Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Lesser evil  trick of legitimizing disastrous,
corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Donald Trump Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Bernie Sanders
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Predator state Media-Military-Industrial Complex Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Neocons
Neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  American Exceptionalism Myth about intelligent voter Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

The lesser evil is still evil.

Most people are not getting that they are duped.  "Lesser evil" is a story told to herd the masses. If there are two neoliberal politicians, both are corrupt. Neither intends to deliver anything to you on net; they are competing to deliver you on the plate to their corporate masters. You can chose only the sauce under which you will delivered.  

I am not enthusiastic about this proposed distinction between "hard" and "soft" neoliberalism. Ideologically, conservative libertarians have been locked in a dialectic with the Clintonite / Blairite neoliberals - that's an old story, maybe an obsolete story, but apparently not one those insist on seeing neoliberalism as a monolithic lump fixed in time can quite grasp, but never mind.

Good cop, bad cop. Only, the electorate is carefully divided so that one side's good cop is the other side's bad cop, and vice versa.

bruce wilder 09.01.16 at 7:09 pm
Hillary Clinton is engaging in politics and she's teh most librul librul evah! Why isn't that enough? It is not her fault, surely, that the devil makes her do unlibrul things - you have to be practical and practically, there is no alternative. We have to clap louder. That's the ticket!

 

Superdelegate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In American politics, a "superdelegate" is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.

This contrasts with convention "pledged" delegates that are selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate that did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

At least in name, superdelegates are not involved in the Republican Party nomination process. There are delegates to the Republican National Convention that are seated automatically, but they are limited to three per state, consisting of the state chairsperson and two district-level committee members. Republican Party superdelegates are obliged to vote for their state's popular vote winner under the rules of the party branch to which they belong.[1]

Although the term superdelegate was originally coined and created to describe a type of Democratic delegate, the term has become widely used to describe these delegates in both parties,[2] even though it is not an official term used by either party.

... ... ...

For Democrats, superdelegates fall into two categories:

For Republicans, there are delegates in each state, consisting of the state chairman and two RNC committee members. However, according to the RNC communications director Sean Spicer, convention rules obligate those RNC members to vote according to the result of primary elections held in their states.

... ... ...

Democratic Party rules distinguish pledged and unpledged delegates. Pledged delegates are selected based on their announced preferences in the contest for the presidential nomination. In the party primary elections and caucuses in each U.S. state, voters express their preference among the contenders for the party's nomination for President of the United States. Pledged delegates supporting each candidate are chosen in approximate ratio to their candidate’s share of the vote. They fall into three categories: district-level pledged delegates (usually by congressional districts);[4] at-large pledged delegates; and pledged PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) delegates.

In a minority of the states, delegates are legally required to support the candidate to whom they are pledged.[5] In addition to the states' requirements, the party rules state (Rule 12.J): "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them."[3]

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates (Rule 9.A) are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, solely by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way. They may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race.[6] The other superdelegates, the unpledged add-on delegates (Rule 9.B), who need not be PLEOs, are selected by the state parties after some of the pledged delegates are chosen,[3] but they resemble the unpledged PLEO delegates in being free to vote as they wish.

... ... ...

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, superdelegates cast approximately 823.5 votes, with fractions arising because superdelegates from Michigan, Florida, and Democrats Abroad are entitled to half a vote each. Of the superdelegates' votes, 745 are from unpledged PLEO delegates and 78.5 are from unpledged add-on delegates, although the exact number in each category is subject to events.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Feb 19, 2019] Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough

Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Chew , , 1 week ago

Liz Warren is talking about what Bernie talked about in '16. I'm concerned that she has progressive rhetoric but centrist instincts. Her voting record isn't as progressive as I believe is necessary. She needs to be able to withstand scrutiny if she hopes to attract progressive voters. Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough... #LeadersNeedToLeadByExample

Steven H , 1 week ago

I don't think I'm alone in finding a big difference that was not mentioned in the video. While I greatly appreciate Elizabeth Warren, and those clips you showed from earlier today were very encouraging, there is just a quality Bernie and Tulsi share that is very rare among politicians. Something about the way they speak, their past actions, and ways they don't speak, just hit home really hard a believability that they are extremely genuine and from the heart. I see some of this from EW, but, Bernie and Tulsi are just incredibly impressive in regard to this quality... it doesn't feel like supporting a politician, it feels like supporting a kind of way of being and appreciation for what we all are so many of us try to make our way of life. fwiw, I think it's also a big part of AOC's appeal.

[Feb 19, 2019] What's the difference between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is a cautious, cowardish (her behaviour during 2016 was disgusting), but pretty energetic careerist. Her views will quickly change under pressure, so good talking points will never translated into real policies. The fact the wealthy control the USA is not news. This is the fact of life and always be. the question is how to reach optimal middle point when interest of the bottom 80% standard of living do not deteriorate.
Probably close to Barack Obama who also utters all right things during election complain and then blatantly betrayed his voters.
She clearly is the top anti-corruption candidate and will expose the level of corruption in Washington. So she is preferable to Kamala Harris and other establishment candidates.
The fight between organized and rich few and unorganized and poor many became hotter right now. But what is the power base of anti-neoliberal movement. That can be only trade unions, which were decimated. So the first step might be to restore the power of unions.
Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex ..."
"... Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

christina hayes , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is weak. She did not have the courage to stand up to the Clinton machine in 2016 when she could have made a difference by standing up against corruption. Now she is waffling on what it means when she says she supports Medicare for All, as now she is open to tweaking the Republican "Affordable" Care Act. She won't fight for us. We need real fighters. We need Bernie and Tulsi.

Bacon Strips , 1 week ago

Kamala Harris Record is horrendous. It is absolutely disgusting. She is literally jumping on the bandwagon just to get elected.

Rik Longenecker , 1 week ago

She's a great ally, but not a leader. She's waffling on Medicare for all. Bernie or Tulsi will lead.

Unapologetic , 1 week ago

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Elizabeth Warren but in the last few years she's shown that she's not as reliable as i thought she was. She's way to soft when it comes to calling out the corruption in the dem party. She's also shown she's more willing to bend to the will of the Dem establishment and that is not the kind of President we need right now.

I'll be posting a video on her campaign soon & unfortunately I'll have to tear into her a lot more than you did in this video

tmcfootball96 , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex. She will lose to Trump if she gets the nominee. Tulsi is a real progressive with balls. #Tulsi2020

INF Flux , 1 week ago

Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump.

I don't think she has the ability to motivate she could have had back then. I don't think she has the savvy to beat Trump. We need Tulsi or Bernie, the rest would lose in the general.

tomjulio2002, 1 week ago

Sorry but there is no comparison between Warren and Sanders.

Warren is either at best a coward (see primary 2016) or at worst a con (at lot of words but no action when it matters). So not much will change with her, except that Trump would be gone. Then we will get a worse than Trump next time around when people get even more disappointed and desperate.

For Sanders, you know for sure that he means what he says and that he intends to try.

The question is whether he will have the courage to go for it when the going gets tough. Or will he buckle like he did at the 2016 convention thinking best to get half a loaf than risking to get nothing.

With Sanders, there is at least a chance (albeit a slim one in my opinion) of big changes happening on the issues like Medicare for all, Green New Deal, Free public college...

For me, Warren is a no go.

Also Gabbard is clearly a fighter but I am still hazy on some of her positions. But I will take her before I even take another look at Warren (if somehow Warren becomes the nominee).

[Feb 17, 2019] GOP Donors Vs. GOP Voters

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From J.D. Vance's appearance last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight Vance has just said that the donor elites of the GOP are out of touch with the party's base. More:

CARLSON: But more broadly, what you are saying, I think is, that the Democratic Party understands what it is and who it represents and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters, but the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

VANCE: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, look at who the Democratic Party is and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Most of the times, I disagree with them. But I at least admire that they recognize who their voters are and they actually just as raw cynical politics do a lot of things to serve those voters.

Now, look at who Republican voters increasingly are. They are people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They are disproportionately folks who want to have more children. They are people who want to have more single earner families. They are people who don't necessarily want to go to college but they want to work in an economy where if you play by the rules, you can you actually support a family on one income.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Have Republicans done anything for those people really in the last 15 or 20 years? I think can you point to some policies of the Trump administration. Certainly, instinctively, I think the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks. But at the end of the day, the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are.

Now, the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters much.

CARLSON: Well, that's it. So I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there is a substantial block within it, it's this unstable coalition, all of these groups have nothing in common, but the one thing they have in common is the Democratic Party will protect them.

VANCE: Yes.

CARLSON: You criticize a block of Democratic Voters and they are on you like a wounded wombat. They will bite you. The Republicans, watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement, "Yes, these people should be attacked."

VANCE: Yes, that's absolutely right. I mean, if you talk to people who spent their lives in D.C. I know you live in D.C.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: I've spent a lot of my life here. The people who spend their time in D.C. who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think tanks, now this isn't true of everybody, but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days.

[Feb 15, 2019] Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes

Notable quotes:
"... Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations. ..."
"... The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. ..."
Feb 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

never-anonymous says: February 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm GMT 100 Words

@nietzsche1510

Venezuela invasion thing is double-faceted: a trap for Trump & a bluff. if the invasion is, then bye-bye 2020 election, mission accomplished. if no invasion on sight then the bluff of Pompeo-Bolton-Abrams is called & the 2020 reelection assured. Venezuela in the role of bait.

The real issue lies in the voting class which cowers in fear all day long and seeks saviors every four years via rigged circus. Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes.

Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations.

The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. Freedom at the point of a gun. Nothing quite says democracy like having the US president tell the Venezuelans how to run their country.

[Feb 13, 2019] Opinion The Empty Quarters of U.S. Politics by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Donald Trump, who ran on promises to expand health care and raise taxes on the rich , began betraying his working-class supporters the moment he took office, pushing through big tax cuts for the rich while trying to take health coverage away from millions.

... ... ...

Meanwhile, the modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

... ... ...

Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the "center" as a position somewhere between those of the two parties, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center; if anything, it's to the left of the Democrats. Tax cuts for the rich are the G.O.P.'s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they're too high.

Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years.

Why did Republicans stake out a position so far from voters' preferences? Because they could. As Democrats became the party of civil rights, the G.O.P. could attract working-class whites by catering to their social and racial illiberalism, even while pursuing policies that hurt ordinary workers.

... ... ...

In any case, if there's a real opening for an independent, that candidate will look more like George Wallace than like Howard Schultz. Billionaires who despise the conventional parties should beware of what they wish for.


Concerned Citizen Feb. 5 Times Pick

I consider myself socially conservative and economically liberal and I very bitterly reject the idea that I am a "racist". The left has to stop tossing around the word "racist" to essentially mean "anything they dislike" and "anyone they disagree with". I am not a racist, and I defy anyone to prove I am. Dr. Krugman, if you are going to call 50% of the voters in the US "racists"....well, consider what happened when your pal Hillary called us "deplorables in a basket". How'd that work out for her?

Trajan The Real Heartland Feb. 5 Times Pick

Democrats love to eat their own. We have one of the most racist presidents to ever hold office in modern times, yet some Democrats are going after Northam over some dumb stunt that happened decades ago. Is he a good leader NOW? Does he support good policies NOW? Is Northam's behavior really any worse (blackface versus sexual misconduct) than someone who just got a seat on the Supreme Court? Wow, this is like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. Republicans have a strategic advantage because, while Democrats get all twisted up in identity politics, Republican leaders are only tightly focused on serving the rich and powerful at the expense of average Americans. No party disunity there. Democrats need to start focusing on the basic, kitchen table issues that average Americans care about, like affordable health care, affordable housing and affordable higher education. With that strong streak of self-destruction that runs through Democrats, Nancy Pelosi is needed more than ever in the people's House where badly needed legislation has to move forward.

Allright New york Feb. 5 Times Pick

A Democrat could beat Trump if he was pro-single payer, pro family, pro-union, anti-war, and for the aggressive taxing of ultra high wealth if he could just shut down the flagrant abuse of our immigration laws and border. That candidate can't win the primary though because not welcoming the infinite number of suffering illegal immigrants to share these expensive benefits or wanting law and order to immigration earns a label of "racist" in the Democratic Party. Trump will win in 2020 unless dems stop with the wild misuse of the word racist.

Patrick Wisconsin Feb. 5 Times Pick

"Racial hostility" is what I, a white male, feel from the Democrats. It's a common thread among the reluctant Trump supporters I know - they are disgusted by Trump, but they won't support the Democrats for that reason. My 66-year-old father recently said to me, for the first time, "well, you know, I'm a racist."

This man voted for Obama, but I wouldn't be surprised if he casts his vote for Trump in 2020 because the left has lost all credibility in his eyes. They call my dad a racist over and over, but he knows he's a fair person, so he's accepted that the "racist" label isn't that big of a deal.

[Feb 12, 2019] We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who what entity owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Feb 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT

The USSR had elections of various types. They meant nothing because the Party owned everybody.

We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who – what entity – owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Ours is the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This is the end game of the Judaizing heresies that destroyed Christendom. This nightmare is where WASP culture leads and always lead.

[Feb 11, 2019] Trump has tried to turn his presidency into a personality cult rather than MAGA

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

TheBoom , says: September 29, 2018 at 8:55 am GMT

Trump has tried to turn his presidency into a personality cult rather than MAGA. That is a mistake because Trump's campaign positions were more popular than Trump and it doesn't lift the entire party.

Every Hillary voter I meet, male or female, buys every one of the stupid narratives being pushed and are fired up to vote. The Bernie voters don't automatically buy every narrative but they despise Trump and want him out and Democrats to regain control.

I agree with Derb that the hearing may make up some of the enthusiasm gap. A lot of conservative men had to have been looking at that hearing and thinking how easy it would be for them to get similar treatment at work or school.I imagine a good number of conservative women don't want their husbands and sons to face similar inquisitions.

[Feb 11, 2019] There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 7, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

@Cassander There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties. How come you did not notice? Or you just came from enchanted kingdom?
Authenticjazzman , says: February 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova " There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties"

Wrong again. There is in fact war between the cowardly, appeasing, Republicans, and the insane blue-haired democrats.

The Democrats are so fricking crazy, so far in outer space that any attempt at working with them is pure futility.

AJM

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman You are absolutely correct. I just did not wanted to go into such a details. It is not my stile.

[Feb 11, 2019] AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral

Notable quotes:
"... By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. ..."
"... Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. ..."
"... The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this. ..."
"... Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral Posted on February 10, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

Wow. strengthening ethics rules for the executive branch reached such a huge audience.

This is a must-watch clip. I hesitate to add much commentary, as anything I write will likely not add all that much, and might instead only distract from the original.

Nonetheless, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes! I will hazard adding some commentary.

I only ask that you watch the clip first. It'll only take five minutes of your time. Just something to ponder on what I hope for many readers is a lazy, relaxing Sunday. Please watch it, as my commentary will assume you've done so.

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

How to Explain What's At Stake with a Complex Subject

I've spent many, many years thinking about how business influences public policy – and trying to get people to understand some of the details of how that's done, in a variety of contexts.

Here, AOC breaks down one aspect of the problem, and clearly and succinctly explains what's the deal, in terms that've obviously resounded with people and led them to share her primer with their friends.

Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. She opens with a self deprecating aside – perhaps a bit too self-deprecating, as she doesn't pause long enough to elicit many chuckles. Am I imagining a sense of "What's she up to?" emanating from the (sparse) crowd in that quick initial establishing shot of the hearing chamber?

And then explains what she's up to:

Let's play a lightning round game.

I'm gonna be the bad guy, which I'm sure half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, really to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people.

I've enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators, so you're going help me legally get away with all of this."

Framing. Turning this into a lightning round taps into popular culture. Most TV viewers know what a lightning round is, certainly far more than regularly watch congressional hearings on C-Span.

And using the Q & A format requires those summoned to testify at the hearing to affirm each of her points. This reminded me a bit of the call and response technique that some preachers employ.

By structuring this exercise in a lightning round format, each witness can only answer yes or no, allowing little room to obfuscate – I'm looking at you, Bradley A. Smith, chairman of the Institute for Free Speech (IFS). (Here's a link to the Washington Post op-ed AOC refers to: Those payments to women were unseemly. That doesn't mean they were illegal. )

AOC has no time for any waffling, "Okay green light for hush money, I can do all sorts of terrible things, It's totally legal now for me to pay people off " She's not just working from a great script – but is quick on her feet as well. Nice!

Simple Language, Complex Points

The language is simple, and sounds like the way ordinary people speak – "bad guy," Followed later by "super bad guy."

"Totally."

"Okay great."

"Fabulous."

"Okay, so, awesome."

I think it's easier for her to do this, because she's not a lawyer. Even when she's discussing questions of legality, she doesn't slip into legalese -- "super legal" isn't the sort of phrase that would trip easily from the tongues of most lawyers– even recovering ones, or those who got sidetracked into politics.

Repetition of One Point: This is All Legal

AOC channels Michael Kinsley's observation, "The scandal isn't what's illegal, the scandal is what's legal." I hesitate to repeat that saying here, as for political junkies, it's been been heard all too many times before.

AOC fleshes out the details of a message many Americans understand: the system is broken, and under the current laws, no one's going to jail for doing any of this stuff. Instead, this is standard operating procedure in Washington. And that's the case even though as this May headline for report by the Pew Research Centre's headline makes clear: Most Americans want to limit campaign spending, say big donors have greater political influence .


Brindle , February 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

AOC has great skill in understanding how language works, it is kind of mesmerizing watching her thinking and talking on her feet -- she intertwines big narratives with smaller ones seamlessly. Just brilliant.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

She is gifted. She has demonstrated remarkable poise in her reactions to Pelosi. She refuses to sling dirt, instead acting in deference to her power with a confidence that her own principles will eventually prevail. It's an incredibly wise approach and extremely counter-intuitive to most.

Oso , February 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

by supporting pelosi, calling her a progressive she shows acknowledgement of her role in the system. it may be the confidence that her principles of being part of the club will prevail. if you pay any attention at all to the system you'd understand it isn't broken, it works as designed.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Here's the specific interview I was referring to:
https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/full-interview-rep-ocasio-cortez-on-the-democratic-party-green-new-deal-2020-candidates-1439077443625

Catman , February 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

This past summer right around the time she went to Iowa with Bernie that she was on a Sunday morning talk show. The host asked a question that was pointed and would pin most pols into a corner they'd likely not want to be pinned to. AOC hesitated, thought, and said, "Yes, i'll grant that. I agree with that." or something very similar.
Her hesitation and then acceptance told me two things:
1. She knows herself and she's not frightened by it. Other pols lapse into meaningless nonsense and think defense first. AOC just moves forward aggressively because she's confident in what she believes in.
2. She knows her audience. She understands who she's talking to.
Criticism just bounces off someone like that.

Joe Well , February 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

I had already seen the Now This video, and what is striking to me is that we have social media content producers like Now This that are willing to treat AOC seriously and give a platform for her ideas, unlike the TV news or most newspapers. Now This and AJ+ (Al Jazeera social video) specialize in making videos viral, so they are the proximate cause of this video going viral, unlike some earlier AOC videos.

Now This is owned by Group Nine Media which is an independent startup that has received millions in venture funding as well as a significant investment by Discovery Media, according to Wikipedia.

Also, Facebook's role is interesting because they are still allowing at least some left-leaning videos to go viral.

How much longer will we have these outlets before they turn into CNN, MSNBC, NYT, etc.?

Ashburn , February 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for this, JLS. I was very impressed with AOC when I first saw her campaign video in her race against Joe Crowley. Since that time she has become a force of nature not just in Washington but across the country and internationally. I believe she is most impressive politician I have ever seen and I am in my late sixties. She is simply thrilling to watch and I think she appeals to many outside of her progressive base. Naturally the Washington Post, with its neocon and neoliberal editorial page, will use every tool at its disposal to discredit her and any other progressive.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this.

While it would be a very extreme measure, do you think that Congress might try to place her under Censure, and possibly even try building a case for Congressional Expulsion on bogus charges? It would be a very underhanded thing to do, but on the other hand, the neoliberals in both parties in Washington D.C. probably want to mount her head on a wall at this point.

flora , February 10, 2019 at 5:02 pm

AOC isn't beholden to the corporate donor/lobbyist/consultant owners of the Dem estab. If she isn't spending 30 hours a week dialing-for-dollars, and is free to represent her voters interests, she might give other Dems ideas, especially the younger ones . Gasp! can't have that! (/s)

https://www.businessinsider.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-slams-corruption-in-oversight-hearing-2019-2

see also dialing-for-dollars:
http://www.startribune.com/how-dialing-for-dollars-has-perverted-congress/378184931/

JohnnyGL , February 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm

I saw this one on Friday .captivating and jaw-dropping. I almost couldn't believe she just got as blunt as that.

I wonder if she's preparing anything to get a little revenge on Pelosi for the brilliantly withering scorn she dropped on the GND, turning it into the "Green Dream". I found myself laughing and annoyed at the same time.

Pelosi knows she's got a grip on the reigns of power and she's happy to rub it in the face of the new freshman class of what she sees as little more than noisemakers (not to dismiss the power of the noisemakers, they've done more than I could have anticipated).

AOC and friends have cards to play .let's see how they play them. They can't directly attack her, of course, they need her. But they can get attention, pressure and embarrass her to take various actions.

Susan the Other , February 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm

AOC is not reacting to Trump's socialism challenge. She is ignoring it as if it came from someone unqualified to be president. Imagine that. Or from masterful legislators so compromised by corruption they will only change when they get good and frightened. It might take a while because they have been too impervious to fear anything for so many decades they might not realize they are in danger. They might as well be very, very stupid. No, she's not taking the bait. Instead, she is pointing out what a corrupt thing both branches of government are, the legislature and, even worse and more dangerous, the president, and not merely because he is controlled by the military. She's playing chess for now. Checkmate will probably come from left field in the form of an economic collapse. Nothing to see here. Move along.

ambrit , February 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites.
Murder has become a standard operating procedure for American operatives overseas; see drone warfare as an example. The logic of Empire predicts that in general, the tactics used by the Empire overseas will be brought back to the Homeland for eventual use against domestic 'enemies.'
The 'Tinfoil Hat Cadres' can cite numerous examples of domestic killings with suspicious ties to internal politics. In the main, these 'examples' of evil are tied to individuals and smaller groups of the power elites. I fear that political murder has become normalized inside America's political classes.
Many here joke about "Mr. or Mz. 'X' better not take any small airplane flights for the foreseeable future." It may be a 'joke' to us, but it certainly is not a joke to those viewing their impending demise from 10,000 feet up in the air.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm

They probably will not have to go to that much trouble. They can always invent a quasi-legal or illegal procedure to remove her from the senate, like the example I gave above with Censure or Expulsion. Plus, this will be officially-sanctioned by Washington D.C. and all of the major media outlets will be able to portray it as getting rid of a troublemaker who did not want to be a team player.

philnc , February 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Freuddian slip that, " remove her from the senate"? Actually, there have been open calls from within the establishment to primary her, or most recently, to gerrymander her House district out of existence. But that would just free her up to run for US Senate. It has been suggested that possibility might cause Sen. Schumer to put the kabosh on any effort to eliminate her district. As for a primary challenge, while it certainly would mean lots of walking around money for a select group of Democratic political consultants (the Republicans seem to have slurped up all the foreign regime-change work for this cycle), given AOC's position as the first or second most popular politician in the country (right up there with Bernie), that seems like a fool's errand.

Adam Eran , February 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Nice to know that anyone is saying this in a public forum.

In a bit of coincidence, I heard and adviser to Jerry Brown recite the current political system's creed, saying that just because candidates get money from special interests doesn't mean they're captives to those interests. It was astonishing to hear because the speaker said this without the slightest hesitation The rest of us in the room paused for a moment.

I replied that psychological studies demonstrate that if I give you a piece of gum, not millions in campaign contributions, you're likely to be more favorably disposed to what I say.

so we agreed to disagree. Personally, I've interpreted reciting this creed as a kind of initiation the prerequisite to belong to the religion that currently governs the country, not as something the guy actually believed. Like Michael Corleone's recitation at his children's christening Sure, it's a toxic religion, but there are so many of those the cult of vengeance, for example (why else would Americans incarcerate so many people).

dk , February 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

The context of AOC's hypothetical 100%-PAC-financed campaign:

Meet the Most Corporate PAC-Reliant Reps in Congress

Here are the eight House representatives who took more than two-thirds of their overall campaign funding in the 2018 cycle from PACs representing corporations and corporate trade associations:

https://readsludge.com/2019/01/16/meet-the-most-corporate-pac-reliant-reps-in-congress/

Wyoming , February 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

My interpretation of the relationship between Pelosi and AOC.

I don't think at all that Pelosi is out to crush AOC. She certainly does not agree with most of AOC's policies (after all Pelosi's path to power was different and she is irrevocably wedded to it) but I think she operates on a different plane here.

Pelosi's rise to power was arduous and her success came from her brilliance in overcoming a wide range of obstacles. She is focused, smart, relentless and ruthless. She earned her power and will not give it away. (what she uses her power for is not really relevant in this discussion)

I think she recognizes in AOC a woman not that dissimilar to herself but separated by a couple of generations. She will not try and destroy her as AOC is not a meaningful threat to her and she can leverage politically from AOC's huge impact in ways only Pelois is likely to know how to do. She will make AOC earn her own power by proving she can overcome obstacles and has the smarts and fortitude to take what she wants in spite of what her opponents do to stop her (opponents come from all directions in politics) – just as she did. That kind of behavior is what Pelosi respects. She could have prevented AOC from being on the committee she used as a platform for the above exposure of corruption but she did not – and it is certain that Pelosi was aware of the potential for AOC to use it to her advantage, or not. So AOC just passed a test there will be many more. She may eventually fall, or she may be one of the rare occurrences of someone rising to prominence and changing the world. She is where she is at at 29 years old! I am sure that scares the crap out of her political opponents as anyone can see tremendous upside for her should she continue to develop. Here's wishing her luck – we need people like her more than any other kind by far.

John k , February 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm

I'd take it, but sounds wishful. Never underestimate incompetence. Pelosi is where she is not because of brilliance but because she is the bag lady.
Pelosi might have made a deal to get her support for speaker, which was more important to her.
Or she might think that AOC would quiet down once she got up on the totem pole, just as she would have done.
Seems unlikely for somebody that believes in the rich and powerful Uber alles would otherwise support somebody that wants to topple that temple.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

AOC's appointment to Fin Svcs is an interesting one. House Oversight Environmental sub committee is useful to Pelosi to have AOC go after Trump, but I'm not sure what Pelosi gets out of the Fin Svcs committee. A quid pro quo for Speaker support makes some sense on the surface.

Interesting as well, AOC turned down an appointment to the Select GND committee and explained it as a timing issue, being asked after her previous two appointments and not having the bandwidth to take on the Select committee and do her job well.

I can read some things into that:
– AOC values those two committee assignments. She's pretty wise to not bite off more than she can chew.
– That Select committee is pretty meaningless. She got the resolution she wanted introduced.
– Did Pelosi underestimate her early and then try to bury her with work? Or did she force her to compromise either the spotlight she will have tearing people up on FS and Oversight or the content of the GND resolution?

I think you have two very savvy political women facing off here, both know it, and both are working a long term game of chess. The generational gap is a huge advantage and disadvantage for both. For now, they are going to leverage it/each other and play their roles. Sometime before the DNC convention in 2020 pieces are going to be played that changes the dynamic. The outcome of that will dictate the path post 2020 convention. The odds of a progressive House are slim. Progressive President a little better. AOC will need Pelosi especially with a Progressive Presidency. Pelosi will need her with a Progressive President. Centrist President relegates AOC to noise in terms of actual House business.

Will be interesting.

VietnamVet , February 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm

AOC is exposing the corruption of paid politics. Virginia Democrats, Donald Trump, and Jeff Bezos illuminate the dark secrets that the plutocratic system uses to keep the connected in line. This is breaking down. Oligarchs are at war. Neoliberalism is stealing life away from the little people and destroying the world. She is a noble in the good old fashion classical sense. Compare her to Adam Schiff. This is visceral. This is good versus evil.

Octopii , February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Brings back fond memories of Alan Grayson's rundowns of the republican healthcare plan (if you do get sick, die quickly) and socializing losses (now we all own the red roof inn).

Wukchumni , February 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

This was my favorite Grayson grilling, watch Bernanke squirm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0NYBTkE1yQ

Clark , February 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

AOC was even more riveting than Alan Grayson. I'd forgotten about the Bernanke grilling, although his marvelous skewering of the Fed general counsel (Alvarez, I think his name was) about where all the gazillion dollars of bailout money went was also pretty special. "Answer the question." "Congressman, I did answer the question." "No you didn't. Answer the question."

voteforno6 , February 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm

We're going to see more of this in the future remember, AOC doesn't do "call time," so she'll have plenty of opportunities to engage in hearings like this.

Kael , February 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

She and the panel missed an important opportunity to point out that what gets you on a committee is raising money from the industry regulated by that committee. Instead they just said there is no illegality in working on related legislation.

Maybe this uniquely Article I corruption, didn't fit with her The President Is Even Worse thesis. But she has the skills to tie it to Article II, revolving door scams. I hope she does so soon.

polecat , February 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I know that Big Oil is a baddie nic on AOC's quiver, but why not hit at the black heart of HighFinance,, and their kin, WhiteShoeBoy Big-n-Legal who are, mostly likely, some of the biggest, and most manipulative donors around. I think loosing arrows constantly the earl cos., to the exclusion of other nefarious principals might loose some steam, especially when most of the country's citizens rely considerably on FFs as a means of fueling their ground transport, to say nothing of air travel. An example : She could hit Biden by name, with regard to his imput and substantial influence, in passing legislation that has only screwed a generation .. or few !!
So, if she's serious for change, for the better, for the Commons, she needs some specific bulleyes to aim at, many of whom are within her own party !

Richard , February 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

It's not clear to me how this hearing happened, Can anyone enlighten? Can AOC just schedule her own hearings on her own topics, call her own witnesses? I have no idea how those committees work.

Parker Dooley , February 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Apologies to Barry Manilow, but --

I've been alive forever
And I wrote the very first law
I put the weasel words together
I am power and I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

My home lies far above you
But my claws are deep into your soul
Now, when I ignore your cries
I'm young again, even though I'm very old

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

Oh my greed makes you dance
And lets you know you have no chance
And I wrote foreclosure laws so you must move
Dejection fills your heart
Well, that's a real fine place to start
It's all for me it's not for you
It's all from you, it's all for me
It's a worldwide travesty

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws
I am power and I write the laws

[Feb 10, 2019] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes the Problem of Dark Money in Politics NowThis - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Feb 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Published on Feb 8, 2019

'We have a system that is fundamentally broken.' -- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is explaining just how f*cked campaign finance laws really are.
" Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe

In the latest liberal news and political news, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines at a recent congressional hearing on money in politics by explaining and inquiring about political corruption. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, aka AOC, went into the issues of lobbyists and Super PACs and how the political establishment, including Donald Trump, uses big money to their advantage, to hide and obfuscate, and push crooked agendas. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a rising star in the Democratic Party and House of Representatives.

#AlexandriaOcasioCortez #AOC #DarkMoney #politics

Connect with NowThis
" Like us on Facebook: http://go.nowth.is/News_Facebook
" Tweet us on Twitter: http://go.nowth.is/News_Twitter
" Follow us on Instagram: http://go.nowth.is/News_Instagram
" Find us on Snapchat Discover: http://go.nowth.is/News_Snapchat

NowThis is your premier news outlet providing you with all the videos you need to stay up to date on all the latest in trending news. From entertainment to politics, to viral videos and breaking news stories, we're delivering all you need to know straight to your social feeds. We live where you live.

http://www.youtube.com/nowthisnews


Patrick NEZ , 2 days ago

Good for her. Unfortunately a number of American citizens aren't intelligent enough to realize this exact scenario is playing out right now!

Avembe , 2 days ago

OMG this lady is just a nuclear weapon by herself.

ATX World , 2 days ago

Love this feisty congresswoman. I can see why AOC is dislike by the right and even many democrats. She's in DC to work for the American ppl and not enrich herself or special interest. Love the 2018 class and hope they make changes and clean up DC.

TrueDaxian , 2 days ago

AOC is amazing, pointing out all the fundamental wrongs in our political system. I hope she stays in Congress as long as possible to spread her influence.

Lani Tuitupou , 2 days ago

True bravery and leadership in the face of corruption ! I love this woman

Michael Zinns , 2 days ago

AOC is speaking out when no one else will about the corruption in Washington. She is disliked because she is actually fighting for people. This makes me want to move to New York just so I can vote for her. Keep it up the pressure.

Aracelis Morales Garcia de Ramos , 2 days ago

She is going to be needing extra security. She's poised to take them down and we know how these things have been handled in the past. I'm loving her fearlessness but worry for her safety. May she be protected and blessed. SMIB

[Feb 10, 2019] In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex.

Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: February 9, 2019 at 9:35 am GMT

@NoseytheDuke Face it -- he neither believed nor understood those Stephen Miller speeches. Coming from the mouth of Donald Trump, they were lies.

Why do so many of you intelligent people still buy into the political puppet show, expecting BigGov to fix itself? Electoral politics, judicial confirmations, etc, are orchestrated conflict to keep dissidence channeled and harmlessly blown off as the Empire lurches along.

There are other columnists here at Unz who have been calling the Beltway BS for years. For example:

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, June 12, 2016

[Feb 07, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel ..."
"... Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy ..."
"... Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war ..."
"... So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision. ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

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, Trump 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.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, 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 the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Feb 07, 2019] I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

Feb 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Feb 7, 2019 9:29:56 PM | link

I just had this insight and wanted to share it here.

I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

A commenter on another thread asked me about my China socialism focus and referred to the US Interstate highway system initiated in the Eisenhower era when the marginal tax rate was in the low 90 percent range. America has and continues to embrace aspects of socialism they refuse to believe exists in America.......the effects of MSM brainwashing and propaganda. China is attempting a mixed economy favoring socialism AFAICT

[Feb 06, 2019] The modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Feb 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Meanwhile, the modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Hence the failure of our political system to serve socially conservative/racist voters who also want to tax the rich and preserve Social Security. Democrats won't ratify their racism; Republicans, who have no such compunctions, will -- remember, the party establishment solidly backed Roy Moore's Senate bid -- but won't protect the programs they depend on.


Charles Pewitt , says: February 6, 2019 at 7:51 pm GMT

Paul Krugman is a baby boomer, pissant globalizer bastard, but he has made reasonable comments about immigration in the past.

Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron who has occasional bouts of clarity on the anti-worker aspects of mass legal immigration and illegal immigration. Krugman had it right in 2006 when he said that mass immigration lowers wages for workers in the USA.

Krugman in NY Times 2006:

First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small. The reason is that immigrant workers are, at least roughly speaking, paid their "marginal product": an immigrant worker is paid roughly the value of the additional goods and services he or she enables the U.S. economy to produce. That means that there isn't anything left over to increase the income of the people already here.

My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand: we're talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it's inevitable that this means a fall in wages. Mr. Borjas and Mr. Katz have to go through a lot of number-crunching to turn that general proposition into specific estimates of the wage impact, but the general point seems impossible to deny.

