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

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

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

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections) fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocons foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Bernie Sanders The Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Demexit
Neocons Obama: a yet another Neocon Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  New American Militarism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Myth about intelligent voter Electoral College Non-Interventionism US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

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

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

 

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

There are also addition questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democracy for whom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The myth about intelligent voters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

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

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

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

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

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

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[May 20, 2018] Far from "the intelligence community" believing any such thing, it was eventually admitted that a handful of picked individuals from three agencies (of the 16) had cautiously expressed that "belief" with the proviso that they acknowledged that they knew of no supporting evidence.

May 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Tom Welsh , May 17, 2018 at 9:46 am GMT

"John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections)".

Except that:

1. The paper's assertion was untrue (and known by the authors to be untrue). Far from "the intelligence community" believing any such thing, it was eventually admitted that a handful of picked individuals from three agencies (of the 16) had cautiously expressed that "belief" – with the proviso that they acknowledged that they knew of no supporting evidence. Presumably a handful of picked (and anonymous) individuals would be highly susceptible to bribery, blackmail, or a combination of the two.

2. The sentence quoted does not make it clear that, whereas the US government routinely manages and controls other countries' political affairs (it goes a very long way further than "tinkering") the alleged Russian "tinkering" was on a tiny scale, and had nothing to do with the Russian government.

Curmudgeon , May 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh

An assertion is less than an allegation. Both have some factual basis, however little that factual basis may be.
A belief is less than an assertion. A belief is based on faith. A factual basis is not necessary.
In other words, the document was a leap of faith.

[May 19, 2018] Krugman Cries Treason After Stefan Halper Outed As FBI Infiltrator, There's Just One Problem...

Humint on Trump election campaign staff is a the last nail in the coffin of the US republic, as we know it. This is essentially "national security state" mode of operation, where intelligence agencies are primary political force.
Notable quotes:
"... Times ..."
"... counterintelligence powers ..."
"... counterintelligence ..."
May 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
CIA and MI6 asset Stefan Halper as an FBI asset sent to infiltrate the Trump campaign has social media abuzz today. Reactions have ranged from celebration to outrage, with little inbetween.

To recap, after two weeks of hunting for a "mole" in the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post both printed incredibly detailed descriptions of Halper - printing all but his name, solidly corroborating a March report by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross about Halper's meetings with the Trump aides. Neither publication give Ross credit, of course.

Somehow several anti-Trump intellectuals got their wires crossed, conflating President Trump and Senate Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes' calls for transparency by the DOJ, with the actual media outlets that exposed Halper.

Senior Brookings Institute fellow, and James Comey's close friend, Benjamin Wittes is beside himself - angrily tweeting: " I have a whole lot to say about how the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the President of the United States teamed up to out an intelligence source ...," adding in a subsequent tweet "But I am too angry to write right now -- and Twitter is probably not the right forum. So I'll leave it at this for now: Important people defiled their oaths of office for these stories to appear."

... ... ...

along with senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan – who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.

Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin's Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano. Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship before joining the Clinton Campaign, he transferred 75,000 shares of Joule to his daughter through a shell company using her address.

We're sure the FBI was all over that...

AlaricBalth two hoots Permalink The Caller - flying him out to London to work on a policy paper on energy issues in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel - for which he was ultimately paid $3,000."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-19/fbi-spy-op-exposed-trump-camp

It would be interesting to find out through bank transaction records who reimbursed Halper for the $3,000 he paid Papadopoulos for this policy paper, which was clearly a ruse by Halper in an attempt to make Papadopoulos comfortable with him.

https://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/professor-stefan-halper

y3maxx AlaricBalth Permalink

"They will go down fighting trump six ways to sunday."

-Since there was no "criminal" Russia Gate proof,
the Dem's & Deep State moved to an "illegal" counter intelligence investigation against Trump.

-Bringing down Trump at any cost, fuck the constitution or laws, is ok in the Dem books.

-The louder the Left shrieks, the guiltier they are.

Sudden suicides, jumping off towers, car crashes or exiting the US begin in 3...2...1...

Posa LaugherNYC Permalink

"What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party's presidential campaign.

That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.

The Times barely mentions the word counterintelligence in its saga. That's not an accident. The paper is crafting the media-Democrat narrative."

Kayman AlaricBalth Permalink

They sure ain't the Obamas and the Clintons. Pallets of Cash purportedly flown to Iran, bullshit speeches for $500,000, millions thru their dirty Canadian conduit. Life sure was grand, selling out your country.

[May 18, 2018] Was it Trump political inexperience or yet another shrwed Obama-style bait and switch operation ?

Lemmings get what they deserve. Almost always as the iron law of oligarchy implies. Period of revolution and social upheaval are probably the only exceptions.
In 2018 there is no doubt that Trump is an agent of Deep State, and probably the most militant part of neocons. What he the agent from the beginning or not is not so important. He managed to fool electorate with false promises like Obama before him and get elected.
May 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

bowie28 -> The First Rule Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:18 Permalink

" Of course it was setup. Rod Rosenstein & Co. have been in on this from the beginning. "

Rosenstein was appointed by Trump. If he is involved in a setup it's more likely it is a setup organized by Trump. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Rosenstein

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. [25] [26] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017, to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions ; Trump declined his resignation. [ 27] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6

In May 2017, he authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey . [5] Later that month, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters.

Ask yourself why Sessions ordered Rosenstein to resign and Trump declined his resignation? Likely because Sessions was recused from Russia investigation and could not be told Rosenstein was working for Trump from day 1.

(Mueller also met with Trump the day before Rosenstein appointed him SC.)

Also relevant, Rosenstein is Republican and in 2007/8 was blocked from getting a seat on appeals court by Dems. Doesn't seem he would be loyal to the Obama crowd and trying to take down Trump with a phony investigation.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit . Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Barbara Mikulski and new Democratic Maryland senator, Ben Cardin , blocked Rosenstein's confirmation, stating that he did not have strong enough Maryland legal ties, [24] and due to this Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing on Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Later, Andre M. Davis was renominated to the same seat by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.

Kayman -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Rosenstein slithered in via Sessions.

Withdrawn Sanction -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 18:16 Permalink

"...a cabal of ruthless and dishonest people..."

You better believe it. What's happened to the NYC detectives who viewed the "insurance policy" on Weiner's laptop? The kiddie stuff is the real hot potato here. The power "elite" are pure unadulterated filth.

rosiescenario -> WarPony Fri, 05/18/2018 - 15:55 Permalink

Yes....when you start to add up various facts coming from this investigation it is easy to argue that the prime beneficiary has been Trump. Why would Trump even consider firing this guy? The more Mueller digs the more crap surfaces about the Dems, and they are in full support of it without any seeming awareness of the results. They are so blinded by their hatred they cannot see reality.

The info from Weiner's computer is really going to make for major popcorn sales. All Hitlery's "lost" emails are in there. All the names in his address book will also make for some interesting reading. Just a guess but there are a lot of very nervous NYC elected officials and pedos making sure their passports are up to date. The Lolita Express to Gitmo....

GoingBig -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:22 Permalink

You guys see everything through Trump colored glasses. Trump is dirty and just because the evidence hasn't been shown to you doesn't mean it isn't there. Mueller has the dirt on Trump. It will show. Does everyone here forget that Watergate took 2 1/2 years to play out?

Kayman -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

Watergate was about a burglary and missing tapes.

It wasn't about the Department of Justice and the FBI being rotten to the core.

Emergency Ward -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

Being in the business he is in, there is little doubt that Trump has paid out millions of dollars over the years in bribes and payoffs to greedy politicians, regulators, and zoning commissioners given to filthy lucre in return for building permits, zoning variances, and law changes.

I know he is but what are they? This could be one reason the politicians, regulators, and zoning commissioners hate him so much. He knows what they know.

Trump is no dirtier than other politicians and much less than some. He is just dirty in a way (he was usually the payer, they were the payees) that bothers the other ones.

Honest Sam -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

All politicians and most of humanity 'is dirty'.

There is no man or woman who has or ever will run for office that is not dirty.

As Dershowitz so acutely pointed out, every one of them with an opposition Special Counsel on his case, can find at least 3 crimes they committed.

The only reason theBamster wasn't probed at all is because no one dared go after the only black man to ever run and win for POTUS. HE instead, was protected from any probes.

You're an idiot that doesn't know anything about what this is really all about. Or pretending to. Or a troll. Fuck you for being any of them.

jmack -> One of We Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:13 Permalink

Obama has a history of taking out his opponents in their personal life, so that he doesnt have to meet them in the political arena, just look at his state campaigns, and then his senate campaign. Look at how he used the bureaucracy during his admin to preempt opposition, not allowing opposition groups to get tax exempt status and sending osha/fbi/treasury etc to harrass people that were more than marginally effective.

With that context set I would like to know the following.

1. Did the brennan/comey/clapper cabal have investigations running on all the gop primary front runners?

2. Did they promote Trump to win the GOP primary, to eliminate those rivals from consideration, just to attempt to destroy him in the general with the russian collusion narrative and his own words.

3. Was Comey's failure to ensure Hillary's victory due to incompetence or arrogance? I say arrogance, because his little late day announcement of the new emails was obviously ass covering so that he could pass whatever senate hearing that would be required for his new post in the hillary administration.

NoDebt Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:04 Permalink

Having to learn how to deal with mobbed-up lawyers and unions in NYC turns out the be pretty damned good preparation to be President Of The United States. I love watching this guy work.

DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

The illegitimate liberal MSM is sucking all the oxygen out of the room for legitimate criticism of Trump. This Russian Collusion stormy daniels stuff is a bunch of bologna, and it's making a smokescreen for Trump to carry out his zio-bankster agenda.

Hegelian dialectic, Divide and conquer, kabuki theater

A real left would be covering this===>

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-15/no-one-watched-trump-pardoned
As No One Watched, Trump Pardoned 5 Megabanks For Corruption Charges

Buy they won't because there is no left or right. It's one big uniparty club, and they work together to rob us and lie to us.

Picturing The March Of Tyranny | Zero Hedge

DingleBarryObummer -> brain_glitch Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:11 Permalink

In the second half of peter schiff's most recent podcast he goes on a good rant/lecture about this topic.

I know Peter Schiff is a controversial figure, and I don't agree with a lot of what he does or says, but sometimes he nails it.

Rex Titter -> DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

For the most part I like Peter Schiff. I don't think he talks enough about the criminal manipulation of commodities by the banksters and the seemingly endless reluctance by our glorious leaders to prosecute them.

On this topic: The lawlessness of the 17 agencies is beyond the pale. They have set themselves apart and for this they will have to pay eventually. I have no doubt that in the minds of the Bureau principals there was motive and there was opportunity. I don't believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Robert Mueller is a three letter word for a donkey. He is a criminal and a totally owned puppet of the deep and dark state. Last I heard, the FBI planted a mole in the Trump campaign. Iff true, that speaks volumes...

Pollygotacracker Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

It is amazing that President Trump is still standing on his feet and still out there swinging. The man is no coward. I'm glad I voted for him, although I am disappointed in some of his failings.

Son of Captain Nemo -> Pollygotacracker Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:56 Permalink

"although I am disappointed in some of his failings."...

Yeah I know just what ya mean...

The treason of war crimes he's committed exceeding all of his predecessor(s) in his short assed existence as President and threatening war on two nuclear superpowers that could easily wipe his office and 4 thousand square miles of CONUS " off the map "!...

Endorsing a torturer murder to head the CIA condoning her efforts in public "thumbing his nose" at Article 3 Geneva the U.S. Constitution and for his military to tacitly continue disobeying the UCMJ as a response to that "selection"!...

Telling the parasitic partner that owns him through blackmail that Jerusalem is the Capital of IsraHell as over 200 Palestinians are murdered and 3 thousand others injured in joyous celebration of that violation of international law which is the equivalent of pouring "gasoline" on a building that has already been reduced to "ash"...

And speaking of "buildings" and "ash"... The pledge he ignored before being "anointed" that he said he would investigate but of course DID NOT ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-inve )

... ... ...

ioniancat21 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

They didn't really think things through when they plotted against Trump and figured Hillary would win and they could sweep this under the rug and then she lost. Funnier is that many expected her to lose as she never won an election in her life despite her being "The Most Qualified" candidate as her parrots in the media lovingly called her. Now Trump and his team will stomp them all into the ground. My guess is that he'll pinch others in her gang who have big egos so that they'll talk and drop a dime which they will. The libtards are turning on themselves in every area now. Look at Hollywood and the sexual harassment cases in the pipeline.

It's just so pleasurable watching your enemy fall on their sword while you sit back and enjoy life and smile....

Chief Joesph Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:21 Permalink

Was the Trump campaign "Set-up"? It's just another way the oligarchy is deflecting what the real problem is. Americans are fed up with the political status quo in this country, and wanted a change. Neither political party offers any change for the better. It is also why Bernie Sanders had a huge following, but no one is calling his campaign a "set-up", and he would have been the more likely choice the Russians would have helped.

It really doesn't make any sense why the Russians would have selected Trump, but it makes a lot of sense why the oligarchy would want to discredit Trump any means availble to them. And since they have always hated Russia so much, that is the big tip-off of who comes up with these stupid stories about Russians meddling in our elections.

GRDguy Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

We voted against the powers that be. With Truman, we got a decent man that was manipulated by the Deep State. With Trump, we got a not-so-decent man, but still manipulated by the Deep State. Sigh.

hooligan2009 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

there needs to be a schedule drawn up of charges against individuals. it's all very well talking and talking anf talking around the water cooler, but until the charges are drawn up and a grand jury empowered, it is all pissing into the wind.

the individuals range from obama through clinton, through the loathsome slimebags in the alphabet soup, through foundations, through DNC leaders/politicians, through Weiner, Abedin, Rice and the witches cabal (Wasserstein Schulz etc), UK intel agencies, awan brothers, pakistan intel supplying Iran with classified documents and so on.

there are charges (of treason, sedition, wilful mishandling of classifed documents, bribery, corruption, murder, child trafficking, election rigging, spying for/collusion with foreign powers, funding terrorism, child abuse, election rigging/tampering, misappropriation of federal funds, theft etc as well as general malfeasance, failure to perform duties and so on) that are not being brought that are so obvious, only a snowflake would miss them.

what charges can be brought against the MSM for propaganda, misdirection, lying, fabrication and attempting to ovetthrow a legitimately elected president using these techniques to further their own ends? there is no freedom of the press to lie and further civil unrest.

a list of charges against individuals in the DNC/alphabet soup is what is needed. if the DoJ is so incompetent or corrupt that it is unable to do its job, private law suits need to be brought to get all the facts out in the open.

someone needs to write the book and make it butt hole shaped to shove up all those that try to make a living out of making up gossip in the NYT, WaPo, CNN, BBC, Economist, Madcow, SNL, Oliver and so on.

these people are guilty of being assholes and need their assholes (mouths) plugged with a very think fifteen inch book.

Anonymous_Bene Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

Divide and conquer playing out in front of your faces. Trump, Hitlary, Obama, DiGenova, Giuliani, etc. etc...all "deep state".

Mission accomplished.

Anonymous_Bene Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:01 Permalink

It's amazing that you fools still believe in your hearts that Trump is not a deep stater. LOL

insanelysane -> Anonymous_Bene Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

Trump might become a deep stater but he definitely wasn't one of them. Google "offer to pay trump to drop out of election" and see how many stories there were. Here is one of them.

http://fortune.com/2017/12/05/donald-trump-2016-race-mike-pence-preside

RedDwarf Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:45 Permalink

"At some point, the Russia investigation became political. How early was it?"

I am going to go out on the shortest limb in history and say it was political from the beginning.

insanelysane Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

I hope someone writes a book on this with all of the timing and all of the "little" things that happened on the way to the coronation of Hillary. Comey "interviews" Hillary on 4th of July weekend. Wraps up case by 9am Tuesday after 4th of July. By noon, Hillary and Obama are on Air Force 1 to begin campaign. Within a few weeks Seth Rich is dead and DWS avoids being "killed in an armed robbery gone bad" when she steps down as head of DNC. Above article forgets to mention that GPS also hired the wife of someone in the government as part of the "fact gathering" team.

[May 18, 2018] Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan s Denial of Reliance on Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying. ..."
"... This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. ..."
"... Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, ..."
"... They're covering up an attempted coup. ..."
"... essions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. ..."
"... It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle. ..."
"... They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. ..."
"... It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton. ..."
"... I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey. ..."
"... The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. ..."
"... And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out. ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. ..."
"... Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins. ..."
"... I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." ..."
"... Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam? ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch. ..."
"... There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks ..."
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. ..."
"... FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign. ..."
"... If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan's insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA . And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on "some of the substantive content of the dossier." Without elaborating, he maintained that "we were able to corroborate" certain allegations.

These accounts are at odds with Brennan's May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on "Meet the Press."

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn't as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment "didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."

Here and in photo at top, from left, the National Security Agency Director, Adm. Michael Rogers; FBI Director James Comey; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, testifying before the

The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that "Vladimir Putin ordered" the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails "to help Trump's chances of victory" have driven the "Russia collusion" narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.

Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies -- the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.

While faulting Clapper for not following intelligence community tradecraft standards that Clapper himself ordered in 2015, the House Intelligence Committee's 250-page report also found that the ICA did not properly describe the "quality and credibility of underlying sources" and was not "independent of political considerations."

In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. "Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group," said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. "It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies," he added. "Why were DHS and DIA excluded?"

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was "manipulated" to reach a "predetermined political conclusion" that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

"I've never viewed the ICA as credible," the CIA veteran added.

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

Last year, Strzok was reassigned to another department and removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages he wrote to another investigator during the 2016 campaign were discovered by the Justice Department's inspector general. Strzok remains under IG investigation, along with other senior FBI officials, for possible misconduct.

Strzok led the FBI's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia during 2016, including obtaining electronic surveillance warrants on Carter Page and other campaign advisers. The Page warrant relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the Democratic Party-funded dossier.

Brennan has sworn the dossier was not "in any way" used as a basis for the ICA. He explains he heard snippets of the dossier from the press in the summer of 2016, but insists he did not see it or read it for himself until late 2016. "Brennan's claims are impossible to believe," Fleitz asserted.

"Brennan was pushing the Trump collusion line in mid-2016 and claimed to start the FBI collusion investigation in August 2016," he said. "It's impossible to believe Brennan was pushing for this investigation without having read the dossier."

He also pointed out that the key findings of the ICA match the central allegations in the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee concluded that Brennan, who previously worked in the White House as Obama's deputy national security adviser, created a "fusion cell" on Russian election interference made up of analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, who produced a series of related papers for the White House during the 2016 campaign.

Less than a month after Trump won the election, Obama directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election and produce a single, comprehensive assessment. Obama was briefed on the findings, along with President-elect Trump, in early January.

"Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a 'credible source,' which is how they viewed Steele," said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources."

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful. Several prominent Washington news outlets had access to the dossier during the 2016 campaign -- or at least portions of it -- but also could not confirm Steele's allegations. So they shied away from covering them. All that changed in early January 2017, after CNN and The Washington Post learned through Obama administration leaks that the CIA had briefed the president and president-elect about them. Then the allegations became a media feeding frenzy. On Jan. 11, 2017, within days of the dossier briefings and release of the declassified ICA report, BuzzFeed published virtually all of the dossier memos on its website.

The House committee found "significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and "many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.

When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied "discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists." But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the "dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper," and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published an article by Tapper and others about the dossier briefings sourced to "multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings." Tapper shared a byline with lead writer Evan Perez, a close friend of the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired Steele as a subcontractor on the dossier project.

The next day, Clapper expressed his "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press," while stressing that "I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC." A month after his misleading testimony to House investigators, Clapper joined CNN as a "national security analyst."

Attempts to reach Clapper for comment were unsuccessful.


Tom JonesLeader 3d

My, My, My.....what a tangled web they weave. Interesting that both Rogers and Clapper indicated the dossier was part of the assessment and Brennan does not. All while Obama was assuring the public that in no way could Russia impact our elections. With the recent allegations of a plant in the Trump campaign organization and the continued reluctance of the DOJ to release documents, it's becoming more evident by the day of significant irregularities that took place. Certainly, one would hope that only under the most severe probabilities would a President allow his intelligence agencies to spy on an opponents campaign....but it's looking more and more like it was an intended political operation rather than a national security issue. And if so, it's a direct threat to our democracy and should be addressed with the full power and legal impact of our judicial system. If it was political, EVERYONE involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and they should spend significant time behind bars.
magic_worker 1d
In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying.

This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. Did it start the second a billionaire stepped on the escalator or before? - Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, Don't fall for the golly gee Obama knew nothing Schultz defense. - Awan's were hired by Obama to run the DNC server, you really don't think Debbie hired them do you? ... See more

Rosa1984 Leader 3d
They're covering up an attempted coup. What we've witnessed the past 15 months is HORRIFIC, Deeply Disturbing, and a Threat to the U.S. We CANNOT allow Democrats and Deep State to get away with this.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d Edited
Did you know the President was in Nevada and Las Vegas during the Mandalay Assassination? Err, I mean the mass shooting by an FBI informant, of course. We assume Trump is free to govern. Why? If the Deep State owns the FBI, CIA, NSA and the most powerful weapon on Earth, the IRS. Martial Law of all Security clearance holders who are still alive "off" the books or not. Operative word is "Ex" spooks and their active psychopath cousins in the Military Industrial Complex.
Peps Leader 3d
All of which means precisely nothing, because Sessions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. So, once again, if you are a high-ranking DC insider, you can commit a felony for which any average citizen would be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, and do so with absolute, arrogant impunity, regardless of which party is technically in charge of the Department of Justice.
KathyMcP 3d
What is the limitation period for a perjury charge???
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
What is the limitations period for sedition, treason, conspiring to interfere with a presidential election, conspiring to overturn the results of an American presidential election, obstruction of justice, illegal abuse of the FISA process, perjury in sworn testimony and in the FISA process, etc.
Sam Hyde Leader 3d Edited
Mr. Clapper, did you leak any information on the briefings that took place with the President and President-elect? Clapper: Not wittingly. How many times has this guy committed perjury and gotten away with it? lol
Carolinatarheel Leader 3d
Obama lowered the bar substantially for ethical standards and telling the truth! Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous! Mueller and Comey are dirty cops! ...
chris_zzz Leader 3d
It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle.

They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. Congressional investigators as well as the relevant IGs need to look at whether Obama himself, as well as the White House staff, engineered the Trump/Russia collusion hocus-pocus. It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton.

Greg Bed 2d
I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey.
GameTime68 Leader 3d
How much more of this are we going to have to read about before someone with authority begins investigating this entire sordid mess? Until someone is indicated and charged with something, there is no incentive for the truth - just more media stories about conflicting congressional testimony, colleague disagreements on the veracity of statements, and so forth. Those of us who sat through Watergate were not naive enough to think it was a one-off. What is Sessions doing? Where is the special investigator for Dossiergate?
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d
The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. Do we really think they stopped at only the level of the DNC Primaries? I wish to be that naive so my love for America was still alive and not dead like Seth Rich. The low lives could not even cheat well, but not from lack of trying.
GameTime68 Leader span 3d
And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out.
Old Paratrooper Contributor 3d
Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. But I suspect the conspiracy went to the White House. Didn't Page say that the President "wanted to know everything we do"? And I suspect that Susan Rice, Valarie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes left fingerprints all over this crime.
chris_zzz Leader span oper 3d
The NSA director at the time, Adm. Rogers, reportedly visited Trump (without Clapper's authorization) during the transition to inform Trump about the FBI's surveillance of his operation. The next day Trump tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower.
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins.
carolinaswampfox Leader span oper 3d
--and BHO communicated with Hillary at her private email address. The computers were smashed and bleach bit and Comey and company obstructed justice in whitewashing the Clinton investigation because all roads lead to BHO.
Right-Here; Right Now ! Influencer 3d
The cogent fact is that none of that matters since the entire premise is that the Russians hacked the emails.....the ENTIRE Russia collusion theory collapses without the hacking of emails. And of course the Russians did not hack the DNC emails (time stamps on the meta data PROVE that they were copied at speeds too fast for any internet hack) ....they were downloaded on site on to a portable storage devise. We Know that the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, (why would any "victim," of a crime refuse to cooperate with investigators?) Even more remarkable, experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." Brennan Clapper and Comey ALL testified to congress that the CIA...and many others.. had this capability to leave "fingerprints" of whomever they wished to implicate. Moreover, for what it is worth, Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia "or any state actor" was the source of the stolen DNC data published by WikiLeaks...but rather a staffer who passed a portable drive on the Mall in DC I think its safe to assume that the downloading was done by Imran Awan who we KNOW had access and we KNOW downloaded material and we KNOW used unauthorized methods to access unauthorized areas of Congressional servers and TOTAL ... See more
James Fitzpatrick Influencer span Right Now ! 3d Edited
I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." This is a case that requires a bull dog, not Droopy Dog. It's got murder, blackmail, extortion, Deep State conspiracy, high treason, low-level corruption, perverted sex cults... c'mon! Why are we still hearing about how a Senator met a Russian Ambassador at a meet-and-greet?! This is real drama!
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span atrick 3d
They are mocking Seth Rich as the Russian Hacker. They keep dragging this kids hard work through the mud!
JayTeigh Leader span Right Now ! 3d
I think you're right about Awan being the hacker. I now wonder if the somehow sold the emails to someone who sent them to Assange.
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Here are some things that need investigation:
  1. Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam?
  2. Russia expert Nellie Ohr was hired by FusionGPS during the launch of the Steele scam. But she was CIA. Was Fusion itself a rogue CIA shell org? And nobody seems to get the connection to the CIA OpenSource hackers' toolbox that was leaked into the wild, just as the "resist" people were expressing concern that THEY would lose access to these spying malware products and could no longer spy on Trump. And who worked for the OpenSource project? Why, Nellie Ohr, of course. Funny.
pmidas span atrick 3d
Didn't Nellie state in some format that "i am going to be purchasing short-wave radios for our communications going forward"....?
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Yes. One of many attempts to dodge a trail for investigators, oversight and FOIA.
BorisBadinov Leader 3d
Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span v 3d
General Flynn was the main crusader for our children's dignity. The son of a b*censured*ich is still fighting for them!
Grandmother of 7 Contributor 3d
May Brennan and all his cohorts, including Obama, rot from the inside out because I doubt anything we could punish them with would be enough. They did more damage to the Republic than Osama bin Laden and his ilk ever could.
Mcgovern72 Leader 3d
The Clap-Man and Jimmy the B continue to be the best sources of intrigue on the whole collusion confusion, huh? Their legacy tarnished by all the lies, they now get to spew it on 'fake news', further tarnishing the credibility of 'faux news'. Brilliant!!
Sam Hyde Leader span 3d Edited
DNI Clapper doing what DNI Clapper does best. I can see him rubbing his greasy egg head right now for not having his story straight.
dadling 3d
There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks.....there is NO Law in America...the people are still asleep and have yet to be roused. However, when they do wake up, pitchforks, tar & feathers will be the order of the day for these criminals.
dawg1234 3d
Ouch! Quite a scathing article from Real Clear! Impressive! Brennan? Brennan? Calling Mister, John, Brennan! LOL, this is getting fun!
cjones1 Leader 3d
The plot thickens!
leestauf4 Leader 2d
The democrats accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to get elected, have ZERO proof of it after two years of trying to invent it, and yet it is a proven fact that Hillary and the DNC, through the middlemen Fusion GPS and Steele, COLLUDED with and paid high level Russian officials millions of dollars to produce the "salacious and completely unverified dossier" (Comey's words), in an attempt to throw our election like they did in their own primary, and to then try to impeach a constitutionally elected president with the same Russian supplied lies when that failed! So where was the actual collusion with the enemy? And why is Mueller completely ignoring those facts?
jrc_mrc 2d
Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. In 2001, following the original 9/11 mass murder by the Muslim jihadists, President Bush asked the FBI to track the movements of likely Muslim jihadists; Comey and Mueller refused that request on the basis that such tracking would be "un-American". The jihadist mass murders of Americans in Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino are therefore the direct result of that irresponsible refusal. In 2004 Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to the accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Back a year or two ago, FBI director Comey announced that despite the evidence of "extreme negligence" by Hillary Clinton and her top aides regarding the handling of classified information through her unprotected private email server, the FBI would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department since it was just a case of innocent negligence.
jrc_mrc 2d
FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign.

The FBI is no longer a legitimate or competent law enforcement agency. The FBI has become nothing more than a bunch of goons for the DNC and the Democrat Party. The FBI should now be considered a domestic corrupt terrorist organization. Due to the FBI's corruption and political affiliation with the Democrat Party, they should no longer have jurisdiction over a single American citizen. Comey is now guilty of treason by default and association. He has violated his sworn oath and must be removed. "Yes – Hillary Clinton is guilty but we will not recommend prosecution" – he declared to the congressional inquiry with a straight face. In other words, and for all practical purposes our FBI had become the American KGB.

