beat Trump. She's really not a leftist economically, and a lot of independents would see her as a rational, thoughtful person, as opposed to Trump's Trumpism.

My lawn chair and popcorn favorite would be a Trump/Sanders title fight. Maybe terrible for the country, but definitely fun to watch.

Stan Grand Kent 3 days ago
This argument was already proved false.

We heard about Trump's "ceiling" on a daily basis back in the 2016 cycle. And yet, when people kept dropping out, Trump kept going up.

Early Cuyler Kent 2 days ago
The woman who wants to implement a wealth tax and "free" health care for everyone isn't a leftist economically? lol
Kent Early Cuyler a day ago
I think she is probably to the right of either Nixon or Eisenhower. She's certainly not proposing a 91% marginal income tax rate (Eisenhower) or a fully socialized health care system (Nixon). The world has shifted so far to the right in modern times that I can understand that some see her as far left.
Mark Thomason 4 days ago
Biden is not "popular in the rust belt." That is why he is a loser. He's popular with the elitists who want a Republican-Lite nominee against Trump.
EliteCommInc. 4 days ago
The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american.

There is a huge wave of under current simmering anger because I don't cleave to notions of some incorrectly underpinnings of "conservatism", that are sacrosanct. I don't put much stock in identity political machinations online. It is simply a nonfactor or less of a factor than what is on the page as to some's ideas.

But the hijacking of someone's history that is not your own in any fashion and profiting from the same -- for people whose history are hog to negative narratives, this simply will not sit well.

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

Senator Cruz's attempts to rig the Colorado primaries violates the principles of fair play. Making arguments about being pro-country and at the same time manipulating the immigration arguments to favor undermining US citizens -- don't invite much enthusiasm for his leadership.

IanDakar EliteCommInc. 3 days ago
"The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american."

Why in the world would African Americans care one wilt about Warren claiming she was Native American?

Af-Ams are big on identity..but the only time I've seen it brought as an issue is when someone who's not Af-Am claims they are Af-Am.

Republicans have a big issue with her using the term. But it's similar to Democrats hating Trump's attacks on Latinos: the ones that rage weren't considering her in the first place.

Warren will win or lose the Black vote by whether she notes their issues and offers options that will change their current situation, something Hillary failed to do in those key states. Though first she'll need them win them over from Biden. Possible, though not easily.

Steveb 3 days ago
Not really sure why the author thinks warren is somehow outside the democratic norms, she has worked consistently for the working voters that make up her district by trying to bring some balance against the large corporations that pretty much control the economy. Even conservatives, the champions of big business and the haters of unions and all social programs seem to actually have second thoughts about crushing the life out of the common man, or at least they write occasional comments that make nice to them while giving the corporations massive tax cuts and cutting the social programs.

If I was a bit more cynical I would think that they are pretty nervous about an articulate candidate with a solid slate of actual policy papers and positions that try to lay out a way to make the economy work for the regular folks. Why they might actually be trying to claim that she will take the side of the corporations that run conservative politics..

Stan Grand Steveb 3 days ago
I think Warren's big problem is how she talks and how she looks.

Ever since TV came into the political process, image has become incredibly important. Look at Ted Cruz. He just looked...weird.

Warren is frenetic when she talks on the debate stage. Mute your TV during the next debate and watch. She also talks like a school marm.

Lasty, history does not smile on wonks. People want easy-to-understand programs and straight talk. Warren constantly dodges how she will pay for her programs. This will not play well in 2020.

Hellprin_fan Stan Grand 2 days ago
I'm going to jump off topic to point out that no one ever asks "How are you going to pay for it?" when it comes to tax cuts or military spending.
cka2nd 3 days ago
I still think it will be Sanders, with the 1980 and 2016 GOP primaries as the templates, and the crisis in the Reagan/Thatcher/neo-liberal consensus being the bedrock of his, and Trump's, appeal.
Ed 3 days ago
Trump was such a wild card in 2016 that it's hard to make connections or analogies to any other presidential election. You don't have to see Joe Biden as some clone of Jeb Bush to see that they both have real deficiencies as candidates. Cruz also was a lousy candidate who wouldn't have won the nomination or the general election, but he was blindsided by Trump, someone new from outside politics.