Hypnotoad666 , says: February 6, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt I agree Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron.

However, Krugman is also a relentless partisan hack. So his expert analysis always ends up supporting the current Democrat talking points -- whatever they may be.

Here, Krugman is disparaging any move to the center as the DNC wants to keep the Dems unified on the left and keep Schultz (or anyone like him) out of the race. Of course, the real reason Schultz has massively negative polling is because the Democrat establishment has been savaging him for precisely this reason.

Likewise, to Krugman a "Racist" politician is anyone who holds the same immigration position as Krugman did in 2006, which is now anathema to the Dem's new Open Borders electoral strategy.

It's only a matter of time until Krugman starts talking up Kamala Harris as the best thing that could happen for the economy.

TG , says: February 7, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
Bottom line: Krugman – like any economist who was gifted with a fake Nobel Prize in Economics by his wealthy patrons (the Nobel Prize in Economics does not exist – check out wikipedia!) – is a whore whose only function is to protect the left flank of our corrupt and rapacious elite.

He's not a moron, and he's certainly not a liberal. His job – which pays very well mind you – is to pretend to be a sorta-kinda Keynesian New Dealer, but in reality, anything that the rich wants, he will end up defending. And even if he sorta kinda claims to be opposing something that the rich want which will impoverish the rest of us, when it comes to the bottom line, he will ruthlessly attack any opposition to these policies.

[Feb 04, 2019] It case of Venzuella coup it looks like we are dealing with a "Skripal tactic": do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon's version of Uncle Sam) by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... This reminds me of the gerontocrats of the Soviet Politburo in the worst stagnation years who had to appoint the likes of Chernenko to top positions. ..."
"... The one thing the Mr MAGA's administration has in common with the late Brezhevian Politburo is its total inability to get anything done. My wife refers to the folks in the White House (since Dubya came to power) as the " gang that couldn't shoot straight " and she is right (she always is!): they just can't really get anything done anymore – all their half-assed pseudo-successes are inevitably followed by embarrassing failures. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Remember the almost universal reaction of horror when Bolton was appointed as National Security Advisor? Well, apparently, either the Neocons completely missed that, which I doubt, or they did what they always do and decided to double-down by retrieving Elliott Abrams from storage and appointing him US Special Envoy to Venezuela. I mean, yes, of course, the Neocons are stupid and sociopathic enough not to ever care about others, but in this case I think that we are dealing with a "Skripal tactic": do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon's version of Uncle Sam).

And it worked, in the name of "solidarity" or whatever else, the most faithful lackeys of the Empire immediate fell in line behind the latest US aggression against a sovereign nation in spite of the self-evident fact that this aggression violates every letter of the most sacred principles of international law. This is exactly the same tactic as when they make you clean toilets with a toothbrush or do push-ups in the mud during basic training: not only to condition you to total obedience, but to make you publicly give up any semblance of dignity.

...Finally, these appointments also show that the senior-Neocons are frightened and paranoid as there are still plenty of very sharp junior-Neocon folks to chose from in the US, yet they felt the need to get Abrams from conservation and place him in a key position in spite of the strong smell of naphthalene emanating from him. This reminds me of the gerontocrats of the Soviet Politburo in the worst stagnation years who had to appoint the likes of Chernenko to top positions.

The one thing the Mr MAGA's administration has in common with the late Brezhevian Politburo is its total inability to get anything done. My wife refers to the folks in the White House (since Dubya came to power) as the " gang that couldn't shoot straight " and she is right (she always is!): they just can't really get anything done anymore – all their half-assed pseudo-successes are inevitably followed by embarrassing failures.

[Feb 04, 2019] Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Notable quotes:
"... Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS. ..."
"... I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they discovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it. ..."
"... It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

redmudhooch , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT

I heartily dislike and find despicable the socialist government of Maduro, just as I did Hugo Chavez when he was in power. I have some good friends there, one of whom was a student of mine when I taught in Argentina many years ago, and he and his family resolutely oppose Maduro. Those socialist leaders in Caracas are tin-pot dictator wannabees who have wrecked the economy of that once wealthy country; and they have ridden roughshod over the constitutional rights of the citizens. My hope has been that the people of Venezuela, perhaps supported by elements in the army, would take action to rid the country of those tyrants.

Hard to take this guy seriously when he spouts Fox News level propaganda.

Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Its clear that voting no longer works folks, this is an undemocratic and illegitimate "government" we have here. We let them get away with killing JFK, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, we let them get away with 9/11, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria. They've made a mess in Africa. All the refugees into Europe, all the refugees from Latin America that have already come from CIA crimes, more will come.
We wouldn't need a wall if Wall St would stop with their BS down there!

You can't just blame Jews, yes there are lots of Jews in Corporate America, bu t not all of them are, and there are lots of Jews who speak out against this. We were doing this long before Israel came into existence. You can't just blame everything one one group, I think Israel/Zionist are responsible for a lot of BS, but you can't exclude CIA, Wall St, Corporations, Banks, The MIC either. Its not just one group, its all of them. They're all evil, they're imperialists and they're all capitalists.

I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they discovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it.

Those people moving to Israel are being played, just like the "Christian Zionists" here are, its a cult. Most "Jews" are atheists anyhow, and it seems any ol greedy white guy can claim to be a Jew. So how do you solve a "Jewish Problem" if anybody can claim to be a Jew? I think solving the capitalist problem would be a little easier to enforce.

All of the shills can scream about communists, socialists and marxists all they want. Capitalism is the problem always has been always will be. Its a murderous, immoral, unsustainable system that encourages greed, it is a system who's driving force is maximizing profits, and as such the State controlled or aligned with Corporations is the most advanced form of capitalism because it is the most profitable. They're raping the shit out of us, taking our money to fund their wars, so they can make more money while paying little to no taxes at all. Everything, everyone here complains about is caused by CAPITALISM, but nobody dares say it, they've been programmed since birth to think that way.

We should nationalize our oil and gas, instead of letting foreigners come in and steal it, again paying little or no taxes on it, then selling the oil they took from our country back to us. Russia and Venezuela do it, Libya did it, Iraq did it, and they used the money for the people of the country, they didn't let the capitalists plunder their wealth like the traitors running our country. We're AT LEAST $21 trillion in the hole now from this wonderful system of ours, don't you think we should try something else? Duh!

It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. Just muh opinion

Regime Change and Capitalism: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

[Feb 04, 2019] Trump logic of betrayal of his voters

Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm GMT

@RVBlake

A guy on ZH explained it well, I guess:

The opposition hates me. I can do no right. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence ..like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.
I'd add: and by doing the last, I could cut a deal with the real TPTBs as to for what happens after I leave White House.

[Feb 04, 2019] Trump s Revised and Rereleased Foreign Policy: The World Policeman is Back

Highly recommended!
This article from 2017 looks like it was written yesterday. Trump betrayal of his elctorate on multiple levels, essentially on all key poin of his election program mkes him "Republican Obama".
What is interesting about Trump foreign policy is his version of neoliberal "gangster capitalism" on foreign arena: might is right principle applied like universal opener. Previous administrations tried to put a lipstick on the pig. Trump does not even bother.
In terms of foreign policy, and even during the transition before Trump's inauguration, there were other, more disturbing signs of where Trump would be heading soon. When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, Trump seemed jubilant as if he had somehow been vindicated, and took the opportunity to slander Castro as a "brutal dictator" who "oppressed his own people" and turned Cuba into a "totalitarian island".
Notable quotes:
"... However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first". ..."
"... Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat. ..."
"... The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. ..."
"... Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding. ..."
"... AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States? ..."
"... AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing? ..."
"... AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange? ..."
"... While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them. ..."
"... Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture ..."
"... As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world . ..."
"... To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits. ..."
"... As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is ..."
"... On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. ..."
"... As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics. ..."
"... As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

Trump could have kept quiet, and lost nothing. Instead what he was attacking -- and the irony was missed on his fervently right wing supporters -- was someone who was a leader in the anti-globalist movement, from long before it was ever called that. Fidel Castro was a radical pioneer of independence, self-reliance, and self-determination.

Castro turned Cuba from an American-owned sugar plantation and brothel, a lurid backwater in the Caribbean, into a serious international actor opposed to globalizing capitalism. There was no sign of any acknowledgment of this by Trump, who instead chose to parrot the same people who would vilify him using similar terms (evil, authoritarian, etc.). Of course, Trump respects only corporate executives and billionaires, not what he would see as some rag-tag Third World revolutionary. Here Trump's supporters generally failed, using Castro's death as an opportunity for tribal partisanship, another opportunity to attack "weak liberals" like Obama who made minor overtures to Cuba (too little, too late).

Their distrust of "the establishment" was nowhere to be found this time: their ignorance of Cuba and their resort to stock clichés and slogans had all been furnished to them by the same establishment they otherwise claimed to oppose.

Just to be clear, the above is not meant to indicate any reversal on Trump's part regarding Cuba. He has been consistently anti-communist, and fairly consistent in his denunciations of Fidel Castro. What is significant is that -- far from overcoming the left-right divide -- Trump shores up the barriers, even at the cost of denouncing others who have a proven track record of fighting against neoliberal globalization and US interventionism. In these regards, Trump has no track record. Even among his rivals in the Republican primaries, senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul had more of an anti-interventionist track record.

However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first".

Russia

Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat.

Instead, Trump continued the sanctions, as if out of meek deference to Obama's policy, one founded on lies and antagonism toward Trump himself. Rather than repair the foul attempt to sabotage the US-Russian relationship in preparation for his presidency, Trump simply abided and thus became an accomplice. To be clear, Trump has done precisely nothing to dampen the near mass hysteria that has been manufactured in the US about alleged -- indeed imaginary -- "Russian intervention".

His comments, both during the electoral campaign and even early into his presidency, about wanting good relations with Russia, have been replaced by Trump's admissions that US relations with Russia are at a low point (Putin agreed: "I would say the level of trust [between Russia and the US] is at a workable level, especially in the military dimension, but it hasn't improved. On the contrary, it has degraded " and his spokesman called the relations " deplorable ".)

Rather than use the power of his office to calm fears, to build better ties with Russia, and to make meeting with Vladimir Putin a top priority, Trump has again done nothing , except escalating tensions. The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. Russia had actively facilitated the US' war in Afghanistan for over a decade, and was a consistent collaborator on numerous levels. It is up to thinking American officials to honestly explain what motivated them to tilt relations with Russia, because it is certainly not Russia's doing. The only explanation that makes any sense is that the US leadership grew concerned that Russia was no longer teetering on the edge of total socio-economic breakdown, as it was under the neoliberal Boris Yeltsin, but has instead resurfaced as a major actor in international affairs, and one that champions anti-neoliberal objectives of enhanced state sovereignty and self-determination.

WikiLeaks

Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding.

After finding so much use for WikiLeaks' publication of the Podesta emails, which became incorporated into his campaign speeches, and which fuelled the writing and speaking of journalists and bloggers sympathetic to Trump -- he was now effectively declaring WikiLeaks to be both an enemy and a likely target of US government action, in even more blunt terms than we heard during the past eight years under Obama. This is not mere continuity with the past, but a dramatic escalation. Rather than praise Julian Assange for his work, call for an end to the illegal impediments to his seeking asylum, swear off any US calls for extraditing and prosecuting Assange, and perhaps meeting with him in person, Trump has done all of the opposite. Instead we learn that Trump's administration may file arrest charges against Assange . Mike Pompeo , chosen by Trump to head the CIA, who had himself cited WikiLeaks as a reliable source of proof about how the Democratic National Committee had rigged its campaign, now declared WikiLeaks to be a " non-state hostile intelligence service ," along with vicious personal slander against Assange.

Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks was one that he defended in terms that were not just a deceptive rewriting of history, but one that was also fearful -- "I don't support or unsupport" WikiLeaks, was what Trump was now saying in his dash for the nearest exit. The backtracking is so obvious in this interview Trump gave to the AP , that his shoes must have left skid marks on the floor:

AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?

TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, "Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff." You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn't have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren't able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, "Wow." It was just a figure of speech. I said, "Well, look at this. It's good reading."

AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing?

TRUMP: No, I don't support or unsupport. It was just information .

AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?

TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it's OK with me. I didn't know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it's OK with me.

First, Trump invents the fictitious claim that WikiLeaks was responsible for hacking the DNC, and that WikiLeaks also tried to hack the Republicans. Second, he pretends to be an innocent bystander, a spectator, in his own administration -- whatever others decide, is "OK" with him, not that he knows about their decisions, but it's all up to others. He has no power, all of a sudden.

Again, what Trump is displaying in this episode is his ultimate attachment to his class, with all of its anxieties and its contempt for rebellious, marginal upstarts. Trump shuns any sort of "loyalty" to WikiLeaks (not that they ever had a working relationship) or any form of gratitude, because then that would imply a debt and therefore a transfer of value -- whereas Trump's core ethics are those of expedience and greed (he admits that much). This move has come with a cost , with members of Trump's support base openly denouncing the betrayal. 6

NAFTA

On NAFTA , Trump claims he has not changed his position -- yet, from openly denouncing the free trade agreement and promising to terminate it, he now vows only to seek modifications and amendments, which means supporting NAFTA. He appeared to be awfully quick to obey the diplomatic pressure of Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump's entire position on NAFTA now comes into question.

While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them.

This really deserves to be treated at length, separately from this article. However, for now, let's keep in mind that when Trump complains about Canadian softwood lumber and dairy exports to the US, his argument about NAFTA is without merit. Neither commodity is part of the NAFTA agreement.

Moreover, where dairy is concerned, the problem is US overproduction. Wisconsin alone has more dairy cows than all of Canada . There is a net surplus , in the US' favour, with respect to US dairy exports to Canada. Overall, the US has a net surplus in the trade in goods and services with Canada. Regarding Mexico, the irony of Trump's denunciations of imaginary Mexican victories is that he weakens his own criticisms of immigration.

Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture.

As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world .

To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits.

His arguments with respect to Canada are akin to those of a looter or raider. He wants to block lumber imports from Canada, at the same time as he wants to break the Canadian dairy market wide open to absorb US excess production. That approach is at the core of what defined the US as a "new empire" in the 1800s. In addition, while Trump was quick to tear up the TPP, he has said nothing about TISA and TTIP.

Mexico

Trump's argument with Mexico is also disturbing for what it implies. It would seem that any evidence of production in Mexico causes Trump concern. Mexico should not only keep its people -- however many are displaced by US imports -- but it should also be as dependent as possible on the US for everything except oil. Since Trump has consistently declared his antagonism to OPEC, ideally Mexico's oil would be sold for a few dollars per barrel.

China

Trump's turn on China almost provoked laughter from his many domestic critics. Absurdly, what figures prominently in most renditions of the story of Trump's change on China (including his own), is a big piece of chocolate cake. The missile strike on Syria was, according to Wilbur Ross, the " after-dinner entertainment ". Here, Trump's loud condemnations of China on trade issues were suddenly quelled -- and it is not because chocolate has magical properties. Instead it seems Trump has been willing to settle on selling out citizens' interests , and particularly those who voted for him, in return for China's assistance on North Korea. Let's be clear: countering and dominating North Korea is an established favourite among neoconservatives. Trump's priority here is fully "neocon," and the submergence of trade issues in favour of militaristic preferences is the one case where neoconservatives might be distinguished from the otherwise identical neoliberals.

North Korea

Where North Korea is concerned, Trump chose to manufacture a " crisis ". North Korea has actually done nothing to warrant a sudden outbreak of panic over it being supposedly aggressive and threatening. North Korea is no more aggressive than any person defending their survival can be called belligerent. The constant series of US military exercises in South Korea, or near North Korean waters, is instead a deliberate provocation to a state whose existence the US nearly extinguished. Even last year the US Air Force publicly boasted of having "nearly destroyed" North Korea -- language one would have expected from the Luftwaffe in WWII. The US continues to maintain roughly 60,000 troops on the border between North and South Korea, and continues to refuse to formally declare an end to the Korean War and sign a peace treaty . Trump then announced he was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula, and boasted of how "very powerful" it was. This was in addition to the US deploying the THAAD missile system in South Korea. Several of his messages in Twitter were written using highly provocative and threatening language. When asked if he would start a war, Trump glibly replied: " I don't know. I mean, we'll see ". On another occasion Trump stated, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely". When the world's leading military superpower declares its intention to destroy you, then there is nothing you can do in your defense which anyone could justly label as "over the top". Otherwise, once again Trump posed as a parental figure, the world's chief babysitter -- picture Trump, surrounded by children taking part in the "Easter egg roll" at the White House, being asked about North Korea and responding "they gotta behave". Trump would presume to teach manners to North Korea, using the only tools of instruction that seem to be the first and last resort of US foreign policy (and the "defense" industry): bombs.

Syria

Attacking Syria , on purportedly humanitarian grounds, is for many (including vocal supporters) one of the most glaring contradictions of Trump's campaign statements about not embroiling the US in failed wars of regime change and world policing. During the campaign, he was in favour of Russia's collaboration with Syria in the fight against ISIS. For years he had condemned Obama for involving the US in Syria, and consistently opposed military intervention there. All that was consigned to the archive of positions Trump declared to now be worthless. That there had been a change in Trump's position is not a matter of dispute -- Trump made the point himself :

"I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don't change. Well, I do change and I am flexible, and I'm proud of that flexibility. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me -- big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I've been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn't get any worse than that. And I have that flexibility, and it's very, very possible -- and I will tell you, it's already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much. And if you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas. You're now talking about a whole different level".

Bending to the will of the prevailing Cold War and neo-McCarthyist atmosphere in the US, rife with anti-Russian conspiracy theories, Trump found an easy opportunity to score points with the hostile media, ever so mindful as he is about approval ratings, polls, and media coverage. Some explain Trump's reversals as arising from his pursuit of public adulation -- and while the media play the key role in purveying celebrity status, they are also a stiff bastion of imperialist culture. Given his many years as a the host of a popular TV show, and as the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, there is some logical merit to the argument. But I think even more is at work, as explained in paragraphs above. According to Eric Trump it was at the urging of Ivanka that Donald Trump decided to strike a humanitarian-militarist pose. He would play the part of the Victorian parent, only he would use missiles to teach unruly children lessons about violence. Using language typically used against him by the mainstream media, Trump now felt entitled to pontificate that Assad is "evil," an " animal ," who would have to go . When did he supposedly come to this realization? Did Assad become evil at the same time Trump was inaugurated? Why would Trump have kept so silent about "evil" on the campaign trail? Trump of course is wrong: it's not that the world changed and he changed with it; rather, he invented a new fiction to suit his masked intentions. Trump's supposed opponents and critics, like the Soros-funded organizer of the women's march Linda Sarsour, showed her approval of even more drastic action by endorsing messages by what sounded like a stern school mistress who thought that 59 cruise missiles were just a mere "slap on the wrist". Virtually every neocon who is publicly active applauded Trump, as did most senior Democrats. The loudest opposition , however, came from Trump's own base , with a number of articles featuring criticism from Trump's supporters , and one conservative publication calling him outright a " weakling and a political ingrate ".

Members of the Trump administration have played various word games with the public on intervention in Syria. From unnamed officials saying the missile strike was a "one off," to named officials promising more if there were any other suspected chemical attacks (or use of barrel bombs -- and this while the US dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in existence on Afghanistan); some said that regime change was not the goal, and then others made it clear that was the ultimate goal ; and then Trump saying, "Our policy is the same, it hasn't changed. We're not going into Syria " -- even though Trump himself greatly increased the number of US troops he deployed to Syria , illegally, in an escalation of the least protested invasion in recent history. Now we should know enough not to count this as mere ambiguity, but as deliberate obfuscation that offers momentary (thinly veiled) cover for a renewal of neocon policy .

We can draw an outline of Trump's liberal imperialism when it comes to Syria, which is likely to be applied elsewhere. First, Trump's interventionist policy regarding Syria is one that continues to treat that country as if it were terra nullius , a mere playground for superpower politics. Second, Trump is clearly continuing with the neoconservative agenda and its hit list of states to be terminated by US military action, as famously confirmed by Gen. Wesley Clark. Even Trump's strategy for justifying the attack on Syria echoed the two prior Bush presidential administrations -- selling war with the infamous "incubator babies" myth and the myth of "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs). In many ways, Trump's presidency is thus shaping up to be either the seventh term of the George H.W. Bush regime, or the fifth straight term of the George W. Bush regime. Third, Trump is taking ownership of an extremely dangerous conflict, with costs that could surpass anything witnessed by the war on Iraq (which also continues). Fourth, by highlighting the importance of photographs in allegedly changing his mind, Trump has placed a high market value on propaganda featuring dead babies. His actions in Syria will now create an effective demand for the pornographic trade in pictures of atrocities. These are matters of great importance to the transnational capitalist class, which demands full global penetrability, diminished state power (unless in the service of this class' goals), a uniformity of expectations and conformity in behaviour, and an emphasis on individual civil liberties which are the basis for defending private property and consumerism.

Venezuela

It is very disturbing to see how Venezuela is being framed as ripe for US intervention, in ways that distinctly echo the lead up to the US war on Libya. Just as disturbing is that Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has a clear conflict of interest regarding Venezuela, from his recent role as CEO of Exxon and its conflict with the government of Venezuela over its nationalization of oil. Tillerson is, by any definition, a clear-cut member of the transnational capitalist class. The Twitter account of the State Department has a battery of messages sternly lecturing Venezuela about the treatment of protesters, while also pontificating on the Venezuelan Constitution as if the US State Department had become a global supreme court. What is impressive is the seamless continuity in the nature of the messages on Venezuela from that account, as if no change of government happened between Obama's time and Trump's. Nikki Haley, Trump's neocon ambassador to the UN, issued a statement that read like it had been written by her predecessors, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, a statement which in itself is an unacceptable intervention in Venezuelan internal affairs. For Trump's part, from just days before the election, to a couple of weeks after his inauguration, he has sent explicit messages of support for anti-government forces in Venezuela. In February, Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuela's Vice President. After Syria and North Korea, Venezuela is seeming the likely focus of US interventionism under Trump.

NATO

Rounding out the picture, at least for now (this was just the first hundred days of Trump's presidency), was Trump's outstanding reversal on NATO -- in fact, once again he stated the reversal himself, and without explanation either: " I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete ". This came just days after the US missile strike against Syria, and just as Ivanka Trump was about to represent his government at a meeting of globalist women, the W20 . NATO has served as the transnational military alliance at the service of the transnational capitalist class, and particularly the military and political members of the TCC. 7

Saving Neoliberalism?

Has Trump saved neoliberal capitalism from its ongoing demise? Has he sustained popular faith in liberal political ideals? Are we still in the dying days of liberalism ? If there had been a centrally coordinated plan to plant an operative among the ranks of populist conservatives and independents, to channel their support for nationalism into support for the persona of the plant, and to then have that plant steer a course straight back to shoring up neoliberal globalism -- then we might have had a wonderful story of a masterful conspiracy, the biggest heist in the history of elections anywhere. A truly "rigged system" could be expected to behave that way. Was Trump designated to take the fall in a rigged game, only his huge ego got in the way when he realized he could realistically win the election and he decided to really tilt hard against his partner, Hillary Clinton? It could be the basis for a novel, or a Hollywood political comedy. I have no way of knowing if it could be true.

Framed within the terms of what we do know, there was relief by the ousted group of political elites and the liberal globalist media at the sight of Trump's reversals, and a sense that their vision had been vindicated. However, if they are hoping that the likes of Trump will serve as a reliable flag bearer, then theirs is a misguided wishful thinking. If someone so demonized and ridiculed, tarnished as an evil thug and racist fascist, the subject of mass demonstrations in the US and abroad, is the latest champion of (neo)liberalism, then we are certainly witnessing its dying days.

Is Trump Beneficial for Anti-Imperialism?

Once one is informed enough and thus prepared to understand that anti-imperialism is not the exclusive preserve of the left (a left which anyway has mostly shunned it over the last two decades), that it did not originate with the left , and that it has a long and distinguished history in the US itself , then we can move toward some interesting realizations. The facts, borne out by surveys and my own online immersion among pro-Trump social media users, is that one of the significant reasons why Trump won is due to the growth in popularity of basic anti-imperialist principles (even if not recognized under that name): for example, no more world policing, no transnational militarization, no more interventions abroad, no more regime change, no war, and no globalism. Nationalists in Europe, as in Russia, have also pushed forward a basic anti-imperialist vision. Whereas in Latin America anti-imperialism is largely still leftist, in Europe and North America the left-right divide has become blurred, but the crucial thing is that at least now we can speak of anti-imperialism gaining strength in these three major continents. Resistance against globalization has been the primary objective, along with strengthening national sovereignty, protecting local cultural identity, and opposing free trade and transnational capital. Unfortunately, some anti-imperialist writers (on the left in fact) have tended to restrict their field of vision to military matters primarily, while almost completely neglecting the economic and cultural, and especially domestic dimensions of imperialism. (I am grossly generalizing of course, but I think it is largely accurate.) Where structures such as NAFTA are concerned, many of these same leftist anti-imperialists, few as they are, have had virtually nothing to say. It could be that they have yet to fully recognize that the transnational capitalist class has, gradually over the last seven decades, essentially purchased the power of US imperialism. Therefore the TCC's imperialism includes NAFTA, just as it includes open borders, neoliberal identity politics, and drone strikes. They are all different parts of the same whole.

As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is. 8

On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. In addition to that, given that his candidacy aggravated internal divisions in the US, which have not subsided with his assumption of office, these domestic social and cultural conflicts cause a serious deficit of legitimacy, a loss of political capital. A declining economy will also deprive him of capital in the strict sense. Moreover, given the kind of persona the media have crafted, the daily caricaturing of Trump will significantly spur anti-Americanism around the world. If suddenly even Canadian academics are talking about boycotting the US, then the worm has truly turned. Trump can only rely on "hard power" (military violence), because "soft power" is almost out of the question now that Trump has been constructed as a barbarian. Incompetent and/or undermined governance will also render Trump a deficient upholder of the status quo. The fact that nationalist movements around the world are not centrally coordinated, and their fortunes are not pinned to those of Trump, establishes a well-defined limit to his influence. Trump's antagonism toward various countries -- as wholes -- has already helped to stir up a deep sediment of anti-Americanism. If Americanism is at the heart of Trump's nationalist globalism, then it is doing all the things that are needed to induce a major heart attack.

As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics.

As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition.

[Feb 02, 2019] In Tit-For-Tat, Russia Suspends INF Treaty; Putin Slams US Demolishing Global Security

Notable quotes:
"... This included "unprecedented steps going far beyond our obligations," Lavrov said, and noted that part of Washington's "systematic" attempts to undermine the treaty included "testing drones that matched the characteristics" of ground-based cruise missiles banned in the treaty, as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification." ..."
"... Putin noted further in the midst of Lavrov's remarks, "This is a direct a violation of the INF." And Lavrov also added, "Such launchers have already been completed in Romania, more are scheduled to be put into service in Poland and Japan." ..."
"... Alarmingly, Putin concluded his remarks by saying Washington could be imperiling in the long term the landmark New START treaty, set to expire in 2021. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has effectively collapsed following the US announcing Friday that it's suspending all obligations under the treaty. Predictably Moscow's response has been swift, with President Vladimir Putin saying in a meeting with his foreign and defense ministers that Russia will now pursue missile development previously banned under its terms .

Putin said "ours will be a mirror response" in a tit-for-tat move that the Russian president ultimately blames on Washington's years-long "systematic" undermining of the agreement. "Our US partners say that they are ceasing their participation in the treaty, and we are doing the same," the Russian president said . "They say that they are doing research and testing [on new weapons] and we will do the same thing."

Crucially, however, he noted that there were no plans to deploy short and mid-range missiles to Europe unless the US does it first -- a worst nightmare scenario that has rattled European leaders ever since talk began from Trump that the 1987 treaty could be scrapped.

Putin still seemed to allow some degree space for last minute concessions as "still on the table" possibly in line with the Trump administration's desire to modernize and update a new treaty taking into account new technological and geopolitical realities, such as China's ballistic missile capabilities.

"Let's wait until our partners mature sufficiently to hold a level, meaningful conversation on this topic, which is extremely important for us, them, and the entire world," Putin said. But also lashing out during the press conference that followed the meeting with top officials Putin described :

Over many years, we have repeatedly suggested staging new disarmament talks, on all types of weapons. Over the last few years, we have seen our initiatives not supported. On the contrary, pretexts are constantly sought to demolish the existing system of international security .

Specifically he and FM Sergei Lavrov referenced not only Trump's threats to quit the agreement, which heightened in December, but accusations leveled from Washington that the Kremlin was in violation. The White House has now affirmed the bilateral historic agreement signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan will be suspended for 180 days. Lavrov insisted that Moscow "attempted to do everything we could to rescue the treaty."

This included "unprecedented steps going far beyond our obligations," Lavrov said, and noted that part of Washington's "systematic" attempts to undermine the treaty included "testing drones that matched the characteristics" of ground-based cruise missiles banned in the treaty, as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification."

Putin noted further in the midst of Lavrov's remarks, "This is a direct a violation of the INF." And Lavrov also added, "Such launchers have already been completed in Romania, more are scheduled to be put into service in Poland and Japan."

Alarmingly, Putin concluded his remarks by saying Washington could be imperiling in the long term the landmark New START treaty, set to expire in 2021.


brane pilot , 17 minutes ago link

Putin is an island of calm in a sea of political insanity.

He knows Trump is being gamed into absurd positions by mad dog Democrat politicians seeking a geopolitical scapegoat.

I would call him a Statesman.

SpanishGoop , 40 minutes ago link

" as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification."

US trying to get from Russia top position first-response list and get Europe on that position.

Putin is much to smart to fall for that.

needtoshit , 44 minutes ago link

Neocons should be remembered as oldcons because their bag of tricks is so well known that they don't fool anyone. Think about this Reagan era fossil who tries to arrange his little coup in Venezuela and will fall flat on his face. Think also about these Pompeo and Bolton who are so desperate that they didn't even spend the necessary time to learn the checkers rules before trying to take on Putin in his favorite chess play. No really, the level of mediocrity and the lack of strategy or even sheer preparedness of these dudes is so low that they may even be hung by their own subordinates who can't even stand that stench of fool play. Trump should be ashamed he hired these clowns to ride their one trick ponies while the titanic goes down. History will not be kind with him.

Totally_Disillusioned , 49 minutes ago link

Putin reads our CIA better than we do!

Totally_Disillusioned , 49 minutes ago link

Putin reads our CIA better than we do!

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Everything you wanted to know about scuttling an INF Treaty but were afraid to ask ( https://www.rt.com/business/450123-nord-stream-2-ready/ )

Cause when it gets completed without sabotage along the way... Those LNG delivery projects will see lots and lots of $USD heading home "FOR GOOD"!...

Which means "other arrangements" will be necessary in order to make certain that another "hostage" crisis ( https://southfront.org/u-s-opted-to-leave-inf-few-years-ago-spent-this-time-developing-forbidden-missiles/ ) "doesn't go to waste"!!!

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Yup.

Shemp 4 Victory , 29 minutes ago link

Additionally, just last week the Russian Ministry of Defense invited foreign military attachés and journalists to inspect the new Iskander 9M729 cruise missile. This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up.

Interestingly, the 9M729 has a heavier warhead, and thus shorter range, than the older 9M728, which the US has not claimed violates the INF treaty. See it for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyH-I3rukPU (3 min. 12 sec. - English subtitles)

Savvy , 14 minutes ago link

This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up .

About standard to ignore what doesn't fit the agenda.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Everything you wanted to know about scuttling an INF Treaty but were afraid to ask ( https://www.rt.com/business/450123-nord-stream-2-ready/ )

Cause when it gets completed without sabotage along the way... Those LNG delivery projects will see lots and lots of $USD heading home "FOR GOOD"!...

Which means "other arrangements" will be necessary in order to make certain that another "hostage" crisis ( https://southfront.org/u-s-opted-to-leave-inf-few-years-ago-spent-this-time-developing-forbidden-missiles/ ) "doesn't go to waste"!!!

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Yup.

Shemp 4 Victory , 29 minutes ago link

Additionally, just last week the Russian Ministry of Defense invited foreign military attachés and journalists to inspect the new Iskander 9M729 cruise missile. This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up.

Interestingly, the 9M729 has a heavier warhead, and thus shorter range, than the older 9M728, which the US has not claimed violates the INF treaty. See it for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyH-I3rukPU (3 min. 12 sec. - English subtitles)

Savvy , 14 minutes ago link

This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up .

About standard to ignore what doesn't fit the agenda.

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Instead of useless diatribe explain why you're all bent today about the INF?

Gen. Ripper , 28 minutes ago link

The INF Treaty allowed the inferior Soviet weapons to remain par to the USA, like how we've been giving the chinks $1T a year.

Now no treaty allows the USA to naturally dominate CCCP and their chinky ching Chong CCP.

[Feb 02, 2019] European Companies Won t Dare Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

Notable quotes:
"... My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

European Companies "Won't Dare" Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/02/2019 - 09:55 32 SHARES

The launch of INSTEX -- "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges" -- by France, Germany, and the UK this week to allow "legitimate trade" with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFT after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal .

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current "limited humanitarian" and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU's end of the 2015 JCPOA -- something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be "expansive" -- while European companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it's "closely following" reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will "risk severe consequences" .

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: "If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran ," said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran's leaders: "I don't think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump's threat," and continued, "The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

But Iranian leadership welcomed the new mechanism as merely a small first step: "It is a first step taken by the European side... We hope it will cover all goods and items," Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

The European side also acknowledged it as a precondition to keeping the nuclear deal alive, which EU leaders sea as vital to their security and strategic interests : "We're making clear that we didn't just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we're creating a possibility to conduct business transactions," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Thursday . "This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn't begin military uranium enrichment," Maas said.

What is INSTEX?

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

This brings up the central question of whether skittish European countries will actually return to doing business with Iran, the entire purpose on which the new mechanism rests. The dilemma was summarized at the start of this week by outspoken Iran hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who told the AP "The choice is whether to do business with Iran or the United States." He warned, "I hope our European allies choose wisely."

Thus far a number of analysts and observers have remained far less optimistic than the European sponsors of INSTEX. One particular interview with geopolitical analyst and journalist Luc Rivet, cited in Russian media, outlines the likelihood for failure of the new payment vehicle : "I don't know what companies will make use of that mechanism to sell to Iran," Rivet said, noting that countries still consider it "dangerous" to be caught working with Iran.

Addressing the current restriction of INSTEX facilitating medical and pharmaceutical goods transactions, he continued:

Who produces this equipment? You think that Siemens will sell to Iran? Never, because they sell to America many other things as well And Siemens is afraid of losing the American market.

No matter if a handful of companies resume or continue business with Iran he explained that an "incredible number of companies" won't. He added: "It's much easier for Chinese and Russian companies to make deals with Iran. The Europeans are scared in an incredible way. The companies are afraid by ricochet of being in the eye of the storm with the Americans."

He concluded, "That's very dangerous for European companies," and repeated, "I don't know anybody who will dare to go with this Instex system."

And the New York Times in asking the same question -- But Will Anyone Use It? -- concludes similarly that "given that most large companies have significant business in the United States, very few -- if any -- are likely to use the trading mechanism for fear of incurring Washington's wrath."