KenPittman 2d
Clapper, Brennan and Comey have al likely retained legal counsel as Nunes has brilliantly followed the trail methodically backwards to the source. The Ohr couple, the intercepts of Strzok and the common denominators linking Stefan Halper are going to rock the Deep State to its foundation. Thankfully there are enough patriots in Washington to continue to outflank the framing of the POTUS.
johnmike 2d
The butts of Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should be hauled before a Grand Jury by John Huber, the US Attorney, as stated by Joe DiGenova. I believe all three are enemies of the US and the biggest threats to our constitutional republic. Brennan once voted for a communist. All three are pathological liars...it's scary that these three scumbags held the highest and most critical intelligence and law enforcement positions in the nation.
Ralph Lynch Contributor 1d
If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution.

[May 18, 2018] The Steele Dossier the Intelligence Community Assessment by Jeff Carlson, CFA

May 15, 2018 | www.themarketswork.com

An article, Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier , caught the attention of a bunch of folks:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

As a result of the article, I'm re-upping relevant portions from a February 23, 2108 post, Did Brennan & Clapper Use the Steele Dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We've long suspected that Clapper and Brennan were already ensnared in the Inspector General's Investigation – see John Brennan & James Clapper – Complicity, Lies & Bill Priestap .

Clapper was the architect of the report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections . I've previously discussed the report here and here .

Clapper's Assessment Report was the third in series of reports – each building on the other.

The first report, an assessment of Russian Intervention, was made in an October 7, 2016, Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noting the Intelligence Community was confident of Russian involvement in our election.

Later testimony by our various Intelligence Directors confirmed that Russia is always involved in Presidential elections.

The October report was followed up by a December 29, 2016, Joint Analysis by Homeland Security and the FBI titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity .

This report was meant to directly tie Russian hacking to the election.

What the report actually did was use technical language to describe a generalized hacking process – and the means by which hacking and phishing can be generally prevented.

I strongly encourage you to read the report. Its lack of actual detail is eye-opening.

FBI Russian Hacking Report by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd

[May 18, 2018] In fact the Intelligence Community Assessment was the work product of two of Brennan's analysts

Notable quotes:
"... The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE). ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The President is not CinC of the US, by W. Patrick Lang - The Unz Review

3. John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections). The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE).

Clapper gave it his imprimatur as Director of National Intelligence but Admiral Rogers at the National Security Agency could not get his people to express more than limited confidence in the document. DIA, State Department INR, the Army, Navy, Air Force and other agencies were either not consulted or did not deign to "sign on." Donald J Trump thinks this is a "rum deal," a phony politically motivated procedure run by a group of "hacks". Why would he not think that? The reaction of the Left is to excoriate him for his lack of "respect", for the people who "cooked up" this document. We should remember that the people who "cooked" the document have no legal or constitutional existence outside the framework of the Executive Branch. Any president, in any circumstance could dismiss them all at will. No president is under any obligation at all to accept their opinion or that of anyone in the Executive Branch on anything. They are his advisers and subordinates, tools in his kit box, and that is all they are.

[May 04, 2018] Memo to Trump Defy Robert Mueller by Patrick J. Buchanan

The shadow of 9/11 hangs over Mueller. The Deep State keeps him by the balls and wants results. And that means impeachment.
CIA-democrats which now is the ruling wing of Democratic Party wants to get to power but they have no that many viable candidates for midterm elections. If they overplay their hand then the attempt to cover betrayal of ordinary Americans with former military CIA candidates might backfire.
Notable quotes:
"... By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation. ..."
"... For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC. ..."
"... Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice? ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify before a grand jury, Trump should defy the Court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions -- to which they already know the answers -- any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller's team has all the answers in advance while he must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired national security advisor General Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in sacking FBI director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller's problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned.

Would a new Congress really impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would be a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital's elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it's looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the "deep state" and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear on the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win: an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Sid Finster May 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/gaius-publius-setting-perjury-trap-trump.html
swb , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Pat is correct, Trump should try to avoid answering any questions as he is incapable of keeping his lies straight. He can't even keep then straight in two consecutive sentences. A couple of hours of answering questions will result in a incoherent transcript that will take many teams of layers years to decipher.
Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Pat, I'm with you 100%!

Somebody should have said this a long time ago:

"Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned."

The Deep State, the mainstream media, Establishment Democrats, and (yes) Establishment Republicans have been conspiring to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election since the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016.

But we're not going to let that happen!

You're right, Pat, that "Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time."

Yes! If we have to go into the streets to protect our duly-elected President and our country, then we will take the fight into the streets.

If we don't stand and fight now, we'll lose our country! It's that simple!

Sign me up! I'm ready!

Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm
Pat is right: "The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap."

A good example of this came this morning at the Paul Manafort trial in federal court in Virginia, where Judge T.S. Ellis III scolded Mueller's prosecuters:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud. You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment I don't see what relationship this indictment [against Manafort] has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate."

Ken Zaretzke , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
Because Mueller's entire team consists of Democrats, who are presumptively partisan, his investigation lacks even *prima facie* credibility.

It would be nice if Trump's team makes this point. Rudy G. could explain to dimwitted journos, "That means 'on its face.' The point being, what kind of charade is this investigation, and what kind of person doesn't think it's inevitably a charade?"

Dan Green , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm
The longer the left pursues this impeachment strategy the bigger hole they are digging for themselves. They never come forth with our Obama replacement or a plan.

[May 03, 2018] Alert The Clintonian empire is still here and tries to steal the popular vote throug

Highly recommended!
The dramatic rise fo the number of CIA-democrats as candidates from Democratic Party is not assedental. As regular clintonites are discredited those guys can still appeal to patriotism to get elected.
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests! ..."
"... Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries. ..."
"... After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire. ..."
"... It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote. ..."
"... This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq. ..."
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing

globinfo freexchange

During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.

Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!

Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.

After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.

It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.

Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:

One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?

Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?

By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.

Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "

This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.

Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.

It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.

When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "

However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.

Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of éminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.

By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .

And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.

In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .

It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .

One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.

Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.

And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?

In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.

What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .

Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser

[May 02, 2018] Sanders was arguably a moderate populist hoping to ameliorate the bad effects of capitalism by addressing its more obvious social consequences of its logic in a way that has already been done by every other developed nation. That's why he was/is unacceptable to neoliberal even as sheep dog

May 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

WJ , May 1, 2018 4:04:06 PM | 36

4) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the "Birthers".

His cabinet was handpicked by Citibank! He didn't need to be "kept in line" at all.

Sanders was arguably a moderate populist hoping to ameliorate the bad effects of capitalism by addressing its more obvious social consequences of its logic in a way that has already been done by every other developed nation. In all these nations he is a somewhat hawkish centrist. But he did raise a TON of money without needing to take donations from mega super PACs and oligarchs; hence his candidacy was a threat to the oligarchy's total ownership of US politics. This ownership is what enables the Israel lobby and others to take hold so easily in the first place, and so it was never going to end well for Sanders -- even assuming he was not just a sheep dog.

I could live in a country where actual left leaning and right leaning people worked out their differences via the democratic process. I am left leaning--well, way left leaning--but I am perfectly willing to engage right leaning people in the procedures of political compromise. But there is no such compromise available because the US is not a democratic representative republic but an oligarchy, pure and simple.

[May 01, 2018] It is disgusting how anti-war pre-president Trump becomes Hillary copycat after election: another Obama-style bait and switch maneuver to deceive US electorate

Notable quotes:
"... disgusting how anti-war pre-president trump becomes military pandering trumpanyahoo after election...his handlers, knowing he will need them in the near future, set him to constantly stroke the military every opportunity he has... ..."
"... The Western globalist billionaires and elites are ultimately responsible for any aggression coming from Israel. If they can conquer and control Iran and take over its oil and gas reserves, risking the fate of the millions of people in Iran, Syria and in Israel, then the losses to them will be incidental. ..."
"... I'm sure I'm missing some of the many "dots" but it logic suggests that both Obama and Trump are faux populists that - at least in foreign policy (where Presidential powers are greatest) - are greatly influenced by foreign(albeit "allied") interests. ..."
"... IMO Apologists for the faux populists also play an important part. They respond voraciously to the "crazy opposition" and thereby keep alive faith in the faux hero. ..."
"... Faux populist leaders seem to be a natural fit for our inverted totalitarian form of government. Perhaps any Empire will naturally gravitate to such a compromised government? Funny thing is, most Americans would say that USA is NOT an Empire. ..."
May 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Not that there was much doubt who was behind it, but two days after "enemy" warplanes attacked a Syrian military base near Hama on Sunday, killing at least 11 Iranians and dozens of others, and nobody had yet "claimed responsibility" the attack, US officials told NBC that it was indeed Israeli F-15 fighter jets that struck the base, NBC News reported .

Ominously, the officials said Israel appears to be preparing for open warfare with Iran and is seeking U.S. help and support .

"On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now," said one senior U.S. official.

The US officials told NBC that Israeli F-15s hit Hama after Iran delivered weapons to a base that houses Iran's 47th Brigade, including surface-to-air missiles. In addition to killing two dozen troops, including officers, the strike wounded three dozen others. The report adds that the U.S. officials believe the shipments were intended for Iranian ground forces that would attack Israel.

Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday, the Syrian army said early on Monday that "enemy" rockets struck military bases belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. According to several outlets, the strikes targeted the 47th Brigade base in the southern Hama district, a military facility in northwestern Hama and a facility north of the Aleppo International Airport.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel on Tuesday morning had four problems, one more than the day before: "Iran, Iran, Iran and hypocrisy." The comment came one day after Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu "revealed" a cache of documents the Mossad stole from Iran detailing the country's nuclear program, which however critics said were i) old and ii) not indicative of Iran's current plans.

"This is the same Iran that cracks down on freedom of expression and on minorities. The same Iran that tried to develop nuclear weapons and entered the [nuclear] deal for economic benefits," Lieberman said.

"The same Iran is trying to hide its weapons while everyone ignores it. The state of Israel cannot ignore Iran's threats, Iran, whose senior officials promise to wipe out Israel," he said. "They are trying to harm us, and we'll have a response.

Iran's Defense Minister Amir Khatami threatened Israel on Tuesday, saying it should stop its "dangerous behavior" and vowing that the "Iranian response will be surprising and you will regret it." Khatami's remarks came Following Netanyahu's speech which Khatami described as Israeli "provocative actions," and two days after the strikes in Syria.

* * *

Meanwhile, in a potential hint at the upcoming conflict, Haaretz writes that two and a half weeks after the bombing in which seven members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed at the T4 base in Syria, Israel is bracing for an Iranian retaliation for the Syrian strikes (and if one isn't forthcoming, well that's what false flags are for).

As Haaretz writes, the Iranians' response, despite their frequent threats of revenge, is being postponed, screwing up Iran's war planning. It's also possible that as time passes, Tehran is becoming more aware of the possible complex consequences of any action. Still, the working assumption of Israeli defense officials remains that such a response is highly probable.

The Iranians appear to have many options. Revenge could come on the Syrian border, from the Lebanese border via Hezbollah, directly from Iran by the launch of long-range missiles, or against an Israeli target abroad. In past decades Iran and Hezbollah took part, separately and together, in two attacks in Argentina, a suicide attack in Bulgaria and attempts to strike at Israeli diplomats and tourists in countries including India, Thailand and Azerbaijan.

In any case, Lebanon seems all but out of bounds until the country's May 6 parliamentary elections, and amid Hezbollah's fear of being portrayed as an Iranian puppet. The firing of missiles from Iran would exacerbate the claims about Tehran's missile project a moment before a possible U.S. decision on May 12 to abandon the nuclear agreement. Also, a strike at a target far from the Middle East would require long preparation.

* * *

For now, an Israeli war with Iran in Syria is far from inevitable: the clash of intentions is clear: Iran is establishing itself militarily in Syria and Israel has declared that it will prevent that by force. The question, of course, is whether this unstable equilibrium will devolve into a lethal escalation, or if it will somehow be resolved through peaceful negotiation. Unfortunately, in the context of recent events, and the upcoming breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal, the former is looking like the most likely outcome.

BullyBearish -> FireBrander Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

disgusting how anti-war pre-president trump becomes military pandering trumpanyahoo after election...his handlers, knowing he will need them in the near future, set him to constantly stroke the military every opportunity he has...

Chupacabra-322 -> BullyBearish Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

The Western globalist billionaires and elites are ultimately responsible for any aggression coming from Israel. If they can conquer and control Iran and take over its oil and gas reserves, risking the fate of the millions of people in Iran, Syria and in Israel, then the losses to them will be incidental. The Western-globalist-Zio-hawk Axis no doubt feels it has to act now against Iran in case everything settles down in the ME with the Syrian war cooling off. Any expansion of Israeli turf or getting control of resources to the north would be stymied with further waiting and allowing both Syrian and Iranian defense systems to be further fortified. The Israelis appear to be completely confident that if they can instigate a war with Iran that it will be backed by the US, the UK, France and other NATO nations.

That confidence could only come from the Western elites running things. However, after their last fizzled false-flag poison-gas attack in Syria, the support by many NATO nations for more Axis aggression may not be that solid. So what does the Israeli tough talk and threats mean at this time? Perhaps it means that Israel is in the process of concocting a massive and much more sophisticated false-flag attack, like the taking out of a US war ship and blaming Iran for starting the war.

Remember Five points:

  1. Isreal will fight to the very last American Soldiers Death.
  2. The Zionist screams in Pain as he Stikes you.
  3. The Yinon Plan.
  4. Operation TALPIOT.
  5. Qatari Pipeline Petro Dollar Vs. Russia / China Petro Yaun.

One bright aspect is the Anti-Isreal / Jew Zionist movement is gaining steam. More & more Individuals are speaking openly against Israel's War Crimes, False Flag involvements, The Yinon Plan along with Pro Zionist immigrantion policy of migrating Muslim's & Arabs to the EU & US without fear of retribution. Pro migration policy which supports territory boarder expansion via the Yinon Plan & ethnic cleansing & migration of Arabs & Muslim's.

Not to mention the Billions in US foreign aid, AIPAC, ZioNeoConFascist NGO's & dual Israeli Citizen's which hold Political Office in CONgress. Which must be outlawed.

Jackrabbit , May 1, 2018 3:44:58 PM | 31
As people become more disillusioned with Trump I think it's worthwhile to spend a moment to take stock of what happened in th 2016 election.

1) The US President is the primary determinant of US foreign and military power. The President is much weaker when addressing domestic policy / internal affairs. Any small, paranoid nation with ambitious plans in its neighborhood would want ensure that they have the President's ear ( or his balls). Too much at stake to take chances. And political influence is even easier when you've developed close relation with an oil-rich ally (Saudis) with deep pockets.

2) US democracy is money-driven and no real populist stands much of a chance.

3) Despite a groundswell of discontent on both the left and the right, here were only two populists that ran in the election (note: I'm not counting Rand Paul's because he didn't make an outright populist appeal - he merely spoke in a sensible way.

4) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the "Birthers". Trump is kept in line by the allegation of Russian interference.

5) "Never Trump-ers" were mainly Jewish (AFAIK) and almost certainly pro-Israel. The Never Trump campaign began in earnest with Kagan's Op-Ed in February 2016 ( some might date it to Bloomberg's public statement in January 2016 that neither Sanders or Trump could be allowed to win).

6) AFAIK Pro-Israel oligarchs (like Saban, Soros, Bloomberg) are big donors to Democratic Party. Hillarry and DNC are known to have colluded against 'sheep-dog' Sanders. Wouldn't Hillary just as easily collide FOR Trump (the Cinton's And Trump's are known to have had close ties - and their daughters are still close).

I'm sure I'm missing some of the many "dots" but it logic suggests that both Obama and Trump are faux populists that - at least in foreign policy (where Presidential powers are greatest) - are greatly influenced by foreign(albeit "allied") interests.

IMO Apologists for the faux populists also play an important part. They respond voraciously to the "crazy opposition" and thereby keep alive faith in the faux hero.

Faux populist leaders seem to be a natural fit for our inverted totalitarian form of government. Perhaps any Empire will naturally gravitate to such a compromised government? Funny thing is, most Americans would say that USA is NOT an Empire.

Jackrabbit , May 1, 2018 3:58:01 PM | 33
I should point out that "kept in line" (point #4) appears to be a convenience needed to excuse the faux populist's betrayals.

Both Obama and Trump seem more than willing to do as they are told.

And don't bother citing Obama's Iran deal as "proof" that Obama was independent. IMO That deal was made simply to buy time because regime-change in Syria was taking longer than expected. It is foolish to think that Obama did everything the establishment wanted but refused IN THAT ONE MATTER.

[Apr 30, 2018] Neoliberalization of the US Democratic Party is irreversible: It is still controlled by Clinton gang even after Hillary debacle

Highly recommended!
An interesting new term is used in this discussion: "CIA democrats". Probably originated in Patrick Martin March 7, 2018 article at WSWS The CIA Democrats Part one - World Socialist Web Site but I would not draw an equivalence between military and intelligence agencies.
"f the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress."
Notable quotes:
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @CS in AZ ..."
"... @CS in AZ ..."
"... @CS in AZ ..."
"... "I was truly fired up about Bernie Sanders at that time. I've come a very long ways since then." ..."
"... @arendt ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Postmodern progressives

arendt on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 9:28am

The left has never been welcome in the Republican party; and since the neoliberal Clinton machine showed up, they have not been welcome in the Democratic party either. As Clinton debauched the historical, FDR/JFK/LBJ meaning of the word "liberal", the left started calling itself "progressives". The left had long been the grassroots of the Democratic party; and after being left in the lurch by John Kerry (no lawsuits against Ohio fraud), lied to by Barack Obama, and browbeaten by the increasingly neocon Clintonite DNC, they enthusiastically coalesced around Bernie Sanders.

If our political system were honest, Bernie Sanders would have been the Democratic nominee; and Hillary Clinton and Debbie W-S (of Aman Brothers infamy) would be on trial for violating national security and corrupting the DNC. But, our political system isn't honest. Our political system, including the Democratic party, is completely bought and paid for. And, unfortunately, Bernie Sanders - despite being a victim of that corruption - continues to refuse to make that point. He refused to join the lawsuit (complete with dead process server and suspicious phone call from DWS's office) against the DNC. All in the name of working within a party he does not even belong to.

After the 2016 election, the DNC, continuing its corrupt ways, blatantly favored Tom Perez over the "progressive" Keith Ellison, smearing Ellison as a Moslem lover. Bernie's reaction to this continuing manipulation was muted. On foreign policy, Bernie continues to be either AWOL or pro-MIC (F-35 plant in VT)/pro-Israel. These are not progressive positiions. AFAIAC, Bernie is half a leftist. He is left on economics and social policy; but he is rightwing on the MIC, foreign policy, and Israel. There is very little democracy left in this country, and I am not going to waste my time supporting Bernie, who has shown himself to be a sheepdog. That's my take on the 2018 version of Bernie. I will always treasure the early 2016 version of Bernie, the only political candidate in my life that I gave serious money to.

Neither will I waste my time pretending that honest, inside-the-system efforts can take the Democratic party back from the plutocrats who own it, lock, stock, and checkbook. You might think there is a chance to work inside the system. You might think the DNC is vulnerable because it learned nothing from the 2016 debacle; but you would be wrong. After the Hillary debacle, they have learned how to manufacture more credible fake progressives.

------

For it seems that progressive candidates aren't the only ones who learned the lesson of Bernie Sanders in 2016; the neoliberal Clintonites have too. So, while left-wing campaigns crop up in every corner of the country, so too do astroturf faux-progressive campaigns. And it is for us on the left to parse through it all and separate the authentic from the frauds.

One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a "local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats." And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?

By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.

Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.

Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were "looking to help our country find a way out" a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.

How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns

The takeaway here is that many of these self-declared "Bernie Democrats" are, in reality, the "CIA Democrats" that we have been warned about. And Bernie has not called them out. Another thing he has not called out is the fact that the party leadership is still blatantly sabotaging even modestly "progressive" candidates in the primaries.

In the latest striking example of how the Democratic Party resorts to cronyism (and perhaps corruption) to ensure that its favored candidates beat back progressive challengers in local races, a candidate for Colorado's 6th Congressional District has leaked a recording of a conversation with Minority Leader Steny Hoyer to The Intercept which published it overnight. In it, Hoyer can be heard essentially lecturing the candidate about why he should step aside and let the Democratic Party bosses - who of course have a better idea about which candidate will prevail over a popular Republican in the general election - continue pulling the strings.

The candidate, Levi Tillemann, is hardly a party outsider. Tillemann had grandparents on both sides of his family who were elected Democratic representatives, and his family is essentially Democratic Party royalty.

Still, the party's campaign arm - the notorious Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (better known as the DCCC, or D-trip) - refused to provide Tillemann with access to party campaign data or any of the other resources he requested.


Secret Recording Reveals Democratic Party Boss Ordering Progressive Candidate To Quit Race

Here is yet another thing that Bernie has not called out: The DNC, which is reportedly badly behind in fundraising, is nevertheless willing to spend obscene amounts of money in primaries just to keep progressives out of races - even Red district races that are guaranteed losses for Democrats.

Dan Feehan has successfully bought the Democratic nomination for Minnesota's first congressional district (MN-CD1). Dan, having lived outside the state since the age of 14, has allegedly misled the public on his FEC form, claiming residence at his cousin's address. Here is Dan's FEC filing form. One can see that it his cousin who lives at this address...

Mr. Feehan has no chance to win in November. While nobody likes a candidate from Washington D.C., people hate Washington money even more. To be fair to Dan he hasn't taken super PAC money, somehow. But he has raised 565,000 dollars, an outrageous sum for a congressional race. 94% of this money has come from outside the district, and 79% from outside the state. Where does this money come from? Well, according to the campaign, from people around the country who want to keep Minnesota blue. If this was the case, why not wait to give money until Minnesota voted for a candidate in the primary and then donate? And who on earth has this much money to pour into an obscure race outside of their state?

Dan Feehan is of the same breed that most post-Trump Democrats are. Clean cut, military experience, stern, anti-gun, anti-crazy Orange monsters, anti-negativity, and anti-discrimination of rich people who fall under a marginalized group. What are they for? No one knows. If pushed they want "good" education, health care, jobs, environment, etc. But they want Big money too for various reasons, but the ones cited are: because that is the only way to win, because rich people are smart and poor people are dumb, and because money is speech. So they cannot and will not make any concrete commitments. Hence energy becomes "all inclusive", as if balancing clean and dirty energy was a college admissions department diversity issue, rather than a question of life or death for the entire planet. Healthcare becomes not a right, but a requirement with a giant handout to insurance companies. Near full employment (with the near being very important, when we consider leverage) comes with part-time, short-term, and low paying work.

The Clintonite Democrats and their spawn are postmodern progressives. In their world, there is no way to test if one is progressive.
Within the world of the Democratic party, there is no relativity. It is merely a universe that exists only to clash with (but mostly submit to) the parallel Republican universe. Whoever proves to be the victor should be united behind without a thought given to their place within the political spectrum of Democrat voters. They believe, if I were to paraphrase René Descartes: "I Democrat, therefore I progressive."

How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101

Tell me again why I must be a loyal Democrat, why I must support candidates who are corporate/MIC shills, why I must submit to the constant harassment and sabotage of progressive efforts. Tell me again how Bernie is fighting the party leadership. (That is, explain away all the non-activity related to the items posted above.)

I'm with Chris Hedges. Formal democracy is dead in the US; all we have left are actions in the streets (and those are being slowly made illegal). The only people in this country who deserve my support are: 1) the striking teachers, many of them non-unionized, 2) the oil pipeline protestors, who are being crushed by police state tactics, 3) the fighters for $15 minimum wage, again non-unionized. The Democratic Party used to stand for unions. It doesn't any more. It doesn't stand for anything except getting more money from the 1% to sell out the 99% with fake progressive CIA candidates. Oh, and it stands for pussy hats.

Anyone who tells me to get in line behind Bernie is either a naive pollyana or a disingenuous purity troll.


leveymg on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 9:44am
We have all been here before. 1948. That was the year that the clawback of the Democratic Party and the purge of the Left was formalized. It really dates to the engineered hijacking of the nomination of Henry Wallace at the 1944 Democratic Convention. History does repeat itself for those who didn't learn or weren't adequately taught it.
arendt on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 10:00am
I appreciate being reminded of the history... @leveymg @leveymg

however tragic it is. Instead of a true leftwinger, we got Harry Truman, a naive wardheeler from corrupt Kansas City. He was led by the nose to create the CIA.

I do take your point; but the question is, can anything be done? If democracy has become meaningless kabuki, and the neocon warmongers are in charge no matter whom we "elect", what is there to do besides build that bomb shelter?

That is why I say that only genuine issues will galvanize the public; and even then, they can run a hybrid war against the left. They have created this ludicrous Identity Politics boogeyman that energizes the right and makes the postmodern progressives look stupid. No matter what tactic I think of, TPTB have already covered that base. The problem is that the left has absolutely no base in the U.S. today.

Alligator Ed on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 3:56am
The post-modern progressives are stupid @arendt They are not progressive. They do not have a platform (except "I anti-Trump, therefore I progressive".

How will the pseudo-progressives be able to justify being both "progressive" and pro-war?

Talk about cognitive dissonance. But wait. Democraps of any stripe, don't cogitate, hence no dissonance.

zoebear on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 10:12am
Appreciate you posting this essay This is only one of the many troubling signs which convince me he is being controlled by my enemy.

The takeaway here is that many of these self-declared "Bernie Democrats" are, in reality, the "CIA Democrats" that we have been warned about. And Bernie has not called them out.

CS in AZ on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:12am
Thanks for the essay, arendt I came to this site in the great purge at daily kos, and I was truly fired up about Bernie Sanders at that time. I've come a very long ways since then. Thanks to the people here.

And to kos, who now rather infamously said "if you think Hillary Clinton can't beat Donald Trump, you're a fucking moron. Seriously, you're dumb as rocks." And he said if you're not going to cheerlead for democrats, "go the fuck away. This is not your place." True words!!

So this site was here and Bernie supporters flocked here. Including me. But over this time I have seen the mistakes I made. Such a lot of wasted time and energy.

Still searching for answers myself, but I know what doesn't work, and how important for the status quo to keep the illusion of democracy alive. But more and more people are not buying it anymore. I suspect that a few more crumbs will be forthcoming on some issues. That's the very best way to keep the show going. And the show must go on.

Pulling back the curtain is really the first and most important weapon we have. Thank you for doing that.

zoebear on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:45am zoebear on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:45am
Whose dumb as rocks now? @CS in AZ

Countered with Russia, Russia, Russia. God he was such a prick.

I came to this site in the great purge at daily kos, and I was truly fired up about Bernie Sanders at that time. I've come a very long ways since then. Thanks to the people here.

And to kos, who now rather infamously said "if you think Hillary Clinton can't beat Donald Trump, you're a fucking moron. Seriously, you're dumb as rocks." And he said if you're not going to cheerlead for democrats, "go the fuck away. This is not your place." True words!!

So this site was here and Bernie supporters flocked here. Including me. But over this time I have seen the mistakes I made. Such a lot of wasted time and energy.

Still searching for answers myself, but I know what doesn't work, and how important for the status quo to keep the illusion of democracy alive. But more and more people are not buying it anymore. I suspect that a few more crumbs will be forthcoming on some issues. That's the very best way to keep the show going. And the show must go on.

Pulling back the curtain is really the first and most important weapon we have. Thank you for doing that.

arendt on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 12:19pm
"important for the SQ to keep the illusion of democracy alive" @CS in AZ

That's how I feel about it. I've been suckered one time too many. The 2016 election was a complete farce. Bernie was sabotaged. The DNC and Hillary broke their own rules to do it. But Bernie, with a perfect opportunity and lots of support, just walked away from the fight that he had promised his people.

Sheep dog.

TPTB want the political "fight" to be between slightly different flavors of neoliberal looting/neocon warmongering. They want unions, teachers, environmentalists, and minorities to, in the words of a UK asshole, "shut up and go away".

The CIA literally paid $600M to the Washington Post, whose purchase price was only $300M. Bezos made 200% of his money back in a month. The media is completely corporatized; and they are coming for the internet with censorship. Where is Bernie on this? Haven't heard a word.

Sheep dog.

As TPTB simply buy what is left of the Democratic party, they will enforce this kabuki politics. Any deviation will be labeled Putin-loving, Assad-loving, China-loving, etc.

You can't have a democracy when free speech is instantly labeled fake news or enemy propaganda.

snoopydawg on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 5:47pm
I think this is the gist of people who don't care for Bernie @CS in AZ

"I was truly fired up about Bernie Sanders at that time. I've come a very long ways since then."

This is how I see the way some people feel about him. This same thing happened after I voted for Obama. I thought that he would do what "I heard him say that he would", but he let me down by not even bothering to try doing anything.

What soured me on Bernie was his saying that Her won the election fair and square after everything we saw happen. Even after learning how the primary was rigged against him. And now he has jumped on the Russian interference propaganda train when he knows that Russia had no hand with Trump beating Her out the presidency.

Bottom line is that I no longer believe that Bernie is being up front with me. I know that others feel differently, but remember how people changed their minds on Obama and never accepted Herheinous! People should be free here to say how they feel.

dkmich on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:51am
Obama was the template.

