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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 enforce 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

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

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

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

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

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

There are also addition questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned "inverted totalitarism" covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative 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 foright  state such as AIPAC ? What is the actual level of influence of Isreal 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 neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in the neoliberal empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting for the lesser  evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  But lessevelism is parody on democracy, not the  actual democracy. In this  case election  serve just for the legimization of the presented candidate from the  ruling elite. 

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, fake opposition to establishment,  like Obama was.)

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The myth about intelligent voters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

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

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

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

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

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

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

Highly recommended!
That remind me how old Kushner tried to smear his relative...
Notable quotes:
"... They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician. ..."
"... The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right. ..."
"... So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely. ..."
"... As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties. ..."
"... Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level. ..."
"... Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches. ..."
"... Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan. ..."
"... The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns. ..."
"... The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset. ..."
"... B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc. ..."
"... It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. ..."
"... I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria. ..."
"... Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions. ..."
"... Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation? ..."
"... The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents. ..."
"... If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia ..."
"... François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. ..."
"... Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy. ..."
"... In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern? ..."
"... This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months. ..."
"... Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest. ..."
"... Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. ..."
"... As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country". ..."
"... To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.
...
The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink


james , May 19, 2019 1:40:31 PM | 1

b - thanks .. i agree "elaborate sting" and "the video was held back until the right moment"... clearly this was a set up.. strache says he is going to pursue this legally..

"working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust." injustices are being done on a constant basis now and being justified by the msm regularly.. i think this is part of the reason people are seeking alternatives - whatever they might be... power to the people..screw the neoliberal agenda and blackmail artists that are so rampant at present...

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 1:40:51 PM | 2
Funny thing is e.g.- a German comedian Jan Böhmerman knew before. Already in April he said in a Video call live in Austian television duringthe TV-prize-giving of the trophy "Romy" that he couldn´t attend personally to receive the price because right know he was sitting together with some FPÖ-buddies in a Russian oligarch-villa on Ibiza, sniffing cocain, drinking and negotiating the takeover of the "Krone-Zeitung" (the biggest rag in Austira, smth like the "Bild" in Germany or "The sun" in Britain).

Böhmers management released a statement yesterday that Böhermann did know before but didn´t name the source he knew it from.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article193725535/FPOE-Vize-Strache-Was-Boehmermann-mit-dem-Video-zu-tun-hat.html

Cui bono?

Paul Damascene , May 19, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 3
Your article here raises a number of important issues. More or less at random:

* If I understand your characterization of your political leanings, based on this and on the perspectives MoA offers, I share many of your views. And whereas there may be a certain Schadenfreude at seeing a right-wing, B-team operator reveal himself, I agree that the forces behind the sting itself are of potentially far greater interest (and danger)..

* For every sting and smear such as this that we see, how many others take place sub rosa, corrupting our political and social landscapes, leaving no evidence that might trigger criticism or resistance?

* I'm not sure of how this plays out legally, but this seems not just to have been a sting, but entrapment, in which (if these were law enforcement agents) we could protest that the only illegal activity being proposed, was by those conducting the sting.

* If this was, as you suggest, authored by the BND, then this would be a clear instance of election "meddling" -- though not of the sort that our shining democracies are now being warned against. (At least President Putin will not be accused of conducting it, for once. That oligarch's daughter could have come from anywhere, but of course Russia.) Russia gets smeared is probably the larger aim, rather than this particularly Austrian politician.

hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4
The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician.
somebody , May 19, 2019 1:56:55 PM | 5
I think the word is protofascist. b. you have got a blind spot seeing geopolitics everywhere. Truth is most of this is simply a battle of billionaires. The key to understand the Ibiza video is the product placement. Everybody there drinks Red Bull plus alcohol (I am not sure about the alcohol the loss of control of the politicians who are present suggests cocaine).

The owner of Red Bull is an Austrian billionaire called Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz is a right wing crank building a media empire in Austria including an "investigative platform" called addendum that is something like the Austrian version of Breitbart.

For some reason "addendum" began to shoot against Rene Benzko, an Austrian real estate billionaire, who intends to take over Kronenzeitung.

And guess what, Rene Benzko was mentioned in the video "as a friend", and a large part of the conversation centered on taking over Kronenzeitung something Rene Benzko is involved in.

Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria, explained in the video for every Austrian to understand, that his party's scheme is based on accepting illegal contributions via a ngo, and lowering taxes in return. According to what he says in the video he also intends to charge for water by selling the right to the Latvian/Russien "niece of a Russian oligarch" or someone else prepared to pay to his party's ngo.

Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 1:58:49 PM | 6
> with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin

Putin himself though stresses his non involvement in that party, he also tried to bootstrap organizations that could supplant or even challenge U.R. at least in some niches.

While U.R. probably is party of Russian ruling elites, it is hardly one-man-show of LDPR/Zhirinovsky kind and whether Putin is "gray cardinal" of U.R. is very questionable.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:05:52 PM | 7
It is said that children and drunk people always say the truth... Why is it not to be taken into account what he said once drunk enough?

For to be a strong leftist, b, you spend a great effort in discharging this man, while whitewashing the far-right saying they are no danger for our societies and assuring that they are clean, when that is a thing you do not know since they have not had yet the possibility to rule.

They are neither cleaner nor inocuous for our societies. For starters they have chosen as scapegoat the migrants when who is to blame for the wave of migration is the US, NATO and their imperial ambitions, so as to throw poor against poor and that way the elites could continue quietly looting us, while we fight each other. You will never heard anything agsint banks ans elites from anybody in the far-right.

FYI, it is not Matteo Salvini who is forming a coalition of the far-right to conflude to European elections, but it is Bannon from his HQ in a Cisterciense monastery in Italy who is commanding this operation. Salvini is really a piece, having supported Guiado and the Venezuelan coup intend, and said what he would do with the Yellow Vests , "I don't go to the Yellow Vests with Molotov cocktails, if anything, I put them in prison" ...

Then it is AfD, who goes also in the block, whose members have claimed the Germans should be proud of the performance of the German Army during both WW....

Then Vox, financed by MEK and Israeli lobby and promoted by Bannon and the WH, who only wear clear neoliberal economic policies in their, for the rest, confusing program.

The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target ...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right.

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8
@4 hallelujah hinton
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Neuwahlen-Der-gefeierte-Stratege-Kurz-hatte-keine-Optionen-mehr-4425362.html
Telepolis one of the oldest and biggest non-commercial online news and discussion platforms in Germany states in the following article, commenting on his statement at his resignation declaration:

"Glaubt er, man wäre bei Alkohol nachsichtiger? Offenbar schien er sich betrunken kaum mehr im Griff zu haben - und dies ist wohlgemerkt seine Erklärung für die Äußerungen im Video. Erst gegen Ende beginnt er eigenes Fehlverhalten einzuräumen und bittet insbesondere seine Frau um Verzeihung, mit der er ein wenige Monate altes Kind hat. Kenner Straches ahnten an dieser Stelle bereits, dass dieser sich bereits für Dinge entschuldigt, die zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Öffentlichkeit noch gar nicht bekannt sind."

Does he (Strache) really assume he would get more indulgence by blaming it on the alcolhol? Obviously when being drunken he wasn´t in control of himself anymore - and this is actually his explanation for his statements in the video. Somehow at the end he finally begins admitting own misconduct and especially asks his wife for forgiveness, with which he has a few months old child. Experts on Strache suspected from this moment on, that he apologized for things which at this moment are not known to the public, yet"

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.

Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9
somebody @5:
battle of billionaires.... Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead. Only supporting protest Movements (like Gillet Jeune) and free press/citizen journalism (Wikileaks/Assange) will have any real effect.
Zanon , May 19, 2019 2:30:32 PM | 0
Great piece - I dont see how Strache actually made anything wrong or atleast nothing not normal to politicians that constantly seek out support by big, powerful people. Most likely the deep state in Austria struck FPÖ just like FBI struck Trump.

As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 2:36:33 PM | 1
@hallelujah hinton #4

Also notice how she pretended to be a niece.

Not some very close relative like daughter or sister, which may be fearsome, as "russian mafia" oligarch could be expected to "protect" her of ladykillers viciously. But also not some far relative who would be seen alien and have no financial support.

Just enough distance to be safe to hit on and try to share the oligarch's money. It was both honey&gold trap.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:38:57 PM | 2
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women? Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?

Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Clueless Joe , May 19, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 4
Metulski:

Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level.

Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:44:10 PM | 5
Spanish Colonel ( ret.) Pedro Baños, who was postulated for head of the CNI by the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, was object of slander campiagn as "pro-Russian" by the Spanish cluster of Integrity Initiative, only for declarations on the prejudice of sanctions for Spain, and nobody made such noise....
hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 3:03:31 PM | 6
Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan.

Enforcement and and penalties are selective. Selective enforcement. It's how "The Law" operates. Not defending the wingnut pig in the article. I appreciate Sasha's Trojan Horse allegory above.

the pair , May 19, 2019 3:16:52 PM | 7
wow...a bunch of elitist neoliberals with contempt for anyone lacking 10 zeroes on their paychecks and zero useful policies use "russian collusion" to entrap and embarrass a pseudo-right wing politician. who could ever imagine such a scenario? and why learn from the masses you represent when james o'keefe gives you all the inspiration you need?

but at least they blocked the ascension of someone who would trade political favors for money. that kind of nonsense simply won't do in western society.

karlof1 , May 19, 2019 3:24:47 PM | 8
Thanks for this explanation, b! I first saw this reported at Geroman's Twitter and used machine translation of the article he linked, but it lacked the context which you provided. This incident is subsumed within the larger conflict that's trying to keep EU from combining with BRI/EAEU, which means its roots/culprits are NATO/Outlaw US Empire--it points to desperation on their part.
Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 3:25:34 PM | 9
the pair @17

Some will fail to see the sarcasm. Best to use the /sarc tag.

somebody , May 19, 2019 3:34:51 PM | 0
Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

Sorry, you don't see the Latvian/Russian woman. You see Gudenus' wife who is from Serbia. Whatever the publishing papers got, it was a copy. More will come out.

Copeland , May 19, 2019 4:01:44 PM | 1
The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns.
BM , May 19, 2019 4:14:36 PM | 2
So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.
Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset.

---

On the issue of "populism" and right-wing parties I confess I have a problem. I certainly want to see the Establishment thrashed, and especially in next week's EU elections, and there is no question that at the moment the right-wing parties have far more potential to upset the establishment than the left. If "Populist" parties are able to radically upset the EU Parliament, that should bring a much-needed hammer and axe to the anti-populist activities of the EU, and hopefully lead to the breakup of the EU.

On the other hand, unlike B, I do have extremely strong worries about the rising power of the far right and their connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis. I am concerned - even without the involvement of Bannon, but far more so with - that the rise of "populism" is a calculated policy of a Nazi segment of the Establishment that is designed specifically to usher in an international Nazi movement across Europe and Latin America under the leadership of and proxies of the - ever more and more Nazi behaving - US (which itself is in so many very real ways descended from Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and the Japanese war criminals including Bush's family, tight connections with Nazi war criminals in the CIA, and historical leadership figures in the CIA). The large scale and extremely high level infiltration of hardcore Nazis in the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, and CDU politics is a ticking timebomb waiting for its moment. There seems to be similar high level Nazi infiltration in many other countries.

We have to be careful what we wish for!

B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 4:21:50 PM | 3
On how there is real danger with these wolves on sheepskin who only try to divide and conquer the working masses of the world, this old article by Ho Chi Minh on the importance of class conscience and the great labor of the University of the East in the former USSR to get workers of the world conscous and united in the common struggle. Also on the importance of having the right to vote:
Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting "humanitarian" resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers' parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism .

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.(...)

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a "Commune." Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All "misdemeanors" and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the "Commune" holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the "inferior natives of the colonies" like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the "barbarity" of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as "submissive subjects" or "protéges," having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of "high civilization," all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists . Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

-It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
-It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
-It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
-It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers
.

This is why it is needed to throw the workers from the West against the migrants from the East and South, to avoid the invincible force they would constitute together. This dirty work is made by the far-right in the name of corporate liberal elites. They can play that they fight each other, but as soon as they get seats at the European Parliament, you will find the previous allegedly opponents all together aligned in the same Eurogroup. Time to time.

Bacchante , May 19, 2019 4:38:44 PM | 4
It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. Yet here we can still talk about he was drunk, how his being set up was unjust, and how the poor guy will have to miss his lovers' right cause in Italy. Those vulgar masses are at it again! There can be no justification about the masses' support of far-right causes and the clowns like him. If you think otherwise it is the likes of moonofalabama next in line to be "fired", or eliminated. Legitimize their causes and it is Germany in 1920s all over again.

Two wrongs do not make a right, unfortunately.

Walter , May 19, 2019 4:56:04 PM | 5
"Left/right", I agree, is nearly without semantic value. Nevertheless class interests remain...how is it that this is so? Think about that, comrades.

And then consider wsws report about "At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: "I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations." " see> "German government prepares troops for domestic missions" @ wsws.org

Considering the overall aspects, it's rational to expect all parties in Europe to make plans, is it not? Of course the working class is not permitted to make such plans...is it?

Pnyx , May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 6
I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria.

Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions.

I agree with you that this is not the big setback for the right the mainstream parties dream of. But it won't help the fascists in spe in the future either.

Adrian E. , May 19, 2019 5:25:25 PM | 7
Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation?

A first association might be the dirty, deceptive campaigning SPÖ used against Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) - the Silberstein affair -, but I think the methods that were chosen are too different to make a common source likely, Strache was targeted in a much more sophisticated way. The Silberstein affair may, however, be the reason why the tapes have partially been published now rather than before the last Austrian elections - at that time, dirty campaigning might have been discredited too much for the tape to have the desired effect,

The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents.

If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia.

François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously.

Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy.

In the case of Strache and FPÖ, a different motive may also be plausible. There are connections between FPÖ and neonazis, and there are, in my view, legitimate concerns that Strache is too close to such far-right networks. I don't think it is good when right-wing populists whose rise is mainly due to the unpopularity of the neoliberal elites are equated with Nazis too quickly.

But in the case of FPÖ, this is less far-fetched than in the case of other European right-wing parties - historically, Nazis played an important role in FPÖ in post-war Austria, and it is one of the current right-wing parties that probably has more connections to the extreme right (e.g. via Burschenschaften) than others. I could imagine that someone might have ordered and financed the sting operation out of antifascist principles. While I may recognize the motivation as ethical and even partially agree with it, I don't think the right means were chosen, and such dirty methods can backfire.

Michael Droy , May 19, 2019 5:33:51 PM | 8
"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties"

Quite. It seems to me that only the Right and the Left have a clue right now, because they have an instinctive mistrust of what they are told in the media.
People like "b" and Craig Murray are to be thanked for explaining that to us middling voters.

You miss the most glaring "injustice". That which shows that GDP in most western countries had doubled in the last 30 odd years, that earnings for the top quartile have gone up by factors of 3 or 4. But that median earnings in US are unchanged, and in say UK are only up 10% or so (unless one is seeking to buy one's own house or flat).

All the improvements in inequality from 1930s to 1980s have been reversed in full. "Populists" (or better "anti-elitists") are driven mostly by sheer anger at how a small group had taken all the Economic gains of the last 35 years.

somebody , May 19, 2019 5:35:30 PM | 9
Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

I don't know what b. saw in the video what I saw was a discussion of an Orban like take over of Austria by FPÖ.