However, the test will be whether or not a steady trickle of small companies gives way to bigger companies. The NYT report continues :

But the financial mechanism could make it easier for smaller companies with no exposure in the United States to trade with Iran and could promote trade in medicine and food, which are not subject to sanctions. European diplomats say that, in the beginning, the concentration will be on goods that are permitted by Washington, to avoid an early confrontation .

But much could also depend on just how fierce the White House reaction will be. If the past months' Trump administration rhetoric is any indicator, it will keep large companies scared and on the sidelines.


CarmenSandiego , 8 minutes ago link

This is the first step? then a independent military? Without asking money bosses in the USA?

alter , 34 minutes ago link

Europe has had double the tariffs on American cars than we had for theirs. It's time for us to quadruple the tariff on European cars, to make up for the tariff imbalance that Europe has taken advantage of for decades.

schroedingersrat , 1 hour ago link

Multinationals surely wont use it. But its great for small businesses.

Wantoknow , 1 hour ago link

Before World War II the question was, "Who will stand up to the demands of Germany?" Now the question is, "Who will stand up to the demands of the United States?" It is clear that as far as means and methods are concerned Washington flies the swastika. History has come full circle.

The following quote from J. R. R. Tolkien makes the point, "Always after a defeat and a respite," says Gandalf, "the shadow takes another shape and grows again." The irony of our times is that the shadow has moved from Germany to the US.

Consternation and craven refusal to confront the reality of our times is again in vogue. We are walking towards madness crying, "Let the other fellow fix this!"

Good Luck

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought.

Einstein101 , 1 hour ago link

"The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

So Iran is "running out of patience"? So what, what Iran will do? ...

[Jan 31, 2019] Venezuela color revolution plot thickens

Notable quotes:
"... UN should be probing Washington and allies for regime-change crimes Identical condemnations from the US and allies and the synchronicity show that Venezuela is being targeted for regime change in a concerted plot led by Washington. ..."
"... It is so disappointing that Americans yet to come to realization that this criminal Jewish Mafia does not standing at the end of the old republic. He is DEEPLY involved, but his STYLE is different. He kills and terrorize the same as Regan, Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama who have killed millions of people. His sanction is the KILLING MACHINE to topple governments TO STEAL THEIR RESOURCES FOR THE DUMMIES. I have NO respect for the liars who are trying to paint a criminal as someone 'standing against' the deep state. TRUMP IS PART OF THE DEEP STATE, ONLY DUMMIES DO NOT GET IT. ..."
"... No matter the situation in Venezuela, whatever the US government and media are saying is just hostile propaganda as they couldn't give a rat's ass about the people living there. The Libyan people were doing well out of their oil, as were the Iraqis, living in reasonable wealth and security, and look at them now after the US decided to meddle in their affairs. Now after all that, even if something the US government says may be true, why believe it? How many times do you need to be fooled to stop being a fool? ..."
"... The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it. ..."
"... Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS. ..."
"... By now Trump must be near bat shit crazy. Imagine hundreds of vampires descending on every exposed artery and vein. Does he have a chance in 2020? Not with the people who are around him today ..."
"... Regardless of what the MSM reports, the population is fed-up with all the malarkey, and the same old faces. ..."
"... If he can he should issue an executive order allowing important items like immigration to go directly to public referendum, by passing congress. We're tired of idiots with personal grudges holding our President hostage. Stern times calls for sterner measures. ..."
"... Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization. ..."
Jan 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Agent76 says: January 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT 100 Words Jan 24, 2019 Catastrophic Consequences What's Really Happening in Venezuela

In this video, we give you the latest breaking news on the current situation in Venezuela with Maduro, the election, and Trump's response.

UN should be probing Washington and allies for regime-change crimes Identical condemnations from the US and allies and the synchronicity show that Venezuela is being targeted for regime change in a concerted plot led by Washington.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50989.htm


AnonFromTN , says: January 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Negotiations are not necessarily a sign of weakness. However, Maduro should negotiate with the puppet masters, not with the puppet. I don't think that killing that pathetic Guaido is a good strategy: you don't want to make a martyr out of nonentity.
WorkingClass , says: January 30, 2019 at 8:02 pm GMT
And, in effect, I wish for the success of Juan Guaido in his struggle with Maduro, and I support American diplomatic and economic pressure on Maduro to step down. After all, Venezuela is in our back yard with huge oil reserves.

FUCK YOU! Venezuela is not "our" back yard. And the oil does not belong to "us".

anonymous [204] Disclaimer , says: January 30, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
[Donald Trump, for all that and for his various faults and miscues, is in reality the only thing standing in the way of the end of the old republic. ]

It is so disappointing that Americans yet to come to realization that this criminal Jewish Mafia does not standing at the end of the old republic. He is DEEPLY involved, but his STYLE is different. He kills and terrorize the same as Regan, Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama who have killed millions of people. His sanction is the KILLING MACHINE to topple governments TO STEAL THEIR RESOURCES FOR THE DUMMIES. I have NO respect for the liars who are trying to paint a criminal as someone 'standing against' the deep state. TRUMP IS PART OF THE DEEP STATE, ONLY DUMMIES DO NOT GET IT.

The ignorant Jewish mafia 'president' IS MORE DANGEROUS because he like his 'advisors' is totally ILLITERATE. It is a family business dummies.

Are dummies going to hold petty people like Bolton who lie to get money from MEK to buy a new suit and new shoes, is responsible for the policy of the Trump regime where he wages WARS, economic sanction, to starve children to surrender? Then NO ONE Trusts you. MEK people are not more than 20, but are funded by the US colony, Saudi Arabia where MBS transfers money to the Jewish mafia family funding US wars.

Maduro has EVERY SINGLE RIGHT to arrest Juan Guiado, a gigolo who is taking orders from a US and an illiterate 'president', where its dark history known to every living creature on earth. US has massacred millions of people in all continents including Latin America.

Maduro has every single right to arrest him and put on trail and execute him as a traitor and an enemy of the state. How many years the people in Venezuela should suffer for the US 'regime change' and its crimes against humanity in Venezuela to STEAL ITS RESOURCES.

onebornfree , says: Website January 30, 2019 at 9:15 pm GMT
"So let me get this straight: The Russians brought America to its knees with a few facebook ads, but Uncle Sam's concerted and ongoing efforts to overthrow governments around the world and interfere with elections is perfectly fine? Because democracy? Riiiiiiight." :

https://www.corbettreport.com/election-interference-is-ok-when-uncle-sam-does-it-propagandawatch/

Regards, onebornfree

anonymous [204] Disclaimer , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
[The last Venezuelan Presidential election was a joke. ]

YOU ARE A JOKE ZIONIST IDIOT.

The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader

[Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.]

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/5666971

Illiterate Jewish Mafia 'president' must be kicked out of the office. Hands of Israel is all over the SELECTION.

The ignorant 'president' is MORE DANGEROUS THANT OTHER CRIMINAL US REGIMES because on top of being a criminal, he is ILLITERATE as well.

[In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals.This far-right group "gathered funds from a variety of US government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements," according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher's book, "Building the Commune."

That year, Guaidó exposed himself to the public in another way, founding a political party to capture the anti-Chavez energy his Generation 2007 had cultivated.]

Guaido's behind towards washington criminal elite

map , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
@By-tor See, this is the typical lie. Socialism fails, so the socialist blames the outside wrecker for causing the problem. If Moscow freezes, then it is because of the wreckers. If Moscow starves, then it is because of the wreckers.

If Venezuela collapses, then it is because of "sanctions," not the failure of the new socialist economy.

America has the right to lock anyone out of its economy that it wants, for whatever reasons. This should not matter because that nation can still trade with the rest of the world, like China. Venezuela could get everything it wants by simply selling oil to China in exchange for goods. The problem is, there is not enough oil production to do so and other nations are reluctant to replace American investment for fear of losing their assets as well.

Think about how wrong-headed the Chavez policy has been. If the Venezuelans have problems with their local ruling class and want to get rid of them fine do so. But, why go after the American oil company? The Americans don't care who rules Venezuela as long as their contracts are honored. Chavez could have then been a true socialist an allocate a greater dividend to Venezuelans that was previously being hoarded by the ruling class an arrangement similar to what Alaskans have with American oil companies.

But no there was an immediate seizure of assets because the only purpose of socialism is to make the socialist leaders rich. And Chavez and Maduro became very rich indeed.

Hibernian , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
@WorkingClass No other nation is in our back yard. They are near neighbors.
Sergey Krieger , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:02 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN I would happily martyr gorbachov , Yeltsin and all their gang. I think everybody would have been far better of then. Same is applied to the puppet. Nikolai II was martyred and things got a lot better. What is important is winning and final outcome, while making some martyrs in the process.
RVBlake , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Harold Smith Trump's personnel picks are mind-boggling. I cannot see how he disapproves Eliot Abrams for deputy SoS with one breath, then blandly allows Pompeo to appoint him an envoy to a trouble-spot. Bolton, Pompeo, Goldberg et al.
El Dato , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Sean

NEOCON America does not want Russian bombers in South America.

Real America doesn't give a f*ck. Bombers are so last century, might as well put up machine-gun equipped Union Pacific Big Boys to make it marginally more steampunk and become a real danger for the USA.

EliteCommInc. , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2 There is not a single complaint here that did not exist before the election or before Pres Chavez.

There are poor management leaders all over the globe. That';s their business. Hey we have some right here in the US I take it your solution is a military coup or better yet a coup fostered by the EU or the OAS, or maybe ASEAN or SDG . . .

jack daniels , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm GMT
It would be nice if someone simply asked Trump why it is he originally wanted to get along with Russia and pull out of the middle east and generally opposed the "neoconservative" approach and now seems to be hiring neocons and doing what they want. Is he trying to placate Sheldon Adelson and Adelson's lackeys, or what? I don't know of his being asked about this directly.
APilgrim , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm GMT
Is President Nicolas Maduro stealing the strategic gold reserves of Venezuela?

'Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown', Patricia Laya and Andrew Rosati, Bloomberg, January 30, 2019, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-20-tons-gold-ready-004013962.html

Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country's central bank. Guerra is a former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there. A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Tuesday that 20 tons of gold have been set aside in the central bank for loading. Worth some $840 million, the gold represents about 20 percent of its holdings of the metal in Venezuela.

Commentator Mike , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@map

No matter the situation in Venezuela, whatever the US government and media are saying is just hostile propaganda as they couldn't give a rat's ass about the people living there. The Libyan people were doing well out of their oil, as were the Iraqis, living in reasonable wealth and security, and look at them now after the US decided to meddle in their affairs. Now after all that, even if something the US government says may be true, why believe it? How many times do you need to be fooled to stop being a fool?

Tyrion 2 , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc.

No, Chavez had popular legitimacy. Maduro has nothing but force to keep himself in power now. Yes, there's easy definition for the above but Chavismo is decrepit.

Pressure for a reasonable Presidential election is based on that.

peterAUS , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm GMT
@RVBlake

A guy on ZH explained it well, I guess:

  1. The opposition hates me. I can do no right.
  2. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong.
  3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue.
  4. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence ..like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.
    I'd add: and by doing the last, I could cut a deal with the real TPTBs as to for what happens after I leave White House.
Hibernian , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2

Chavez had popular support . He felt the need to intimidate opponents from the beginning. Like Bill Bellicheck and Tom Brady feeling the need to cheat.

Pft , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:32 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Makes sense. They owe a big chunk of money to Russia and a payment of 100 million is coming due. Russia gets security for future payments while it holds their gold in a safe place. They may ship the rest to China if they are smart

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it.

She's being paid no doubt by the usual suspects. She is personally 1 million in debt and has signed with a Speakers agency to give speeches for 200,000 a pop.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV)

"Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements, according to CNBC
In October 2018, when Haley resigned, she said, she would be taking a "step up" into the private sector after leaving the U.N. According to a public financial disclosure report based on 2017 data, at the rate quoted for her engagements, just a handful would pay down more than $1 million in outstanding debt that was accrued during her 14 years

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:43 pm GMT
@peterAUS

3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue.

Well that is true.

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm GMT
Well people you need to explore this move to take over Venezuela in the context of what having that oil control will mean for the US and Israel in the increasingly likely event we blow up Iran and up end the ME for Israel.

Despite Trump selling off half of our US oil reserves last year .. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil-reserve/u-s-sells-11-million-barrels-of-oil-from-reserve-to-exxon-five-other-firms-idUSKCN1LG2WT ..the US doesn't currently, at present anyway, need to control Venezuela's oil .

So what could happen that might make control of oil rich Venezuela necessary? Why has Venezuela become a Bolton and Abrams project? Why is Netanyahu putting himself into the Venezuela crisis ?

We, otoh, would need all the oil we could get if we blew up the ME, specifically Iran, figuratively or literally. The US signed a MOU with Israel in 1973 obligating us to supply Israel with oil ( and ship it to them) if they couldn't secure any for themselves.

Z-man , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
@Hibernian I hate those two guys so much, and the owner Kraft also. I'm hoping for a helmet to helmet collision for Brady early in the second quarter with his bell ringing for the rest of the game. (Evil grin)
Z-man , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:14 am GMT
@renfro I have nothing but ill will for that mutt Haley.
By-tor , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:41 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 Yes, the int'l monitors said the elections were fair as Maduro received over 60% of the vote. You think the 'deplorables' of venezuela elected the known US-Wall Street neo-liberal puppet Guaido? No, the US Tape Worm groomed this twerp, all-the-while his backers and paymasters in the American neo-Liberal ruling class claim Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections. The shamelessness and hypocrisy is astounding.
EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 Pres Hugo Chavez's admin was very controversial. And the conditions you speak of have plagued Venezuela even before Pres Chavez came to government.

This really is none of our affair. We don't have a mandate to go about the planet tossing out whoever we think is crazy. He is not a threat to the US. There's no indication that he intends to harm US businesses.

Their polity means their polity. You'll have to do better than he's crazy, mean, a despot, etc. That's for them to resolve.

Johnny Walker Read , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:50 am GMT
@Commentator Mike Seems some will never learn the definition of insanity, especially the NeoCons who have been running America for far too long. I recommend John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" for the less informed among us here today. Maybe at some point they will get a clue.
redmudhooch , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT

I heartily dislike and find despicable the socialist government of Maduro, just as I did Hugo Chavez when he was in power. I have some good friends there, one of whom was a student of mine when I taught in Argentina many years ago, and he and his family resolutely oppose Maduro. Those socialist leaders in Caracas are tin-pot dictator wannabees who have wrecked the economy of that once wealthy country; and they have ridden roughshod over the constitutional rights of the citizens. My hope has been that the people of Venezuela, perhaps supported by elements in the army, would take action to rid the country of those tyrants.

Hard to take this guy seriously when he spouts Fox News level propaganda.

Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Its clear that voting no longer works folks, this is an undemocratic and illegitimate "government" we have here. We let them get away with killing JFK, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, we let them get away with 9/11, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria. They've made a mess in Africa. All the refugees into Europe, all the refugees from Latin America that have already come from CIA crimes, more will come.
We wouldn't need a wall if Wall St would stop with their BS down there!

You can't just blame Jews, yes there are lots of Jews in Corporate America, bu t not all of them are, and there are lots of Jews who speak out against this. We were doing this long before Israel came into existence. You can't just blame everything one one group, I think Israel/Zionist are responsible for a lot of BS, but you can't exclude CIA, Wall St, Corporations, Banks, The MIC either. Its not just one group, its all of them. They're all evil, they're imperialists and they're all capitalists. I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they dicovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it. Those people moving to Israel are being played, just like the "Christian Zionists" here are, its a cult. Most "Jews" are atheists anyhow, and it seems any ol greedy white guy can claim to be a Jew. So how do you solve a "Jewish Problem" if anybody can claim to be a Jew? I think solving the capitalist problem would be a little easier to enforce.

All of the shills can scream about communists, socialists and marxists all they want. Capitalism is the problem always has been always will be. Its a murderous, immoral, unsustainable system that encourages greed, it is a system who's driving force is maximizing profits, and as such the State controlled or aligned with Corporations is the most advanced form of capitalism because it is the most profitable. They're raping the shit out of us, taking our money to fund their wars, so they can make more money while paying little to no taxes at all. Everything, everyone here complains about is caused by CAPITALISM, but nobody dares say it, they've been programmed since birth to think that way.

We should nationalize our oil and gas, instead of letting foreigners come in and steal it, again paying little or no taxes on it, then selling the oil they took from our country back to us. Russia and Venezuela do it, Libya did it, Iraq did it, and they used the money for the people of the country, they didn't let the capitalists plunder their wealth like the traitors running our country. We're AT LEAST $21 trillion in the hole now from this wonderful system of ours, don't you think we should try something else? Duh!

It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. Just muh opinion

Regime Change and Capitalism
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

bluedog , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 From the people fool not by the C.I.A. declaring that well we like the other fellow best for president,after all using the logic you fail to have Hillary could have said call me madam president and leave the orange clown out in the dark,stupid,stupid people
RobinG , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
@anonymous

"And, in effect, I wish for the success of Juan Guaido in his struggle with Maduro, and I support American diplomatic and economic pressure on Maduro to step down. After all, Venezuela is in our back yard with huge oil reserves."

OMG, Cathey really said that. Is he always such a shit? He certainly has Venezuela completely wrong.

The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

Larry Wilkerson on the special meeting of the Security Council

Many Countries at UN Oppose Trump Interference in Venezuela

Sergey Krieger , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:15 am GMT
@AnonFromTN This phylosophical questions should not led to no actions. Modern Russia is actually in much better position now than it was in 1913. True. There is never final. Sorry for wrong words choice. Dialectics.
RobinG , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:20 am GMT
@AnonFromTN Tyrion and Sean are both sicko Zio-trolls.
Asagirian , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
Why not just install the Deep State as president for life? It'd be more honest.
EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:38 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz The scenario you describe is an accurate. And requires me to make judgments about a dynamic I am unfamiliar with -- no bite. Several sides to this tale and I have heard and seen it before.

I may however make a call.

In 2017 2/3 of the states in the region chose not to interfere. They have not changed their minds on intervention.

ohh by the way I did ask and here's the familial response:

https://brewminate.com/venezuelans-want-maduro-out-but-oppose-military-intervention-to-remove-him/

EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:47 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz https://www.thequint.com/news/world/venezuelans-want-prez-maduro-out-but-oppose-foreign-intervention

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/venezuelans-oppose-intervention-us-sanctions-poll/

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-news/2019/01/29/new-poll-shows-venezuelans-overwhelmingly-oppose-military-intervention-and-us-sanctions/

Just to be fair:

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/venezuelans-multinational-intervention-president-nicolas-maduro-economic-situation/2018/09/17/id/882143/

But reading the data sets makes it clear that what they want is some humanitarian relief. B y and large I have the family telling me to mind my own business, but they would like a meal, some medicine and some water.

Asking helps figuring out what to do.

the grand wazoo , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:59 am GMT
By now Trump must be near bat shit crazy. Imagine hundreds of vampires descending on every exposed artery and vein. Does he have a chance in 2020? Not with the people who are around him today.

Regardless of what the MSM reports, the population is fed-up with all the malarkey, and the same old faces.

In Trump's remaining 2 years he must throw off the parasites, bring in real men, and go to work on infrastructure, health care, and real jobs. He has to out the naysayers, the creeps and the war mongers. Throw Bolton from the train, and divorce Netanyahu and Israel. Appeal directly to the public.

If he can he should issue an executive order allowing important items like immigration to go directly to public referendum, by passing congress. We're tired of idiots with personal grudges holding our President hostage. Stern times calls for sterner measures.

AnonFromTN , says: January 31, 2019 at 3:08 am GMT
@RobinG That would be an easy, almost optimistic explanation: some people are venal enough to say or write anything for money. Pessimistic explanation is that some people who can read and write are nonetheless dumb or brainwashed enough to sincerely believe the BS they are writing.
Anonymous [362] Disclaimer , says: January 31, 2019 at 4:19 am GMT
@therevolutionwas

Can you define what capitalism is ? Once that idea is refined, finessed, and compared to multiple color changes of capitalism, it becomes easier who to fit in the plastic infinitely expandable box of ideas of capitalism starting with the chartered company to patient laws to companies making military hardwares paid by tax payers to tax cut by government to seizure of foreign asset by US-UK to protection of the US business by military forces to selling military gadgets to the countries owned by families like Saudi royals Gulf monarchs and to the African ( American installed ) dictators to printing money .

tac , says: January 31, 2019 at 4:58 am GMT
A great article I posted in another thread few days ago dives deep into who Juan Guaido is and his past grooming for the past 10+ years:

Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

Here is another:

A great documentary on the 2002 coup d'etat of Chavez: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Chavez, The 2002 Coup

[Jan 30, 2019] The US is needing a war to rally its people around the flag and to attempt to keep its hand on the Rudder of the world.

Is Trump a possible "War president?"
Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Pestercorn , Jan 29, 2019 10:21:08 PM | link

It's not hard to see the parallels of how the US is treating China today compared with Japan in 1939. The US sanctioned Japan and stopped them from importing Iron and Oil and today China is being technologically sanctioned throughout the West with Huawei.

The US is bludgeoning every Govt throughout the world to get its own way both allied and contested. This attitude can only lead to War eventually. Venezuela today, Iran tomorrow which will continue to box in China and Russia.

The US is needing a war to rally its people around the flag and to attempt to keep its hand on the Rudder of the world.

China will be forced to sink an American ship or shoot down an American Jet to save face re Taiwan and their Islands in the China Sea.
The West is begging for war and the parallels now and before WW11 is scary.

[Jan 30, 2019] It has only recently become clear (to most) that Trump is a faux populist frontman ... the Republican Obama.

Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 29, 2019 9:01:10 PM | link

bevin @46

Why Venezuela? ... It seems to me that the major blocs might be pulling back, and settling for easy gains.

An unjustified equivalence that attempts to justify what is outrageous.

Why now? ... the neo-conservative axis has only recently re-established full spectrum domination over the White House.

No. it has only recently become clear (to most) that Trump is a faux populist frontman ... the Republican Obama.

[Jan 30, 2019] Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back

PT Barnum was right. A sucker is born everyday.
Jan 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back.

Betrayed

He does what Sheldon and Bibi tell him.

You think you're so ******* smart, but this some how eludes you?

napper , 3 hours ago (Edited)

Donald Trump's House of Cons, Clowns, Crappolas, Criminals, and Conspirators:

  1. Mike Pence
  2. Mike Pompeo
  3. Steven Mnuchin
  4. John Bolton
  5. Elliot Abrams
  6. Nikki Haley
  7. Gina Haspel
  8. Peter Navarro
  9. Wilbur Ross
  10. Kirstjen Nielsen
  11. Robert Lighthizer
  12. Dan Coats

and Donkey Drumpf managed to convince a big bunch of brainless sheeple that he's going to make America great again with the help of those career swamp dwellers???

Gotta give it to the Donkey. He's good at acting at least.

TGF Texas, 3 hours ago

Shitty appointment, you bet! Regime Change, back on, after a 2 yr vacation, time will tell, but it sure looks that way! Remembering, Seth Rich, and the Guy who shot himself in the head, twice with a revolver, and the Clintons had the cops rule it a suicide, or the fact that she actually asked people if we could drone Assage...

And I am back to sanity!

[Jan 30, 2019] In two party system any vote for a third party is a protest vote

Yes you can vote for the third party. The question is, does it affect anything?
Notable quotes:
"... And voting for direct democracy sends the message that the people are angry at the system, not just the players that run it. ..."
"... Not voting is also a valid protest. But using one's vote to send a message, instead of just withholding legitimacy, seems more powerful as other disaffected people are more likely to join in a Movement for direct democracy. ..."
Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Jan 29, 2019 11:50:04 PM | 81 ">link

mourning dove @69

Yes. Any vote for a third party is a protest vote.

I think that only a Party that promotes direct democracy has any chance of drawing sufficient votes to embarrass the establishment.

And voting for direct democracy sends the message that the people are angry at the system, not just the players that run it.

Similarly to the Yellow Vests (part of their demands is an increase in direct democracy via referendums) .

Not voting is also a valid protest. But using one's vote to send a message, instead of just withholding legitimacy, seems more powerful as other disaffected people are more likely to join in a Movement for direct democracy.

Well, that's the way I see it now. There's still a lot of time before the election.

[Jan 30, 2019] I gave-up voting after the 2008 election, when Cynthia McKinney was my choice for president. I realized that voting only feeds the beast and if we could get less than 50% turn-out people might wake-up to what farce elections in the usa are.

Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

David Shinn , Jan 29, 2019 10:25:09 PM | link

Mourning Dove,

I agree with what you said regarding elections... The usa has something around 55-60% turnout for elections and it continues to slide.

I gave-up voting after the 2008 election, when Cynthia McKinney was my choice for president. I realized that voting only feeds the beast and if we could get less than 50% turn-out people might wake-up to what farce elections in the usa are.

What difference does it really make voting for two slightly different forms of cancer? I'd rather be thought as stupid or moronic for not voting than to choose the lesser of two evils, which is the only really choice we have when we vote.

All those die hard political types don't realize that not voting is a vote too.

And a big thanks to the MoA community for continually posting the most interesting discussions on the Web.

[Jan 29, 2019] After hiring Abrams the next logical step would be hiring Hillary or Wolfowitz. WTF Is Trump Thinking

Highly recommended!
As George Carlin observed, it's a big club and you aren't in it. Hiring Elliott Abrams makes Trump a variation on theme of Bush II: the more things change that more they stay the same. BTW Bush also campaigned on withdrew troops and no national building .
Notable quotes:
"... When did he hire Hillary? ..."
"... There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist ..."
"... Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made." ..."
Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
schroedingersrat, 5 hours ago

Trump is a psychopath and he loves to hire even bigger psychopaths. Your whole admin is a swamp of sociopaths, psychopaths and other sick deranged people.

TGF Texas, 5 hours ago link

When did he hire Hillary?

schroedingersrat, 38 minutes ago link

There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist

bshirley1968, 2 hours ago

Thinking? Well that's a stretch of the imagination, but let me suggest this......

  1. The opposition hates me. I can do no right.
  2. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong.
  3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight eachother over every minute, meaningless issue.
  4. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence.....like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.

That could be what he is thinking. But I can bet you anything that there isn't a Trumptard out there that can comment here and give us a rational reason for this appointment. Oh, they can down vote because they don't like being called Trumptards. .....but they don't mind being one.

NAV, 2 hours ago

Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made."

williambanzai7, 4 hours ago

Wondering who is getting fucked?

NAV

We are.

[Jan 22, 2019] The French Anti-Neoliberal Revolution. On the conditions for its success by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us". ..."
"... But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests! ..."
"... In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone. ..."
"... This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him. ..."
"... Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country. ..."
"... This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together. ..."
"... Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either! ..."
"... Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. ..."
"... France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description. ..."
"... This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history. ..."
"... Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power. ..."
"... By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary. ..."
"... Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe . ..."
"... Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The magazine Le Point is one of the main media outlets of the French conservative "centre-right". One of its December issues carries the cover title France Faces its History. 1648, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 four centuries of revolutions.

The cover features also a painting by Pierre-Jérôme Lordon, showing people clashing with the army at Rue de Babylone , in Paris, during the Revolution of 1830. Perhaps this is where Luc Ferry, Chirac's former minister, got his idea from, when, two days ago, he asked the Army to intervene and the police to start shooting and killing Yellow Vests.

Do not be surprised if you haven't heard this from your TV or if you don't know that the level of police repression and violence in France, measured in people dead, injured and arrested, has exceeded everything the country has experienced since 1968. Nor should you wonder why you don't know anything about some Yellow Vest's new campaign calling for a massive run on French banks. Or why you have been lead you to believe that the whole thing is to do with fuel taxes or increasing minimum wage.

The vast majority of European media didn't even bother to communicate to their readers or viewers the main political demands of the Yellow Vests ; and certainly, there hasn't been any meaningful attempt to offer an insightful interpretation of what's happening in France and there is just very little serious on-the-ground reporting, in the villages and motorways of France.

Totalitarianism

Following Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, European Powers formed the Holy Alliance banning Revolutions.

Nowadays, Revolutions have just been declared inconceivable (Soros – though not just him – has been giving a relentless fight to take them out of history textbooks or, as a minimum, to erase their significance and meaning). Since they are unthinkable they cannot happen. Since they cannot happen they do not happen.

In the same vein, European media sent their journalists out to the streets in Paris on Christmas and New Year's days, counted the protesters and found that they weren't too many after all. Of course they didn't count the 150,000 police and soldiers lined up by Macron on New Year's Eve. Then they made sure that they remain "impartial" and by just comparing numbers of protesters, led viewers to think that we are almost done with it – it was just a storm, it will pass.

The other day I read a whole page article about Europe in one of the most "serious" Greek newspapers, on 30.12. The author devoted just one single meaningless phrase about the Vests. Instead, the paper still found the way to include in the article the utterly stupid statement of a European Right-Wing politician who attributed the European crisis to the existence of Russia Today and Sputnik! And when I finally found a somewhat more serious article online about the developments in France, I realized that its only purpose was to convince us that what is happening in France surely has nothing to do with 1789 or 1968!

It is only a pity that the people concerned, the French themselves, cannot read in Greek. If they could, they would have realized that it does not make any sense to have "Revolution" written on their vests or to sing the 1789 song in their demonstrations or to organize symbolic ceremonies of the public "decapitation" of Macron, like Louis XV. And the French bourgeois press would not waste time everyday comparing what happens in the country now with what happened in 1968 and 1789.

Totalitarianism is not just a threat. It's already here. Simply it has omitted to announce its arrival. We have to deduce its precence from its results.

A terrified ruling class

The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us".

A few months ago, all we had about Macron in the papers was praise, inside and outside of France – he was the "rising star" of European politics, the man who managed to pass the "reforms" one after the other, no resistance could stop him, he would be the one to save and rebuild Europe. Varoufakis admired and supported him, as early as of the first round of the 2017 elections.

Now, the "chosen one" became a burden for those who put him in office. Some of them probably want to get rid of him as fast as they can, to replace him with someone else, but it's not easy – and even more so, it is not easy given the monarchical powers conferred by the French constitution to the President. The constitution is tailored to the needs of a President who wants to safeguard power from the people. Those who drafted it could not probably imagine it would make difficult for the Oligarchy also to fire him!

Read also: Scandaleux : le fondateur du parti fasciste ukrainien Svoboda reçu à l'Assemblée et au Sénat !

And who would dare to hold a parliamentary or presidential election in such a situation, as in France today? No one knows what could come out of it. Moreover, Macron does not have a party in the sense of political power. He has a federation of friends who benefit as long as he stays in power and they are damaged when he collapses.

The King is naked

"The King is naked", points out Le Point's editorial, before, with almost sadistic callousness, posing the question: "What can a government do when a remarkable section of the people vomits it?"

But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests!

They predicted it, they saw it coming, but they didn't believe it!

Yet they could have predicted all that. It would have sufficed, had they only taken seriously and studied a book published in France in late 2016, six months before the presidential election, highlighting the explosive nature of the social situation and warning of the danger of revolution and civil war.

The title of the book was "Revolution". Its author was none other than Emmanuel Macron himself. Six months later, he would become the President of France, to eventually verify, and indeed rather spectacularly, his predictions. But the truth is probably, that not even he himself gave much credit to what he wrote just to win the election.

By constantly lying, politicians, journalists and intellectuals reasonably came to believe that even their own words are of no importance. That they can say and do anything they want, without any consequence.

In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone.

This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him.

Unwise and Arrogant, he made no effort to hide – this is how sure he felt of himself, this is how convinced his environment was that he could infinitely go on doing anything he wanted without any consequences (same as our Tsipras). Thus, acting foolishly and arrogantly, he left a few million eyes to see his real face. This was the last straw that made the French people realize in a definite way what they had already started figuring out during Sarkozy's and Hollande's, administration, or even earlier. Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country.

There was nobody else to make it in their place.

Macron as a Provocateur. Terror in Pompeii

This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together.

It was just then, that Bucephalus (*) sprang from the depths of historical Memory, galloping without a rider, ready to sweep away everything in his path.

Now those in power look at him with fear, but fearful too are both the "radical right" and the "radical left". Le Pen has already called on protesters to return to their homes and give her names to include in her list for the European election!

Mélenchon supports the Vests – 70% of their demands coincide with the program of his party, La France Insoumise – but so far he hasn't dared to join the people in demanding Macron's resignation, by adopting the immense, but orphan, cry of the people heard all over France: "Macron resign". Perhaps he feels that he hasn't got the steely strength and willpower required for attempting to lead such a movement.

The unions' leadership is doing everything it can to keep the working class away from the Vests, but this stand started causing increasing unrest at its base.

Read also: Macron Prepares a Social War

Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either!

In fact, this is also a further confirmation of the depth of the movement. Lenin , who, in any event knew something about revolutions, wrote in 1917: "In a revolutionary situation, the Party is a hundred times farther to the left than the Central Committee and the workers a hundred times farther to the left than the Party."

"Revolutionary Situation" and Power Vacuum

Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917.

France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description.

This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history.

People's Sovereignty at the center of demands

Starting from fuel tax the revolting French have now put at the centre of their demands, in addition to Macron's resignation, the following:

In other words, they demand a profound and radical " transformation " of the Western bourgeois-democratic regime, as we know it, towards a form of direct democracy in order to take back the state, which has gradually and in a totalitarian manner – but while keeping up democratic appearances – passed under direct and full control of the Financial Capital and its employees. Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power.

These are not the demands of a fun-club of Protagoras or of some left-wing or right-wing groupuscule propagating Self-Management or of some club of intellectuals. Nor are they the demands of only the lowest social strata of the French nation.

They are supported, according to the polls and put forward by at least three quarters of French citizens, including a sizeable portion of the less poor. In such circumstances, these demands constitute in effect the Will of the People, the Will of the Nation.

The Vests are nothing more than its fighting pioneers. And precisely because it is the absolute majority of people who align with these demands, even if numbers have somewhat gone down since the beginning of December, the Vests are still wanted out on the streets.

By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary.

And also because it is not only the President and the Government, who have been debunked or at least de-legitimized, but it's also the whole range of state and political institutions, the parties, the unions, the "information" media and the "ideologists" of the regime.

The questioning of the establishment is so profound that any arguments about violence and the protesters do not weaken society's support for them. Many, but not all, condemn violence, but there are not many who don't go on immediately to add a reminder of the regime's social violence against the people. When a famous ex-boxer lost his temper and reacted by punching a number of violent police officers, protesters set up a fundraising website for his legal fees. In just two hours they managed to raise around 120.000 euro, before removing the page over officials' complaints and threats about keeping a file on anyone who contributes money to support such causes.

Read also: Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

Until now, an overwhelming majority of the French people supports the demands while an absolute majority shows supports for the demonstrations; but of course, it is difficult to keep such a deadlock and power-void situation going for long. They will sooner or later demand a solution, and in situations such as these it is often the case that public opinion shifts rapidly from the one end of the political spectrum to the other and vice versa, depending on which force appears to be more decisive and capable of driving society out of the crisis.