"I guess the lesson is we shouldn't be fooled by good-looking liberals no matter how well-spoken they are," Fonda said.

I don't trust the Justice Dems as far as I can throw them. DailyKos indoctrinated us for 10 years with more and better. It is all bull shit.

Bernie also lied to us. "He is in it to win it" - as long as he doesn't piss off the Clintons and Obama.

arendt on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 12:21pm
I don't folllow all the BS. Who are the "justice" dems? @dkmich

Purportedly Bernie? Perportedly Obama?

I just don't care. The Democratic Party is dead to me. I had a wake a while back.

dkmich on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 7:44am
Berniecrats that want to work from within just like Bernie does @arendt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_Democrats

Lookout on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 11:35am
The Obomber template has been exported @dkmich

Don't you think Trudeau and Macron seem to be cut from an Obama cloth?

Would that we had a Corbyn in the US. At lest he request evidence before bombing and ejecting diplomats.

zoebear on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 9:58am
Withdrawing in "purity" @The Voice In the Wilderness

Isn't making it "easier" for them to cheat when they are already doing that. What participating in their corruption does do is keep the illusion of democracy alive for their benefit. Easier? They're already achieving their end game. Controlling us, electing their candidates, and collecting our taxes.

Frankly we've been participating in their potemkin village passing as democracy for decades with no effect.

CS in AZ on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 10:09am
No, that's not what it means @The Voice In the Wilderness

First, a boycott is not "ignoring" voting. It's an organized protest against fake elections. It's actually not that uncommon for people in other countries to call for election boycotts in protest when a significant portion of people feel the election is staged or rigged with a predetermined outcome, or where all of the candidates are chosen by the elite so none represent the will of the people.

In that type of situation, boycotting the election -- and obviously that means saying why, and making a protest out of it -- is really the only recourse people have. It may not be effective at stopping the fake election, but it lets the world know the vote was fake.

If you line up to go obediently cast your vote anyway, then you are the one who is empowering the enemy, by giving the illusion of legitimacy to the fake vote.

Now about this big worry about what "they" will say... first, look at what they already say about third party voters. In the media and political world, third party voters are a joke, useful idiots, who can be simultaneously written off as "fringe" wackos who can and should be ignored, and also childish spoilers who can be scapegoated and blamed for eternity for election loses. Witness Ralph Nader and Jill Stein. Of course people should still vote third party if there's someone that truly represents them, and if they believe the election process is genuine. Because you don't let your voting choices be dictated by what the powers that be say about it!

For those of us who believe the election process is a sham and a scam, voting is playing into their hands, giving legitimacy to their show. That is what makes it easier for them to keep the status quo firmly in place, and is literally helping them do it.

As has been pointed out, if an organized protest/boycott that called the elections fake were to take root and grow, they would not be able to say we don't care. That's a big if, obviously, but it's better than playing your assigned role in The Voting Show. Because that show is what everyone points to as proof that the American people want this fucked up warmongering government we keep voting back into power every two years.

Enough is enough. One of Bernie's slogans, which I still agree with.

[Apr 30, 2018] The CIA Democrats Part one by Patrick Martin

Mar 07, 2018 | www.wsws.org

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare. Elissa Slotkin

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

CNN's "State of the Union" program on March 4 included a profile of Jones as one of many female candidates seeking nomination as a Democrat in Tuesday's primary in Texas. The network described her discreetly as a "career civil servant." However, the Jones for Congress website positively shouts about her role as a spy, noting that after graduating from college, "Gina entered the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the US military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" (the last phrase signaling to those interested in such matters that Jones is gay).

According to her campaign biography, Ortiz Jones was subsequently detailed to a position as "senior advisor for trade enforcement," a post President Obama created by executive order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a director for investment at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. With that background, if she fails to win election, she can surely enlist in the trade war efforts of the Trump administration.

[Apr 30, 2018] The CIA Democrats Part one

Apr 30, 2018 | www.wsws.org

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare. Elissa Slotkin

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

CNN's "State of the Union" program on March 4 included a profile of Jones as one of many female candidates seeking nomination as a Democrat in Tuesday's primary in Texas. The network described her discreetly as a "career civil servant." However, the Jones for Congress website positively shouts about her role as a spy, noting that after graduating from college, "Gina entered the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the US military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" (the last phrase signaling to those interested in such matters that Jones is gay).

According to her campaign biography, Ortiz Jones was subsequently detailed to a position as "senior advisor for trade enforcement," a post President Obama created by executive order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a director for investment at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. With that background, if she fails to win election, she can surely enlist in the trade war efforts of the Trump administration.

[Apr 29, 2018] Citizens have no opportunity for input otherwise on any matter of governance, so their lack of engagement is imposed upon them

Apr 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

teddyfromcd Patty Donovan 2 years ago ,

JUST - i hope -- you understand (and that's why sometimes SIX PACK gets mad at me -- NOT HIS FAULT) -- when it has become habitual to generalize ''americans" ...but that is very hard to avoid now after all that the USA has done to so many countries. in so many cruel ways.

but it IS understood that it NEVER means "'ALL AMERICANS"

that is just an IMPOSSIBILITY..

Don Bacon | Apr 22, 2018 3:37:51 PM | 26

@Sid2 11
a huge amount of the American populace is entirely disengaged from what's going on

The American populace was certainly involved when against all odds, against nearly every "expert," Donald Trump not only bested a dozen politicians in his own party primaries but then beat the odds-on favorite by far in the general election.

But that's an exception. The people get involved (of course) only when they have the opportunity to do so. Generally speaking that's an opportunity to vote for one schmuck or another periodically, and that's about it, in the so-called US "democracy." Citizens have no opportunity for input otherwise on any matter of governance, so their lack of engagement is imposed upon them, it's not their choice. It differs little in every country.

jayc , Apr 22, 2018 4:31:27 PM | 30
I must have missed the day in high school civics class when it was explained the best way to resolve political differences in a democracy was to form an angry mob and engage in widespread vandalism and arson.

I had seen an MSM piece on the disruptions in Nicaragua, which did mention that Social Security reform was motivating the demonstrators - without mentioning that the protesters were angry that the proposed reforms were not sufficiently cruel. In this way the Nicaraguan protesters join those in Venezuela, who are angry that health and literacy programs exist, and the Ukrainians who sparked a "revolution" so they could have a harsh austerity program imposed on them.

[Apr 29, 2018] Pompeo's Contempt for Diplomacy and the Nuclear Deal by Daniel Larison

Trump betrayal of his voters is as staggering as Obama betrayal. May even more so.
Notable quotes:
"... It is fitting that one of the first things that will happen during Pompeo's tenure as chief diplomat is the repudiation of a successful diplomatic agreement solely for reasons of spite and ideology. That reflects the contempt for diplomacy and compromise that Pompeo shares with the president. It is an early reminder why having Pompeo in charge of U.S. diplomacy is so dangerous and why it would have been better not to confirm him. ..."
"... North Korea wasn't going to give up its nuclear weapons anyway, and now it will look at Trump's reneging on the nuclear deal as proof that they are right to keep them. ..."
"... Pompeo's recent statements are those of an ignorant and incompetent jackass. Barely two weeks in and sane Americans are already nostalgic for Tillerson. ..."
"... Instead, as Pompeo's current trip and whereabouts make very clear, he's aping the same old tired Bush/Obama Middle East crap and still running errands for the corrupt rulers of Israel and Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... And if Trump doesn't stop betraying his voters with all this pointless, staggeringly expensive Middle East crap, he'll be gone in 2020. ..."
Apr 29, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

It is fitting that one of the first things that will happen during Pompeo's tenure as chief diplomat is the repudiation of a successful diplomatic agreement solely for reasons of spite and ideology. That reflects the contempt for diplomacy and compromise that Pompeo shares with the president. It is an early reminder why having Pompeo in charge of U.S. diplomacy is so dangerous and why it would have been better not to confirm him.

Pompeo also said this weekend that he didn't think North Korea would care if the U.S. withdrew from the agreement:

"I don't think Kim Jong Un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, 'Oh goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won't talk to the Americans anymore,'" Pompeo told reporters traveling on his plane en route from Saudi Arabia to Israel. "There are higher priorities, things that he is more concerned about than whether or not the Americans stay in the [agreement]."

It is obvious that North Korea has bigger concerns than U.S. adherence to the JCPOA, but it doesn't follow that they won't take U.S. withdrawal as another sign that negotiating with Washington is pointless. North Korea already has other reasons to doubt U.S. trustworthiness. John Bolton's endorsement of using negotiations with Libya as a model couldn't be more tone-deaf, since North Korean officials frequently cite the overthrow and death of Gaddafi as a cautionary tale of what happens when a government makes a deal with the U.S. It is possible that North Korea won't put much stock in what happens to the JCPOA one way or another for a very different reason: unlike Iran, North Korea has no intention of making significant concessions, and it is engaged in talks with the U.S. to get as much as it can out of the fact that it is now a full-fledged nuclear weapons state.

North Korea wasn't going to give up its nuclear weapons anyway, and now it will look at Trump's reneging on the nuclear deal as proof that they are right to keep them.

Cincinnati G April 29, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Our involvement in international "diplomacy", already weird, embarrassing, and destabilizing because of Trump's random behavior, now seems to be spinning out of control. Pompeo's recent statements are those of an ignorant and incompetent jackass. Barely two weeks in and sane Americans are already nostalgic for Tillerson.

Wake me up when any senior member of this government turns out to be something other than crooked, stupid, vulgar, incompetent, or some kind of foreign agent. We voted for Trump hoping for a radical re-dedication to American interests. Instead, as Pompeo's current trip and whereabouts make very clear, he's aping the same old tired Bush/Obama Middle East crap and still running errands for the corrupt rulers of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

November 2018 is already slated to be a Republican bloodbath, in great part because our government, the Congress in particular, is serving foreign interests and Wall Street instead of America. And if Trump doesn't stop betraying his voters with all this pointless, staggeringly expensive Middle East crap, he'll be gone in 2020.

[Apr 29, 2018] The Presidency The Hardest Job in the World

It's Imperial Presidency now. It it requires new rules.
Apr 29, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

any of the responsibilities that vex Trump are ones that were not part of the job's original design. They have accrued to the presidency over time, most in the recent past. The Framers, fresh from a successful rebellion against a tyrannical king, envisioned an executive who was limited in power and even stature. For a good long while, the design held. James K. Polk's wife, Sarah, was so concerned that the 11th president might enter a room unnoticed, she asked the Marine Band to play "Hail to the Chief" to get people to turn their head when he arrived.

Today we notice when the president doesn't show up. We are a president-obsessed nation, so much so that we undermine the very idea of our constitutional democracy. No one man -- or woman -- can possibly represent the varied, competing interests of 327 million citizens. And it may be that no man -- or woman -- can perform the ever-expanding duties of office while managing an executive branch of 2 million employees (not including the armed forces) charged with everything from regulating air pollution to x-raying passengers before they board an airplane.

Even the role of commander in chief, already one of the weightiest presidential responsibilities, has grown rapidly in its demands. National security is today threatened less by slow-moving armies than by stateless terror groups who might weaponize a rented truck and by rogue states who might weaponize an email. Rare is the day when one or more of these enemies don't present an imminent danger requiring the president's attention. "The modern presidency has gotten out of control," Leon Panetta, who has served past presidents as the White House chief of staff, the secretary of defense, and the director of the CIA, told me recently. "Presidents are caught in a crisis-by-crisis response operation that undermines the ability of any modern president to get a handle" on the office.

The growth of presidential power is not new. When Arthur Schlesinger Jr. published The Imperial Presidency , in 1973, the term was already at least 10 years in use. But the office hasn't just grown in power; it's grown in scope, complexity, degree of difficulty. Each time a president has added to the job description, a new expectation has conveyed, like the Oval Office furniture, to the next man in line. A president must now be able to jolt the economy like Franklin Roosevelt, tame Congress like Lyndon Johnson, comfort the nation like Ronald Reagan.

... ... ....

Even Trump, not one to readily admit a mistake, has acknowledged that he underestimated the difficulty of the job. "I thought it would be easier," he told Reuters 100 days into his term. A blunt admission -- and one much mocked by his critics -- but one every president eventually makes. Lyndon Johnson made the point in his earthy way: "The office is kinda like the little country boy found the hoochie-koochie show at the carnival," he said. "Once he'd paid his dime and got inside the tent: It ain't exactly as it was advertised."

... ... ...

Eisenhower sorted priorities through a four-quadrant decision matrix that is still a staple of time-management books. It was based on his maxim "What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important."

... ... ...

Monitoring even small threats can take up an entire day. "My definition of a good day was when more than half of the things on my schedule were things I planned versus things that were forced on me," says Jeh Johnson, who served Obama as homeland-security secretary.

... ... ...

Eisenhower-esque detachment was no longer viable. Amid crashing favorability ratings, Obama interrupted his own vacation to tour abandoned, oil-slicked beaches. "I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis," he said. "I am the president, and the buck stops with me."

That phrase -- a succinct expression of presidential obligations -- is like the presidency itself: It has spilled out of its original container. When Harry Truman placed a sign on his desk reading the buck stops here , it meant that some decisions, only the president can make. It did not mean that the president is responsible -- and therefore to blame -- for everything that happens in the executive branch, much less the nation.

... ... ...

Modern presidents who have just come to office on the strength of their rhetoric and showmanship are encouraged to continue relying on those skills. "They have been talking for two years, and that's nearly all they've been doing. When they win, they conclude that they can convince people of anything," the Texas A&M political scientist George C. Edwards III says. "The feedback is pretty strong."

Governing is about more than talking, though. "The first thing a president needs to understand," says Max Stier, the CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, "is that in order to run a government, they are going to need capabilities different than the ones needed to win the right to run the government."

... ... ...

The rush to staff up encourages new presidents to fill the administration with the people who helped them win the office in the first place, further entrenching a campaign mentality within the White House. The presidential scholar Shirley Anne Warshaw, who teaches at Gettysburg College, found that 58 percent of the senior posts in the Obama administration were filled by campaign staff. Some may have been suited to the unique challenges of the executive branch, but the system does not allow enough time to make certain of it. New presidents just have to hope for the best.

... ... ...

When a president travels, he has his own doctor, security, exercise equipment, and water. It all gets moved around on his airplanes. If the Secret Service thinks the bathroom in a foreign country might cause the president to slip, agents will lay down protective strips to give him traction when he gets out of the tub. Grover Cleveland used to answer his own front door. Now presidents touch door handles only in their private quarters. Their lives are babyproofed.

... ... ...

The relentlessness of the job depletes a president's powers of restraint, and yet restraint is crucial for wise decision making. "You have to have a high tolerance for pain," says Jay Carney, one of Obama's press secretaries. "Sometimes that means letting yourself be misunderstood," refusing opportunities to score easy debating points in favor of the long view.

As Lyndon Johnson put it, sometimes the president is little more than "a jackass in a hailstorm."

[Apr 29, 2018] Immigration and identity politics

Apr 29, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:41

If you are saying that their expertise lies elsewhere, that is surely self-evident?
Crazymoomin , 24 Apr 2018 05:37

Working-class white people may claim to be against identity politics, but they actually crave identity politics.

I think they probably see it more of a "if you can't beat them, join them" scenario. They see the way the wind is blowing and decide if they want representation, they have to play the game, even if they don't really like the rules.

Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:30
No sloth will make you live in poverty, unless you are actually the animal the sloth.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 05:28
The detail. They don't know the detail. They don't have the expertise. Which is what this article is about.

They don't know what they're talking about, even if they do know what they want.

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:22
.... but see my previous post.

They know enough about the EU to know that it isn't one of their patrons and sponsors. They also know that Westminster have been systematically misrepresenting the EU for their own purposes for decades, and they can use the same approach.

What more is required?

CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:15
are we supposed to be impressed by your middle income? Poverty is not caused by sloth.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:12
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:08
Not a fool and I don't hate anyone at 55 I have 1.2M in investments, I make 165k a year and pay 40k+ a year in taxes. I to come across people who live off of we everyday and expect to free load. I am not a blowhard just an engineer who pays for sloth.
KeyboardChimp , 24 Apr 2018 05:07
Non expert berating non experts. The Michael Massing paradox.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 04:57
I've met many fools like you in my over 50 years on the planet, blowhards parading their ignorance as a badge of pride, thinking that their hatred of anyone not exactly like them is normal, mistaking what some cretin says on the far right radio for fact.

You people would be comical if not for the toxicity that your stupidity engenders.

Monkeybiz -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 04:51
It's a play on the motto "One country under God". Rather clever, I thought.
Monkeybiz -> Andrew Nichols , 24 Apr 2018 04:50
Yes, there is a deep lack of context and hence dilution of meaning as a result
Monkeybiz -> Navarth , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Al Jazeera tries to do a better job, at least providing a spectrum of opinion and a lot of depth in quite a few issues, something most other networks fail to do these days.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Don't think I am confusing anything.

My point was about expertise. Brexiteers have goals about which I agree with you.

My point is that they don't know about the subject, the EU, which they are using to achieve their goals.

Monkeybiz -> breitling1884 , 24 Apr 2018 04:47
Really? Were they repeated?
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:37
Don't fall into the associated trap either, of the false equation between STATED and ACTUAL goals.

Fox and Hunt are fully aware that to actually admit their actual goal, would be (probably) just about the only thing which would provoke an electoral backlash which would sweep the Conservatives from office. The NHS is proverbially "the nearest thing the English have, to a religion" and is a profoundly dangerous subject for debate.

Fox and Hunt may be weaving an incomprehensible web of sophistry and misdirection, but no part of it is accidental.

StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:31
Don't disagree with this. Doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:12
Please, please don't make the unfounded assumption that people like Fox, Johnson, Cameron et al are as stupid as they sometimes appear.

Fox and Hunt, in particular, know exactly what they are engaged in - a hard-right coup designed to destroy government control over the NHS and route its enormous cash flows into the pockets of their private, mostly American sponsors. It isn't necessary to look far, to discover their connections and patronage from this source.

Johnson is consumed by ambition, as was Cameron before him; like Cameron, he makes much of his self-presumed fitness for the role, whilst producing no supporting evidence of any description.

Brexit, as defined by its advocates, CANNOT be discussed precisely because no rational debate exists. It hinges upon the Conservative Party's only fear, that of disunity leading to Opposition. They see that Labour are 50-odd seats short of a majority, and that's ALL they see.

cynical_bystander -> aurelian , 24 Apr 2018 04:06
What in God's green world are you talking about? Did you read that before pressing "Post"? It's obvious that you have no knowledge whatsoever of the subject.

The "race riots" of the 1940s and 1950s were essentially about employment protection (the first, regarding the importation of Yemeni seamen into the North-East of England). The mostly Pakistani influx into the North-West of England was an attempt to cut labour costs and prop up a dying, obsolete industry, mortally wounded by the loss of its business model in the aftermath of Empire; an industry whose very bricks and mortar are long since gone, but the imported labour and their descendants remain... the influx of Caribbean labour into London and the South-East was focussed around the railways and Underground, to bolster the local labour force which had little interest in dead-end shift-work jobs in the last days of steam traction and the increasingly run-down Underground.

Labour, in those days, was strongly anti-immigration precisely because it saw no value in it, to their unionised, heavy-industry voter base.

Regarding the ideological, anti-British, anti-democratic nature of Labour's conversion to mass immigration, you need only read the writings and speeches of prominent figures of the day such as Roy Hattersley and Harriet Harman, who say exactly this, quite clearly and in considerable detail. Their ideological heirs, figures like Diane Abbot (who is stridently anti-white and anti-British), Andrew Neather and Hazel Blears, can speak for themselves.

sgwnmr -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 03:50
I guess you're of the "when I'm doubt talk gibberish" school of argument capitulation.
StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 03:17
I was recently struck by this part of the Guardian obituary of Lady Farrington of Ribbleton:

' she possessed the important defining characteristic that, above others, wins admiration across all the red leather benches in the House of Lords: she knew what she was talking about'

Too often these days we are governed by people who don't know what they are talking about. Never has this been truer than the likes of Fox, Davis, Johnson, and other Brexiteers.

But this doesn't seem to matter much anymore. At times it seems that anyone can make generised assertions about something, without having to back them up with evidence, and then wave away questions about their veracity.

Opinion now trumps evidence regularly, even on the BBC where Brexit ideology is often now given a free pass. The problem for those of us who value expertise is that with the likes of Trump, and some EU Leavers, we are up against a bigotry which is evangelical in nature. A gospel that cannot be questioned, a creed that allows no other thinking.

SteveofCaley -> sgwnmr , 24 Apr 2018 02:37
The best you can do is complain about "this?" This WHAT? Try a noun. You're being an embarrassment to troglodytes everywhere. Don't just point and leap up and down. Your forefathers died in bringing you a language. Be an expressive hominid and name the thing that hurts.
gilstra , 24 Apr 2018 02:29
It seems at the moment the Guardian also suffers from a glut of experts without expertise. Not a day goes by that my jaw doesn't drop at some inane claim made by what seems to be a retinue of contributors who have neither good writing skills nor a particularly wide look on things. An example today: "Unlike Hillary Clinton, I never wanted to be someone's wife". How extraordinary. Who says she ever 'wanted to be someone's wife'? Maybe she fell in love with someone all those years ago and they decided to get married? Who knows. But sweeping statements like that do not endear you to quite a few of your once very loyal readers. It's annoying.
aurelian -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 02:03
I think this posits an overriding explanation for people's actions that doesn't exist. Even the idea that immigration is a new liberal plot. Take the wind rush generation of immigrants while there was a Tory government at the time I think the idea this was an attempt to undermine white working class gains is provably nonsensical
cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 01:21
The problem with this article, and the numerous other similar pieces which appear in the various editions of the Guardian on a "regular-and-often" basis, is that it completely avoids a very basic point, because it has no answer to it.

It is this.

The white British (and by extension, Western) populations never wanted mass immigration because they knew from the outset, that its purpose was to undermine the social and political gains they had wrested from the political and financial elite after 1945. They cared not at all for the fratricidal conflicts between alien religions and cultures, of which they knew little and regarded what they did know as unacceptable.

The US achieved a huge economic boom without it. Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA were popular destinations for the British population whose goal and mantra was "no return to the thirties" and who emigrated in large numbers.

White semi-skilled and unskilled (and increasingly, lower middle class) populations everywhere reject, and have always rejected third world mass immigration (and more recently, in some areas, mass emigration from the former Soviet Union) for the simple, and sufficient reason that they have no possible reason or incentive to support or embrace it. It offers them nothing, and its impact on their lives is wholly negative in practical terms - which is how a social group which lives with limited or no margins between income and outgoings, necessarily
perceives life.

Identity politics has no roots amongst them, because they correctly perceive that whatever answer it might produce, there is no possible outcome in which the preferred answer will be a semi-skilled, white family man. They inevitably pick up a certain level of the constant blare of "racist bigot, homophobe, Islsmophobia" from its sheer inescapability, but they aren't COMPLETELY stupid.

RalphDemming , 24 Apr 2018 01:00
Dumb and dumber writers...

[Apr 26, 2018] CIA operatives Bradlee and his mentee Bob Woodward staged a coup.

Apr 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

Golobki , April 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Watergate was the ultimate leftist deep state fake news story. Wash Post reporter Bernstein out to avenge his communist parents' persecution by the Sen Nixon in the 50s.

CIA operatives Bradlee and his mentee Bob Woodward staged a coup.

Watch how unethical "the boys" are in their pursuit of the truth in the '76 movie version of Watergate, "All the President's Men."

anarchyst , April 24, 2018 at 10:54 pm GMT
@Golobki

You are partially correct. There is more to the story. Mark Felt was "deep throat" and was expecting to be appointed FBI director. When Nixon chose L. Patrick Gray as FBI director instead of Mark Felt, all bets were off and he went after Nixon. The rest is history

[Apr 24, 2018] Class and how they use words to hide reality

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For example, when a Republican talks about "freedom" they don't mean "freedom from want". They mean "freedom from government oppression", but only government oppression. ..."
"... Democrats act the same way about different things. When a Democrat says "diversity", they only mean diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity of ideas? Diversity of class? Not so much. When a Democrat says "privilege" it refers to "white" and "male". Privilege of wealth? (i.e. like the dictionary definition) That generally gets forgotten. ..."
"... -- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) ..."
"... @thanatokephaloides ..."
"... -- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @Lily O Lady ..."
"... @Lily O Lady ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @lizzyh7 ..."
"... @dkmich ..."
Apr 24, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 04/18/2018 - 11:45pm

I've come to realize that there's a lot of confusion out there due to people using words with very specific definitions.

For example, when a Republican talks about "freedom" they don't mean "freedom from want". They mean "freedom from government oppression", but only government oppression.

Private oppression? Republicans will either deny it exists, or justify it. When a Republican is "pro-life" it only refers to birth. Because those very same pro-life people are generally pro-war and pro-death penalty.

Democrats act the same way about different things. When a Democrat says "diversity", they only mean diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity of ideas? Diversity of class? Not so much. When a Democrat says "privilege" it refers to "white" and "male". Privilege of wealth? (i.e. like the dictionary definition) That generally gets forgotten.

And then there is the bipartisan misuse of words, which revolves around war and wealth.
When they say "humanitarian war" they mean, um, some contradictory concepts that are meaningless, but are designed to make you feel a certain way.
When they say "socialism" they really mean "state oppression" regardless of the economic system.
As for the many version of socialism with minimal or non-existent central governments? Or when socialist programs work? No one talks about them.

Let's not forget substituting or mixing up "middle class" for "working class".
"Working class" now equals "poor", which isn't right.
They use "working class" as a smear too.
When you say "working class" some people automatically insert certain words in front of it, as if it's generally understood.

When many hear discussion of outreach to "working class" voters, they silently add the words "white" and "male" and all too often imagine them working on a factory floor or in construction. They shouldn't. According to another analysis by CAP from late last year, just under 6 in 10 members of the working class are white, and the group is almost half female (46 percent).

The topic of the needs and interests of the working class is usually race and gender neutral. Only the dishonest or indoctrinated can't wrap their minds around that fact.This is important because working class values don't require a race or gender lens.

a new report released today by the Center for American Progress makes a convincing argument, using extensive polling data, that this divide does not need to exist. As it turns out, in many cases, voters -- both college educated and working class, and of all races -- are in favor of an economic agenda that would offer them broader protections whether it comes to work, sickness or retirement.
"The polling shows that workers across race support similar views on economic policy issues," said David Madland, the co-author of the report, entitled "The Working-Class Push for Progressive Economic Policies." "They support a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the wealthy, and more spending on healthcare and retirement. There is broad support among workers for progressive economic policy."

This shows that it's possible to make economic issues front and center in a campaign platform in a way that doesn't just talk to working class whites and dismisses the concerns of female and minority voters. It also shows that the oft-discussed dilemma among Democrats -- whether to prioritize college educated voters or working class ones -- may be a false choice.

Propaganda is all about false choices. To accomplish this, the media has created a world in which the working class exist only in the margins .

With the working class largely unrepresented in the media, or represented only in supporting roles, is it any wonder that people begin to identify in ways other than their class? Which is exactly what the ruling class wants .

I can't believe I used to fall for this nonsense! It takes a stupendous level of cognitive dissonance to simultaneously celebrate the fortunes of someone from a specific identity while looking past the vast sea of people from said identity who are stuck in gut-wrenching poverty. We pop champagnes for the neo-gentry while disregarding our own tribulations. It's the most stunning form of logical jujitsu establishment shills have successfully conditioned us to accept; instead of gauging the health of the economy and the vitality of our nation based on the collective whole, we have been hoodwinked to accept the elevation of a few as success for us all.
Diversity has become a scam and nothing more than a corporate bamboozle and a federated scheme that is used to hide the true nature of crony capitalism. We have become a Potemkin society where tokens are put on the stage to represent equality while the vast majority of Americans are enslaved by diminishing wages or kneecapped into dependency. The whole of our politics has been turned into an identity-driven hustle. On both sides of the aisle and at every corner of the social divide are grievance whisperers and demagogues who keep spewing fuel on the fire of tribalism. They use our pains and suffering to make millions only to turn their backs on us the minute they attain riches and status.

It's only when you see an article written by the ruling elite, or one that identifies with the ruling elite, that you realize just how out-of-touch they can be. The rich really are different - they are sociopaths. They've totally and completely bought into their own righteousness, merit and virtue .

Class ascendance led me to become what Susan Jacoby classifies in her recent New York Times Op-Ed "Stop Apologizing for Being Elite" as an "elite": a vague description of a group of people who have received advanced degrees. Jacoby urges elites to reject the shame that they have supposedly recently developed, a shame that somehow stems from failing to stop the working class from embracing Trumpism. Jacoby laments that, following the 2016 election, these elites no longer take pride in their wealth, their education, their social status, and posits that if only elites embraced their upward mobility, the working class would have something to aspire to and thus discard their fondness for Trump and his promises to save them.

That level of condescension just blows my mind. It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than I do with the wealthy elite in my own country. Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

Pricknick on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:03am
Condescension.