In other news people are arguing the following
- who will profit most - ÖVP
- why was the video not published after it was produced in 2017 - because ÖVP wanted a coalition with FPÖ
- why was it published now - ÖVP has been renting advertising space for weeks for an election in September (renting before the video came out), Sebastian Kurz will be the saviour who will get the disappointed FPÖ vote
add
- why the emphasis on Kronenzeitung,
who were the people producing the video
why Red Bull everywhere - Red Bull media empire billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he would back Sebastian Kurz in 2017

ÖVP/Kurz/Mateschitz have moved so far to the right that there is not much space for FPÖ anyway. His problems will return when he needs another coalition.

brian , May 19, 2019 5:37:28 PM | 0
'The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe'

other?

Erelis , May 19, 2019 6:09:06 PM | 1
While the right wing parties in Europe don't have a problem with Putin, it does seem that much of the Western European establish has gone full McCarthyite hysterical where they see any contact for any reason with a Russian is automatically criminal. Aside from being a setup it relied the underlying false flag of presenting the woman as a Russian (and hence guility of some crime against the Austrians).

In fact, a suggestion for a column--personal impressions on whether everyday Europeans are falling for anti-Russian propaganda. Polls in the US indicate that Americans simply do not care (they could believe it, but not effecting their daily lives).

S , May 19, 2019 6:36:42 PM | 2
1. The ER (United Russia) party was founded by Sergey Shoygu, Yuriy Luzhkov, and Mintimer Shaymiev. Its chairman is Dmitriy Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin. Putin is not even a member of ER. Putin is the leader of ONF (All-Russia People's Front), which is a nation-wide discussion platform for politicians, professionals, and NGOs.

2. Russian billionaire Igor Makarov denies having a niece: "I was the only child in the family." ( Forbes.ru , in Russian).

3. In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern?

4. This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:37:32 PM | 3
Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest.

Leaving aside the discussion of of various factors in that election, this public reaction is typical. Actually, in both cases the core supporters may be energized by the suspicion that this trick was performed by a foreign government. I do not think that there is a particular hostility toward Germany in Felix Austria, but the to the right wing Merkel government is like red cape for a bull. The women who unleashed a wave of refugees. On top of that, traditionally major parties of Austria gained reputation of dirty patronage, so the voters who care about that issue probably do not vote for them.

I do not expect Austrians to demand expulsions of German diplomats -- interference in our democracy -- or other sanctions, but nevertheless it stinks. Making sting operations on politicians has corrupt potential even if it is done by domestic law enforcement, but foreign intelligence services really do not have any excuse.

Thinking about it, the stings against George Papadopoulos described in his book were remarkably similar.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 4
Great minds think alike, S!

That said, Austrians have a reputation of good manners etc., they will not unload their frustration on a girl. BTW, why there are suspicions of Germany being involved? Again, even extremist Austrians probably would like to have some proof before doing anything. I guess, America is indeed exceptional.

Uncoy , May 19, 2019 6:49:33 PM | 5
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

This all starts with Austrian's Presidential Election of 2016. The FPÖ won the presidential election a couple of years ago in May 2016. After the bell, postal votes overturned it! – postal votes more than 90% in favour of the establishment candidate Van der Bellen. Some constituencies full of Van der Bellen votes turned out to have 148% turn out. There was a court case by the FPÖ about procedure and hinting at ballot falsification. The case was judged by a (non-corrupt but under serious pressure) judge to have enough merit that the elections had to be annulled and the election rerun six months later . Austria went without a president at all for six months!

For six months the mainstream Austrian media campaigned non-stop against the FPÖ and Norbert Hofer. Huge efforts were made for voter turnout (it included huge bussing of potential anti-FPÖ constituencies and bribing pensioners to vote against the FPÖ via parties and cakes). With all of that, Van der Bellen scraped in on 4 December 2016, by 348,231 votes. Despite the non-stop anti-FPÖ propaganda and banging on drums, votes for Hofer's fell by less than 100,000 (95,993 votes to be exact). It's just that with six months to prepare the establishment had found enough "dead souls" to win the second round.

In the parliamentary elections of 15 October 2017, the FPÖ were set to win a strong majority in parliament. To defeat the FPÖ and Strache, the conservatives (Völkspartei) were forced to elect a male model non-university graduate 30 year old sex symbol with no work experience outside of politics as party leader. Of course Sebastian Kurz was mainly a figurehead for establishment figures in the venerable Völkspartei. Kurz does have a mind of his own though (I had the opportunity to interact with him personally at a local political discussion group in 2015) and it's hard to know exactly how much of his policy is dictated to him and how much is off his own bat.

Going back to Austrian corruption, there are enormous sums at stake. There is a long entrenched system of corruption in the establishment parties, the Völkspartei and the SPÖ. Strabag does win most of the government contracts. Favour is regularly granted on quid pro basis. The media landscape is very partisan and mostly for sale. Kurz's spiritual predecessor as a powerful head of the Völkspartei if not direct predecessor Wolfgang Schüssel was forced to retire from politics in 2011 due to never-ending corruption scandals. Schüssel's longstanding finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser was caught carrying bags of cash to Lichtenstein and is still under investigation. If his mother-in-law were not the richest woman in Austria (Swarovski Crystal) and devoted to her daughter (Grasser's wife), he would long ago have been in jail.

Politically, Grasser knows where a lot of the bodies are buried from the Schlüssel political machine so either he has to be kept out of jail or he may take others down with him. In elite Austrian circles turning informant would be considered unsportsmanlike so there's an uneasy truce still fought to this day in the courts where Grasser is kept out of jail via procedural methods (detect a pattern) and Grasser doesn't rat out the others.

Strache's sin is not planning to use the advantages which accrue to the governing Austrian party but getting caught out talking about it. Strache is something of a lout, not terribly loyal (he was the Brutus who threw Jörg Haider under the bus in 2005 in a palace putsch). He's a smoker in power who used his power to overturn some very positive anti-smoking laws. But he's less corrupt than any of his equivalents in the Völkspartei and is only a nose ahead of the his equivalents in the SPÖ. His politics and policies of Austria for Austrians are pretty simple. Hence people vote for these policies.

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

The FPÖ has historically been weakest in Vienna but in 2010 they took 27% of the vote in this SPÖ stronghold, their first step in what has been a steady march to power.

Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. We instinctively abhor what is happening to our nations. By nature Strache is inclined this way himself (he's no great thinker) and has the good sense to ride the wave.

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:11:44 PM | 6
Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:21:16 PM | 7
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

So why did he step down?

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

You mean FPÖ wares .

Hoarsewhisperer , May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 8
...
"This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:"

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

"The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false..."

I can't agree that Spiegel's attitude to Strache's party is condescending toward the working class. Right-wing parties tend to spout a lot of aggressively authoritarian spin tank bullshit to encourage voters to tune out when a R-w politician is telling them what to think. If Strache is adept at separating fact from fiction and superfluous verbiage, then people would appreciate his candor.

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

I'll always remember Spiegel as the folks whose photo-journalists torpedoed Crooked Hillary's feeble-minded Cheonan (NK-SK) bullshit. That story vanished overnight. It's not even referred to in NK smear campaigns. Dead & buried.

somebody , May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 9
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.

Let's take the American constitution .

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

That's it.

The German constitution is absolutely clear that members of parliament represent all of the people (ie different views and interests) and are bound by their own judgement and conscience only.

As we are discussing Austria, lets see what the Austrian constitution says. Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constitution, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian. So the Austrian constitution has a concept of a multinational state where different peoples grow and are protected even if the Viennese "Stammtisch" does not like them.

There is no "democratic theory" that suggests representatives should follow the uninformed and prejudiced views of their electorate against their better judgement.

Strache seems to have specialized in "fake news" - ie mostly invented stuff claiming Muslims, immigrants or whoever were treated in a better way than native Austrians or threatened native Austrians.

It is a very convenient technique when you plan to cut social services, you have someone to blame.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 0
To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange.

[May 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Says Boost From Putin Fans Is Fake News

May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
2 SHARES

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said on Sunday that reports claiming pro-putin Russophiles giving her 2020 presidential campaign a boost is "fake news," though she added that conflict with the Kremlin is not productive.

Speaking to ABC' s George Stephanopoulos, Gabbard said that deteriorating relationships with nuclear-armed countries such as Russia and China "has brought us to a very dangerous point," reports The Hill . She added that, if elected, she would "end these counterproductive and wasteful regime change wars ," and would " work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race. "

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On Friday, the Daily Beast published a story claiming that Gabbard "is quickly becoming the top candidate for Democrats who think the Russian leader is misunderstood," based on people who had donated to her campaign. (We somehow missed the Daily Beast article on Hillary's alleged Saudi donors in 2016, but we digress).

Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes." - Daily Beast

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On Sunday, Stephanopoulos asked Gabbard about the Beast article, and noted that she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as her defense of Russia's military presence in Syria, and her comments suggesting that Russian election interference was on par with American election meddling around the world.

"Is Putin a threat to national security?" he asked.

"You now it's unfortunately you're citing that article, George, because it's a whole lot of fake news . What I'm focused on is what's in the best interest of the American people? What's in the best interest of national security? Keeping American people safe," said Gabbard. "And what I'm pointing out consistently, time and time again, is our continued wasteful regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people and the approach this administration has taken in essentially choosing conflict ... has been counterproductive


BarkingCat , 39 minutes ago link

I had donated to her. I want to see her in the democratic debates.

Yes my only reason for doing so is because she is anti-was and wants to improve relations with Russia.

There is nothing beneficial about the current aggressive posture towards Russia and most other countries.

It will be very revealing how the other democrats deal with her position.

Greg , 31 minutes ago link

I continue to support her for that same reason. If there are like minded people here on ZH consider donating just $1 as that donation will help get her on stage where her anti-war thoughts can be heard.

samuraitrader , 19 minutes ago link

ditto. Trump said in the debates that "I want to be friends with everyone, including Russia." The rest is history. The USA wehrmacht is going after Tulsi now. We cannot have peace.

wadalt , 59 minutes ago link

regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people...

... but very good for APARTHEID Israhell.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Hey Tulsi.

Have an idea for you on how to show true leadership and finish what the Orange "six-sided star" liar said he would pick up ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-investigation/ ) when he began his presidency and then... well... lied to become a treasonous bag of **** just like the ones that preceded him!...

Even Vlad Putin and the rest of the Russian Federation refuse to "touch it". And if you did. You would be the only representative in the U.S. House and Senate let alone the U.S. Federal, State and local government(s) for that matter to do so.

All you would have to say is "we need an understanding why 2 planes demolished 3 building(s) at "Ground Zero" more then 18 years ago, and why the 9/11 Commission never mentioned the Solomon Brothers Building 7 in it's official report?... I (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard) certainly want to know!... Especially wearing the uniform for what I believed was the reason I was given for invading Afghanistan and Iraq and murdering over 3 million people?... And I want to tell the American people ultimately "why" Building 7 was omitted along with too many other details that Robert Mueller famously dismissed by saying only that " mistakes were made " ...

I've written to you several times about showing the courage to be the only politician since Senator Wellstone to pick up where he left off and support the 13 year endeavors of this organization ( https://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to demand an investigation of the fact(s) now that has the backing of a Grand Jury by signing it's petition!...

But you won't. Because you are like every other "200lbs of ****" in a 100lbs bag that walks the halls of the Longworth carrying the water for the "Tribe"!

Keep telling yourself surfer **** that the job will get both easier and better by lying about that day and what it's done in it's wake to every institution and business in the United States of America let alone the laws of the land just like your mentor the Langley Bath House "boy"!...

dunlin , 1 hour ago link

Yes, Putin knows that an island of sanity and decency in a cesspit of bigotry and firearms is bound to be blown to pieces before she has a chance to deliver. I fear for Tulsi even now.

spoonful , 1 hour ago link

She sounds like the Trump of the 2020 campaign

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

Yes, the Russia nonsense is FAKE NEWS. So why is Trump allowing the Israelis, a country that hates the United States, and which has attacked us at least twice (USS Liberty, 9/11/2001), to dictate our foreign policy? Israel is the real enemy!!

Let's look at a quote from one of the former employees of the Mossad front operation "Urban Moving Systems" (likely also the same people who planted the explosives at WTC) had to say about his time there:

In addition to the strange nature of some of the Israelis' possessions in the van and on their person, the company that employed them -- Urban Moving Systems -- was of special interest to the FBI, which concluded that the company was likely a "fraudulent operation." Upon a search of the company's premises, the FBI noted that "little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found." The FBI report also noted that there were an "unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business" and that "further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations."

The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems as a result of the high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban's employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, "Give us twenty years and we'll take over your media and destroy your country" (page 37 of the FBI report ).

This kind of thing makes one kind of hope for a war in which Israel is bombed back to the stone age, which is clearly where these evil, psychopathic Zionist filth belong!

This is a long article, but read it all the way through. It's proof that Israel was indeed behind 9/11 and that they had numerous operatives in the country who were gleeful about it, having set up video cameras and celebrated the day before by taking a photo of one of the operatives holding a lit cigarette lighter up to the horizon....right in front of the still-standing WTC twin towers.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/newly-released-fbi-docs-shed-light-on-apparent-mossad-foreknowledge-of-9-11-attacks/258581/

For further reference:

https://www.scribd.com/document/409691150/FOIA-Release-of-9-11-Dancing-Israelis-thru-the-FBI

https://www.scribd.com/document/46173840/Dancing-Israelis-Police-Report

https://web.archive.org/web/20020802194310/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/DailyNews/2020_whitevan_020621.html

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

And look at this. You won't see this in the MSM any time soon:

In addition to Urban Moving Systems, another moving company, Classic International Movers, became of interest in connection with the investigation into the "Dancing Israelis," which led to the arrest and detention of four Israeli nationals who worked for this separate moving company. The FBI's Miami Division had alerted the Newark Division that Classic International Movers was believed to have been used by one of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers before the attack, and one of the "Dancing Israelis" had the number for Classic International Movers written in a notebook that was seized at the time of his arrest. The report further states that one of the Israelis of Classic International Movers who was arrested "was visibly disturbed by the Agents' questioning regarding his personal email account."

[May 19, 2019] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction. ..."
"... In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). ..."
"... In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies. ..."
"... A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2). ..."
"... Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4). ..."
May 19, 2019 | russia-insider.com

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today's level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership.

Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words 'monopoly,' 'monopolies,' and 'monopolization' in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term 'monopolization' to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote 'monopoly companies' two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding . (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity .

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8). Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.

In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West. In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

The investor will eventually review the management's strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company's operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients' long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here's the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11). In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page : "At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders -- including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor." At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let's see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on www.stockzoa.com for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed

[May 19, 2019] How Russiagate replaced Analysis of the 2016 Election by Rick Sterling

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from." ..."
"... when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump." ..."
"... After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." ..."
"... A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. ..."
"... Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions. ..."
"... The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups. ..."
"... The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. ..."
"... Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long. ..."
May 19, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
An honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.

Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues

Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.

Immediately after the 2016 Election

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."

Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled " Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate ." The author analyzed the results saying , "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."

Russiagate replaced Recrimination

But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."

After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.

One Year After the Election

The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled " Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination ". Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition " It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.

A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself – ideologically and financially – from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."

Two Years After the Election

In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled " Autopsy: One Year Later ". It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."

In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.

What really happened in 2016?

Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.

Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course, this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.

What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, "As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "

Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, "The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace."

How Clinton became the Nominee

Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.

Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.

Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?

The Relevance of 2016 to 2020

The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.

Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article " Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article " Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump ". Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.

The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.

This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , "Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties."

Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, " Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce ."

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.

There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.

Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who grew up in Canada but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com . Read other articles by Rick .

[May 18, 2019] Democracy works in the USA is you abstract from such minor things as the level of connection of past US presidents to CIA, money in politics, pervasive propaganda and so on

May 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 8:54:11 PM | link

lysias: A president doesn't have to obey the orders of the powers that be ...

Well, that's why they select the President beforehand to ensure there are no inconvenient difficulties with a new President.

In fact, our President's have generally had a connection to CIA: Bush Sr. was CIA, Clinton is said to allowed their flights into Arkansas, GW Bush was son of CIA, Obama is said to have come from a CIA family (grandfather and probably mother) , and some have pointed to Trump's first casino deal as a possible CIA tie (related to money laundering of CIA drug money)

Pretending otherwise furthers the democracy works! narrative. Isn't it already clear that the West is feudal and Empire First (aka globalist) - despite Trump's faux populist pretense? US foreign policy has been remarkably consistent for over 20 years. US congressmen takes oaths to Israel. Western propaganda sing the Deep State tune.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 9:26:14 PM | link
dltravers @53: hope Trump loses [the elections] and the policy is reversed

In other words: democracy works!

Just ignore:

  • money in politics;
  • pervasive propaganda;
  • things you CAN'T vote for (absolute support for Israel and military adventures);
  • CIA connections to past Presidents;
  • loyalty oaths to Israel;
  • jailing of Assange (after unprecedented break of asylum protection);
  • the lies of past Presidents;
  • Cold War imperatives;
  • Sanders sheep-dogging;
  • dirty tricks against protest movements like Gillet Jeune and Occupy.
Welcome to the rabbit hole/

[May 18, 2019] Klobuchar as stooge on military-industrial complex

May 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

David Otness , May 16, 2019 at 12:29

Let it not be left unsaid that Johnny Freedom McCain was the U.S. Senator who encouraged Saakashvili to attack in South Ossetia (which led to Russian intervention on behalf of resident Russian ethnic/nationals) all the while saying "We got your back"and blaming Russia. His two amigos Lieberman and Graham of course were all aboard in that precursor to his further next act in Ukraine where Little Amy Klobuchar took Lieberman's place in the trio in inciting Poroshenko and his troops to "ATTACK!, ATTACK!, ATTACK!" a few years back.
Lil' Amy was sharpening her Hillary chops for having drawn blood for her ludicrous Presidential run this year, of course.

"The extent of McCain's involvement in the military conflict in Georgia appears remarkable among presidential candidates, who traditionally have kept some distance from unfolding crises out of deference to whoever is occupying the White House. The episode also follows months of sustained GOP criticism of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who was accused of acting too presidential for, among other things, briefly adopting a campaign seal and taking a trip abroad that included a huge rally in Berlin.

"We talk about how there's only one president at a time, so the idea that you would send your own emissaries and really interfere with the process is remarkable," said Lawrence Korb, a Reagan Defense Department official who now acts as an informal adviser to the Obama campaign. "It's very risky and can send mixed messages to foreign governments. . . . They accused Obama of being presumptuous, but he didn't do anything close to this."

[May 18, 2019] WaPo confirmed today that Tulsi is one of the 11 guaranteed a debate spot

May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Skip Scott , May 16, 2019 at 06:26

Great plan! From your mouth to Tulsi's ears! She needs to make a dramatic exit from the Dems, preferably on national TV, with the message "stop the senseless regime change wars!" That alone would make her a contender.

Rob Roy , May 16, 2019 at 17:09

Skip, notice that Tulsi scares the hell out of the MSM. Therefore, she will be vilified, lied about, left out of poll line-ups, shoved to the side in debates, accused of being Putin's or Assad's puppet and God knows what else by the major newspapers, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN etc., and this will spread even overseas. You can't be against war, corruption and US Monroe Doctrine as our foreign policy and expect to get fair coverage. Personally, I will counter the propaganda wherever I can.

Skip Scott , May 17, 2019 at 08:22

I had a "back and forth" with dailykos about not listing Tulsi on their straw polls with her being the only candidate against "regime change" wars. I shamed them a bit by calling them a bunch of latte-sippers who reek of the arrogance of privilege while our MIC goes all around the planet killing poor people. Maybe I am giving myself too much credit, but they did in fact include her name on the last poll.

John on Kauai , May 17, 2019 at 13:53

I can't reply to skip about his argument with KOS so it's here. There is nothing to be gained by arguing with KOS other than to be banned from their website as I was.

They are supporting a National Guard pilot to run against her in the 2020 HI-2 election. I would not be surprised to find that they were instrumental in producing tulsigabbard.guru, a site that has been recently taken down but which repeated (and I think originated) many slurs against Tulsi that have now been picked up by the media.

I encourage you and everyone to publicize tulsigabbard.org which goes into great detail on her positions on almost anything. Also, the Jimmy Dore and Joe Rogan interviews with Tulsi that are available on YouTube.

Tulsi is my congresswoman. She is wildly popular here.

The HSTA (hawaii state teachers association) hates her. When challenged they repeat the lies that are on the .guru site that was taken down. When you point out that they are lies, they cover their ears and chant "nah, nah, nah".

b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 16:29

Skip. this is re. to your re. to Rob Roy.

WaPo confirmed today that Tulsi is one of the 11 guaranteed a debate spot. She's making solid progress, including major bumps from the Joe Rogan interviews. If she has hopes of actually getting the Dem nomination, of course there will be no dramatic exit until that's been decided. OTOH, an outside call for her to run as an Indy would be authentic, but also a threat to the Dems, give her fair play OR ELSE !

So, maybe the movement for an independent run has to start at the bottom? I'd like to bounce this off people who know more about politics than I do. There's also the implied question, how could an Independent function if elected. Would there be support in Congress? Would new ["Coalition"] candidates arise?

People talk about the populist movement in Mexico as represented by MORENA, however the coalition was actually Juntos Haremos Historia ("Together We'll Make History"), which included right wing evangelicals as well as leftists. Pretty remarkable, but a similar cooperation has arisen in Unity4J (for Julian Assange) where journalists with radically different ideologies focus on a single unifying principle.

Any thoughts?

John Zwiebel , May 17, 2019 at 18:19

Ask Nick Branna. He says "yes"

b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 21:10

John Z. –

Are you already familiar with Branna and the People's Party? Are they backing specific candidates? What do you think I should ask him? Would he and the PP join a coalition? Or do I misunderstand your suggestion?

All of the endorsers are leftists. The platform is all about wages and healthcare, but war isn't mentioned. Maybe it's there, but it's not on the front page.

Here's what they say: "Together we're building a coalition of working people, unions, and progressive groups for a nationally viable people's party."

Also, "We are working to build a coalition of groups on the left in order to create a new party for working people."

This just seems like typical 'Progressives' who are fed up with Dems. Some of the endorsers – Sheehan, Hedges, Martin and others – are known to be anti-war, but it's concerning that peace and FP aren't prominent. Besides, we need to build bigger bridges than "groups on the left." There are many – surprisingly many – on the right who oppose constant militarism. And what about the center? There's a vast untapped demographic, whether apathetic or genuinely discouraged by evidence that it makes no difference who you vote for, the Deep State wins. Why approach them from a left-only perspective? Would you like to clarify?

[May 17, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists by Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein

Nice hatchet job from pro-Clinton web site
May 17, 2019 | www.thedailybeast.com

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is being underwritten by some of the nation's leading Russophiles.

Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes."

Gabbard is one of her party's more Russia-friendly voices in an era of deep Democratic suspicion of the country over its efforts to tip the 2016 election in favor of President Donald Trump. Her financial support from prominent pro-Russian voices in the U.S. is a small portion of the total she's raised. But it still illustrates the degree to which she deviates from her party's mainstream on such a contentious and high-profile issue.

Data on Gabbard's financial supporters only covers the first three months of the year. In that time, her campaign received just over $1,000 from Cohen, arguably the nation's leading intellectual apologist for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Tennison donated to Gabbard no fewer than five times, eventually reaching the per-cycle individual contribution limit in mid-March. Tennison and her group, the Center for Citizen Initiatives, have long worked to improve U.S.-Russia relations, in part by organizing junkets to the nation both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. She's also been an outspoken Putin supporter, dubbing him a "straightforward, reliable and exceptionally inventive man" in a column last year. Tennison wrote that column in spite of her detention in Russia two years earlier, when she was accused of attempting to covertly advance U.S. foreign policy interests in the country.

Gabbard also got a $1,000 contribution from "Goofy Grapes," who listed his or her occupation as "comedian" and employer as Redacted Tonight, a current events comedy show on Russian state-backed broadcaster RT. That show's host, comedian Lee Camp, told The Daily Beast that the person who made the donation "is no longer an active member of Redacted Tonight. And separately, it is company policy to not donate to political campaigns."

Camp, for his part, routinely promotes the Russian government line on major world affairs, most notably the invasion of Ukraine, political unrest in Venezuela, and the Syrian civil war.

To the extent that those donors toe the Kremlin line on issues such as Syria, they're more squarely in line with Gabbard's own views than those of any other Democratic presidential candidate. As a member of Congress, she has personally met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and cast doubt on widely accepted reports that he deployed nerve gas weapons against his own people.

Gabbard has also been one of the few prominent Democrats in the country to downplay the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. The report found no evidence of a conspiracy by the Trump campaign to support that meddling. But it did provide extensive details of that malicious influence campaign, and of the Trump administration's efforts to impede the special counsel's investigation.

But while her House colleagues ramp up their own investigations, in part based on those findings, Gabbard has called for the country -- and her party -- to move on. "The conclusion that came from that Mueller report was that no collusion took place," she told Fox News last month. "Now is the time for us to come together as a country to put the issues and the interests and the concerns that the American people have at the forefront, to take action to bring about real solutions for them."

That reflects the attitude of a small set of the American left wing, a non-interventionist faction that eyed collusion allegations with suspicion. And that's very much the school of thought from which Cohen and other Gabbard donors hail.

But the list of controversial donors to Gabbard, as detailed by her filings with the Federal Election Committee, doesn't end there.

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Susan Sarandon, the famous actress who earned the enduring wrath of Democrats for her support of Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the 2016 election, gave Gabbard $500.

Ali Amin, the president of Primex International, wrote two checks of $2,800 to Gabbard's campaign. Amin, who runs the international food distribution company, pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges that he'd transferred more than $17 million between Iran and the United States as part of an unlicensed business transaction.

After being asked about those donations, Cullen Tiernan, a spokesperson for Gabbard, said the campaign would be returning them. Tiernan also noted that Amin had given to fellow 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris' (D-CA) Senate campaign in 2018. Ian Sams, a spokesman for Harris, said the Senator refunded Amin's donation in July 2018.

Gabbard's campaign did not return a request for comment. Her election effort raised nearly $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, but that included hefty transfers from her House campaign committee. She has used that money to mount a rather unorthodox bid for the Democratic nomination. Gabbard had only one paid staffer during that same three month period, choosing instead to hire consultants for key posts on her campaign -- a staffing decision that seemed likely done to avoid making hefty payments for things like health care coverage and payroll taxes.

Gabbard's media strategy has also been counterintuitive for a national Democrat. She has made several appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which, while being one of the most popular platforms on that medium, is a haven for Trump-supporting guests. Gabbard also is among the few Democrats who has a captive audience on Fox News, owed largely to her willingness to criticize Barack Obama, as well as her party's planks on both Russia and foreign policy in general. Tucker Carlson, a primetime host on that network, has publicly defended her.

Though she has not courted their support, some prominent figures in the white nationalist community have flocked in Gabbard's direction. David Duke, the former KKK leader, has heaped praise on her. And on several occasions, Richard Spencer, the avowed white supremacist, has tweeted favorably about her, including once again this week.

me frameborder=

I can't imagine Tulsi Gabbard wants this endorsement. pic.twitter.com/mXoIiEFavZ

-- Alex Thomas (@AlexThomasDC) May 14, 2019

[May 16, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard for President - Stephen Lendman

Highly recommended!
It's sad to know that Tulsi bought Russiagate nonsense hook line and sinker. In a sense, she is also a compromise candidate as her domestic platform is weak and inconsistent. She shines in foreign policy issues only. But this compromise might still make sense. At least she is much better then Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... A consumer rights champion in name only, she did nothing to oversee predatory banking practices responsibly, nothing to urge prosecution of Wall Street crooks as Obama's interim Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) head. ..."
"... "If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government." ..."
"... "The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda." ..."
"... She may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above remarks publicly to her credit. ..."
"... She considers US wars not authorized by Congress impeachable high crimes. ..."
"... The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) illegally imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. It passed the House and Senate near-unanimously – shameful legislation demanding opposition, not support. ..."
"... Hold the cheers on Gabbard and all other Republican and Dem presidential aspirants with a chance to be party standard bearers. The bottom line on them all is simple, no exceptions. If nominated and elected, either go along with the dirty system or be replaced by someone else who will – by impeachment or something more sinister. ..."
"... No matter who's elected president and to key congressional posts, dirty business as usual always wins. ..."
May 16, 2019 | stephenlendman.org

( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman ) Tulsi 2020 is the official website of her candidacy for US president – so far with no information other than saying: "When we stand united, motivated by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Will you stand with me?" On Friday, she said "I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," adding:

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve."
Besides access to healthcare for all Americans, criminal justice reform, and climate change, (t)here is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace," she stressed. More on this below.
"I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement."
Gabbard's record is mixed at best, things to like, others of concern, including her Dem affiliation. She formerly served as DNC vice chair, resigning in February 2016 to support Russophobe undemocratic Dem Bernie Sanders over Hillary. Throughout his political career, he's been progressive in name only, his rhetoric and voting record most often at odds with each other. He'll likely run again in 2020. After Hillary used dirty tricks in primary elections to steal the Dem nomination, Gabbard supported her candidacy – a figure I called the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history, backing it up with cold, hard facts about her deplorable record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren already announced her 2020 candidacy. She's con man Sanders clone with a gender difference.

A consumer rights champion in name only, she did nothing to oversee predatory banking practices responsibly, nothing to urge prosecution of Wall Street crooks as Obama's interim Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) head.

She failed to criticize his wars on humanity at home and abroad, terror-bombing seven countries in eight years, force-feeding neoliberal harshness on America's most disadvantaged, letting protracted main street Depression conditions fester – supporting what demanded condemnation. She one-sidedly supports Israel, failing to denounce its apartheid ruthlessness, its Gaza wars on defenseless civilians.

Like Sanders and other undemocratic Dems, she considers naked aggression humanitarian intervention and democracy building. Her agenda is all about perpetuating dirty business as usual – based on going along with the imperial, neoliberal GOP and Dem agenda, supported by the vast majority of officials in Washington.

Gore Vidal explained how the dirty system works, saying no one gets to be presidential material unless they've "been bought over 10 times." The same goes for top congressional posts. Gabbard is suspect for similar reasons, voting along party lines too often since elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd congressional district in November 2012.