The organization of the Movement

Because the protesters have no confidence in the parties, the trade unions, or anyone else for that matter, they are driven out of necessity into self-organization, as they already do with the Citizens' Assemblies that are now emerging in villages, cities and motorway camps. Indeed, by the end of the month, if everything goes well, they will hold the first " Assembly of Assemblies ".

Similar developments have also been observed in many revolutionary movements of this kind in various countries. A classic example is the spontaneous formation of the councils ( Soviets ) during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe .

Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past.

Because the movement's Achilles' Heel is that, while it is already in the process of forming a political proposition, it still, at least for now, does not offer any economic alternative or a politically structured, democratically controlled leadership.

Effective Democracy is an absolute requirement in such a front, because it is the only way to synthesize the inevitably different levels of consciousness within the People and to avoid a split of the movement between "left" and "right", between those who are ready to resort to violence to achieve their ends and those who have a preference for more peaceful, gradual processes.

Such a " front " could perhaps also serve as a platform for solidifying a program and vision, to which the various parties and political organizations could contribute.

In her Critique of the Russian Revolution Rosa Luxemburg , the leader of the German Social Democracy was overly critical of the Bolsheviks , even if, I think, a bit too severe in some points. But she closes her critique with the phrase: " They at least dared "

Driven by absolute Need, guided by the specific way its historical experience has formed its consciousness, possessing a Surplus of Consciousness, that is able to feel the unavoidable conclusions coming out of the synthesis of the information we all possess, about both the "quality" of the forces governing our world and the enormous dangers threatening our countries and mankind, the French People, the French Nation has already crossed the Rubicon.

By moving practically to achieve their goals at a massive scale, and regardless of what is to come next, the French people has already made a giant leap up and forward and, once more in its history, it became the world's forerunner in tackling the terrible economic, ecological, nuclear and technological threats against human civilization and its survival.

Without the conscious entry of large masses into the historical scene, with all the dangers and uncertainties that such a thing surely implies, one can hardly imagine how humanity will survive.

Note

(*) Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucephalus

[Jan 19, 2019] We are being played Judging from his appointment Trump is really a Republican Obama

Notable quotes:
"... We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit. ..."
"... Trump brought on Nikki Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo. Trump nominated Gina Haspel, acolyte of his supposed nemesis Brennan, for CIA director. Trump approved termination of JCPOA. ..."
"... And Trump's duplicity extends beyond Russia and Syria. He pretended to make a peace deal with North Korea but refuses to complete it. He railed against TPP but included TPP provisions in the new North America free-trade agreement. He said he would prosecute Hillary but backed within days of being elected saying: "the Clintons have been through enough" (what have they been through?!?), he said he would "drain the swamp" but has added to it, he put Jared Kushner - a supporter of illegal settlement building - in charge of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, etc. ..."
"... It was obvious from jumpstreet what Obama was all about! I never for once believed anything ..."
"... It is very unusual for a populist to win office in USA. I would say that today it is virtually impossible due to the money-based US electoral system. Once this fact is understood, it becomes clear that BOTH Trump and Obama are each faux populists ..."
"... The faux populist leader model is actually well suited for an inverted totalitarian government like USA. And I've previously described a number of elements that make up this model such as the need for partisans (Obamabots/Trumptards) that vehemently defend the popular hero as he betrays his base while bogus accusations from political opponents spark a knee-jerk reaction in the hero's base and prepare the ground for the next faux populist leader. ..."
"... In 2008, the Deep State needed to "turn the page" from Bushes militarism and Obama embodied that "change". In 2016, the Deep State needed a nationalist that could revive patriotism in order to meet the challenge from Russia and China. I don't think this was accidental. ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

, Jan 15, 2019 5:24:49 PM | link

We are being played

Pat Buchanan gets it (ht Zerohedge): Is Bolton Steering Trump into War with Iran? Bolton Steering Trump into War with Iran?

There are other signs a confrontation is coming soon. The U.S. has objected to Iran's pending launch of two space satellites, saying these look like tests of missiles designed to deliver nuclear warheads....

In short, forces are moving in this country and in Israel to bring about a U.S. confrontation with Iran -- before our troops leave Syria [NYT says troop withdrawal is estimated to take 4-6 months] .

But the real questions here are not about Bolton or Pompeo.

They are about Trump .

We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit.

Trump brought on Nikki Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo. Trump nominated Gina Haspel, acolyte of his supposed nemesis Brennan, for CIA director. Trump approved termination of JCPOA.

And Trump's administration claims to have defeated ISIS. They say that USA actions were responsible for 99% of the anti-ISIS effort. Why make such a claim after Trump said in his campaign: "Let Russia take care of ISIS"? My best guess: They want to portray themselves as the 'good guy' to Western audiences and when they act against Syria in the future, they will attempt to convince the Syrian people that the 'Assad must go' Coalition was responsible for eliminating ISIS.

And Trump's duplicity extends beyond Russia and Syria. He pretended to make a peace deal with North Korea but refuses to complete it. He railed against TPP but included TPP provisions in the new North America free-trade agreement. He said he would prosecute Hillary but backed within days of being elected saying: "the Clintons have been through enough" (what have they been through?!?), he said he would "drain the swamp" but has added to it, he put Jared Kushner - a supporter of illegal settlement building - in charge of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

William Bowles , Jan 15, 2019 5:46:38 PM | link
Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 5:24:49 PM | 20
We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit.

It was obvious from jumpstreet what Obama was all about! I never for once believed anything he said but I looked at what he did. A gangster from Chicago. In some respects he was a black Carter, designed to act as an interregnum. It was Carter who kickstarted the occupation of Afghanistan. It was Carter who bumped up the nuclear weapons programme.

Trump is just a naked version of every prior US prez.

Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | link
William Bowles @22:
Trump is just a naked version of every prior US prez.
It is very unusual for a populist to win office in USA. I would say that today it is virtually impossible due to the money-based US electoral system. Once this fact is understood, it becomes clear that BOTH Trump and Obama are each faux populists .

The faux populist leader model is actually well suited for an inverted totalitarian government like USA. And I've previously described a number of elements that make up this model such as the need for partisans (Obamabots/Trumptards) that vehemently defend the popular hero as he betrays his base while bogus accusations from political opponents spark a knee-jerk reaction in the hero's base and prepare the ground for the next faux populist leader.

I've made a substantial case for Trump's having been chosen to follow Obama . I look forward to any comments you may have regarding that the argument that I've set forth.

Fec , Jan 15, 2019 5:54:25 PM | link
Ted Koppel: "I don't need you guys anymore," Trump told me.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-expect-trump-to-go-quietly/2019/01/14/d8104e3a-1458-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html

"Untethered from any political responsibility whatsoever, he can be expected to capitalize fully on his new status as political martyr and leader of a new "resistance" that will make today's look supine."

Fec , Jan 15, 2019 6:33:16 PM | link
@ 24

Kudos for alluding to Wolin, shunned by his Princeton colleagues after publishing Democracy, Inc.

Trump is a black swan summoned by Hillary Clinton.

Unfortunately, the Left has not handled the loss well.

See Ted Koppel above.

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 7:27:41 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | 24

Trump campaigned as a populist, the principal time the term applies, and also as president. Witness the current impasse over a border wall which is an appeal to the ordinary people who elected Trump, and he often wears that silly MAGA cap which appeals to his electorate.

populist: a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

Trump on the campaign trail was a populist as you admit at your link: "Trump was the ONLY populist on the Republican side (out of 19 contenders!)." That's how he got nominated and then elected in a huge upset, appealing to ordinary people which the other candidates couldn't do. Trump wasn't chosen by anybody, but he was (and is) ridiculed by many.

Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 8:22:18 PM | link
Don Bacon @26:

How Trump and Obama got elected is clear. But just because they ran as populists doesn't mean that they have a populist agenda. I think I've been pretty clear that they have each made decisions and taken actions that furthered the establishment over the people.

And running as a populist doesn't mean an automatic 'win'. For example, voters are going to be skeptical about the motives of a billionaire running for office, question the ability of a novice politician, and be distrustful of a man who has had 3 wives and 4 bankruptcies.

In 2008, the Deep State needed to "turn the page" from Bushes militarism and Obama embodied that "change". In 2016, the Deep State needed a nationalist that could revive patriotism in order to meet the challenge from Russia and China. I don't think this was accidental.

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 8:53:38 PM | link
@ karlof1 | Jan 15, 2019 8:29:05 PM | 30
Which are more salient--domestically: The attacks on Russia or those against Trump?
Of course the attacks against Trump by the establishment are more important, designed to bring him down. The American people have been conditioned by the press in American Exceptionalism, so they expect that those people in the world who were not wise enough to be born Americans ought to suffer for it especially if they are -- yuk -- Russian. So anything the US government does against Russia is accepted as a given, no big deal, run-of-the-mill.
hihi , Jan 15, 2019 9:56:56 PM | link
When is Trump's "delivering" for Israel (i.e. not Russia) going to be examined?

Ah, sorry, that's not allowed - right?

At least, so the ADL racketeers always tell us.......

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 10:04:06 PM | link
@ hihi | Jan 15, 2019 9:56:56 PM | 37

When is Trump's "delivering" for Israel (i.e. not Russia) going to be examined?

Let's examine it -- Trump is delivering a crushing defeat to Israel by backing out of Syria, and thereby conceding the "Shia Crescent" to Iran, backed by Russia and Turkey.

uncle tungsten , Jan 15, 2019 10:36:05 PM | link
Thanks b that sets out the nature of the great distraction and the transparent BS that it represents. So now that USAians can see the nonsense could they please get on with the substance of making change and making USA great again by taking to the streets. Its about time for a large wage increase and dropping taxes that impact on low to medium wage people.

Given the special role played by France in the USA struggle for independence, its about time the the Gillet Jaune manifested in the USA. The low and middle income people already Occupy the nation so now they should demand reform. Those few old and new progressive leftish congresscritters should don the yellow vest and meet their allies on the street corners for discussions and talk of equity and wage and tax justice. Its Rules for Radicals time or its going nowhere time. Will they choose? May I suggest the first Rule for Radicals could be the wearing of a yellow vest by the Congressional and Senate supporters of wage and tax justice at the next and all subsequent pressers and attendances.

If not I gather they have all guzzled the cool aid and are content with the noise emitted from the great distractor.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 15, 2019 10:48:23 PM | link
...

I've made a substantial case for Trump's having been chosen to follow Obama. I look forward to any comments you may have regarding that the argument that I've set forth.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | 24

That was a joke, right?

Anyone so hampered by dotage that he forgets, several times a day, that he's already repeated the substance of his 'newest' meme several times in the same thread, and a majority of others, should probably consider getting a good night's sleep as an anti-dote.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 15, 2019 10:58:52 PM | link
Trump, unlike his detractors, is an Old Dog with an unlimited supply of New Tricks.
Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 11:00:07 PM | link
Hoarsewhisperer @40

As people discuss different versions of the dog and pony show, I tailor my point(s) accordingly.

:)

uncle tungsten , Jan 15, 2019 11:00:14 PM | link
Don Bacon | Jan 15, 2019 10:04:06 PM | 38

"crushing defeat"? what utter provocative BS Don! Trump withdrawal leaves all the local belligerents and malign Syria haters to do the job any way they wish. This fantasy that Trump has abandoned Israel's regional domination is totally unsupported by fact and sounds to me like a typical AIPAC alarmist trope.

Trump has being saying for some years now that others need to shoulder the burden.

Lets look at what the burden in Syria is shall we. Not only does USA give billions to Israel to guarantee the colony but it also fights its wars for it in Syria. Then there are all those charities raising money in the USA for the IDF. Then there is all the armaments transfers by numerous clandestine channels to head choppers trying to destroy the Syrian people's government and society. Many of those armaments transfers are paid with by USA black dollars possibly to be accounted for in that $21 trillion fund that the USA Defense Department has been wallowing in.

It is bleedingly obvious to me that Israel in not being crushingly defeated by anyone. Syria nearly was!!!!!

When a self professed progressive country such as Israel is incapable of getting on with the most religiously diverse border nation as Syria or Lebanon then there is a hoax somewhere in the dialogue. The manifestation of a Shia crescent (a BS straw man)is because the belligerent nations self defeated their allies: the Sunni murderers.

Mind you Don, I don't see any Shia crescent, I see a few nations bombed and shot to hell desperately trying to establish normalcy of some sort BECAUSE of the manipulations of Saudi and Israel governments and their pawns.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

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

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

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

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

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

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

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

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

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

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

[Jan 13, 2019] What is wrong with Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Newhill , a day ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.washingtonpost....

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

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

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

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

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago link

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

SDShack , 1 hour ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

me title=

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

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

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

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

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

[Jan 11, 2019] How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism by Ilana Mercer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are. ..."
"... If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. ..."
"... Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.) ..."
"... No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors." ..."
"... These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose. ..."
"... "It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media." ..."
"... To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand. ..."
"... So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots. ..."
"... The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within. ..."
"... The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative. ..."
"... I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!). ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump's foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg's Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

" for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.'"

"For a moment," swooned Lake , "I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting."

Onward to Venezuela! Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with "American exceptionalism." It's not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in "a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war," Riyadh's ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake. After a campaign of "America First," the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369 !

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they're currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency -- its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump's original "America First" plank -- is to "undermine American democracy."

Besides, "good" Americans know that only the Russians "meddle."

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more-dangerous regime is consolidating regional power. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family dynasty (like that of the Clintons and the Bushes), to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule .

When it comes to the Saudi-Israeli-American-Axis-of-Angels, the Kushner-Trump Administration -- is that another bloodline in-the-making? -- has not broken with America's ruling dynastic families (the Clintons and the Bushes, aforementioned).

It's comforting to know Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in the UN's human rights affairs. In January of last year, the Kingdom executed 47 people in one day, including a rather benign Shiite cleric. Fear not, they went quickly, beheaded with a sword .

Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.)

Our bosom buddies, the Saudi's, are currently barricading Yemeni ports. No aid gets through her hermetically sealed ports. Yemenis are dying. Some Twitter followers twittered with joy at the sight of starving Yemeni babies, like this one . Oh well, Yemeni babies can be sinister.

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors."

These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose.

"It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media."

Indeed, while outlining his "new" Afghanistan plan, POTUS had conceded that "the American people are weary of war without victory." (Make that war, full-stop.) Depressingly, the president went on to promise an increase in American presence in Afghanistan. By sending 4000 additional soldiers there, President Trump alleged he was fighting terrorism, yet not undertaking nation building.

This is tantamount to talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Teasing apart these two elements is near-impossible. Send "4,000 additional soldiers to add to the 8,400 now deployed in Afghanistan," and you've done what Obama and Bush before you did in that blighted and benighted region: muddle along; kill some civilians mixed in with some bad guys; break bread with tribal leaders (who hate your guts); mediate and bribe.

Above all, spend billions not your own to perfect the credo of a global fighting force that doesn't know Shiite from Shinola .

The upshot? It's quite acceptable, on the Left and the pseudo-Right, to casually quip about troops in Niger and Norway . "We have soldiers in Niger and Norway? Of course we do. We need them."

With neoconservatism normalized, there is no debate, disagreement or daylight between our dangerously united political factions.

This is the gift President Trump has given mainstream neoconservatives -- who now comfortably include neoliberals and all Conservatism Inc., with the exceptions of Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

How exactly did the president normalize neoconservatism: In 2016, liberals accused candidate Trump of isolationism. Neoconservatives -- aka Conservatism Inc. -- did the same.

Having consistently complained of his isolationism , the Left and the phony Right cannot but sanction President Trump's interventionism . The other option is to admit that we of the callused Old Right, who rejoiced at the prospects and promise of non-interventionism, were always right.

Not going to happen.

To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of " The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016) & " Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa " (2011). Follow her on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube . How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism, by Ilana Mercer - The Unz Review


utu , says: January 5, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

But you can fool the whole country all the time in American bi-partisan system. Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump each were brought to power by fooling their electorate.

Biff , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:02 am GMT
So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots.

I'm waiting for another one of those "Trump's Truth in Action" moments when describes the real political atmosphere in Washington. Trump was asked about something he said in a previous interview: "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do." "You'd better believe it," Trump said. "If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money."

EliteCommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:11 am GMT
I think its time to dump the label "neoconservative". The appropriate term is "interventionists without a cause" (IWAC or IWC) or some other descriptor.

The real problem that Pres Trump has and I remain a Pres Trump supporter is two fold:

1. He seems to have forgotten he won the election.

2. He seems to have forgotten what he was elected to do.

And nearly everyone of these issues on foreign policy the answer rests in respecting sovereignty – that of others and our own.

I didn't need to read,"Adios, America" to comprehend the deep state damage our careless immigration policy has on the country. I don't need to reread, "Adios, America" to grasp that our policies of intervening in the affairs of other states undermines our own ability to make the same case at home.

If I weren't already trying to plow my way through several other books, documentaries and relapsing to old school programming such as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and now the Dick Van Dyke show, i would reread,

"Adios , America."

In Col. Bacevich's book,

Washington Rules, he posits a distressing scenario that the foreign policy web is so tangled and entrenched, the executive branch is simply out his league. The expectation was that Pres trump had the will to turn the matter. I hold out hope, but maybe not. There's time.

I agree, at least build the darn wall.

Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III , says: January 5, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@J.Ross The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within.
anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT
Told you so. Cf., "The Winning Trump Ticket & Cabinet (Part I)," published here February 6, 2016. (Ms. Mercer never got to Part II.)

Elections at the USG level allow the ruled to harmlessly let off steam.

The Alarmist , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
It's life imitating art: Trump reprises the role of Professor/Führer John Gill in Star Trek episode 50, Patterns of Force.
neutral , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative.

I have a question for all the Trump supporters still in denial, what will it take to break your delusions? He is not going to build a wall, mass immigration is up, the left wing are mass censoring and essentially running everything now, his foreign policy is now endorsed by the all the never Trumpers – so what is your limit, is there anything he must do to lose your support?

Anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Jews and the Jewish Media normalized Jewish NeoCons by guaranteeing that they always have a voice and airtime in American culture and media. Never called out by the WashingtonPost and NY Times for their previous blunders, they continue to shape American foreign policy. And, of course, the end game here is Israel and the Israeli agenda at all costs, you Jews are one issue folk. And You definitely do your part, with the subtle subterfuge at work in the articles that you write.

No one should be surprised by Trump promoting Israeli interests über alles. For decades he was so involved in Israel events in New York I debated whether he was actually Jewish or not. Bannon said the embassy move to Jerusalem was at the behest of Adelson, Trump's old casino buddy. In the campaign Trump got a lot of support from NY Jewish billionaires (Icahn, Feinberg, Paulson, et al.). They know him and how he operates.

But being pro-Israel doesn't necessarily equate to neocon. The neocons are the dumb Jews with serious inadequacy issues who could never make it in business and instead went into politics and journalism. The latter are still staunchly opposed to Trump even after a lot of pro-Israel moves. They might warm up to Trump's bellicosity towards a lot of Israel's enemies (a long list with degrees of separation), but so far they've simply moved left.

I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!).

Lastly, I like to think Trump surrounded himself with neocons (McMaster, Haley, et al.) to placate the GOP establishment because he knows he has to play the game.

anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III Very well put.

People are inclined to believe that any activity -- in this instance, voting for the red/blue puppets in Washington -- in which their participation is patronized must be legitimate and effectual. Many duped in November 2016, even those who now feel betrayed by that farce, were still around here a few weeks ago acting like a Senator Moore in Alabama would be pivotal to reform, his defeat devastating.

That's how Ms. Mercer and her pundit ilk (Buchanan, Napolitano, etc.) thrive -- supporting the Empire by never questioning its legitimacy, just taking sides within the Establishment. And they'll be buying into the 2018 congressional contests, ad nauseum.

Of course, what is done to us, and to others in our name and with our money, never changes to any meaningful degree. Americans might realize this if they thought critically about it, so they don't. Instead, they lap up the BS and vote for who tells them the lie they like to hear. When there are identity politics involved, the delusion seems even deeper. There are self-styled "progressives" who used to advocate single-payer, nationalized health care who are elated over the retention of so-called "Obamacare," the legislation for which was written by and for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Me? I cope by boycotting national elections and mass media, participating in forums like this, and hoping that when the tottering tower of debt and gore tips over, as few innocents and as many guilty as practicable are among those crushed.

DESERT FOX , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The Zionist neocons and Israel did 911 and got away with it and everyone in the U.S. gov knows it and they tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it and so normal is an Orwellian society where Zionists can kill Americans and destroy the Mideast and nobody does jack shit about it.

The neocons are Satanists warmongers and will destroy America.

WorkingClass , says: Website January 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm GMT
Neocons are Zionists. Trump, Bannon and Kushner are Zionists. Israel continues to wag the dog.
Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
Neocons are about as evil as proudly proclaimed Leftists, and they are obviously more duplicitous.

Either Neocons will be refuted and publicly rebuked and rejected, or Neocons will eventually destroy the country. Their long term fruits are destruction of that which they have used to destroy so many others.

Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@anonymous Far from all Neocons are Jews. However, virtually all Neocons are militantly pro-Israel to the point of making Israel's foreign policy desires central to their assessment of what America needs in foreign policy.

And the source is Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy necessarily produces pro-Jewish culture. WASP culture is inherently pro-Jewish, as much as it is anti-Catholic and anti-French and and anti-Spanish and anti-Irish, etc.

And all that means that WASP is opposed to the nest interests of the vast majority of white Christians while being pro-Jewish.

Jews did not cause any of that. Anglo-Saxon Puritan heretics did.

ElitecommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@neutral Pres Trump is a situational leader. It's a rare style, for good reason. However, he is openly situational. That was clear during the campaign season. however,

I thought his positions were sincere. I don't think that this was any kind of slight of hand, "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat". His positions on Israel, same sex behavior, marijuana, healthcare remain what they were going in. His foreign policy and immigration positions have been buffered and he seems incapable of standing where he came in.

It was no secret he intended an assertive military. However, he seems easily convinced that strong means aggressive, and that needlessly aggressive policy is a substitute for a strong US -- that is a mistake. Syria cruise strike was the first sign that he was giving in to the men whom he chose as advisers. As it it turns out winning the election has been easier than governing. I assumed he had a much stronger backbone, than he has been willing to exhibit in office.

Alden , says: January 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jake The Israeli/AIPAC bribery of American bible thumper preachers, especially in the fundamentalist southern American states has more to do with it than the reformation.

The preachers get huge donations to pay for their churches and TV shows. They get free trips to Israel for themselves and their families all the time.

On their Israel trips they pay more attention to the OT Jewish and holocaust sites than the Christian ones

It's true that the reformation was a return to Judaism and a rejection of Christianity, but that was 500 years ago.

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

If the southern fundamentalists only knew what Jews think of them. I really got an earful of Jewish scorn and hate for southerners and fundamentalists during the recent Roy Moore election.

Read Jewish publications if you want to learn what they think of southern fundamentalists

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Twodees Partain Trump appointed Haley because Sheldon Adelson told him to.
And contrary to the myth of trump funding his own campaign he did not the only money he put in his campaign was a 1o million loan to it. Adelson was his biggest contributor just like Saban was Hillary's.

Nikki Haley: Neocon Heartthrob

Not coincidentally, however, neocon hopes may lie as well with the generous political funding provided to Haley by Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's and Trump's single biggest donor.

Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. (Only one was successfully defeated.) Adelson was the largest contributor to her group,
which raised a total of $915,000.

This powerful Adelson-funded Israel lobby could soon rival AIPAC's
https://www.haaretz.com › U.S. News
Oct 31, 2017 – Sheldon Adelson(L), The 3rd annual IAC National Conference, in September, 2016, and Nikki Haley. . will feature, for the first time ever, a prominent speaker from the ranks of the U.S. government: U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is a favorite among the right-leaning "pro-Israel" crowd.

The Jews have bought this government and trump and Haley are nothing but junk yard dogs.
Not that there are good alternatives but anyone who stills supports trump is as crazy as he is.

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:18 am GMT
@Alden

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

You have it completely backwards .the evangelicals, particularly Roberson donate money for Israeli settlements.

Grandpa Charlie , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT
@Alden

The title is ridiculous. Neo conservatives have been normal for decades.

The neocon movement was normalized in 2001 by the PATRIOT Act. The domestic side of the neocon worldview -- or world-system -- was joined with the international or interventionist side, just as anti-Palestinian actions by Israel were joined by way of repression of free speech with the Charlottesville protest by conservatives of the desecration of monuments.

Alden , says: January 6, 2018 at 4:45 am GMT
@renfro I'm sure the evangelical preachers con their followers into donating money to Israel. I've seen those late night ads begging for donations to feed ancient old holocaust survivors in Israel.

But the Israelis pay for all those luxury trips to Israel And a lot of the money to start those TV shows and for the big salaries come from Israel and AIPAC so does the money to set up those big churches that just appear from nowhere

polskijoe , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie I have always wondered why its okay to say WASP but not Jew in public.
One is more pc, the other is not allowed.
I have seen some articles about Jews replacing wasp, even from Jewish authors.

As for Neoconservatives. It depends how we define it.
I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.
From what I know modern Neoconservativism started somewhere around the 70s,80s? Became dominant around the Bush years. (during Reagan years they got rid of many Paleocons).

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Not only Nikki is a prank, she is also a godsend. Now the world get to see USG naked without usual pretension.

Trumps is probably the most honest Potus with highest integrity & bravery in American history(stupid aside). He means what he said without mind boggling hypocrite lies, he tried fulfilling all his election promises, fighting bravely with his only little weapon tweeter besiege by entire states organs, CIA/FBI, both parties, MSM, world allies,

He put US Embassy in Jerusalem that all other Potus promised but never keep, he tried to revise immigration policy that people blocked, building prototype wall now, try befriend Russia become a treason act, reneged nuclear agreement with Iran, make US military great(of course need hyper tension like nuclear NK), scraped Obacare, TTP, Climate deal, try to grab Killary, bring back jobs with tax heaven .

Mann, this is really a man of his word. Didn't these are what you people voted him for, to drain the swamp? He gotta shock the entire MSM brainwashed nation up to see the deeply corrupted USG, collapse it quickly for a new one to move in(by whoever after his prank). As Trumps had asked:"what you got to lose to vote me?"

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 10:26 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Yes..ues i admit, don't shoot. Im just been sarcastic, USG is in such a laughing stock to the world now, many americans probably are exasperated if not yet numb. I am not judging he is good, DT is just less evil typical business man..imo

But frankly, i do see why people are voting DT now. He is at least more entertaining and blunt to screw up WH deep states show. Per msm (fake news), he is honouring all his campaign promises rt? So that make him above hypocrite liar Obama who speak on peace(Nobel prize), but drenched in Libyan and Syrians blood.

US msm brainwashed people need lot of shock & awe to wake up to reality, then they might have hope to drain the swamp in unity or just await to implode and suck down whole world.

Erebus , says: January 7, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy.

Well, some better minds than mine do deny that very thing. Three of them follow below.

Gilbert Doctorow at: http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2017/12/20/kissinger-s-fingerprints-on-the-trump-security-doctrine-2017-1161961.html

What we see in the NSS is prioritization and true strategic vision as opposed to ideological cant and ad hoc responses to global developments

Patrick Armstrong at: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/02/trump-cuts-gordian-knot-foreign-entanglements.html

Trump has little interest in the obsessions of the neocon and humanitarian intervention crowd.

Finally, Andrew Korybko puts it all together at: https://orientalreview.org/2017/12/27/trump-agent-chaos-k-kraken/

Believing that the current world system no longer sufficiently advances American interests ever since Washington lost control of its institutional tools, and that the eventual outcome of this increasingly multipolar state of affairs is that the US will in turn lose its global empire, Trump has decided to become the Agent of Chaos in bringing about its destruction.

Steve Gittelson , says: January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I know with certainty that Hillary is a beast from depth of hell.

Meh, hyperbole.

Hillary is no different from most politicians. She's in it for the wealth and power. She got herself a real smart, duplicitous, pussy-chasing beast of a husband, and made the most of the opportunity.

People -- the American people -- should be able to see this rather-evident characteristic of politicians. They should be adequately educated, at least to the extent of being able to detect the base chicanery and corruption that radiates from political personalities.

But, they don't. They don't see the evil. The media deftly conceals it, because the beasts of the media, like jackals, feed on the morsels of wealth that fall to the ground as the politicians devour the carcass of well, hell, freedom and democracy is as useful a metaphor as any.

ILANA MERCER , says: Website January 9, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT
@anonymous Thank you for the opportunity to share, once again, a magnificent column, published on the Unz Review and elsewhere.

"The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian" ( http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/ ) addressed, for once and for all, a small, shrinking community's stunning and consistent displays of intellectual dishonesty, over the years.

In this context, I am reminded of British comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented satirist performing, Sayle replied: "I go back stage and tell him he'll never make it."

Indeed, the attitude to my work over 20 years has been the best proof of its quality.

If the Comments threads about "ilana mercer," on the Unz Review, prove anything (other than that anti-Semitism lives), it is that mediocre "men" (for the most) hate a woman who can out-think them. As a defender of men, this saddens me, but it is, nevertheless, true.

So here is the link to "The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian," which the venomous mediocrity commenting here so rudely derided, but refrained from linking, for obvious reasons: http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/

Ron Unz, our wonderful editor, chose the image appended to the column. (The brilliant Mr. Unz is one of the few intellectually honest individuals I know in this biz. He, columnist Jack Kerwick, and a handful of others.)

In reply to kunckle-dragger's sniveling: I'll continue to refrain from interacting with his ilk ("fanboys") on my column's thread. But this particular dreadful cur (with apologies to dogs, which I love) further embarrasses himself when he offers up the non sequitur that engaging him is the litmus test for being a "good writer."

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@polskijoe

I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.

Agreed. American imperialism has a long long history (going back to at least the mid-19th century). That's why the neocons were able to gain so much influence. They were appealing to a pre-existing imperialist sentiment.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

There is a large group of US politician non Jews
who also are pushing this policies. So these two groups together would be called Neocons.
There is a large group in US population, that find this idea very appealing.

That's why Make America Great Again was such a popular slogan. It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:14 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

There are people who claim to have high IQs who are totally stupid in practical matters.

I'd almost go so far as to suggest that there's a direct correlation between high IQ and stupidity in practical matters.

Talha , says: January 10, 2018 at 4:18 am GMT
@dfordoom Edward Dutton stated that it was a trade-off between intelligence on one side and instinct on another – both are necessary for survival. For me, intelligence does not seem to correlate directly to wisdom.

Peace.

renfro , says: January 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

If so, that reinforces my view that Trump doesn't know anybody in the Swamp

You are exactly right.

Trump really knew no one to hire or appoint to anything except his NY cronies , mainly his Jewish lawyers and Kushner contacts.
So he appointed anyone they and his biggest donors recommended to him.
His ego and insecurity demanded he surround himself with his NY cohorts and close family.

dfordoom , says: Website January 11, 2018 at 1:59 am GMT
@Authenticjazzman

" It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism" = "Make America great again"

So you would prefer : "Make America powerless and insignificant again"

How about "Make America a normal nation that respects other nations' sovereignty, that doesn't plant military bases on foreign soil, that doesn't bomb other people's countries, doesn't try to impose its views and its culture on the rest of the world, doesn't undermine the governments of other countries and doesn't threaten any country that dares to disagree with it." Would that be too much to ask?

I would have thought that someone "Mensa" qualified since 1973 could understand that greatness should not be equated with behaving like a thug or a schoolyard bully. America's aggression does tend to look like the manifestation of a massive inferiority complex.

HogHappenin , says: January 11, 2018 at 4:32 am GMT
I commend Ms. Mercer for publishing this which will no doubt bring to light an ugly truth about many of her own tribesmen since there many of her other views which I wholly or partially disagree with

And as was said sometime before, the thought process of earlier elites (the banking, Hollywood and the neo-con, neo-lib crowd which was almost exclusively Zio-Jewish and is disproportionately still is) has creeped into the very being of what constitutes to be an "elite" in the west these days. Unlimited warfare and welfare using fraudulent money, disturbing the social and sexual fabric of a society! Satan would be quite proud of this scum bunch

So the zionist cabal still calls the shots and the slavish goyim second tier elites now willingly go along and in fact share the same mentality

[Jan 10, 2019] How the Hawks Prevailed on Syria by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage. ..."
Jan 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Pillar comments on Bolton's maneuvers to keep us at war in Syria:

The episode involving withdrawal and non-withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria should be a lesson for those who mistakenly placed hopes in Trump for a more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy. Applause lines on the campaign trail have been mistaken for deeper thought. Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage.

If the first two years of Trump's presidency didn't already make it clear, the last few weeks should have laid to rest any suspicions that the Trump administration is going to put an end to unnecessary foreign wars. It isn't happening. For one thing, everyone around Trump doesn't want those wars to end and will go to considerable lengths to ensure that they continue. That is a result of Trump's own poor personnel choices and bad judgment. It isn't possible to have a "more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy" when the president's national security team is dominated by reflexive hawks that have never seen a military intervention they didn't want to support. Trump put Bolton in the position he now occupies, and unless he wants to start in on his fourth National Security Advisor within two years we are going to be stuck with the unfortunate consequences of that bad decision for a while longer.

Pillar writes:

The de facto reversal of Trump's withdrawal decision is a victory only for those who -- like Bolton, who still avers that the Iraq War was a good idea -- never met a U.S. military intervention in the Middle East they didn't like and never stop seeing regimes they would like to change with force.

One big problem with the Trump administration is that it is filled with the people who never met an intervention they didn't like. People like that have been the ones shaping administration policies in the region for the last two years, and on Syria they have prevailed once again. It could scarcely be otherwise when there is essentially no one willing or able to make the arguments for the other side of these issues. It is extremely difficult for hawks to lose an internal administration debate when there is no one in the administration that opposes hawkish policies.

SteveJ January 9, 2019 at 10:41 pm

I'm going to give Trump until the end of the year to get us out of these places.

If he doesn't have the backbone for it, like the previous 2 Presidents, then screw him.

[Jan 05, 2019] Obama as the agent of the Deep State consciously deciving his voters with faux populism promises which he never intended to follow

Obama strategy in Syria was replica of Clinton strategy in Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars. Divide everybody up by ethnicity or religion (Croats are Catholics, Serbians are Orthodox not to mention the various Muslims and Albanians lurking about), arm them, create false flags to set them at each other's throats. Enjoy the results.
Obama like Clinton before him was a real wolve in sheep's clothing
Notable quotes:
"... Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face. ..."
"... Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 5, 2019 6:10:33 PM | 17

bevin @10:

But the notion that it is part of a complex and tightly scripted conspiracy in which he plays his public part and the deep state play theirs, pretending to be at odds with each other, is bizarre.
I would've agreed with you before Obama. I followed the criticisms of Obama from true progressives closely. It was clear within 2 or 3 years that Obama was betraying his 'base'.

His lofty rhetoric didn't match his actions. His Nobel Peace Prize can only be viewed today as a ruse. He talked of peace and fairness but worked behind the scenes to further the establishment.

Fast forward to the 2016 election where Sanders was a sheepdog and Hillary ran a terrible campaign. It's difficult to look back and not be at least somewhat suspicious of the 2016 election. A populist nationalist was what the Deep State NEEDED to face the threat from Russia and China to their NWO project. And that is what they got. After recognizing the threat in 2013-14 (when Russia countered the Empire in Syria and Ukraine).