That is the only word you need pay attention to.
I am inferior therefore expendable.
How the lofty will fail. They will succumb to those who are lessor in their minds.
Nice post gjohn.

Wink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 4:11pm
And posted as a pod,

sort of, at... Patreon.com/C99
@Pricknick

That is the only word you need pay attention to.
I am inferior therefore expendable.
How the lofty will fail. They will succumb to those who are lessor in their minds.
Nice post gjohn.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:13am
the working class and the employing class have nothing in common

It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than a do with the wealthy elite in my own country.
Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among
millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing
class, have all the good things of life.

-- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW)
source

QMS on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 8:17pm
over generalized

@thanatokephaloides I have been a worker and an employer for most of my career. I associate with many of the same ilk. None of us working / employer types can afford to hire the millions of under employed. Maybe a few here and there. We are not wealthy, nor are we taking advantage of the poor. Try to put this lofty idealism into perspective.

It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than a do with the wealthy elite in my own country.
Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among
millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing
class, have all the good things of life.

-- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW)
source

earthling1 on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:18am
Their heads will look real fine

on a pike.

Meteor Man on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:30am
The Working-Class Push for Progressive Economic Policies

Somebody at CAP may be out of a job. I tried to find the report and came up empty. Can you provide the link? Thx.

The Aspie Corner on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 7:56am
But 'Murica is a classless society..../s

My ass. Class was a huge factor in 2016 (And still is) and working class issues were utterly ignored.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-jjrSWCgJus?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:25pm
And let us not forget Occupy Wallstreet

was the continuation of the Poor People's Campaign. We are all still in dire straights.

Lily O Lady on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:09am
I up-voted you but

@longtalldrink @longtalldrink
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

was the continuation of the Poor People's Campaign. We are all still in dire straights.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:33pm
dyer

@Lily O Lady

I up-voted you but that's "dire." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

A "dyer" is one who applies dyes.

"Dire" is a synonym for desperate. And it applies to our situation.

#6 #6
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:21pm
Ugh

@Lily O Lady I saw that after I posted it and knew the grammar police would get me...yikes.

#6 #6
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

lizzyh7 on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 5:40pm
I just assumed it was

@longtalldrink a play on Dyer Straights...!

#6.1 I saw that after I posted it and knew the grammar police would get me...yikes.

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 8:36pm
Actually

@lizzyh7 they were one of my favorite groups...so maybe subconsciously, this is what I was doing?

#6.1.2 a play on Dyer Straights...!

dkmich on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:37pm
So pay more taxes if you make more than 250K, BUT

pay $125K per kid for college if you earn more than 125K. That makes zero sense. A parent has no legal obligation to a child after age 18, but the 18 year old must include parental income if they apply for PELL. If they are included in their parents family, then the family must be legally obligated to pay for college. 18 can legally die, go to war, be incarcerated, and contractually bound, but they can't have a drink or be legally entitled to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours." It is no wonder there is so much resentment at all levels and an economic coalition can't be formed. Somebody is always measuring who mom loves best. At no time did Bernie say a word about means testing a GD thing. It is why he was able to transcend labels.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:42pm
paid for

@dkmich

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours."

Especially when one considers the chances of that being true are really quite small.

Contrary to the Randian beLIEf, they didn't build what they have all by themselves. Society carried quite a bit of the freight here.

pay $125K per kid for college if you earn more than 125K. That makes zero sense. A parent has no legal obligation to a child after age 18, but the 18 year old must include parental income if they apply for PELL. If they are included in their parents family, then the family must be legally obligated to pay for college. 18 can legally die, go to war, be incarcerated, and contractually bound, but they can't have a drink or be legally entitled to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours." It is no wonder there is so much resentment at all levels and an economic coalition can't be formed. Somebody is always measuring who mom loves best. At no time did Bernie say a word about means testing a GD thing. It is why he was able to transcend labels.

Snode on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:01pm
Thomas Edsall has an article

That starts out on disparities in housing, but rounds abouts to the "Elite Class" and the urban gentrification by corporatist democrats. It points out how the democratic party caters to this elite wing, and how the NIMBY-ism of the elites blocks affordable housing laws. It ends up with some observations:

"Taking it a step further, a Democratic Party based on urban cosmopolitan business liberalism runs the risk not only of leading to the continued marginalization of the minority poor, but also -- as the policies of the Trump administration demonstrate -- to the continued neglect of the white working-class electorate that put Trump in the White House."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/opinion/democrats-gentrification-citi...

Lenzabi on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:48pm
We Can't

We really can't afford the wealthy parasite class anymore nor should we suffer their think tanks that make folks worship them and their lifestyles of indulgence and greed!

[Apr 24, 2018] Notes on Trump betrayal of his voters

Trump is just Republican Obama. Same masterful bait and switch maneuver.
Apr 24, 2018 | www.unz.com

Steve Gittelson , April 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT

I suspect Goad is verboten on UR, but allow me to excerpt from "I Didn't Vote for This" of recent Goad production.
  • I voted for Trump because he promised to build a wall. Fifteen months into his presidency, the wall has not been built.
  • He promised to repeal Obamacare. It has not been repealed.
  • He promised to focus on domestic rather than foreign issues and pledged a huge program to rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure. No such program has materialized.
  • He promised to remove the nation's millions of illegal aliens. They are still here.
  • He promised to defund sanctuary cities. They have not been defunded.
  • He promised a complete ban on new Muslim immigration.
  • He promised to eliminate the massive federal debt in eight years. Rather than even beginning to leave a dent in the debt, it is now over $1.1 trillion higher than it was the day he took office.
  • One of the keystones of his campaign was that China was a currency manipulator and therefore needed to be dealt with harshly. Only three months into his presidency, he reneged and declared that China was not a currency manipulator.
  • On the campaign trail, he relentlessly hammered the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Only three days into his presidency, he withdrew the US from the TPP. And now he's openly considering rejoining it.

Cogent points, in Reed's context. The only consolation is recognition that a Clinton presidency would have been much worse. Maybe so, huh?

Achmed E. Newman , Website April 17, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Steve Gittelson

I just read that column yesterday, Steve. He lays it out pretty good.

Maybe so, huh?

No doubt in the world.

Steve Gittelson , April 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

No doubt in the world.

Yes, but the order of magnitude ebbs. Not that I would make the trade, but dammit, what happened to America? We've been fucked, and fucked ROYAL, yet all that climbs out of the political woodwork is flying monkeys.

It's clobbering time.

seeing-thru , April 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm GMT
@Steve Gittelson

Copying-in Achmed Newman as well

Aye, clobbering time it may well come to. But pray do not leave out the media whores when loving ministrations are being meted out. The whole bunch of these lying, whoring, war drumbeating progeny of Satan need special ministrations, perhaps even more care than the flying monkeys. Stringing these bastards upside down from meat hooks in public squares may be too ordinary a ministration, so better and brighter ideas need to be supplied by minds keener than mine.

[Apr 22, 2018] The American ruling class loves Identity Politics, because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite

Highly recommended!
The quotes are from A Conversation on Race, by Paul Craig Roberts - The Unz Review
Notable quotes:
"... The American ruling class loves Identity Politics, because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite. With blacks screaming at whites, women screaming at men, and homosexuals screaming at heterosexuals, there is no one left to scream at the rulers. ..."
"... Consequently, the ruling elite have funded "black history," "women's studies," and "transgender dialogues," in universities as a way to institutionalize the divisiveness that protects them. These "studies" have replaced real history with fake history. ..."
Apr 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

Steve Gittelson , April 19, 2018 at 2:43 am GMT

PCR's latest is really good. I love it when he gets to ripping, and doesn't stop for 2000+ words or so. It reads a lot better than Toynbee, fersher.

The working class, designated by Hillary Clinton as "the Trump deplorables," is now the victimizer, not the victim. Marxism has been stood on its head.

The American ruling class loves Identity Politics, because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite. With blacks screaming at whites, women screaming at men, and homosexuals screaming at heterosexuals, there is no one left to scream at the rulers.

The ruling elite favors a "conversation on race," because the ruling elite know it can only result in accusations that will further divide society. Consequently, the ruling elite have funded "black history," "women's studies," and "transgender dialogues," in universities as a way to institutionalize the divisiveness that protects them. These "studies" have replaced real history with fake history.

Steve Gittelson , April 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm GMT

Just a bit more real truth from PCR. Carry on

All of America, indeed of the entire West, lives in The Matrix, a concocted [and false] reality. Western peoples are so propagandized, so brainwashed, that they have no understanding that their disunity was created in order to make them impotent in the face of a rapacious ruling class, a class whose arrogance and hubris has the world on the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

History as it actually happened is disappearing as those who tell the truth are dismissed as misogynists, racists, homophobes, Putin agents, terrorist sympathizers, anti-Semites, and conspiracy theorists. Liberals who complained mightily of McCarthyism now practice it ten-fold.

The United States with its brainwashed and incompetent population -- indeed, the entirety of the Western populations are incompetent -- and with its absence of intelligent leadership has no chance against Russia and China, two massive countries arising from their overthrow of police states as the West descends into a gestapo state. The West is over and done with. Nothing remains of the West but the lies used to control the people. All hope is elsewhere.

[Apr 21, 2018] On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served . ..."
"... What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law. ..."
"... None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win. ..."
"... Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls." ..."
"... The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego. ..."
"... "Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either. ..."
"... there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign. ..."
"... We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out ..."
"... The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/ ..."
"... I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier" ..."
"... Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups. ..."
"... Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.) ..."
"... Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."

As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.

The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.

Stonewalling

Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)

The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.

Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.

And Nothing Matters More Than the Media

The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .

Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity

What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.

But she lost.

Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which

amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."

The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.

I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.

2017

2018

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

This story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.
Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
"Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.

Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.

The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.

Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)

Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/12/01/the-oath-and-the-trash-bin/

For those who prefer the satire:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^

animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.

Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.

Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.
redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Just a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..
jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

And that will come especially from the mainstream media

I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.

DESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.
tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
What utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.

There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!

We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out

Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.

Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Nick Granite

" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."

He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.

Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.

So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.

https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf

Authenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Renoman

" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".

Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.

Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.

That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.
anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
Wishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.
SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.

John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.

Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
Seth Rich is still dead...
utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMT
Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/
UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT
@anon

His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
@utu

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)

RobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
@utu

What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.

anonymous [185] Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.
Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "

[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/

"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:

http://www.firmmagazine.com

Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
Without exception, leftists are degenerate filth.

But they won't be going to jail.

It's kabuki theater.

Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
My god – who believes this woman?

Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.

This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.

Art

WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
@Bennis Mardens

There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Twodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
@Culloden

Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.

https://saraacarter.com/questions-still-surround-robert-muellers-boston-past/

Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/04/11/celebrating-the-anti-christ/

^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)

CIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.

(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.

(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)

(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.

Authenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@CIA in Charge

Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.

And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 17, 2018] the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens Ed Schultz I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders

Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Ed Schultz: I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders The former anchor claims the network was in the tank for Hillary Clinton

MSNBC anchor-turned-Russia Today host, Ed Schultz, told National Review Monday that he believes he was fired from the left-leaning cable news network because he openly supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. The network, he claims, was in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

The interview itself is fascinating and a shocking look at the inner workings of MSNBC, even if Schultz isn't exactly a reliable narrator. Schultz claims that MSNBC took a heavy hand in dictating what went on air, and that he was often pushed in the direction of a story by higher-ups, even if he felt his audience wouldn't be interested.

Schultz says his trouble at MSNBC started when he informed his bosses that he planned to cover Bernie Sanders' campaign announcement live from Vermont, and that he would be airing the first, exclusive, cable network interview with the progressive presidential candidate. They objected, and even went so far as to tell Schultz to drop the story.

He refused. And was forced to cover a boring news story in Texas, he says.

Schultz is clear on whom he blames: Hillary Clinton.

" I think the Clintons were connected to [NBC's] Andy Lack, connected at the hip, " Schultz told NRO host Jamie Weinstein. " I think that they didn't want anybody in their primetime or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later I was out at MSNBC. "

Schultz's stint at MSNBC came to a screeching halt in July 2015, just as the Democratic primaries were heating up. That same week, the network also axed other underperforming shows, but Schultz maintains that he was given the boot because they didn't want him speaking out against Clinton in the heat of the primaries.

Source: https://www.dailywire.com/news/29531/ed-schultz-i-was-fired-msnbc-because-i-supported-emily-zanotti

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9PIOD4YwOwA

system failure due to insufficient evolution? at

[Apr 17, 2018] Poor Alex

Highly recommended!
Now the color revolution against Trump just does not make any sense. We got to the point where Trump=Hillary. Muller should embrace and kiss Trump and go home... Nobody care if Trump is impeached anymore.
Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump's far-right loyal fans must be really pissed off right now after permanently switching himself to pro-war mode with that evil, warmongering triplet in charge and the second bombing against Syria. Even worse, this time he has done it together with Theresa May and the neoliberal globalist Emmanuel Macron.

We can tell that by watching the mind-blowing reactions of one of his most fanatic alt-right media supporters: Alex Jones. Jones nearly cried(!) in front of the camera, feeling betrayed from his 'anti-establishment', 'anti-interventionist' idol and declared that he won't support Trump anymore. Well, what did you expect, Alex? expect, Alex?

A year before the 2016 US national elections, the blog already warned that Trump is a pure product of the neoliberal barbarism , stating that the rhetoric of extreme cynicism used by Trump goes back to the Thatcherian cynicism and the division of people between "capable" and "useless".
Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders. Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Donnie sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008!

The only hope that has been left, was to resist against starting a war with Russia, as the US deep state (and Hillary of course) wanted. Well, it was proven to be only a hope too. Last year, Trump bombed Syria under the same pretext resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of confrontation with Russia. Indeed, a year later, Trump already built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish triplet.

And then, Donnie ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neo-colonial friends.

It seems that neither this strike was a serious attempt against the Syrian army and its allies. Yet, Donnie probably won't dare to escalate tension in the Syrian battlefield before the next US national elections. That's because many of his supporters are already pissed off with him and therefore, he wants to go with good chances for a second term.

Although we really hope that we are are wrong this time, we guess that, surrounded by all these warmongering hawks, Donnie, in a potential second term, will be pushed to open another war front in Syria and probably in Iran, defying the Russians and the consequent danger for a WWIII.

Poor Alex et al: we told you about Trump from the beginning. You didn't listen ...

[Apr 16, 2018] Why democratic party is better then Republican in the USA

Apr 16, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

"The Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party in the way that manslaughter is slightly better than murder: It might seem like a lesser crime, but the victim can't really tell the difference." -- Michael Harriot

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. Less slick, but more jingoistic

In reality Trump proved again that POTUS does not matter and presidential elections matter very little. In was he is like drunk Obama, reckelss and jingoistic to the extreme. Both foreign and domestic policy is determined by forces, and are outside POTUS control, with very little input possible. But the "deep state" fully control the POTUS, no matter who he/she are.
Notable quotes:
"... To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. ..."
"... Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections. ..."
"... Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 15, 2018 5:57:58 PM | 105

To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda.

Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections.

Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail.

Rome had bread and circuses. We've got crumbs and tweets.

[Apr 10, 2018] Has the War Party Hooked Trump by Patrick J. Buchanan

May be a more correct hypothesis that explains Trump behaviour in Skripal case and Douma supposed gas attack is that Trump was a false flag from the beginning. Being a newcomer to politics he, like Obama before him, was a perfect bait and switch" candidate. Hillary statement that he is "unfit for office" proved to be true, but in a different sense then Hillary implied: in foright policy he proved to be copycat of Hillary, save sex change operation.
And like Obama he does not care about hi electorate -- the sheeple that can be deceived again and again...
Notable quotes:
"... On John Bolton's first day as national security adviser, Trump is being pushed to embrace a policy of Cold War confrontation with Russia and a U.S. war with Syria. Yet candidate Trump campaigned against both. ..."
"... The War Party that was repudiated in 2016 appears to be back in the saddle. But before he makes good on that threat of a "big price to pay," Trump should ask his advisers what comes after the attack on Syria. ..."
"... Trump's strike, a year ago, with 59 cruise missiles, on the air base that allegedly launched a sarin gas attack, was supported only because Trump was new in office and the strike was not seen as the beginning of a longer and deeper involvement in a war Americans did not want to fight. ..."
"... The folks who cheered Trump a week ago when he said we were getting out of Syria, will they cheer him if he announces that we are going deeper in? ..."
"... Before any U.S. attack, Trump should make sure there is more hard evidence that Assad launched this poison gas attack than there is that Russia launched that poison gas attack in Salisbury, England. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

With his Sunday tweet that Bashar Assad, "Animal Assad," ordered a gas attack on Syrian civilians, and Vladimir Putin was morally complicit in the atrocity, President Donald Trump just painted himself and us into a corner.

"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," tweeted Trump, "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay."

"Big price to pay," said the president.

Now, either Trump launches an attack that could drag us deeper into a seven-year civil war from which he promised to extricate us last week, or Trump is mocked as being a man of bluster and bluff.

For Trump Sunday accused Barack Obama of being a weakling for failing to strike Syria after an earlier chemical attack.

"If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand," Trump tweeted, "the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!"

Trump's credibility is now on the line and he is being goaded by the war hawks to man up. Sunday, John McCain implied that Trump's comments about leaving Syria "very soon" actually "emboldened" Assad:

"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma."

Pronouncing Assad a "war criminal," Lindsey Graham said Sunday the entire Syrian air force should be destroyed.

So massive an attack would be an act of war against a nation that has not attacked us and does not threaten us. Hence, Congress, prior to such an attack, should pass a resolution authorizing a U.S. war on Syria.

And, as Congress does, it can debate our objectives in this new war, and how many men, casualties and years will be required to defeat the coalition of Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, and the allied Shiite militias from the Near East.

On John Bolton's first day as national security adviser, Trump is being pushed to embrace a policy of Cold War confrontation with Russia and a U.S. war with Syria. Yet candidate Trump campaigned against both.

The War Party that was repudiated in 2016 appears to be back in the saddle. But before he makes good on that threat of a "big price to pay," Trump should ask his advisers what comes after the attack on Syria.

Lest we forget, there was a reason Obama did not strike Syria for a previous gas attack. Americans rose up as one and said we do not want another Middle East war.

When John Kerry went to Capitol Hill for authorization, Congress, sensing the national mood, declined to support any such attack.

Trump's strike, a year ago, with 59 cruise missiles, on the air base that allegedly launched a sarin gas attack, was supported only because Trump was new in office and the strike was not seen as the beginning of a longer and deeper involvement in a war Americans did not want to fight.

Does Trump believe that his political base is more up for a major U.S. war in Syria today than it was then?

The folks who cheered Trump a week ago when he said we were getting out of Syria, will they cheer him if he announces that we are going deeper in?

Before any U.S. attack, Trump should make sure there is more hard evidence that Assad launched this poison gas attack than there is that Russia launched that poison gas attack in Salisbury, England.

[Apr 08, 2018] Chris Hedges U.S. Citizens Are Living In An Inverted Totalitarian Country

Apr 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The mainstream media deflects attention from where power resides: corporations, not with the leaders of the free world. The arguments posed by Chris Hedges, that the U.S. is neither a democracy nor a republic but a totalitarian state that can now assassinate its citizens at will, are pertinent ones. Scary ones. Especially as consecutive governments seem equally as impotent to invoke any real change for the States. If the media won't stand up to the marionettes who pull the strings of the conglomerates causing deep, indelible polarisation in the world abound; then so we must act. Together.

Listen to the full interview in our weekly Newsvoice Think podcast.

We were delighted to have Chris Hedges on an episode of the Newsvoice Think podcast as we seek to broadcast perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. Right, left, red, blue and purple.

In our interview with Chris, we discussed a range of topics facing the U.S. today as the Trump administration looks back at a year in power, and forward to the November '18 midterms where Democrats will be looking to make gains. Chris was scathing of that party describing them as a "creature of Wall Street, which is choreographed and ceased to be a proper party a long time ago." As a columnist with Truthdig, and a big advocate of independent media. Chris Hedges was the perfect interviewee for us to draw on the benefits of crowdsourced journalism and the challenges facing sites at the mercy of Facebook, Google and Twitter algorithms.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/I0Lzmq8alBw

Chris's ire against the corporate interest of Facebook et al didn't let up saying dissident voices were being shut down and that corporate oligarchs were only too happy to let them. The neutralisation of the media platforms that seek to provide independent opinion on U.S. current affairs is in full pelt.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Im5zi2lcX8Y

North Korea was the hot topic in 2017. Commentators said it was like a return to the days of the Cold War. But Hedges pointed that we need to remember what happened during the Korean War  --  how the North was flattened by U.S. bombs  --  and that as a result they, as a nation, suffer from an almost psychosis as a result. Trump, he said, is an imbecile and only deals in bombast, threats and rhetoric.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iD2YGy56VAs

Not surprisingly, Trump got it hard from Hedges. Describing his administration as a "kleptocracy" who will seek to attack immigrants and up the xenophobia stakes as it distracts and covers for the unadulterated theft of U.S. natural resources.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0Ajr6WFf_SM

As young people look to estimable journalists, activists and politicians in the States to help give them a voice, Hedges sees the democratic system as utterly futile. Encouraging mass civil disobedience instead, the ex-NY Times foreign correspondent states that railroads should be blocked and shutting down corporate buildings, for example, is the only way forward.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hailNKOv2mw

The perennial argument between Republicans and Democrats is just that; is the U.S. a Republic or a Democracy? Hedges thinks neither. He told Newsvoice that the States is an inverted totalitarian country where the government regards the public as "irrelevant".

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uexNoNK2Xok

Unlike Ben Wizner from the ACLU who sees hope in delaying Net Neutrality, at least until a new administration is in power, Chris feels it is hopeless  --  that it is a dead duck, and as Net Neutrality slows down independent media platforms, the public will be at the behest of corporate social media sites such as Facebook who'll increasingly deem what you do and don't read or see.

You can read more of Chris' work at Truthdig where he has a weekly column every Monday.

[Apr 05, 2018] Barack Obama supporters outraged by Bernie Sanders's 'deplorable' attack on Democratic Party on anniversary of Martin Luther King assassination by Peter Stubley

Apr 05, 2018 | independent.co.uk

Vermont Senator says business model of Democratic Party has been a failure for 15 years

Bernie Sanders has triggered a backlash by making comments interpreted as an attack on [Wall Street/CIA troll] Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. The senator for Vermont appeared to criticise the first black US President as he branded the Democratic Party a "failure".

Speaking in Jackson, Mississippi, he said Democrats had lost a record number of legislative seats. "The business model, if you like, of the Democratic Party for the last 15 years or so has been a failure,'' said the Vermont Senator...Mr Sanders's comments were quickly branded "patronising" and "deplorable".

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

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Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 30, 2018] The Death Of The Liberal World Order by Leonid Savin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And, quoting his colleague Archon Fung from the Harvard Kennedy School, " American politics is no longer characterized by the rule of the median voter, if it ever was. Instead, in contemporary America the median capitalist rules as both the Democratic and Republican parties adjust their policies to attract monied interests." And finally Mr. Ringen adds, "American politicians are aware of having sunk into a murky bog of moral corruption but are trapped." ..."
"... Trump merely reflects the dysfunctionality and internal contradictions of American politics. He is the American Gorbachev, who kicked off perestroika at the wrong time. ..."
"... Global financial services exercise monopolistic power over national policies, unchecked by any semblance of global political power. Trust is haemorrhaging. The European Union, the greatest ever experiment in super-national democracy, is imploding ..."
"... Probably this is because the Western model of neoliberalism does not provide any real freedom of commerce, speech, or political activity, but rather imposes a regime of submission within a clearly defined framework. ..."
"... america is going through withdraw from 30 years of trickledown crap. the young are realizing that the shithole they inherit does not have to be a shithole, and the old pathetic white old men who run the show will be dead soon. ..."
"... The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators. ..."
"... However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front. ..."
"... So the US Imperialists are being eclipsed by the Sino-Russo Alliance and wants us to believe this is a great tragedy. Meanwhile the same crew of Liberal -neoCon Deep Staters presses on with wars and tensions that are slipping out of control. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored Leonid Savin via Oriental Review,

A few days ago the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, published an article, titled "Liberal World Order, R.I.P." In it, he states that the current threat to the liberal world order is coming not from rogue states, totalitarian regimes, religious fanatics, or obscurantist governments (special terms used by liberals when referring to other nations and countries that have not pursued the Western capitalist path of development), but from its primary architect -- the United States of America.

Haass writes: " Liberalism is in retreat. Democracies are feeling the effects of growing populism. Parties of the political extremes have gained ground in Europe. The vote in the United Kingdom in favor of leaving the EU attested to the loss of elite influence. Even the US is experiencing unprecedented attacks from its own president on the country's media, courts, and law-enforcement institutions. Authoritarian systems, including China, Russia, and Turkey, have become even more top-heavy. Countries such as Hungary and Poland seem uninterested in the fate of their young democracies

"We are seeing the emergence of regional orders. Attempts to build global frameworks are failing."

Haass has previously made alarmist statements , but this time he is employing his rhetoric to point to the global nature of this phenomenon. Although between the lines one can easily read, first of all, a certain degree of arrogance -- the idea that only we liberals and globalists really know how to administer foreign policy -- and second, the motifs of conspiracy.

"Today's other major powers, including the EU, Russia, China, India, and Japan, could be criticized for what they are doing, not doing, or both."

Probably this list could be expanded by adding a number of Latin American countries, plus Egypt, which signs arms deals with North Korea while denying any violation of UN sanctions, and the burgeoning Shiite axis of Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.

But Haass is crestfallen over the fact that it is Washington itself that is changing the rules of the game and seems completely uninterested in what its allies, partners, and clients in various corners of the world will do.

" America's decision to abandon the role it has played for more than seven decades thus marks a turning point. The liberal world order cannot survive on its own, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike."

Richard Haass's colleague at the CFR, Stewart Patrick, quite agrees with the claim that it is the US itself that is burying the liberal world order . However, it's not doing it on its own, but alongside China. If the US had previously been hoping that the process of globalization would gradually transform China (and possibly destroy it, as happened to the Soviet Union earlier), then the Americans must have been quite surprised by how it has actually played out. That country modernized without being Westernized, an idea that had once been endorsed by the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Now China is expanding its influence in Eurasia in its own way, and this is for the most part welcomed by its partner countries.

But this has been a painful process for the US, as it is steadily and irrevocably undermining its hegemony.

"Its long-term ambition is to dismantle the U.S. alliance system in Asia, replacing it with a more benign (from Beijing's perspective) regional security order in which it enjoys pride of place, and ideally a sphere of influence commensurate with its power.

China's Belt and Road initiative is part and parcel of this effort, offering not only (much-needed) infrastructure investments in neighboring countries but also the promise of greater political influence in Southeast, South, and Central Asia. More aggressively, China continues to advance outrageous jurisdictional claims over almost the entirety of the South China Sea , where it continues its island-building activities, as well as engaging in provocative actions against Japan in the East China Sea," writes Patrick.

And as for the US:

"The United States, for its part, is a weary titan, no longer willing to bear the burdens of global leadership, either economically or geopolitically.

Trump treats alliances as a protection racket, and the world economy as an arena of zero-sum competition. The result is a fraying liberal international order without a champion willing to invest in the system itself. "

One can agree with both authors' assessments of the changed behavior of one sector of the US establishment, but this is about more than just Donald Trump (who is so unpredictable that he has staffed his own team with a member of the very swamp he was preparing to drain) and North American populism. One needs to look much deeper.

In his book, Nation of Devils: Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Obedience , Stein Ringen, a Norwegian statesman with a history of service in international institutions, notes:

"Today, American democratic exceptionalism is defined by a system that is dysfunctional in all the conditions that are needed for settlement and loyalty...

Capitalism has collapsed into crisis in an orgy of deregulation. Money is transgressing into politics and undermining democracy itself ."

And, quoting his colleague Archon Fung from the Harvard Kennedy School, " American politics is no longer characterized by the rule of the median voter, if it ever was. Instead, in contemporary America the median capitalist rules as both the Democratic and Republican parties adjust their policies to attract monied interests." And finally Mr. Ringen adds, "American politicians are aware of having sunk into a murky bog of moral corruption but are trapped."

Trump merely reflects the dysfunctionality and internal contradictions of American politics. He is the American Gorbachev, who kicked off perestroika at the wrong time. Although it must be conceded that if Hillary Clinton had become president, the US collapse would have been far more painful, particularly for the citizens of that country. We would have seen yet more calamitous reforms, a swelling influx of migrants, a further decline in the nation's manufacturing base, and the incitement of new conflicts. Trump is trying to keep the body of US national policy somewhat alive through hospice care, but what's really needed is a major restructuring, including far-reaching political reforms that would allow the country's citizens to feel that they can actually play a role in its destiny.

These developments have spread to many countries in Europe, a continent that, due to its transatlantic involvement, was already vulnerable and susceptible to the current geopolitical turbulence. The emergence of which, by the way, was largely a consequence of that very policy of neoliberalism.