After the Obama regime's coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with fascist tyranny, she supported supplying the illegitimate, Nazi-infested, putschist regime with military assistance, shamefully saying America can't stand "idly by while Russia continues to degrade the territorial integrity of Ukraine." No "Russian aggression" existed then or now. Yet Gabbard disgracefully claimed otherwise, urging "more painful economic sanctions" on Moscow, pretending the regime in Kiev is a "peaceful, sovereign neighbor." In July 2017, she unjustifiably supported legislation imposing illegal unilateral US sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. She's for US phony war on terrorism, the scourge Republicans and most Dems support while claiming otherwise.

She's against what she called "counterproductive wars of regime change," including in Syria. She earlier said targeting Bashar al-Assad for regime change was "a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of 'humanitarianism' as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war," adding: "Under US law, it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups."

"If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government."

"The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda."

She may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above remarks publicly to her credit.

In January 2017, she met with Assad in Damascus, toured parts of Syria, seeing firsthand how US aggression harmed millions of civilians. She called all anti-government forces terrorists, saying so-called moderate rebels don't exist, stressing "(t)hat is a fact," on return home expressing "even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government."

She considers US wars not authorized by Congress impeachable high crimes. She should have explained that only Security Council members may authorize war by one or more countries on other sovereign states – not US presidents, Congress or the courts. That's the law of the land under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2). All treaties, conventions, and other international agreements to which the US is a signatory automatically become binding US law.

To her credit in October 2017, Gabbard opposed reimposing sanctions on Iran, at the time saying the Islamic Republic is fully complying with JCPOA provisions. At the same time, she co-sponsored legislation opposing Iran's legitimate ballistic missile program, imposing illegal sanctions on the country,

In 2015, she supported legislation endorsing extreme vetting of Syrian and Iraqi war refugees, designed to deny them refugee status. The measure failed to get enough Senate support for passage.

She opposed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, 2018, and earlier, opposed reforming US border security and immigration, opposed a proposed constitutional balanced budget amendment, opposed the GOP great tax cut heist, supported CATSA.

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) illegally imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. It passed the House and Senate near-unanimously – shameful legislation demanding opposition, not support.

Hold the cheers on Gabbard and all other Republican and Dem presidential aspirants with a chance to be party standard bearers. The bottom line on them all is simple, no exceptions. If nominated and elected, either go along with the dirty system or be replaced by someone else who will – by impeachment or something more sinister.

Washington's deeply corrupted system is too debauched to fix. The only solution is popular revolution, voting a waste of time.

No matter who's elected president and to key congressional posts, dirty business as usual always wins.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net . My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999.

Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed.

Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

[May 16, 2019] Farage Gabbard - Lions Of The Great Realignment

Neoliberal "International for financial oligarchy" start showing cracks. Davos crowd no longer can control ordinary people. Both Trump and Brexit are just symptoms of the large problem -- the crisis of neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets. ..."
"... As long as the political class maintains 1) the illusion of choice as to who are leaders are and 2) keep things running smoothly a small minority of us will complain, simmer and stew but we won't be able to convince anyone else it's worth upsetting the status quo. ..."
"... We'll stay below critical mass, until we don't. ..."
"... The original Brexit vote was that opportunity for the power elite to get it through their thick skulls that Britons didn't want to go where the EU was headed. ..."
"... Theresa May, Dominic Grieve and the rest of those in the Westminster bubble refused to accept that they no longer had control over the situation. Theresa May like an autistic monkey keeps putting forth vote after vote to get her Withdrawal Treaty past a parliament that has no business still presiding over the country ..."
"... French Poodle Emmanuel Macron cannot get control of the Yellow Vest Protests in France. And the EU itself cannot get control over Matteo Salvini in Italy. ..."
"... Trump is compromised because of his vanity and his weakness. There is not much hope going into 2020 unless Tulsi Gabbard catches fire soon and begins taking out contenders one by one. ..."
"... More likely she is, like Ron Paul, setting the table for 2024 and a post-Trump world. I fear however it will be far too late for the U.S. by then. Both she and Farage, along with Salvini and many others across Europe, represent the push towards authenticity that will change the political landscape across the west for decades to come. ..."
"... Polyarchy (state capitalism) 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. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

There is a realignment coming in electoral politics. It began with Ron Paul in 2008 and has been building for more than a decade. We know this story well.

That realignment will be about restoring not just national sovereignty but also personal autonomy in a world the rulers of which are desperate to clamp down their control over.

The thing is I don't think we've quite come to terms with the rapidity with which change comes. It builds slowly, simmering below the surface and then one day just explodes into a maelstrom of chaos.

This is where things stand in Britain with the betrayal of Brexit. It is also where things stand with Trump's daily betrayal of his pledge to end the needless wars and regime change operations.

Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets.

You can see it happening, slowly and then all at once.

The signs of the chaos as we approach next week's European Parliamentary elections were there if we were willing to look closely. More often than not, our being distracted or, worse, our normalcy bias keeps us ignorant of what's happening.

Raising goats I've unfortunately witnessed this first hand and in a devastating way. Their entire digestive tracts are simply big fermentation vessels, chocked full of different bacteria working on what they've eaten.

When they're healthy, it's all good. The good bacteria digests the food, they absorb it and they are vibrant, alert and annoying.

But, if one of those other bacteria begin to get out of control, they can go from healthy to frothing at the mouth and dying overnight. The goat is the Taoist symbol for 'strong on the outside, fragile on the inside.' Our political system is definitely a goat at this point.

Which brings me back to politics.

As long as the political class maintains 1) the illusion of choice as to who are leaders are and 2) keep things running smoothly a small minority of us will complain, simmer and stew but we won't be able to convince anyone else it's worth upsetting the status quo.

We'll stay below critical mass, until we don't. And the important point here is that, like my goats, they can can act and vote perfectly normally one day and then in open revolt the next and you have a very small window of time to make the right decisions to save the situation.

The original Brexit vote was that opportunity for the power elite to get it through their thick skulls that Britons didn't want to go where the EU was headed.

Theresa May, Dominic Grieve and the rest of those in the Westminster bubble refused to accept that they no longer had control over the situation. Theresa May like an autistic monkey keeps putting forth vote after vote to get her Withdrawal Treaty past a parliament that has no business still presiding over the country .

She hopes by making her treaty legal it will stop Farage's revolution. I have news for her and the technocrats in Brussels. If Farage wins the next General Election he will nullify her treaty under Article 62 of the Vienna Conventions on the Laws of Treaties.

French Poodle Emmanuel Macron cannot get control of the Yellow Vest Protests in France. And the EU itself cannot get control over Matteo Salvini in Italy.

And they will only get it through their heads after Nigel Farage and the Brexit party unite the left and the right to throw them all out in the EP elections but also the General one as well.

The same thing happened in 2016 here in the U.S., both on the left and the right.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were the vessels for our deep dissatisfaction with the D.C. corruption. The realignment was staring us in the face in 2016.

The Davos Crowd haven't gotten the message. And they won't listen until we force them to.

Trump is compromised because of his vanity and his weakness. There is not much hope going into 2020 unless Tulsi Gabbard catches fire soon and begins taking out contenders one by one.

More likely she is, like Ron Paul, setting the table for 2024 and a post-Trump world. I fear however it will be far too late for the U.S. by then. Both she and Farage, along with Salvini and many others across Europe, represent the push towards authenticity that will change the political landscape across the west for decades to come.

And that is what the great realignment I see happening is. It isn't about party or even principles. It is about coming together to fix the broken political system first and then working on solutions to specific problems later.

Here's hoping Trump doesn't destroy the world by mistake first.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jgtJglAtELU

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ZIRPY , 47 minutes ago link

Trump has been limited by the Deep State bogus Russia collusion investigations aided by MSM propaganda. If this author thinks Bernie or Tulsi Gabbard will not face special prosecutors if they try and Rock the boat then he is naive.

Bernie rolled over and supported Hillary after it was proven she rigged the nomination process, so to believe he could take on the swamp to any degree is laughable.

And Tulsi doesn't have the deep pockets like Trump to hire the lawyers needed to wage war against The Swamp.

madam , 40 minutes ago link

Tuslsi all the way

EcoJoker , 51 minutes ago link

There is no peaceful solution.. Globalist elites must be purged. Bankers, Zuckerbergs, Dorseys, Bezos, Blankfeins, Dimons, then politicians, etc.

from_the_ashes , 54 minutes ago link

Note to ZH, Should have published this individual instead of Tom Luongo.

An excellent summary of Gabbard which is why no one should even remotely consider her for an public office.

https://stephenlendman.org/2019/01/tulsi-gabbard-for-president/

from_the_ashes , 1 hour ago link

Nice to see Tom Luongo can't research worth ****.

2014

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-russia-must-face-consequences-continued-aggression-ukraine

Fast forward to today...

https://www.tulsigabbard.org/tulsi-gabbard-on-russia

Elect a woman to be President or a country's leader? How did that work out for the people of New Zealand?

Yeah-Right , 31 minutes ago link

Voting for a woman because "it's time" or because she's a woman etc., has become a thing. Those reasons seem stupid but that's the "logic." I see a lot of dem women jumping on the bandwagon, trying to get lucky.

rodocostarica , 1 hour ago link

Tulsi to me is like Ron Paul was in 08. A sane voice pointing out the stupidity of US foreign policy.

She aint no Ron Paul for sure but is at least the only one this cycle who supports as her main position getting the US out of foreign entanglements.

She is never going to win just like rp coud never win. But Im sending her a few bucks every month just to keep the message going.

xxx, 1 hour ago

"Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets."

Uh, no, Tom, she won't be collecting a lot of voters, well, at least not near enough. Biden has already been "chosen" like Hillary was over Bernie last time. You should know by now Tom, we don't select our candidates, they're chosen for us for our own good.

yyy, 2 hours ago

This is going to take a long time. You just can't turn this ship around overnight.

US Political System:

United States is neither a Republic and even less Socialistic. US, in the technical literature, is called a Polyarchy (state capitalism). Polyarchy (state capitalism) idea is old, it goes back to James Madison and the foundation of the US Constitution. A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of those who Madison called the wealth of the nation. The educated and responsible class of men. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That’s it. The population have little choice among the educated and responsible men they are voting for.

This is not an accident. America was founded on the principle, explained by the Founding Father that the primary goal of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. That is how the US Constitution was designed sort of ensuring that there will be a lot of struggle. US is not as the same as it were two centuries ago but that remains the elites ideal.

Polyarchy (state capitalism) 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.

A republic is SUBORDINATE to democracy. Polyarchy can’t be subordinated to any form of Democracy.

zzz, 2 hours ago

Is the author, to use an English term, daft? Tulsi Gabbard won't get out of the primaries, much less defeat Sanders or Biden. Farage achieved his goal (Brexit), then found out (SHOCK!) that the will of the people doesn't mean anything anymore.

If Luongo had wanted to talk about the people's uprising, he should've mentioned the Tea Party.

bbb, 3 hours ago

Gabbard appears to have some moral fibre and half a backbone, at least for a politician, regardless of their views, Farage is a slimy charlatan opportunistic populist shill
ccc, 3 hours ago (Edited)
I like Tulsi Gabbard on MIC stuff (and as a surfer in my youth - still dream about that almost endless pipeline at Jeffreys Bay in August), but...

On everything else?

She votes along party lines no matter what bollocks legislation the Democrats put in front of Congress. And anyone standing full-square behind Saunders on his socialist/marxist agenda?

Do me a favour.

ddd, 1 hour ago (Edited)

Farage left because he saw what UKIP was becoming...a zionazi party.

Also Gabbard is a CFR member.

eee, 3 hours ago

Gold, Goats and Guns? Certainly not guns under President Gabbard! Here's her idea of "common sense gun control:"

https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25028

I'm totally against warmongering, but I have to ask - what good is it to stop foreign warmongering, only to turn around and incite civil war here by further raping the 2nd Amendment? The CFR ties are disturbing as hell, too. And to compare Gabbard to Ron Paul? No, just...no!

fff, 3 hours ago

Always been a fan of Bernie, but I hope Gabbard becomes president. The world would breathe a huge sigh of relief (before the assassination).

ggg, 4 hours ago
By this time in his 1st term, Obama had started the US Wars in Syria and Libya and has restarted the Iraq War.

Thus far Trump has ended the War in Syria, pledged not to get us dragged into Libya’s civil wars and started a peace process with North Korea.

Venezuela and Iran look scary. We don’t know what Gabbard would actually do when faced with the same events. Obama talked peace too.

[May 16, 2019] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Russia Must Face Consequences for Continued Aggression in Ukraine Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

So in the past she was Obama style warmonger. Interesting... She is not stupid enough not to understand that this was a US sponsored color revolution.
Does this mean that she is a fake like Obama was?
Notable quotes:
"... "We cannot stand by while Russia unilaterally degrades Ukraine's territorial integrity. We must offer direct military assistance -- defensive weapons, military supplies and training -- to ensure Ukraine has adequate resources to respond to Russia's aggressions and defend themselves. We cannot view Ukraine as an isolated incident. If we do not take seriously the threat of thinly veiled Russian aggression, and commit to aiding the people of Ukraine immediately, we will find ourselves in a more dangerous, expensive and disastrous situation in the future." ..."
Mar 17, 2014 | gabbard.house.gov
Press Release Calls for U.S. to offer weapons, military training assistance

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement after the President's announcement of expanded sanctions against Russian officials:

"Russia has violated the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian people, in direct contravention of its own treaty obligations and international law," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Army combat veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "I support the sanctions announced today, and I strongly urge the President to go further and consider a broader range of consequences. If Russia is allowed to continue its aggressive push for control in Ukraine, there will be long-term, serious, and costly security risks for the United States and Europe. Russia must face serious consequences for their actions; the U.S. must consider options that truly isolate Russia economically and diplomatically -- not just sanction a handful of oligarchs -- and send a message of unity and strength from the international community.

"We cannot stand by while Russia unilaterally degrades Ukraine's territorial integrity. We must offer direct military assistance -- defensive weapons, military supplies and training -- to ensure Ukraine has adequate resources to respond to Russia's aggressions and defend themselves. We cannot view Ukraine as an isolated incident. If we do not take seriously the threat of thinly veiled Russian aggression, and commit to aiding the people of Ukraine immediately, we will find ourselves in a more dangerous, expensive and disastrous situation in the future."

In a House Foreign Affairs Committee mark-up of H.Res. 499 recently, the congresswoman gained unanimous approval on including amendments on anti-corruption, and protection of civil and political rights throughout Ukraine. She also supported the House passage of H.R. 4152, which authorized loan guarantees for Ukraine.

[May 16, 2019] Warren can steal considerbale chunk of Trump 2016 voters

May 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): "Trump backers applaud Warren in heart of MAGA country" [ Politico ]. West Virginia: "It was a startling spectacle in the heart of Trump country: At least a dozen supporters of the president -- some wearing MAGA stickers -- nodding their heads, at times even clapping, for liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren . LeeAnn Blankenship, a 38-year-old coach and supervisor at a home visitation company who grew up in Kermit and wore a sharp pink suit, said she may now support Warren in 2020 after voting for Trump in 2016.

'She's a good ol' country girl like anyone else,' she said of Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma. 'She's earned where she is, it wasn't given to her. I respect that.'"

Also: "The 63-year-old fire chief, Wilburn 'Tommy' Preece, warned Warren and her team beforehand that the area was 'Trump country' and to not necessarily expect a friendly reception. But he also told her that the town would welcome anyone, of any party, who wanted to address the opioid crisis ." ( More on West Virginia in 2018 .