There's nobody in sight who could blindside Warren like that, and I get the feeling that the Democratic Party base (the White half of it anyway) is more comfortable with Warren than the Republican Party base was with Cruz. Even Evangelicals couldn't quite bring themselves to love Ted. However unpopular Warren is with the electorate as a whole, party loyalists and activists have no problem with her.

I don't see Buttigieg winning the nomination. Alice Roosevelt Longworth once said that Tom Dewey looked like the little plastic man at the top of the wedding cake. Now that we have gay marriage, voters are offered the a candidate who looks like the little plastic man on top of a gay wedding cake. I suspect they won't go for him.

JonF311 Ed 3 days ago
Had Cruz been the nominee he would have had the same advantage that Trump did: Hillary Clinton herself. She was a deeply unlikable candidate and 2016 is best described as "Hillary lost" as opposed to "Trump won." Pretty much any Republican, excepting maybe Bush with his family baggage, would have bear Hillary, and with a more respectable showing.
Bg 3 days ago • edited
what exactly is pathetic about an Obama Biden democrat? competence? prudence?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Bg 2 days ago
Letting their foreign policy being hijacked (or, rather, joyridden) by neolib lunatics, the twins of neocon wackos. That can hardly be called "competence" and "prudence".
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
I like the image, but they ARE the neolibs.

[Nov 02, 2019] Bernie defends Tulsi, so naturally Russia loves Bernie again

Nov 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 3:11pm The Clinton Dead-Enders aren't very clever or original, but they can stick to a script.
First Bernie defends Tulsi from baseless smears.

Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.

[Nov 02, 2019] Eveen Obama slams 'wokeness'

Notable quotes:
"... America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people. ..."
"... @Alligator Ed ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

identity politics icon himself

"This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama said, to some laughs from the crowd.
"The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws." he continued.

Obama cited college campuses and social media as a breeding ground for wokeness.

"One danger I see among young people particularly on college campuses," he said, "I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, there is this sense sometimes the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that's enough."

Obama then directly poked fun at 'woke' keyboard warriors:

"Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb or then, I can sit back and feel good about myself: 'You see how woke I was? I called you out.'" he mocked.

Here are a few callouts.. @lizzyh7

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

up 24 users have voted. --

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery


Alligator Ed on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 7:47pm

snoop, give the guy a break

@snoopydawg He only filled 12 of the 13 Citigroup nominees. A real sell-out Neolib/neocon woulda done all 13.

13's an unlucky number? Yeah. So is number 44.

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

Wally on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 9:05am
What's this Obama lovin' stuff, Alligator Ed?

@Alligator Ed

A veritable Mr. Aloha, huh?

In a nutshell, Obama is saying we all need a little more aloha spirit -- being respectful & caring for one another. Not being so quick to judge. Not seeing everything as black/white. I hope you'll join me in bringing the spirit of aloha to the White House. https://t.co/tYADx6Dzqs

-- Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 30, 2019

#2.1.1 He only filled 12 of the 13 Citigroup nominees. A real sell-out Neolib/neocon woulda done all 13.

13's an unlucky number? Yeah. So is number 44.

Cant Stop the M... on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 2:07pm
My comment elsewhere in this essay

@snoopydawg

should not be taken to mean disagreement with your excellent points here, snoop.

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

Wally on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 4:14pm
Promises, promises

@lizzyh7

Obama made some pretty campaign finance promises in the 2008 primary, and then did an about-face during the general, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from the usual suspects. Then he declined to prosecute the bankers. Let's not do that again.

-- Meagan Day (@meaganmday) September 24, 2019


Bernie Sanders on Elizabeth Warren's work for big corporations such as advising Dow Chemical:

"I'll let the American people make that judgment. I've never worked for a corporation. I've never carried their baggage in the U.S. Senate." pic.twitter.com/yV9TRw7jPB

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

snoopydawg on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 9:08pm
Have you seen how the Bernie tweet is being played?

@Wally

People are defending Warbama's helping DOW screw women who had breast cancer out of their settlement. It's absolutely sickening to see people defending the indefensible. "She needed the experience." WTAF does that even mean?

#2.1

Obama made some pretty campaign finance promises in the 2008 primary, and then did an about-face during the general, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from the usual suspects. Then he declined to prosecute the bankers. Let's not do that again.