Similar excuses are made for both Obama and Trump. We are told that they were FORCED to succumb to Deep State scheming and political power. But a much more logical view is that these "populists" know exactly what they are doing: they know what their 'job' is to serve the establishment and act as the leader of the Deep State's political arm. In return they get financial gain, social standing, and life long protection. Sweet.

Obama 'turned the page' on the Bush Administration's warmongering. He promised a more peaceful USA. But he conducted covert wars and bragged of his drone targeting.

Trump 'turned the page' on Obama's deceitfulness. He promised to put 'America First' but within months attacked Syria with missiles "for the babies". Evidence that his first attack was prompted by a false flag didn't deter him from attacking AGAIN - also based on a false flag. Trump is still helping the Saudis in Yemen. And he's not doing what's necessary to get peace in Korea.

Obama promised 'transparency' ("Sunlight is the best disinfectant") but 'no drama' Obama protected CIA torturers, NSA spies, and bankers. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" but has welcomed oligarchs and neocons into his Administration.

How much sly BS do we have to see before people connect the dots? A real populist will NEVER be elected in USA unless there is a revolution; USA political elites are fully committed to a neoliberal economics that make society neofeudal, and a neoconservative-driven foreign policy that demands full spectrum dominance that brooks no opposition to its NWO goals.

Anyone who believes otherwise has drunk the Kool-Aid, an addictive, saccharine concoction, provided without charge and in abundance.

Glenn Brown | Jan 5, 2019 10:27:14 PM |

39@ 10 17

Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face.

Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump.

Yes, their public rejection of Trump is partly motivated by the need to be able to claim that Trump is an aberration from all previous US Presidents, as opposed to Trump and his policies being just a particularly explicit continuation of the same underlying trends.

But I see no reason to doubt that the US elites really wish they had someone as President who was better at supplying the right propaganda and less obviously an incompetent fool. So I don't understand why you think the US oligarchy and deep state would have thought they needed someone like Trump, or would have greatly preferred him to Hillary Clinton.

[Jan 05, 2019] Are Trump's senior people going rogue?

Numerous MSM articles appear about Trump's standing up to the Generals: Mattis, Kelly, Dunford, etc. Yet Bolton feels free to conspire against the President's agenda? The narrative that Trump is fighting for his campaign promises, but allows Bolton and Pompeo to scheme against him does not make any sense.
A more realistic take is that rump is a faux populist. He is the Republican Obama - pretending to be a populist peacemaker while working for the establishment. The "populist hero" is a gimmick that reinforces people's belief in USA democracy and the righteousness of USA actions. The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op.
The major inconsistency here is why the Deep State is hell bent of deposing him. Is The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op? I do no not think so.
Trump is certainly a 'faux populist' as all right wing populists are: promises to the people while promoting the interests of the 1%. But there is a genuine struggle going on within the ruling class due to the crisis of neoliberal governance. The world is a complex place and Washington's influence is declining. No surprise that parts of the US elite that got used to "full spectrum dominance" are panicking. And it is all real.
Notable quotes:
"... "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas." ..."
"... Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media? ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Jan 5, 2019 10:21:56 PM | link

The Washington Post article that b links to ("never signed off") has the headline " 'They can do what they want' Trump's Iran comments defy his top aids"

The "They" in the quote in the headline is a reference to Iran in Syria. "President Trump stuck a dagger in a major initiative advanced by his foreign policy team:
Iran's leaders, the president said, "can do what they want" in Syria.

With a stray remark, Trump snuffed out a plan from his national security adviser, John Bolton, who this fall vowed that the United States would not leave Syria
"as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders." Pompeo has of course also obsessed over Iran.

Now the next paragraph in the WP piece is I think quite remarkable: "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas."

Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media?

Also note that acting Defense Sec Patrick Shanahan, who was injected immediately into his position when Trump gave Mattis the boot, is becoming part of the strategic scene.

From the NYT: "He is the brightest and smartest guy I worked with at Boeing," said Carolyn Corvi, a former executive at the company. "He has the ability to see over the horizon and {implement needed change]."

"Ana Mari Cauce, the president of University of Washington, worked with Mr. Shanahan .... She said his outsider perspective was helpful in questioning old practices, forcing people to look at problems in different ways."

[Dec 30, 2018] RussiaGate In Review with Aaron Mate - Unreasoned Fear is Neoliberalism's Response to the Credibility Gap

Highly recommended!
Dec 30, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

At the inception of this entire RussiaGate spectacle I suggested that it was a political distraction to take the attention away from the rejection by the people of neoliberalism which has been embraced by the establishments of both political parties.

And that the result of the investigation would be indictments for perjury in the covering up of illicit business deals and money laundering. But that 'collusion to sway the election' was without substance, if not a joke.

Everything that has been revealed to date tends to support that.

One thing that Aaron overlooks is the evidence compiled by William Binney and associates that strongly suggests the DNC hack was no hack at all, but a leak by an insider who was appalled by the lies and double dealing at the DNC.

In general, RussiaGate is a farcical distraction from other issues as they say in the video. And this highlights the utterly Machiavellian streak in the corporate Democrats and the Liberal establishment under the Clintons and their ilk who care more about money and power than the basic principles that historically sustained their party. I have lost all respect for them.

But unfortunately this does open the door for those who use this to approve of the Republican establishment, which is 'at least honest' about being substantially corrupt servants to Big Money who care nothing about democracy, the Constitution, or the public. The best of them are leaving or have already left, and their party is ruined beyond repair.

This all underscores the paucity of the Red v. Blue, monopoly of two parties, 'lesser of two evils' model of political thought which has come to dominate the discussion in the US.

We are heavily propagandized by the owners of the corporate media and influencers of the narrative, and a professional class that has sold its soul for economic advantage and access to money and power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HBA3Zm3dGM

And here is a bit more from Nate Silver --

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SETw5GLF8mU

[Dec 22, 2018] A closer look at American "democracy" by Barry Grey

December 20, 2018
Notable quotes:
"... According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions." ..."
"... The State and Revolution ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.wsws.org

A central theme of the hysteria over alleged "Russian meddling" in US politics is the sinister effort supposedly being mounted by Vladimir Putin "to undermine and manipulate our democracy" (in the words of Democratic Senator Mark Warner).

According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions."

Their chosen field of battle is the internet, with Russian trolls and bots infecting the body politic by taking advantage of lax policing of social media by the giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

To defend democracy, the argument goes, these companies, working with the state, must silence oppositional viewpoints -- above all left-wing, anti-war and socialist viewpoints -- which are labeled "fake news," and banish them from the internet. Nothing is said of the fact that this supposed defense of democracy is a violation of the basic canons of genuine democracy, guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

But what is this much vaunted "American democracy?" Let's take a closer look.

The two-party monopoly

In a vast and complex country with a population of 328 million people, consisting of many different nationalities, native tongues, religions and other demographics, spanning six time zones and thousands of miles, two political parties totally dominate the political system.

The ruling corporate-financial oligarchy controls both parties and maintains its rule by alternating control of the political institutions -- the White House, Congress, state houses, etc. -- between them. The general population, consisting overwhelmingly of working people, is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other of these capitalist parties. This is what is called "democracy."

The monopoly of the two big business parties is further entrenched by the absence of proportional representation, which it makes it impossible for third parties or independent candidates to obtain significant representation in Congress.

The role of corporate money

The entire political process -- the selection of candidates, elections, the formulation of domestic and foreign policies -- is dominated by corporate money. No one can seriously bid for high office unless he or she has the backing of sponsors from the ranks of the richest 1 percent -- or 0.01 percent -- of the population. The buying of elections and politicians is brazen and shameless.

Last month's midterm elections set a record for campaign spending in a non-presidential year -- $5.2 billion -- a 35 percent increase over 2014 and triple the amount spent 20 years ago, in 1998. The bulk of this flood of cash came from corporations and multi-millionaire donors.

In the vast majority of contests, the winner was determined by the size of his or her campaign war chest. Eighty-nine percent of House races and 84 percent of Senate races were won by the biggest spender.

Democratic candidates had a huge spending advantage over their Republican opponents, exposing the fraud of their attempt to posture as a party of the people. The securities and investment industry -- Wall Street -- favored Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent.

Elections are anything but a forum to openly and honestly discuss and debate the great issues facing the voters. The real issues -- the preparation for new wars, deeper austerity and further attacks on democratic rights -- are concealed behind a miasma of attack ads and mudslinging. The research firm PQ Media estimates that total political ad spending will reach $6.75 billion this year. In last month's elections, the number of congressional and gubernatorial ads rose 59 percent over the previous, 2014, midterm.

The setting of policy and passage of legislation is helped along by corporate bribes, euphemistically termed lobbying. In 2017 alone, corporations spent $3 billion to lobby the government.

Ballot access restrictions

A welter of arcane, arbitrary and anti-democratic requirements for gaining ballot status, which vary from state to state, block third parties from challenging the domination of the Democrats and Republicans. These include filing fees and nominating petition signature requirements in the tens of thousands in many states. Democratic officials routinely challenge the petitions of socialist and left-wing candidates who are likely to find support among young people and workers.

Media blackout of third party candidates

The corporate media systematically blacks out the campaigns of third party and independent candidates, especially left-wing and socialist candidates. The exception is candidates who are either themselves rich or who have the backing of wealthy patrons.

Third party candidates are generally excluded from nationally televised candidates' debates.

In last month's election, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in Michigan's 12th Congressional District, Niles Niemuth, won broad support among workers, young people and students for his socialist program, but received virtually no press coverage.

Voting restrictions

Since the stolen election of 2000, when the Supreme Court shut down the counting of votes in Florida in order to hand the White House to the loser of the popular vote, George W. Bush, with virtually no opposition from the Democrats or the media, attacks on the right of workers and poor people to vote have mounted.

Thirty-three states have implemented voter identification laws, which, studies show, bar up to 6 percent of the population from voting. States have cut back early voting and absentee voting and shut down voting precincts in working class neighborhoods. A number of states impose a lifetime ban on voting by felons, even after they have done their time. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the enforcement mechanism of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with no real opposition from the Democrats. The United States is one of the few countries that hold elections on a work day, making it more difficult for workers to cast a ballot.

Government of, by and for the rich

The two corporate parties have overseen a social counterrevolution, resulting in a staggering growth of social inequality. In tandem with this process, the oligarchic structure of society has increasingly found open expression in the political forms of rule. Alongside the erection of the infrastructure of a police state -- mass surveillance, indefinite detention, the militarization of the police, Gestapo raids on workplaces and attacks on immigrants, the ascendancy of the military in political affairs, internet censorship -- the personnel of government have increasingly been recruited from the rich and the super-rich.

More than half of the members of Congress are millionaires, as compared to just 1 percent of the American population. All the presidents for the past three decades -- George H. W, Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama -- have either been multi-millionaires going in or have cashed in on their presidencies to become multi-millionaires afterward. In the person of the multi-billionaire real estate speculator and con man Donald Trump, the financial oligarchy has directly taken occupancy of the White House.

In The State and Revolution , Vladimir Lenin wrote: "Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor."

... ... ...

Barry Grey

[Dec 09, 2018] Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MikeSw , 30 Oct 2018 22:36

Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others.

Minority government? There is no such thing - there is only 'government', and it is supposed to involve all members of parliament in the decision-making process. 'Majority' governments are an anathema to good governance. Every time I hear the likes of Tony Abbott claim they have a mandate to implement ALL their policies, even though they only receive around 35% of the primary vote, I want to throw something at the TV.

Bugger them! Make them work for a living - and make them consider ALL views, not just the ones from their own party.

Bradtheunveiler -> BrianLC , 30 Oct 2018 22:36
Win the ALP will next election. By a huge majority too. Looking forward to neg gearing and CGT discount reform in particular.
Onesimus_Tim -> StuartJJ , 30 Oct 2018 22:35

Preferences are an extremely good feature of our voting system

Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote.

Preferential voting also makes it more possible for the major party duopoly being overturned, allowing people to vote for a good independent without taking the risk of helping a despised major party candidate from winning by default.

[Dec 09, 2018] The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry

Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Territorian -> Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018 23:49

"The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry." You are spot on.

Nigel Scullion: Minister for Handing out buckets of money to NT Country Liberal Party supporters. Scullion just happened to be a professional fisher before entering parliament.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/indigenous-advancement-funding-redirected-to-cattlemen-and-fishing-groups

Barnaby Joyce: Minister for Agriculture while his Department was too scared to report disgusting conditions in the live sheep export trade.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/agriculture-minister-promises-to-fix-live-export-regulation-after-damning-report

DukeofWoyWoy , 30 Oct 2018 23:48
What a logical and stirring argument you put forward Richard Denniss, and a large majority of the electorate would have to agree.
However there is also a large number of people in the electorate that cannot appear to rise from their nightly slumber without wearing their Blue, Red, Green or Orange tinted glasses before facing the new day.
And because of this, and preferential voting, sneaking in the background is a plethora of the wild mindless sub creatures called politicians who demand their rights to sit in the big white building on Canberra;s Capital Hill, just waiting to spoil not only the electorate's party but also known to prostitute the country's governance to their own advantage.
Richard, we desperately need a follow up stirring article on how to overcome this black menace to our country, for the sake of our country.
Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018 23:38
If you think the public has an appetite for more bureaucrats, more rules and regulations to micromanage people's lives and even more political wheeling and dealing in Canberra, you should get out more.

That the coalition government is on the slide is of no long term consequence. We'll get a Labor government next year and in a few years another coalition government and so on.

What is of long term significance is the loss of public trust in pretty much all of the institutions - including goverment and the various government agencies that would be more powerful under your scenario.

The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry. Perhaps the solution lies in more direct democracy.

The same sex marriage plebiscite demonstrated that we commoners can deliberate on a sensitive issue, and in doing so behave far better than our elected representatives in Parliament. And can make a sensible and progressive decision that our elected representatives could not - both coalition and Labor MPs had opposed same sex marriage when it was raised in th e Parliament.

The internet provides a platform for direct decision making by the citizenry. Perhaps we should try that instead of what you are suggesting.

diggerdigger , 30 Oct 2018 22:12
It's been clear for years that proportional representation has progressively meant death to effective government, and that it forces major parties policy development further to the political fringes to appeal to the fruit loops on the periphery of their respective demographics. Time for a return to simple preferential voting (a-la-house of Reps) in the senate, and an overhaul of what's considered a valid ballot - if you want to only rank 1, 2, 3 or all candidates it should be entirely your choice.

Hung parliaments, with diametrically opposed clumps of "independents" jointly holding the balance of power can only ever deliver legislative stasis and constant political turmoil (as we have experienced since 2010 and Europe and the US have suffered for the last decade).

Oh for the good old days when one or the other of the major parties held a working majority in both houses, and policy was targeted at the 'sensible centre" of the Australian electorate. At worst, they only had to deal with a couple of sensible Democrats, and the odd lunatic fringe-ist like Harradine.

[Dec 09, 2018] People who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes just get mopped up by two major parties who represent thatsame neooliberal sharks who want to devour the voters

Notable quotes:
"... I find the Australian electoral system very mediocre. All those people who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes that just get mopped up by the major parties. I really can't understand why Australians have put up with such a poor system for so long. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RonGlaeston , 31 Oct 2018 04:56

Yes, yes! MMP!!

Having spent many years in a New Zealand under a First Past the Post system and then Mixed Member Proportional, I am an enthusiastic supporter of proportional systems.

I find the Australian electoral system very mediocre. All those people who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes that just get mopped up by the major parties. I really can't understand why Australians have put up with such a poor system for so long.

Hettie7-> melbournesam 31 Oct 2018 00:45

Proportional representation makes the most sense. Each party gets the same percentage of seats in the parliament as it received votes in the election. That really is fair.

[Dec 08, 2018] In office, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 5, 2018 4:54:14 PM | link

"The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Article from Truthdig: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-it-means-that-hillary-clinton-might-run-for-president-in-2020/

[Dec 08, 2018] Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter.

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Durruti , says: December 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT

"Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter. This emboldens them. The reality of votes cast and "democracy" past does not does bode well for the people of the United Kingdom, their future as a nation or their hopeful return to sovereignty once called, "Brexit."

Dynamite opening paragraph by Brett Redmayne-Titley.

It defines the vital issue of -To be or not to be – for our Planet's citizens who struggle (or aught to), for functioning Democratic Republics founded upon the ideal of Liberty and Justice for All.

Titley's ending mention of the trials of the Greek nation, and others, is well placed and a tribute to his worldview, that is key to analyzing the situation in any particular corner.

"Britains should consider this arbitrary bullying of Italy and of the UK. Then they should consider the sad EU imposed current condition of Greece. Next, they might dwell on the failed outcomes of previous elections within the nearby EU nations, and how similar movements were defeated in their nation as well. Last, they must pay closest of attention to what is actually in the souls of their own politicians and what they truly support."

In America, we lost our Democratic Republic and our last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy , in a hail of bullets in the Coup D'état of November 22, 1963.

The Citizen Yellow Vests in France , supported by their 2 leading Resistance Fighters, Dieudonné , and Alain Soral , display the next step forward in the Resistance to Tyranny.

Step 1 – Committees of Correspondence (mainstream media free – websites, & communications).

2. Step away from the TVs – & breathe the free air outside as the Citizen Militia Yellow Vests(Minutemen), regain the streets and stretch their muscles.

3. Final Step: We are Joined by free police, military, even CIA & other police agency employees, in the act of regaining their Countries, with their Sovereignty, and their Honor. We Restore Our Republics!

a. Zionist imperialist/racists to jail and awaiting Trial.

b. Cleanup & rebuilding.

c. Unbought electoral process - no $ allowed in the process (equal media access for all candidates), Debates between the candidates. Let a hundred flowers bloom (what democrat said that?)?

Something like that.

Durruti – for the Anarchist Collective

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Corbyn, in my opinion one of the many not too bright socialists, who are caught in their own ideological prison: worldwide socialism is globalisation, globalisation took power away from politicians, and gave it to multinationals and banks.
jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
@niceland The expression class war is often used without realising what the issue is, same with tax evasion.
The rich of course consume more, however, there is a limit to what one can consume, it takes time to squander money.
So the end of the class war may make the rich poor, but alas the poor hardly richer.

About tax evasion, some economist, do not remember his name, did not read the article attentively, analysed wealth in the world, and concluded that eight % of this wealth had originated in evading taxes.
Over what period this evasion had taken place, do not remember this economist had reached a conclusion, but anyone understands that ending tax evasion will not make all poor rich.

There is quite another aspect of class war, evading taxes, wealth inequality, that is quite worrying: the political power money can yield.
Soros is at war with Hungary, his Open University must leave Hungary.
USA MSM furious, some basic human right, or rights, have been violated, many in Brussels furious, the 226 Soros followers among them, I suppose.
But since when is it allowed, legally and/or morally, to try to change the culture of a country, in this case by a foreigner, just by pumping money into a country ?
Soros advertises himself as a philantropist, the Hungarian majority sees him as some kind of imperialist, I suppose.

Tyrion 2 , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Simon in London 90% Labour party members supported remain, as did 65% of their voters and 95% of their MPs.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

Well , I am reading " The occult renaissance church of Rome " by Michael Hoffman , Independent History and research . Coeur d`Alene , Idaho . http://www.RevisionistHistory.org
I saw about this book in this Unz web .

I used to think than the rot started with protestantism , but Hoffman says it started with catholic Renaissance in Rome itself in the XV century , the Medici , the Popes , usury

Mike P , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
This whole affair illustrates beautifully the real purpose of the sham laughingly known as "representative democracy," namely, not to "empower" the public but to deprive it of its power.

With modern means of communication, direct democracy would be technically feasible even in large countries. Nevertheless, practically all "democratic" countries continue to delegate all legislative powers to elected "representatives." These are nothing more than consenting hostages of those with the real power, who control and at the same time hide behind those "representatives." The more this becomes obvious, the lower the calibre of the people willing to be used in this manner – hence, the current crop of mental gnomes and opportunist shills in European politics.

Wizard of Oz , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
I would only shout this rambling ignoramus a beer in the pub to stop his mouth for a while. Some of his egregious errors have been noted. and Greece, anyway, is an irrelevance to the critical decisions on Brexit.

Once Article 50 was invoked the game was over. All the trump cards were on the EU side. Now we know that, even assuming Britain could muster a competent team to plan and negotiate for Brexit that all the work of proving up the case and negotiating or preparing the ground has to be done over years leading up to the triggering of Article 50. And that's assuming that recent events leave you believing that the once great Britain is fit to be a sovereign nation without adult supervision.

As it is one has to hope that Britain will not be constrained by the total humbug which says that a 51 per cent vote of those choosing to vote in that very un British thing, a referendum, is some sort of reason for not giving effect to a more up to date and better informed view.

Stebbing Heuer , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Erm Varoufakis didn't knuckle under. He resigned in protest at Tsipras' knuckling under.
anon [108] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Hypothesis: The British masses would fare better without a privatized government.

"Corbyn may prove to be real .. .. old-time Labour platform [leadership, capable to].. return [political, social and financial] control back to the hands of the UK worker".. [but the privateers will use the government itself and mass media to defeat such platforms and to suppress labor with new laws and domestic armed warfare]. Why would a member of the British masses allow [the Oligarch elite and the[ir] powerful business and foreign political interests restrain democracy and waste the victims of privately owned automation revolution? .. ..

[Corbyn's Labour platform challenges ] privatized capitalist because the PCs use the British government to keep imprisoned in propaganda and suppressed in opportunity, the masses. The privateers made wealthy by their monopolies, are using their resources to maintain rule making and enforcement control (via the government) over the masses; such privateers have looted the government, and taken by privatization a vast array of economic monopolies that once belonged to the government. If the British government survives, the Privateers (monopoly thieves) will continue to use the government to replace humanity, in favor of corporate owned Robots and super capable algorithms.

Corbyn's threat to use government to represent the masses and to suppress or reduce asymmetric power and wealth, and to provide sufficient for everyone extends to, and alerts the masses in every capitalist dominated place in the world. He (Corbyn) is a very dangerous man, so too was Jesus Christ."

There is a similar call in France, but it is not yet so well led.

Michael Kenny , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This sounds like a halfway house between hysterical panic and sour grapes. The author clearly believes that Brexit is going to fail.
T.T , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
Every working Dutch person is "owed" 50k euro from the bailout of Greece, not that Greece will ever pay this back, and not as if Greece ever really got the money as it just went straight to northern European banks to bail them out. Then we have the fiscal policy creating more money by the day to stimulate the economy, which also doesn't reach the countries or people just the banks. Then we have the flirting with East-European mobsters to pull them in the EU sphere corrupting top EU bureaucrats. Then we have all of south Europe being extremely unstable, including France, both its populations and its economy.

It's sad to see the British government doesn't see the disaster ahead, any price would be cheaper then future forced EU integration. And especially at this point, the EU is so unstable, that they can't go to war on the UK without also committing A kamikaze attack.

Brett Redmayne-Titley , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Brabantian Thank you for your comment and addition to my evaluation of Corbyn. I do agree with you that Corbyn has yet to be tested for sincerity and effectiveness as PM, but he will likely get his chance and only then will we and the Brits find out for sure. The main point I was hoping to make was that: due to the perceived threat of Labour socialist reform under Corbyn, he has been an ulterior motive in the negotiations and another reason that the EU wants PM May to get her deal passed. Yes, I too am watching Corbyn with jaundiced optimism. Thank you.

[Dec 07, 2018] An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

Che Guava , says: December 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm GMT

I agree Jilles, and with many other of the commenters.

Read enough to see that the article has many errors of fact and perception. It is bad enough to suspect *propaganda* , but Brett is clearly not at that level.

An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Yet strangely, to say anything about it only became acceptable when some numbers of the immigrants were fellow Europeans from within the EU, and most having some compatibility with existing ethnicity and previous culture.

Even people living far away notice such forced false consciousness.

As for Corbyn, he is nothing like the old left of old Labour. He tries to convey that image, it is a lie.

He may not be Blairite-Zio New Labour, and received some influence from the more heavily Marxist old Labour figures, but he is very much a creature of the post-worst-of-1968 and dirty hippy new left, Frankfurt School and all that crap, doubt that he has actually read much of it, but he has internalised it through his formal and political education.

By the way, the best translation of the name of North Korea's ruling party is 'Labour Party'. While it is a true fact, I intend nothing from it but a small laugh.

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 27, 2018] Trump betrayed the Rust Belt. As the result Trump s Rust Belt support evaporate and the king is now naked

Trump most probably will be a one time President... The American people will elect the next time another bullshit artist but this time probably from Democratic Party..
Notable quotes:
"... I'll give the congressman all of that, especially ..."
"... When the economy is bad, nobody wants a bullsh*t artist in the White House. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "He came to our community and said, 'Don't sell your house. These jobs are coming back,' " Green said. "We've seen nothing but job losses around here." ..."
"... What you can blame Trump for is exploiting the hopes of Rust Belt people by telling them that he could bring those jobs back. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You heard that General Motors is idling five plants and laying off 14,000 workers, right? Excerpt:

Part of the retrenchment is a response to a slowdown in new-car sales that has prompted automakers to slim their operations and shed jobs. And earlier bets on smaller cars have had to be unwound as consumers have gravitated toward pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles in response to low gasoline prices.

In addition, automakers have paid a price for the trade battle that Mr. Trump set in motion. In June G.M. slashed its profit outlook for the year because tariffs were driving up production costs, raising prices even on domestic steel. Rising interest rates are also generating headwinds.

Ms. Barra said no single factor had prompted G.M.'s cutbacks, portraying them as a prudent trimming of sails. "We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market," she said on a conference call with analysts.

More:

But demand for small and midsize cars has plunged. Two-thirds of all new vehicles sold last year were trucks and S.U.V.s. That shift has hit G.M.'s Lordstown plant hard. Just a few years ago, the factory employed three shifts of workers to churn out Chevy Cruzes. Now it is down to one. In 2017 the plant made about 180,000 cars, down from 248,000 in 2013.

More broadly, the years long boom in car and truck sales in North America appears to be ending, said John Hoffecker, vice chairman at AlixPartners, a global consulting firm with a large automotive practice. "Sales have held up well this year, but we do see a downturn coming," he said. AlixPartners forecast that domestic auto sales will fall to about 15 million cars and light trucks in 2020, from about 17 million this year.

Watching cable news tonight at the gym, I heard an Ohio Democratic Congressman blast the president over this. He ripped Trump for having made promises to industrial workers in his state in 2016, about how he would bring jobs back. He ripped Trump over the steel tariffs that have driven up costs of production. And he ripped Trump for not taking his job seriously, for caring more about Twitter than coming up with a strategy that might save jobs.

I'll give the congressman all of that, especially on Trump being a lazy, golfing-and-tweeting buffoon who doesn't care about his job. Trump can get away with that when the economy is booming, but now it looks like things might be turning downward.

When the economy is bad, nobody wants a bullsh*t artist in the White House. From the Washington Post :

In Lordstown, workers planned to pray for a miraculous reversal of the company's decision, according to David Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112.

"It's like someone knocks the wind out of you," he said of GM's announcement. "You lose your breath for a minute."

About 40 percent of the local's members voted for Trump, Green said. Now workers want to see the president keep his promises, he said.

"He came to our community and said, 'Don't sell your house. These jobs are coming back,' " Green said. "We've seen nothing but job losses around here."

Indeed, even before Monday's announcement, Lordstown had been bleeding jobs. Since Trump took office, GM has eliminated two shifts and roughly 3,000 jobs at the plant, according to John Russo, a visiting scholar at Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor.

But we have to face some facts. People aren't buying what GM is making. Aside from the move away from small cars, an effect of lower gasoline prices, sedan sales have been declining across all manufacturers. This summer, I got a good deal on a 2018 Honda Accord, a car I really love, and that received rapturous praise from the automobile press when it came out. Honda struggled to sell the cars. It's not because they're lousy cars. They're actually terrific cars. It's that consumers are losing interest in sedans. What good does it do GM to manufacture cars that people will not buy?

You can't blame Trump for that.

What you can blame Trump for is exploiting the hopes of Rust Belt people by telling them that he could bring those jobs back. The Rust Belt made the crucial difference for Trump in 2016. Unless the Democrats' 2020 nominee is someone who is more or less a space alien, it's going to be hard to win those voters' support when you've improved your Twitter game and your golf score, but those plants are idle.

[Nov 25, 2018] Trump and His Loyalists are "Animal Farm's" Pigs

Notable quotes:
"... Despite the animals' increasingly desperate circumstances on the farm, Squealer's barrage of untruths ultimately convince the lowly, overworked animals that "things were getting better." ..."
"... Anymore, whether it's in the company of dictators Trump keeps or among the multi-millionaires and billionaires that our purported Capitol Hill representatives mingle with at home and abroad, it's becoming increasingly harder to tell "which is which." ..."
Nov 25, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Trump and His Loyalists are "Animal Farm's" Pigs by Kevin McKinney They are the Pigs in Animal Farm , preaching righteousness, peddling preposterousness and hoarding all the "milk and apples" for themselves.

If the demogagic President Donald Trump and his greedy loyalist Republican abettors had their way, the American citizenry would be consigned to a life of Farm -like drudgery.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" becomes the leader pigs' contorted "Commandment" to the rest of the farm animals by the end of Animal Farm .

... ... ...

Orwell himself, indicated that his simplistic foreboding fairtale held "a wider application" about "power-hungry people."

"I meant the moral to be that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert.." Orwell writes Politics magazine founder Dwight Macdonald in a 1946 letter.

"What I was trying to say was," Orwell continues, "'You can't have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship.'"

Disillusioned Americans, who weren't so much "alert" as they were desperate, clearly were swindled by Trump's disingenous populous revolution of sorts.

Now, in the flotsam wake of the midterm election's Democratic blue wave -- demonstrating a new found citizen alertness that will flood the House in January -- the mistake of ever allowing a Trump Presidency, is coming into sharp, unsettling focus.

Oppression is oppression. Greed and abuse of power produce essentially the same result whatever the misanthropic ideology – Communism or Fascism or some other hybrid demagogic "ism" to which Trump and his loyalists aspire.

If Washington D.C's plutocratic pigs had their druthers, Americans would be so dumbed down by the con-in-chief's exhaustive lies and grating vitriol, endorsed by congressional majority party Republicans, that we would have about as much say in our Republic's affairs as Animal Farm 's befuddled barnyard animals had on the farm under the pigs.

"Napoleon is Always Right"

Trump is akin to Farm 's ruthless ruling pig, Napoleon, a Berkshire boar who, Orwell writes, has a knack for "getting his own way."

Napoleon counted on his propagandist pig, Squealer, who "could turn black into white" to brainwash the farm animals with lies about their tyrannical leader's supposed benevolence.

Even Clover the mare, who notices the changes the pigs sneakily make to Animalism's Commandments, eventually is lulled into a sense of complacency, convincing herself that she must have "remembered it wrong."

As the Farm animals work harder for less, the beloved, but dim-witted carthorse Boxer declares, "I will work harder" and routinely motivates himself by extolling the pigs' most controlling lie of all: "Napoleon is always right."

To advance his doubtless premeditated assault on truth and civility from the start of 2017, President Trump has employed his own tag team versions of Squealer – in imaginative mouthpieces Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Sanders, White House press secretary, seems eternally lost in an alternate reality where if President Trump "says it, it must be true" – just as Farm's animals were programmed to parrot of Napoleon, no matter how absurd the lie.

... ... ...

And we Americans, like Farm 's flock of mindless sheep taught by Squealer to obediently bleat "Four legs good, two legs better ," are supposed to believe it all.

... ... ...

Pigs Hoarded Milk and Apples; Repubs, Tax Cuts For Rich

Just as Farm 's pigs reason early on that they need all of the farm's "milk and apples" to lead the rest of the animals, Trump and his complicit Republican chums insisted at the outset that billionaires' tax breaks are the key to economic revival for all.

Never mind that Reaganomics trickled down – and out, decades ago. Never mind that corporate profits are soaring, while workers' wages have stagnated.

And that now, in order to pay for corporate big wigs' tax cuts, Republicans contrive to carve up the people's Medicare and Medicaid, while sinisterly eyeing social security benefits.

Who is the real "enemy of the people"?

"The turning-point of the story was supposed to be when the pigs kept the milk and apples for themselves," Orwell writes in the 1946 letter to Macdonald, published in George Orwell: A Life In Letters , 2013.

"If the other animals had had the sense to put their foot down then," Orwell continues, "it would have been all right."

At the first sign of feebleness, Boxer, the farm's hardest worker -- instrumental in the farm's success from which the pigs alone capitalized -- is hauled off to the slaughterhouse.

Despite the animals' increasingly desperate circumstances on the farm, Squealer's barrage of untruths ultimately convince the lowly, overworked animals that "things were getting better."

Think of Trump's grandiose claims of new plant openings and soaring jobs numbers. When Fox News' asked him this past weekend how he would grade his job as President so far, Trump offered, "A plus."

And look no further than Trump's scripted, dictator-esque, brainwashing rallies, where gullible Reality TV "fans" pathetically worship a snake oil salesman, cheering on command and smiling idiotic smiles.

Which is Which?

In Farm' s last pages, the pigs have rewritten Animalism's "Seven Commandments" to suit them, embracing the ways of the animals' sworn enemy humans.

"Comrade Napoleon" and his fellow privileged porkers have moved into overthrown (Manor Farm) owner Mr. Jones' farm house, are dressed in his clothes and are walking upright on their two hind legs.

By then, the incoherent sheep under the absolute sway of Napoleon's propagandist pig Squealer, no longer are sounding off on command: "Four legs good, two legs bad," but rather, "Four legs good, two legs better ."

Animal Farm leaves us with the animals peering through the farm house dining room window as the pigs inside schmooze and toast mugs of beer with neighboring farmer, Mr. Pilkington and his associates.

The pigs and humans end up squabbling over a card game in which Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington each play an ace of spades.

Who is cheating?

In the novella's last line, the baffled animals at the window look from face to face, from the humans to the pigs, but: "It was impossible to say which was which."

Anymore, whether it's in the company of dictators Trump keeps or among the multi-millionaires and billionaires that our purported Capitol Hill representatives mingle with at home and abroad, it's becoming increasingly harder to tell "which is which."

... ... ...

[Nov 24, 2018] Trump Sides With the Iran Hawks on Saudi Arabia by Curt Mills

Trump administration policy on Ukraine is also strictly adhere yo the neocon playbook. As if Victoria Nuland is strill working in State Departemetn and Cheney is the vice president.
Notable quotes:
"... in style and substance, there was no greater avatar for Trump's statement Tuesday than Gaffney's worldview. ..."
"... Trump explicitly namechecked the Muslim Brotherhood, a career-long hobby horse of Gaffney's, and depicted the Middle Eastern theater as straightforward. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

The controversial Washington think-tanker denied to me in August 2017 that he'd directly advised the administration. To the contrary, he'd actually endorsed and counseled Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump's bitter primary rival, in the late stretches of the trench warfare 2016 primary (something, like most who have come over to Trump after the primary, he has sought to minimize). But in style and substance, there was no greater avatar for Trump's statement Tuesday than Gaffney's worldview.