Best part is a WaPo headline: "Bernie Sanders Supporter Attends Every DNC Rule Change Meeting. DNC Member Calls Her a Russian Plant." • Lol. I've been saying "lol" a lot, lately.)

Warren (D)(2): "Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change" [Elizabeth Warren, Medium ]. "In short, climate change is real, it is worsening by the day, and it is undermining our military readiness. And instead of meeting this threat head-on, Washington is ignoring it  --  and making it worse . That's why today I am introducing my Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act to harden the U.S. military against the threat posed by climate change, and to leverage its huge energy footprint as part of our climate solution.

It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030 .. We don't have to choose between a green military and an effective one . Together, we can work with our military to fight climate change  --  and win." • On the one hand, the Pentagon's energy footprint is huge, and it's a good idea to do something about that. On the other, putting solar panels on every tank that went into Iraq Well, there are larger questions to be asked. A lot of dunking on Warren about this. It might play in the heartland, though.

[May 15, 2019] Graham reads Strzok f-bomb text in intense Barr hearing opener

Joe Biden was a part of this Obama mafia who was trying to take down Trump ...
Graham still buying Russiagate nonsense, so it is only half-right.
Notable quotes:
"... Who are the idiots now? Will, since this report has been revealed, like the Democrats screamed about, saying it that would expose Trump. It actually exposes Hillary and several others....and now is heading Obama's way. Put them behind Barrs! ..."
May 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ann Cochenour , 2 weeks ago

I'm ashamed that once upon a time I was a Democrat. Never again. What lying crooks

EA B, 2 weeks ago

Who are the idiots now? Will, since this report has been revealed, like the Democrats screamed about, saying it that would expose Trump. It actually exposes Hillary and several others....and now is heading Obama's way. Put them behind Barrs!

Patricia Oakes, 2 weeks ago

Now ask that Feinstein witch about her traitorous dealings with China!

Dewey Self, 2 weeks ago

Have you ever noticed strzok,s eyes.he looks possesed..

The Goat, 2 weeks ago

Peter Strzoks text messages describe exactly what Hillary's presidency would turn out to be lol

Truthfan7 Tetelestai, 2 weeks ago

No Senator Graham, you're not going to find out that Russia provided the dossier. You are going to find out that Nellie Ohr (who is a CIA agent, one of Brennan's corrupt crew), and Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, constructed the dossier.

They then took it and washed it through the Ohr's buddy Christopher Steele. That was to give it a cache of foreign provenance. And then they got other willing participants like John McCain, and the lying media to do their part in forwarding the pretense that the dossier had some sort of legitimacy and the corrupt FBI leadership put it in front of a FISA judge to deceive them into granting the FISA warrant which allowed the FBI to spy all through the entire Trump campaign, and even to keep spying on Trump when he was seated in the Oval Office.

They participated in sedition and treason. ALL OF THEM should be hanged for this crime against the American people.

Anthony Emrick, 2 weeks ago

Bob Mueller is an Establishment STOOGE who, Along with James Comey, have been covering up for the Deep State and Shadow Government (SES) Cronies for over 20 years!!!

Joann Tague, 2 weeks ago

The man that bleached the computers and the lady that physically destroyed 2 computers with a hammier needed to be arrested......That is a start! Hillary Clinton is guilty of all the charges Trump was investigated for. President Trump is totally innocent.

So it's back to the Clinton Emails to start. Lets see how the news media reports that. The democrats are truly evil and dishonest.

darlingUSA, 12 weeks ago

Strzok and Page - those two people are your typical Clinton and Obama supporters. What does that say about her supporters. Only those two knew that as POTUS, Trump was going to do what was best for the People, not pay for play and not cover tracks of corrupt politicians. That's what they hated. That and the People of the U.S.A.

Jen X, 2 weeks ago

Dems want Barr to resign because he didn't give them the results they wanted. If Mueller and Barr found collusion, the Dems would say they did their job, and they did a fine job, and would say that we should accept it and move on.

kens 616, 1 week ago (edited)

Obama their coming after you.. This Russian hoax did not start at the bottom...it came from the top. You OBAMA..

[May 15, 2019] Tucker Media cheats on Beto with Buttigieg

Tucker also took down Sanders for his incoherent stance on immigration. Sanders betrayed hi supporters in 2016. He will do it again in 2020.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com

sharon eldridge

He's a pathetic dork. I have never given audience to Beto except I heard him say he was going to end slavery. Did I miss the re-enactment of slavery

Deborah Kate , 3 weeks ago

I love Tucker.. Christopher Hitchens was right... the most brilliant Tucker Carlson...

Chris montgomery , 2 days ago

Rats always end up eating each other.

Harry Brown , 16 hours ago

this is just pure entertainment

Doctor BeBop , 4 weeks ago

Tucker: YOU are on FIRE, my Brother! Keep up up the good work. You are nailing it!

Rob Manzoni , 3 weeks ago

Stop calling it the "Democratic" party - it's the "Democrat" party... "Democrat" is a NAME . "Democratic" is a description; and doesn't describe them at all

The Cold Poet , 4 weeks ago

"Every last drop of Buttigieg." Hilarious!

OhSwaggerBadger , 3 weeks ago

"He's like Beto's smarter brother, a little bit." Super savage 😂👊😂

GoogleModerator , 4 weeks ago

Thank God for Tucker Carlson. Hilarious & Brilliant!

[May 15, 2019] THIS IS ILLEGAL!! Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's BRILLIANT Takedown of Trump's Illegal War in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard for first female president 2020. ..."
"... She is my hero! What a courageous, well spoken, thoughtful, articulate, woman. I would sleep well at night with her behind the wheel. ..."
"... Here we are again dropping bombs on another country that didn't attack us, some things never change. ..."
"... Only congress women i respect. ..."
"... Tulsi is the only sane voice in a group of madmen who have egos that would end the World if their Coffee did not have enough sugar. ..."
Apr 14, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Days before Trump's escalation of his illegal war in Syria, Congresswoman & war veteran Tulsi Gabbard confronts Defense Secretary James Mattis on the unconstitutionality of such missile strikes!

BUY TRUMP TOILET PAPER ON AMAZON! http://amzn.to/2Fe08tb (Affiliate Link)


AbraCadabra▼ , 1 year ago

Tulsi Gabbard for first female president 2020.

Sandra Jacobson , 1 year ago

She is my hero! What a courageous, well spoken, thoughtful, articulate, woman. I would sleep well at night with her behind the wheel.

Andrei Kohler , 2 months ago

Love Tulsi's logic and her support to stop our illegal wars.

Mikael Stenlund , 1 year ago

This Woman, whent against Hillary-establishement, Dems, She is smart & strong, I want her running for Presidency, even some Republicans, would support Her, Right?? :-)

Karen Schumer , 1 year ago

She is so brilliant, and so cool! You know what, if Tulsi ran for president I would vote for her!

Martin Anderson , 1 year ago

This lady has the brains and the looks, i must say. We need a genuine anti-war movement in this country, we need more people like Tulsi.

Thrashaero , 1 year ago

she's got bigger balls than that pencilneck next to her.

Adam Bridges , 1 year ago

Here we are again dropping bombs on another country that didn't attack us, some things never change.

angela bluebird60 , 1 year ago

We need Tulsi Gabbard to work with and for the People FOREVER !

H2SO4BLACK BLACKWATER , 1 year ago (edited)

Why my money is used for killing innocent children in Syria 🇸🇾 I am not agreed for missile attack !

Tarlok Sason , 1 year ago

Only congress women i respect.

alchemistoxford , 2 months ago

A brilliant statement by Tulsi Gabbard. Beto O'Rourke appears bored, unconcerned and vaguely gormless when he rocks back and forth, bites his nails and extends his lower lip.

Andy Roo , 1 year ago

Tulsi is the only sane voice in a group of madmen who have egos that would end the World if their Coffee did not have enough sugar.

jennifer spicer , 1 year ago

the complex situation, Mattis, is that you are committing treason.

Memorandom , 1 year ago

Does the guy next to her think he's in a bloody rocking chair? :P

Justin Norton , 1 year ago

How is bombing Syria protecting America? Mattis should just say, "We just want to drop bombs and kill people."

[May 15, 2019] Ron Paul on Tulsi Gabbard - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have high respect for Dr Paul especially on his foreign policies and I'm so glad that he has recognized Tulsi stances on ending these regime change wars and over stepping our bounds constitutional overseas. Please keep spreading the word on Tulsi our Republic depends on it. ..."
"... It doesn't surprise me in the least that Ron Paul feels well about Tulsi Gabbard - mostly in regards to her foreign policy. Tulsi can expect considerable support from Libertarians. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In this clip from PRIMO NUTMEG #170, former Congressman Ron Paul gives his thoughts on 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.


Ortho Tech , 3 weeks ago

Supported Ron Paul in both 08 and 12, supporting Tulsi in 2020.

harriet , 3 weeks ago

I love BOTH Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard! We need more people like these in general!

chickendinner2012 , 3 weeks ago

Great to see anti-war solidarity! #EndTheWars

Gordo Bjorn , 3 weeks ago

I have high respect for Dr Paul especially on his foreign policies and I'm so glad that he has recognized Tulsi stances on ending these regime change wars and over stepping our bounds constitutional overseas. Please keep spreading the word on Tulsi our Republic depends on it.

Robert Thorpe , 3 weeks ago

It doesn't surprise me in the least that Ron Paul feels well about Tulsi Gabbard - mostly in regards to her foreign policy. Tulsi can expect considerable support from Libertarians.

Kariakas , 3 weeks ago

Ron Paul is Libertarian and Tulsi is to the left but they both speak common sense.

EL.NANNA , 3 weeks ago

I'd love to see these 2 together. So much respect for both. No surprise Dr Paul senses the real deal.

George Kraft , 3 weeks ago

Rep Paul, I don't agree with a lot of your ideas, but about Tulsi I agree 100%!

Skylark Myself , 3 weeks ago

Yes Tulsi and Ron Paul Aloha 2020 POTUS

[May 15, 2019] BREAKING Tulsi Gabbard Receives Another Major Endorsement (Ron Paul)

Trump lost Ron Paul support...
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi continues to stack up very reputable endorsements. This time from a three time Presidential Candidate. ..."
"... Tulsi's momentum is going for critical mass, Its time for a true maverick! #Rogue2020 ..."
"... Ron Paul's endorsement is surprising and interesting, in that it seems sincere. Most repubs give bad-faith assessments of the dem candidates. ..."
"... It really should be seen as a general election endorsement if it came down to a run between Tulsi and Trump, why the hell there was not a follow up question asking Dr Paul who he would endorse Tulsi and Trump I am sure Paul would endorse Tulsi. ..."
May 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Tulsi continues to stack up very reputable endorsements. This time from a three time Presidential Candidate.


ishant 7 , 1 week ago

I am a conservative myself but i would vote for her in a heartbeat

Job Applicant , 1 week ago (edited)

Tulsi's momentum is going for critical mass, Its time for a true maverick! #Rogue2020

Jayanti Ramiah , 1 week ago (edited)

Ron Paul's endorsement is surprising and interesting, in that it seems sincere. Most repubs give bad-faith assessments of the dem candidates.

Citizen Harrison , 1 week ago

My first vote when I was 17 in the Republican primary in 2012. Glad Ron is on board.

Karlo Ve , 1 week ago

Last election I voted for Trump (because he is not a politician) but this time I might vote for Tulsi 2020

Constable 1976 , 1 week ago (edited)

I'm a conservative and might not vote for her, but I love that Major Gabbard is an Army MP! God Bless her for her service...

Ned Pjevac , 1 week ago

I am as unlikely to vote republican as anybody but I admired Ron Paul's honesty when he ran for the presidency. Admired enough that I actually voted for him although his economic policies and gold standard kept me asking more questions than getting answers. I am stoked that my favorite republican voice gives his support to Tulsi. It is yet another confirmation of my choice for 2020.

dobsonimages , 1 week ago

It really should be seen as a general election endorsement if it came down to a run between Tulsi and Trump, why the hell there was not a follow up question asking Dr Paul who he would endorse Tulsi and Trump I am sure Paul would endorse Tulsi. At any rate this is a big deal a lot of people respect Dr Paul and this endorsement will help Tulsi.

George Washington , 1 week ago

YES!!!! RON PAUL!!!!

[May 15, 2019] Chris Hedges Fascism in the Age of Trump

I hope that might be interesting to Tulsi supporters.
In this interesting speech "Fascism in the Age of Trump" Chris Hedges predicts 20 years to the US empire. So somewhere around 2040 or when the age of "cheap oil" approximately ends and/or come under considerable stress.
He does not understands neoliberal social system well and does not use the term "neoliberarism" in his speak (which is detrimental to its value) , but he manages to provide a set of interesting arguments, although the speech is full of exaggerations and inconsistencies.
It also can explains the current Trump stance toward China as "Hail Mary" attempt top preserve the global hegemony by suppressing China even at considerable cost for the USA population.
May 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Alex K. , 1 year ago

Chris Hedges is a rare breed. Doesn't care about left/right, liberal/conservative, just dropping truth bombs.

Archvaldor's Warcraft Hacks , 1 year ago

I really feel for Chris Hedges on a personal level. Unlike say Blyth, or Chomsky, whom seem to revel in being intellectual bad boys, Hedges seems to be at heart a very conservative man in the true sense of the word, driven to the extremes by the rabid greed and sociopathic nature of mainstream politics. The corruption of it seems to visibly torture him. It takes a special kind of courage to take an unpopular stand like he does.

TIM BROWN , 1 year ago

President Eisenhower stated that the largest threat to our Democracy was/is the Military Industrial Complex. He quickly terminated the Korean War that he inherited then kept us out of foreign conflict. He believed in a strong Middle Class and promoted our economy with a massive highway system. He kept the highest progressive tax rate at 90% discouraging CEO's from massively overpaying themselves.

김선달봉이 , 1 year ago

A great and courageous man. A very lonely voice in this crazy world.

Jonathan Cook , 1 year ago

Wow, that was awesome, this guy is on a par with our great historical orators.

LiberaLib , 1 year ago

Iceberg. Dead ahead.

Ruth Rivera , 1 year ago

Thank you Chris Hedges. You speak profound truth. I'm listening.

Chris Mclean , 1 year ago

Epic speech. Thank you Chris!

sprite fallen , 1 year ago

Weird hearing someone speak truth

[May 15, 2019] The Australien Government has made an ad about Preferential Voting, and it s surprisingly honest and informative.

Highly recommended!
Nice, really informative video ;-). Please please please, watch this video.
Fantastic video for understanding how two party system works
May 14, 2019 | twitter.com


jacob, 20h 20 hours ago

Gotta love their use of that "Mad Max: Fury Road" shot when they were talking about climate emergency Lol

James W. 20h 20 hours ago

It's an exceptional touch.

BuniculaTv 20h 20 hours ago

This perfectly explains the US voting system as well.

Jay Davies ‏ 24h 24 hours ago

Us Americans need this video shown on billboards across the country.

[May 15, 2019] Tucker vs critic who calls him cheerleader for Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on ..."
"... Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke. ..."
"... Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous! ..."
Jul 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on


James Lamoureux , 2 weeks ago

The "empire" Reagan warned us about was the Obama admin.

Elijah Sims , 2 months ago

Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke.