-- Meagan Day (@meaganmday) September 24, 2019

Bernie Sanders on Elizabeth Warren's work for big corporations such as advising Dow Chemical:

"I'll let the American people make that judgment. I've never worked for a corporation. I've never carried their baggage in the U.S. Senate." pic.twitter.com/yV9TRw7jPB

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

Cant Stop the M... on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 2:02pm
Barack is intelligent enough to know that the current brand

@lizzyh7

of identity politics is bullshit. He's offended enough by irrationality that he's willing to comment on that in public--now that he's out of the Presidency and doesn't have to win any more elections.

However, none of that would stop him (or did stop him) using that kind of identity politics to the hilt for his own political advantage.

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

[Nov 01, 2019] Just for starters: a real election platform for Tulsi

Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Rhys Jaggar

Next they will try saying that because she is not a mother she has no place being President. If I had a vote in the US, I would vote for any man, woman, black/white/Hisoanic/Asian/any other ethnicity, straight/gay/indeterminate who:

1. Pledged to cut the US military budget in half, sign up to existing OPCW conventions on chemical+biological weapons and demanded that Israel did likewise.
2. Removed the right for dual citizen US-Israeli zionists to hold public US office (tell em to decide whether they are primarily aligned to Israel or not) and neutered the election-rigging AIPAC monstrosity at source.
3. Called out the global warming hoax as the biggest scam of the 21st century.
4. Enforced the concept that polluters pay to clean up their polluting, particularly in extractive industries, agriculture, mining and packaging.
5. Promoted the restoration of mutually owned local finance, particularly in providing mortgages.
6. Confronted the self-serving victim gravy train, in particular making the terms 'man' and 'woman' beyond the rights of anyone to take legal action.
7. vowed to shut down 25% of US overseas military bases in a first term and a further tranche in a second term.

Just for starters.

[Nov 01, 2019] Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists not fighting them" is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Gary Weglarz

This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and this seems like a good post to share it on.

Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists – not fighting them" – is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

My favorite of course is when one State troll debates another State troll in completely "fake" discourse, attempting to amplify their troll message. The other technique that is endlessly amusing is when a single troll posts something a well informed person with progressive values can quite agree with one day, followed the next by complete gibberish posing as "sophistication," followed the next day by talking points right out of the CIA & Pentagon, and then follows all that up with posting something sensible again. Just a bit "crazy-making" no?

It pays to remember ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive") that come right out of the trolling manual. It should be a red-flag if these descriptors characterize someone's posts.

The saying that if it ("looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, well, it just might be a duck") – is one that is worth applying to our comment's sections discourse. Because if it "posts like a troll"- in the end it doesn't really matter if it "is" a troll (something we will never know), or is simply an uniformed but opinionated idiot – as that person is "doing the work of" the State sponsored trolls in either case.

I find it is always worth periodically reviewing what we know about these operations (thank you Edward Snowden) – as it helps us to better understand and prepares us to better deal with the State sponsored troll operations we now see routinely in all of our truly progressive comments sections on alternative media sites. What we now deal with here at OffG and elsewhere are daily routine attempts to take over, shape and control otherwise rational informed sincere discussion by readers. Sadly this is how some people make their living – existing in a continual state of existential "bad faith."

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

[Nov 01, 2019] 'Hey You, Want To Be A Federal Judge' Says Mitch McConnell Pointing To Valet In Heritage Foundation Parking Lot

Notable quotes:
"... Remember, abortion's bad, corporations are good, and as for everything else, you just shut the fuck up and do as your told. Got it?" ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

WASHINGTON -- After realizing there were still judicial appointments that needed to be filled during a meeting with the conservative think tank, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly pointed to a valet in the Heritage Foundation parking lot Thursday and asked him if he wanted to be a federal judge. "Hey, kid, how'd you like a lifetime appointment on the Ninth Circuit, huh?" asked McConnell, interrupting the 19-year-old temp worker's protests that he didn't know anything about the law to tell him that all he needed was "wipe that dumb look off your face" and he could be delivering rulings by the end of the week.

"You over 18? You got an ID? That'll do. Now just hop in this car with me and we'll head over to the Capitol right now.

Remember, abortion's bad, corporations are good, and as for everything else, you just shut the fuck up and do as your told. Got it?"