Trump explicitly namechecked the Muslim Brotherhood, a career-long hobby horse of Gaffney's, and depicted the Middle Eastern theater as straightforward. David Reaboi, an alumnus of Gaffney's Center for Security Policy and now with the administration-friendly Security Studies Group, fleshed the statement out Wednesday morning in an illuminating radio interview. Reaboi has commented to me in this publication before; there should be no reason to doubt his sincerity. But for Reaboi, the joint action of last week's indictments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia coupled with U.S. sanctions was sufficient, and it's time to get back to business.

... ... ...

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

[Nov 14, 2018] When 'America First' Becomes Negotiable

Notable quotes:
"... [Don't miss Barndollar discussing the forever war, the military industrial complex, and military reform at our fifth annual foreign policy conference on November 15 in Washington, D.C. Full schedule and free registration here] ..."
"... Gil Barndollar is Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest and Military Fellow-in-Residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. He served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer from 2009 to 2016. ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

javascript:false

The most remarkable thing about Trump's foreign policy is how much it's like his predecessors'. By Gil BarndollarNovember 12, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?app_id=347697165243043&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FafATJJjxKE6.js%3Fversion%3D43%23cb%3Df3d9e93de2702fe%26domain%3Dwww.theamericanconservative.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%252Ff1bba0837a98a32%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=0&font=lucida%20grande&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fwhen-america-first-becomes-negotiable%2F&layout=button_count&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&send=true&show_faces=false&width=125

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.2535b9a3597d3193477a33b63007079b.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fwhen-america-first-becomes-negotiable%2F&related=amconmag&size=m&text=When%20%E2%80%98America%20First%E2%80%99%20Becomes%20Negotiable%20%7C%20The%20American%20Conservative&time=1542175992301&type=share&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fwhen-america-first-becomes-negotiable%2F&via=amconmag

https://apis.google.com/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&size=medium&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fwhen-america-first-becomes-negotiable%2F&gsrc=3p&ic=1&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en_US.UaBCxDdxP6M.O%2Fam%3DQQ%2Frt%3Dj%2Fd%3D1%2Frs%3DAGLTcCPJnjTI_d-32bfa9lhcc0LI3ArezA%2Fm%3D__features__#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I0_1542175991703&_gfid=I0_1542175991703&parent=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&pfname=&rpctoken=29131678

Flickr As we near the halfway point of President Donald Trump's first term, U.S. foreign policy is being widely portrayed as off the rails. Yet when one looks past the Trumpian bluster, the predetermined media narrative, and the serial incompetence of an understaffed and often inexperienced administration, one finds a foreign policy agenda that differs far more in style than in substance from its predecessors'.

Donald Trump ran for president as a foreign policy Buchananite in all but name. Thoughhe made pro forma genuflections before the altars of primacy and American military supremacy, Trump repeatedly bemoaned America's disastrous interventions in the Greater Middle East. The South Carolina Republican presidential debate in February 2016 seemed like a watershed moment: Trump attacked George W. Bush's war leadership and proclaimed the Iraq war a disaster, a bold stance in a Republican Party that still refused to acknowledge reality more than a decade after the invasion. Despite being booed by some in the audience, Trump won the state easily and drove "Low Energy" Jeb Bush out of the race.

Candidate Trump offered a radical break with the U.S. foreign policy establishment. He said was NATO obsolete and warned of the danger of a third world war with Russia. He rightly declared the Libyan intervention to be another fiasco, and an illegal one at that. Hillary Clinton, by comparison, bragged about Muammar Gaddafi's death and compared Vladimir Putin to Hitler. Foreign policy realists and restrainers were understandably receptive to a Trump presidency, warts and all.

Much of Trump's rhetoric revolved around the undeniable fact that our allies are prospering under an American security umbrella they do not pay enough to support. He famously said that the United States should "take Iraq's oil" as payback for the American blood and treasure invested there. Trump seemed to sum up his view of America in the world when he told The Washington Post in March 2016: "We certainly can't afford to do this anymore."

Two years later, it is clear that "America First" was negotiable. U.S. troops aren't coming home, entangling alliances are expanding not contracting, and American client states are even more likely to drag us into war in the Middle East. When one pushes the media and the president's personality out of view, the most remarkable thing about Trump's foreign policy is how unremarkable it is. Beneath the rhetoric, American foreign policy these past two years has remained shackled to the traditional pillars of primacy, interventionism, and hubris.

Afghanistan: The war in Afghanistan offers the clearest evidence of business as usual in American foreign policy. The administration's brief attempt at unconventional thinking on Afghanistan was the risible Prince plan, whereby the U.S. would continue to prosecute the war but outsource it to a "modern East India Company." Erik Prince, formerly head of the Blackwater security firm and more recently a logistics provider in Africa and trainer of Chinese security services, proposed to turn Afghanistan over to a brigade of contractors and a "viceroy" with total command of the U.S. war effort. Though many of Prince's critiques of the current strategy are sound, mercenaries cannot fix a country with massive culture and governance problems. This idea was thankfully rejected. More creative thinking, like a real effort to work with Russia, China, and Pakistan to stabilize Afghanistan, or a withdrawal and a pledge to return in force if necessary, appears to have been unwelcome.

Instead, a vaunted new strategy offered little substantive change. U.S. forces in Afghanistan were increased by 4,000 troops, and the number of airstrikes shot up. But the situation there has only gotten worse. Casualties for both civilians and Afghan security forces have risen dramatically in the past year while Pakistan still shelters and abets the Taliban. The Afghan military is still not able to hold territory without U.S. assistance. In fact, independent assessors like the Long War Journal believe that nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan's districts are either under Taliban control or contested. The Department of Defense even briefly trotted out enemy body counts as a metric for progress before The New York Times rightly invoked the Vietnam War.

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Bait and Switch

Meanwhile, 17 years after 9/11, the Pentagon claims there are now upwards of 20 terror groups operating in Afghanistan, including what's left of ISIS, the heir to al Qaeda. For that reason, Americans are told we cannot leave.

Europe: Early in his presidency Trump briefly declined to endorse NATO's Article 5, provoking predictable hysteria on both sides of the Atlantic. A year later, he gave America's European allies a tongue-lashing in Brussels, calling them delinquent in their contributions to collective defense. Germany received special attention, with the president labeling Europe's largest economy a "captive of Russia." In Helsinki a few days later, Trump appeared to dismiss charges of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, igniting yet another firestorm of criticism. Back stateside, he concurred during an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson that starting a war over Montenegro, NATO's newest member, would be folly.

Yet when the dust finally settled, little had changed. The United States continues to support Ukraine in its war against Russian-backed separatists, even selling Kiev Javelin anti-tank missiles and other "lethal aid" that the more cautious President Barack Obama had refused to provide. Sanctions against Russia pile up, dampening that country's long-term economic development. European armies remain largely impotent while mindless NATO expansion continues apace. Despite what he said on Fox News, Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate had already signed off on the addition of Montenegro (and its tiny army of fewer than 2,000 soldiers) to NATO in 2017. Macedonia, another mouse that roared, is next. Poland has recently entertained the idea of a "Fort Trump" to permanently house U.S. troops on its soil -- yet another American tripwire force.

The Middle East: Iran remains the Trump administration's abiding foreign policy obsession. Here, at least, one cannot blame false advertising. The president was explicit about his plans to tear up Obama's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that limited Iran's nuclear ambitions, and make a better deal.

Once in office, the president's instincts on the regime were further fortified by the Saudis and Israelis, to whom he has clung more tightly than any previous administration. He surrounded himself with paid advocates of the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a cult that is hated in Iran. Trump's lawyer and national security advisor, Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton respectively, have spoken on MEK's behalf, despite it being a U.S.-designated terrorist organization until 2012. Bolton now officially abjures regime change, but in July 2017 he promised an MEK gathering in Paris that they would celebrate together in Tehran in 2019.

[Don't miss Barndollar discussing the forever war, the military industrial complex, and military reform at our fifth annual foreign policy conference on November 15 in Washington, D.C. Full schedule and free registration here]

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented Iran with a list of 12 demands that bring to mind Austria-Hungary and Serbia on the eve of World War I. Pompeo's conditions were not a starting point for negotiations or normalization; they were a call for surrender. The administration now believes it can crush Iran through economic sanctions and force it to the negotiating table.

Trump's Iran obsession has had baleful effects beyond the Persian Gulf. U.S. sanctions on Iran are damaging relations with a host of other nations by restricting their trade, even as the president extolled the primacy of sovereignty at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Tethered to the increasingly reckless Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the U.S. has continued to fuel, arm, and otherwise aid the Saudi-led coalition's brutal, stalemated war in Yemen -- a policy begun by Barack Obama.

In Syria and Iraq, the U.S. can take credit for a successful campaign against the Islamic State. Yet in the wake of this victory, U.S. troops seem to be staying put in Syria, despite a promise by Trump to pull them out earlier this year. Top officials announced in September that American forces will not be leaving Syria until the Iranians do. The risk of our presence in Syria dragging us into a war with either Iran or Russia is more real than ever.

In Israel, Trump has doubled down on support of Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardline Likud party. The U.S. finally moved its embassy to Jerusalem, as promised to pro-Israel donors during the campaign, and cut off all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN's Palestinian refugee agency. These moves only cemented a growing impression that Trump never planned to be an honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Many now believe that the peace process is dead.

North Korea: North Korea dominated headlines and fears of during 2017 and early 2018. While the president tweeted about "fire and fury" and "Little Rocket Man" Kim Jong-un, ultra-hawks in Washington pushed for a "bloody nose" preventive attack or even full-on regime change in North Korea. Thankfully, this was one case where Trump's status quo foreign policy prevented conflict. Both sides climbed down, conducted a historic summit in Singapore, and made over-hyped and easily reversible concessions. The president's personalization of diplomacy resulted in a victory, albeit in a verbal conflict that he had done much to create. Substantively, little has changed. North Korea will keep its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, American troops will remain in South Korea, and further negotiations are promised.

This is a good thing: a preventive war with North Korea would be the ultimate expression of Bismarck's line about "committing suicide out of fear of death." It appears that North Korea wants to slowly open itself to the world, a prospect that has South Korean businessmen quietly ecstatic and China relieved. Nonetheless, this is basically business as usual: North Korea threatens, is granted concessions, and the status quo is preserved. We have seen this before. We may be on the cusp of a permanent change in relations with North Korea, but the jury is still out.

China: There is one shining exception to the Trump administration's conventional foreign policy: China. Trump, unencumbered by free trade ideology, is challenging China's economic ascent. Gone is the mindless determinism of Clinton, Bush, and Obama, the evidence-free belief that free trade would somehow gradually end Chinese totalitarianism and mercantilism. The Chinese have never competed on a level playing field and as a result we have spent 20 years ceding American industry and supply chains to China. The hour is late, but there is still time for the United States to fundamentally reorient its relationship with China.

Despite the chimera of a 355-ship navy, America will not win or lose this fight in a Gotterdammerung in the South China Sea. The contest with China may be existential, but it is primarily an economic, technological, and political battle. For all of the deep structural problems in the U.S. economy, China has more to lose from a trade war right now than America does.

It is not clear, though, if we are in the midst of a trade war or a trade bluff. If it is the latter, we are likely to get a slightly better arrangement for U.S. businesses and then proceed towards the same endpoint. If we are fighting a real trade war, however, there is an opportunity to unwind "Chimerica" and bring manufacturing, if not necessarily jobs, home. It is an open question whether the president has the stomach for the economic and political pain that this will entail, as his oft-invoked roaring stock market tanks and Americans feel the bite of tariffs in their wallets.

As with most things this administration does, competence is also an enormous question mark. A trade war with China may be necessary and prudent. Simultaneously battling the Europeans and our NAFTA partners while conducting a trade war with China is neither. If we want to fundamentally reorder our economic relationship with China, for reasons of both national security and long-term prosperity, we need to do it in concert with the other liberal democracies, especially our North American neighbors. They could benefit greatly from a reorientation of American trade. A strategy is needed, not an impulse and a series of tactical tariffs.

How did America First so quickly become business as usual, China excepted? Diehard Trumpists are inclined to defend the president's foreign policy U-turns by painting him as a prisoner of his own administration, surrounded by conventional Republicans who subvert his non-interventionist instincts. The writing was on the wall immediately, they claim, as a trio of generals -- John Kelly, James Mattis, and H. R. McMaster -- were chosen to drive national security policy. As veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, all three were unlikely to support any radical reexamination of America's place in the world. Steve Bannon, who would and did support such a change, was forced out of the White House within a year.

Personnel is policy, as the cliché goes, and the administration's foreign policy team is dominated by men who are conventional internationalists at best, unrepentant neoconservatives at worst. Rex Tillerson presided over a State Department in unprecedented disarray and often found himself focused on limiting the damage of the president's bombast. His successor has been a reliable agent of foreign policy orthodoxy, dutifully dealing with North Korea on the one hand and threatening Iran on the other.

There is undoubtedly something to the narrative of internal betrayal, as Bob Woodward's Fear and the recent anonymous New York Times editorial attest. America may not have a true Deep State, but Trump's personality and some of his policies have provoked unprecedented resistance from within government bureaucracies and even from his own political appointees. Realigning American foreign policy in the face of an obdurate establishment was always going to be a significant challenge. Succeeding in this task without a united team is likely impossible.

But this is not an entirely tenable defense. These are men the president chose, and they are doing his bidding, inasmuch as he knows and communicates what that is. The bench of realists and non-interventionists may be small, but the president has put some of the worst warmongers in Washington into positions of real power and influence.

So those who believe in foreign policy realism and restraint are left with the worst of both worlds: a presidency that espouses an America First agenda but then proceeds to sabotage support for these policies through reckless rhetoric, incompetent implementation, and a refusal to carry out anything approaching a thoughtful, non-interventionist strategy.

Perhaps the next two years will see a drastic change in American foreign policy. Hope springs eternal -- but there is scant reason for anything more than hope.

Gil Barndollar is Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest and Military Fellow-in-Residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. He served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer from 2009 to 2016.

[Nov 14, 2018] Bolton Vows to 'Squeeze' Iran, Escalating Sanctions - News From by Jason Ditz

If this is Trump policy, then Trump is 100% pure neocon. It took just three months for the Deep state to turn him.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse. ..."
Nov 13, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

Says Europe will be forced to accept US demands

With the newly reimposed US sanctions against Iran having little to no perceivable economic impact, national security adviser John Bolton is talking up his plans to continue to escalate the sanctions track, saying he will " squeeze Iran until the pips squeak ."

Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse.

Bolton went on to predict that the European efforts to keep trading with Iran would ultimately fail. He said the Europeans are going through the six stages of grief , and would ultimately led to European acceptance of the US demands.

Either way, Bolton's position is that the US strategy will continue to be imposing new sanctions on Iran going forward. It's not clear what the end game is, beyond just damaging Iran.

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 12, 2018] Trump was elected by advocating a populist-nationalist agenda, he betrayed his voters almost instantly and governed as Bush III

Notable quotes:
"... For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. ..."
"... With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them. ..."
"... Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different. ..."
"... Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive.

With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

[Nov 12, 2018] Although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

I was actually in Texas just a couple of days before the vote, speaking at a Ron Paul-related conference in the Houston area, and although most of the libertarian-leaning attendees thought that Cruz would probably win, they all agreed with the national media that it would probably be close. Cruz's final victory margin of less than three points confirmed this verdict.

But if things had gone differently, and O'Rourke had squeaked out a narrow win, our national politics would have been immediately transformed. Any Republican able to win California has a near-lock on the White House, and the same is true for any Democrat able to carry Texas, especially if the latter is a young and attractive Kennedyesque liberal, fluent in Spanish and probably very popular with the large Latino populations of other important states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. I strongly suspect that a freshman Sen. O'Rourke (R-Texas) would have been offered the 2020 Democratic nomination almost by acclamation, and barring unexpected personal or national developments, would have been a strong favorite in that race against Trump or any other Republican. Rep. O'Rourke raised an astonishing $70 million in nationwide donations, and surely many of his contributors were dreaming of similar possibilities. A shift of just a point and a half, and in twenty-four months he probably would have been our next president. But it was not to be.

[Nov 09, 2018] Globalism Vs Nationalism in Trump's America by Joe Quinn

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal. ..."
"... Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners. ..."
"... Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite. ..."
"... Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia. ..."
"... The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people. ..."
"... The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia. ..."
"... The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first . ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.sott.net
Billed as a 'referendum on Trump's presidency', the US Midterm Elections drew an unusually high number of Americans to the polls yesterday. The minor loss, from Trump's perspective, of majority Republican control of the lower House of Representatives, suggests, if anything, the opposite of what the media and establishment want you to believe it means.

An important clue to why the American media has declared permanent open season on this man transpired during a sometimes heated post-elections press conference at the White House yesterday. First, CNN's obnoxious Jim Acosta insisted on bringing up the patently absurd allegations of 'Russia collusion' and refused to shut up and sit down. Soon after, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor joined her colleagues in asking Trump another loaded question , this time on the 'white nationalism' canard:

Alcindor : On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists...

Trump : I don't know why you'd say this. It's such a racist question.

Alcindor : There are some people who say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?

Trump : Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? That's such a racist question. I love our country. You have nationalists, and you have globalists . I also love the world, and I don't mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems ...

The US media is still "not even wrong" on Trump and why he won the 2016 election. You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal.

Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners.

Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite.

Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia.

These are but a few examples of the "globalism" that drives the Washington establishment. Who, in their right mind, would support it? (I won't get into what constitutes a 'right mind', but we can all agree it does not involve destroying other nations for profit). The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people.

The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia.

Words and their exact meanings matter . To be able to see through the lies of powerful vested interests and get to the truth, we need to know when those same powerful vested interests are exploiting our all-too-human proclivity to be coerced and manipulated by appeals to emotion.

So the words "nationalist" and "nationalism", as they relate to the USA, have never been "dirty" words until they were made that way by the "globalist" element of the Washington establishment (i.e., most of it) by associating it with fringe Nazi and "white supremacist" elements in US society that pose no risk to anyone, (except to the extent that the mainstream media can convince the general population otherwise). The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first .

[Nov 08, 2018] Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

Gold age of the USA (say 40 years from 1946 to approximately 1986 ) were an in some way an aberration caused by WWII. As soon as Germany and Japan rebuilt themselves this era was over. And the collapse of the USSR in 1991 (or more correct Soviet nomenklatura switching sides and adopting neoliberalism) only make the decline more gradual but did not reversed it. After 200 it was clear that neoliberalism is in trouble and in 2008 it was clear that ideology of neoliberalism is dead, much like Bolshevism after 1945.
As the US ruling neoliberal elite adopted this ideology ad its flag, the USA faces the situation somewhat similar the USSR faced in 70th. It needs its "Perestroika" but with weak leader at the helm like Gorbachov it can lead to the dissolution of the state. Dismantling neoliberalism is not less dangerous then dismantling of Bolshevism. The level of brainwashing of both population and the elite (and it looks like the USA elite is brainwashed to an amazing level, probably far exceed the level of brainwashing of Soviet nomenklatura) prevents any constructive moves.
In a way, Neoliberalism probably acts as a mousetrap for the country, similar to the role of Bolshevism in the USSR. Ideology of neoliberalism is dead, so what' next. Another war to patch the internal divisions ? That's probably why Trump is so adamant about attacking Iran. Iran does not have nuclear weapons so this is in a way an ideal target. Unlike, say, Russia. And such a war can serve the same political purpose. That's why many emigrants from the USSR view the current level of divisions with the USA is a direct analog of divisions within the USSR in late 70th and 80th. Similarities are clearly visible with naked eye.
Notable quotes:
"... t is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all. ..."
"... "Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls. ..."
"... A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.' ..."
"... The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people. ..."
"... please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back ..."
"... America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work ..."
"... It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem. ..."
"... And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? ..."
"... The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class... ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/07/2018 - 23:25 13 SHARES Authored by Raja Murthy via The Asia Times,

"The only wealth you keep is wealth you have given away," said Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), last of the great Roman emperors. US President Donald Trump might know of another Italian, Mario Puzo's Don Vito Corleone, and his memorable mumble : "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Forgetting such Aurelian and godfather codes is propelling the decline and fall of the American empire.

Trump is making offers the world can refuse – by reshaping trade deals, dispensing with American sops and forcing powerful corporations to return home, the US is regaining economic wealth but relinquishing global power.

As the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (restructuring) led to the breakup of its vast territory(22 million square kilometers). Gorbachev's failed policies led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and independent countries, and the end of a superpower.

Ironically, the success of Trump's policies will hasten the demise of the American empire: the US regaining economic health but losing its insidious hold over the world.

This diminishing influence was highlighted when India and seven other countries geared up to defy Washington's re-imposition of its unilateral, illegal sanctions against Iran, starting Monday.

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station.

The law of cause and effect unavoidably delivers. The Roman Empire fell after wars of greed and orgies of consumption. A similar nemesis, the genie of Gorbachev, stalks Pennsylvania Avenue, with Trump unwittingly writing the last chapter of World War II: the epilogue of the two rival superpowers that emerged from humanity's most terrible conflict.

The maverick 45th president of the United States may succeed at being an economic messiah to his country, which has racked up a $21.6 trillion debt, but the fallout is the death of American hegemony. These are the declining days of the last empire standing.

Emperors and mafia godfathers knew that wielding great influence means making payoffs. Trump, however, is doing away with the sops, the glue that holds the American empire together, and is making offers that he considers "fair" but instead is alienating the international community– from badgering NATO and other countries to pay more for hosting the US legions (800 military bases in 80 countries) to reducing US aid.

US aid to countries fell from $50 billion in fiscal year 2016, $37 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion so far in 2018. A world less tied to American largesse and generous trade tarrifs can more easily reject the "you are with us or against us" bullying doctrine of US presidents. In the carrot and stick approach that largely passes as American foreign policy, the stick loses power as the carrot vanishes.

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather. Big payoffs needed for big influence. A presidential lesson for Don Trump

More self-respecting leaders will have less tolerance for American hypocrisy, such as sanctioning other countries for nuclear weapons while having the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet.

They will sneer more openly at the hysteria surrounding alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, pointing to Washington's violent record of global meddling. They will cite examples of American hypocrisy such as its sponsorship of coups against elected leaders in Latin America, the US Army's Project Camelot in 1964 targeting 22 countries for intervention (including Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia), its support for bloodthirsty dictators, and its destabilization of the Middle East with the destruction of Iraq and Libya.

Immigrant cannon fodder

Trump's focus on the economy reduces the likelihood of him starting wars. By ending the flood of illegal immigrants to save jobs for US citizens, he is also inadvertently reducing the manpower for illegal wars. Non-citizen immigrants comprise about 5% of the US Army. For its Iraq and Afghanistan wars, US army recruiters offered citizenship to lure illegal immigrants, mostly Latinos.

Among the first US soldiers to die in the Iraq War was 22-year old illegal immigrant Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, an orphan from the streets of Guatemala City. He sneaked across the Mexican border into the US six years before enlisting in exchange for American citizenship.

On March 21, 2003, Gutierrez was killed by friendly fire near Umm Qasr, southern Iraq. The coffin of this illegal immigrant was draped in the US flag, and he received American citizenship – posthumously.

Trump policies targeting illegal immigration simultaneously reduces the availability of cannon fodder for the illegal wars needed to maintain American hegemony.

Everything comes to an end, and so too will the last empire of our era.

The imperial American eagle flying into the sunset will see the dawn of an economically healthier US that minds its own business, and increase hopes for a more equal, happier world – thanks to the unintentional Gorbachev-2 in the White House.


PeaceForWorld , 3 minutes ago link

I am sure that many of us are OK with ending American Empire. Both US citizens and other countries don't want to fight un-necessary and un-ending wars. If Trump can do that, then he is blessed.

Condor_0000 , 23 minutes ago link

Imperialism and the State: Why McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas

By Paul D'Amato

http://www.isreview.org/issues/17/state_and_imperialism.shtml

Excerpt:

The modern nation-state was necessary as a means of creating a single, unified market that could facilitate commerce. But the state was also crucial in providing necessary infrastructure, and sometimes the pooling of capital resources, necessary for national capitalists to operate and compete effectively.

But the state as a bureaucratic institution had another, more fundamental function. Lenin, citing Engels, defined the essence of the state as "bodies of armed men, prisons, etc.," in short, an instrument for the maintenance of the rule of the exploiting minority over the exploited majority.

As capitalism burst the bounds of the nation-state, the coercive military function of the state took on a new dimension--that of protecting (and projecting) the interests of the capitalists of one country over those of another. As capitalism developed, the role of the state increased, the size of the state bureaucracy increased, and the size of its coercive apparatus increased.

Lenin was soon to refine this conception in light of the world's descent into the mass slaughter of the First World War. He argued that capitalism had reached a new stage--imperialism--the struggle between the world's "great powers" for world dominance. The central feature of imperialism was the rivarly between the great powers--whose economic competition gave way to military conflict.

Another Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, put it this way:

The forces of production which capitalism has evolved have outgrown the limits of nation and state. The national state, the present political form, is too narrow for the exploitation of these productive forces. The natural tendency of our economic system, therefore, is to seek to break through the state boundaries. The whole globe, the land and the sea, the surface as well as the interior, has become one economic workshop, the different parts of which are inseparably connected with each other. This work was accomplished by capitalism. But in accomplishing it the capitalist states were led to struggle for the subjection of the world-embracing economic system to the profit interests of the bourgeoisie of each country...

But the way the governments propose to solve this problem of imperialism is not through the intelligent, organized cooperation of all of humanity's producers, but through the exploitation of the world's economic system by the capitalist class of the victorious country; which country is by this War to be transformed from a great power into a world power.5

Golden Showers , 32 minutes ago link

See a pattern here? Raja Murthy, you sound like a pro-American Empire shill. 1964 Project Camelot has nothing to do with the current administration. Raja, you forgot to wear your satirical pants.

The idea and catchy hook of 2016 was Make America Great Again, not wasting lives and resources on the American Empire. You point out the good things. Who might have a problem with the end of the American Empire are Globalists. What is wrong with relinquishing global power and not wasting lives and money?

"The only lives you keep is lives you've given away" That does not ring true. The only lies you keep are the lies you've given away. What? You're not making any sense, dude. How much American Empire are you vested in? Does it bother you if the Empire shrinks its death grip on Asia or the rest of the world? Why don't you just say it: This is good! Hopefully Trump's policies will prevent you from getting writers' cramp and being confusing--along with the canon fodder. Or maybe you're worried about job security.

America is a super power, just like Russia. Just like England. However, whom the US carries water for might change. Hope that's ok.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 33 minutes ago link

Trump is saving the US by destroying the empire. Both the US and the world will be happier for that.

Condor_0000 , 29 minutes ago link

No he's not.

Trump is an empirial president, just like every other US president. In fact, that's what the article is describing. MAGA depends upon imperialist domination. Trump and all of US capitalism know that even if the brain-dead MAGA chumps don't.

Capitalism can't help but seek to rule the world. It is the result of pursuing capitalism's all-important growth. If it's not US capitalism, it will be Chinese capitalism, or Russian capitalism, or European capitalism that will rule the world.

The battle over global markets doesn't stop just because the US might decide not to play anymore. Capitalism means that you're either the global power who is ******* the royal **** out of everyone else, or you're the victim of being fucked up the *** by an imperialist power.

FBaggins , 25 minutes ago link

The only thing which makes the US different from the rest of the world is its super concentration of power, which in effect is a super concentration of corruption.

ebworthen , 33 minutes ago link

Quite entertaining to be living in the modern Rome.

Condor_0000 , 28 minutes ago link

It's a cross between ancient Rome and Nazi Germany. And you're right. It's fascinating.

Condor_0000 , 34 minutes ago link

Another day and another ZeroHedge indictment of American capitalism.

And how refreshing that the article compares US capitalism to gangsterism. It's a most appropriate comparison.

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

Al Capone on Capitalism

It is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all.

In 1930, Cockburn, then a correspondent in America for the Times newspaper, interviewed Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, when Capone was at the height of his power. He recalls that except for 'the sub-machine gun...poking through the transom of a door behind the desk, Capone's own room was nearly indistinguishable from that of, say, a "newly arrived" Texan oil millionaire. Apart from the jowly young murderer on the far side of the desk, what took the eye were a number of large, flattish, solid silver bowls upon the desk, each filled with roses. They were nice to look at, and they had another purpose too, for Capone when agitated stood up and dipped the tips of his fingers in the water in which floated the roses.

I had been a little embarrassed as to how the interview was to be launched. Naturally the nub of all such interviews is somehow to get round to the question "What makes you tick?" but in the case of this millionaire killer the approach to this central question seemed mined with dangerous impediments. However, on the way down to the Lexington Hotel I had had the good fortune to see, I think in the Chicago Daily News , some statistics offered by an insurance company which dealt with the average expectation of life of gangsters in Chicago. I forget exactly what the average was, and also what the exact age of Capone at that time - I think he was in his early thirties. The point was, however, that in any case he was four years older than the upper limit considered by the insurance company to be the proper average expectation of life for a Chicago gangster. This seemed to offer a more or less neutral and academic line of approach, and after the ordinary greetings I asked Capone whether he had read this piece of statistics in the paper. He said that he had. I asked him whether he considered the estimate reasonably accurate. He said that he thought that the insurance companies and the newspaper boys probably knew their stuff. "In that case", I asked him, "how does it feel to be, say, four years over the age?"

He took the question quite seriously and spoke of the matter with neither more nor less excitement or agitation than a man would who, let us say, had been asked whether he, as the rear machine-gunner of a bomber, was aware of the average incidence of casualties in that occupation. He apparently assumed that sooner or later he would be shot despite the elaborate precautions which he regularly took. The idea that - as afterwards turned out to be the case - he would be arrested by the Federal authorities for income-tax evasion had not, I think, at that time so much as crossed his mind. And, after all, he said with a little bit of corn-and-ham somewhere at the back of his throat, supposing he had not gone into this racket? What would be have been doing? He would, he said, "have been selling newspapers barefoot on the street in Brooklyn".

He stood as he spoke, cooling his finger-tips in the rose bowl in front of him. He sat down again, brooding and sighing. Despite the ham-and-corn, what he said was probably true and I said so, sympathetically. A little bit too sympathetically, as immediately emerged, for as I spoke I saw him looking at me suspiciously, not to say censoriously. My remarks about the harsh way the world treats barefoot boys in Brooklyn were interrupted by an urgent angry waggle of his podgy hand.

"Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls.

"This American system of ours," he shouted, "call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." He held out his hand towards me, the fingers dripping a little, and stared at me sternly for a few seconds before reseating himself.

A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.'

LetThemEatRand , 52 minutes ago link

This article was obviously written by someone who wants to maintain the status quo.

America would be much stronger if it were not trying to be an empire. The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people.

hardmedicine , 41 minutes ago link

exactly, please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back and screw the rest of the world, America First

LetThemEatRand , 39 minutes ago link

I truly believe that "America First" is not selfish. America before it went full ****** was the beacon of freedom and success that other countries tried to emulate and that changed the world for the better.

America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work.

HopefulCynical , 26 minutes ago link

Empire is a contrivance, a vehicle for psychopathic powerlust. America was founded by people who stood adamantly opposed to this. Here's hoping Trump holds their true spirit in his heart.

If he doesn't, there's hundreds of millions of us who still do. We don't all live in America...

Posa , 15 minutes ago link

It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem.

CTacitus , 15 minutes ago link

LetThemEatRand:

America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs [sic], not to protect or favor the American people.

And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? Oligarchs...you're FULL of ****. Who exactly pools all (((their))) money, makes sure the [s]elected officials know (((who))) to not question and, instead, just bow down to them, who makes sure these (((officials))) sign pledges for absolute commitment towards Israel--or in no uncertain terms-- and know who will either sponsor them/or opposes them next time around?

JSBach1 called you a 'coward', for being EXACTLY LIKE THESE TRAITOROUS SPINELESS VERMIN who simply just step outside just 'enough' the comfort zone to APPEAR 'real'. IMHO, I concur with JSBach1 ...your're a coward indeed, when you should know better ..... shame you you indeed!

pitz , 55 minutes ago link

There is little evidence, Trump's propaganda aside (that he previously called Obama dishonest for) that the US economy is improving. If anything, the exploding budget and trade deficits indicate that the economy continues to weaken.

Posa , 12 minutes ago link

Correct. The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class...

the US can't even raise an army... even if enough young (men) were dumb enough to volunteer there just aren't enough fit, healthy and mentally acute recruits out there.

[Nov 07, 2018] There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
"... So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.) ..."
"... I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense. ..."
"... If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. ..."
"... They claim there's a difference between the two parties? ..."
"... But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general. ..."
"... Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Nov 7, 2018 6:19:36 AM | 9

It's not even decent theatre. Drama is much lacking, character development zilch. The outcome that dems take congress,& rethugs improve in senate is exactly as was predicted months ago.

The dems reveal once again exactly how mendacious and uncaring of the population they are. Nothing matters other than screwing more cash outta anyone who wants anything done so that the DC trough stays full with the usual crew of 4th & 5th generation wannabe dem pols guzzling hard at the corporate funded 'dem aligned' think tanks which generate much hot air yet never deliver. Hardly suprising given that actually doing something to show they give a sh1t about the citizenry would annoy the donor who would give em all the boot, making all these no-hopers have to take up a gig actually practising law.

These are people whose presence at the best law schools in the country prevented many who wanted to be y'know lawyers from entering Harvard, Cornell etc law school. "one doesn't go to law school to become a lawyer It too hard to even pull down a mil a year as a brief, nah, I studied the law to learn how to make laws that actually do the opposite of what they seem to. That is where the real dough is."

Those who think that is being too hard on the dem slugs, should remember that the rethugs they have been indoctrinated to detest act pretty much as printed on the side of the can. They advertise a service of licking rich arseholes and that is exactly what they do. As venal and sociopathic as they are, at least they don't pretend to be something else; so while there is no way one could vote for anyone spouting republican nonsense at least they don't hide their greed & corruption under a veneer of pseudo-humanist nonsense. Dems cry for the plight of the poverty stricken then they slash welfare.

Or dems sob about the hard row african americans must hoe, then go off to the house of reps to pass laws to keep impoverished african americans slotted up in an over crowded prison for the rest of his/her life.

Not only deceitful and vicious, 100% pointless since any Joe/Jo that votes on the basis of wanting to see more blackfellas incarcerated is always gonna tick the rethug box anyhow.

Yeah- yeah we know all this so what?

This is what - the dems broke their arses getting tens of millions of young first time voters out to "exercise their democratic prerogative" for the first time. Dems did this knowing full well that there would be no effective opposition to rethug demands for more domestic oppression, that in fact it is practically guaranteed that should the trump and the rethug senate require it, in order to ensure something particularly nasty gets passed, that sufficient dem congress people will 'cross the floor' to make certain the bill does get up.

Of course the dems in question will allude to 'folks back home demanding' that the dem slug does vote with the nasties, but that is the excuse, the reality is far too many dem pols are as bigoted greedy and elitist as the worst rethugs.

Anyway the upshot of persuading so many kids to get out and vote, so the kids do but the dems are content to just do more of the same, will be another entire generation lost to elections forever.