Jordan Smith , 5 months ago

I love tucker❤️

TD TOPPDAWG , 1 month ago

Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said "if fascism comes it will come in the name of liberalism"

Joseph Duplaga , 2 months ago

Keep up the good work Tucker a voice of reason in a room full of lunatics .

jeroliver , 3 weeks ago

Who in their right mind would take advice about ANYTHING from Max Boot?

Maverick Watch Reviews , 8 months ago

Tucker sure gave Max the boot in that segment.

Geoff M , 2 months ago

Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous!

Gdurant , 2 months ago

These idiots want us to go and start more wars?

Francis Wargirai , 2 months ago

Selling insurance, house painting, something you're good at. Hahaha.. Gold..

dagmastr , 3 weeks ago

One thing is Tucker is excellent in a debate. He just made max look very stupid.

jućub 111 , 5 months ago

Tucker rest of world love and support you...keep rollin 💪💪 regards from Serbia 🇷🇸

omar rashid , 2 months ago

Good God, you can feel the anger off this guy.

Leonardo Espino , 1 week ago

I have to say that... dam ... I love tucker and he's a good tv anchor and he's hilarious when he takes any opponent

D Redacted , 3 weeks ago

Max debates like a spoilt child.... Remind me of the Kurt Echinwald interview

Vani Vasil , 1 week ago

who the hell established this guy as a foreign policy expert ??

Jermano Mayfield , 1 week ago

Tucker Rocks! Gets them triggered so THE TRUTH can come out

Kay Scott , 1 week ago

Flakes like this Boot guy has destroyed our foreign policy

James Burton , 2 days ago

I WOULD LIKE TO JUST KNOCK HELL OUTTA THAT BALD HEADED SUMBITCH.

William Miller , 2 days ago

When you don't have an answer, just attack the person asking the question. Nice goin' Max, you fool.

[May 15, 2019] Warren does have some sound ideas about taming the financial oligarchy, but she is completly incompetent in foreign policy, where she is undistinguishable from other establishment Democrats

Her call for impeachment procedures is a blunder. She is trying to play the dominant mood of the Dems crowd, not understanding that in this case Biden will be the winner.
Notable quotes:
"... Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better. ..."
"... Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless. ..."
May 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: Russia-gate’s Monstrous Offspring by Daniel Lazare

Besides Fox News – whose ratings have soared while Russia-obsessed CNN’s have plummeted – the chief beneficiary is Trump. Post-Mueller, the man has the wind in his sails. Come 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders could cut through his phony populism with ease. But if Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post succeeds in tarring him with Russia the same way it tried to tar Trump, then the Democratic nominee will be a bland centrist whom the incumbent will happily bludgeon.

Former Vice President Joe Biden – the John McCain-loving, speech-slurring, child-fondler who was for a wall along the Mexican border before he was against it – will end up as a bug splat on the Orange One’s windshield.

Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless.

Such "logic" is lost on voters, so it seems to be a safe bet that enough will stay home next Election Day to allow the rough beast to slouch towards Bethlehem yet again.

[May 15, 2019] Op-Ed-O-Matic Write Doomsday Screeds Like the Pros by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler. ..."
"... We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to. ..."
"... All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly. ..."
"... Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT. ..."
"... Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019: ..."
"... Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?" Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-" Matthews: "Agent?" Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not." Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?" Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes." ..."
"... One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight. ..."
"... @MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion << ..."
"... These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class. ..."
"... Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago. ..."
"... "Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier. ..."
"... These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. ..."
"... Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ? ..."
"... What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. ..."
"... On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse? * Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler.

You'd have thought after almost three years of wrong predictions (no new wars, no economic collapse, no Russiagate) this industry would have slam shut faster than a Rust Belt union hall. You would have especially thought these kinds of articles would have tapered off with the release of the Mueller Report. It turned out to be the opposite -- while Mueller found no conspiracy and charged no obstruction, the dang report turns out to be chock-a-block with hidden messages, secret road maps, and voices speaking in tongues (albeit only to Democrats) about obstruction.

We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to.

Help has arrived. Now anyone can write their own fear-mongering article, using this handy tool, the op-ed-o-Matic. The GoFundMe for the AI-driven app version will be up soon, but for now, simply follow these simple steps to punditry!

Start with a terrifying cliche. Here are some to choose from: There is a clear and present danger; Dark clouds gather, the center cannot hold; It is unclear the Republic will survive; Democracy itself is under attack; We face a profound/unique/existential threat/crisis/turning point/test. Also, that "First they came for " poem is good. Be creative; The Washington Post calls the present state of things "constitutional nihilism." Snappy!

Be philosophical and slightly weary in tone, such as "I am in despair as I have never been before about the future of our experiment in self-rule." Say you're sad for the state of the nation. Claim time is short, but there just may be a chance to stop this. Add " by any means necessary."

Then choose a follow-on quote to reinforce the danger, maybe from: The Federalist Papers, especially Madison on tyranny; Lincoln, pretty much anything about "the people, government, test for our great nation, blah blah;" the Jack Nicholson character about not being able to handle the truth; something from the neocons like Bill Kristol or Max Boot who now hate Trump. Start with "even" as in " even arch conservative Jennifer Rubin now says "

After all that to get the blood up, explain the current bad thing Trump did. Label it "a high crime or misdemeanor if there ever was one." Use some legalese, such as proffer, colorable argument, inter alia, sinecure, duly-authorized, perjurious, and that little law book squiggly thingy (18 USC § 1513.) Be sure to say "no one is above the law," then a dramatic hyphen, then "even the president." Law school is overrated; you and Google know as much as anyone about emoluments, perjury, campaign finance regulations, contempt, tax law, subpoenas, obstruction, or whatever the day's thing is, and it changes a lot. But whatever, the bastard is obviously guilty. Your standard is tabloid-level , so just make it too good to be true.

Next, find an old Trump tweet where he criticized someone for doing just what he is doing. That never gets old! Reference burning the Reichstag. If the crisis you're writing about deals with immigration or white supremacy (meh, basically the same thing, right?), refer to Kristallnacht.

Include every bad thing Trump ever did as examples of why whatever you're talking about must be true. Swing for the fence with lines like "seeks to destroy decades of LGBTQIXYZ progress" or "built concentration camps to murder children." Cite Trump accepting Putin's word over the findings of "our" intelligence community, his "very fine people" support for Nazi cosplayers, the magic list of 10,000 lies, how Trump has blood on his hands for endangering the press as the enemy of the people, and how Trump caused the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

And Nixon. Always bring up Nixon. The context or details don't matter. In case Wikipedia is down, he was one of the presidents before Trump your grandpa liked for awhile and then didn't like after Robert Redford showed he was a clear and present danger to Saturday Night Live, or the Saturday Night Massacre, it doesn't matter, we all agree Nixon.

Focus on the villain, who must be unhinged, off the rails, over the edge, diseased, out of control, a danger to himself and others, straight-up diagnosed mentally ill , or under Trump/Putin's spell. Barr is currently the Vader-du-jour. The New York Times characterized him as "The transformation of William Barr from respected establishment lawyer to evil genius outplaying and undermining his old friend Robert Mueller is a Grand Guignol spectacle." James Comey went as far as describing Trump people as having had their souls eaten by the president. That's not hyperbole, it's journalism!

But also hold out for a hero, the Neo one inside Trumpworld who will rise, flip, or leak to save us. Forget past nominees like the pee tape, Comey, Clapper, Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Cohen, Mattis, Kelly, Barr, Linda Sarsour (replace with Ilhan Omar,) Avenatti, and Omarosa to focus on McGahn. He's gonna be the one!

Then call for everyone else bad to resign, be impeached, go to jail, have their old statues torn down, delete their accounts, be referred to the SDNY, be smited by the 25th Amendment, or have their last election delegitimized by the Night King. Draw your rationale from either the most obscure corner of the Founding Founders' work ("the rough draft, subsection IIXX of the Articles of Confederation addendum, Spanish language edition, makes clear Trump is unfit for office") or go broad as in "his oath requires him to uphold the Constitution, which he clearly is not doing." Like Nancy Pelosi, mention how Trump seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power if he loses in 2020.

Cultural references are important. Out of fashion: Godfather memes especially about who is going to be Fredo, 'bots, weaponize, Pussy Hats, the Parkland Kids, Putin homophobe themes, incest "jokes" about Ivanka, the phrases the walls are closing in, tick tock, take to the streets, adult in the room, just wait for Mueller Time, and let that sink in.

Things you can still use: abyss, grifter, crime family, not who we are, follow the money. Also you may make breaking news out of Twitter typos. Stylistically anyone with a Russian-sounding name must be either an oligarch, friend of Putin, or have ties to the Kremlin. Same for anyone who has done business with Trump or used the ATM in the Deutsche Bank lobby in New York. Mention Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez somewhere because every article has to mention AOC somewhere now.

Finally, your op-ed should end either with this House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler faux Kennedy-esque quote, "The choice is simple: We can stand up to this president in defense of the country and the Constitution and the liberty we love, or we can let the moment pass us by. History will judge us for how we face this challenge" or, if you want to go old school, this one from Hillary Clinton saying, "I really believe that we are in a crisis, a constitutional crisis. We are in a crisis of confidence and a crisis over the rule of law and the institutions that have weathered a lot of problems over so many years. And it is something that, regardless of where you stand in the political spectrum, should give real heartburn to everybody. Because this is a test for our country."

Crisis. Test. Judgment of history. Readers love that stuff, because it equates Trump's dumb tweets with Lincoln pulling the Union together after a literal civil war that killed millions of Americans in brother-to-brother conflict. As long as the rubes believe the world is coming to an end, you might as well make a buck writing about it.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99% .

See also

Fran Macadam , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:48 am

Good rules for your wayward commenters Peter, themselves nattering nabobs of negativism. (Oops, there I go again.)

Can I mention how Hilarious still seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power since she lost in 2016?

Uncle Billy , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:41 am
Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius. These views are oppositional, but many liberal journalists seem to hold both of them.
mrscracker , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:58 am
I pretty much lost all respect for the Washington Post during the last election. Each WaPo anti-Trump op ed became increasingly apocalyptic until you imagined that the universe would implode should he be elected. It was that silly.

But other media promote "end of the world as we know it "scenarios also. TAC included.

Seriously, if I read one more article about how flyover America is a drug infested, impoverished wasteland inhabited by those not intelligent or ambitious enough to move to the coasts. Drama draws readers and online traffic. I guess it's up to the reader to sift through the competing narratives for the truth.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:11 am
On the one hand, I agree that it's laughable and ridiculous -- this flood of apocalyptic predictions and articles, wherein Trump, a juvenile buffoon who in fact does not even control the government he nominally heads, is depicted as some kind of unprecedented threat to democracy and Everything We Hold Dear.

I mean, OK, the judgment of the libs and neocons writing this stuff is clearly addled by their irrational and rabid hatred for Trump. Still, are they really that stupid or is it just that they are hopelessly dishonest? I lean toward the latter explanation.

That said, the abiding irony is that there is in fact a deepening crisis in this country. It's about an increasingly dysfunctional democracy, a bitterly alienated and divided citizenry, a set of ruling elites who despise a large percentage of their countrymen and have contrived an economic and political system that enriches themselves while consigning the despised percentage to permanent struggling status, a cultural establishment that rejects the traditional Judeo-Christian values that built Western civilization and, Jacobin-style, is busily overturning and replacing those values with their own would-be New Moral Order.

And so forth.

So yeah, there most definitely is a crisis and it might even be apocalyptic in dimension and character. (Heck, it put Trump in the White House.) But the actual crisis is not the one the fools are writing about. In fact, not only are they not writing about it -- they're in large part responsible for it.

Like I said: an abiding irony. One for the history books.

Scott in MD , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:13 am
Astroturf campaigns have been around since at least the 90's, surely you aren't just discovering them now
Sid Finster , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:18 am
All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly.
Taras 77 , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 am
FWIW:

Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT.

Jhawk , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm
Van Buren has apparently chosen to forget the apocalyptic rants from the right during the Obama administration. As for today's alarmists, as I write this the Dow is down over 700 points due to Trump's foolish trade war, his administration is ignoring two centuries of tradition by stonewalling Congress' legitimate oversight authority and John Bolton is trying to provoke a war with Iran. Now tell me again it's all "sound and fury, signifying nothing."
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019:

Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?"
Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-"
Matthews: "Agent?"
Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not."
Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?"
Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes."

The same congressman, who makes Joseph McCarthy look moderate, after Mueller completed his investigation, on Fox News, Mar. 2019:

Cavuto: "Would you say the president is not a Russian agent?"
Swalwell: "The president acts on Russia's behalf, I don't need to see the Mueller report for that."

And this month, after he had annouced his presidential bid, on Face the Nation:

Brennan: "But I know you have been talking because you are also in an intelligence role on that House committee saying a number of things that I want to quote back to you. Up until this point you said when you were asked in January, 'do you believe the president right now has been an agent of the Russians?' You said, 'yes,' you were asked again at the end of that month by a questioner, 'I'm still not hearing any evidence that he's an agent of Russia.' And you said, 'Yeah I think it's pretty clear it's almost hiding in plain sight.' The Mueller report did not substantiate any conspiracy or coordination with Russia. Do you regret prejudging the outcome?"

Swalwell: "No, actually I- I- I think I should have been louder."

And people say Denin Nunes politicized the House Intelligence Committee?

One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight.

Gene Smolko , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Uncle Billy

"Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius."

You're missing the point, it's Trump's ignorance, his extreme sense of entitlement and limitless ego that are a danger to our democracy. He doesn't understand the norms of democracy, otherwise known as American principles. All he understands is what he wants and his notion of American greatness, which has nothing to do with true American principles.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm
@MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion <<

These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class.

In their minds, public opinion can be suppressed or at least controlled by their near monopoly on major media. The stories they want told will get told. The stories they don't want told will not get told. Except at more or less isolated right-wing websites and such whose audience and reach are limited.

Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago.

MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm
jhawk: "As I write this the Dow is down over 700 points."

This is the same Dow Jones that, even with today's drop is still 40% higher than it was right before the 2016 election, correct?

"Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier.

Connecticut Farmer , says: May 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm
@MM

These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. It seems that it's only when we hit rock bottom and the country's very survival is at stake that the cream rises to the top and the very best step to the plate, so given what we have in Washington now, maybe we haven't reached that point–at least not yet.

Dan Green , says: May 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm
Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ?
JohnT , says: May 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
This is a hoot. Little Pettie strikes again! Projecting his own myopia as always! His Greater Leader, The Trumpster, and the sycophants who worship him daily (for a fee, of course) daily tweets or shouts from a podium the impending doom of our nations due to hoards of the "other" spreading disease and violence nationwide while supported by the great love of Evangelical "Christians" who faith not merely predicts but yearns for the end of the world!!!
Can't quite tell. It is hypocrisy or grand delusions blooming brightly at TAC!
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 pm
CT Farmer: "If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents."

No doubt, I only picked on him because he represents the crappiest district in the Bay Area, which I have personal experience on, and he's running for president on the "Trump is a Russian agent" platform, which even Joseph McCarthy was too timid to attempt.

That's either saying something, or it's nothing. I could've quoted another presidential candidate who's claimed that law enforcement and criminal justice in America is racist from top to bottom and front to back. Or I could've quoted a different presidential candidate who's stated unequivocally that every human being, not just American citizen, is entitled to free education and health care, without regard to cost or need.