At press time, after the valet nervously informed McConnell that he was hungover and had illegal drugs in his system, the laughing Senate leader assured him that wouldn't be an issue.

[Oct 31, 2019] WhistleBlower Ciaramella - IPOT

Eric Ciaramella is connected to Victoria Nuland. IIf this information is true, the entire Impeachment thing is a another phase of Russiagate. It's the Democrats attempt at a coup d'etat
Ciaramella, who was a Susan Rice protégé and was brought into the White House by H. R. McMaster. Looks like McMaster was a neocon zealot.
Oct 23, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Cajun Jim , 1 week ago

Great piece! I love that the reporter called the "whistle blower" the "whistle leaker" , much more accurate.

Diane Smith , 1 week ago

I'm so sick of this these snakes need there heads of there has to be justice

Ellen Jackson , 1 week ago

And Adam Schiff's sister is married to George Soros's son!

[Oct 31, 2019] The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Oct 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , October 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm

The winners write history. Surviving losers also rewrite history ('Gone with the Wind"). Or, past lives are never written about at all. The problem is that western government has swirled down the drain into incompetent delusion. Corporations rule. Plutocrats are in combat over the spoils. Protests won't work until police and mercenaries realized that they aren't being paid enough to die or to subjugate their own families.

Right now, the problem is two million Californians forced out of their homes or waiting with no electricity for evacuation orders. The American government is simply incapable rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California . Or handling global plagues such as African Swine Fever that has already killed a quarter of the global pig population. Simply put, climate change, overpopulation, and rising inequality assure that revolutions cannot be orderly.

The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Lambert Strether Post author , October 28, 2019 at 1:11 am

> The American government is simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

American elites are resolutely opposed to simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

Fixed it for ya

[Oct 31, 2019] Jim Kunstler We May Not Have A 2020 Election

Oct 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim Kunstler: "We May Not Have A 2020 Election" by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/30/2019 - 21:50 0 SHARES

Via Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com,

Renowned author and journalist James Howard Kunstler thinks what has been happening for the last few years with the mainstream media's coverage of President Trump borders on criminal activity. Kunstler explains, " What I am waiting for is if and when indictments come down from Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham ..."

"I am wondering whether the editors and publishers of the Washington Post and New York Times and the producers at CNN and MSNBC are going to be named as unindicted co-conspirators in this effort to gaslight the country and really stage a coup to remove the President and to nullify the 2016 election. I say this as someone who is not necessarily a Trump supporter. I didn't vote for the guy. I am not a cheerleader for the guy, but basically I think the behavior of his antagonists has been much worse and much more dangerous for the nation and the American project as a long term matter. I really need to see some action to hold people responsible for the acts they have committed...

I am not an attorney, and I have never worked for the Department of Justice, but it seems to me that by naming the publishers and editors of these companies as unindicted co-conspirators that allows you to avoid the appearance of trying to shut down the press because you are not going to put them in jail, but you are going to put them in disrupt. That may prompt their boards of directors to fire a few people and maybe change the way they do business at these places."

Kunstler says things look unlike anything we have seen in the past because we are approaching a day of reckoning in our debt based monetary system. Kunstler says, "Yeah, I think you can see it happening now..."

"What seems to be resolving is some movement to some sort of a crack up of the banking system . What we are really stuck in is a situation where we've got too many obligations we cannot meet and too many debts that will never be repaid. We have been trying to run the country for the past 15 or 20 years on debt because we can no longer provide the kind of industrial growth that we have been used to . . . and have this massive consumer spending industry. So, we have been borrowing from the future to pay our bills today, and we are running out of our ability to borrow more...

I think we are going to lose the ability to support a lot of activities that we have been doing. It starts with energy and its relationship to banking and our ability to generate the kind of growth you need to keep rolling over debt. The reason debt will never be paid and obligations will never be met is we are not generating that sort of growth. Were just generating frauds and swindles. Frauds and swindles are fun while you are doing them and they seem to produce a lot of paper profits, but after a while, they prove to be false. Then you have to do something else. A great deal about our economy and our way of life is false and is going to fail . Then we are going to have to make other arrangements for daily life. . . .It will probably mean we will be organizing our stuff at much more of a local scale."

On the 2020 Presidential Election, Kunstler predicts, "When all is said and done, I am not convinced there is enough there to convict President Trump of anything..."