Stein Ringen continues on that score:

"Global financial services exercise monopolistic power over national policies, unchecked by any semblance of global political power. Trust is haemorrhaging. The European Union, the greatest ever experiment in super-national democracy, is imploding "

It is interesting that panic has seized Western Europe and the US -- the home of transatlanticism, although different versions of this recipe for liberalism have been employed in other regions -- suffice it to recall the experience of Singapore or Brazil. But they don't seem as panicked there as in the West.

Probably this is because the Western model of neoliberalism does not provide any real freedom of commerce, speech, or political activity, but rather imposes a regime of submission within a clearly defined framework. Therefore, the destruction of the current system entails the loss of all those dividends previously enjoyed by the liberal political elites of the West that were obtained by speculating in the stock market, from the mechanisms of international foreign-exchange payments (the dollar system), and through the instruments of supranational organizations (the UN, WTO, and World Bank). And, of course, there are the fundamental differences in the cultural varieties of societies.

In his book The Hidden God, Lucien Goldmann draws some interesting conclusions, suggesting that the foundations of Western culture have rationalistic and tragic origins, and that a society immersed in these concepts that have "abolish[ed] both God and the community [soon sees] the disappearance of any external norm which might guide the individual in his life and actions." And because by its very nature liberalism must carry on, in its mechanical fashion, "liberating" the individual from any form of structure (social classes, the Church, family, society, and gender, ultimately liberating man from his very self), in the absence of any standards of deterrence, it is quite logical that the Western world was destined to eventually find itself in crisis. And the surge of populist movements, protectionist measures, and conservative policies of which Haass and other liberal globalists speak are nothing more than examples of those nations' instinct for self-preservation. One need not concoct conspiracy theories about Russia or Putin interfering in the US election (which Donald Trump has also denied, noting only that support was seen for Hillary Clinton, and it is entirely true that a portion of her financial backing did come from Russia). The baseline political decisions being made in the West are in step with the current crisis that is evident on so many levels. It's just that, like always, the Western elites need their ritual whipping boy(although it would be more accurate to call it a human sacrifice). This geopolitical shake-up began in the West as a result of the implicit nature of the very project of the West itself.

But since alternative development scenarios exist, the current system is eroding away. And other political projects are starting to fill the resultant ideological void -- in both form as well as content.

Thus it's fairly likely that the current crisis of liberalism will definitively bury the unipolar Western system of hegemony.

And the budding movements of populism and regional protectionism can serve as the basis for a new, multipolar world order.

J S Bach Fri, 03/30/2018 - 22:48 Permalink

Oh, Wicked Witch of the West Wing, the cleansing fire awaits thy demise! Those meds can only keep you standing for so long. Keep tripping. Keep stumbling. Satan calls you to him. The day approacheth. Tick tock tick tock. 👹😂

beepbop -> TeamDepends Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:01 Permalink

The Death Of The Liberal World Order

The Re-Birth Of the Neocon World Disorder

Neocons=Bolsheviks=Zionists. Over 100 years of bloodshed and mayhem.

dogsandhoney2 -> J S Bach Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:05 Permalink

hillery-cfr neoliberalism is a right-wing politic, actually.

HedgeJunkie -> carbonmutant Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:04 Permalink

Democracy ultimately melts down into chaos. We have a perfectly good US Constitution, why don't we go back to using it as written? That said, I am for anything that makes the elites become common.

curbjob -> carbonmutant Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:26 Permalink

Democracy is a form of government. Populism is a movement. Populist movements come about when the current form of government is failing ... historically it seems they seldom choose wisely.

Dilluminati Fri, 03/30/2018 - 22:58 Permalink

Ridiculous cunt Hillary thinks after getting REJECTED by the voters in the USA that somehow being asked to "go the fuck away and shut the fuck up" makes her a women's leader. The cocksucker Soros and some of these other non-elected globalist should keep in mind that while everybody has a right to an opinion: it took the Clinton Crime Family and lots of corruption to create the scandals that sets a Clinton Crime Family member aside, and why Soros was given a free pass on election meddling and not others requires congressional investigation and a special prosecutor. And then there is that special kind of legal and ignorant opinion like David Hogg who I just disagree with, making him in my opinion and many fellow NRA members a cocksucker and a cunt. I'd wish shingles on David Hogg, Hillary Clinton, and Soros.

Theos Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:02 Permalink

bullshit

america is going through withdraw from 30 years of trickledown crap. the young are realizing that the shithole they inherit does not have to be a shithole, and the old pathetic white old men who run the show will be dead soon.

all i see is a bunch of fleeting old people who found facebook 10 years late are temporarily empowered since they can now connect with other equally impotent old people.

Posa Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:10 Permalink

The usual self-serving swill from the Best and the Brightest of the Predator Class out of the CFR via Haas.

The liberal order aka the New British Empire, was born 70 years ago by firebombing and nuking undefended civilian targets. It proceeded to launch serial genocidal rampages in the Koreas, SE Asia, Latin America until finally burning down a large portion of the Middle East.

The fact that there has not been a catastrophic nuclear war is pure dumb luck. The Deep State came within seconds of engineering a nuclear cataclysm off the waters of Cuba in 1962. When JFK started dismantling the CIA Deep State and ending the Cold War with the USSR, Dulles dispatched a CIA hit-squad to gun down the President. (RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past).

The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators.

However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front.

So the US Imperialists are being eclipsed by the Sino-Russo Alliance and wants us to believe this is a great tragedy. Meanwhile the same crew of Liberal -neoCon Deep Staters presses on with wars and tensions that are slipping out of control.

Yen Cross Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:17 Permalink

I'll pay extra for a ticket to the George Soros funeral. That's like Game-7 at the Libtard world series!

devnickle Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Death to globalism. It is the Satan World Order.

Grandad Grumps Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:30 Permalink

Liberalism is anything but liberal... and I suppose that is the problem with it. It aims to do to the western world what Mao did to China and Stalin did to Russia. Many people were murdered or imprisoned and people had no rights, just obligations to dictators and their cronies.

I think this world is past the point where any benefit is gained from having "owners of the people", benevolent or otherwise. And we certainly do not benefit from perverted demonic entities even if they come bearing technology. The price is too high.

Populism goes along with essential freedoms for the human race.-

Yogizuna Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:30 Permalink

As I told the idiotic retards who argued with me on Prodigy fucking 27 years ago, China will not change because of increased trading and the West making them wealthier. In fact, just the opposite. I wonder if they have caught on yet?

SuzerainGreyMole Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

One can understand the demise of the West of many levels. Downfall and then Renewal!

... ... ...

[Mar 29, 2018] The US is by no means a "functioning democracy with proper rule of law". More like a corrupt plutocracy

Mar 29, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Aseoria -> ID6902426 , 28 Mar 2018 12:48

The US has been cracking down on protected First Amendment rights for years now. Just heard that someone was kicked off the post office lawn last week for protesting, so FIrday's peace vigil may be at risk again.We haven't had any problems with the police harassing us for probably 12 years, but that may be raising its head again.

The US government has a lot to answer for in terms of press freedom and its reaction to organized protest. One only need remember the clusterfuck at Standing Rock during the final months of Obama's presidency to see that this country has major problems with racism, violence, liberty, equality, fraternity. The US is by no means a "functioning democracy with proper rule of law". More like a corrupt plutocracy riding full-speed into overt fascism, where who you know and who you blow makes the most difference if you wind up in trouble with the law.

I never take First Amendment rights for granted. I am totally aware that if you don't use your rights, and often, you lose them. I have never had an account on Facebook, but sometimes I cruise other people's pages to the extent that Zuckerburg will allow without gathering my information(or maybe they can get it if you just look at a page). Always thought it was a supremely wrong idea to allow your identity to be taken away by some fat cat with a clever idea.

[Mar 29, 2018] Cultural Marxism and identity politics

Mar 29, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Raoul Duke -> milgram , 28 Mar 2018 08:47

It has nothing to do with marxism. I think "cultural marxism" is used in the same context.

It's basically just a label used by right-wingers to describe all the identity politics etc that faux lefties like the neoliberal democrats engage in to distract their voters from looking at actual leftist economic policies. So instead of trying to narrow the gaps between economic classes it's focuses on giving all identities, cultures and subcultures equal worth.

If that makes sense.. My vocabulary kind of lacked the words I was looking for to try to give a good description just now.. (English being my 2nd language an all)

[Mar 28, 2018] The survey appears to confirm that democracy in the United States is largely a sham. Our elected representatives are not the agents of political change, but cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine that operates mainly in the interests of the behemoth corporations and banks

Notable quotes:
"... Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it. ..."
"... That democracy is a sham has been the case for decades. It is doubtful the American electorate has a grasp about anything, but regardless .what will they do about it? ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

Realist , March 22, 2018 at 9:30 am GMT

The survey appears to confirm that democracy in the United States is largely a sham. Our elected representatives are not the agents of political change, but cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine that operates mainly in the interests of the behemoth corporations and banks.

Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it.

That democracy is a sham has been the case for decades. It is doubtful the American electorate has a grasp about anything, but regardless .what will they do about it?

Realist , March 22, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT

Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it.

One can only hope that is true, but I have my doubts.

The question is what will they do about it?

Jim Christian , March 22, 2018 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Realist

The question is what will they do about it?

Damned good question, Real. Since they have a collection of dossiers on everyone in a position to do something, I suspect nothing. Oh, they may sacrifice a Brennan, much more likely McCabe, Struzck (or whatever), Lisa Page. They were the operatives. But then, faced with ten years, thrown to the wolves, denied his pension, facing jail, with McCabe, maybe they can play let's make a deal. Brennan would HATE that. Then, those operatives maybe start having accidents. The trick is to keep everyone quiet. One way or the other. They really want to protect Hillary, but I don't get it. Maybe if Hillary could tell HER tales it could trade UP to Soros. He's a monster.

Things roll down hills, Real, DC is a funny place. Believe me, the lights burn furiously all over Washington these days, the bad guys, the Deep State need to cover all this. The private recriminations must be hideous. All around them, people that can bring them down and you really cannot kill everyone. The last one was Monica, that was several departments working 24/7 for a couple of years. That was blow jobs by actual comparison. But this one is sizzling. This one means the country, war, the integrity of our systems, or will put the lie to formerly noble notions. This one tell us if we're the United States with Justice For All, or if we're a Commercial/Military Junta. We have to pick one.

Twodees Partain , March 28, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT
@Realist

"That democracy is a sham has been the case for decades."

Yes, I agree, and the biggest sham of all is that somehow the US is SUPPOSED to be a democracy. That's pure bullshit. The word 'democracy" doesn't appear in the text of the Constitution, and the early statesmen opposed the very idea, calling it "mob rule", "king numbers" and "the tyranny of the majority", among other epithets.

Congress members are required to swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not to bow to majority opinion on anything, whether that opinion comes from their own constituency or not. The democracy scam gives Congress members the pretext for disregarding the Constitution or for cherry picking the provisions of the document using "the will of the people" as a defense for their malfeasance.

Perversely, this also ends up betraying the interests of their true constituents in favor of providing for the interests of whoever pays them the biggest bribes. In a democracy, the representatives allow themselves to do whatever they think will feather their own nests while claiming that they are bowing to the will of "the people".

[Mar 28, 2018] Inspector General Confirms Probe Of FBI s Criminal FISA Warrant Abuse To Spy On Trump

Mar 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The DOJ's Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday that he is expanding his internal investigation into alleged FBI abuses surrounding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications - and will be examining their relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele. The announcement follows several requests from lawmakers and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"The OIG will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department's and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person," the statement reads.

It should be noted that the OIG's current investigation and upcoming report - which led to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's firing, is focused on the agency's handling of the Clinton email investigation. This new probe will focus on FISA abuse and surveillance of the Trump campaign.

On March 1, House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the FBI may have violated criminal statutes, as well as its own strict internal procedures by using unverified information to obtain a surveillance warrant on onetime Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

Nunes referred to the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), which states that the "accuracy of information contained within FISA applications is of utmost importance... Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the court."

A "FISA memo" released in February by the House Intel Committee (which has since closed its Russia investigation), points to FBI's use of the salacious and unverified "Steele Dossier" funded by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.

"Former and current DOJ and FBI leadership have confirmed to the committee that unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of the FISA applications related to Carter Page," Nunes wrote in his March 1 letter.

Meanwhile, a February 28 letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) requested that IG Horowitz "conduct a comprehensive review of potential improper political influence, misconduct, or mismanagement" in relation to the FBI's handling of counterintelligence and criminal investigations of the Trump campaign prior to the appointment of Robert Mueller.

Steele in the crosshairs

The OIG letter also notes "As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source."

The source, in this case, is Christopher Steele.

The House Intel Committe's "FISA memo" alleges that the political origins of the dossier - paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) - were not disclosed to the clandestine court that signed off on the warrant request, as DOJ officials knew Steele was being paid by democrats. Moreover, officials at the DOJ and FBI signed one warrant, and three renewals against Carter Page.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), Horowitz will be connecting dots that allegedly go from the Clinton campaign directly to the Kremlin.

Although the contents of the dossier were unable to be corroborated, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that Steele's reputation was solid - and used a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff to support the FISA application. The Isikoff article, however, contained information provided by Steele. In other words, the FBI made it appear to the FISA court that two separate sources supported their application, when in fact they both came from Steele.

(interestingly, Isikoff also wrote a hit piece to discredit an undercover FBI informant who testified to Congress last week about millions of dollars in bribes routed to the Clinton Foundation by Russian nuclear officials. Small world!)

So despite the FBI refusing to pay Steele $50,000 when he couldn't verify the dossier's claims, they still used it - in conjunction with a Steele sourced Yahoo! article to spy on a Trump campaign associate. And to make up for the fact that the underlying FISA claims were unverified, they "vouched" for Steele's reputation instead.

[Mar 28, 2018] My impression is that the internal dynamic of development of such a large and well financed intelligence service as CIA is directed toward "liberation" from any civil control.

Notable quotes:
"... Your comment is being held for moderation and will be displayed once it has been approved by the site owner. ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

likbez -> turcopolier ... 28 March 2018 at 03:12 PM

> "The CIA is an instrument of US government."

I would respectfully disagree. My impression is that the internal dynamic of development of such a large and well financed intelligence service as CIA is directed toward "liberation" from any civil control.

And at some point the tail start wagging the dog. At this point we have national security state and this transition is permanent and can't be reversed.

So at some point CIA became the government, not "an instrument of US government." And Church Committee stated this explicitly and tried (unsuccessfully) to curb the level of CIA influence on the US society.

Looks like existence of powerful intelligence agencies is incompatible with the idea of democratic society. At some point the most powerful of them becomes the Big Brother. Welcome to 1984 dystopia or some variation of it.

Your comment is being held for moderation and will be displayed once it has been approved by the site owner.

[Mar 28, 2018] It's Not a Conspiracy Anymore; Public Belief in 'Deep State' Soars by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Monmouth University Poll ..."
"... It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is. ..."
"... So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. ..."
"... There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats ..."
"... Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office. ..."
"... Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement. ..."
"... And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

On Monday, the Monmouth University Polling Institute released the results of a survey that found that "a large bipartisan majority feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a 'Deep State' of unelected government officials .. [1] Public Troubled By Deep State, Monmouth University Polling Institute

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 2 to 5, 2018 with 803 adults in the United States. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/m...31918/

According to the survey:" 6-in-10 Americans (60%) feel that unelected or appointed government officials have too much influence in determining federal policy. Just 26% say the right balance of power exists between elected and unelected officials in determining policy. Democrats (59%), Republicans (59%) and independents (62%) agree that appointed officials hold too much sway in the federal government. ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

The survey appears to confirm that democracy in the United States is largely a sham. Our elected representatives are not the agents of political change, but cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine that operates mainly in the interests of the behemoth corporations and banks. Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it. Check it out:

" Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term "Deep State ;" another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term. However, when the term is described as a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy, nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist." Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group "

So while the cable news channels dismiss anyone who believes in the "Deep State" as a conspiracy theorist, it's clear that the majority of people think that's how the system really works, that is, "a group of unelected government and military officials secretly manipulate or direct national policy."

It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is.

The Monmouth survey also found that "A majority of the American public believe that the U.S. government engages in widespread monitoring of its own citizens and worry that the U.S. government could be invading their own privacy." .

"Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%)who say this activity is widespread Few Americans (18%) say government monitoring or spying on U.S. citizens is usually justified, with most (53%) saying it is only sometimes justified. Another 28% say this activity is rarely or never justified ." ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. Once again, the data suggests that the American people know what is going on, know that the US has gone from a reasonably free country where civil liberties were protected under the law, to a state-of-the-art surveillance state ruled by invisible elites who see the American people as an obstacle to their global ambitions–but their awareness has not evolved into an organized movement for change. In any event, the public seems to understand that the USG is not as committed to human rights and civil liberties as the media would have one believe. That's a start.

There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats. From the time Trump became the GOP presidential nominee more than 18 months ago, a powerful faction of the Intelligence Community, law enforcement (FBI) and even elements form the Obama DOJ, have vigorously tried to sabotage his presidency, his credibility and his agenda. Without a scintilla of hard evidence to make their case, this same group and their dissembling allies in the media, have cast Trump as a disloyal collaborator who conspired to win the election by colluding with a foreign government. The magnitude of this fabrication is beyond anything we've seen before in American political history, and the absence of any verifiable proof makes it all the more alarming. As it happens, the Deep State is so powerful it can wage a full-blown assault on the highest elected office in the country without even showing probable cause. In other words, the president of the United States is not even accorded the same rights as a common crook. How does that happen?

Over the weekend, former CIA Director and "Russia-gate" ringleader John Brennan fired off an angry salvo at Trump on his Twitter account. Here's what he said:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

Doesn't Brennan's statement help to reinforce the public's belief in the Deep State? How does a career bureaucrat who has never been elected to public office decide that it is appropriate to use the credibility of his former office to conduct a pitch-battle with the President of the United States?

Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office.

Not so, Brennan. Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement.

And Brennan has been given a platform on the cable news channels so he can continue his assault on the presidency, not because he can prove that Trump is guilty of collusion or obstruction or whatever, but because the people who own the media have mobilized their deep state agents to carry out their vendetta to remove Trump from office by any means possible.

This is the "America" of which Brennan speaks. Not my America, but deep state America.

And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about

... ... ...

[Mar 27, 2018] The New York Times procures salacious details of "gray-zone sex" by Eric London

Notable quotes:
"... Business Insider ..."
Mar 01, 2018 | www.wsws.org

On February 21, the New York Times published a notice calling on college students to describe and document any sexual encounter "that may not be viewed as sexual assault but which constitutes something murkier than a bad date." The notice incldues a submission form where students can accuse individuals of having engaged in something the Times calls "gray-zone sex." The Times asks its young tipsters to include names, email addresses, phone numbers and colleges, plus text message records and photographs documenting the encounters.

The Times ' announcement, written by gender editor Jessica Bennett and Daniel Jones, reads in its entirety:

As stories of sexual misconduct continue to dominate the news, a debate has erupted over a particular kind of encounter, one that may not be viewed as sexual assault but which constitutes something murkier than a bad date.

We've seen it play out on a public stage, from the Aziz Ansari incident to The New Yorker's "Cat Person" story. So-called "gray-zone sex" has prompted impassioned conversations about -- and personal reflection on -- what constitutes consent and how we signal our desire or apprehension in the moment. This debate is especially vibrant on college campuses, where for years students and administrators have grappled with the issue.

We want to hear how you handle consent for sexual intimacy in relationships and encounters. Do you have a particular experience you find yourself thinking back to? What was said, texted or hinted at, through words or physical cues, that moved the encounter forward -- or stopped it? How did it make you feel at the time, and how do you think about it now?

The February 21 solicitation links to an article Bennett wrote on December 16, 2017 titled, "When Saying 'Yes' Is Easier Than Saying 'No,'" which sheds further light on what the Times means when it asks "what constitutes consent?" The two articles together show the provocative and witch-hunting character of the Times ' efforts to compile a database of sexual harassment allegations on college campuses across the country.

"For years," Bennett begins in the December article, "my female friends and I have spoken, with knowing nods, about a sexual interaction we call 'the place of no return.' It's a kind of sexual nuance that most women instinctively understand: the situation you thought you wanted, or maybe you actually never wanted, but somehow here you are and it's happening and you desperately want out, but you know that at this point exiting the situation would be more difficult than simply lying there and waiting for it to be over. In other words, saying yes when we really mean no."

Bennett provides two examples, one from her personal life and another from a short story published late last year in the New Yorker titled "Cat person." In both cases, the woman is interested in the man, they court one another, and they both agree to have sex. In the New Yorker story, which is also linked in the February 21 announcement, the protagonist is physically unsatisfied by her partner, who she complains is "heavy" and "bad in bed." Later, the protagonist tells all her friends a version of this encounter, "though," the author explains, "not quite the true one."

Bennett says "there are other names for this kind of sex: gray-zone sex, in reference to that murky gray area of consent; begrudgingly consensual sex, because, you know, you don't really want to do it but it's probably easier to just get it over with; lukewarm sex, because you're kind of 'meh' about it; and, of course, bad sex, where the 'bad' refers not to the perceived pleasure of it, but to the way you feel in the aftermath Sometimes 'yes' means 'no,' simply because it is easier to go through with it than explain our way out of a situation."

"Consent" is a legal term that marks the line between noncriminal and criminal conduct. Sex without consent can, and should, lead to the filing of a complaint followed by the initiation of a criminal investigation, prosecution and, if a jury is persuaded by the evidence, conviction. It is a basic legal tenet that the accused cannot be punished by the state for acts that are not proscribed by law, and in the American system, conduct that falls in a "gray zone" by its very nature does not meet the threshold for conviction: guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."

But the Times 's call for young people to submit reports of "gray-zone sex" is aimed at creating a parallel system, outside the framework of the law, in which the accused have no right to privacy or to due process. As law professor Catharine MacKinnon wrote in a Times column on February 4, "#MeToo has done what the law could not."

Playing the role of prosecutors in the court of public opinion, the gender editor and her cohorts at the New York Times are creating a massive database that it can dig through to ruin the careers and lives of students and professors based on unproved accusations of sexual conduct that, in any event, is not illegal.

The aim of this reactionary campaign is both political and pecuniary.

First, the Times hopes to create a political and cultural climate in which a broad array of consensual conduct is deemed punishable, even if it does not violate any legal statute.

The Times 's appeal for accusations comes after a number of spreadsheets have surfaced where students and faculty can anonymously submit accusations of harassment or "creepy behavior" on the part of male collegues or teachers. The submissions will involve a massive invasion of privacy. Individuals, without their knowledge or consent, may be placed in a situation where their most intimate behavior is being secretly documented and forwarded to the New York Times . Texts and even photographs will be examined and leered over by the gender editor and her colleagues. It is not difficult to imagine the abuses of privacy that will flow from the Times 's efforts to procure salacious material.

There are countless legal issues involved. There are many states that outlaw the transmission of sexually explicit and lewd material over the Internet. Will the individuals who foolishly transmit the material requested by the Times be opening themselves up to prosecution? If the Times 's editors discover that one or another submission describes sexual behavior that occurred between minors, will they inform the police that they have evidence of a violation of age-of-consent laws?

If the Times receives a submission that describes a consensual sexual encounter between a student and an older faculty member or administrator, will it decide that it must inform the institution of a possible violation of institutional regulations? And what happens if and when prosecutors, having initiated investigations into "gray-zone sex," obtain supboenas, demanding that the Times turn over its files? Who can doubt that the Times will comply with court orders, regardless of the consequences for those who are caught up in the escalating witch hunt?

Second, the call for "gray-zone sex" stories is a shameless effort to make money. In early February, the Times announced a 46 percent increase in digital subscriptions over the past year, and its stock price has increased 40 percent since October, the month it published the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Reuters wrote, "Subscriptions in the quarter also got a boost from the newspaper's coverage of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment story, helping the company post the highest-ever annual subscription revenue of $1 billion." It was also in October 2017 that the Times announced the position of "gender editor," at which point Bennett declared that gender "needs to exist throughout every section of the paper."

However, the newspaper has had trouble attracting younger readers who are more likely to turn to social media and independent websites for news. In 2017, the Times launched its own Discover section on Snapchat "with the aim of capturing younger demographics," Business Insider wrote. The Times 's campaign to broaden the #MeToo campaign to include "gray-zone sex" stories, with a focus on college campuses, is a part of its filthy business strategy.

[Mar 22, 2018] In order for Sanders to achieve anything substancial, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus

Mar 22, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

dcblogger , March 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm

In Chicago primaries, a string of defeats for the Democratic establishment at the hands of progressive Democrats
https://boingboing.net/2018/03/21/united-working-families.html

Lee , March 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

From the Chomsky interview posted above:

In order for him [Sanders] to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/noam-chomsky-populist-groundswell-u-s-elections-future-humanity.html