Pick your poison

Cat , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:21 am
Just a few thoughts about comments above: Who "yearns for the end of the world"?? Give names please, stop slandering. What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. The fact is that we are a nation of laws and illegals (no matter where they are from, Mars, Supitor; whether they are green, purple, whatever color) are a threat to our country. I heard report that about a third of the crimes in the USA are done by illegals, at a cost of billions. Well, more crap from brain washed boobs above, but I'm done trying to point them out ..
mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 9:55 am
Rick Steven D.:

"Uh, have you met Rod-sky-is-falling-Dreher?"

***************
Yes, I met him at a very nice crawfish boil last year.
It's good to read your comments, too. I hope you've been well!

mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:03 am
James from Durham:

" you know, we're all at it, breathing apocalyptic fire and brimstone, left and right. No point throwing stones at each other on this subject."

**************
My thoughts, too. It's difficult to sift through the hype on all sides & find anything solid. Outrage generates traffic, thoughtful discussion-not so much. So we end up with clickbait & tabloids.

David Smith , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:28 am
Maybe the Dems and their supporters should spend more time trying to understand why they lost and less time complaining about it. But then that's not nearly as much fun.
Patricus , says: May 14, 2019 at 11:17 am
Thanks for the voice of reason. A couple of complaints on Trump: he hasn't accomplished much on the border; budgets continue to bleed red ink. He at least could have vetoed the budgets.
Sean Nuttall , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016? How long have Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham, Levin, Hannity, .. been milking the Republican multiverse.
MM , says: May 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Sean: "Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016?"

That's a bit like saying because my neighbor ran over my dog, I'll then bulldoze his house. Besides, the left and the press are supposed to be superior to the right and the unwashed masses. They always fact-based, logical, reasonable, non-ideological, and consistent.

On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse?
* Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

[May 15, 2019] Bernie Sanders on trade with China, health care and student debt

Good domestic policy suggestions and debate skills. Horrible understanding of foreign policy (he completely subscribes to the Russiagate hoax)
His capitulation to Hillary in 2016 still linger behind his back despite all bravado. he betrayed his followers, many of who put money of this while being far from rich. he betrayed them all. As such he does not deserve to run.
Warren and Tulsi are definitely better options then Sanders for 2020.
May 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became a household name in 2016 when he ran a progressive campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination -- and came close to securing it. He's back in the 2020 race, but this time up against more than 20 other candidates. Sanders sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss trade with China, health care, student debt, Russian election interference and more.

[May 15, 2019] Establishment Dems are are already imploding

Gene McCarthy back in the 60s said the media was like a flock of blackbirds -- when one lands on the line they all do, and when one leaves the line they all leave. They arrived and left for Beto, and now Bootajudge is probably going to experience the same thing.
What might actually happen is that DNC will declare that "no one" got enough votes and summarily pick whoever they want as candidate possibly ByeDone (Biden-Harris combination is also in the cards). In any case DNC has history of dirty games and that will persist.
May 13, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 5:05pm

Remember Beto? The guy who managed to lose to Ted Cruz - a senator that even Republicans don't like? Did he ever feel like a manufactured candidate to you?
Then you'll like the New And Improved Beto .

Beto O'Rourke is reportedly planning to relaunch his 2020 presidential bid less than two months after his record-breaking campaign launch.
In an acknowledgement that his campaign is stalling, the former Texas congressman is said to be planning a "reintroduction" ahead of next month's Democratic presidential debate.

Nothing says "forgettable" like "reintroduction".
Speaking of forgettable, people have already forgotten that they once supported him.

You can see O'Rourke's struggles most clearly in the polls. In an average of national polls taken since Biden entered the race, O'Rourke has fallen to just below 5% support. That's the lowest he has been since at least December.

But it's not just that O'Rourke has seen his numbers decline nationally -- it's that his polls look even worse in the early caucus and primary states. I could not find a single poll in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina conducted after Biden entered in which O'Rourke polled above 3%. These, of course, are the states that O'Rourke has been visiting over and over again throughout the last few months. It apparently hasn't done any good.

Another flavor-of-the-day candidate is Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Mayor Pete came along months after Beto, so he is still in the getting-to-know-you stage for most of the country.
However, people in Indiana are already familiar with him.

Though Buttigieg is viewed favorably among voters in his party, the poll says former Vice President Joe Biden "would cruise to a comfortable victory in Indiana." One-third of the self-identifying Democrats who indicated they'd vote in next year's Democratic primary for president said they'd vote for Biden, compared to 23% for Sanders and 20% for Buttigieg. An additional 15% are undecided.

The margin of error for the entire poll was 3.46 percentage points. A spokesman for the Buttigieg campaign declined to comment Thursday on the poll.

Coming in 3rd in your home state isn't very impressive.
Pete Buttigieg is polling at 0% among black voters in South Carolina.

The third centrist on my list is Kamala Harris.
Her numbers might be the worst of all .

Recent polls show Harris has dropped several points since her strong start to the race earlier this year. Her support among nonwhite voters is relatively low at 4%, according to a late April CNN poll, after former Vice President Joe Biden's entrance into the race late last month. The CNN poll found Biden has 50% support among nonwhite voters.

When a woman-of-color can't get the support of women-of-color, she is sunk.
Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to have already jumped ship .

Newsom endorsed Harris on a Friday night in February. Most politicians dump bad news on Friday nights. The two share the same political advisers, but Newsom delivered his nod unceremoniously during an MSNBC interview. Now, he's cozying up to her rivals.

Why the hedging? For one thing, Newsom's an experienced politician. He knows it's smart to keep a wide network of options. But Newsom's outburst of public praise for Harris' rivals also reflects the fact that her White House campaign has encountered serious turbulence.

By the time the debates come around they may no longer be candidates anymore.

[May 15, 2019] They can't even say it

May 15, 2019 | twitter.com

gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:46pm

The Hill forgot Tulsi again

It's #IgnoreTulsiTime again. @thehill pic.twitter.com/rVe306gXxx

-- K. Rosef (@kayrosef) May 10, 2019

they can't even say it

CBS News (2/4/19) briefly interviewed Honolulu Civil Beats reporter Nick Grube regarding Gabbard's campaign announcement. The anchors had clearly never encountered the term anti-interventionism before, struggling to even pronounce the word, then laughing and saying it "doesn't roll off the tongue."

[May 14, 2019] Gabbard Says She'd Drop All Charges Against Assange And Snowden

May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In the midst of an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on the Joe Rogan Experience , Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said that if elected president she would drop all charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"What would you do about Julian Assange? What would you do about Edward Snowden?" Rogan asked in the latter part of the episode.

"As far as dropping the charges?" Gabbard asked.

"If you're president of the world right now, what do you do?"

"Yeah, dropping the charges," Gabbard replied.

me width=

Rogan noted that Sweden's preliminary investigation of rape allegations has just been re-opened , saying the US government can't stop that, and Gabbard said as president she'd drop the US charges leveled against Assange by the Trump administration.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fNuZWQgkgc4

"Yeah," Gabbard said when asked to clarify if she was also saying that she'd give Edward Snowden a presidential pardon, adding,

"And I think we've got to address why he did things the way that he did them. And you hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning, how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties. Period. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way, and that's why they ended up taking the path that they did, and suffering the consequences."

This came at the end of a lengthy discussion about WikiLeaks and the dangerous legal precedent that the Trump administration is setting for press freedoms by prosecuting Assange, as well as the revelations about NSA surveillance and what can be done to roll back those unchecked surveillance powers.

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4855

"What happened with [Assange's] arrest and all the stuff that just went down I think poses a great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech," Gabbard said.

"We look at what happened under the previous administration, under Obama. You know, they were trying to find ways to go after Assange and WikiLeaks, but ultimately they chose not to seek to extradite him or charge him, because they recognized what a slippery slope that begins when you have a government in a position to levy criminal charges and consequences against someone who's publishing information or saying things that the government doesn't want you to say , and sharing information the government doesn't want you to share. And so the fact that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore that fact, to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and go after him, it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers. And you can look to those in traditional media and also those in new media, and also every one of us as Americans. It was a kind of a warning call, saying Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you. It could happen to any one of us."

Gabbard discussed Mike Pompeo's arbitrary designation of WikiLeaks as a hostile non-state intelligence service, the fact that James Clapper lied to Congress about NSA surveillance as Director of National Intelligence yet suffered no consequences and remains a respected TV pundit, and the opaque and unaccountable nature of FISA warrants.

Some other noteworthy parts of Gabbard's JRE appearance for people who don't have time to watch the whole thing, with hyperlinks to the times in the video:

I honestly think the entire American political system would be better off if the phoney debate stage format were completely abandoned and presidential candidates just talked one-on-one with Joe Rogan for two and a half hours instead. Cut through all the vapid posturing and the fake questions about nonsense nobody cares about and get them to go deep with a normal human being who smokes pot and curses and does sports commentary for cage fighting. Rogan asked Gabbard a bunch of questions that real people are interested in, in a format where she was encouraged to relax out of her standard politician's posture and discuss significant ideas sincerely and spontaneously. It was a good discussion with an interesting political figure and I'm glad it's already racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

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[May 14, 2019] The Guardian summary of the day

May 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

4.56pm EDT 16:56

Here's a summary of the day thus far: Donald Trump praised attorney general William Barr for opening what appears to be a broad investigation of the Russia counterespionage investigation that swept up the Trump campaign. Barr appointed a US attorney to lead the inquiry and reportedly has got the CIA and DNI involved.

Senator Elizabeth Warren took a "hard pass" on an offer to do a Fox News town hall event, calling the network "hate-for-profit".

[May 14, 2019] Tariffs The Taxes That Made America Great

Notable quotes:
"... China loses the sale. This is why Beijing, which runs $350 billion to $400 billion in annual trade surpluses at our expense is howling loudest. Should Donald Trump impose that 25% tariff on all $500 billion in Chinese exports to the USA, it would cripple China's economy. Factories seeking assured access to the U.S. market would flee in panic from the Middle Kingdom. ..."
"... The Fordney-McCumber Tariff gave Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge the revenue to offset the slashing of Wilson's income taxes, igniting that most dynamic of decades -- the Roaring '20s. ..."
"... Once a nation is hooked on the cheap goods that are the narcotic free trade provides, it is rarely able to break free. The loss of its economic independence is followed by the loss of its political independence, the loss of its greatness and, ultimately, the loss of its national identity. ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review,

As his limo carried him to work at the White House Monday, Larry Kudlow could not have been pleased with the headline in The Washington Post: "Kudlow Contradicts Trump on Tariffs."

The story began: "National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow acknowledged Sunday that American consumers end up paying for the administration's tariffs on Chinese imports, contradicting President Trump's repeated inaccurate claim that the Chinese foot the bill."

A free trade evangelical, Kudlow had conceded on Fox News that consumers pay the tariffs on products made abroad that they purchase here in the U.S. Yet that is by no means the whole story.

A tariff may be described as a sales or consumption tax the consumer pays, but tariffs are also a discretionary and an optional tax.

If you choose not to purchase Chinese goods and instead buy comparable goods made in other nations or the USA, then you do not pay the tariff.

China loses the sale. This is why Beijing, which runs $350 billion to $400 billion in annual trade surpluses at our expense is howling loudest. Should Donald Trump impose that 25% tariff on all $500 billion in Chinese exports to the USA, it would cripple China's economy. Factories seeking assured access to the U.S. market would flee in panic from the Middle Kingdom.

Tariffs were the taxes that made America great. They were the taxes relied upon by the first and greatest of our early statesmen, before the coming of the globalists Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

Tariffs, to protect manufacturers and jobs, were the Republican Party's path to power and prosperity in the 19th and 20th centuries , before the rise of the Rockefeller Eastern liberal establishment and its embrace of the British-bred heresy of unfettered free trade.

The Tariff Act of 1789 was enacted with the declared purpose, "the encouragement and protection of manufactures." It was the second act passed by the first Congress led by Speaker James Madison. It was crafted by Alexander Hamilton and signed by President Washington.

After the War of 1812, President Madison, backed by Henry Clay and John Calhoun and ex-Presidents Jefferson and Adams, enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked.

Tariffs financed Mr. Lincoln's War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer "has no right or claim to equality with our own. He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties."

That is economic patriotism, putting America and Americans first.

The Fordney-McCumber Tariff gave Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge the revenue to offset the slashing of Wilson's income taxes, igniting that most dynamic of decades -- the Roaring '20s.

That the Smoot-Hawley Tariff caused the Depression of the 1930s is a New Deal myth in which America's schoolchildren have been indoctrinated for decades.

The Depression began with the crash of the stock market in 1929, nine months before Smoot-Hawley became law. The real villain: The Federal Reserve, which failed to replenish that third of the money supply that had been wiped out by thousands of bank failures. Milton Friedman taught us that.

A tariff is a tax, but its purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.

The principle involved in a tariff is the same as that used by U.S. colleges and universities that charge foreign students higher tuition than their American counterparts.

What patriot would consign the economic independence of his country to the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith in a system crafted by intellectuals whose allegiance is to an ideology, not a people?

What great nation did free traders ever build?

Free trade is the policy of fading and failing powers, past their prime. In the half-century following passage of the Corn Laws, the British showed the folly of free trade.

They began the second half of the 19th century with an economy twice that of the USA and ended it with an economy half of ours, and equaled by a Germany, which had, under Bismarck, adopted what was known as the American System.

Of the nations that have risen to economic preeminence in recent centuries -- the British before 1850, the United States between 1789 and 1914, post-war Japan, China in recent decades -- how many did so through free trade? None. All practiced economic nationalism.

The problem for President Trump?

Once a nation is hooked on the cheap goods that are the narcotic free trade provides, it is rarely able to break free. The loss of its economic independence is followed by the loss of its political independence, the loss of its greatness and, ultimately, the loss of its national identity.

Brexit was the strangled cry of a British people that had lost its independence and desperately wanted it back.

[May 14, 2019] Tulsi Brings Lefty Foreign Policy To Righty Audience -- It Works

Important interview with Tucker (this video contain a large fragment) and an interesting discussions.
Notable quotes:
"... Left or Right, you cannot question Gabbard's patriotism and intelligence and in-depth knowledge on war issues. Great candidate. ..."
"... She is an amazing diplomat - I support her 100% ..."
"... The way she conducts herself is an inspiration. I really like her. ..."
"... Just donated to Tulsi. We need her anti-imperialism on the mainstream debate stage. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard is the only one I have seen who isn't an overly hyberbolic shill. She embodies the concept of "speak softly and carry a big stick". ..."
"... Holly shit, I've never seen anyone on Fox News let their guest talk as much this? Especially Tucker being so calm, this makes me feel good. It must be Tulsi's vibe, someone as diplomatic and disciplined as her must be running the White House. ..."
Mar 5, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Evil Loch Ness , 2 months ago

Tulsi seems incredibly sincere, tempered and presidential.

Prakash Man Shrestha , 1 month ago

I am not an American. ... I see a glimmer of light in Tulsi.

Smegead , 2 months ago

A worthy first female president.

Dragonblazzer969 , 2 months ago

Left or Right, you cannot question Gabbard's patriotism and intelligence and in-depth knowledge on war issues. Great candidate.

NOAH WEIKERT , 1 month ago

As republican I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard, so won me over after the Joe Rogan podcast.

PaleGhost69 , 2 months ago (edited)

Sanders/Gabbard 2020 Edit: To those who say Gabbard/Sanders, you forget what the point of the vice president is.

RainFurRent 24/7 , 2 months ago

I didn't think anyone could take my vote from Bernie but I was wrong. Tulsi 2020 for me.