"At the same time, there is probably going to be a lot of legal actions brought against the people who started this coup against him, and that's going to be extremely disturbing to the Left.

I think one of the possibilities is we may not have a 2020 election. In some way or another, the country may be so disorderly that we can't hold an election. There may be so much strife that we cannot handle the legal questions around holding the election, and it may be suspended. I don't know what that means, but I am very impressed of the disorder that we are already in. It's more of a kind of mental disorder between the parties, but it could turn into a lot of kinetic disorder on the ground and a lot of institutional failure ."

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with author and journalist James Howard Kunstler.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VLlOJX3aVrQ

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(You Tube has Demonetized this video – again. This means only long commercials play, if they play at all. (most skip long commercials) It must have some useful information in it, so, enjoy it!!)


Md4 , 2 hours ago link

"It's more of a kind of mental disorder between the parties, but it could turn into a lot of kinetic disorder on the ground and a lot of institutional failure ."

"...kind of mental disorder between the parties...".

Hardly.

Mark777 , 2 hours ago link

"It's more of a kind of mental disorder between the parties..."

If you were to diagnose those extreme on the left, Borderline or even Histrionic could easily fit the behaviors. Don't know what they mean?

People with Borderline Personality Disorder have an extreme level of Denial, refusing any fault or blame, they shift blame to others, willing to jump from idolization to utter rejection, all or nothing, black or white thinking without normal gray perceptions, prone to make emotionally compelling but unsupported allegations, etc.

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder have an extreme need to be the center of attention at whatever the cost, often making extreme allegations of abuse and other negative behaviors.

With these acting-out disorders the persons most impacted are those closest to them.

In families, it is the spouses who are typically accused and abused. Often family courts ignore the antics expecting the conflict to fade over time as with reasonably normal people... but it doesn't.

In politics, well, you see what is happening today. Every person who is trying to be reasonable and discerning is shaking his/her head at all the chaos in recent years. As some have commented, now the extremists are doubling down on their behaviors, something reasonably normal people wouldn't pursue.

https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/bookstores/splitting-america

jeff montanye , 2 hours ago link

it is interesting that this guy kunstler (from wiki) "continues to write for The Atlantic Monthly, Slate.com , RollingStone, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and its op-ed page where he often covers environmental and economic issues."

and yet he writes "When all is said and done, I am not convinced there is enough there to convict President Trump of anything..."

"At the same time, there is probably going to be a lot of legal actions brought against the people who started this coup against him, and that's going to be extremely disturbing to the Left."

he is not alone as a leftist taking the position that trump, whom they dislike, is essentially innocent and at least parts of the democratic party, the obama administration, the doj, fbi and the cia are guilty of great crimes against the state, as well as against individuals. note glenn greenwald, jimmy dore, aaron mate, matt taibbi, steven f. cohen, etc.

San Pedro , 2 hours ago link

With Democrats...reality is optional. Hell...they don't even trust what's between their legs and think it can be solved with surgery then engage in a full blown fantasy and mythology that the surgery made a difference...you really want your lives run by confused people who's lives are focused on "fantasy and mythology"??

dustinwind , 3 hours ago link

I predict there will be an election and there will not be any " legal actions brought against the people who started this coup against him". That would open Pandoras' box and reveal just how corrupt government is. It will never happen.

I am Groot , 3 hours ago link

If nobody goes to jail, expect the lawlessness to get worse......

[Oct 30, 2019] Democrats are Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard's Shadow

Oct 30, 2019 | www.redstate.com

Democrats haven't been too kind to Hawaii Rep. Tusli Gabbard. Ever since she took down California's Sen. Kamala Harris, she's had a target on her back, with wild accusations being thrown her way such as being a "Russian asset."

Recently, as my colleague Thomas LaDuke covered , Gabbard announced that she won't be seeking reelection for her seat in congress, and instead, putting all her efforts into running for President.

It's pretty clear, however, that Gabbard isn't going to win the 2020 nomination from the Democrats, but some Democrats fear that in light of this obvious fact, Gabbard may continue her campaign under a different banner, and go for a third party run. Despite Gabbard not being anywhere near the front of the pack, she is somewhat popular, and Democrats fear that her third-party run would subtract from the total number of Democrat voters.

According to