If the DNC had been less greedy and more strategic they would have kept their powder dry and hung off press-ganging the kids until getting such a turnout could have resulted in genuine change, prez 2020' or whenever, would be actual success for pols and voters.

But they didn't and wouldn't ever, since for a dem pol, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens living on the street isn't nearly as problematic for them, as the dem wannabe pol paying off the mortgage on his/her DC townhouse by 2020, something that would have been impossible if they hadn't taken congress as all the 'patrons' would have jerked back their cash figuring there is no gain giving dosh to losers who couldn't win a bar raffle.

As for that Sharice Davids - a total miss she needed to be either a midget or missing an arm or leg to qualify as the classic ID dem pol. Being a native american lezzo just doesn't tick enough boxes. I predict a not in the least illustrious career since she cannot even qualify as the punchline in a circa 1980's joke.

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | link

@9

As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.

The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.

There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?

Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.

ken | Nov 7, 2018 12:44:13 PM | 69

Reading most of the comments explaining how the D's won/lost,,, the R's won/lost,,, Trump and company won/lost,,, but couldn't find one post about how America is losing due to the two suffocating party's and a greedy, disunited, selfish, electorate that wants it all free.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the Majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury,,,,,,, After that the Majority always votes for the candidate 'promising the most' ,,,,,,,
Alex Fraser.

The US, and West in general, is proof positive.

Russ | Nov 7, 2018 7:48:10 AM | 17

So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.)

It's no big surprise. Last two years it's been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump, have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk batsh$t-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.

So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?

I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense.

If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here's the chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there's plenty of back-door ways an activist House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, babbles about what the technical powers of this or that body are. The real world doesn't work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it'll be to see what the House is doing about it.

They claim there's a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there's a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let's see what kind of action we get from their "different" party in control of the House.

But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.

Nor will any of these new-fangled fake "socialist" types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrats, they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not do so. This "new" progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.

Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.

[Nov 07, 2018] Don't be Flattered, Fooled and Flummoxed in Todays's Election by Ralph Nader

This is somewhat naive, but still useful stance of US elections.
Notable quotes:
"... In 2004 Tom Frank, a Kansas author, wrote: "The poorest county in America isn't in Appalachia or the Deep South. It is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns, and in the election of 2000, George W. Bush carried it by a majority of greater than 75 percent." Inattentive voters are vulnerable to voting against their own interests. They are vulnerable to voting for politicians who support big business and ignore their interests as farmers, workers, consumers, patients, and small taxpayers. Big Business will not spur change in a political system that gives the fatcats every advantage. ..."
"... President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are masters at flattering voters and lying about their positions on issues ranging from health care to the minimum wage. Before you vote, rid yourself of all preconceived, hereditary, ideological, and political straitjackets. Use two general yardsticks for candidates for elective office: Are they playing fair and are they doing right? ..."
"... Ask candidates to speak of Solutions to the major problems confronting our country. Politicians often avoid defining solutions that upset their commercial campaign contributors. ..."
"... Ask about a range of issues, such as energy efficiency, livable wages, lower drug prices, massive government contractor fraud, corporate crimes against consumers, workers and investors, reducing sprawl, safer food, and clean elections. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Let's face it. Most politicians use the mass media to obfuscate. Voters who don't do their homework, who don't study records of the politicians, and who can't separate the words from the deeds will easily fall into traps laid by wily politicians.

In 2002, Connecticut Governor John Rowland was running for re-election against his Democratic opponent, William Curry. Again and again, the outspent Curry informed the media and the voters about the corruption inside and around the governor's office. At the time, the governor's close associates and ex-associates were under investigation by the U.S. attorney. But to the public, Rowland was all smiles, flooding the television stations with self-serving, manipulative images and slogans. He won handily in November. Within weeks, the U.S. attorney's investigation intensified as they probed the charges Curry had raised about Rowland. Rowland's approval rating dropped to record lows, and impeachment initiatives and demands for his resignation grew. He was prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned. Unfortunately, enough voters were flattered, fooled, and flummoxed to cost Bill Curry the race.

In 2004 Tom Frank, a Kansas author, wrote: "The poorest county in America isn't in Appalachia or the Deep South. It is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns, and in the election of 2000, George W. Bush carried it by a majority of greater than 75 percent." Inattentive voters are vulnerable to voting against their own interests. They are vulnerable to voting for politicians who support big business and ignore their interests as farmers, workers, consumers, patients, and small taxpayers. Big Business will not spur change in a political system that gives the fatcats every advantage. Change must come from the voters, and here's how:

President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are masters at flattering voters and lying about their positions on issues ranging from health care to the minimum wage. Before you vote, rid yourself of all preconceived, hereditary, ideological, and political straitjackets. Use two general yardsticks for candidates for elective office: Are they playing fair and are they doing right?

Stay open-minded. Avoid jumping to conclusions about candidates based solely on their stance on your one or two top issues. Pay attention to where these politicians are on the many other issues that profoundly affect you and your family. If you judge them broadly rather than narrowly, you will increase your influence by increasing your demands and expectation levels for public officials. There are numerous evaluations of their votes, easily available on the Internet.

Know where you stand. A handy way to contrast your views with those of the incumbents and challengers is to make your own checklist of twenty issues, explain where you stand and then compare your positions, the candidates' votes and declarations. Seeing how their positions or their actual record matches up to your own positions makes it harder for politicians to play you. Compare candidates with their votes or declarations.

Ask the tough questions. These are many issues that politicians like to avoid. They include questions about whether candidates are willing to debate their opponents and how often, why they avoid talking about and doing something about corporate power and its expanding controls over people's lives, or how they plan specifically to shift power from these global corporate supremacists to the people. After all, the Constitution starts with "We the People" not "We the Corporations." The words "corporations" and "company" are never mentioned in our Constitution!!

Ask candidates to speak of Solutions to the major problems confronting our country. Politicians often avoid defining solutions that upset their commercial campaign contributors.

Ask about a range of issues, such as energy efficiency, livable wages, lower drug prices, massive government contractor fraud, corporate crimes against consumers, workers and investors, reducing sprawl, safer food, and clean elections.

Ask members of Congress to explain why they keep giving themselves salary increases and generous benefits, and yet turn cold at doing the same for the people's frozen minimum wage, health insurance, or pension protections.

All in all, it takes a little work and some time to become a super-voter, impervious to manipulation by politicians who intend to flatter, fool,and flummox. But this education can also be fun, and the pursuit of justice can offer great benefits to your pursuit of happiness.

Such civic engagement will help Americans today become better ancestors for tomorrow's descendants.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

[Nov 06, 2018] Trump is a fake populist; a great charlatan snowing the masses.

Notable quotes:
"... Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Nov 6, 2018 2:43:04 PM | link

@167

Trump is not fixing or weaning. He's acting for the 1%ers. He's a fake populist; a great charlatan snowing the masses.

William Gruff , Nov 6, 2018 2:25:31 PM | link

Unfortunately, Debsisdead is correct. The United States cannot be fixed. It could be that Trump knows what's needed and is deliberately trying to set the US on a course towards sanity using shock treatment, and is deliberately trying to wean America from the petrodollar in such a manner that Americans have no other country to blame/bomb, thus saving civilization from America's inevitable spasm of ultraviolence when the BRICS succeed in taking the petrodollar down. This seems unlikely, though.

The sad reality is that the delusion Americans suffer from (result of their universal cradle-to-grave brainwashing that I mentioned earlier) is too deeply rooted as a core component of their identities.

That mass-based delusion must be overcome before America's psychotic behavior on the world stage can be addressed, but I see no forces within the US making any progress in that direction at all.

Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. As a consequence it could be that the only hope for humanity lies in a radical USA-ectomy with the resulting stump being cauterized.

I certainly wish there were some other way, but I don't see one.

[Nov 06, 2018] What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare Zero Hedge

Nov 06, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare?

by TDB Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:13 23 SHARES by Joe Jarvis via The Daily Bell

In 1966, Gao Jianhua (who later changed his name to Gao Yuan) was 14 years old.

At the Yizhen Middle School near Beijing, China, he witnessed and participated in the birth of China's "Cultural Revolution." He later recorded his personal account in a book called Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution .

The leader of Communist China, Chairman Mao, warned the country that revisionists were threatening to erase all the progress made since the Communist Revolution which brought Mao to power.

It had been almost 20 years since the bloody revolution, and Mao wanted to reinvigorate the rebel spirit in the youth. He instructed students to root out any teachers who wove subtle anti-communist sentiments in their lessons.

Mao encouraged students to rebel against any mindless respect for entrenched authority, remnants, he said, of centuries of capitalist influence.

Students at Yizhen Middle School, like many others, quickly took up the task. They "exposed" capitalist intellectual teachers and paraded them around in dunce caps with insulting signs hung around their necks.

Teachers were beaten and harassed until they confessed to their crimes most of which were, of course, false confessions to avoid further torture.

It only escalated from there.

What ensued puts Lord of the Flies to shame.

One teacher killed himself after being taken captive by students. Most teachers fled.

Soon the students were left entirely in charge of their school. Two factions quickly emerged, one calling themselves the East is Red Corps, and the other the Red Rebels.

One student was kidnapped by the East is Red Corps, and suffocated to death on a sock stuffed in his mouth.

A girl was found to be an East is Red spy among the Red Rebels. She was later cornered with other East is Red students in a building. She shouted from a window that she would rather die than surrender. Praising Chairman Mao, she jumped to her death.

Some Red Rebels died from an accidental explosion while making bombs.

Many were tortured, and another student died from his injuries at the hands of the East is Red Corps.

A female teacher refused to sign an affidavit lying about the cause of death. She was beaten and gang-raped by a group of students.

Robert Greene explains these events, in his new book, The Laws of Human Nature . (Emphasis added.)

Although it might be tempting to see what happened at YMS as mostly relevant to group adolescent behavior what happened at the school occurred throughout China in government offices, factories, within the army, and among Chinese of all ages in an eerily similar way

The students' repressed resentment at having to be so obedient now boiled over into anger and the desire to be the ones doing the punishing and oppressing

In the power vacuum that Mao had now created, another timeless group dynamic emerged. Those who were naturally more assertive, aggressive, and even sadistic pushed their way forward and assumed power , while those who were more passive quietly receded into the background becoming followers

Once all forms of authority were removed and the students ran the school, there was nothing to stop the next and most dangerous development in group dynamics. The split into tribal factions

People may think they are joining because of the different ideas or goals of this tribe or the other, but what they want more than anything is a sense of belonging and a clear tribal identity.

Look at the actual differences between the East is Red Corps and the Red Rebels. As the battle between them intensified it was hard to say what they were fighting for, except to assume power over the other group.

One strong or vicious act of one side called for a reprisal from the other, and any type of violence seemed totally justified. There could be no middle ground, nor any questioning of the rightness of their cause.

The tribe is always right. And to say otherwise is to betray it.

I write this on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.

And like Mao handing down his orders to dispose of capitalist sympathizers, such have the leaders of each major US political party rallied their supporters.

This is the most important election of our lifetime, they say.

No middle ground. Violence is justified to get our way. Betray the tribe, and be considered an enemy.

Just like Mao, they have manufactured a crisis that did not previously exist.

The students had no violent factions before Mao's encouragement. They had no serious problems with their teachers.

Is there any natural crisis occurring right now? Or has the political establishment whipped us into an artificial frenzy?

This isn't just another boring election, they say. This is a battle for our future.

The students battled over who were the purest revolutionaries.

The voters now battle over who has the purest intentions for America.

Do the factions even know what they are fighting for anymore?

They are simply fighting for their tribe's control over the government.

The battle of the factions at schools across China were "resolved" when Mao came to support one side or the other. In that sense, it very much did matter which side the students were on

The government came down hard against the losing faction.

They had chosen wrong and found themselves aligned against the powerful Communist Party.

It won't be a dictator that hands control to one faction or another in this election. It will be a simple majority. And those in the minority will suffer.

The winners will feel that it is their time to wield power, just as the students were happy to finally have the upper hand on their teachers.

If Mao didn't have so much power, he could have never initiated such a violent crisis.

And if our government didn't have so much power, it would hardly matter who wins the election.

Yet here we are, fighting for control of the government because each faction threatens to violently repress the other if they gain power.

It is a manufactured crisis. A crisis that only exists because political elites in the government and media have said so.

They decided that this election will spark the USA's "Cultural Revolution."

And anyone with sympathies from a bygone era will be punished.


You don't have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

When you subscribe to The Daily Bell, you also get a free guide:

How to Craft a Two Year Plan to Reclaim 3 Specific Freedoms.

This guide will show you exactly how to plan your next two years to build the free life of your dreams. It's not as hard as you think

Identify. Plan. Execute .

Yes, deliver THE DAILY BELL to my inbox!


Totally_Disillusioned , 8 hours ago link

Tribal warfare? You clearly don't understand what's happening here. The Globalist cartel has created division between two parties to incite chaos and violence. The "warfare" you reference will be nothing but protesting ->rioting ->anarchy ->police restraint of the Democrat incited sheeple.

There's no tribalism associated with upholding and preserving the Constitution.

Semi-employed White Guy , 6 hours ago link

I think the globalists will try to cool it off before things spin out of (((their))) control. Either that or move to the next phase...world war... so they can just slaughter us and not have to bother trying to herd the increasingly "woke" goyim live stock.

MoralsAreEssential , 11 hours ago link

I have NOT heard about a SINGLE CREDIBLE violent incident where people got hurt FROM THE RIGHT. All the incidents of "White Fascist Violence" look like FALSE FLAGS and contrived incidents. The foregoing CAN NOT be said of the Leftist Antifa types including racist La Raza supporters, racist Blacks who want something for nothing, immigrants from any country who want to be fully supported because they BREATHE and the Top Group (pun intended) Whites who do not believe in boundaries, standards or quality of life UNLESS it's their lives. NOT all Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are in the Left; but most Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are on the Left and havn't a clue they are responsible for their own prisons because they cannot REASON and virtue signaling is more important so they are part of the GROUP. Misplaced EMPHASIS on what is important in creating a CIVILIZED and SAFE society.

[Nov 05, 2018] Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
Notable quotes:
"... Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? ..."
"... One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. ..."
"... "In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter , along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall , the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

His Republican rival in the Senate race that will be decided Tuesday is Bob Hugin , whose reported net worth is at least $84 million. With Hugin as its CEO, the pharmaceutical firm Celgene made $200 million by conspiring to keep generic cancer drugs off the market, according to its critics. Celgene, a model of everything that is wrong with our for-profit health care system, paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the firm of improperly marketing two drugs to treat several forms of cancer without getting Federal Drug Administration approval, thereby defrauding Medicare. Celgene, over seven years, also doubled the price of the cancer drug Revlimid to some $20,000 for a supply of 28 pills.

The Senate campaign in New Jersey has seen no discussion of substantive issues. It is dominated by both candidates' nonstop personal attacks and negative ads, part of the typical burlesque of American politics.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother?

One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats.

The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics . Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg , weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

... ... ...

[Nov 05, 2018] Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns

Nov 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Mark from Queens

Elections USA, Inc: "Scum Vs. Scum." When I went looking for Hedges's weekly column today I rather expected him to be onto the next Bigger Picture item that he is always adroit at tackling.

So it was a little surprising that he chose instead to lead with an example of the midterm races in his state of NJ, the one between disgraced Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Hugin.

He never disappoints.

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter, along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

In what is so emblematic of how pathetic and corrupt the opposition party, their presidential candidate came out to throw her support behind such an odious criminal and corporate whore and to campaign with him. While at the same time the Dems have made no secret about their intention to crush any candidate who espouses socialist values.

Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg, weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

"Plus ça change, Plus c'est la même chose."

But it is always necessary to remind folks that the Greatest Democracy In The World is not. It is An Auction House To The Highest Bidder.

He goes on to talk about fascism, its characteristics, its incarnation today, and the elements that pave the way for, which are economic instability, concentrated wealth, monopoly, a police state, imperialism, etc. It is Neoliberalism which has ushered in fascism across the globe, plain and simple.

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

American Exceptionalism reigns supreme to the Nationalist. He refuses to acknowledge that the real idea of "freedom" is not owning a munitions factory full of weaponry and putting a flag on the back of a pickup. It is instead the freedom to not have to live in the shadow of being foreclosed upon for a medical emergency, to not have to spend almost all of one's income on rent or mortgage debt, to have more time to spend with loved ones or doing what you love instead of working a dead end job just to pay the bills. In other words, a socialist economy heavily regulating the banks and corporations, in which debt peonage would largely become a thing of the past.

And then there it is. "We are being shackled incrementally," by unseen, unelected and unacknowledged vipers who use their wealth and power to also make sure we're ignorant and impotent to the real story.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin, refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally. Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the Establishment."

As far as I'm concerned America has been fascist for a long time, at least since 9/11 but probably longer. We've been captured by Inverted Totalitarianism. Trump just puts the ugly villainous face to that Fascism which has been rampant for a long time. Lewis Lapham had a great piece called, "Due Process: Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing" that lays out the case for a how concentrated wealth has pretty much ruled with impunity since the beginning. (h/t to wendy davis)

How long will we continue to participate in this elaborate Lesser of Two Evil voting sham?

And these days those who do will surely let you know too. All the Good Zombies will be smiling for their selfies with their, "I Voted" stickers (now an added bonus to your "voting experience," as if it were a child's toy inside of a cereal box or something). How long will it be until we're handed little candies as a reward for voting? In step with the continuation of the infantilization of interaction in America. Civics? Nah. Stickers? Yeah.

Seems we're fucking doomed. But not unless people turn off the tv's and social media to begin talking to one another in public as fellow human beings, who as the 99% pretty much have so many of the same concerns in common.

Partisan ideology, blasted night and day on the propaganda networks, keeping us divided and conquered, with fear, manufactured distraction and celebrity gossip thrown in, to keep the lemmings hypnotized from what's really going on.

It's a damn shame.

Mark from Queens on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:36pm
Leave it to Hedges to exquisitley describe the darkness.

But he also pulled back from saying one shouldn't vote for the Dems to stem Trump's insanity, although he quickly added that it wouldn't stop the onslaught of corporate tyranny.

The only thing giving me hope lately is taking the longview, and the emergence of whistleblowers/journalists exposing the inner workings of the corporate coup. To what degree it matters will depend on how many people they reach.

The former,

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nXL7kO5t5NQ

and the latter (of which I've been putting together an essay on)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q6RXRKlGsV8

Bollox Ref on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:46pm
Americans love to quote Alexis de Tocqueville

but they rarely acknowledge Charles Dickens' impressions of the country.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer

Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

Extracted from Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer. Janus-like, fascism seeks to present itself to a captive public as a force for good and moral renewal. It promises protection against enemies real and invented. But denounce its ideology, challenge its power, demand freedom from fascism's iron grip, and you are mercilessly crushed. Gross knew that if the United States' form of fascism, expressed through corporate tyranny, was able to effectively mask its true intentions behind its "friendly" face we would be stripped of power, shorn of our most cherished rights and impoverished. He has been proved correct.

"Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America," Gross wrote. "Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion."

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin , refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally. Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the Establishment."

Gross foresaw that technological advances in the hands of corporations would be used to trap the public in what he called "cultural ghettoization" so that "almost every individual would get a personalized sequence of information injections at any time of the day -- or night." This is what, of course, television, our electronic devices and the internet have done. He warned that we would be mesmerized by the entertaining shadows on the wall of the Platonic cave as we were enslaved.

Gross knew that the most destructive force against the body politic would be the war profiteers and the militarists. He saw how they would siphon off the resources of the state to wage endless war, a sum that now accounts for half of all discretionary spending. And he grasped that warfare is the natural extension of corporatism. He wrote:

Under the militarism of German, Italian, and Japanese fascism violence was openly glorified. It was applied regionally -- by the Germans in Europe and England, the Italians in the Mediterranean, the Japanese in Asia. In battle, it was administered by professional militarists who, despite many conflicts with politicians, were guided by old-fashioned standards of duty, honor, country, and willingness to risk their own lives.

The emerging militarism of friendly fascism is somewhat different. It is global in scope. It involves weapons of doomsday proportions, something that Hitler could dream of but never achieve. It is based on an integration between industry, science, and the military that the old-fashioned fascists could never even barely approximate. It points toward equally close integration among military, paramilitary, and civilian elements. Many of the civilian leaders -- such as Zbigniew Brzezinski or Paul Nitze -- tend to be much more bloodthirsty than any top brass. In turn, the new-style military professionals tend to become corporate-style entrepreneurs who tend to operate -- as Major Richard A. Gabriel and Lieutenant Colonel Paul L. Savage have disclosed -- in accordance with the ethics of the marketplace. The old buzzwords of duty, honor, and patriotism are mainly used to justify officer subservience to the interests of transnational corporations and the continuing presentation of threats to some corporate investments as threats to the interest of the American people as a whole. Above all, in sharp contrast with classic fascism's glorification of violence, the friendly fascist orientation is to sanitize, even hide, the greater violence of modern warfare behind such "value-free" terms as "nuclear exchange," "counterforce" and "flexible response," behind the huge geographical distances between the senders and receivers of destruction through missiles or even on the "automated battlefield," and the even greater psychological distances between the First World elites and the ordinary people who might be consigned to quick or slow death.

We no longer live in a functioning democracy. Self-styled liberals and progressives, as they do in every election cycle, are urging us to vote for the Democrats, although the Democratic Party in Europe would be classified as a right-wing party, and tell us to begin to build progressive movements the day after the election. Only no one ever builds these movements. The Democratic Party knows there is no price to pay for selling us out and its abject service to corporations. It knows the left and liberals become supplicants in every election cycle. And this is why the Democratic Party drifts further and further to the right and we become more and more irrelevant. If you stand for something, you have to be willing to fight for it. But there is no fight in us.

The elites, Republican and Democrat, belong to the same club. We are not in it. Take a look at the flight roster of the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein , who was accused of prostituting dozens of underage girls and ended up spending 13 months in prison on a single count. He flew political insiders from both parties and the business world to his secluded Caribbean island, known as "Orgy Island," on his jet, which the press nicknamed "the Lolita Express." Some of the names on his flight roster, which usually included unidentified women, were Bill Clinton, who took dozens of trips, Alan Dershowitz , former Treasury Secretary and former Harvard President Larry Summers, the Candide -like Steven Pinker , whose fairy dust ensures we are getting better and better, and Britain's Prince Andrew. Epstein was also a friend of Trump, whom he visited at Mar-a-Lago.

We live on the precipice, the eve of the deluge. Past civilizations have crumbled in the same way, although as Hegel understood, the only thing we learn from history is "that people and governments never have learned anything from history." We will not arrest the decline if the Democrats regain control of the House. At best we will briefly slow it. The corporate engines of pillage, oppression, ecocide and endless war are untouchable. Corporate power will do its dirty work regardless of which face -- the friendly fascist face of the Democrats or the demented visage of the Trump Republicans -- is pushed out front. If you want real change, change that means something, then mobilize, mobilize, mobilize, not for one of the two political parties but to rise up and destroy the corporate structures that ensure our doom.

[Nov 03, 2018] Partisanship Rules At The Midterms

Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

tmosley , 13 minutes ago link

Absent independents, Republicans are running away with it. And independents are most assuredly witnessing the insanity that has gripped the Democratic Party, and will vote for Republicans at least 9:1.

Tallest Skil , 22 minutes ago link

Don't care. Both parties are entirely owned by Zionists...

BarnacleBill , 16 minutes ago link

Well, hang in there, sport. Yes, the US does seem to be going down the tubes, in that it's lost all respect in the world; we still fear it, but don't respect it. Sic transit gloria , or something like that...

[Nov 03, 2018] Kunstler The Midterm Endgame Democrats' Perpetual Hysteria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed. ..."
"... the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.) ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education. ..."
"... I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler: The Midterm Endgame & Democrats' "Perpetual Hysteria"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/02/2018 - 17:05 44 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Back in the last century, when this was a different country, the Democrats were the "smart" party and the Republicans were the "stupid" party.

How did that work?

Well, back then the Democrats represented a broad middle class, with a base of factory workers, many of them unionized, and the party had to be smart, especially in the courts, to overcome the natural advantages of the owner class.

In contrast, the Republicans looked like a claque of country club drunks who staggered home at night to sleep on their moneybags. Bad optics, as we say nowadays.

The Democrats also occupied the moral high ground as the champion of the little guy. If not for the Dems, factory workers would be laboring twelve hours a day and children would still be maimed in the machinery. Once the relationship between business and labor was settled in the 1950s, the party moved on to a new crusade on even loftier moral high ground: civil rights, aiming to correct arrant and long-lived injustices against downtrodden black Americans. That was a natural move, considering America's self-proclaimed post-war status as the world's Beacon of Liberty. It had to be done and a political consensus that included Republicans got it done. Consensus was still possible.

The Dems built their fortress on that high ground and fifty years later they find themselves prisoners in it. The factory jobs all vamoosed overseas. The middle class has been pounded into penury and addiction.

The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed.

The Republican Party has, at least, sobered up some after getting blindsided by Trump and Trumpism. Like a drunk out of rehab, it's attempting to get a life. Two years in, the party marvels at Mr. Trump's audacity, despite his obvious lack of savoir faire. And despite a longstanding lack of political will to face the country's problems, the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.)

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education.

I hope that Democrats lose as many congressional and senate seats as possible. I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. If there is anything to salvage in this organization, I hope it discovers aims and principles that are unrecognizable from its current agenda of perpetual hysteria. But if the party actually blows up and disappears, as the Whigs did a hundred and fifty years ago, I will be content. Out of the terrible turbulence, maybe something better will be born.

Or, there's the possibility that the dregs of a defeated Democratic Party will just go batshit crazy and use the last of its mojo to incite actual sedition. Of course, there's also a distinct possibility that the Dems will take over congress, in which case they'll ramp up an even more horrific three-ring-circus of political hysteria and persecution that will make the Spanish Inquisition look like a backyard barbeque. That will happen as the US enters the most punishing financial train wreck in our history, an interesting recipe for epic political upheaval.

[Oct 29, 2018] We Were Made for Civil War

Notable quotes:
"... Today's Blue elite represents the greatest concentration of wealth and power in the United States. Moreover, such wealth is scattered across a mosaic of pristine, manicured, gated communities physically and socially divorced from the realities of normal American life -- glittering bubbles of sovereign privilege . This is the very oligarchy Founders like John Adams so feared . While both Red and Blue elites represent themselves as the people's champion, Blue's protests ring the most false . ..."
Oct 29, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, two righteous paths are gridlocked in opposition. Both perceive themselves as champions of national renewal, of cleansing corrupted ideals, and of truly fulfilling America's promise. Both fervently believe that they alone own virtue. Yet the banners of each course are absolutist mirrors of one another, pro and contra, all or nothing. Moreover, lightning rod issues, as in the 1770s and 1850s, make the space between battle lines a no man's land, forcing majority moderates and compromising fence-sitters to choose or be called out as willing collaborators with the other.

Today's lightning rods -- a feminist reordering of jurisprudence , a state-promoted LGBT agenda, closed or open borders, full gun rights guarantees -- should not be seen as mere hot-button issues that can be manipulated at will by political party elites. These are way-of-life banners for two warring coalitions. Iconic issues that now represent the future of two tribal alliances are taking the place of a former, single nation. The time for compromise is over.

Othering. Here, the barren and inhospitable new civic space is dominated along looming, fortified lines. Warring identities have concluded that the only solution is the complete submission of the enemy party, and both sides are beginning to prepare for an ultimate showdown . Othering is a transforming process, through which former kin are reimagined as evil, an American inner-enemy, who once defeated must be punished. The most familiar metaphor of American othering was the 1770s practice of tarring and feathering . This less-than-lethal mob punishment corresponds -- in shaming power and severity -- to mob vengeance pervasive today on social media outlets such as Twitter.

Hence, to work fully as othering, the process must be public, result in the shame of the transgressor, and show that true virtue is in command. More than anything, othering is a ceremonial act designed to bring shame not just on the single person being tarred and feathered, but the entire community to which he belongs. The political object of #MeToo is not the numerically bounded set of guilty men, but rather the entire population set of all men . The political object of Black Lives Matter is not racists, but rather all white people . The political object of the LGBT movement is not homophobes, but rather the whole of straight cisgender society whose reality compass they seek to transform.

The targeted other, equally seized by virtue, operates today from an angry defensive crouch. Thus do corporate elites support marquee Blue "social justice" agendas on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube while censoring counterarguments and comment by Red. This is exactly the goal in this struggle: namely, to condition moderates to widespread acquiescence of a loud and insistent Blue agenda, while subtly coercing them to choose sides. They do this by arraigning Red as social losers, the future minority tribe, on their eventual way to the dustbin of history.

Red and Blue already represent an irreparable religious schism, deeper in doctrinal terms even than the 16th-century Catholic-Protestant schism. The war here is over which faction successfully captures the (social media) flag as true inheritor of American virtue.

The Decision. Othering's most decisive effect is to condition the whole of society to believe that an existential clash is coming, that all must choose, and that there are no realistic alternatives to a final test of wills. Remember, in past times, Jacobins on both sides were small minorities. Yet for either one of these two angry visions to win, there must be a showdown. This demands, perversely, that they work together to bring on open conflict, successfully coercing the majority of Americans to buy into its inevitability. At that point, only a trigger pull is needed.

This was what the Boston Massacre did to push colonials against Britain in 1770, and this is what John Brown's Pottawatomie Massacre and Congressman Preston Brooks's caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor did to push people toward civil war in 1856. This is what the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and the nearly two-year effort to delegitimize and overthrow President Donald Trump may doing today: getting the two halves of the former nation to pull that trigger.

The Fight. If the political balance shifts dramatically, then conflict checks -- held in place by lingering political norms and a longstanding electoral standoff -- disintegrate. Suddenly, both newly advantaged and disadvantaged parties rush to a test of wills sooner rather than later. A triggering incident becomes a spark -- yet the spark itself does not ignite. Rather, it is the readiness for combat in this emerging "community of violence" that makes a fight the natural way forward. In 1774, the Sons of Liberty were spoiling for a fight. In the 1850s, Jayhawkers and Border Ruffians were equally primed to hit back. That pushed the nation to civil war.

Evidence from history and our own eyes tells us that we are deep into phase four. Three takeaways show us how close we are to real battle.

Both sides rush to tear down the constitutional order. Just since the 2016 election, we have witnessed a rolling thunder of Blue and Red elite rhetoric -- packing the Supreme Court, abolishing the Electoral College , repealing the Second Amendment , wholesale state nullification of federal law, shackling of voter rights, and Deep State invocation of the 25th Amendment. These are all potential extremities of action that would not only dismantle our constitutional order, but also skew it to one side's juridical construct of virtue, thus dissolving any semblance of adherence to law by the other. Over time each party becomes emotionally invested in the lust to dismantle the old and make something new.

Hence, constitutional norms exist only conditionally, until such time as they finally be dismantled, and only as long as a precariously balanced electoral divide holds firm. A big historical tilt in favor of one party over the other would very quickly push the nation into crisis because the party with the new mandate would rush to enact its program. The very threat of such constitutional dismantling would be sure casus belli . Such tilts in the early 1770s against Britain, and later in the 1850s against the slaveholding party, were the real tipping points. Not only was Dred Scott v. Sandford just such a tipping point in 1857, but subconsciously its legacy weighs heavily on Americans today, as they contemplate -- often with hysterical passion -- the dread consequences of a Kavanaugh appointment.

The dead hand of the last civil war grabs us from the grave. It is eerie how today's angst pulls us back to the 1860s -- and shows us what is likely to happen in our third civil war. If the poisonous hatreds of the 1860s again inform our civil anger today -- i.e. battles between the alt-right and antifa -- then this should tell us that we are literally on the cusp of another time of rage, where the continuity of strife is stronger than any hopes for reconciliation. What is clear is that two warring parties will accept nothing less from the other than submission, even though the loser will never submit. Moreover, each factional ethos is incapable of empathizing with the other.

Yet we should remember that "unconditional surrender" is like an Old Testament doctrine -- meaning that its invocation hearkens unmistakably to God's judgment. It became the Federal rallying cry throughout the Civil War, a substrate trope in the Versailles Treaty, the president's official position for the end of World War II, and even our complacent conviction during the decomposition of the Soviet Union. It is an apocalyptic vision deeply embedded in both Blue and Red. Such visions presage existential crisis that puts what is left of the nation at real risk. If, at war's end, the sacred scrolls, artifacts, and symbols -- the archaeology of a once-cherished identity -- cannot be restored or repurposed, then our entire history must be destroyed, and the "we" that once was wiped clean. Civil war -- the battle over how, or whether, we belong to one another -- thus demands nothing less than transformation.

Disbelieving war makes it inevitable. People will always disbelieve that we could come to blows, until we do. Delegates at the "Democracy" party convention in Charleston, in the summer of 1860, were still in denial of the coming fury . No one dares imagine another civil war playing out like the last, when two grimly determined American armies fought each other to the death in bloody pitched battles. It is unlikely that a third American civil war will embrace 18th and 19th century military dynamics. Antique Anglo-American society -- organized around community " mustering " -- was culturally equipped to fight civil wars. Today's screen-absorbed Millennials are not. So what?

But the historical consequences of a non-military American civil war would be just as severe as any struggle settled by battle and blood. For example, the map of a divided America today suggests that division into functioning state and local sovereignties -- with autonomy over kinship, identity, and way of life issues -- might be the result of this non-bloody war. This could even represent de facto national partition -- without de jure secession, achieved through a gradual process of accretive state and local nullification .

So what would a non-military civil war look like? Could it be non-violent? Americans are certainly not lovers, but they do not seem really to be fighters either. A possible path to kinship disengagement -- a separation without de jure divorce -- would here likely follow a crisis, a confrontation, and some shocking, spasmodic violence, horrifyingly amplified on social media. Passions at this point would pull back, but investment in separation would not. What might eventuate would be a national sorting out, a de facto kinship separation in which Blue and Red regions would go -- and govern -- their own ways, while still maintaining the surface fiction of a titular "United States." This was, after all, the arrangement America came to after 20 years of civil war (1857-1877). This time, however, there will be no succeeding conciliation (as was achieved in the 1890s). Culturally, this United States will be, from the moment of agreement, two entirely separate sensibilities, peoples, and politics.

♦♦♦

The winding path to civil war has yet another wrinkle: the people-elite divide. In the 1770s and the 1850s, American fissuring was championed by opposing elites. In the 1770s, two elites had emerged: one was the colonial, homegrown elite -- such as Washington, Hamilton, and Adams -- and the other was the metropole, trans-Atlantic British elite , celebrated by royally endowed landowners such as Lord Fairfax , whose holdings were in the thousands of square miles. Yet the British aristocracy was less intimately engaged in the colonies, and the loyalist elite a more sotto voce voice in colonial politics.

Not so the proto-Confederacy, the celebrated "Slave Power." In the looming struggle between North and South, the Southern elite was the dominant economic force in the nation, thanks to its overwhelming capital stored in human flesh. In fact, planter aristocracy capital formation in 1860 equaled all capital invested in manufacturing, railroads, banks, and all currency in circulation -- combined. This was the power of chattel slavery as the wealth ecology of the antebellum South. In defiant opposition to them were the Northern anti-slavery elites , nowhere as privileged and rich as their Southern counterparts. The new Republicans were further thwarted by the indissoluble alliance of planter aristocracy and the nation's financial hub: New York City. There was an unholy bond between a dominant slaveholder elite and an equally dominant New York slave-enabling elite. To make the point, in 1859, New York shipbuilders outfitted 85 slave ships for the hungry needs of the Southern planter class.