Charles Roberts , 2 months ago

Wow!! The sound of the voice of common sense & truth, for a change. I don't care if she is Democrat or Republican ... this lady is voicing what the majority of people actually think & believe.

Ken Baker , 1 month ago (edited)

A Democrat who makes sense. It's refreshing. Why do they try to keep her out of sight? Be cause she is anti war? Tells you alot about the swamp.

roselassi , 2 months ago

She is an amazing diplomat - I support her 100%

Proper Gander , 2 months ago

It ain't just left, it's common sense

Prateek , 1 month ago

The way she conducts herself is an inspiration. I really like her.

Bpinator , 2 months ago

Just donated to Tulsi. We need her anti-imperialism on the mainstream debate stage.

Kevin Benderman , 2 weeks ago

Tulsi Gabbard is the only one I have seen who isn't an overly hyberbolic shill. She embodies the concept of "speak softly and carry a big stick".

Spiritual Humanist , 2 months ago

Tulsi Gabbard 2020☮️ donate to Tulsi ❤️

ooPROTOTYPE1oo , 2 months ago

Tulsi doesn't really care about Republican or Democratic party. What she cares about are the American people.

Brah , 1 month ago (edited)

Tulsi Gabbard could bring the Democratic Party back to the days of JFK.

Cesar , 1 month ago (edited)

Holly shit, I've never seen anyone on Fox News let their guest talk as much this? Especially Tucker being so calm, this makes me feel good. It must be Tulsi's vibe, someone as diplomatic and disciplined as her must be running the White House.

Kevin Malone , 2 months ago

It just feels so good seeing a politician actually answer questions. Instead of talking but not saying anything of actual substance.

Miss Kimberly , 1 month ago

We need a candidate who can float between both sides, and stick with a Progressive agenda. This is outstanding.

[May 14, 2019] Cory Booker Compares Elizabeth Warren to Trump

Warren definitely have the courage to put forward those important proposals. Lobbyists like Cory Booker of course attack them.
Notable quotes:
"... It's called Anti-Trust laws not her "opinions"... ..."
"... Let's be honest, Booker isn't fit to shine Warren's shoes! I wonder if Cory's ass is jealous of all the shit that just came out of his mouth!! SMDH ..."
"... CB bought and paid for by drug companies. Of course he doesn't like Warren. But ask him about Americans right to free speech and he puts after the needs of any foriegn country ..."
"... He who looks like a slick bouncer for the big money monopolies, is looking to get a piece of it ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Marduk of Nexus , 55 seconds ago

I knew the establishment Dems would fight against the progressives, but this is so blatant...

TheBreaker OfWalls , 1 minute ago

It's called Anti-Trust laws not her "opinions"...

Ronn Thomason , 2 minutes ago

Let's be honest, Booker isn't fit to shine Warren's shoes! I wonder if Cory's ass is jealous of all the shit that just came out of his mouth!! SMDH

molson12oz , 11 minutes ago

Cory- .Most Americans will NOT think you are Presidential Caliber.Where's the MONEY coming from? Small donor contributions? I don't even think you'll get the Black & hispanic vote.Why do this?

You are stealing the votes from way more qualified candidates. Bad idea if you want to have Democratic POTUS in 2020

BRIAN , 11 minutes ago (edited)

CB bought and paid for by drug companies. Of course he doesn't like Warren. But ask him about Americans right to free speech and he puts after the needs of any foriegn country

Scott Price , 12 minutes ago

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren need to form a Democratic ticket.

William MARDER , 15 minutes ago

He who looks like a slick bouncer for the big money monopolies, is looking to get a piece of it

Mitchel Evans , 16 minutes ago

After that Trump remark, Cory can bite my butt. Whatever disagreements I may have with Warren, she has some very daring, intelligent, and discussion-worthy policies. We need her in the next administration, whether as potus or in the cabinet. Sheesh, Cory, burn your bridges, sir.

Pierre Lefrançois , 18 minutes ago

Don't worry about C Booker, he's a light weight with talking points and no virtuous convictions.

Peter Krug , 23 minutes ago

Cory Booker is a lot more like Trump than Elizabeth Warren is.

[May 13, 2019] Glenn Greenwald Interviews Rep. Tulsi Gabbard About Foreign Policy and Her 2020 Campaign - YouTube

Tulsi found an interesting way to stress he foreign policy credential -- The US President is the Commander in Chief of the Nation.
Notable quotes:
"... Gabbard's transformation from cherished party asset to party critic and outcast was rapid, and was due almost entirely to her insistence on following her own belief system and evolving ideology rather than party dogma and the long-standing rules for Washington advancement. ..."
"... I'm a 70+ veteran who has never voted for a Democrat in my life. Tulsi Gabbard is the best, most qualified, most eloquent and thoughtful presidential candidate of my lifetime. She will catch on, and the MSM which hates her (they all get tons of money and support from war industry, Big Pharma, Big Ag, etc.), will try to ignore her or smear her, but in the end they will fail. She makes sense, and they don't. Regime change wars must end. Tulsi will be the shining light that makes it happen. ..."
May 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ever since Tulsi Gabbard was first elected to Congress in 2012, she has been assertively independent, heterodox, unpredictable, and polarizing. Viewed at first as a loyal Democrat and guaranteed future star by party leaders -- due to her status as an Iraq War veteran, a telegenic and dynamic young woman, and the first Hindu and Samoan American ever elected to Congress -- she has instead become a thorn in the side, and frequent critic, of those same party leaders that quickly anointed her as the future face of the party.

Gabbard's transformation from cherished party asset to party critic and outcast was rapid, and was due almost entirely to her insistence on following her own belief system and evolving ideology rather than party dogma and the long-standing rules for Washington advancement.

Glenn Greenwald sat down with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to discuss a wide range of issues, including the reasons she is running for president, her views on Trump's electoral appeal and what is necessary to defeat it, the rise of right-wing populism internationally, the Trump/Russia investigation, criticisms she has received regarding her views of Islam and certain repressive leaders, and her unique foreign policy viewpoints.

This interview is intended to be the first in a series of in-depth interviews with influential and interesting U.S. political figures, including but not limited to 2020 presidential candidates, designed to enable deeper examinations than the standard cable or network news format permits.

For more, read Glenn Greenwald's full article: https://theintercept.com/2019/05/09/w...


Hans Marheim , 4 days ago

I am Norwegian. I want to interfere in the next american presidential election. I want Tulsi Gabbard as the next president of the USA. Love from Norway!

thinkabout , 3 days ago

TULSI is a strong intelligent candidate WE NEED TO HEAR MORE FROM HER thanks

Jacques Peterson , 4 days ago

We need to support her. Boots on the ground. I'm Australian but I have introduced her to all my American friends online.

Happy30Too , 4 days ago

I'm a 70+ veteran who has never voted for a Democrat in my life. Tulsi Gabbard is the best, most qualified, most eloquent and thoughtful presidential candidate of my lifetime. She will catch on, and the MSM which hates her (they all get tons of money and support from war industry, Big Pharma, Big Ag, etc.), will try to ignore her or smear her, but in the end they will fail. She makes sense, and they don't. Regime change wars must end. Tulsi will be the shining light that makes it happen.

MrLarryQ , 4 days ago

The only problem with this interview is that it's too short. Tough but fair questioning, all too rare these days.

Jazz Ecuador , 4 days ago

Genn is the most credible spokesman for The Intercept and Tulsi is the most credible candidate.

John E , 3 days ago

Glenn, I'm a combat veteran of the US war against Viet-Nam. Thank you for this fair, impartial interview with Tulsi.

Christopher Thomas , 4 days ago

Wow she's... normal! A normal person! Donating now.

chuckuc , 4 days ago

A great interview with the best POTUS candidate I've seen since JFK. Thank you Glenn

Sumerian Hero , 3 days ago (edited)

There's a president we would be lucky to have

fabribeijing , 4 days ago

My favourite US journalist interviewing my favourite US Presidential Candidate

Nathan Shirley , 3 days ago

How many presidential candidates have the guts to sit down for an interview with Glenn Greenwald? Only one. Tulsi Gabbard. Excellent (and very challenging) questions from Greenwald -- great responses from Gabbard.

Notmi Relnam , 3 days ago

Any candidate the Intercept finds worth interviewing is worth my time to look into. Still a bit nervous about her glorification of military service but overall...

Jeremy , 4 days ago

Great interview! Asked many questions I wanted to hear answers to. Gives a great sense of Tulsi and where she stands on many issues with emphasis on foreign policy that seems to be ignored everywhere else. Thank you Glenn.

Avalaw 19 , 4 days ago

I only hope we can have her as our commander and chief in 2020.. In 2024 or 2028 it might be to late..TULSI2020

jenny hansen , 4 days ago

I heard she'll be back on Joe Rogan next week!

Anthony e , 4 days ago

She is so truthful, no BS like other politician's running.. she has no fear and more strength then anyone else including trump.

Captain Jax , 3 days ago

That was a great interview by Glenn Greenwald, he's one of my few top 3 journalist, which i've been following in recent month!

Gabby Hyman , 4 days ago

You go Tulsi. Amazing to listen to someone with ethics without sound bites and dog whistles.

I- , 4 days ago

Thank you for asking the tough questions Glenn. I really like Tulsi but the Modi questions had been long in the waiting. I'm glad she answered them the way she did.

[May 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard's Perfect Solution To Trump-Russia Collusion Allegations

Tulsi is one in a generation natural born diplomat !!! She found an interesting way to stress the value of her foreign policy credentials (which in general are not valued much by the US voters, who concentrate on internal problems) -- The US President is the Commander in Chief of the Nation.
For the majority of Americans Tulsi stands out. There's no one coming even close. Bernie is a good talker, but totally untrustworthy against DNC (folded in 2016 without a fight) as well as Israel's military aid and wars in ME.
Tulsi represents profiles in courage. She makes establishment candidate like Kamala look wanting. Of course the have support of neoliberal MSM, while Tulsi is ignored. Even Democratic establishment (read neocons) are hostile toward Tulsi. Implicitly they behave like "we don't want her muddying the waters".
Unfortunately there is a strong possibility that Tulsi will not be given a fair chance, the DNC under chairman Perez will stick to party hierarchy even if he claims otherwise....
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi is the only candidate in my lifetime who has had an actual demeanor worthy of global leadership. ..."
"... I LOVE her demeanor. She handles herself so well. She is calm & wise & fair. She will run circles @ the debates & not break a sweat! ..."
"... i am 76 and have never seen a politician of her caliber! ..."
"... So much capital was wasted on RussiaGate, but a totally legit SaudiGate scandal went ignored. 😔 ..."
"... TuIsi is in a league of her own. We are blessed. ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Guo Mashi , 3 weeks ago

Tulsi is the only candidate in my lifetime who has had an actual demeanor worthy of global leadership.

Dionora Ferrantino , 3 weeks ago

I LOVE her demeanor. She handles herself so well. She is calm & wise & fair. She will run circles @ the debates & not break a sweat!

dlee johnson , 3 weeks ago

i am 76 and have never seen a politician of her caliber!

MrFunnyGuy015 , 3 weeks ago

So much capital was wasted on RussiaGate, but a totally legit SaudiGate scandal went ignored. 😔

Captain Jax , 3 weeks ago

She's a rock start when it comes to stay on point with all these Fox News & other MSM pundits :)

JamesThomas , 3 weeks ago

She meditates every morning, and appears to have really taken it to heart. She's very grounded and does not allow the monkey-mind to run amuck.

AR Frances , 2 weeks ago

She gave a strong speech today at Brown University, good Q & A. Find it on Youtube!

Kristen 777 , 3 weeks ago

Democrats don't want auditable elections because they're in on election fraud in the districts of the party elites. Wasserman-Schultz is the queen of the sleazes.

Sarah Rose , 3 weeks ago

Niko- I have a line of questions I'm hoping you will address with Kulinski tomorrow & if it doesn't align with your perspective I respect that it's not something you want to ask & I'd be interested in hearing from you directly why you view it differently: I'm increasingly concerned over the weak opposition by many Sanders supporters over many of his positions these last few years.

It appears to me that Medicare for All has taken precedent over fighting the military industrial complex & the millions of lives abroad affected by it. This is not a trade-off for voters like me. It is true that he is better than most & he has a strong background but he used to push for 3rd parties. This has changed along with many other issues & I think anyone being honest with themselves know this to be true.

Beyond the excuses for his endorsement of Kissinger's proTPP Clinton, he has whitewashed Bush/Cheney, called Mad Dog Mattis "the adult in the room", gone along with Russiagate & even suggested some of his followers on Facebook were Russian trolls, given lipservice to the Venezuelan "humanitarian aid", been silent on Assange, & repeatedly ignored his base on all of the above. My questions are: How can progressives like this honestly trust Sanders to fight for truth on these fronts?

Why is getting Medicare for All more important than fighting against endless war? Is it possible that progressive media has done a disservice to electoral progress by framing it as Sanders being cheated in 2016 & not emphasizing that it was a greater betrayal of the VOTERS who were cheated? Saying that they will continue to push back on him in these areas where he is wrong strikes me as completely baseless given their inability to sway him these last few years. I'm tired of excuses & hoping for better answers than "it's his turn", "he had to tow the line", or "that's for Tulsi as VP/Secretary of State to do". Please & thank you!

Akbar, Allard Freichmann , 3 weeks ago

Tulsi and Bernie 2020. The Green New Deal for all.

Desecration , 2 weeks ago

Do a 1 to 2 minute setup, show the main piece/clip, then pontificate/summarize. I got so bored I left the PC, made coffee, came back and you still hadn't got to the point of the video 5 mins in. If you're doing a long-form stream then go with whatever. For these shorter topical videos you need a shorter intro or need to cut out the filler in the edit process. The long setup and unnecessary dramatic effect pauses will only irritate people that just want the important part of what you're presenting.

Rodney Mills , 3 weeks ago (edited)

I think support for Tulsi and Bernie can (and should) be congruent, especially since ideally for me, they are both on that ticket. Not gonna lie, I want him on the helm of it, but that's because then she gets a shot at a 10-year presidency. We need them both in that admin ASAP. Their policies are complimentary, not juxtaposed. They only make each other stronger. It's not a binary. I would be emphatic to vote for either one of them.

If she is still competitive on super Tuesday, she has my vote. Otherwise, I think if she does not carry the torch to the end, we need to be prepared to aggressively throw our weight behind Bernie Sanders in a stronger way than 2016. (I also like Marianne Williamson, but I don't think that's gonna happen.She got my dollar.)

We cannot roll over again. If they nominate Beto or Kamala or Booker, we have to walk. In droves. Bearing in mind 4 more years of Trump is better than 40 more years of being exploited by the democratic party for votes while not being heard. It's effectively (and literally) taxation without representation. It's aristocracy. It's bullshit. And if they nominate a moderate, we're gonna know they didn't fucking get it before.

Big G Haywood , 2 weeks ago

Commentators like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson appeal to people who don't have the intellectual capacity to know that they're being lied to by pseudo-intellectuals. I knew Jordan Peterson was one of these, when I first heard his analysis of Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground," one of my favorite novels.

Rebecca Brown , 2 weeks ago

TuIsi is in a league of her own. We are blessed.

Adam Reed , 1 week ago

I love your show brother. I found #Tulsi2020 because of Bari smearing her on jre. That led me to your show. Thanks for the help! Keep up the hard work. #Tulsi2020