[Mar 22, 2018] I hope Brennan is running scared, along with Power. It's like the Irish Mafia.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I agree that they are a big threat to life on earth. From the amount of ecological damage that our wars create, the number of people who we have killed or misplaced, to their planned war with Russia that could see the end of the human race and animals. That so many people are believing this Russian propaganda crap is beyond belief. These are the same people who used to question what the intelligence agencies were saying, but not any more. ..."
"... All Maxine "Lip Flappin" Waters does nowadays, like Adam Schiff, is ignore their districts in favor of Russiagate and get Trump out. They don't deserve their congressional positions. ..."
"... Ain't no one touching Schumer, and as for our president all he has to do is make another $10B donation to his favorite country and all this will go away. They done sold this country out many times over. ..."
"... The quaint idea that the public should "just trust" the "intelligence" (sic) "community" (sic) is trotted out by the propaganda media whenever anyone dares to question this gang of spies and dirty tricksters. As if these scum are somehow paragons of virtue and truthfulness! And the mass of Americans just swallow this rotten bait, and continue their profound sleep ..."
"... Yes, the secret agencies must be nearly abolished, as completely incompatible with democracy. ..."
"... I am wondering if Trump is going to make it out of this alive. ..."
"... I can see the pure evil in Brennan's eyes. He is dripping with hatred. Not that I like Trump, but our so-called intelligence agencies must be brought to heel if we are to have any hope for the future. People like Brennan need to be prosecuted and go to jail. ..."
"... Skip Scott -- Trump should keep his mouth shut, I know, but I can't blame the guy for speaking out, especially when he's been hounded by the press with something like 90+% negative coverage. He was right about his phones being "tapped", and everyone said he was out of his mind for saying such a thing. The Steele dossier is a phony, made-up dossier purposely invented to spy on Trump and bring in the Special Prosecutor. Everyone who had a hand in this should be behind bars. This has been an attempted coup against a duly-elected President. ..."
"... When the Inspector General's Report comes out, when Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy finally get the information they've been asking for, I think we're going to see people go to jail. They're now looking into Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. ..."
"... These guys brought down the World Trade Center just to further their geopolitical agenda. Nothing is beyond their treachery. They don't have to assassinate the man, as they did the hapless Skripal's just to smear Russia one more time. They can bring down Airforce One and blame it on the Russians in some kind of grand two-fer, if they so choose (everyone knows those Russians just can't quit their evil ways). ..."
"... These spooks and their collaborators in the Pentagon, the MIC, Capitol Hill and the MSM have as effectively seized all power in this country as the Stalinists did in the Soviet Union. Idiots like Schumer sometimes unwittingly let the cat out of the bag, and he was right in pin-pointing who runs this country and to what extent they will go to destroy you to maintain their stake in ruling the planet ..."
"... Realist, very true, and you have summarized it so well. I am afraid this Skirpal incident in U.K. has been staged as a prelude to attack on Syria by U.S., U.K., Israel, and France, with Germany and other Western Nations cheering from the side. ..."
"... Trump is completely safe & will not be taken out? Why? Because Candidate Trump has completely backtracked from every foreign policy statements he made such as seeking peace with Russia? It's no coincidence that Trump was made to pay a visit to the one of the Deepstate's intelligence agencies at the CIA? ..."
"... I wonder to what extent Trump is whistling past the graveyard. Most women understand the dynamic: When you know you are under threat, pretend not to notice anything untoward ..."
"... "Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." Didn't Michael Hastings piss off Brennan? ..."
"... Washington is like a continuing Soap Opera, as the real bad guys battle it out with the other really bad guys. We the people are mere pawns in their hands, to be influenced and duped to no end, as the lies swirl around and around until a citizen is completely buffaloed into submission. ..."
"... While reading this about John Brennan I could not help but think of JFK firing Allen Dulles. Again with the rhyming. ..."
"... "Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom said that there was a plot among "high-ranking" people throughout government -- "not just the FBI," who coordinated in a plot to help Hillary Clinton avoid indictment. ..."
"... "I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted," Kallstrom told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo. ..."
"... "I think it goes right to the top. And it involves that whole strategy -- they were gonna win, nobody would have known any of this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community. Look at the unmaskings. We haven't heard anything about that yet. Look at the way they violated the rights of all those American citizens." ..."
"... "Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate." Looking at the pictures of Barack Obama with John Brennen, they seemed to have very cozy relationship. I wonder about Obama's role in this Russia-Gate. There are many unanswered questions about the top-echelons' role in this bizarre drama which may end up in many ominous consequences for the country and for the World. ..."
"... I think the intelligence agencies are the true source of nearly all of the problems..instead of gathering intelligence the IAs are effecting the events about which the intelligence is supposed to be about. Certainty Intelligence agencies can be credited with 9/11 and the war on Iraq. Interconnected between nations, shuffling in open-source form, secret sharing, false flag event production, and media delivered propaganda are activities which define the intelligence agencies. Secret means slave citizens are denied the knowledge that would allow them to understand how corrupt our societies are; so that the leaders of such societies can continue in the office that commands the power. ..."
"... Brilliantly stated, faraday's law. You've raised the all-important point that the intelligence agencies are are not simply gathering intelligence, they are also engaging in covert action, unlawfully, unaccountably, and unscrutinized. For all we know they could be spending their virtually unlimited funds on creating our enemies, thereby creating a need for our military industrial complex, the only entity that benefits from their work. ..."
"... Seems like the two wings of the Anglo-American establishment alliance are working in concert to defeat all who stand in their way and regain dominance over the western world. In Britain, Teresa May and the Tories -- who are losing popularity to the resurgent Labour party and its progressive leader Jeremy Corbyn -- are trying to blame Russia for a nerve agent attack. The blame game over there is evidence-free of course and the lies and weasel-word assertions are being effectively countered by, among others, ex-Ambassador Craig Murray ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ ) in post after post. ..."
"... You present some interesting points, but John Brennan is no "Wild Bill Donovan" or even a William Casey with the backup of the fraternity of OSS which no longer has meetings. It seems to me that Brennan's and his diminishing followers' power lies with the media that has done the dance of "valued sources" and perception manipulation of the masses. Actually, "night of the long knives" occurred in Saudi Arabia when Prince "Bandar Bush" was captured and "interviewed" not by the FBI or the CIA, but most probably by individuals with videos of confessions which summarized the long history of the activities involving operatives conducting activities during the presidential administrations of both political parties but continuously for clans such as the Bush Dynasty and assorted associates within the institutions that are now domestically profiting from the policies of the President. ..."
"... But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief. ..."
"... Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress. ..."
"... The Deep State, through the CIA, pursues a foreign policy that is often at odds with the wishes of the vast majority of the people in this country ..."
"... Brennans screech confirms that Trump is not just smoke and mirrors. He really hit the bureaucracy where it hurts, their pensions -- brilliant move. ..."
"... Trump and Brennan represent equally criminal factions of the ruling class, divided over foreign policy, particularly in the civil war in Syria, and more generally towards Russia. ..."
"... Brennan and the Democrats speak for powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus embittered by the failure of US intervention in Syria and Trump's apparent abandonment of the Islamic fundamentalist groups armed by the CIA to fight the Russian and Iranian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad. They want to push further into the Syrian slaughter, regardless of the risk of open military conflict with Russia, the world's second strongest nuclear power. ..."
"... That "moral turpitude" reference seems to imply that there is some -- yet to be revealed -- scandal held in abeyance, fully capable of delivering a decisive blow. And, the "deep staters" are merely waiting for the right moment to pull this shark-toothed rabbit out of the hat. ..."
"... Former heads of the nation's top intelligence organization do not attack sitting presidents, let alone in such a visceral vituperative and public fashion. This is indication of deep fissures, quite beyond politics as most citizens understand. As the World Socialist Web Site published today: "There is no recent parallel for statements and actions such as those of the past three days. One would have to go back to the period before the American Civil War to find equivalent levels of tension, which in the late 1850s erupted in violence in the halls of Congress before exploding in full-scale military conflict." ..."
"... Trump is a maverick outsider so it's hard to get a handle on what or who he represents, but the Brennan/deep state side of the dispute is very much aligned with the corporate DNC Democratic Party. That they seem, by Brennan's comments, to consider themselves as the representation of "America" as they abandon constitutional and etiquette norms and articulate visceral hatred towards political rivals should serve as fair warning. ..."
"... Kevin Zeese: "He basically is a Senator for Israel. He totally supports the Israeli foreign policy viewpoint, which is a very hawkish, if you were a Republican you would call him a neocon." ..."
"... Thomas Hedges: "Schumer's staunch support for Israel has prompted him for example, to criticize the Obama administration, when in 2016, the United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution re-affirming something the Council had almost unanimously upheld since 1979. Namely, that Israel's settlement building projects on Palestinian land violated international law." ..."
"... Brennan is history's most hilarious DCI. His grandiose hissy fit suggests that CIA continues the Dulles tradition of infiltrating the civil service with 'focal points -' illegal CIA moles infiltrating US government agencies -- and the IG fumigated one key out in firing McCabe. ..."
"... the MSM and the Left see the "crime" being that McCabe was fired, not that McCabe broke the law. Kind of like when they didn't see a crime in Hillary using her own personal servers, but saw the crime as being that the emails might have been hacked by a foreign government. That they had no evidence of this didn't matter. ..."
"... Brennan sounds like a desperate man. They must be getting closer to him. ..."
"... See how this works? The article is about Brennan. The comment is about Brennan's CIA. But immersive CIA propaganda immediately diverts the topic to CIA's synthetic warring factions, Hillary! Trump! Hillary! Trump! ..."
"... CIA runs your country. You're not going to get anywhere until you stop bickering about their presidential puppet rulers. ..."
"... The mention of John Brennan brings to mind the bizarre death of Rolling Stone's writer, Michael Hastings, who was reported to be working on a story about Brennan just before he had his "accident". ..."
"... Our MS Media is nothing more than Democrat Propaganda, and that situation will doom us to Russian interference. Every election the Russians can do the same as 2016: release the truth about justice not served. ..."
"... Israel has advised, trained and equipped, and ran "dirty war" operations in the Latin American "dirty war" conflicts in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. In the case of the Salvadoran "bloodbath", the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists. ..."
"... USMC activated. Well, I'd put my two-cents on POTUS. Just like we've all seen throughout our lives when the supposed tough guy starts making threats he is really scared Sh**less. Lots of these clowns are just going to disappear during the late night hours of the day never to be heard from again. ..."
"... Guys like Brennan are scared rats in a sinking ship, good riddance! ..."
"... What an amazingly illuminating article. Devin Nunes, who perfectly ok with wire taps as long as the target aren't from his party is somehow a noble individual. While I agree that Brennan should be in prison, it should be for torturing people ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

backwardsevolution March 19, 2018 at 7:08 am

Great article. I hope Brennan is running scared, along with Power. It's like the Irish Mafia.

"Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday's lead article conveys the intended message: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'"

That sounds like something "Six Ways From Sunday" Schumer would say. In fact, I'd bet money that it is the shyster himself. That guy should be removed from the Senate in leg irons. He is a menace to society.

Abby , March 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I agree that they are a big threat to life on earth. From the amount of ecological damage that our wars create, the number of people who we have killed or misplaced, to their planned war with Russia that could see the end of the human race and animals. That so many people are believing this Russian propaganda crap is beyond belief. These are the same people who used to question what the intelligence agencies were saying, but not any more.

The fact that most of congress and people in other governments have made up the Russian propaganda is what needs to be exposed. This is a huge crime against humanity, IMO. This includes Bernie of all people. They are doing this so they can get their war on with Russia and escalate the Syrian war.

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 3:02 am

Agreed. All Maxine "Lip Flappin" Waters does nowadays, like Adam Schiff, is ignore their districts in favor of Russiagate and get Trump out. They don't deserve their congressional positions. I wish to add a comment Coleen Rowley's piece. An update: Law Professor Jonathan Turley says Andrew M. will still get his pension, just have to wait until he's 57 (now 50). Can you understand this? What will it take to punish these arrogant evil little punks? And why should we pay their pensions, especially when so many of us get nothing!

Mike S , March 20, 2018 at 12:59 am

Ain't no one touching Schumer, and as for our president all he has to do is make another $10B donation to his favorite country and all this will go away. They done sold this country out many times over.

Brad Owen , March 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

The draining of the swamp has now begun, and battle is about to be joined. That's the word from Alex Jones, Roy Potter and that youtube crowd of similar "guerilla journalists", who fill in for the Deep State-captured and untrustworthy MSM.

The Deep State miscalculated the alignment of forces for the upcoming, somewhat covert, civil war within the governing apparatus; Trump knows the military has his back, especially the Marines, and they are part & parcel of the Constitution. The Deep State is a sick Post-WWII mistake, rogue and criminal, and will be rolled up. There are a lot of jewels hidden in their unacknowledged black programs of great benefit to the World, if we can wrestle them away from these weaponizing psychopaths of the Deep State.

jean , March 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Unfortunately whistleblowers like Bill Binny and others can't get airtime on in corporate media but can get a voice on Alex Jones.

William Binney High Ranking NSA Whistle Blower Interview with Alex. Video for Bill Binney alex jones
? 34:25
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW-V-TOJVE8
Jun 14, 2017 -- Uploaded by N Jacobson
William Binney High Ranking NSA Whistle Blower Interview w/ Alex Jones 6-14-17 William Binney, and ..

Whistleblower Reveals NSA Blackmailing Top Govt Officials -- YouTube
Video for Russ tice alex jones
? 22:27
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZoV52qdaOA
Jun 8, 2014 -- Uploaded by The Alex Jones Channel
NSA whistleblower Russell Tice was a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the

saveourliberty , March 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Attacks on Alex Jones might be warranted, but I find those trivial in comparison for how he has awakened the masses and has given a bully-pit to those that have been silenced by the MSM. Choose your battles. Jones isn't one I want to silence though we can never let our guard down to co-option neither.

Andrew , March 20, 2018 at 7:04 am

An open threat to torch the POTUS and there are no consequences for making such threats? Like Brennan's clear threat? No judicial system to deal with those threats?

mike k , March 19, 2018 at 7:46 am

The quaint idea that the public should "just trust" the "intelligence" (sic) "community" (sic) is trotted out by the propaganda media whenever anyone dares to question this gang of spies and dirty tricksters. As if these scum are somehow paragons of virtue and truthfulness! And the mass of Americans just swallow this rotten bait, and continue their profound sleep ..

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 6:32 am

Yes, the secret agencies must be nearly abolished, as completely incompatible with democracy.

Wolfbay , March 20, 2018 at 6:54 am

There are only 17 secret agencies. No room to cut.

toni , March 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

Why do you think that there all the shows on television and the movies where the good guy is the cop, or some federal agent?

Skip Scott , March 19, 2018 at 8:06 am

I am wondering if Trump is going to make it out of this alive. I know they don't want to tip their hand to the public, but if their media circus performance doesn't gain sufficient traction, it'll probably be time for a "lone nut" assassin. I can see the pure evil in Brennan's eyes. He is dripping with hatred. Not that I like Trump, but our so-called intelligence agencies must be brought to heel if we are to have any hope for the future. People like Brennan need to be prosecuted and go to jail.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:34 am

Skip Scott -- Trump should keep his mouth shut, I know, but I can't blame the guy for speaking out, especially when he's been hounded by the press with something like 90+% negative coverage. He was right about his phones being "tapped", and everyone said he was out of his mind for saying such a thing. The Steele dossier is a phony, made-up dossier purposely invented to spy on Trump and bring in the Special Prosecutor. Everyone who had a hand in this should be behind bars. This has been an attempted coup against a duly-elected President.

When the Inspector General's Report comes out, when Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy finally get the information they've been asking for, I think we're going to see people go to jail. They're now looking into Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation.

Never mind the damage being done re relations between Russia and the U.S. and the possible nuclear threat. These people truly are insane. I agree with you, these intelligence agencies really have gone rogue and need to be "brought to heel".

laninya , March 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

The day Trump keeps his mouth shut or stops tweeting is the day he and his revolution will be over. What do you think is smoking all these malefactors out into the open?

Steve Naidamast , March 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

backwardsevolution

Former CIA Officer, Kevin Shipp, spoke out in an article I saw the other day that the FBI is working very methodically on the investigations into the Clinton Foundation. He expects that when it comes out so many "heads will roll" in the Congress and the Executive branch that we will have a Constitutional crises portending a collapse of the US government.

Can't wait to see these fireworks :-)

Typingperson , March 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Not holding my breath -- but I hope so!

Abby , March 19, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I read this article and I too hope that Shipp is right about this. The Clinton foundation and everything connected to them is rotten. They robbed Haiti's reconstruction funds and gave their friends and family members special access to bilking them. Everyone knew that they did that, yet no one said a word about it.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 1:27 am

Steve, I watched this Youtube video of Kevin Shipp talking to this Group of citizens, last evening. It is really very informative. The title of the video was: "CIA Officer exposes the shadow government" dated Feb 19, 2018. This video is really worth watching.

Realist , March 19, 2018 at 3:38 pm

These guys brought down the World Trade Center just to further their geopolitical agenda. Nothing is beyond their treachery. They don't have to assassinate the man, as they did the hapless Skripal's just to smear Russia one more time. They can bring down Airforce One and blame it on the Russians in some kind of grand two-fer, if they so choose (everyone knows those Russians just can't quit their evil ways).

These spooks and their collaborators in the Pentagon, the MIC, Capitol Hill and the MSM have as effectively seized all power in this country as the Stalinists did in the Soviet Union. Idiots like Schumer sometimes unwittingly let the cat out of the bag, and he was right in pin-pointing who runs this country and to what extent they will go to destroy you to maintain their stake in ruling the planet .

All this has been clear for a long time now, yet nothing is ever done about it, probably because the task is too immense, these devils are too numerous and too deeply entrenched. Everything they say or do before the public is simply stagecraft and dramatics, and that includes all the gibbering that emanates from Congress each day, dispensed to you in a direct feed by the propaganda organs of the mass media which now includes most of the internet. You want to hear the truth? Go read a novel, maybe the publishing monolith will occasionally let slip an accurate description of our world couched in metaphor, a glitch in the Matrix, if you will.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Realist, very true, and you have summarized it so well. I am afraid this Skirpal incident in U.K. has been staged as a prelude to attack on Syria by U.S., U.K., Israel, and France, with Germany and other Western Nations cheering from the side.

Most likely, a false flag event will staged in Syria very soon to justify it. And there will be some sort of action in Ukraine too. U.S., U.K., and France are deep in debt. China is rising economically, and I am afraid that these Western Imperial Nations will not let go their complete dominance over the planet without a fight.

Events may take a very sad and violent turn in no time.

Skip Scott , March 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

Realist.

That is a very scary scenario you propose about Air Force One, and quite conceivable. The way things are heating up, I suspect something in that order of magnitude very soon.

KiwiAntz , March 20, 2018 at 12:02 am

Trump is completely safe & will not be taken out? Why? Because Candidate Trump has completely backtracked from every foreign policy statements he made such as seeking peace with Russia? It's no coincidence that Trump was made to pay a visit to the one of the Deepstate's intelligence agencies at the CIA?

Trump would have been taken into a office & shown a continuous looped, Zapruder film of JFK getting his head blasted apart, as a warning of what happened to the last President who tried to destroy their power & influences? Remember Chuck Schumer's threat in 2017, warning Trump that the Intelligence Agencies have a number of ways, to take you down, if you rock the boat? Trump was shown what to expect if he doesn't toe the line & do what he's told by his real masters? Confirmation of Trump's obedience to the Deepstate agenda is that as he's now singing from the same song sheet that the Deepstate is singing from, completely backtracking most of his his election promises, making America great again, not by diplomacy but by endless war mongering & foreign interventions with no end in sight?

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 12:51 am

We have known for sometime that the CIA and Google (not to mention WaPo and Jeff's garage sale site) are tight. Julian Assange's "When Google Met Wikileaks" is a go to for this. And you know that Eric Schmidt and Hillary Clinton are close connivers.

Litchfield , March 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

I wonder to what extent Trump is whistling past the graveyard. Most women understand the dynamic: When you know you are under threat, pretend not to notice anything untoward . . . So as not to trigger something really bad happening. If the picture changed dramatically -- say, with indictments of co-conspirators in the DNC shenanigans or the FBI collusion, or the Russiagate farce -- Trump might do some kind fo about-face. The big question, though, is his real relationship to and heartfelt convictions regarding Netanyahu/Israel.

Gregory Herr , March 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

"Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." Didn't Michael Hastings piss off Brennan?

Gregory Herr , March 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm

http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/world/wikileaks-cia-s-brennan-on-witch-hunt-when-hastings-was-killed/article/421913

Joe Tedesky , March 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Washington is like a continuing Soap Opera, as the real bad guys battle it out with the other really bad guys. We the people are mere pawns in their hands, to be influenced and duped to no end, as the lies swirl around and around until a citizen is completely buffaloed into submission.

While reading this about John Brennan I could not help but think of JFK firing Allen Dulles. Again with the rhyming.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 9:07 am

Two short interviews with James Kallstrom at this site:

"Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom said that there was a plot among "high-ranking" people throughout government -- "not just the FBI," who coordinated in a plot to help Hillary Clinton avoid indictment.

"I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted," Kallstrom told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo.

"I think it goes right to the top. And it involves that whole strategy -- they were gonna win, nobody would have known any of this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community. Look at the unmaskings. We haven't heard anything about that yet. Look at the way they violated the rights of all those American citizens."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-18/ex-fbi-assistant-director-there-was-high-ranking-plot-protect-hillary-brennan

Tom Ratliff , March 19, 2018 at 11:36 am

Yes, very interesting interview with Kallstrom -- on mainstream media, which is important. Seems too many people understand what's really transpired for Trump -- or anyone -- to be in mortal danger. We'll see.

Brennan's tweet suggests he knows the walls are closing in on him.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

I agree. If you're very strong, you don't bother making public threats against powerful people. You just break their backs without comment. Brennan comes across like he's been backed into a corner where he has no weapons and from which he knows there is no escape.

Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate. http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/is-john-brennan-the-mastermind-behind-russiagate/

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 1:15 am

It is what I already sussed out, Paul. In reading Whitney's piece, it reminded me that over the last eight years the State Department in their press gatherings continuously mocked any RT reporters and disrespected them. You could easily surmise from this that they had a hand in these propaganda smears and lies.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 1:53 am

"Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate." Looking at the pictures of Barack Obama with John Brennen, they seemed to have very cozy relationship. I wonder about Obama's role in this Russia-Gate. There are many unanswered questions about the top-echelons' role in this bizarre drama which may end up in many ominous consequences for the country and for the World.

Bob H , March 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Dave P(et.al.) it's getting more involved every day. It is interesting that the interview was on Fox as it indicates prominent Republicans may be leaning towards a more thorough investigation. However, if the investigation includes an inquiry into Cambridge Analytica they are likely to find that most of the fake news on Facebook that was influential in throwing the election to Trump was the result of Breitbart strategy with no Russian connection. Some Republicans may be willing to do this, but if it were conclusive I doubt whether either the Democrats or the Trump administration would come out on top; there are very few innocents that didn't add to the stench of the swamp. BTW: thanks for that valuable link B.E.!

Stephen J. , March 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

Is This the Land of the Free?

How will it end, or will it go on without end?
This feasting on blood that these demons depend
Will these diabolical devils ever be arraigned and indicted
And will we ever see the land of the free tried and convicted?

[more info at link below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/04/is-this-land-of-free.html
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
"It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby committing two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime."

Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House, April 15/16, 2017.

Bob Van Noy , March 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm

H. W., Kuwait, Sept. 11, 1990

https://www.politico.com/story/2009/09/president-bush-responds-to-iraqi-invasion-of-kuwait-sept-11-1990-026997

David Hamilton , March 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Yes, this "H.W., Kuwait" is the war crime that started the era of ruthless war-making in which we are now trapped. It is the era of the kicked-down Vietnam Syndrome, where we are free once again to enrich our mercenary corporations as we project our military force 'exceptionally' to 'creatively destroy' in our noble quest to guide the world to do things our way. Some may recall how, back then, the pundit and Congressional classes deployed propaganda that was the prototype for what we have since become accustomed to. "We are doing this for peace, so all you dissenters shut up." Nobody then would acknowledge that we had covertly -- and treacherously -- aided and abetted both Iran and Iraq during their 8-year war that immediately preceded our war. (Hush, hush, wink, wink, said the media.) Thus, we had no moral or legal standing to pronounce any country guilty of 'aggression', as we did Saddam's country, who we had also green-lighted into settling his border dispute with force. That alone was enough to reveal our collective disregard for Muslim life. The rules of engagement that allowed water treatment plants to be bombed only confirmed our disregard. Warnings of unintended (or intended?) consequences then, as later, went unheeded, such as the certainty of blow back when one betrays so many peoples of the world who thought we had 'principles'. Is it any wonder there was blow back, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing? (By the way, Rep. Dick Gephardt, criticized in this article, eventually led a valiant but futile effort to derail the war momentum in the House.) Peace.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Paul Craig Roberts is a bit off. Each of the war crimes he mentions were waging wars of aggression. But there were a multitude of lesser war crimes committed in each of those wars. And his count is off. Bush's wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen did not cease being wars of aggression in 2008 simply because 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue acquired new tenants that year. Obama gets credit for the continuation of those four wars in addition to the wars first launched while he was in office. And Trump likewise must be given credit for his continuations of wars of aggression launched by his predecessors.

Michael Kenny , March 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

For over 50 years, I have applied the rule that I never take the word of anyone who has ever been connected with the CIA.

Skip Scott , March 20, 2018 at 8:21 am

Bullshit. I've seen your posts going back months, and you are a typical MSM propaganda apologist. If you know anything about "Operation Mockingbird", then you know that all of your past comments are "connected with the CIA".

Realist , March 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm

I'm telling ya, the guy seems like the amazing schizoid man these days.

faraday's law , March 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

I think the intelligence agencies are the true source of nearly all of the problems..instead of gathering intelligence the IAs are effecting the events about which the intelligence is supposed to be about. Certainty Intelligence agencies can be credited with 9/11 and the war on Iraq. Interconnected between nations, shuffling in open-source form, secret sharing, false flag event production, and media delivered propaganda are activities which define the intelligence agencies. Secret means slave citizens are denied the knowledge that would allow them to understand how corrupt our societies are; so that the leaders of such societies can continue in the office that commands the power.

Linda Wood , March 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Brilliantly stated, faraday's law. You've raised the all-important point that the intelligence agencies are are not simply gathering intelligence, they are also engaging in covert action, unlawfully, unaccountably, and unscrutinized. For all we know they could be spending their virtually unlimited funds on creating our enemies, thereby creating a need for our military industrial complex, the only entity that benefits from their work.

Dr. Ip , March 19, 2018 at 11:17 am

Seems like the two wings of the Anglo-American establishment alliance are working in concert to defeat all who stand in their way and regain dominance over the western world. In Britain, Teresa May and the Tories -- who are losing popularity to the resurgent Labour party and its progressive leader Jeremy Corbyn -- are trying to blame Russia for a nerve agent attack. The blame game over there is evidence-free of course and the lies and weasel-word assertions are being effectively countered by, among others, ex-Ambassador Craig Murray ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ ) in post after post.

Over here, where the establishment Democrats and their cabal of friendly old Republicans (think: Mitt Romney) have lost their hold on direct power, they are trying to assert it through their long-time henchmen in the intelligence services. Ever since Wild Bill Donovan and the Dulles brothers, the intelligence services have been looking after their own survival and proliferation (and the profits of their masters) while, as a side-benefit, the United States got some security.

This clash of the services with Trump is only the latest in a series of clashes which Presidents have mostly lost (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, even Obama backed down after he became President) unless they were card-carrying members of the clan like Bush the First. So, you can expect Trump to lose as well unless he has the armed forces behind him and can purge the services of his enemies. We actually might have a night of the long knives coming. The question is of course if Caesar can survive the knifings!

Not that this Caesar is an Augustus or Marcus Aurelius

Marshall Smith , March 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

You present some interesting points, but John Brennan is no "Wild Bill Donovan" or even a William Casey with the backup of the fraternity of OSS which no longer has meetings. It seems to me that Brennan's and his diminishing followers' power lies with the media that has done the dance of "valued sources" and perception manipulation of the masses. Actually, "night of the long knives" occurred in Saudi Arabia when Prince "Bandar Bush" was captured and "interviewed" not by the FBI or the CIA, but most probably by individuals with videos of confessions which summarized the long history of the activities involving operatives conducting activities during the presidential administrations of both political parties but continuously for clans such as the Bush Dynasty and assorted associates within the institutions that are now domestically profiting from the policies of the President.

Yes, Pres. Trump and his advisers (such as Peter Thiel and even possibly Erik Prince and individuals of varied backgrounds possibly to even include Rabbis, Cardinals and other wise men not members of the Brookings Institution or the CFR) knew the obstacles and the nature of the enemies that would unit against a Populist Movement. In addition to advisers aware of the cyber world and the underworld of intelligence/counter-intelligence operations, advisers aware of the functioning of institutions and how institutions change their "culture" were absolutely necessary when the "resistance" was sending the message non-stop that Pres. Trump was only a temporary resident of the White House, and he would follow the path of Nixon, but in short order! Well, it seems that even the FBI is cleaning house internally and even Brennan's supporters within the old intelligence community leadership are giving their endorsement to the President's choice for CIA Dir. and she has a loyal following among the rank and file members of that institution.

Yes, ministers of Egypt wanted to present documents on the Muslim Brotherhood and it's relationship with the Obama Adm.; and Prince Salman will probably bring gifts during his State Visit. Pres. Trump and his team will decide the time and date to unwrap the evidence that will shatter the camera lens and stop the presses! No knives or guns, please!

Herman , March 19, 2018 at 11:45 am

From Wikipedia:

"Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and some other countries that refers to "an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community".[1] This term appears in U.S. immigration law beginning in the 19th century.[2]"

I guess the "community" Brennan was referring to was the Deep State. Not willingly but perhaps fortuitously Trump finds himself on the battlefield playing David and Goliath is there wearing a stone proof helmet. Obama liked to go after leakers, so long as the were underling leakers. If Trump is successful, which is to be hoped for but unlikely, how will the New York Times and Washington Post fill their editorial pages?

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is a paraphrase but apt.

But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief.

Sam F , March 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress.

Joe Wallace , March 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Herman and Sam F:

"But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief."

"Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress."

Not until Citizens United v FEC is overturned will we have a foreign policy that reflects the nation's interests, administered by elected officials who actually represent the will of the electorate. The Deep State, through the CIA, pursues a foreign policy that is often at odds with the wishes of the vast majority of the people in this country .

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 6:55 am

Yes, but the judiciary that decided Citizens United are corruption leaders installed by corrupt politicians installed by the dictatorship of the rich. Until the rich are overthrown there will be no democracy in the US.

Stephen J. , March 19, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Has the System Become Corrupted?

I believe the system has become corrupted. The same people who parrot the words "rule of law" are according to numerous reports working hand in glove with terrorists. They even pass "laws" against terrorism, while at the same time consorting with terrorists. I guess "our hypocrite leaders" are above the law? The latest horrific terrorist bombing in Manchester raises questions about the spy agency "MI5."
[read more at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/06/has-system-become-corrupted.html

mike k , March 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Our problem is how to shock the American public into awareness of who their real enemies are: the Oligarchs, Deep State, Zionazis, MSM, MIC. What kind of major disclosure could start the ball rolling? What kind of outrage would be too much for the zombified public to brush off and continue sleeping? What the hell would it take to knock the middle class out of it's putrid comfort zone?

Linda Wood , March 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

zendeviant, I think it will come to a national refusal to fund illegal activity on the part of our federal government. I don't think it will come to violence, which would accomplish less than nothing. Instead, I think the American people will take legal action to stop the hemorrhage of black funding.

Skip Scott , March 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

Linda-

Funding is not the issue. They just print the money and give it out. Our tax dollars are just demanded to make sure we are in submission. The Pentagon isn't even audited, and at this point would be impossible to audit. Legal action requires an uncompromised judiciary. Haven't seen that in my lifetime. It will take real "boots on the ground" from the people to get any real change. TPTB will only budge when their backs are against the wall.

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 7:54 am

Fair question, Mike, although perhaps annoying at times to very well-meaning people. Middle class comfort is indeed the security of a corrupt government, and so affluence destroys democracy.

As you know, I have advocated a College of Policy Debate constituted to protect all points of view, and to conduct moderated text-only debate among university experts of several disciplines, of the status and possibilities of each world region, and the policy options. Debate summaries commented by all sides are to be made available for public study and comment.

The debates would require a higher standard of argument in foreign and domestic policy on all sides, and would have much reduced the group-think that led to our endless mad wars since WWII. Extreme and naïve politicians would be easier to expose, and media commentators would have a starting point and a standard for media investigation and analysis.

While most politicians will ignore and attack careful analysis, and "the common man avoids the truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn't pay" (Mencken), the CPD can bring the knowledge of society into public debate, educate the electorate, discourage propaganda, and expose the wrongs of society and the corruption of government that desperately need reform.

If such a rational mechanism fails to awaken the public and cause reform, then we are doomed to overthrow of the dictatorship of the rich, requiring far greater degradation to motivate the people, and greater violence than any previous revolution due to the advance of technology. I fear that both will in fact occur, after a long era of US corruption.