The dominant cultural position occupied by the overlords of chattel slavery has its analogy today in the overlords of America's Blue elite. While there is a vocal Red elite, the Blue elite dominates public life through its hold on the Internet, Hollywood, publishing, social media, academia, the Washington bureaucracy, and the global grip of corporate giants. Blue elite's power, in its hold on the cultural pulse and economic lifeblood of American life, compares granularly to the planter aristocracy of the 1850s.

Ruling elites famously overthrown by history -- like the Ancien Régime in France, Czarist Russia, and even the Antebellum South -- were fated by their insatiable selfishness, their impenetrable arrogance, and their sneering aloofness from the despised people -- "the deplorables" -- upon whom their own economic status feasted .

Today's Blue elite represents the greatest concentration of wealth and power in the United States. Moreover, such wealth is scattered across a mosaic of pristine, manicured, gated communities physically and socially divorced from the realities of normal American life -- glittering bubbles of sovereign privilege . This is the very oligarchy Founders like John Adams so feared . While both Red and Blue elites represent themselves as the people's champion, Blue's protests ring the most false .

America is divided today not by customary tussles in party politics, but rather by passionate, existential, and irreconcilable opposition. Furthermore, the onset of battle is driven yet more urgently by the "intersection" of a culturally embedded kinship divide moving -- however haphazardly -- to join up with an elite-people divide.

Tragically, our divide may no longer be an outcome that people of goodwill work to overcome. Schism -- with our nation in an ideological Iron Maiden -- will soon force us all to submit, and choose.

Michael Vlahos teaches strategy and war at Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs and formerly, at the Naval War College. He is the author of the book Fighting Identity: Sacred War and World Change .

Likbez

I think that the key for understating the political crisis in the USA is to understand its connection with the crisis on neoliberalism as an ideology which was encompassed as the USA national ideology after WWII.

The US neoliberal elite lost the support of the population, and the is what the current crisis is about. Also, the level of degeneration of the current elite demonstrated by Haley appointed to the UN and several other disastrous appointments also signify the Us approaching the situation of " let them eat cakes."

The same time the power of surveillance state is such that outside of random acts of violence like we observed recently, insurrection is impossible and political ways to change the situation are blocked.

Neoliberals came to power with Carter, so more than 40 years ago (although formally Reagan is considered to be the first neoliberal president.) Now they are are losing political power and popular support.

Trump attempt to reform "classic neoliberalism" into what can be called "national neoliberalism" or neoliberalism without globalization is probably doomed to be a failure and not only due to Trump weaknesses as a political leader. He trying increase the level of neoliberaliztion with the USA failing to understand that the current problems stem from excessive levels of deregulation (and associated level of corruption), the excessive power of military industrial complex (supported by Wall Street) which led to waiting for trillion of arms race and destruction of New Deal Social protection mechanisms.

With the collapse of neoliberalism of global ideology, international standing of the USA greatly deteriorated, and now in some areas (especially with unilateral Iran sanctions and behavior in Korea crisis), Trump administration approaches the status of a pariah nation.

My impression is the neoliberalism just can't be reformed the way Trump is trying it to reform into what can be called "national neoliberalism."

That's probably why intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic party, closely connected to Wall Street launched a color revolution ("Russiagate) against him in late 2016, trying to depose him and install a more "compliant" leader, who would support kicking the can down the road.

So the two warring camps now represent "classic neoliberalism" with its idea of the global neoliberal empire (and related "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine) and "revisionists" of various flavors (including Trump and Sanders supporters)

BTW neocons, who dominate the USA foreign policy, are also neoliberals, just moonlighting as lobbyists of the military industrial complex.

I think that globalization as an immanent feature and trump policies this will fail.

As the same, the opposition to neoliberalism on the ground level of the US society demand reforms and retreat form the globalization, which they connect with outsourcing and offshoring.

That's why Trump's idea of "national neoliberalism" -- an attempt to retreat from "globalization" and at the same time to obtain some economic advantages by brute force and bilateral treaties instead of multilateral organizations like WTO got some initial support. Along with his fake promises to improve the economic position of the middle class, squeezed by globalization.

the truth is that the "classic neoliberals" (which are represented by Clinton wing of Dems and Paul Ryan wing in Republicans ) lost popular support.

Dems, for example, now rely as their major constituency fringe groups and elements of national security state (that's why so many of their candidates for midterm are associated with intelligence agencies and military). So they are trying to mobilize elements of national security state to help them to return to power. That gambit, like Russiagate before it, probably will fail.

Republicans are also in limbo with Trump clearly betraying his electorate, but still enjoy some level of ground support.

IMHO his betrayals which is very similar to Obama betrayal(in no way he wants to improve the condition of the lower middle class and workers, it just hot air) might cost him two important group of voters who will vote for independent candidates if they vote at all:

1. Anti-war republicans
2. People who want the return of the New Deal.

Factions which are against imperial wars and for more fair redistribution of income in the society, a distribution which were screwed by 40 years of neoliberalism dominance in the USA.

So the US electorate have a classic political choice between disastrous and unpalatable policies once again ;-)

whether that will eventually lead to a military coup in best LA style, we can only guess.

[Oct 27, 2018] Most Americans See A Sharply Divided Nation; The Fourth Turning Is Here

Looks like most Americans do not understand that we are dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism as a social system.
Oct 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
AP-NORC Poll national survey with 1,152 adults found 8 in 10 Americans believe the country is divided regarding essential values, and some expect the division to deepen into 2020.

Only 20% of Americans said they think the country will become less divided over the next several years, and 39% believe conditions will continue to deteriorate. A substantial majority of Americans, 77%, said they are dissatisfied with the state of politics in the country , said AP-NORC.

... ... ...

The nationwide survey was conducted on October 11-14, using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Overall, 59% of Americans disapprove of how Trump is handling his job as president, while 40% of Americans approve.

More specifically, the poll said 83% of Republicans approve of how Trump is handling the job, while 92% of Democrats and 61% of Independents strongly disagree.

More than half of Americans said they are not hearing nor seeing topics from midterm campaigns that are important to them. About 54% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans said vital issues, such as health care, education, and economic activity, Social Security and crime, were topics they wanted to hear more.

Looking at their communities, most American (Republicans and Democrats) are satisfied with their state or local community. However, on a national level, 58% of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, compared to 25%, a small majority who are satisfied.

Most Americans are dissatisfied with the massive gap between rich and poor, race relations and environmental conditions. The poll noticed there are partisan splits, 84% of Democrats are disappointed with the amount of wealth inequality, compared with 43% of Republicans. On the environment, 77% of Democrats and 32% Republicans are dissatisfied. Moreover, while 77% Democrats said they are unhappy with race relations, about 50% of Republicans said the same.

The poll also showed how Democrats and Republicans view certain issues. About 80% of Democrats but less than 33% of Republicans call income inequality, environmental issues or racism very important.

"Healthcare, education and economic growth are the top issues considered especially important by the public. While there are many issues that Republicans and Democrats give similar levels of importance to (trade foreign policy and immigration), there are several concerns where they are far apart. For example, 80% of Democrats say the environment and climate change is extremely or very important, and only 28% of Republicans agree. And while 68% consider the national debt to be extremely or very important, only 55% of Democrats regard it with the same level of significance," said AP-NORC.

Although Democrats and Republicans are divided on most values, many Americans consider the country's diverse population a benefit.

Half said America's melting pot makes the country stronger, while less than 20% said it hurts the country. About 30% said diversity does not affect their outlook.

"However, differences emerge by party identification, gender, location, education, and race . Democrats are more likely to say having a population with various backgrounds makes the country stronger compared to Republicans or Independents. Urbanities and college-educated adults are more likely to say having a mix of ethnicities makes the country stronger, while people living in rural areas and less educated people tend to say diversity has no effect or makes the country weaker," said AP-NORC.

Overall, 60% of Americans said accusations of sexual harassment with some high-profile men forced to resign or be fired was essential to them. However, 73% of women said the issue was critical, compared with 51% of men. The data showed that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to call sexual misconduct significant.

More than 40% of Americans somewhat or strongly disapprove of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court after allegations of sexual harassment in his college years. 35% of Americans said they heartily approved of Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The evidence above sheds light on the internal struggles of America. The country is divided, and this could be a significant problem just ahead.

Why is that? Well, America's future was outlined in a book called "The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous With Destiny."

In the book, which was written in the late 1990s, authors William Strauss and Niel Howe theorize that the history of civilization moves in 80-to-100 year cycles called "saecula."

The idea behind this theory dates back to the Greeks, who believed that at given saeculum's end, there would come "ekpyrosis," or a cataclysmic event.

This era of change is known as the Fourth Turning, and it appears we are in the midst of one right now.

The last few Fourth Turnings that America experienced ushered in the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, and then the Great Depression and World War II. Before all of that, it was the Revolutionary War.

Each Fourth Turning had similar warning signs: periods of political chaos, division, social and economic decay in which the American people reverted from extreme division and were forced to reunite in the rebuild of a new future, but that only came after massive conflict.

Today's divide among many Americans is strong. We are headed for a collision that will rip this country apart at the seams. The timing of the next Fourth Turning is now, and it could take at least another decade to complete the cycle.

After the Fourth Turning, America will not be the America you are accustomed to today. So, let us stop calling today the "greatest economy ever" and start preparing for turbulence.

MusicIsYou , 36 seconds ago link

Yep, Americans are divided, because they're all miserable, but competing to see who's the biggest miserable victim. Very funny.

[Oct 16, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon

Highly recommended!
The question is why the Deep State still is trying to depose him, if he essentially obeys the dictate of the Deep State ?
Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. ..."
"... The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them. ..."
"... Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad. ..."
"... Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ..."
"... Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security. ..."
"... That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? ..."
"... this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers. ..."
"... Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades. ..."
"... "Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama." ..."
"... Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said. ..."
"... He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else. ..."
"... Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world ..."
"... I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In covering President Donald Trump's recent pregnant comments about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, The Wall Street Journal tucked away in its story an observation that hints at the president's foreign policy direction. In an interview for CBS's 60 Minutes , the president described Mattis as "sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth" and suggested he wouldn't be surprised if his military chief left his post soon. After calling him "a good guy" and saying the two "get along very well," Trump added, "He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves . That's Washington."

Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. In just his first 14 months as president, he hired three national security advisors, reflecting the unstable relationships he often has with his top aides. Following the 60 Minutes interview, Washington was of course abuzz with speculation about what all this might mean for Mattis's fate and who might be the successor if Mattis were to quit or be fired. It was just the kind of fodder Washington loves -- human drama revealing Trump's legendary inconstancy amid prospective new turmoil in the capital.

But far more significant than Mattis's future or Trump's love of chaos was a sentence embedded in the Journal 's report. After noting that recent polls indicated that Mattis enjoys strong support from the American people, reporter Nancy A. Youssef writes: "But his influence within the administration has waned in recent months, particularly following the arrival of John Bolton as national security adviser and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state."

The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them.

Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad.

The one area where he seemed to embrace America's post-Cold War aggressiveness was in his attitude toward Iran. But even there he seemed less bellicose than many of his Republican opponents in the 2016 primaries, who said they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal on their first day in office. Trump, by contrast, said it was a bad deal but one he would seek to improve.

Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now we know he didn't mean what he said, and the latest tiff over the fate of Mattis crystallizes that reality. It's not that Mattis represents the kind of anti-establishment outlook that Trump projected during the campaign; in fact, he is a thoroughgoing product of that establishment. He said Iran was the main threat to stability in the Middle East. He supported sending arms to the Syrian rebels. He decried Russia's intent to "break NATO apart."

Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security.

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs. He brilliantly discerned the frustrations of many Americans over the foreign policy of the previous 16 years and hit just the right notes to leverage those frustrations during the campaign. But his actual foreign policy has manifested a lack of consistent and strong philosophy. Consider his approach to NATO. During the campaign he criticized the alliance's eastward push and aggressive approach to Russia; then as president he accepted NATO's inclusion of tiny Montenegro, a slap at the Russians; then later he suggested Montenegro's NATO status could force the U.S. into a major conflagration if that small nation, which he described as aggressive, got itself into a conflict with a non-NATO neighbor. Such inconsistencies are not the actions of a man with strong convictions. They are hallmarks of someone who is winging it on the basis of little knowledge.

That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia.

Thus a conflict was probably inevitable between Mattis and these more recent administration arrivals. The New York Times speculates that Bolton likely undermined Mattis's standing in Trump's eyes. Writes the paper: "Mr. Bolton, an ideological conservative whose views on foreign policy are more hawkish than those of Mr. Mattis, appears to have deepened the president's suspicions that his defense secretary's view of the world is more like those of Democrats than his own."

The paper didn't clarify the basis of this speculation, but it makes sense. Bolton and Pompeo are gut fighters who go for the jugular. Trump is malleable, susceptible to obsequious manipulation. Mattis is an old-style military man with a play-it-straight mentality and a discomfort with guile. Thus it appears we may be seeing before our eyes the transformation of Trump the anti-establishment candidate into Trump the presidential neocon.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for . His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


General Manager October 15, 2018 at 11:30 pm

Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? We need more folks like Phil Giraldi at TAC. Love him or hate him – but please bring him back. The First Amendment needs him. And many of us still long for his direct and well-informed comments.
George Hoffman , says: October 16, 2018 at 5:27 am
"Come on now!" as sports analysts say in a sarcastic segment about football blunders on ESPN. Did GWB really make just an honest mistake based upon faulty intelligence? Does this writer really believe his assertion? This intellectually dishonest essay comes on the heels of a puff piece by another so-called "conservative" writer who asserted that had JFK not been assassinated and won a second term, he would have surely withdrawn American soldiers from South Vietnam. And then later in this essay the writer finally admits that these wars in the global war on terror, excluding the war in Afghanistan, were unnecessary. But if these other wars were unnecessary, then it historically follows they were illegal wars of aggression against humanity. That was the legal basis under which we tried Nazi leaders as war criminals at Numenberg. By the way, if Trump does get rid of Mattis, there are plenty more, one could even say they are a dime a dozen, at the Pentagon who would be willing to toe the line under Trump. They're basically professional careerists, corporate suits with misto salads of colorful medals on their uniforms. They take their marching orders from the military/industrial complex. I'm a Vietnam vet and realized long ago how clueless these generals actually are when we crossed our Rubicon in Vietnam. The war on terror now rivals the Vietnam War as a major foreign policy debacle. All these other unnecessary wars are part of the endgame as we continue our decline as a constitutional republic and we eventually hit bottom and go bankrupt by 2030.
jd , says: October 16, 2018 at 9:37 am
Absolutely right General Manager, this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers.
Kirt Higdon , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:23 am
When was Trump's foreign policy anything but Neo-con? Oh, he had a few good lines when he was running – that was the "con" part. I didn't fall for it but many did. But since he took office, he's been across-the-board anti-Russian, anti-Iran, pro-Saudi, uber-Zionist, and enthusiastic shill for the military-industrial complex.
Patricus , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:35 am
Trump surprised many of us with some very positive conservative actions but has also disappointed smaller government conservatives. The deficits and debt grows as the economy improves. What in the world happens in the next recession?

Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades.

TheSnark , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:05 am
"Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said.

He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else.

swb , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:34 am
Hmm

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs.

Fixed:

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions.

This is another article that attempts to overlay some sort of actual logical policy or moral framework over the top of Trumps actions. Please stop. Next week or next month this whole line of reasoning will be upended again and you will have to start over with another theory that contradicts this one.

BradleyD , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:40 am
@R Dodge

Are are you implying that Mattis is a slacker? Like, he isn't doing a good job? And, specially, what is he failing to do?

Even if he wasn't doing anything at all, you don't fire Mattis. He is beloved among the military. While a fair number revere and maybe even keep their own little "St. Mattis" shrine as a joke, it is only half a joke.

Mattis is one of the few modern military generals with a cult of personality who, I have little doubt, could declare crossing the Rubicon and would get a good number of veterans and active marching in support.

Stephen J. , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:48 am
I believe a good peaceful and appropriate "Foreign Policy" would be to:

"Arrest Them"

Arrest all those responsible for the plight of the Refugees
These people are in camps, or drowning in unfriendly seas
And when these unwanted, reach "safety," or a foreign land
They are treated like garbage and the rulers want them banned

Arrest these "rulers" who created this hell on earth
Who act, that human lives, don't have any worth
They are examples of evil and should not be in power
They really are disgraceful and an awful bloody shower

Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world
Authorizing bombings and killings these "leaders" should be reviled
Instead we give them fancy titles and homes to park their asses
Will there ever be a day of reckoning and a rise up of the masses?

Arrest the financiers of these bloody wars of destruction
This is how these blood sucking parasites get their satisfaction
Drag them away in chains and handcuffs, and orange prison attire
These are the corporate cannibals who set the world on fire

Arrest the fat and plump little "honourable" Ministers of Wars
They are the "useful idiots" for the leading warmongering whores
They never fight in battle or sacrifice any of their rotten lives
They get others to do their evil work while they themselves thrive

Arrest the corporate chieftains who feed off death and destruction
And who count their bloodstained profits with smiling satisfaction
These are the well dressed demons who call their investments "creating jobs"
Meanwhile, around the world the oppressed are crying, and nobody hears their sobs

Arrest the uniformed generals who blindly obey their marching orders
To bomb, kill, maim and destroy: they are the brainwashed enforcers
Years ago there were trials for war crimes committed by those in charge
Now we need them again for we have war criminals at large

Arrest all the aforementioned, and help clean up the world
We cannot afford these people in power: Are they mentally disturbed?
They are a danger to all of us and we better wake up
Is it time to arrest all of them: Have you had enough?
[more info at links below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/arrest-them.html
-- --

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-great-satan-and-his-satanic-gang-of.html
-- –
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-satanic-savages-in-suits-and-dresses.html

FJR Atlanta , says: October 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Hillary was right when she called Trump a puppet. She just had the puppeteers wrong.
Doswell , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm
"The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. "

Yes. Those two names are the main reason that this lifelong Republican is voting against Trump and the GOP in a few weeks. I voted against this kind of crap in 2016.

Sid Finster , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm
Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. That is obvious. What blows my mind is how many people refuse to admit this obvious fact.
b. , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm
"[G]enerally speaking, anyone listening [..] before the election would have been justified in concluding [Trump] would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

What did Judas Goat 43 say again?

"Fool me once, shame on me. Full me twice in the long run we'll all be dead."

I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results.

Cape Fear , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm
If Trump loses at least one house of Congress this year, he can put it down to 1) failure on immigration and border control, 2) failure to control government spending, and 3) failure to get us out of the Middle East.

His new neocon friends are responsible for 3) and couldn't care less about 1) and 2).

One Guy , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Now we know he didn't mean what he said "

No, Mr. Merry. We knew that long ago. I don't know how much attention you've been paying, but it's been so obvious for so long. But better late than never, I suppose.

Myron Hudson , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm
The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised.

[Oct 14, 2018] Where Is Trump's Alleged Isolationism by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... American Conservative ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

It's nearly impossible to read major newspapers, magazines, or online publications in recent months without encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United States is turning inward and "going alone," "abandoning Washington's global leadership role" or "retreating from the world." These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new "isolationism." The chief villain in all of these worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire to decrease Washington's global hegemonic status. Instead, they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

For instance, it's certainly not evident that the United States is abandoning its security commitments to dozens of allies and clients. Despite the speculation that erupted in response to Trump's negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of U.S. policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued to expand its membership with Trump's blessing -- adding Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia.

Indeed, Trump's principal complaint about NATO has always focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing, not about rethinking the wisdom of the security commitments to Europe that America undertook in the early days of the Cold War. In that respect, Trump's emphasis on greater burden-sharing within the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message that previous generations of U.S. officials have tried sending to the allies.

Moreover, Trump's insistence at the July NATO summit in Brussels that the European nations increase their military budgets and do more for transatlantic defense echoed the comments of President Obama's Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2014. Hagel warned his European counterparts that they must step up their commitment to the alliance or watch it become irrelevant. Declining European defense budgets, he emphasized, are "not sustainable. Our alliance can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and invest in it." Rebalancing NATO's "burden-sharing and capabilities," Hagel stressed, "is mandatory -- not elective."

Additionally, U.S. military activities along NATO's eastern flank certainly have not diminished during the Trump administration. Washington has sent forces to participate in a growing number of exercises (war games) along Russia's western land border -- as well as in the Black Sea -- to demonstrate the U.S. determination to protect its alliance partners. Trump has even escalated America's "leadership role" by authorizing the sale of weapons to Ukraine -- a very sensitive step that President Obama carefully avoided.

Trump even seems receptive to establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Eastern Europe. During a state visit to Washington in mid-September, Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, promised to provide $2 billion toward construction costs if the United States built a military base in his country. Duda even offered to name the base "Fort Trump." Trump's reaction was revealing. Noting that Poland "is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland," Trump stated that the United States would take Duda's proposal "very seriously." American Conservative columnist Daniel Larison notes that while Trump often is accused of wanting to "retreat" from the world, "his willingness to entertain this proposal shows that he doesn't care about stationing U.S. forces abroad so long as someone else is footing most of the bill."

U.S. military activism does not seem to have diminished outside the NATO region either. Washington persists in its futile regime-change campaign in Syria, and it continues the shameful policy of assisting Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies pursue their atrocity-ridden war in Yemen. Both of those Obama-era ventures should have been prime candidates for a policy change if Trump had wished to decrease America's military activism.

There are no such indications in Europe, the Middle East, or anywhere else. The U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea have actually increased in size and frequency under Trump -- much to China's anger . Washington's diplomatic support for Taiwan also has quietly increased over the past year or so, and National Security Advisor John Bolton is on record suggesting that the United States move some of its troops stationed on Okinawa to Taiwan. The U.S. military presence in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, both in overall size and the number of host countries.

Those are all extremely strange actions for an administration supposedly flirting with a retreat from the world to be adopting. So, too, is Trump's push for increases in America's already bloated military budget, which now exceeds $700 billion -- with even higher spending levels on the horizon.

Accusations of a U.S. retreat from the world on non-military matters have only slightly greater validity. True, Trump has shown little patience for multilateral arrangements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement, or the United Nations Human Rights Council that he concluded did not serve America's national interests. On those issues, the president's actions demonstrated that his invocation of "America First" was not just rhetoric. However, regarding such matters, as well as the trade disputes with China and North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement partners, the administration's emphasis is on securing a "better deal" for the United States, not abandoning the entire diplomatic process. One might question the wisdom or effectiveness of that approach, but it is a far cry from so-called isolationism.

Indeed, Americans would have been better off if Trump had been more serious about challenging the policy status quo, especially with respect to security issues. A reconsideration of Washington's overgrown and often obsolete security commitments to allies and clients around the world is long overdue. Abandoning the disastrous twin strategies of humanitarian military intervention and regime-change wars is a badly needed step. And waging a new cold war against Russia is the height of dangerous folly that needs to be reversed.

But contrary to Trump's shrill -- and sometimes hysterical -- critics, America has had no meaningful reconsideration of such misguided policies or a willingness to adopt a more focused, limited, and prudent U.S. role in the world. Notions that there has been a pell-mell U.S. retreat from global leadership -- i.e., Washington's hegemonic pretentions -- under Donald Trump are a myth. What Trump has adopted is merely a more unilateral and militarized version of a stale foreign policy that does not benefit the American people.


Source: The National Interest

[Oct 10, 2018] Casualty Lists From the Kavanaugh Battle by Pat Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? ..."
"... Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. ..."
"... Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. ..."
"... I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons. ..."
"... The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website October 9, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT

Mr. Buchanan, you forgot the "treacherous" work of porn lawyer Michael Avenatti who offered the straw that broke the camel's back by presenting such an abysmal "witness" such as Julie Swetnick. Ms. Ramirez' alleged allegations also came down to nothing. Even the so-called Me too movement suffered a big blow. They turned a fundamental democratic principle upside down: The accused is innocent until proven guilty. They insisted instead that the accuser is right because she is a woman!

I watched the whole confirmation circus on CNN. When Dr. Ford started talking my first thought was; this entire testimony is a charade initiated by the Dems. As a journalist, I was appalled by the CNN "colleagues." During the recesses, they held tribunals that were 95 percent staffed by anti-Trumpets. Fairness looks different.

For me, the Democratic Party and the Me too movement lost much of its credibility. To regain it, they have to get rid of the demons of the Clinton's and their ilk. Anyone who is acquainted with the history of the Clinton's knows that they belong to the most politically corrupt politicians in the US.

Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT

So where are we going now?

This country is on a shit slide to hell. No turning back ..to many god damn idiots in this country.

What people in this country better understand is Trump is part of the Deep State and he means harm to all non elites.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@utu You're thinking of Justice Kennedy, another Republican choice for whom young Mr. Kavanaugh clerked before helping President Cheney with the Patriot Act to earn his first robe on the Swampville Circuit. Chief Justice Roberts was the one who nailed down Big Sickness for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Like the "federal" elections held every November in even-numbered years and the 5-4 decrees of the Court, these nailbiting confirmation hearings are another part of the show that keeps people gulled into accepting that so many things in life are to be run by people in Washington. Mr. Buchanan for years has been proclaiming each The Most Important Ever.

I'm still inclined to the notion that the Constitution was intended, at least by some of its authors and supporters, to create a limited national government. But even by the time of Marbury, those entrusted with the powers have arrogated the authority to redefine them. In my lifetime, the Court exists to deal with hot potato social issues in lieu of the invertebrate Congress, to forebear (along with the invertebrate Congress) the warmongering and other "foreign policy" waged under auspices of the President, and to dignify the Establishment's shepherding and fleecing of the people.

Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? Entrusted to enforce the Constitutional limitations on the others? Sure, questions like these are posed from time to time in a dissenting Justice's opinion, but that ends the discussion other than in the context of replacing old Justice X with middle-aged Justice Y, as exemplified in this cliche' column from Mr. Buchanan. Those of us outside the Beltway are told to tune in and root Red. And there are pom pom shakers and color commentators just like him for Team Blue.

Puppet show.

Jon Baptist , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm GMT
Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. Buchanan knows this but is too afraid to tell "the other half of the story."
36 ulster , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT
@verylongaccountname

It was a costly victory, but not a Pyrrhic one. The Left will no doubt raise the decibel and octave levels, but if they incur a richly-deserved defeat a month from now, they won't even make it to the peanut gallery for at least the next two years.

Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. Should the Left choose to up the ante, to REALLY take it to the streets well as the English ditty goes: We have the Maxim Gun/And they have not.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
Pat, you are one of the few thinkers with real common sense.

I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons.

The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left.

They all slept through the Obama disaster thinking the globalist open borders would make the world Shang Ri La instead of crime ridden, diseased, and under attack from Muslims and their twisted ides about God and Sharia Law. Look at the Imam who proclaimed yesterday they Sharia is the law of Britain and that Muslims are at war with the British government. Yet, Tommy Robinson gets jailed for pointing out their sated intentions. Messed up. We cannot let this happen in America.

They ignore the fact that the emasculated Obama failed to fight to pick a Supreme Court Justice. Even though he was going to choose Neil Gorsuch, not a leftist, the Alt-Left no doubt would have remained silent if he had. Why? Because Obama was black. But the Alt-Left is shallow and they could not see that the oreo president was black on the outside but rich and creamy white on the inside. No doubt, Obama was more like a 1980′s Republican than he was a Democrat as I understood them to be for decades.

The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be.


Si1ver1ock , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT

@prefer anon I agree. These parties get hijacked by the worst sort. The Neocons are still riding high in the Republican party.
SolontoCroesus , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

You wanted a fight? You are going to get one and just like the Nazis and confederates we will thrash you

Hold up a sec, pal.

Your lot has painted a target on Russia, claiming Russians collusioned with Trump. Right?

But it was Russians who "thrashed" the Nazis.

Goes without saying you hate the Nazis and extend that epithet to include Germans. Right?

But German mercenaries provided a great deal of the fighting force that "thrashed" the confederates.

Looks like you've made enemies of most of the fighting force you are counting on to thrash the GOP, pal.

Ooops.

Svigor , says: October 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Ludwig Watzal Vis-a-vis #PayAttentionToMeToo, it really was a win-win. Rightists successfully defended the firewall and kept it contained to the left. Perfect. As far as leftists are concerned, it's still perfectly legitimate – the leftist circular firing squads will continue.
Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist

Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling.

Well I get it and have been saying so. Trump knows damn well that the people he has surrounded himself with are Deep Staters Trump is a part of the Deep State. Trump has done nothing of significance for the 99%. Trump hasn't prosecuted anyone for criminal activity 'against' his campaign or administration. Trump hasn't built a wall (he won't either). Instead of reducing conflict and war Trump has been belligerent in his actions toward Russia, China, Syria and Iran .risking all out war. All these things are being done to increase the wealth and power of the Deep State. For the past ten years Republican House members have been promising investigations and prosecutions of Democrats for criminal activities .not one god damn thing changed. Kabuki theater is the name of the game. With such inane bullshit as Dancing With The Stars on TV and the fake Republicans v Democrats game, it is all meant to keep the proles from knowing how they are being screwed .a rather easy task at that.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Si1ver1ock @S1ver1ock

They are in the Democrat party too. In fact, their only allegiance is to Israel. The

Neocons are anti-USA – same as the communists in antifa and the mobs of idiots in the Damnedcrat party.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm GMT
@utu Same sex marriage is basically irrelevant. Less than 10% of homosexuals co-habitate with a partner. Perhaps 10% of the general population is openly homosexual (and that's definitely an over-estimation.).

This means that if all homosexuals that cohabitate with a partner are married, it's less than 1% of the population we're talking about.

This is a "who really cares?" situation. There's more important things to worry about when the nation has been at war for 16 years straight, started over a bunch of lies starting with George W. Bush and continuing with Barak Obama. We have lost the moral high ground because of those two, identical in any important way, scumbags.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

Democrats are enraged and have seen the GOP for the white supremacist evil institution that it is

This from a group of people that have been endlessly complaining that the Butcher of Libya, who voted for the Authorization to Use Force in Iraq (what you know as the 2nd Iraq War) wasn't elected president just because she was running a fraudulent charity, was storing classified information on an unsecured and compromised server illegally, and is telling you absolutely morally bankrupt and unprincipled individuals that you have the moral high ground because she's a woman after all, not just another war criminal like George W. Bush is, and Obama is.

Caligula's horse would have beaten Hillary Clinton, if the voter base had any sense. Clinton was the worst possible candidate ever. Anybody, and I mean anybody, that voted for the Iraq War should be in prison, not in government. They are all traitors.

Hyperion , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Realist Agree Big money interets have broguht us Trump not only for the tax cuts but to destroy America's hemegomony. to start the final leg of the shift from west to east. A traitor of the highest order Pat Buchanan has led the grievence brigade of angry white men for decades distracted and deluded over the social issues meanwhile the Everyman/woman has lost ground economically or stayed static no improvement.
SamAdams , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@Jon Baptist You can just about guarantee that the losers in the false 'Right' versus 'Left' circus will be We The People.

Big Government/Big Insider Corporations/Big Banks feed parasitically off the population. The role of the lawyers wearing black dresses on the SC, is to help hide the theft. They use legal mumbo jumbo. The economists at the Fed use economics & mathematical mumbo jumbo.

Much of current Western society is made up of bullsh*t.

[Oct 06, 2018] The Lesser Evil: Slavoj i ek on Clinton, Trump and the Left's Dilemma by Slavoj Žižek

Kind of "disaster politics" if we take analogy with "disaster capitalism": if you are dissatisfied with the direction of the country you need to vote for the "more evil" candidate not the "less evil" to create the possibility of positive changes in the future.
Stalin phrase "They are both worse" now have anew interesting meaning.
Notable quotes:
"... When Stalin was asked in the late 1920s which deviation is worse, the Rightist one or the Leftist one, he snapped back: They are both worse! ..."
"... With such a choice, one should not lose ones nerve and chose the "worst," which means change -- even if is a dangerous change -- because it opens up the space for a different more authentic change. ..."
"... The point is to approach coldly the question: Whose victory is better ..."
"... while advocating concern for the misery of ordinary people, he effectively promotes a brutal neoliberal agenda that includes tax breaks for the rich, further deregulation, etc., etc. ..."
"... The Road to Wigan Pier ..."
"... Hillary Clinton: The Goldman Sachs Speeches ..."
Oct 06, 2018 | inthesetimes.com

This, exactly, is how citizens should act when faced with the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When Stalin was asked in the late 1920s which deviation is worse, the Rightist one or the Leftist one, he snapped back: They are both worse! Is it not the same with the choice American voters are confronting in the 2016 presidential elections? Trump is obviously "worse." He enacts a decay of public morality. He promises a Rightist turn. But he at least promises a change. Hillary is "worse" since she makes changing nothing look desirable.

With such a choice, one should not lose ones nerve and chose the "worst," which means change -- even if is a dangerous change -- because it opens up the space for a different more authentic change.

The point is thus not to vote for Trump -- not only should one not vote for such a scum, one should not even participate in such elections. The point is to approach coldly the question: Whose victory is better for the fate of the radical emancipatory project, Clinton's or Trump's?

Trump wants to make America great again, to which Obama responded that America already is great. But is it? Can a country in which a person like Trump has a chance of becoming president be really considered great? The dangers of a Trump presidency are obvious: he not only promises to nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court; he mobilized the darkest white-supremacist circles and openly flirts with anti-immigrant racism; he flouts basic rules of decency and symbolizes the disintegration of basic ethical standards; while advocating concern for the misery of ordinary people, he effectively promotes a brutal neoliberal agenda that includes tax breaks for the rich, further deregulation, etc., etc.

Trump is a vulgar opportunist, yet he is still a vulgar specimen of humanity (in contrast to entities like Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum whom I suspect of being aliens).

What Trump is definitely not is a successful productive and innovative capitalist -- he excels at getting into bankruptcy and then making the taxpayers cover up his debts.

... ... ...

Second, the fact remains that Trump draws support from the same rage out of which Bernie Sanders mobilized his partisans. The majority of his supporters view him as the anti-establishment candidate. And one should never forget that popular rage is by definition free-floating and can be re-directed. Liberals who fear the Trump victory are not really afraid of a radical Rightist turn. What they are really afraid of is actual radical social change. To repeat Robespierre, they admit (and are sincerely worried about) the injustices of our social life, but they want to cure them with a "revolution without revolution" (in exact parallel to today's consumerism which offers coffee without caffeine, chocolate without sugar, beer without alcohol, multiculturalism without conflict, etc.): a vision of social change with no actual change, a change where no one gets really hurt, where well-meaning liberals remain cocooned in their safe enclaves. Back in 1937, George Orwell in The Road to Wigan Pier wrote:

We all rail against class-distinctions, but very few people seriously want to abolish them. Here you come upon the important fact that every revolutionary opinion draws part of its strength from a secret con