Deniz , March 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Brennans screech confirms that Trump is not just smoke and mirrors. He really hit the bureaucracy where it hurts, their pensions -- brilliant move.

orwell , March 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

It's nice to see that everybody here agrees about this situation. Really refreshing, and no pro-CIA/FBI TROLLS !!!!!!

Stephen J, , March 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Article of interest at link below. http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/march/19/pompeo-and-haspel-are-symptoms-of-a-deeper-problem/

Herry Smith , March 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I remember that Larry Johnson described this threat in detail more than a year ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMkR_5Sesgg It was on RT but he made a lot of sense. Appears to have been vindicated.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Herry Smith -- thanks for posting that interview. Larry Johnson was excellent, articulate, and he's going to be proven right.

Gregory Kruse , March 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm

"Shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama reportedly was braced at a small dinner party by wealthy donors who wanted to know whatever happened to the 'progressive Obama.' The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, 'Don't you remember what happened to Dr. King?'"

Dr. Ip , March 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm

" Trump and Brennan represent equally criminal factions of the ruling class, divided over foreign policy, particularly in the civil war in Syria, and more generally towards Russia.

Brennan and the Democrats speak for powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus embittered by the failure of US intervention in Syria and Trump's apparent abandonment of the Islamic fundamentalist groups armed by the CIA to fight the Russian and Iranian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad. They want to push further into the Syrian slaughter, regardless of the risk of open military conflict with Russia, the world's second strongest nuclear power. "

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/19/pers-m19.html

Bob Ford , March 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

It is imperative to bring about a cleansing of the FBI and DOJ, removing high-ranking officials who place politics and personal agendas ahead of enforcing the law fairly and without bias. Will that mean a "war" with the deep state? Or are there enough people within the FBI and DOJ who WANT to remove the stains from their agencies? If so, we may see more corruption exposed in the coming days.
A cleansing of the CIA or NSA is probably not feasible, even though it is sorely needed. If the president tried, he would probably be regime-changed.

Bob Van Noy , March 19, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Craig Murray has been totally reliable on Russiagate from the beginning. There is an excellent synopsis of his web reporting with commentary at Unz for those interested. http://www.unz.com/article/russian-to-judgement/

JWalters , March 19, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Excellent link. Thanks very much. His theory that the murder of the ex-Russian spy in England was an Israeli false flag operation seems to me the most plausible theory, for the reasons he states. And it fits so well into the overall picture.

KiwiAntz , March 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

What a Banana Republic America has become? Russia has just had it's election & we have had all the usual negative comments by Western Leaders regarding Putin & Russia's supposed lack of a democratic process in voting?

Russians, at least, voted for a well known individual in Putin with a proven track record, so they know exactly what they can look forward to, secure in that knowledge of certainty? Russia has no Deepstate puppeteer's pulling the strings behind the scenes!

Contrast that with America? The whole Political system is corrupt & dominated by Corporate money paying off its Leaders? The sick joke is America claims it's a Democracy which it isn't? It's a Fascist Oligarchy ruled by a unelected Deepstate, & it doesn't matter what Party or Leader you voted for, the Deepstate, shadow Govt never just marches on & rules?

It also raises the issue, is there any point in American's actually getting out & voting every 4 yrs, they may as well just stay home & have a beer instead, as this electoral process is a complete & utter farce! America's Deepstate Govt doesn't need or care for your vote? Your vote doesn't matter in the overall scheme of things? And that, by definition, is what America has become, a Banana Republic!

Typingperson , March 20, 2018 at 12:47 am

True. And sad.

Michael Wilk , March 19, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Speaking for myself, I'd love nothing more than to see that degenerate orange-painted child take the intel agencies and their scum-willing leaders down several pegs, just to remind them who is supposed to be working for whom. Alas, the Great Orange Dope hasn't the brains to do anything but screw things up. But give the boy credit for trying, bless his toupée-glue-crusted head.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Dumb like a fox: to be smart or cunning, but pretend you don't know what you're doing. President Trump is letting them hang themselves. As someone said above, he is smoking them out. It is working beautifully too. Who, besides Trump, could have or would have put up with what he's had to contend with? It took a tough, hard-shelled individual who wouldn't cow, someone who would hang in there long enough while the others (the Inspector General, intelligence committees) could do their work.

I grant you that President Trump's brain is not like Slick Willy's or polished smooth like the last Narcissist in Chief, but he's right about a lot of things: you can't have a country without borders; you can't have a country without making your own steel and a healthy manufacturing base; and you can't have a country run by the intelligence agencies.

I'm putting my money on Trump.

Michael Wilk , March 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm

That might be true if this country respected the borders of other nations or if it actually brought back steel-making and a healthy manufacturing base. But Caligula Drumpf never intended to bring any of that back, nor will he even try. Oh, he'll make a few token statements bragging about his exaggerated actions having actually achieved success, but that's all it will be is empty boasting. Let's face it: Drumpf supporters were had.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Too early to call. It took years to ship all of the jobs overseas (thanks, Slick Willy!), and it will take years to bring them back. Did you think Trump was magical, that he could bring the jobs back in one year with the wave of a wand or something? I mean, he's been a tad busy fighting the intelligence community, hasn't he?

If given the chance, he will secure the borders, decrease immigration, institute a merit-based immigration system, bring some jobs back (a lot are being automated). The globalists are losing, but it takes time.

The Swamp will take time to drain as well, but it's proceeding along quite nicely.

Michael Wilk , March 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

But Drumpf won't even try to bring the jobs back. This is not a matter of how quickly he can do something he's never going to do, but about his will to actually follow through on his campaign promises. There's simply no reason to believe Drumpf will bother. Why would he? He's got no stake in bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

Bart Hansen , March 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

That "six ways from Sunday" saying may keep Schumer in line; but for Trump, what could they possibly have against him that would in the least embarrass or bother his voters, himself or his family? Day after day he crosses a variety of moral red lines.

F. G. Sanford , March 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

That "moral turpitude" reference seems to imply that there is some -- yet to be revealed -- scandal held in abeyance, fully capable of delivering a decisive blow. And, the "deep staters" are merely waiting for the right moment to pull this shark-toothed rabbit out of the hat. I can't help but wonder what you suspect they'll try next, Ray but this whole thing reminds me of an old friend's advice given to me during a dark and desolate period of my own life: "If they had something really good, they'd have used it by now."

jaycee , March 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm

A word of caution -- the intensely partisan fighting may induce a certain fascination as a spectator, like eye-witnessing the aftermath of a vehicle accident, but what is happening is without precedent, at least in modern history. Former heads of the nation's top intelligence organization do not attack sitting presidents, let alone in such a visceral vituperative and public fashion. This is indication of deep fissures, quite beyond politics as most citizens understand. As the World Socialist Web Site published today: "There is no recent parallel for statements and actions such as those of the past three days. One would have to go back to the period before the American Civil War to find equivalent levels of tension, which in the late 1850s erupted in violence in the halls of Congress before exploding in full-scale military conflict."

Trump is a maverick outsider so it's hard to get a handle on what or who he represents, but the Brennan/deep state side of the dispute is very much aligned with the corporate DNC Democratic Party. That they seem, by Brennan's comments, to consider themselves as the representation of "America" as they abandon constitutional and etiquette norms and articulate visceral hatred towards political rivals should serve as fair warning.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:25 pm

jaycee -- great post. I agree with what you've said: what is happening IS without precedent, Brennan/deep state ARE aligned with the Democrats, and they believe only THEY represent the true "America".

Dangerous game by very dangerous people who are systematically destroying the Constitution in their quest to retain power.

Over and over I've heard people who know Trump well say that he listens to them, but then makes up his own mind. They say he wants to stay true to what he promised to the American people, that that is actually important to him. Of course he's willing to compromise some, but he wants the basics of what he promised.

If the Swamp takes him out, the lid is going to come off.

Abe , March 19, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Chuck Schumer is a leading Democratic Party figure of the pro-Israel Lobby and a rabid Senate warhawk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=456&v=DlV5WChUWFk

Kevin Zeese: "He basically is a Senator for Israel. He totally supports the Israeli foreign policy viewpoint, which is a very hawkish, if you were a Republican you would call him a neocon."

Ariel Gold: "He has come out in strong opposition to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and was very supportive of New York Governor Cuomo's order to ban BDS in New York state, and Schumer made a direct statement in support of that."

Thomas Hedges: "Schumer's staunch support for Israel has prompted him for example, to criticize the Obama administration, when in 2016, the United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution re-affirming something the Council had almost unanimously upheld since 1979. Namely, that Israel's settlement building projects on Palestinian land violated international law."

Ben Norton: "Schumer criticized the Obama administration for abstaining on this very basic resolution, which every other country voted for. So the US was still a pariah, because the US didn't vote for it, it just abstained on it. But to Schumer that was not enough, he wanted it to be completely vetoed, because anything that Israel does is sacrosanct, and anyone who criticizes it, in Schumer's eyes, is not someone he wants to ally with politically, so he'd rather affectively ally with Trump."

Thomas Hedges: "The most recent showing of that allegiance was [ ] when Schumer supported Trump's decision to launch an air strike on an Air Force base in Syria, something Israel also strongly supported. [ ] But perhaps Schumer's greatest show of allegiance to Israel, was his decision to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, without which experts have warned, would put the United States and Iran on a collision course."

Ben Norton: "Under President Obama, Schumer was one of the most prominent Democrats to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, and he was of course fearmongering about Iran, which to him is the devil incarnate, and he actually made factually false statements about the nuclear agreement, and claimed that it would allow Iran in 10 years to produce nuclear weapons etc."

Thomas Hedges: "Leading up to his decision, Schumer reassured Zionists that he was consulting the most credentialed men in Washington, including Henry Kissinger, an opponent of the deal, and the man who orchestrated the violent coup in Chile that toppled its democratically elected leader, as well as the architect of the very bloody Vietnam war."

Chuck Schumer: I spent some time with Dr. Kissinger, I'm spending time with excellence.

Ariel Gold: So it threatened to pull us into another war, and we're back in that threat again with Trump winning the election we hear a lot about undoing the Iran nuclear deal, and it's one of the things that Israel has been saying they would like to see come out of the Trump administration.

Thomas Hedges: Schumer's willingness to oppose the deal early on, which created an opening for other undecided Democrats to do the same, is a strong display of support for Israel.

JWalters , March 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Spot on about Chuck Schumer. The following link, from a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website, proves that Schumer lies to Americans for the benefit of Israel. He puts Israel's interests above those of the US. He is an Israeli mole in the US government. "Schumer says he opposed the Iran deal because of 'threat to Israel'" http://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/schumer-opposed-because/

Opus Doi , March 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

America will triumph over you. Wo wo wo. Wo wo wo. Doo doo-doo doo doo! ?

Brennan is history's most hilarious DCI. His grandiose hissy fit suggests that CIA continues the Dulles tradition of infiltrating the civil service with 'focal points -' illegal CIA moles infiltrating US government agencies -- and the IG fumigated one key out in firing McCabe.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Opus Doi -- and the MSM and the Left see the "crime" being that McCabe was fired, not that McCabe broke the law. Kind of like when they didn't see a crime in Hillary using her own personal servers, but saw the crime as being that the emails might have been hacked by a foreign government. That they had no evidence of this didn't matter.

Brennan sounds like a desperate man. They must be getting closer to him.

Opus Doi , March 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

See how this works? The article is about Brennan. The comment is about Brennan's CIA. But immersive CIA propaganda immediately diverts the topic to CIA's synthetic warring factions, Hillary! Trump! Hillary! Trump!

People need to come to grips with the fact that the past four presidents -- the ones you hate and the ones you like -- were all drawn from CIA nomenklatura. DCI Bush; Bill Clinton, recruited by Cord Meyer at Oxford; spy brat and hopeless Arubusto 'wildcatter' GW Bush; and Obama, son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased into Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman, invisible student at Columbia, honored guest of the future acting president of Pakistan before his career even started. Before CIA took over directly they thwarted (Truman, Eisenhower's disarmament plan, Carter's human rights initiative,) purged (Nixon, Carter,) shot at (Ford,) and shot (Kennedy, Reagan) their presidential figureheads.

CIA runs your country. You're not going to get anywhere until you stop bickering about their presidential puppet rulers.

Kenneth Rapoza , March 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Who makes the laws? He who makes the laws can break the laws. I would bet my life that Brenna, Hillary and all the "deep state" actors do not see one second in jail nor pay a nickel in fines.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Comey and McCabe were fired for breaking the law. Lots of laws have been broken. The only thing separating the U.S. and a Third World country is the Rule of Law. Start breaking laws and looking the other way on corruption and you've got a Banana Republic. Jail time coming up for some of them.

E. Leete , March 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

"Give me control over a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." -- Meyer A Rothschild

Whoever controls the creation and destruction of money, as well as credit regulation (this is the deep state; the massive financial matrix including the MIC -- all run by wealthpower giants with their insatiable desires for power to control nothing less than the entire planet) controls the government including the spook/spy agencies (this is the shadow government).

the two are intimately connected, of course, and function thru unbridled unconstitutional powers of secrecy -- empowered by the state secrets privilege

nothing changes until we once and for all time do away with the bankers having the power to issue our money as debt

because, again, it all starts with private control of money creation -- the most enormous farce in all of history and it rules yet today

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." -- Woodrow Wilson

Bob H , March 19, 2018 at 9:59 pm

The mention of John Brennan brings to mind the bizarre death of Rolling Stone's writer, Michael Hastings, who was reported to be working on a story about Brennan just before he had his "accident".

https://news.vice.com/article/primary-sources-emails-show-fbi-worked-to-debunk-conspiracy-theories-following-michael-hastings-death

Hello Good World , March 19, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Imagine if a Trump tweet alleged that a man who was found guilty by the FBI was really innocent. Imagine if Trump tweeted that a man was really guilty despite no evidence found after almost 2 years of investigation.

What would be the response to either tweet be from the MS Media? Our MS Media is nothing more than Democrat Propaganda, and that situation will doom us to Russian interference. Every election the Russians can do the same as 2016: release the truth about justice not served.

Skip Scott , March 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Michael-

I'm no fan of Trump, but Hillary had absolutely no intention to "address the needs of the people". They are all globalizing warmongers who know how to say what needs to be said to get elected, and then do whatever their paymasters tell them. Hillary's speeches to her banker buddies unearthed via Podesta's email account show that she felt it necessary to have "private views" separate from her "public views". How much plainer could it be than that!

j. D. D. , March 20, 2018 at 7:59 am

"Does one collect a full pension in jail?" Brilliant, provocative and persuasive, in the way that any follower of Ray McGovern has come to expect.

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 11:38 am

As the Russia-gate fictions erode and Israel-gate emerges, the Hasbara troll army is scraping the bottom of the propaganda barrel.

Here we have "j. D. D." and the shrill refrain of "BobS"

For more hilarious Hasbara antics from comrade "BobS", see the CN comments at
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/26/growing-risk-of-u-s-iran-hostilities-based-on-false-pretexts-intel-vets-warn/

Comrade "BobS" and fellow Hasbara troll "will" are positively obsessed about Reagan era "dirty wars" Central and South America. That's understandable.

Israel has advised, trained and equipped, and ran "dirty war" operations in the Latin American "dirty war" conflicts in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. In the case of the Salvadoran "bloodbath", the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists.

McGovern certainly understands what sort of "ally" Israel can be.

So keep on yappin' "BobS". We got you.

IsItAnyWonder , March 20, 2018 at 11:10 am

USMC activated. Well, I'd put my two-cents on POTUS. Just like we've all seen throughout our lives when the supposed tough guy starts making threats he is really scared Sh**less. Lots of these clowns are just going to disappear during the late night hours of the day never to be heard from again.

Our society is sitting on a knifes edge, anything at all happens to Trump and the entire nation will just burn to the ground with literal blood in the streets. No one needs to pound their chest and say what tough guy acts they will do since most of the heavy lifting is already going on with Spec Ops and very soon USMC.

Most of us would not have the skills are knowledge to do what is needed. Foggy Bottom is about to get a big enema along with the CIA to our benefit. Guys like Brennan are scared rats in a sinking ship, good riddance!

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Excuse me Mr. Williamson, I think you are precisely right. This indeed is the time to get it all out. Expose it all. Lay it all out and go for it. These people have it coming to them.

will , March 20, 2018 at 1:23 pm

What an amazingly illuminating article. Devin Nunes, who perfectly ok with wire taps as long as the target aren't from his party is somehow a noble individual. While I agree that Brennan should be in prison, it should be for torturing people ...

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 12:18 pm

As the Russia-gate fictions erode and Israel-gate emerges, the Hasbara propaganda troll army keeps on sending in the clowns.

For more hilarious Hasbara antics from "works for a living" comrade "will", see the CN comments at
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/22/the-strangelovian-russia-gate-myth/

Comrade "will" and his fellow Hasbara troll "BobS" recite the same propaganda script, going on and on about the war in Latin America.

Of course, the trolls never mention the fact that the US government, especially the CIA, recruited an all-too-eager Israel to "support" the Central and South American military forces and intelligence units engaged in violent and widespread repression during the Reagan and Bush era "dirty wars".

Recently declassified 1983 US government documents have obtained by the Washington, DC-based National Security Archives through the Freedom of Information Act. One such declassified document is a 1983 memo from the notorious Colonel Oliver North of the Reagan Administration's National Security Council and reads: "As discussed with you yesterday, I asked CIA, Defense, and State to suggest practical assistance which the Israelis might offer in Guatemala and El Salvador."

Another document, this time a 1983 cable from the US Ambassador in Guatemala to Washington Frederic Chapin shows the money trail. Chapin says that at a time when the US did not want to be seen directly assisting Guatemala, "we have reason to believe that our good friends the Israelis are prepared, or already have, offered substantial amounts of military equipment to the GOG (Government of Guatemala) on credit terms up to 20 years (I pass over the importance of making huge concessionary loans to Israel so that it can make term loans in our own backyard)."

The Reagan and Bush era "dirty wars" were bad enough. The Israeli-Saudi-US Axis jumped the shark with Bush the Lesser and Obama wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Under Trump, Israel remains only to happy to continue providing "support" for Al Qaeda and ISIS.

So keep on blabbin', Hasbara troll team mates "will" and "BobS". We got you.

Drogon , March 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

"It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so" And this is supposed to be a bad thing? I'm sorry, but the more leaks the better IMO.

Ray McGovern , March 21, 2018 at 1:05 am

Drogon, You're right; usually the more leaks the better ..BUT these are "AUTHORIZED" leaks to co-opted journalists and PR people like Palmieri designed to give some "substance" to Russia-gate, for example. ray

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 11:04 am

Speaking of "AUTHORIZED" leaks: http://whitehouse.georgewbush.org/initiatives/posters/images/leaking-secrets.jpg

[Mar 22, 2018] In fact, both the Democratic and Republican War Parties (both slavishly pro-Israel) are fervent advocates of Corporate Socialism, who are willing to do some nuclear damage to stay in power and "protect Israel"

Mar 22, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Standard Tea Party libertarian-ish right-wing Republican railing about the "Democrat" Party

In fact, both the Democratic and Republican War Parties (both slavishly pro-Israel) are fervent advocates of Corporate Socialism, who are willing to do some nuclear damage to stay in power and "protect Israel", an Apartheid Socialist State (ASS) regime that has attempted to colonize the Levant.

So stop huffing that Tea Party hash pipe and get a clue
http://robertlpeters.com/news/the-rich-get-richer-the-poor-get-poorer/

[Mar 21, 2018] The corporate media ignores the rise of oligarchy. The rest of us shouldn t by Bernie Sanders

Mar 21, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The rapid rise of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral, economic, and political issue of our time. Yet, it gets almost no coverage from the corporate media.

How often do network newscasts report on the 40 million Americans living in poverty, or that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major nation on earth? How often does the media discuss the reality that our society today is more unequal than at any time since the 1920s with the top 0.1% now owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%? How often have you heard the media report the stories of millions of people who today are working longer hours for lower wages than was the case some 40 years ago?

How often has ABC, CBS or NBC discussed the role that the Koch brothers and other billionaires play in creating a political system which allows the rich and the powerful to significantly control elections and the legislative process in Congress?

We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask

Sadly, the answer to these questions is: almost never. The corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives and causing many of them to work two or three jobs, while CEOs make hundreds of times more than they do. Instead, day after day, 24/7, we're inundated with the relentless dramas of the Trump White House, Stormy Daniels, and the latest piece of political gossip.

We urgently need to discuss the reality of today's economy and political system, and fight to create an economy that works for everyone and not just the one percent.

We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns America, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many Americans living in poverty? What are the forces that have caused the American middle class, once the envy of the world, to decline precipitously? What can we learn from countries that have succeeded in reducing income and wealth inequality, creating a strong and vibrant middle class, and providing basic human services to everyone?

We need to hear from struggling Americans whose stories are rarely told in newspapers or television. Unless we understand the reality of life in America for working families, we're never going to change that reality.

Until we understand that the rightwing Koch brothers are more politically powerful than the Republican National Committee, and that big banks, pharmaceutical companies, and multinational corporations are spending unlimited sums of money to rig the political process, we won't be able to overturn the disastrous US supreme court decision on Citizens United, move to the public funding of elections and end corporate greed.

Until we understand that the US federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and that people cannot make it on $9 or $10 an hour, we're not going to be able to pass a living wage of at least $15 an hour.

Until we understand that multinational corporations have been writing our trade and tax policies for the past 40 years to allow them to throw American workers out on the street and move to low-wage countries, we're not going to be able to enact fair laws ending the race to the bottom and making the wealthy and the powerful pay their fair share.

Until we understand that we live in a highly competitive global economy and that it is counterproductive that millions of our people cannot afford a higher education or leave school deeply in debt, we will not be able to make public colleges and universities tuition free.

Until we understand that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all and that we spend far more per capita on healthcare than does any other country, we're not going to be able to pass a Medicare for all, single-payer program.

Until we understand that the US pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs because pharmaceutical companies can charge whatever price they want for life-saving medicine, we're not going to be able to lower the outrageous price of these drugs.

Until we understand that climate change is real, caused by humans, and causing devastating problems around the world, especially for poor people, we're not going to be able to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into sustainable forms of energy.

We need to raise political consciousness in America and help us move forward with a progressive agenda that meets the needs of our working families. It's up to us all to join the conversation -- it's just the beginning.

Bernie Sanders is hosting a town hall on Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class on Monday 19 March at 7pm before a live audience in the auditorium of the US Capitol. It will be live-streamed by the Guardian

[Mar 20, 2018] You're suggesting that the plebeian mass of ignorant white trash calling themselves the British nation should actually rule themselves by way of a democratically elected parliament, their national loyalty centered on a constitutional monarch who is head of the English national Christian church.

Mar 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT

@EliteCommInc.

God Save the Queen.

It's really that simple.

Good God. How disgusting. You're suggesting that the plebeian mass of ignorant white trash calling themselves the British nation should actually rule themselves by way of a democratically elected parliament, their national loyalty centered on a constitutional monarch who is head of the English national Christian church.

Good God, the first thing that scum would do is vote to send the immigrants home, beginning with the mayor of London, followed by the rape gangs of Rotherham and elsewhere.

Fortunately, that can never happen. The media and the K-to-middle-aged education system tell the people how to despise themselves and their natural inclination to self-preservation, while the political machines tell the people who they can have to represent them. Thus, the so-called parliamentary representatives of the people are not representatives of the people in government, but representative of government to the people. Propagandist, that is, i.e., traitors.

[Mar 20, 2018] This country is neither a democracy nor a democratic republic. It is a de facto oligarchy, in which ordinary citizens have but little say.

Mar 20, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sid Finster said in reply to Bill Herschel... 20 March 2018 at 10:42 AM

This country is neither a democracy nor a democratic republic. It is a de facto oligarchy, in which ordinary citizens have but little say.

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

Wishing otherwise does not make it so.

[Mar 20, 2018] Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand.

Notable quotes:
"... Not to mention that we are currently on version #5 (poisoned in the car, where apparently a British cop and more than 30 other people rode with him, if we are to believe previous statements). Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand. He did it, right in the middle of Britain in Salisbury, next to the British chemical weapons facility. Credo quia absurdum. ..."
"... Actually, having no definite story, and constantly updating the narrative with ridiculous red herrings, is probably the best way to go with a fake terror attack. With a different herring to pursue each day, the truth seeking citizen soon becomes exhausted and relapses back into the normal pattern of going to work and feeding a family, but with a reinforced sense of their own lack of power to either control, or even understand the world in which they live. ..."
"... This is the end time of democracy. We are now entering an age of psycho-totalitarianism. People do what the elite require because their brainwashed friends, neighbors, and children otherwise turn against them. They are demonized and humiliated as racists, anti-Semites, dog whistlers and all the rest of the bullshit lexicon of political correctness not for their actions but merely for their thoughts. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

CanSpeccy , Website March 20, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anon

Anon from TN
Yes, this is the British version of Russiagate, no doubt: no evidence, numerous versions that contradict each other, lots of hot air and finger pointing. At the moment we do not know what Skripal was poisoned with or by whom, we can't even be sure that anyone was poisoned with anything. All we have is hot air, just like with Iraq WMD. From the same very "reliable" sources: British intelligence services and British PM. Neither ever lies, just ask Tony Blair. Not to mention that we are currently on version #5 (poisoned in the car, where apparently a British cop and more than 30 other people rode with him, if we are to believe previous statements). Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand. He did it, right in the middle of Britain in Salisbury, next to the British chemical weapons facility. Credo quia absurdum.

Actually, having no definite story, and constantly updating the narrative with ridiculous red herrings, is probably the best way to go with a fake terror attack. With a different herring to pursue each day, the truth seeking citizen soon becomes exhausted and relapses back into the normal pattern of going to work and feeding a family, but with a reinforced sense of their own lack of power to either control, or even understand the world in which they live.

This is the end time of democracy. We are now entering an age of psycho-totalitarianism. People do what the elite require because their brainwashed friends, neighbors, and children otherwise turn against them. They are demonized and humiliated as racists, anti-Semites, dog whistlers and all the rest of the bullshit lexicon of political correctness not for their actions but merely for their thoughts.

[Mar 18, 2018] Powerful intelligence agencies are incompatible with any forms of democracy including the democracy for top one precent. The only possible form of government in this situation is inverted totalitarism

Highly recommended!
Jun 28, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden are upset about something, they just can't say what. In a letter sent to the National Security Agency this week about a fact sheet on its surveillance programs, the senators complained about what they refer to only as "the inaccuracy". The inaccuracy is "significant". The inaccuracy could "decrease public confidence in the NSA's openness and its commitment to protecting Americans' constitutional rights". But, because the information underlying it is classified, the inaccuracy can't be described.

This is either a frustrating illustration of the absurdities of America's secrecy regime, or the start of a pretty solid vaudeville act.

The frenzied public debate over the NSA leaks has focused on the correctness of the government surveillance programs themselves. But America cannot properly debate these and future surveillance efforts until it decides what can be debated.

As an official in the first Obama administration, I worked in jobs requiring top secret clearance. I know firsthand how essential secrecy can be to effecting policy goals and how devastating leaks can be. I navigated diplomatic relationships threatened by the indiscriminate release of WikiLeaks documents, and volunteered on the taskforce that sifted through them, piecing together the damage done. But it is also true that a culture of over-classification has shielded too much from public debate and that more could be disclosed without damaging the efficacy of intelligence programs.

Trillions of new pages of text are classified each year. More than 4.8 million people now have a security clearance, including low level contractors like Edward Snowden . A committee established by Congress, the Public Interest Declassification Board, warned in December that rampant over-classification is "imped[ing] informed government decisions and an informed public" and, worse, "enabl[ing] corruption and malfeasance". In one instance it documented, a government agency was found to be classifying one petabyte of new data every 18 months, the equivalent of 20m filing cabinets filled with text.

It is difficult to argue that all or even most of that information should be classified. By keeping too many secrets, America has created fertile ground for their escape. Already, the Obama administration has been forced to initiate six espionage prosecutions for leaks – twice as many as every previous administration combined.

It has also left the American people disillusioned and mistrustful. This is especially true of a new generation raised in a networked world that has made them expect far greater transparency from the institutions around them. According to a recent Pew Research Center/ USA Today poll , a clear majority of young people (60%) feels that the NSA leaks served the public interest.

The leaks illustrate how bad the lack of trust has become - and present an opportunity for greater disclosure.

There is no doubt that some secrecy is essential to the efficacy of surveillance programs like those revealed by the NSA leaks. The specific sources and methods of such programs should be protected. However, it is entirely possible to protect those specifics while also broadly disclosing to the public the scope of information subject to collection, and the rationale behind doing so.

That level of disclosure should be the norm for future programs, and can still be instated in the case of the current NSA surveillance programs. Two Congressmen – Democrat Adam Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, and Republican Todd Rokita – introduced a bill last week that would call on the Department of Justice to declassify the legal justifications for NSA surveillance efforts. Universal public disclosure of individual decisions could impede the efficacy of the program, but there is no reason the Department of Justice can't disclose its generalized legal reasoning. That's a drawer in the stadium of filing cabinets that America can safely open.

"You can't have 100% security and then have 100% privacy," President Obama said in the days immediately following the leaks. "We're going to have to make some choices as a society." But the government can and should let Americans know what choices it is that they're making. The intelligence community might find Americans, particularly young Americans most suspicious of government institutions, more sympathetic to their delicate balancing act as informed participants.

[Mar 16, 2018] The National Security Act of 1947 created the deep state. What we see now if just the result of intelligence agencies and Pentagon becoming more visible as the major political players who among other things influence Presidential election and co-determine (with Wall Street) the US foreign policy

Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Act of 1947 ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The National Security Act of 1947 codified the reality of the imperial American military for the baby-boom generation and beyond. The War Department became the Defense Department; the CIA we know today was formed from the Office of Strategic Services. The 1947 NSA document amounted to a formal re-arrangement of the country's priorities coming out of WWII -- when the victorious United States of America became the "leader of the free world." We forget that before World War Two changed everything, the US military was a shadow of what it was to become.

Over these 70 years, the executive in the White House has ping-ponged back-and-forth between the moderate left and the moderate right, between the Democratic and Republican Parties. (Trump may be the exception in being far right.) Every four years there's a national "conversation" of sorts about who's going to live in the White House and make executive decisions and who's going to legislate in Congress. You couldn't come up with a better example to illustrate the idea of a civilian political see-saw than January 20, 2016, the day Barack Obama handed the civilian reins over to Donald Trump. Meanwhile, over those same 70 years, the National Security State (as an institution led by the Pentagon) has existed as a steadily ascending through-line leading to today's post-9/11 world. Our imperial military has been, and remains, virtually untouchable through the electoral process that chooses civilian leadership. Just like assault weapons on a small scale, the National Security State thrives beyond the reach of American politics. In my mind, White House Chief of Staff and former four-star Marine General John Kelly resides in this protected zone as a power behind the civilian throne.

[Mar 14, 2018] Washington policies as the result of a monumental unconscious group-think based on individual self interest

Individual are highly rewarded i f they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests".
Rebels, individual thinkers tend to get fired, not promoted, snubbed
Notable quotes:
"... The individuals who work in our State Dept., CIA, DOD, corporate defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, media......these individuals appear to benefit on an indivdual level (promotions, high paying jobs, social acceptance, nice neighborhoods and schools for their kids) when they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests". ..."
Mar 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

walter, March 2018 at 03:03 PM

Jack, in my opinion, there is no "US". The "US" doesn't have an interest.

There are individuals who behave in their own individual self interest.

The individuals who work in our State Dept., CIA, DOD, corporate defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, media......these individuals appear to benefit on an indivdual level (promotions, high paying jobs, social acceptance, nice neighborhoods and schools for their kids) when they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests".

Its a monumental unconscious group-think based on individual self interest.

This is my understanding of "the Borg" and "US interests", "US foreign policy goals"....they are actually individual interests shaped by what individuals who work in this realm believe they should believe and espouse to achieve their own goals. Rebels, individual thinkers tend to get fired, not promoted, snubbed

[Mar 14, 2018] Latter Day America

Mar 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


kralizec -> Conscious Reviver Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:59 Permalink

Jeepers Cripes, y'all need to get a room and ass-hammer it out!

Latter Day America, there are no pristine people to choose from to populate any goddamned post in government, period! Everybody has baggage, everybody is compromised.

This is the latter days of Rome 2.0 dipshits, got it? It is why one batch of clowns find it impossible to see one thing Trump (or anybody in any country...except Czar Valdimir Putin in Russia...for whatever reason...default/nobody else to pick...when the real answer even there is none of the above though many people refuse to see it) can do right and while the other batch is mystified at those incapable of seeing (albeit sometime thin) distinctions between evils in the era of this-is-as-good-as-it'll-get. Cue the inevitable endless circle jerk.

... ... ...

shortonoil -> Bes Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:51 Permalink

Trump, and all of DC have as much power to affect what is coming as a flea does trying to bench press 300 lbs. Those of them who are aware of the true situation are scared shit less. Pompeo's appointment is just validating what is really about to come down! When they can't intimidate the public into submission, they will try using a club.

CatInTheHat -> crossroaddemon Tue, 03/13/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

Thanks for saying that. I detest Clinton and I want JUSTICE for what the evil treasonous psychopaths did in 2016, but I also know Bibi and MBS have Trump on a short leash and Islamaphobes fill his home and cabinet.

The soft coup is now complete and a war with Iran inevitable.

[Mar 13, 2018] The current ruling junta in the US absolutely does not have the interests of the American people or the nation at large in mind

Mar 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

SlapHappy | Mar 13, 2018 1:46:05 PM | 18

As if it needs saying, the current ruling junta in the US absolutely does not have the interests of the American people or the nation at large in mind, they're answering to a different set of masters at this point.

Until we can purge the fifth column that's infested the halls of power in this country and obviously in the UK and much of Europe - at least the EU - we'll continue to fight wars for Zionism and all that will be left of the US and Russia when this is over will be bombed-out nuclear wastelands, which is exactly what the Zionists want to have happen.

They did it to Germany and Russia in WWII, and they're going to do it to the US, Russia, and possibly China in WWIII, which is spooling up as we dissect the latest maniacal machinations of the war cabal.

[Mar 12, 2018] The USA has become completely an oligarchy run by a convoluted mix of intellignce agences and various lobbies with a fight going now on at the top (mafia 1 vs. mafia 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power, revenue, war spoils, etc

Highly recommended!
Trump's game looks more and more like a V2.0 of Obama's "bait and switch" game... Another "change we can believe in" scam to artificially extend the shelf life of neoliberal as a social system.
Notable quotes:
"... My take on his support: DT support is far higher than one would expect (duh.. it just isn't visible in the MSM, remember I predicted he would win when he threw his hat in). ..."
"... DT has lost some who voted for him, typically 'anything but Hillary' types, "give him a chance", who are disapointed at his poor performance on some/any/all issues. Some others have checked out of any involvement in MS pols. and have joined Doomsters, Refusniks, and even (imho) to my surprise, quasi-anarchists (who lack a platform.) ..."
"... The rapidly degrading US socio-economic landscape is no doubt responsible, more so than the person of DT. (Arguably he is contributing to the decline, other story.) Poverty, sagging life expectancy, opioid crisis, homelessness, student debt, crumbling infrastructure, cuts in social aid or 'benefits' as the brits say, no future generation, etc. ..."
"... On the other hand, DT supporters have become more 'radical and committed' ..."
"... The USA has become completely a-political, an oligarchy run by a convoluted circuit of top-dogs and gals, fights going on at the top (mafia 1 vs. team 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power/revenue/capture/ etc., not new but now evident. ..."
"... The top 20% chooses sides, as they have to, merely in function of who is paying them, where their status comes from, what hopes for children. The rest can check out and face their fate, or choose a cult, a tribe The next question is, what are the attitudes to civil war? How is that going to play out? ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette | Mar 12, 2018 10:51:11 AM | 20

Lozion,

I keep vague track of Trump support by consulting various sites. DT enthusiasts are all very keen on GAB, the censorship on twitter - reddit - youtube and other pop. drives them totally crazy.

My take on his support: DT support is far higher than one would expect (duh.. it just isn't visible in the MSM, remember I predicted he would win when he threw his hat in).

DT has lost some who voted for him, typically 'anything but Hillary' types, "give him a chance", who are disapointed at his poor performance on some/any/all issues. Some others have checked out of any involvement in MS pols. and have joined Doomsters, Refusniks, and even (imho) to my surprise, quasi-anarchists (who lack a platform.)

Technotopists are going out of fashion (> global warming disasters.) -- The rapidly degrading US socio-economic landscape is no doubt responsible, more so than the person of DT. (Arguably he is contributing to the decline, other story.) Poverty, sagging life expectancy, opioid crisis, homelessness, student debt, crumbling infrastructure, cuts in social aid or 'benefits' as the brits say, no future generation, etc.

On the other hand, DT supporters have become more 'radical and committed' as is always the case in these kind of 'tribal' belonging scenes, they have dragged in family members / friends, through the usual conduits of social influence in micro-circles. Which has been made exceptionally easy by the terminal idiocy, blindness and contradictions of the MSM, Dems and the PTB (incl. top Republicans, corporations, etc.) generally. Authoritarian impulses (which DT embraces in part - the WALL is a good ex. - for the rest, hmm..) will flourish up to a point.

The USA has become completely a-political, an oligarchy run by a convoluted circuit of top-dogs and gals, fights going on at the top (mafia 1 vs. team 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power/revenue/capture/ etc., not new but now evident.

The top 20% chooses sides, as they have to, merely in function of who is paying them, where their status comes from, what hopes for children. The rest can check out and face their fate, or choose a cult, a tribe The next question is, what are the attitudes to civil war? How is that going to play out?

About non-posts, I was going to go into the murder of Kim Jong-Nam (brother of today's Kim) which ties two threads together - NKorea and murder by nerve gas. (Hoarse mentioned this in the other thread.)

[Mar 12, 2018] Why vote for a fake Republican when you can vote for a real one: Meet the Democrats' 'Dirty Dozen' Working to Gut Financial Reforms

Notable quotes:
"... By Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. Originally published at Alternet ..."
"... This act of regulatory vandalism highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system. ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on March 10, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. As depressing and predictable as it is to see Democrats yet again prostituting themselves to financiers, payback may finally be coming. From Lambert in Water Cooler yesterday :

Senate: Poll: Five Senate Dems would lose to GOP challenger if elections held today" [ The Hill ]. "New polls published Thursday morning in Axios show Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) would all lose reelection to GOP challengers if voters were heading to the polls this week." Blue Dogs all. Why vote for a fake Republican when you can vote for a real one?

So these Blue Dogs who are gutting the already underwhelming Dodd Frank may not be with us much longer, at least politically. And even though the party is remarkably insistent on adhering to a strategy of corporate toadying that has led it to hemorrhage seats at all levels of government, if these seats all go red, it might be a message even the Democrats might not be able to ignore.

By Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. Originally published at Alternet

This act of regulatory vandalism highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system.

As if to maximize the possibility of another major financial crisis, the Trump administration and the GOP have recently been busy undercutting the limited safeguards established a decade ago via Dodd-Frank. The latest example of this stealth attack on Wall Street reform is the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, appropriately sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Appropriate, because this is literally a "crapo" bill. It provides a few "technical tweaks" to Dodd-Frank in the same way in which protection payouts to organized crime provide businesses with "insurance" against property damage. In reality, it is an act of regulatory vandalism, which highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system.

We have grown to expect no less from the GOP, whose sole r aison d'etre these days seems to be filling the trough from which America's fat cats can perpetually gorge themselves. What is truly disturbing, however, is that the Republican effort is being given bipartisan cover by more than a dozen Democratic senators: Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both from Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Tom Carper of Delaware. To this esteemed group, we should also add Senator Angus King (ME), an Independent who regularly caucuses with the Democrats. So, in reality, it's a filibuster-proof "Baker's Dirty Dozen." Digging into the details, perhaps this is what Senator Mitch McConnell had in mind when he predicted more bipartisanship in Congress this year . In co-sponsoring this bill, the 13 senators are providing cover for the GOP when the inevitable fallout comes, dissipating the Democrats' political capital with the electorate in the process.

Yes, we get it: some of these senator incumbents are in red states that voted heavily for Donald Trump in the last election. And the latest polls suggest many are vulnerable in this year's elections. But the last time we checked, there didn't seem to be an overwhelming wave of populist protest demanding regulatory relief for banks. All 50 states -- red and blue -- suffered from the last financial crisis, and it's hard to believe voters in Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana or Missouri would be more likely to support Senators Tester, Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly or McCaskill because they backed a bank deregulation bill (which in reality goes well beyond helping small community banks). Nor do the 2018 races factor as far as Senators Warner, Coons, or Bennet are concerned, given that none are up for re-election this year.

No, the more likely answer is money, plain and simple. The numbers aren't in for 2017, but an analysis of the Federal Election Commission data from the 2016 election appears to explain what is driving this newfound solicitousness toward the banks. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) points out that "nine of the twelve Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor." (At least now we have a better understanding as to why Hillary Clinton's " responsibility gene " induced her to select running mate Tim Kaine, who received "large contributions from Big Law partners that represent Wall Street," as opposed to a genuine finance reformer, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren is vigorously opposing the new bill.)

We also know ( courtesy of the CRP ) that Mark Warner's last campaign in 2014:

"included among his 20 largest donors the mega Wall Street banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. Goldman's employees and PACs gave Warner's campaign $71,600 while JPMorgan Chase gave the Warner campaign committees $50,566 Senator Heidi Heitkamp is also up for reelection this year and her number one contributor at present is employees and/or PACs of Goldman Sachs which have contributed $79,500 thus far."

Naturally, all of the senators claim their motives are pure. With no hint of irony, a spokesman for Tim Kaine suggested that , "Campaign contributions do not influence Senator Kaine's policy positions." Likewise, an aide for Mark Warner vigorously contested the idea that campaign donations from Wall Street ever influenced the Virginia senator's decision-making on policy matters. Sure, and it was shocking to find out that gambling took place in Rick's Café.

It is true, as Senator Jon Tester (another co-sponsor) notes , that the proposed changes introduced in the Crapo bill (notably the increase in the asset size from $50 billion to $250 billion of those banks that are considered "systemically important" and therefore subject to greater oversight and tighter rules) do not affect the likes of Wall Street banks such as Citigroup, JP MorganChase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, all of which are still covered by the most stringent oversight provisions of Dodd-Frank. But the increased asset threshold does exempt the U.S. bank holding companies of systemically significant foreign banks: Deutsche Bank, UBS and Credit Suisse, all of whom were implicated in multiple violations of both American and international banking laws in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

Deutsche Bank alone has paid billions of dollars for its role in perpetuating mortgage fraud, money-laundering and interest rate manipulation (the LIBOR scandal), which ideally should invite more regulatory scrutiny, not less. Instead, a new law ostensibly crafted to provide a few "technical fixes" for Dodd-Frank is now reducing the regulatory oversight of a bank that has been cited in an IMF report as one of Germany's "global systemically important financial institutions." Translating the couched-IMF-speak, the report suggests that Deutsche Bank on its own has the potential to set off a new global contagion, given the scale of its derivatives exposure. Not only too big to fail, but evidently too big to regulate properly either, aided and abetted by members of a party who claim to be appalled at the level of corruption in the Trump administration.

Another side-effect of raising the regulatory threshold to $250 billion in assets is that it diminishes the chance of obtaining an early warning detection signal from somewhat smaller financial institutions. As the experience of Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns illustrated, smaller problems that remain hidden in the shadows can ultimately metastasize if left alone, and become much bigger -- and more systemically dangerous -- later.

So when Senator Kaine nobly suggests that he is merely providing relief for "small community banks and credit unions" in his home state, or Jon Tester argues that he is only helping local banks suffering from Dodd-Frank's regulatory overkill, both are being extraordinarily disingenuous. The reality is that increasing the oversight threshold by 500 percent does not just help a few "small community banks and credit unions" crawl out from a thicket of onerous and costly regulation. Even former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who favored some regulatory relief for community banks, felt that $250 billion threshold was excessive ly lax.

In fact, ( per the Americans for Financial Reform ), the increase "removes the most severe mandate for 25 of the 38 largest banks," which together "account for over $3.5 trillion in banking assets, more than one-sixth of the U.S. total." Additionally, as Pat Garofalo writes : "The bill also includes an exemption from capital standards -- essentially the amount of money that banks need to have on hand in case things go south -- that benefits some big financial firms, and even more are lobbying to be included." In other words, this isn't just George Bailey's friendly neighborhood bank that is getting some regulatory relief here.

All of this newfound regulatory laxity comes at a time when many of the largest Wall Street banks have again resurrected the same practices that almost destroyed them a decade ago. Bank credit analyst Chris Whalen observes : "The leader of this effort is none other than Citigroup (NYSE:C), which has surpassed JP MorganChase (NYSE:JPM) to become the largest derivatives shop in the world. Citi has embraced the most notorious product of the roaring 2000s, the synthetic collateralized debt obligation or 'CDO' security, a product that fraudulently leverages the real world and literally caused the bank to fail a decade ago."

Another example: Trump and his henchman, Mick Mulvaney, have also joined the big banks in attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which by virtue of the Crapo act, will be blocked "from collecting key data showing when and where families of color are being overcharged for home loans or steered into predatory products."

Let's be honest here: even in its original form, Dodd-Frank was the bare minimum the government could have done in the wake of the 2008 disaster. But lobbyists, paid-for politicians and co-opted bank-friendly regulators have been busy "applying technical fixes" to the bill virtually from the moment it was passed a decade ago. The upshot is that the much-trumpeted Wall Street reform is a joke when compared to the comprehensive legislation passed in the aftermath of the Great Depression (which set the stage for decades of relative financial stability). Under Dodd, the banks are purportedly subject to "meaningful stress tests" ( in the words of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell ), but the tests are neither particularly stressful, nor do they adequately reflect today's twin dangers of off-balance sheet leverage and the concentration of big banks' on-balance sheet assets in relatively low-return loans.

What should have been done after the global financial crisis? Professors Eric Tymoigne and Randall Wray proposed the following :

"Any of the 'too big to fail' financial institutions that needed funding should have been required to submit to Fed oversight. Top management should have been required to proffer resignations as a condition of lending (with the Fed or Treasury holding the letters until they could decide which should be accepted -- this is how Jessie Jones resolved the bank crisis in the 1930s). Short-term lending against the best collateral should have been provided, at penalty rates. A comprehensive 'cease and desist' order should have been enforced to stop all trading, all lending, all asset sales, and all bonus payments until an assessment of bank solvency could have been completed. The FDIC should have been called-in (in the case of institutions with insured deposits), but in any case, the critically undercapitalized institutions should have been dissolved according to existing law: at the least cost to the Treasury and to avoid increasing concentration in the financial sector."

A number of conclusions can be drawn from this whole sordid episode. An obvious one is that our model of campaign finance is completely broken. While it is encouraging to see some Democratic politicians increasingly adopting the Sanders model of fundraising, swearing off large corporate donations , not enough are doing so. Democrats are united in their concern pertaining to foreign threats that pose risks to the integrity of U.S. elections, but the vigorous opposition to Vladimir Putin and the Russians isn't extended to the domestic oligarchs destroying American democracy (and the economy) from within.

The whole history behind Senator Crapo's bill shows how quickly bank lobbyists can routinely exploit their financial muscle to turn a seemingly innocuous bill into something which pokes yet more holes into the Swiss Cheese-like rules already in place for Dodd. The Baker's Dirty Dozen have accepted donations from Wall Street that not only constrain their ability to implement genuine reforms in finance (and other areas) but also discourage the mobilization of voters, who see this legislative horror show, and consequently opt out of showing up to vote at elections because they know that the system is rigged and dominated by corporate cash (making their votes irrelevant).

Ironically, no less a figure than Donald Trump exploited that voter cynicism in 2016. In striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, and Wall Street (and made effective mockery of Hillary Clinton's ties to Goldman Sachs) and thereby mobilized blue-collar voters in marginal Rust Belt states, giving him his path to the presidency. Of course, we now know that this was all bait-and-switch politics, likely facilitated by forces outside the U.S., along with large corporation donations from domestic elites. We've probably reached the endgame as far as this " investment approach to politics " as it disintegrates into a cesspool of corruption and further financial fragility. It may take another crash before this problem is truly fixed.

In the meantime, this bipartisan subversion of Wall Street reform not only risks making the next crisis at least as bad as 2008, but also reinforces the notion that both parties are equally corrupt, catalyzing the collapse of the American political order . In a further sick twist of fate, the twin corrosive forces of "golden rule politics" (i.e., he who has the gold rules) and a rapidly deflating "bubble-ized" economy could all come to a head under the watch of Donald the Unready. But he won't own this disaster alone, thanks to the help of compromised Wall Street Democrats.

  1. Jen

    Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan from my deep purple state of NH both, voted to allow the bill to proceed. And of course my esteemed congress critter, Annie Kuster, did her bit in congress. Only 968 days until I can exact my retribution on Shaheen at the polls, first and foremost for her vote in favor of fast track, but damned if she doesn't give me another good reason on almost a daily basis.

[Mar 12, 2018] There is no democracy without economic democracy by Jason Hirthler

Highly recommended!
Like many high demand cults neoliberalism is a trap, from which it is very difficult to escape...
Notable quotes:
"... A large, open-border global free market would be left, not subject to popular control but managed by a globally dispersed, transnational one percent. And the whole process of making this happen would be camouflaged beneath the altruistic stylings of a benign humanitarianism. ..."
"... Globalists, as neoliberal capitalists are often called, also understood that democracy, defined by a smattering of individual rights and a voting booth, was the ideal vehicle to usher neoliberalism into the emerging world. Namely because democracy, as commonly practiced, makes no demands in the economic sphere. Socialism does. Communism does. These models directly address ownership of the means of production. Not so democratic capitalism. This permits the globalists to continue to own the means of production while proclaiming human rights triumphant in nations where interventions are staged. ..."
"... The enduring lie is that there is no democracy without economic democracy. ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com

Part 3 - A False Promise

This 'Washington Consensus' is the false promise promoted by the West. The reality is quite different. The crux of neoliberalism is to eliminate democratic government by downsizing, privatizing, and deregulating it. Proponents of neoliberalism recognize that the state is the last bulwark of protection for the common people against the predations of capital. Remove the state and they'll be left defenseless .

Think about it. Deregulation eliminates the laws. Downsizing eliminates departments and their funding. Privatizing eliminates the very purpose of the state by having the private sector take over its traditional responsibilities.

Ultimately, nation-states would dissolve except perhaps for armies and tax systems. A large, open-border global free market would be left, not subject to popular control but managed by a globally dispersed, transnational one percent. And the whole process of making this happen would be camouflaged beneath the altruistic stylings of a benign humanitarianism.

Globalists, as neoliberal capitalists are often called, also understood that democracy, defined by a smattering of individual rights and a voting booth, was the ideal vehicle to usher neoliberalism into the emerging world. Namely because democracy, as commonly practiced, makes no demands in the economic sphere. Socialism does. Communism does. These models directly address ownership of the means of production. Not so democratic capitalism. This permits the globalists to continue to own the means of production while proclaiming human rights triumphant in nations where interventions are staged.

The enduring lie is that there is no democracy without economic democracy.

What matters to the one percent and the media conglomerates that disseminate their worldview is that the official definitions are accepted by the masses. The real effects need never be known. The neoliberal ideology (theory) thus conceals the neoliberal reality (practice). And for the masses to accept it, it must be mass produced. Then it becomes more or less invisible by virtue of its universality.

Source, links:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/02/colonizing-the-western-mind/
[ 1 ] [ 2 ]

[Mar 11, 2018] I often think that, a the machinery of surveillance and repression becomes so well oiled and refined, the ruling oligarchs will soon stop even paying lip service to 'American workers', or the "American middle class" and go full authoritarian

Highly recommended!
Are powerful intelligence agencies compatible even with limited neoliberal democracy, or democracy for top 10 or 1%?
Notable quotes:
"... I recall during the George II administration someone in congress advocating for he return of debtor's prisons during the 'debat' over ending access to bankruptcy ..."
"... Soros, like the Koch brothers, heads an organization. He has lots of "people" who do what he demands of them. ..."
"... Let's give these guys (and gals, too, let's not forget the Pritzkers and DeVoses and the Walton Family, just among us Norte Americanos) full credit for all the hard work they are putting in, and money too, of course, to buy a world the way they want it -- one which us mopes have only slave roles to play... ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg -> Harry... 10 March 2018 at 06:25 PM

You have a good point, but I often think that, a the machinery of surveillance and repression becomes so well oiled and refined, the ruling oligarchs will soon stop even paying lip service to 'American workers', or the "American middle class" and go full authoritarian. Karl Rove's dream to return the economy to the late 19th Century standard.

The Clintonoid project seems set on taking it to the late 16th century. Probably with a return of chattel slavery. I recall during the George II administration someone in congress advocating for he return of debtor's prisons during the 'debat' over ending access to bankruptcy

JTMcPhee -> to steve... 11 March 2018 at 12:56 PM
Soros, like the Koch brothers, heads an organization. He has lots of "people" who do what he demands of them.

Do you really contend that Soros and the Koch brothers, and people like Adelson, aren't busily "undermining American democracy," whatever that is, via their organizations (like ALEC and such) in favor of their oligarchic kleptocratic interests, and going at it 24/7?

The phrase "reductio ad absurdam" comes to mind, for some reason...

Let's give these guys (and gals, too, let's not forget the Pritzkers and DeVoses and the Walton Family, just among us Norte Americanos) full credit for all the hard work they are putting in, and money too, of course, to buy a world the way they want it -- one which us mopes have only slave roles to play...

[Mar 11, 2018] It looks like the USA descending into tribalism due to the loss of jobs, the drug epidemic and environmental exploitation

Loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite reminds loss of legitimacy of Nomenklatura in the USSR.
This descent "into tribalism due to the loss of jobs, the drug epidemic and environmental exploitation " also reminds epidemic of alcoholism due to lack of persepdtives both in job environment and housing crisis, where young families did not have a space to live in the USSR.
The logical end on the US empire might well be the USSR style crisis. which might eventually lead to the disintegration of the country.
Notable quotes:
"... NBC News daily has Kumbaya propaganda to facilitate importing of cheap labor and goods. But, what good is a service economy if there is no service? Just like Soviet propaganda, corporate media today is in service of the oligarch owners and sold out party elite. It tries to avoid the truth. Although, NBC did report on the astronomical rise in cost of ambulance service. A couple thousand dollars for mile and half trip to the hospital. They said it was due to the 2008 recession and the cutting of local volunteer emergency services to save tax money. ..."
"... I agree the Democrats shot themselves in the foot because they are unconcerned for the bottom 80% except for their identity issues. They serve their paymasters. ..."
"... The recent Italian election documents the complete collapse of left leaning parties that ignored the plight of the workers in the West. To me, to win, the left in America must write off student debt, implement Medicare for All, end the forever wars and tax George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Pierre Omidyar, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family to pay for it. To work, criminal bankers need to be jailed and corporate boards required to manage for long term profits that benefit society not just quarterly and themselves only. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

VietnamVet 10 March 2018 at 05:27 PM

Colonel,

Have you seen the movie "Wind River" yet? It is the best depiction I've seen of the USA descending into tribalism due to the loss of jobs, the drug epidemic and environmental exploitation.

NBC News daily has Kumbaya propaganda to facilitate importing of cheap labor and goods. But, what good is a service economy if there is no service? Just like Soviet propaganda, corporate media today is in service of the oligarch owners and sold out party elite. It tries to avoid the truth. Although, NBC did report on the astronomical rise in cost of ambulance service. A couple thousand dollars for mile and half trip to the hospital. They said it was due to the 2008 recession and the cutting of local volunteer emergency services to save tax money.

Rather than tax the wealthy and corporations, the middle class is going into debt to pay for education, medical bills, and $40 Northern Virginia one-way tolls. Federal taxes on the middle class support the endless wars.

I agree the Democrats shot themselves in the foot because they are unconcerned for the bottom 80% except for their identity issues. They serve their paymasters.

The recent Italian election documents the complete collapse of left leaning parties that ignored the plight of the workers in the West. To me, to win, the left in America must write off student debt, implement Medicare for All, end the forever wars and tax George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Pierre Omidyar, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family to pay for it. To work, criminal bankers need to be jailed and corporate boards required to manage for long term profits that benefit society not just quarterly and themselves only.

[Mar 11, 2018] Bernie Sanders: the only voice of resistance against the Wall Street mafia

Notable quotes:
"... the four largest banks in America are on average 80% bigger today than they were before we bailed them out because they were "too big to fail". Incredibly, the six largest banks in America have over 10 trillion dollars in assets, equivalent to 54% of the GDP of this nation . This is wealth, this is power, this is who owns America. ..."
"... Very conservative, anti-regulatory people hold the White House and key positions in the House and the Senate, and the first thing the industry does is gut regulation. Why? Because it makes the CEOs so wealthy to run these frauds and predation. It's not necessarily good for the banking industry, but it is extremely good for the most senior leaders and they are the ones, of course, who hire and fire the lawyers and the lobbyists, and effectively hire and fire key members of Congress. ..."
"... Apparently, our memories are indeed so short that we have learned nothing from the 2008 Wall Street crash. Bernie Sanders (and probably Elizabeth Warren to some extend), are left alone again to fight against the Wall Street mafia because, apparently, the rest of the US political class has been bought from it. ..."
thebaffler.com

The six largest banks in America have over 10 trillion dollars in assets, equivalent to 54% of the GDP of this nation. This is wealth, this is power, this is who owns America.

globinfo freexchange

Ten years after the big crash of 2007-08, caused by the Wall Street mafia, sending waves of financial destruction around the globe, the awful Trump administration that literally put the Goldman Sachs banksters in charge of the US economy, wants to reset the clock bomb of another financial disaster by deregulating the financial sector! And guess what: the corporate Democrats followed again!

Putting aside that Russiagate fiasco, Bernie Sanders was one more time the only voice of resistance against